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Madurai Kamaraj University VC search: Chellathurai was TN govt’s choice, says panel

Search committee members filed their counter-affidavits on Monday, for the petition challenging the appointment of Chellathurai as MKU V-C.

Published: 02nd August 2017 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2017 07:21 AM   |  A+A-

Madurai Kamaraj

Express News Service

MADURAI: In a shocking revelation, panel members of the vice-chancellor search committee of the Madurai-Kamaraj University (MKU) submitted before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that the present Vice-Chancellor P P Chellathurai was appointed beyond norms, as he was the choice of the Tamil Nadu government.

As per an earlier order of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on a petition challenging the appointment of Chellathurai as MKU V-C, search committee members Harish L Metha and G Ramakrishnan filed their counter-affidavits on Monday.

In his affidavit, Metha said Chellathurai was favoured right from the beginning by C Murukadas, the convener of the search committee, in all the five meetings held on various dates from December 2016 to May 2017.

During the second meeting held in January, it was decided that there must be a column for the applicants’ declaration that no criminal case was pending against them, but the convener had removed the column, with a mala fide intention and gave advertisements  in newspapers, Metha alleged.

He also said while the committee had prescribed 10 years experience as a professor for V-C post, Chellathurai was redesignated as professor only in August 2011. Though there were several flaws in the application, Chellathurai was the government’s choice and left with no option, his name was approved for the post of V-C for MKU.

Another member, Ramakrishnan, in his counter affidavit submitted that the convener himself on his own accord recommended three names and insisted to give consent and there was no transparency and consultative process.

Ramakrishnan also alleged that at the last minute, the convener compelled him to give the consent and to sign the approval of Chellathurai as vice-chancellor.

The committee member  also added that instead of submitting statements of all the three candidates, as per statute, the convener submitted a statement only about Chellathurai, in a separate small envelope to the Chancellor.

Meanwhile, Secretary to the Chancellor (Governor) filed a separate affidavit in a sealed cover.
Recording the affidavits, a Bench comprising Justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan directed the Principal Secretary of Higher Education and Chellathurai to respond to the counter filed by the members of the search committee and adjourned the case to August 16.

Earlier, one Lionel Antony Raj, Madurai district secretary, People’s Right Protection Centre, filed a public interest litigation petition challenging the appointment of Chellathurai as vice-chancellor stating that he did not possess the required 10-year qualification prescribed for V-C as per the University Grants Commission norms and a criminal case had been registered against him.

Plea to establish AIIMS in Madurai adjourned

Madurai: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has adjourned to August 2 a petition seeking to establish the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Madurai. In a counter affidavit, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, submitted that the Tamil Nadu government would extend its cooperation with regard to all parameters for setting up the AIIMS in Tamil Nadu. Five locations had been identified. All details sought by the Central Government had been sent by the State.  He also added that now it was for the Union Government to decide the location of the premier hospital in the State. Recording the submission, a Bench comprising Justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan posted the case for further hearing on Wednesday.

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