SC seeks TN response on plea by Madurai varsity VC

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from Tamil Nadu government on a plea by P.P. Chellathurai challenging the Madras High Court order quashing his appointment as Vice Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraja University.

Seeking response from Tamil Nadu government on Chellathurai’s plea for the stay of the High Court order quashing his appointment, the vacation bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Indu Malhotra refused to interfere, for now, with the setting up of a committee that would oversee the administration of the University.

The court also issued notice to M. Lionel Antony Raj – one of the two PIL petitioners – on whose petitions High Court had passed the June 14 order quashing the appointment of Chellathurai.

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The High Court had set aside the appointment of Chellathurai on the ground that the proceedings of the Search Committee were flawed as there was no deliberations amongst its members.

Directing the listing of the matter in the third week of July, the vacation bench said that pleading be completed in the meantime.

Appearing for Chellathurai, senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, assisted by advocate Bina Madhavan, assailed the High Court order for not adhering to an earlier judgment of the top court on the issue while quashing the appointment of Chellathurai.

He told the court that the top court had earlier held that the “suitability or otherwise of the candidate is the function of the appointing authority and not of the court unless the appointment is contrary to the statutory provisions/rules” and also that writ of Quo Warranto lies when appointment is contrary to a statutory provision.

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Citing the speed with the state had acted in the matter, Vaidyanathan told the court that the High Court order was passed on June 14 and next two days 15 and 16 June were holidays, yet on the day of Eid holiday, six people reached Madurai from Chennai to set-up the committee to oversee the affairs of the university.

However, the contention was contested by the senior counsel R.Venkataramani appearing for Tamil Nadu government and Sanjay Hegde appearing for Antony Raj.



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