Chennai: Declining to stay a portion of the order of a single judge, which quashed the appointment of N.Shettu as principal of Pachaiyappas College for Men in the city, the Madras high court has stayed the remaining portions of the order.
Passing interim orders on an appeal filed by Shettu, a division bench comprising Justices K. K. Sasidharan and RMT. Teeka Raman said, “We are informed that pursuant to the order dated April 24 (of the single judge), which is impugned before us, Justice P.Shanmugam, former judge, Madras high court, who was appointed as the Interim Administrator, passed an order dated April 26, 2019, reverting the appellant from the post of Principal and giving charge to P. Arulmozhichelvan, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Physics, being the senior most Professor. In view of the said order, there is no question of staying the order passed by the single judge (quashing the appointment of Shettu). Similar is the case of the order relating to the circular challenged before the single judge”.
The bench said senior counsel Sathish Parasaran submitted that unless there is a regular principal, the university would not approve the admission of students. “We make it clear that the professor and head of the department, department of physics, appointed by the interim administrator as principal-in-charge, would be deemed to be the principal, for all purposes relating to education and he should be considered as the principal by the university and the government for the time being. We also make it clear that no equity or right would accrue to any of the parties on account of the order passed by the Interim Administrator, dated April 26. The order passed by the interim administrator shall be subject to the result of the intra court appeals”, the bench added.
The bench however stayed until further orders the order of the single judge, declaring as null and void, the process of selection conducted by the Pachiayappas Trust Board through its selection committee and college committee.
The bench also stayed the direction of the single judge to the interim administrator to conduct a fresh selection for appointments/promotions to the post of principal for all the colleges by strictly following the statutes/rules and the University Grants Commission regulations.
The bench also stayed the order of the single judge, which directed the Interim Administrator to look into the complaints in respect of corrupt activities in the process of selection and file appropriate complaint before the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, who in turn, shall probe the issues in relation to the corrupt activities in the process of selection, with reference to the competent educational authorities, and the University and initiate all appropriate actions.
The bench said the appointment of the appellant as the principal of Pachaiyappa’s College was put in issue before the single judge at the instance of R. Nanthini and 6 others. They have taken up a specific contention that the very selection was contrary to Rule 11 (4) of the Private College Regulations Act, which provides for taking various colleges under the educational agency as one unit. The single judge accepted the said contention and set aside the selection. Even though there were no materials produced before the single judge for a probe by the Vigilance and Anti Corruption, still such a direction was issued to the Interim Administrator. In fact, there was no specific prayer at the instance of the petitioners for a direction to the Vigilance and Anti Corruption department to enquire into the very process of selection, to unearth the element of corruption, the bench pointed out and posted to June 17, further hearing of the case....