The Annamalai University Act 2013, by which the rights conferred on M.A.M. Ramasamy under the 1929 law were sought to be removed, has been challenged before the Madras High Court.
In the petition, Mr. Ramasamy, a former Pro-Chancellor, said the Annamalai University Act of 1929 was repealed and also the latest Act sought to besmirch his reputation without providing any opportunity to defend himself.
Thus, the petitioner’s right to life and personal liberty had been violated. The university was a premier educational institution in varied fields. It was founded in 1929 by his grandfather. As per the 1929 Act, one adult male member of the founder’s family chosen by the Chancellor was competent to hold the post of Pro-Chancellor of the University. Thus, he was the University’s Pro-Chancellor.
Mr. Ramasamy said that in November last year, the University faced increased financial burden due to various policy decisions of the State and Central governments. The administrator approached the Higher Education Secretary for the release of pending grants to the University to meet the burden and also requested to facilitate additional grants to prevent future financial problems. Apparently, it was as a result of the request that the new legislation was enacted.
The Founder was not responsible for the day-to-day administration of the University and for the malpractices alleged. The petitioner said the objects and reasons of the impugned Act condemned the petitioner as responsible for the maladministration. It was well settled that the reputation of a person could not be sullied by the State without providing him an opportunity to defend himself. The unilateral removal of the post of Founder in the university without any basis was clearly unconstitutional, the petitioner said.
The First Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan ordered notice and posted the matter for further hearing on November 11.