SC refuses to consider petition against vice-chancellor of KTU Ciza Thomas

In a major blow to the state government, the Supreme Court has rejected its plea seeking review of the High Court order which had booked former APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) vice-chancellor Seeja Thomas. The disciplinary action was cancelled.

The government’s move against Ciza, widely seen as ‘retaliatory’, was the result of an ongoing dispute with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. It was on the instructions of the Governor that Ciza took additional charge of KTU VC, much to the displeasure of the state government.

Siza was serving as Senior Joint Director in the Department of Technical Education when she assumed additional responsibility in November 2022. Ciza’s assumption of office was seen as an act of ‘defiance’ by the government and it issued a notice to Sieza the same day. The day of his retirement from service.

Governer was accused of violating the Kerala Government Servants Conduct Rules by assuming additional charge without obtaining the ‘consent’ of the government.

Ciza approached the Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) but it refused to quash the show cause notice issued against him. However, KAT said Ciza should not be made a “scapegoat” of the government-governor standoff. The tribunal also urged the government to allow the petitioner to retire “peacefully”.

Siza moved the High Court and got the notice against him quashed in October last year. Now he is hopeful that his pension and retirement benefits, which were withheld by the government for almost a year following disciplinary action, will be released.