Appointment of Ethiraj College principal quashed

The Madras High Court has set aside the selection and appointment of the Principal of Ethiraj College for Women made in 2014 on the grounds that it was not in conformity with the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) regulations.

A Division Bench of Justices Huluvadi G. Ramesh and R.M.T. Teekaa Raman passed the order while disposing of an appeal moved by the chairman of the Board of Trustees & the chairperson of the selection committee of the college.

The issue pertains to the appointment of Nirmala at the government-aided institution.

Several petitions were filed challenging her appointment on the grounds that the selection was not made in accordance with the UGC Regulations, 2010.

It was the contention of the petitioners that though several meritorious senior persons were available, Ms. Nirmala, who was a junior in terms of service, was appointed.

‘Outdated regulation’

According to K.R.S. Girija Shyamsundar, who is one among the petitioners, though the appointment was made in 2014, when the UGC Regulations, 2010, were in force, the outdated UGC Regulations, 2000, were followed by the selection committee.

Concurring with the submissions of the petitioners, a single judge had on January 7, 2015 quashed the appointment and directed the reconstitution of the selection committee in accordance with the UGC Regulations, 2010.

Assailing the order, the college management moved the present appeal. When the appeal came up for hearing, the counsel for the UGC submitted that the appointment was bad in law as it was made based on the 2000 regulations when the 2010 regulations were in force.

Regulations not notified

It was submitted that the State government had also failed to take steps to notify the UGC Regulations, 2010, to the universities and colleges receiving grants from the UGC.

Recording the submissions, the Bench noted that proper regulations were not followed during the constitution of the selection committee.

Hence, the selection and appointment of the principal by the committee cannot be sustained.

Setting aside the appointment, the Bench said, “The management shall consider the cases of all the eligible persons, including the petitioners, for the post as an ad hoc arrangement following the UGC Regulations, 2010, based on merit, ability and seniority as an interim measure.”

As far as the regular appointment to the post is concerned, the UGC Regulations, 2010, has to be invariably followed, the High Court Bench said.

The government and the universities shall take all the necessary steps within reasonable time, the Bench added.

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An earlier version of this article erroneously mentioned Thilakavathy as the principal of Ethiraj College instead of Nirmala. It has been corrected.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:36:27 AM |

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