The High Court yesterday questioned the legality of appointment of Prof Farzana Islam as vice chancellor of Jahangirnagar University (JU) without nomination of a VC panel.
The court issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in a week why the “appointment” should not be declared illegal, advocate Monjur Alam, a lawyer for the petitioners, told The Daily Star.
In the rule, the court also asked the VC why she should not be directed to hold a senate meeting for nominating a VC panel, the lawyer added.
The university authorities, vice chancellor, pro-vice chancellor concerned, secretary to the secondary and higher education division of the education ministry, and its deputy secretary, who issued the gazette notification on the re-appointment of Prof Farzana, have been made respondents to the rule.
The bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Salim came up with the rule after hearing a writ petition jointly filed the day before by former JU VC Prof Shariff Enamul Kabir and Prof Lutfar Rahman of the university's drama and dramatist department. On February 18, the president re-appointed Prof Farzana, the country's first female vice chancellor, for a second term following Section 11 (1) of the Jahangirnagar University Act 1973.
The section states, “The Vice-Chancellor shall be appointed by the Chancellor for a period of four years from a panel of three persons to be nominated by the Senate on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Chancellor, and shall be eligible for re-appointment for a further period of four years.”
According to the petition, the appointment of Prof Farzana is illegal because no VC panel was nominated by the Senate as stated in the act.
Advocate Dr Shahdeen Malik appeared for the petitioners.
Prof Farzana took over the office of JU vice chancellor on March 2, 2014 after President Abdul Hamid appointed her from a VC panel nominated by the university Senate.