Former CJ to help select heads of colleges run by Pachaiyappa’s Trust

The Madras High Court on Monday confirmed an order passed by a single judge of the court in April this year directing the interim administrator of Pachaiyappa’s Trust Board to look into allegations of corrupt activities by its erstwhile administrators on the issue of selection of principals for the colleges run by the trust across the State and consequently lodge a complaint with the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC).

A Division Bench of Justices R. Subbiah and C. Saravanan dismissed writ appeals preferred by principal N. Shettu and others challenging Justice S.M. Subramaniam’s order. The Bench also requested former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court N. Paul Vasanthakumar to constitute a fresh selection committee for the selection and appointment of principals for various constituent colleges administered by the Board.

‘Finish within 3 months’

Stating that the process should be completed preferably within three months, the judges said, they were inclined to confirm the single judge’s order since the earlier process of selection of principals was marred by irregularities and breach of University Grants Commission regulations. “At the same time, we find that there is no strong or direct materials made available to conclude that there were corrupt practice and motives attributable against the selection committee.

“At best, the selection is only vitiated by reason of non-adherence to the UGC Regulations and other procedural aspects. In such view of the matter, as rightly pointed out by the learned single judge, the Interim Administrator of the Board (Justice P. Shanmugam) shall look into the complaints made by the writ petitioners with respect to corrupt practice, if any material is made available, if so, then the Interim Administrator is at liberty to proceed further in accordance with law.”

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