//President issued notice as university Visitor

President issued notice as university Visitor

10 Nov, 2006 IANS

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the President of India in his capacity as Visitor of Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh.

A bench of Justice A R Lakshmanan and Justice Altamas Kabir issued the notice on the Visitor, one of five respondents, following a special leave petition filed by Ashok Kumar Sonkar, a professor, who has challenged a high court order upholding the annulment of his appointment.

The notice was issued after it was brought to the notice of the court that an earlier notice in July could not be served as there was some mistake in the address given in the 'cause title'. The address mentioned the President of India, and not the Visitor of BHU.

Dr Sonkar had challenged an annulment order on his appointment passed by the Visitor of BHU on October 18, 2000. The Allahabad High Court had dismissed the petition on May 26 this year. His present appeal is directed against that order.

On July 10, the apex court ordered notice to the respondents, including the Visitor. It had restrained the fifth respondent in the case from joining the post (in the place of Sonkar). Since Sonkar was already relieved on July 4 no interim relief was granted at that stage.

When the matter came up again on November 7, it was brought to the knowledge of the bench that the Union of India and three other respondents had been served the notice, but no notice had been served on the Visitor (second respondent) because of a mistake in the address given in the 'cause title'.

In its order, the bench said: "Since the order of the Visitor (the President of India) is questioned in this appeal, we feel that the Solicitor General should be heard in this matter. Even the Union of India is not represented so far.

"We, therefore request the Solicitor General, G E Vahanvati to appear for the Union of India represented through the Ministry of Human Resource Development and also for the Visitor, BHU."

The bench adjourned the matter by four weeks.