In a set-back for Mumbai University vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ruled that there was non-application of mind by the search committee with regard to him fulfilling an essential criteria for selection.
A division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai gave their verdict upon a reference made in May 2012 to decide whether the decision of the search committee to include Welukar’s name in the list of eligible candidates suffers from non-application vis-a-vis the essential criteria – that five of his research publications are post Ph D, published in international journals and used in higher education.
In August 2011, a division bench gave a split verdict in this matter by differing on the research publications and subsequently a single judge could also not decide on it. Hence, the reference was made to another division bench.
In their judgment, the bench said the search committee, a body of experts, abdicated its functions by accepting the claim of Welukar in his resume at face value without independently ascertaining whether the publications fulfilled the requirement and if he posessed the minimum requisite criteria.
The bench said the High Court should in its extraordinary jurisdiction direct the search committee to reconsider the question of eligibility of Welukar. They have directed the matter to be placed before the original bench which made the reference so that it may pass further orders.