Applicants of civil suit filed in Madras High Court claim ‘transactions were shrouded in secrecy’

G. V. Sampath, a trustee of the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) trust, and son of VIT University chancellor G. Viswanathan, has moved a civil suit in the Madras High Court alleging mismanagement of the trust’s affairs and claiming that he (Mr. Sampath) had been kept out of the management of the trust in recent times.

When an application in the suit came up on Monday, VIT, a public charitable trust, told the High Court that Mr. Sampath had not been removed from the post of trustee. There would no obstruction posed to Mr. Sampath and R. Sadanandam, assistant estate officer of VIT, in the performance of their duties.

This was stated by counsel for the VIT trust and the VIT University, when an application in a civil suit came up before Justice R. Sudhakar. The Judge recorded the counsel’s statement and posted the case for further hearing on August 13.

In their application, Mr. Sampath and Mr. Sadanandam alleged that without any valid sanction and approval from the UGC and the Centre, in total disregard to the UGC’s instructions, students were admitted in the Chennai campus during the academic year 2010-11. Approval was given to it only on June 6 this year with prospective effect. It had commenced admission of students without any approval. The trust had also encroached upon 14.53 acres of government ‘poromboke’ land in Vellore district. The accounts of the trust were never presented to the board of trustees. The applicants alleged that the “transactions are shrouded in secrecy.”

Mr. Sampath alleged he had been kept out of the management of the trust and vice-president’s post in the university in recent times. His room was sealed on June 12 without any notice. There were several instances of breach of trust and acts of misfeasance, including construction of buildings without approval from the authorities concerned.

The prayer in the suit included framing of a scheme for proper conduct of the affairs of the trust. The interim prayer included appointment of an administrator to oversee the functioning of the trust and report to the court at regular intervals, pending framing of a scheme and an interim injunction restraining the trust and institution from preventing access to Mr. Sampath’s office in the trust and the institution. It was asked that he be permitted to function as a trustee.