22 Nov 2022 4:19 AM GMT
The Madras High Court recently declared as null and void the appointment of 254 assistant professors in colleges managed by Pachaiyappa Trust after it was found that the appointments were tainted with malpractice."The Management of the Pachaiyappa's Trust Board is directed to terminate the services of all the appointed candidates forthwith," said the court in the judgment dated November...
The Madras High Court recently declared as null and void the appointment of 254 assistant professors in colleges managed by Pachaiyappa Trust after it was found that the appointments were tainted with malpractice.
"The Management of the Pachaiyappa's Trust Board is directed to terminate the services of all the appointed candidates forthwith," said the court in the judgment dated November 17.
The court had previously ordered an enquiry after finding that a retired High Court judge, who had been appointed as an interim administrator of the board, had issued show cause notices to at least 152 appointees since it was suspected that they were unqualified as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.
Justice SM Subramaniam observed that since it was not possible to segregate the tainted and non-tainted appointments, it was preferable to cancel the entire appointment.
Thus, the entire selection is to be set aside, if the selection is conceived in fraud and delivered in deceit. Awarding of irregular marks, selection of less meritorious candidates in adopting a trickery method are also corrupt practices, the entire selection is liable to be set aside.
The judgment was passed on a petition filed by candidates who had challenged the appointments, and demanded formation of a special committee to inquire into the appointments.
"The larger impact, deeply rooted illegality and irregularity in awarding marks to the candidates, not only affect the untainted candidates, but goes to the root of the matter, affecting the entire selection process as a whole. When right of all the participated candidates are infringed, then segregation of untainted candidates would result in vain and lead to miscarriage of justice", the court said.
Even though certain selected candidates pleaded that their appointment should not be disturbed in light of their working for about 6-8 years, the court noted that where undue advantage gained by illegal means is permitted to be retained, it will jeopardize the purity of the selection process itself.
The court said when factual materials bring out corrupt activities, the apt course would be to set aside the entire selection as it would be impossible to segregate the tainted and non-tainted appointments.
In the event of the availability of prima facie factual materials in respect of such irregularity, malpractice or corrupt activities, then the apt course would be to cancel the entire selection. If tainted and non-tainted are unable to be segregated, then it is preferable to cancel the entire selection so as to ensure the correctness in the process of selection
Directing the Management of Pachaiyappa's Trust Board to conduct fresh selection within three months, the court said, "As an interim measure, the Management of the Pachaiyappa's Trust Board shall allow the appointees to continue as Guest Lecturers for a period of three months or until the fresh selections are made on need basis."
Case Title: R Prema Latha and others v State and others
Citation: 2022 Livelaw (Mad) 472