HC ruling on Priya Varghese not final, an option to approach SC is there: Kerala Governor

Earlier in the day, CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan said that the verdict was a blow to Khan in view of the stand taken by him regarding her appointment.

Priya Varghese (photo: facebook profile)
Priya Varghese (photo: facebook profile)


Hours after the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Friday claimed that the Kerala High Court ruling in favour of Priya Varghese, wife of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's private secretary, for appointment in Kannur University was a "blow" to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, he responded "that it was not final".

Khan, who is in Chennai presently, told reporters there that after the High Court delivers a judgement, a person has the right to go to the Supreme Court.

"I will wait for that. The decision is not final. The option to approach the higher court is there," he said while also declining to comment about the judgement.

Earlier in the day, CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan said that the verdict was a blow to Khan in view of the stand taken by him regarding her appointment.

"It is a blow to the Governor. Look at what all he had said. It is a blow for you (media) too. You too were very vocal on that issue," Govindan said.

Khan, in his capacity as Chancellor of universities in the state, had last year stayed her appointment and alleged that Kannur University's move to appoint her was "political".

On Thursday, the High Court had said that Varghese has the relevant experience for the post of Malayalam Associate Professor in the varsity and her candidature for that position be considered accordingly.

On being told that a minister has said that SFI was a protector of universities in Kerala, Khan said he was not going to comment on statements of ministers, but said it was everyone's duty to protect educational institutions.

"I think not only organisations, but it is the duty of every citizen to ensure that educational institutions are protected, their autonomy is protected and that there is no interference from the government," he said.

Kerala PWD Minister P A Mohamed Riyas had on Thursday termed SFI as a protector in the wake of allegations against the left wing student organisations in connection with the fake certificates issue in the state.

Khan further said that he has repeatedly said that as Chancellor it was legally his responsibility to run the universities.

"So by being Chancellor, I have to ensure no one interferes in the functioning of universities," he said.

On being asked whether there was political intervention in universities, he said, "Too much." When reporters said that there were allegations by some states that Governors were representing the central government and not the Constitution, Khan replied that in a democracy everyone was entitled to express their views and he was not concerned by such statements.

"What I am concerned with is performing my Constitutional duties which are different from that of the elected government. My Constitutional duty is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution," he said.

Khan also said that the will of the majority must prevail, but only when it is in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

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