Sets aside a non-committal order passed by Anna University on its plea for affiliation

The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai on Friday set aside a non-committal order passed by the erstwhile Anna University of Technology-Madurai, that recently got merged with Anna University-Chennai, on July 6 on the plea made by Dhaya College of Engineering, owned by M.K. Alagiri Educational Trust, at Sivarakottai near Madurai to grant affiliation without insisting on a fresh inspection apart from two inspections conducted on July 21 last year and June 26 this year. Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma agreed with senior counsel P. Wilson appearing for the college that the university’s decision was motivated and not in the interest of the students.

The judge said that no reasons were forthcoming as to why the Public Works Department (PWD) had informed the university about the alleged failure of the petitioner college to obtain structural stability certificate when such communications were not sent with respect to any other college. There was also no explanation for the PWD not having written directly to the college impressing upon it to obtain the certificate thereby enabling the latter to produce a certificate which was already obtained from an approved civil contractor.

The certificate in possession of the college was produced in court and it was also held to be valid by one of the inspection committees. All this shows that the university had taken note of certain communications which were not expected in normal course, the judge said.

Pointing out that the issue has a chequered history with the college as well as the university filing cases after cases since July last year, the judge said: “Once this court held that the university should consider the grant of affiliation only keeping in view of the first inspection report… and that judgement had attained finality, the university is bound to decide the question of affiliation based on the first inspection report alone and cannot insist on the second inspection.” He held that it was obligatory on the part of the university to grant affiliation to the petitioner college and then conduct periodical inspections to ensure that the norms were being followed and necessary facilities were available in the institution.

As the All India Council for Technical Education had already granted approval to the college, the judge directed the university too to reconsider the plea for affiliation in accordance with earlier directions passed by the court.