Aligarh (UP), Nov 7 (PTI) Eight members of the AMU governing body, who attended a meeting to shortlist names for the post of the Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, have submitted a strong dissent note questioning the legality and morality of the acting VC chairing the meet in which the name of his wife was shortlisted.
At the meeting held on Monday, acting VC Mohammad Gulrez's wife Naima Khatoon, who is the principal of the AMU's Women's College, got 50 votes of the members of the AMU Court or governing body.
The other two shortlisted candidates -- M Uruj Rabbani (former dean of Faculty of Medicine, AMU) and Faizan Mustafa (noted jurist and former VC of National Law University, Nalsar) -- got 61 and 53 votes, respectively.
Shortly after the special meeting of the AMU Court, eight of the 84 members who attended it, submitted the note of dissent.
Two of those who signed the dissent note are senior faculty members, Professor Aftab Alam, Chairman Department of Strategic Studies, and Professor Sufyan Beg, Principal of the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology, AMU.
Six other members of the Court who had signed the note of dissent are Professor Hafiz Ilyas Khan and elected members Khurshid Khan, Syed Nadeem Ahmad, Syed Mohammad Ahmad Ali, Suhail Ahmad Niyazi and M Suhaib.
Professor Aftab Alam told PTI, “The act of the officiating Vice Chancellor to preside and vote at a meeting in which his wife is one of the candidates violates the basic principle of 'Nemo judex in causa sua' (no one is a judge in his own cause). The conflict of interest, and the Central Civil Services (conduct) Rules, 1964." "Surprisingly the objections by two members in the Executive Council (in its meeting on November 30) were not only ignored by the Chair but he (the acting VC) himself gave the ruling in his own favour in gross violation of the principle of natural justice,” he said.
The note of dissent mentioned “a fundamental principle of justice and fairness and provides that a person cannot be the decision-maker in a case in which he or his close family has a personal interest or stake. This is because of the fact that if a member of the decision making body is personally or one of his close family members are involved or interested in the outcome of a matter under consideration, it will create bias and a conflict of interest”.
However, AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada said there was nothing in the act and statutes of this Institution which prevents the Vice Chancellor from chairing or voting at a meeting in which his spouse is one of the candidates for selection.
"It may be pointed out that none of the visitor nominees to the Executive Council who were present at the earlier meeting of the Executive Council or the four former Vice Chancellor of the Institution who attended Monday's meeting of the Court raised any objection on this critical matter," he said.
A senior AMU official told PTI, “If the decision of an acting Vice Chancellor to vote in support of his spouse violates the law then some of them would certainly have raised an objection”.
Reacting to this claim, Aftab Alam said, “Many a times the letter of the law may be silent on some details but the spirit of the law is clear that in matter of appointment to any high office it is a proprietary of a decision on which rests the edifice of the moral authority of any such appointment. If this principle is not respected it certainly has a fall out in the future course of events”.
The three shortlisted named for the VC's post will be sent to President Droupadi Murmu, who is the Visitor of the university. She will pick one name for the post of the AMU VC.
If appointed, Khatoon will be the first woman to become the vice chancellor of AMU.PTI COR ABN ABN DV DV