HC Stays Prof Lokanath’s Appointment as VC of Mysore University

A single-judge bench of the High Court of Karnataka has stayed the appointment of Prof Lokanath N K as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore.

Prof Sharath Ananthamurthy, the Professor, School of Physics, University of Hyderabad had challenged the appointment alleging that it was in violation of rules.

It is alleged that Prof Lokanath faces criminal charges and is not qualified for the post. On Wednesday, the Court ordered the interim stay and adjourned the hearing.

“The 5th Respondent (Prof Lokanath) is not eligible to be considered for the post of Vice-Chancellor his candidature has been rejected by notifying his name in the merit list on the ground that his appointment is in dispute and thus the search committee has recommended the names as per merit and forwarded to the State government,” the petition says.

However, the authorities in alleged contrast to Clause 7.3.0 of the UGC regulations recommended his name in the panel, the petition alleges.

Prof Sharath had filed his application for the post of Vice Chancellor on November 18, 2022.

Another applicant, Prof H Rajashekar had approached the HC challenging the remarks made against his name in the main list.

The HC on March 6, 2023 disposed of that petition directing the authorities to appoint the VC strictly in accordance with rules.

The Search Committee submitted a fresh list of three names that included the name of Prof Lokanath NK on March 16.

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Prof Sharath, in his new petition before the HC has claimed that this was done despite Lokanath being ineligible. Lokanath was selected as the VC on March 23.

Prof Sharath, has said that he is eligible for the post but was not considered.

“The petitioner is fully eligible and qualified to be considered for selection and appointment as Vice- Chancellor as he does not suffer from any disqualification. Nevertheless the 5th Respondent who is otherwise ineligible has been selected and appointed and the same has resulted in overlooking the merit of the Petitioner which has resulted in denial of right of the petitioner being selected which in turn resulted in irreparable injury to the petitioner though he is eligible on all counts he has been denied,” the petition alleged.

Prof Sharath is the son of popular Kannada writer, the late UR Ananthamurthy.

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