Former election commissioner T N Seshan was appointed as an interim administrator to run the Pachaiyappa’s Trust in the city, on Tuesday.
Justice K Chandru made the appointment while passing orders on a batch of applications filed by teachers and employees of the trust, besides the four existing trustees. Seshan should take charge of the management of the Pachaiyappa’s Charities with immediate effect, the judge said and gave him a free hand to fill up the 120 teaching vacancies without waiting for the trust board polls.
The existing trustees should not function until the full board of trustees was re-constituted after polls by the interim administrator, the judge added. The applicants wanted the court to permit them to hold elections for selection of five trustees and to appoint an interim administrator till then. They wanted an officer not below the rank of IAS to take charge of the administration of the trust. Pointing out that five members of the trust had resigned in the past two years, the applicants said the trust lacked quorum to take any decision because it had only four members.
Though the government had permitted appointment of 121 teachers, the trust was unable to fill up the vacancies for the past 10 years, they said, adding that a sum of Rs 28 crore received by the trust as compensation for the land taken over for Metro Rail project had been deposited in various banks for low interest returns.
Despite huge cash deposits and the latest compensation, the 15 educational institutions being run by the trust in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Cuddalore districts had not received enough attention, they said. Justice Chandru rejected the existing trustees objections to the applications by the employees/teachers of the institutions, saying they formed the electoral college to elect trustees.
Pointing out that due to lack of quorum the trust was unable to pay statutory dues, salaries and operate bank accounts, the judge said the remaining vacancies needed to be filled up through elections. In view of the objections from teachers that the Administrator-General and Official Trustee of the state judiciary had spent a whopping Rs 46 lakh in holding elections in 2005, Justice Chandru was not in favour of handing over interim administration to the AG-OT.
Asking Seshan to take immediate charge of administration, Justice Chandru said he would start immediately the process of recruitment of teachers in accordance with UGC guidelines.