The Anna University of Technology- Madurai on Tuesday told the Madras High Court Bench here that rejection of affiliation to Dhaya College of Engineering at Sivarakottai near here has nothing to do with the fact that Union Minister M.K. Azhagiri was one of the trustees of M.K. Azhagiri Educational Trust which owns the college.

E.B. Perumal Pillai, Registrar, AUT-Madurai, made the submission in a counter affidavit filed in reply to a writ petition moved by the college through its counsel N. Veerakathiravan and R. Janakiramulu challenging an order passed by the university on August 20 rejecting the plea to grant affiliation for the current academic year 2011-12.

The Registrar said that the university had initially refused affiliation in July this year on the grounds of insufficiency of books in the college library, location of cafeteria close to the classrooms and absence of transport facilities. Immediately, the college filed a writ petition claiming to have rectified the defects. It was followed by a writ appeal filed by the university.

New team

Pursuant to the disposal of the writ appeal, the university constituted a new team comprising eminent academicians including a former vice-chancellor to inspect the college.

However, the college authorities did not permit the team to make a comprehensive evaluation and hence it gave a report stating that it was not in a position either to recommend or not to recommend grant of affiliation.

In the meantime, a public interest litigation petition was filed in the court on behalf of a farmers' association levelling various allegations against the college including destruction of irrigation channels to construct its buildings.

In that case, the court ordered notice to the university which thought it fit to approach the Collector seeking information about the alleged irregularities. The Collector inspected the site and informed the university that the college had not obtained plan approval from the Director of Town and Country Planning.

It had only been given consent by the Regional Deputy Director of Town and Country Planning (in-charge), Madurai Region, for the plan approval to be issued by the village Panchayat.

The Collector also said that the college neither obtained his consent for conversion of wet land to construct the college buildings nor clearance required as per Section 37 (B) of the Tamil Nadu Land Reforms Act.

Further, stating that he had not issued any Land Use Certificate, the officer also asserted that certain sluices and water channels had been destroyed by the college. Apart from the adverse report of the Collector, the college also did not submit documents such as Land Conversion Certificate, Certificates for electrical safety from competent authorities, certificate from Health Inspector, Certificate from Public Works Department Superintending Engineer for structural stability of the building and master time table for all courses and all sections with classroom arrangements.

The Registrar also said that the issue had been taken to the notice of the All India Council for Technical Education which had granted approval to the college on August 3.

“This respondent university has rightly rejected affiliation to the petitioner college… The petitioner's averment that this respondent acted as political agent of ruling party due to political vendetta is denied as false and mischievous,” he added.

After perusing the affidavit, Justice S. Manikumar adjourned the hearing of the case to Friday as the university sought time to engage a senior counsel to argue on its behalf.