CMJ University to appeal against HC order to stop admissions

Shillong, May 18 (IANS) CMJ University Saturday decided to file a writ appeal after the Meghalaya High Court directed the controversial private varsity to stop admissions while throwing out its appeal to allow it to continue admissions.

“Our clients (CMJ University) will be filing a writ appeal before the division bench of the high court next week in the interest of the students of CMJ University,” S.P. Sharma, the legal counsel of CMJ University, told IANS.

The High Court has also rejected an anticipatory bail application of CMJ University chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha.

Upholding Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahary’s directive, Chief Justice T. Meena Kumari Thursday had asked the university not to admit students till the controversy surrounding the private varsity is resolved.

CMJ University, named after its chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha, hit media headlines following Mooshahary exposing various irregularities in its functioning. Mooshahary also holds the post of ‘visitor’ of the university.

The university has created a record by awarding doctorate degrees to 434 candidates in the 2012-13 academic year, and enrolled 490 students for the programme during 2012-13, even as only 10 of its faculty members have doctorate degrees.

In her judgment, Chief Justice Kumari observed that the letter written to Jha has “no legal infirmity” and refused to interfere with the same.

“The court finds that the letter has no legal infirmity and it need not be interfered with by this court. It is also made clear that till the controversy is resolved, the university shall not admit students in the university,” Chief Justice Kumari stated in her judgment while disposing the writ petition.

However, Jha’s legal counsel contended that even though a number of representations were made to the government for approval of the chancellor, there was no approval accorded by the governor.

“If the governor fails to accord approval, it is assumed that (he) has accorded his approval for functioning of the university and also the appointment of the chancellor of the CMJ University,” Sharma stated.

Sharma said the university proceeded under “deemed approval” and took admission and also offered degrees to the students who have completed the course for 2010-11.

But Chief Justice Kumari said there were no materials, which were placed before the court by the petitioner according approval of appointment of the chancellor by the governor.

“In absence of which, it may be assumed that there was no approval of the appointment of the chancellor by the governor,” she observed.

The chief justice further observed that the university had acted “on its own” without getting approval of the appointment of the chancellor in admitting students from 2010-11 onwards.

“It is a common policy that the university cannot confer a degree on the students without a chancellor of the university. The subject matter of the writ petition involves such controversy and also for compliance of the certain requirements required under the statute for different courses, of which, is Ph.D. course under the prevailing circumstances,” Chief Justice Kumari observed.

CMJ University has also been barred from recruiting Ghanian students for its distance learning programmes since it is not accredited with Ghana’s National Accreditation Board (NAB).

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had hinted that the government may ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the university’s functioning.

“FIRs (first information reports) have been filed in different cities of the country. We are looking if the case should be handed over to a central agency,” Sangma said.

Meghalaya’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is investigating the alleged lapses of CMJ University, has unearthed a number of irregularities in its functioning.

The CID has arrested the varsity’s registrar, Mrinal Kanti Deb, and his deputy Premlal Rai, on charges of fraud and cheating.

A lower court in Meghalaya had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Chandra Mohan Jha and his two associates, Manjeet Kaur and Juban Kharpuri, in connection with the alleged forgery and irregularities by the institution.

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