Staff Reporter

On a batch of cases pertaining to varsity

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday reserved its orders on a batch of cases between the Madurai Kamaraj University and the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED).

After hearing marathon arguments advanced by the counsels for both the parties, a Division Bench comprising Justice Dharma Rao Elipe and Justice P.P.S. Janarthana Raja deferred their verdict without mentioning a date.

According to the university, its former Vice-Chancellor M. Lakshmanan had established the CED in 1989 along with R. Jayaraman, Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship Studies.

A year later, the CED was converted into a trust without the knowledge of the Syndicate, Senate or the Academic Council of the varsity.

The trust deed was "secretly" registered at the official residence of the then Vice-Chancellor on a Saturday.

In 1992, based on a request from the varsity officials, the State Government recognised CED as a training and consultancy agency for Industries Department.

Subsequently, in a "calculated" move, the CED was delinked from the university in 1993 and the officials "misappropriated" several lakhs of rupees obtained from various sources, the varsity alleged.

The irregularities were brought to light in the audit report submitted by the Director of Local Fund Audit for the financial year 2003-04. Hence, the matter was placed before the Senate and the Syndicate, which authorised the incumbent Vice-Chancellor to take appropriate action.

In the meantime, the Principal Secretary to the Chancellor (Tamil Nadu Governor), C.K. Gariyali, wrote two letters to the Vice-Chancellor requesting him not to take any "hasty" decision on the issue. These letters too were challenged before the court.

On the other hand, the counsel appearing for Mr. Lakshmanan claimed that the university did not have any authority to interfere with the financial transactions of CED which had been delinked way back in 1993.

Further, the monetary transactions of the CED were carried out through bank accounts and hence there was no chance of any irregularity.