The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Centre, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (Deemed University) on a writ petition challenging the appointment of Vachaspati Upadhyaya as the University's Vice-Chancellor by increasing the retirement age to 70 years. Acting on a public interest petition from Chennai-based scholar O. A. Varadadesikan, a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna also issued notice to Professor Upadhyaya seeking his response. The Bench dismissed as not pressed an application seeking a direction to restrain the Vice-Chancellor from functioning till the disposal of the writ petition. In his petition, Mr. Varadadesikan said Prof. Upadhyaya was appointed Vice-Chancellor for five years from November 14, 2009. Initially, he added, Prof. Upadhyaya was appointed as Vice-Chancellor for five years in 1994, and thereafter his tenure was extended from time to time beyond his age of 65 by amending the provisions of the Memorandum of Association of the Sanskrit Vidyapeetha. The petitioner pointed out that Section 6 of the UGC Act provides for appointment of a Vice-Chancellor only for two terms of five years each. The Sixth Pay Commission also made it clear that no person should hold that office of the Vice-Chancellor for more than two terms, altogether subject to the maximum age of 70. In this case, Prof. Upadhyaya completed three terms of five years each in June 2008 when he attained the age of 65 years. Thereafter his tenure was extended for a period of six months (two extensions of three months each). In November 2009, he was re-appointed by virtue of the amendment to the provisions of the Memorandum of Association of the Sanskrit Vidyapeetha to enable him continue till the age of 70. The petitioner alleged that the Memorandum of Association was amended only to accommodate Prof. Upadhyaya.
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