Tamil Nadu

‘Form tribunals to hear appeals of private educational institutions’

HC orders that they be set up under T.N. Private Colleges (Regulation) Act

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to constitute tribunals to hear statutory appeals of private educational institutions and their employees, under the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act, 1976.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Tamilavel Umamaheswaranar Karanthai Arts College in Thanjavur and two professors of the college facing serious allegations, S. Senthilkumar and Durai Paneerselvam, who challenged the charges levelled against them.

An inquiry was conducted against the two professors and they were later dismissed. However, they challenged their removal from service on a technical ground that the dismissal was not approved by the competent authority.

Following a series of litigations, the Regional Joint Director of Collegiate Education directed the College Committee to reconsider its decision. Even as the college management stood firm on its decision, the Regional Joint Director of Collegiate Education refused to approve it.

The college management preferred an appeal against the order before the Principal District Judge/Tribunal, Thanjavur. However, the appeal was returned on the ground that there was no government notification empowering the District Judge to entertain such appeals.

Delivering the verdict on the batch of cases, Justice S.M. Subramaniam directed the Higher Education Secretary to issue appropriate notification by implementing Section 38 of the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act, 1976, within 12 weeks.

Section 38 of the Act notes that the government shall constitute as many tribunals as may be necessary for the purpose of the Act, which shall consist of a judicial officer not below the rank of a District Judge to hear the statutory appeals.

The tribunal shall hear the appeals filed under Section 21 of the Act, which states that the second appeal in case of dismissal, removal or reduction in rank or termination of appointment of teachers or other persons employed in private colleges may be preferred to the tribunal.

After the notification was issued, the college management was at liberty to re-present the returned appeal papers to the jurisdictional tribunal within a period of four weeks. The tribunal shall then hear the matter on its merits as expeditiously as possible.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 5:01:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/form-tribunals-to-hear-appeals-of-private-educational-institutions/article28873358.ece

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