Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered notice to the state government and Thiruvalluvar University on a public interest litigation challenging the tender notification issued by the university for outsourcing work with regard to the conduct of semester examinations.
A division bench comprising Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad posted after four weeks, hearing on the PIL filed by Prof. I. Elangovan, a retired associate professor of Voorhees College in Vellore district. "Confirmation of any tender would be subject to the result of the petition," the bench said.
Petitioner's counsel S. Sathiachandran said that in 2013 the university had sacked 91 non-teaching staff involved in pre- and post-examination work, and entrusted the task to a private agency in Puducherry without following due procedure, thus causing heavy financial loss to the university.
The ex-officio members of the Syndicate of the University and the ex-officio member on the finance committee did not take cognisance of this serious irregularity and illegality. The issue was not reflected in the audit report, Mr Satiachandran said.
Counsel said that in 2016, the university issued a tender notification. By allegedly manipulating the process the contract was awarded to a private agency in Chennai in violation of the Tamil Nadu Transparency of Tender Act and Rules.
There were now 31 employees available at the office of the Controller of Examination of Thiruvalluvar University who had no work, Mr Sathiachandran said. The university has been outsourcing the work to private agencies from the November-December 2013 examinations till date though it was fully equipped with the infrastructure and manpower to accomplish the important and confidential work.
Mr Sathiachandran said the university was unwittingly spending public funds ranging from Rs 2.46 crore to Rs 3.5 crore every semester. This was wasteful expenditure as well as threatening the maintenance of confidentiality of data, he said.
This being so, Thiruvalluvar University had now issued a tender notification dated February 14 with regard to the automation of the pre- and post-examination work. Hence, Prof. Elangovan had filed the PIL to quash the tender notification, Mr Sathiachandran said....