Tamil Nadu govt forms panel to probe allegations against Anna University Vice Chancellor MK Surappa
According to a complaint, Surappa along with others was involved in collecting bribes of nearly Rs 80 crore for recruitment of temporary teaching fellows. Surappa has strongly denied the allegations.
CHENNAI: The uneasy air between the State and the Anna University Vice Chancellor took a turn for the worse on Friday after the EPS government formed a committee to probe into various allegations, including bribery, against MK Surappa.
The inquiry committee, to be headed by retired Justice P Kalaiyarasan, has been asked to submit its report within three months. The committee also will look at contracts and agreements entered into by the university during Surappa’s tenure, besides checking for any lapse or abuse of official position by any person connected with the university.
Surappa has, however, denied the allegations, saying he had maintained the highest level of probity in his entire career. In its order, the State has listed six allegations based on petitions filed by various persons, some of which were as old as February 2020. One of the major allegations against Surappa has been that of corruption.
According to a complaint by one A Suresh, made to the Chief Minister’s cell, Surappa, along with Deputy Director Sakthinathan, had collected bribes of nearly `80 crore to recruiting temporary teaching fellows for the constituent colleges and the varsity’s main campus.
Another complainant, C Varadharajan, alleged that the examination office had indulged in various malpractices like issuing promotion orders to the post of office assistants based on forged certificates after accepting bribes.
It was also alleged that Selladurai was appointed director, without the approval from the syndicate. One complainant alleged that Surappa had mailed wrong information to the All India Council for Technical Education that the final year students were issued pass marks without examinations.
Open to inquiry, says Surappa
Surappa has, however, denied the allegations, saying he had maintained the highest level of probity in his entire career. He also expressed that he was open to any inquiry. "I didn’t receive even one paise. I have worked as the Director of II T Punjab for six years, and there was not even one allegation against me then," he said.
"I have received threat letters from anonymous people. Also, one of the allegations says I had appointed my daughter. That is erroneous. I have not appointed her; she worked here in an honorary capacity for six months. I am ready for what lies ahead. Let people decide my integrity," Surappa added.
Meanwhile, varsity teachers have voiced their support with the V-C. Arul Aram, president of the Anna University Teachers' Association, said in a statement that several anti-corruption measures have been taken by Surappa himself.
"Initiating such a commission of inquiry is ironical. Giving negative publicity by appointing an inquiry commission against the V-C discredits the reputation of the renowned institution and is not in the interest of higher education. We demand the withdrawal of the GO to avoid irreparable damage," he said.
The relations between the government and the V-C had strained after Surappa had advocated to the Centre to issue the Institute of Eminence tag for the university, saying the institution was capable of managing funds on its own. The State had strongly objected to Surappa communicating directly with the Centre.
Complaints pile up
Financial irregularities and malpractice done in semester examinations also feature among complaints against Surappa