Interestingly, the council had written twice to the State government pointing out the violations of the Act.

On Monday, the council of architecture had stated that Vijay Bargotra (of Dhristicone, the architecture firm that was involved in the Moulivakkam building collapse) was not an architect as he was not registered with the body. Now, it is understood that R. Gopalakrishnan, former chief architect of Tamil Nadu (additional charge), was not registered with the council either.

According to the Architects Act, 1972, only a person registered with the council can claim to be an architect.

Interestingly, the council had written twice to the State government pointing out the violations of the Act. According to a letter submitted to the Chief Secretary in January, a copy of which is in the possession of The Hindu, the council objected to the appointment of Mr. Gopalakrishnan, who was then engineer-in-chief (buildings), as the chief architect (additional charge).

Mr. Gopalakrishnan held additional charge of the post for one-and-half-years, till May. The Tamil Nadu Architect Service Rules stipulates a minimum of two years’ service as joint chief architect to be eligible for the post. Mr. Gopalakrishnan was appointed as there were no architects in the department who satisfied this criterion then.

Though it was suggested that an architect be appointed to carry out the functions in the PWD’s architecture branch, the council is yet to receive any response from the State. The current chief architect is registered with the council.

Uday Gadkari, president, council of architecture said, “In this case, it is not right that he was given additional charge despite the fact he was not competent as an architect. The problem is that the Act has not been taken seriously by many States. The council has regularly been informing States about the implications.”