Supreme Court stays Odisha Universities Amendment Act for 3 months [20.5.2022]

Supreme Court stays Odisha Universities Amendment Act for 3 months

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a stay on the Odisha Universities (Amendment) Act, 2020 through which the state government had sought to control appointment to important academic and administrative posts in state universities, including the recruitment of teaching staff.

A division bench of SC judges comprising Justice SA Nazeer and Justice Krishan Murari stayed the Act for the next three months after hearing a petition filed against the Act by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and retired professor of JNU Ajit Kumar Mohanty. The court sought a reply from the Odisha government and set the date for the next hearing on the matter after two months.

In January this year, the Orissa High Court had upheld the validity of the Act dismissing three petitions that had challenged it. The high court bench headed by chief justice S Muralidhar observed that the changes made in the procedure of recruitment of vice-chancellors and teachers for various universities were not unconstitutional.

The Amendment Act of 2020, which was notified in the Odisha Gazette and came into force on September 4, 2020 did away with Odisha University Act and took away the power of recruitment of teaching staff of state-run universities from the respective Senates and gave it to the Odisha Public Service Commission. Odisha has 11 Universities, managed by the state and recognized by the UGC. Some of these Universities were established prior to Independence. The Utkal University was established in 1943 while Ravenshaw College which began in 1868, became a University in 2005.

22 May 2022