The Madras High Court Bench here has imposed costs of Rs.20,000 on the Director of Teacher Education, Research and Training for disobeying court orders and forcing a woman, pursuing teacher education course, to file writ petitions year after year seeking approval for her admission to the course.

Allowing a writ petition filed by K. Sangeetha of Tiruchi district, Justice Vinod Kumar Sharma said: “The conduct of the respondents (Director of Teacher Education, Principal of Tiruchi District Institute of Education and Training and the Director of Government Examinations) shows that they have no respect for the orders of this court.”

The judge pointed out that the petitioner completed her Standard XII in March 2005, in which she scored 539 out of 1,200 marks. Thereafter, she secured admission to a diploma course in a private teacher training institute at Thuraiyur in Tiruchi district. She was one among 25 candidates admitted under management quota.

Then, the Director of Teacher Education, Research and Training refused to approve her admission on the ground that she had secured one mark less than the minimum requirement of 540 marks for admission.

She woman filed a writ petition in 2006 challenging the Director's refusal.

Disposing of the case on April 10, 2006, the court held that she was fully eligible to join the course as the eligibility criteria stated that a candidate must possess 45 per cent of marks and not exactly 540 marks. If the marks secured by the woman were converted into percentage, it worked out to 44.91 which must be rounded off to 45 per cent.

Then, the court also held that a candidate could be disqualified only if he or she had scored 44.45 per cent or less. Despite the specific order, the Director did not approve the petitioner's admission. The court order was also not taken on appeal, thereby making it reach finality.

However, at the end of the first academic year, the petitioner was not allowed to write the examination. Hence, she filed another writ petition and obtained favourable orders. Subsequently, she was prevented from writing the second year examination also. So, she filed the present writ petition in 2007 and obtained interim orders.

Taking up the case for final hearing now, Mr. Justice Sharma held that the action of the official was arbitrary and it could not be sustained in law. He ordered declaration of the petitioner's results and issuance of necessary certificates, if she had passed the exams, within a fortnight.