Kochi, Nov 17 (SocialNews.XYZ) Rebutting arguments of Priya Varghese, the wife of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's Secretary K.K. Ragesh, the Kerala High Court on Thursday ruled that she had no qualifications to be considered for the post of Associate Professor in the Malayalam Department of Kannur University.
It pointed out that the scrutiny committee failed in finding out that she did not have the required qualifications.
Noting that all the UGC guidelines were flouted and the court cannot overlook it, the court asked the Kannur University to revisit the rank list and come out with a new one.
Ragesh is a former Rajya Sabha member of the CPI-M, who hails from Kannur and considered a close aide of Vijayan.
For the past two days, a bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran was looking into the petition of second-ranked candidate Jacob Skariah.
An RTI query had earlier revealed that Varghese got the maximum marks (32 out of 50) in the personal interview, while Skariah scored 30, but her research score was a mere 156, while the second-ranked candidate secured 651. However, she was ranked first based on the personal interview.
Moreover, the court ruled that she did not have the prescribed experience as a teacher and all the arguments which was put forward by the Kannur University and Varghese were not sustainable as even the UGC had clearly pointed out that she lacked the necessary teaching experience.
The verdict made it clear that she never had the requisite qualifications to even apply for the post, but not only did she apply, she even was ranked first and the only solace was she was not given the appointment order, as trouble broke out, with the Chancellor first staying this appointment and later the high court also stayed all further proceedings with regards to the appointment.
The court took more than two and a half hours to deliver this judgement that was keenly awaited in the state, as the ruling Left and its leaders were vehemently seen defending Varghese in numerous TV news channel debates.
The court also ruled that the period of three years that she took to do her PhD cannot be counted as teaching experience, also her service, while acting as student director, also cannot be included as such.
Reacting to the verdict that his petition has been accepted where in it has been proved that the first ranked candidate has no qualifications, Skariah said he is unimportant, but he is happy that this ruling will be an eye-opener for all those who try to play spoilsport as quite a few things have been cleared with regards to qualifications and experience.
"I am very happy," said Skariah, claiming that had she not been the wife of Chief Minister's private secretary, she would not have been selected.
The judgement will be vindication for Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor, and time and again, said the higher education sector in the state is under severe duress as all rules and regulations are being flouted. All claims of Kannur University that all rules and regulations were followed have fallen flat.
Now all eyes are on Vijayan's response.