Raj Bhavan asks Bengal universities to foot bill for fighting Mamata govt in SC
The West Bengal government approached the Supreme Court in August this year against Raj Bhavan’s move to appoint interim vice chancellors
KOLKATA: West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose’s office has told state-run universities to share the expenses incurred on engaging lawyers in the ongoing legal battle with the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the Supreme Court, prompting criticism by some associations.
“The legal expenses of the advocates engaged to appear in the case SLP 17403/2023 in the Supreme Court may be shared by all the universities concerned and the coordinating university viz. the Calcutta University may make the transactions,” said the letter sent by the Raj Bhavan’s senior special secretary.
The Mamata Banerjee government approached the Supreme Court in August this year against Raj Bhavan after Bose, who is the chancellor of state-run universities, appointed interim vice chancellors without consulting the administration.
On December 1, the court asked attorney general R Venkataramani to organise a joint meeting with all stakeholders to break the logjam.
Raj Bhawan officials confirmed that the letter was sent but declined to elaborate.
Bengal’s education minister Bratya Basu said the state’s higher education department will bring this issue to the notice of the apex court.
Educationists’ Forum, an association of professors of colleges and universities, questioned the latest move by the Raj Bhavan.
“The chancellor’s demand for funds from the universities is not only unprecedented but in violation of the existing law and rules. It seeks to put the universities against the state and its department of higher education and department of finance. Universities are being forced to cough out hefty amounts on litigation against the state government which pays for the universities,” the forum said in a statement on Sunday.