Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu government orders inquiry against Anna University Vice-Chancellor Surappa

Anna University Vice Chancellor M. K. Surappa   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

The Tamil Nadu government has appointed retired Madras High Court judge P. Kalaiyarasan as the inquiry officer to go into complaints of financial and administrative irregularities levelled by certain individuals against Anna University Vice-Chancellor M.K. Surappa.

This is the first time a former judge will probe charges against the Vice-Chancellor of the premier university. Previously, a retired judge had probed some charges against P. Mannar Jawahar, after his tenure as Vice-Chancellor ended and had exonerated him.

Expressing shock, Mr. Surappa, who has been at odds with the government on certain key issues, told The Hindu that there was not a speck of truth in the allegations against him. The Anna University Teachers’ Association issued a statement in his defence. But the government order, dated November 11, said that since “prima facie” the allegations “are serious in nature”, the government decided to conduct an inquiry.

According to the order, A. Suresh of Tiruchi sent a complaint to the Chief Minister’s Special Cell in February last, claiming that Sakthinathan, Deputy Director, Centre for Constituent Colleges, and Prof. Surappa were involved in corruption to the tune of ₹200 crore. 

He claimed that the two had collected nearly ₹80 crore by taking bribes of ₹13 lakh-₹15 lakh per candidate for the recruitment of temporary teacher fellows of the constituent colleges and Anna University.

Similarly, a person named C. Varadarajan and Selladurai of ‘Save Anna University’ had accused Prof. Surappa of irregularities, the order said. Another person R. Adhikesavan alleged that the Vice-Chancellor had appointed his daughter at the university. “Apart from this, many complaints of financial irregularities were received,” it said. Hence, Justice P. Kalaiyarasan was appointed as the inquiry officer under provisions of the Anna University Act, 1978, with a mandate to submit his report within three months.

The terms of reference are to inquire into the functioning of Anna University and whether its activities in all respects conform to the Anna University Act and the various laws framed thereunder during the tenure of Prof. Surappa. The retired judge would inquire into the temporary appointments and other recruitments made in the academic as well as administrative sides during the tenure of Prof. Surappa. He would also inquire into the amounts received by the university in fees, assistance, donations and grants.

The inquiry officer would also look into whether there was any lapse or abuse of official position on the part of any of the persons connected with the university during the tenure of Prof. Surappa. “If such allegations are proved to be true, he would suggest such suitable ways and means to prevent such recurrences in future,” the order said.

The inquiry officer shall be empowered, with the concurrence of the government, to utilise the services of its officers and investigation agencies, considering exigencies.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 5:29:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-government-orders-inquiry-against-anna-university-v-c-surappa/article33092088.ece

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