The Madras High Court bench here on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by the dean in the faculty of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry of the Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI) challenging the appointment of the dean in the faculty of English and Foreign Languages as the vice-chancellor (in-charge) of the GRI.

Justice S. Nagamuthu held in his order that the petition is liable to be dismissed on the grounds that the petitioner, T. Senthivel, had misappropriated the GRI’s funds on several occasions.

The petitioner had claimed in his petition that as per the statute of the GRI, the seniormost dean should perform the duties of the vice-chancellor if there was an interim vacancy.

According to the petitioner, Vice-Chancellor S.M.Ramasamy had relinquished his office on September 9, 2013.

He is the seniormost dean in the GRI, but the Registrar issued an impugned order on September 10, 2013 appointing A. Joseph Durairaj, the dean of the faculty of English and Foreign Languages, as the vice-chancellor in-charge, he alleged.

Based on the petition, Justice Nagamuthu had issued an interim stay on the appointment of Mr. Durairaj as the vice chancellor in-charge of the GRI.

On Thursday, N. Narayanasamy, the Registrar of the GRI, submitted a counter affidavit alleging that the petitioner had misappropriated the GRI’s funds while he was in-charge of a watershed training programme in 2008. Mr. Senthivel was reprimanded by the Syndicate for his conduct, he added.

Despite being reprimanded by the Syndicate, the petitioner misappropriated the GRI’s funds in 2009 and 2010 as well, and an inquiry was pending, the Registrar claimed. Mr. Durairaj was appointed the vice chancellor in-charge after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

The GRI and the MHRD were correct in overlooking the petitioner while appointing the vice chancellor in-charge because of questions about his ‘financial integrity and the subsequent inquiry.’ The petitioner might have misappropriated at least Rs. 10 lakh of the GRI’s money, the Registrar alleged.

Justice Nagamuthu recorded the Registrar’s submissions, vacated the interim stay and dismissed the petition.

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