Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi was suspended on Wednesday by President Ram Nath Kovind, reported PTI, quoting Ministry of Education officials. The President has also directed an inquiry against him over allegations of dereliction of duty.

According to a senior ministry official, Tyagi was placed under suspension by Kovind, who is the Visitor to the university, to ensure that the inquiry is fair and that he is not able to tamper with material records or coerce the witnesses. The move comes amid a power tussle in Delhi University.

The official told PTI, “All orders issued by or issued with the approval of Yogesh Tyagi during the period of his absence on medical ground are set aside and to be treated as null and void.” 

Tyagi has been on leave since July 2 when he was admitted to AIIMS under emergency medical condition and Pro-VC P C Joshi was given the charge of VC by the government on July 17, until Tyagi resumes office.

“The Vice Chancellor is not administering the university in accordance with (statutory) provisions…which has caused mis-governance and malfunctioning of University of Delhi. This is not conducive for appropriate academic as well as administrative environment of the university,” said the official.

The official added, “The President of India in his capacity as Visitor of the University, on consideration of facts and material available on record, has ordered to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of dereliction of duties and lack of commitment and devotion to duty against him. The president has also been pleased to place Yogesh Tyagi under suspension with immediate effect until further orders as he may influence/coerce the witnesses and tamper with the material records of the university so as to ensure fair inquiry.”

Tyagi triggered a controversy last week, when he removed Joshi as pro-VC on Thursday and appointed Geeta Bhatt, the director of the Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board of the university, in his place.

Meanwhile Joshi had notified the appointment of a new registrar, Vikas Gupta, whose interview had been completed and appointment cleared by the executive council on Wednesday. Tyagi  approved and notified the appointment of P C Jha as acting registrar and director of the South Campus on the same day.

Following this power tussle, the ministry intervened, saying appointments made by Tyagi were not “valid” as he is on leave.  Jha had written to the ministry citing himself as “acting Registrar” and saying that all decisions taken by Tygai are in accordance with university norms. The ministry took objection to the letter and directed the varsity to take strict action against him.