Madras High Court has upheld the appointment of Dr Bhaskar Ramamurthi as the Director of IIT Madras. Justice M Sathyanarayanan dismissed the petition for writ of “quo warranto” filed by Dr E Muralidharan questioning the appointment of Ramamurthy. The judge said in his order that “In the considered opinion of this court the selection and appointment of Ramamurthi to the post of the Director of IIT, Madras has been done in accordance with the provisions of the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and Statutes.”
“This court is of the considered view that insofar as shortlisting of candidates is concerned more transparency should be in place.
He observed of the 64 applications, five were shortlisted and as far as the requirement of the person who was appointed as Director is concerned, it appears to be subjective in all fairness and the Union Ministry of HRD should have put the candidates on notice as to how the shortlisting was done.
“Therefore in future, the Ministry shall make every endeavour to put the applicants/candidates on notice in advance as to the procedure and manner in which the shortlisting is being done as it would definitely avoid favouritism and transparency, in selection and appointment,” he said.
Muralidharan submitted that the Union Minister for Human Resources Development in his capacity as Chairman of IIT Council, took a unilateral decision and appointed Ramamurthi without the knowledge and approval of the council and the same is in clear contravention of Section 17(1) of the Institutes of Technology Act 1961.
Vijay Narayanan, counsel for Ramamurthy submitted that the appointment was made on merit and it was strictly in conformity with the Statutes and in terms of Section 17(1) of the Institutes of Technology Act 1961 and his appointment also had prior approval of the visitor-His Excellency, the President of India and therefore cannot be faulted with. Read | CBSE 10th result 2017: Where and how to check result at cbseresults.nic.in, cbse.nic.in. Click here
S Namonarayan, who appeared on behalf of Union HRD Ministry, submitted that proper procedure, strictly in accordance with the Act and statutes was followed while selecting the Director.
“The materials placed before this court would indicate that the process of selection was initiated by publishing the vacancy in prominent dailies, including “Employment News” and was also uploaded on the websites of the Union HRD Ministry and Pan IIT, besides addressing letters to over hundred eminent and distinguished personalities in various educational, scientific and management institutions soliciting their recommendations in respect of eminent persons suitable to the post of Director of IIT””, the judge said.