COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu Agricultural University retired professor, who has opposed Vice-Chancellor K Ramasamy’s continuation in the post past 70 years of age, has now filed a contempt petition against the Chancellor and Government after no order has been passed even after the two weeks time given by the High Court. Retired professor of Bioenergy in TNAU P Venkatachalam has filed a writ petition praying that V-C K Ramasamy should not be allowed to continue in the post past 70 years of age.
In its order, the High Court has said that there is no age limit prescribed under the State rules. In such an event, the age limit prescribed by the UGC under the regulations are to be followed. Chancellor of the University and State government are directed to consider the representation submitted by the petitioner on March 27 and pass orders on merits and in accordance with law, within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
As per the Court’s direction, Venkatachalam has submitted his representation to the Governor and Agricultural Secretary on April 25. “Since no order was passed on my representation even after two weeks time given by the HC, I have filed a contempt petition against the Chancellor and government,” Venkatachalam said. The petition is likely to come up for hearing after summer vacation.
Venkatachalam said, “ICAR Model Act for Agricultural Universities in India says: The Vice-Chancellor shall hold office for a term of five years or until he attains the age of 70 years. In October 2016, National Agricultural Education Accreditation Board put on hold accreditation to TNAU, till University addresses some of the issues and submit its satisfactory compliance report. One of the issues raised by the Board is that ICAR Model Act (2009) is not being fully implemented in the University as all officers including Registrar, Comptroller, Directors, Deans and Librarian are only ‘in charge’ and that too for a period of three years.”
If ICAR Model Act was violated on V-C’s maximum age, the Board will not give accreditation for TNAU, he added.Ramasamy was appointed for the second term in November 2015 and would continue till November 16, 2018. Ramasamy crossed 70 on April 30 and UGC regulation stated that a V-C shall not hold office beyond the age of 70. In July 2012, State government raised the retirement age of V-Cs of nine State universities under the aegis of Higher Education department from the earlier 65 years to 70 years.
Earlier, Association of Self-Finance Agricultural Colleges (ASFAC) also filed PIL seeking to fix 70 years as the upper age limit to hold the post of V-C of TNAU.