The July 29 special senate meeting of Dhaka University and the vice-chancellor nominee panel approved by it has been declared ultra vires or beyond the authority of the senate by the High Court. The order came yesterday after disposing of registered graduates' petition, which cited that a senate meeting for choosing VC candidates must have 25 registered graduates as well as representatives of teachers and students.
According to the Dhaka University Order 1973, the Senate must have at least 99 members. The court ordered university authorities to take steps to form the senate in line with the regulations within six months. After an initial hearing of the petition on July 24, the High Court froze the meeting and issued a rule asking why the meeting should not be declared illegal.
The university authorities moved the chamber judge against the order, which was then stayed and forwarded to the Appellate Division for a hearing on July 30. The senate convened on July 29 with just half of its 105 members. As they attended the meeting, a brawl broke out between pro-Awami League teachers and left-leaning students outside. The senate finalized the list of VC nominees without voting amid a boycott by pro-BNP teachers and protests by a faction of pro-AL teachers and students.
The senate nominations included the then VC AAMS Arefin Siddique, Science Faculty Dean Mohammed Abdul Aziz and Treasurer Kamal Uddin. However, on August 3, the Supreme Court stayed further activities of the panel of nominees and also ordered the High Court rule on the matter to be settled in four weeks.
Before the matter was settled, on September 4, President Md Abdul Hamid, who is the chancellor of the university, appointed Islamic History Professor Md Akhtaru-zzaman as the interim VC as Arefin Siddique's term expired.
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