The Madras High Court Bench here has set aside an order passed by Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) Registrar on August 16, 2010, appointing B. Suresh as University Librarian in-charge of maintaining Dr.T.P. Meenakshisundaranar Library.

Partly allowing a writ petition pending since 2011, Justice R. Mahadevan said: “This court is of the view that the selection of the third respondent (Mr. Suresh) is bad in law and the entire process of selection is vitiated in view of the discrimination shown by respondents 1 and 2 (Registrar and Vice-Chancellor).”

He went on to state: “If the contentions in the counter affidavit of the respondents 1 and 2 are accepted, then the appointment of the third respondent can only be termed illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and in violation of Article 14 (Right to equality before law) of the Constitution.”

The judge said writ petitioner A. Manoharan was serving as an Associate Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science in Bishop Heber College, Tiruchi, at the time of filing of the case.

Retired from service

However, he retired from service before the writ could be taken up for final hearing.

According to an affidavit filed by him, the MKU had called for applications to the post of University Librarian in 2010 from candidates possessing a Master’s degree in Library Science with 13 years of experience as Deputy Librarian in a university or 18 years of experience as a college librarian.

Not called for interview

The petitioner applied for the post since he was a doctorate in library science besides having served as a faculty of Bishop Heber College in various capacities for over two decades. Nevertheless, he was not called for the interview conducted on August 13, 2010. The university stated that he was not considered for the post as he had experience only on the academic side in the Library Science department without any practical experience of administering a library.

Mr. Justice Mahadevan said if the same analogy was applied, then Mr. Suresh would also become ineligible for the post since he had served as a librarian only for 11 years and the rest of his experience was only as a lecturer, coordinator, etc.

However, the judge refrained from directing the MKU to appoint the writ petitioner as librarian as he had already attained the age of superannuation. Even otherwise, a person who had not been interviewed at all could not be appointed to the post, he added.

He directed the university to call for applications afresh within four weeks and make the appointment within two weeks thereafter.

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