The Madras High Court has imposed a cost of Rs.1 lakh each on 18 private engineering colleges across the State for making “illegal and fraudulent” admissions under the NRI (Non-Resident Indian) quota even before the issuance of government guidelines for academic year 2009-10.

Disposing of a batch of 42 writ petitions filed in the Madurai Bench either by students admitted under the NRI quota or their parents challenging the government guidelines issued on June 2 last year, Justice K. Chandru said the costs, to be paid to the State within four weeks, should act as a deterrent against the misuse of NRI quota.

He also directed the State government, the Director of Technical Education, affiliating universities and the All India Council for Technical Education to initiate appropriate action, including cancellation of recognition/affiliation, against engineering colleges if they violated the norms for admission under NRI quota in future.

Not wanting to dismiss the petitions, the judge said that nothing could be achieved by setting aside the admissions as the students before the court had already completed three semesters and currently pursuing their fourth semester due to interim orders passed by the court at the time of admission of these cases last year.

“If any aggrieved student who did not get admission in these colleges by virtue of the illegal admissions had come before this court, this court would have had no hesitation to set aside the selection of the petitioners so that meritorious candidate can be admitted… But there is no such case filed by any aggrieved individual,” he observed.

“In the normal course, the students before the court were not eligible to get admissions either on merit or under the management quota.

They had taken subterfuge of the NRI quota with the clear collaboration of self-financing colleges whose motive seems to be making aggrandisement of their wealth by collecting huge amounts from the students or their parents. “Even though normally costs are imposed on the losing petitioners, in this case since the petitioners are only Trojan horses, the costs should be only levied against self-financing colleges which have indulged in illegal acts and have also set up the students to approach this court,” he said.

The colleges subjected to criticism were P.S.N. College of Engineering and Technology, PSN Institute of Technology and Science, SCAD College of Engineering and Technology, J.P. College of Engineering, S. Veerasamy Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology and Arul College of Technology in Tirunelveli district.

James College of Engineering and Technology, Tamilan College of Engineering and Technology, Vins Christian College of Engineering, Sun College of Engineering and Technology, Sivaji College of Engineering and Technology and M.E.T. Engineering College in Kanyakumari district.

Sethu Institute of Technology and Raja College of Engineering in Madurai, St. Michaels College of Engineering and Technology in Sivaganga, Bharat Niketan Engineering College in Theni, R.V.S. College of Engineering and Technology in Dindigul, Jeyaram College of Engineering and M.A.M. College of Engineering in Tiruchi were the other institutions.