Prez office returns HRD ministry file on Viswa Bharati VC

New Delhi, Dec 1: The file relating to HRD ministry's recommendation for dismissal of Visva Bharti Vice Chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta has been returned by the President's office for the second time in three months with a query on the issue.

The file has been sent back with the query whether denying the vice chancellor a "hearing in person" on allegations levelled against him was legally tenable.


The office of President Pranab Mukherjee, after examining the case, sent back the file last week asking the Human Resources Development(HRD) ministry to see whether not giving Dattagupta a chance to explain his stand on the allegation was "legally tenable", official sources said today.

This is the second time that the President's office has returned the file besides shooting down a proposal of the ministry that the email resignation of Dattagupta be accepted.

Earlier in September, the file was sent back asking the ministry to seek legal opinion on the allegations levelled against him.

The Ministry had sought opinion of the law ministry and sent back the file to the President's office. If his dismissal is ordered, it will be for the first that a vice chancellor is sacked by the President, who is the Visitor to all Central Universities.

The Ministry had sent Duttagupta's file to the President after it allegedly found him guilty of financial and administrative wrongdoings and was "unconvinced" by his reply to the show cause notice issued to him in June.

Charges against Duttagupta included drawing salary from Visva Bharati and pension from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) simultaneously in alleged violation of the law.

Under the law, he was required to have got his pension amount deducted from the pay he received from Visva Bharati.

Besides this, Duttagupta was charged with making irregular appointments, including that of the Controller of Examinations despite having no powers, and sanctioning key posts in violation of the Visva Bharati Act.

Dattagupta was appointed in 2011 and has nearly 18 months of tenure left. Dattagupta has challenged the legality of the ministry's fact-finding committee but his petition was dismissed by the Calcutta High Court.


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