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7 AMU governing body members file dissent over V-C chairing meeting that puts wife on shortlist for job | Lucknow News

Seven members of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)’s governing body on Monday submitted a dissent note, questioning the “morality” of the officiating vice-chancellor who chaired a meeting in which his wife’s name was shortlisted for the post of V-C.

Besides Officiating V-C Mohammad Gulrez’s wife Naima Khatoon Gulrez, the names of Prof MU Rabbani and Prof Faizan Mustafa were shortlisted for the top varsity post during the meeting. Naima Khatoon Gulrez is a professor of psychology at the university and also principal of the AMU’s Women’s College.

The three names will be sent to President Droupadi Murmu, who is the Visitor of the university, for the appointment of the next V-C.

A total of 84 members were present in the meeting that was presided over by the Officiating V-C.

The dissent note stated, “In our considered view, the Officiating Vice-Chancellor can neither preside over this meeting of the AMU Court nor he can take part in the voting process for the finalisation of the panel of three names in light of the Statute 2(1) of the Statutes of the University because his wife is one of the candidates in the fray and this would violate the basic principle Nemo judex in causa sua, the conflict of interest, and the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964. Surprisingly the objections by two members in the Executive Council were not only ignored by the Chair but he himself gave a ruling in his own favour in gross violation of the principle of natural justice.”

Festive offer

The legal maxim nemo judex in causa sua simply means “no one should be a judge in his/her own case because he cannot be simultaneously judge and the party, the note added.

“It is therefore a must that this principle is strictly adhered to in the selection process of the Vice Chancellor to ensure that the decisions are made impartially and objectively, without any bias — real or perceived.”

Among the seven members of the governing body, who submitted the dissent note include two serving faculty members — Prof Aftab Alam and Prof Sufyan Beg.

“I filed the dissent note because a wrong is being done. No one can be a judge in their own case. Seven members signed the dissent note which was submitted to the governing body. I raised the matter before the start of the meeting. I said that the Officiating V-C can’t preside over the meeting and take part in the decision-making process because of the conflict of interest,” said Prof Alam, Chairperson, Department of Strategic Studies.

“The Officiating V-C then ruled in his own favour stating that there is no direct conflict because his wife is a candidate and he himself is not contesting. He also justified himself by stating that a husband and his wife are independent legal entities,” said Alam.

The seat of AMU vice-chancellor fell vacant in April this year after then V-C Tariq Mansoor was nominated to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council. The charge of V-C was then given to Mohammad Gulrez and since then he has been working as the Officiating V-C.

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Prof Sufiyan Beg, who also signed the dissent note, is the principal of the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology, AMU. “I filed the dissent note because I found it unethical that a husband is chairing a meeting when his wife is a candidate for the job. The Officiating V-C also voted yesterday,” said Beg.

Asked if there is any Act in the institution that prevents the V-C from chairing and voting at the meeting in which his spouse is one of the candidates, he said there is nothing in the Act as such but it was unethical.

AMU’s public relations officer Omar Peerzada did not respond to calls.

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