He should not have participated in the selection process: HC

The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai on Monday quashed proceedings issued by a former Bishop of Church of South India (CSI), Madurai-Ramnad Diocese, in his capacity as the president of the governing council of American College, on October 28, 2011 appointing M. Davamani Christober as the Principal of the college.

Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma quashed the appointment order on many grounds including Mr. Christober’s participation in his own selection process. The orders were passed while disposing of two writ petitions filed by S. David Amirtha Rajan, an Associate Professor in the commerce department of the college and also an aspirant to the post of Principal, through his counsel E.V.N. Siva.

The petitioner had alleged that Mr. Christober as well as his father-in-law A. Christopher Asir (since dead), the former Bishop, had participated in the governing council meetings held on December 12, 2010; January 29, 2011; August 27, 2011 and October 28, 2011. Their participation in those meetings clearly exhibited their influence and control over the process of selection of the Principal.

Pointing out that a search committee for finding the right candidate to occupy the post of Principal was constituted in the governing council meeting held in December 2010, the petitioner said that the very constitution of the committee was void in law in view of the participation of the incumbent Principal and his father-in-law in the meeting.

“The Bishop and Mr. Christober, after constituting the search committee of their choice in December 2010, participated in subsequent governing council meetings without revealing the fact that Mr. Christober had applied to the post of Principal as early as February 21, 2011. It is clear proof of collusion between the two,” the petitioner said in his affidavit.

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