Chennai: The Madras high court has ordered the appearance of B.Vanitha, registrar (in-charge), Bharathiyar University, Mangat Ram Sharma, secretary (the chairman, convener of vice vhancellor committee), Government of Tamil Nadu, higher education department and 8 other syndicate members before the court on January 7, 2019 in connection with a contempt of court case.
“Are the court orders so ineffective to be violated or are they paper orders to be ignored? If this case is understood properly, one gets the impression that the officials are not scrupulously following the orders of the court, on the other hand, they are going against the order or violating the order”, said Justice N.Kirubakaran while ordering the appearance of the above officials.The judge also prohibited the Bharathiyar University from permitting the operation of distance education study centres/franchisees and grant of affiliation and recognition relating to distance education to conduct outside the state of Tamil Nadu from the academic year 2018-2019 onwards, until further orders.
The judge posted to January 7, further hearing of the contempt petition filed by the Association of Self Financing Arts and Science and Management Colleges.
The judge the petitioner association filed a petition to direct the Bharathiyar University not to grant affiliation/sign MoU to conduct distance education CPOP (Centre of participatory and online programs), CPP sand CCB programs through part ner/Franchises institutes (new study centres) for the academic year 2016-2017. When the matter came up for hearing on December 8, 2017, the registrar (in-charge) filed an affidavit stating that it will not operate distance education study centres and will not grant affiliation and recognition relating to distance education to conduct outside the state of Tamil Nadu from the academic year 2018-2019. Based on that, this court prohibited them from running study centres. Part III Section 4 of UGC Regulations also prohibits running of study centres outside the jurisdiction of the University. While so, contrary to the undertaking and violating the prohibitory order of this court, the BU passed a resolution to admit the students under SDE, CPP and CCII study centres for the year 2018-2019 alone, the judge added.
The judge said it was not clear as to how the BU could permit the study centres to admit the students in the middle of the academic year, especially when the academic year starts in June 2018.
It would also prima facie show that without even conducting classes, admission applications were permitted to be received from the candidates for the academic year 2018-2019 and to permit them to write the examination along with second and third year candidates. It would only show that the BU was not interested in standards of education, otherwise they would not have allowed the study centres to admit the students in the middle or end of the academic year and permit them to write the examination, without conducting classes which goes against public interest also, the judge added.
The judge said, “This court, prima facie, is of the opinion that it is against the public interest and against the standards of education, apart from committing contempt of court order. Hence, this court grants an order of interim stay of the operation of the resolution dated November 28, 2018 passed by BU Syndicate”.
Pointing out that not only Vanitha and Mangat Ram Sharma but the 8 other syndicate members, who voted in favour of granting of permission or passing of agenda were also prima facie liable for violation of court order, the judge ordered their appearance before the court.