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GNLU staff complain to Guj HC: Bimal Patel stripped registrar of powers, ‘suppressed facts, violated norms’ to prolong directorship after expiry

Three months before the expiry of his term, GNLU Gandhinagar director Dr Bimal Patel had stripped GNLU’s registrar Thomas Mathew of most de-facto powers, allegedly in a bid to control the process to select Patel’s successor, according to a formal letter of complaint sent to the Gujarat high court and others.

Three GNLU staff members had recently addressed a representation to the Gujarat high court (see copy below), stating that Patel was “clearly misusing the power and the position to extend his tenure until possible” and that as part of his attempt in this direction Patel had “taken away administrative powers of the registrar, the officer responsible for carrying out the process of appointing the new director”.

The majority of the registrar’s powers were delegated to the law school’s deputy registrar, Avinash Bhagi.

It is normally within the registrar’s powers at GNLU to sign-off on the director search process, according to campus sources.

In an email to GNLU’s staff on 6 August, Patel had written:

Dear Colleagues,

Except for admissions and convocation matters to be dealt by Thomas Sir [the registrar, Thomas Mathew], all other matters, documents, signatures, consultations, complaints / suggestions, shall be first directed to Avinash Sir [the deputy registrar, Avinash Bhagi].

Bhagi sir will have all authority and power delegated by me to deal with all matters. You can copy the same to Mr Sushil Goswami for effective coordination. Email ID [redacted] can be used for all these purposes.

The registrar Thomas Mathew did not respond to our calls and messages for comment since last week Wednesday.

They further stated in the representation that “in order to continue a director of the university the director has suppressed facts, violated norms, violated standard procedure, delayed procedures and many more”.

They also objected to the executive council resolution, which had decided that Patel would continue as director until the appointment of his successor.

Patel has not responded to our calls, messages and emails since we have reported the expiry of his term. He also did not respond on the above allegations.

Patel had told Bar & Bench on 7 December: “My second term as the Director ended on 2 November 2018. As per the GNLU Regulations, the Executive Council has constituted a Search Committee for the appointment of director and asked me to continue in office until my successor is appointed.

“I can say that pursuit of excellence has been achieved by the hard-work, honesty, sincerity and team-work till today and will continue till last working day as the director.”

GNLU staff complain about Bimal Patel’s alleged bid to extend tenure
GNLU staff complain about Bimal Patel’s alleged bid to extend tenure

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