Allotment of varsity land to private trusts

The Thrissur Vigilance Court has criticised the Vice Chancellor of Calicut University and the Syndicate for taking a decision to allot land owned by the varsity to private trusts and associations.

While considering petitions filed by T.K. Narayanan, former registrar of Calicut University, Thrissur Vigilance Special Judge K. Haripal pointed out that higher officials of the governing body of the university had perpetrated serious lapses.

“It is quite obvious that such a decision (on cancellation of land allotment) was taken by the University Syndicate, unable to withstand the wrath of the public. It is certain that public land was being allotted indiscriminately for private purposes…. The persons involved are the top brass of the ruling front. It seems that the first respondent who is occupying the pivotal and respectable post of Vice Chancellor was playing second fiddle to his mentors.

It is unfortunate that such important decisions were taken by the Syndicate, the highest body of the university, without making any feasibility study and without any imagination. I have no doubt that at the instance of political masters lakhs of rupees was made to be donated by the local self-government body, diverting its fund meant for development activities,” said the judge.

He stated that “there is no doubt that the decision of the respondent to allot land was not in good faith and was motivated by other considerations.”

Allotment cancelled

The court said that further proceedings in the case were not needed as the university had cancelled the land allotment and there was no loss to the exchequer.

The court issued the order on March 19, 2014. The copy of the judgment was released to the press on Wednesday.

The Vigilance court had ordered an investigation against more than 70 people including the State president of the Indian Union of Muslim League Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, party Ministers P.K. Abdu Rabb, M.K. Muneer, Calicut University Vice-Chancellor M. Abdul Salam and K.M. Shaji, MLA.

73 acres of land

The petitioner had alleged corruption in allotment of 73 acres of land to private trusts led by IUML leaders and their relatives.

The petition stated that the United Democratic Front government-nominated Syndicate decided to allot 10 acres to the Grace Educational Association led by the IUML State president; 10 acres to the C.H. Mohammed Koya Chair; three acres to the Badminton Development Trust controlled by a relative of IUML’s Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty; and 50 acres to the Kozhikode District Olympics Association, the secretary of which was P.A. Hamsa, M.K. Muneer’s brother-in-law.

Following criticism, the Syndicate had decided on April 24, 2012, to cancel allotment of land.

Lawyer M. C. Ashi appeared for the petitioner.

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