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The Madras High Court today dismissed a petition seeking to stall the Anna University convocation, scheduled to take place tomorrow. The plea, which a vacation bench of Justice M Govindaraj turned down, had been made by Anna University Teachers Association for declaration as ‘illegal’ the resolution passed by the syndicate committee of the university to conduct the convocation on May 19.
It had also sought an interim injunction to restrain the syndicate committee from giving effect to the resolution for conducting the convocation. When the matter came up, the judge said, “In the absence of any legal embargo, this court is of the view that the convocation can be conducted as concerted by the chancellor as on May 19,” and dismissed the petition.
Rejecting the arguments of the petitioner’s counsel that only an academician should be the vice chancellor, the judge said, “Nothing is in the statute to substantiate the arguments advanced by the petitioner’s counsel that only an academician should hold the post of vice chancellor.”
The judge further observed that the syndicate committee has the powers to conduct the convocation with any of the officers of the university. The judge had heard yesterday the arguments on the matter from both sides.
The petitioner submitted that if the term of the VC is over and the next VC is to be appointed, the question of convener committee chairman, ie, the principal secretary of state Education Department, exercising the power of VC does not arise.
A search committee has already been appointed to identify the possible candidates for appointment as VC and the process as to be completed, the association said in its petition to the court, adding that only a new VC should convene the convocation and confer degrees.
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The petitioner said they had already appealed to the state government on May 8 for the appointment of VC so that the convocation can be convened by him, as there is no point in asking the chairman of the convener committee to hold the convocation and sign the degrees.
The petitioner also sought the court’s direction to the search committee of the varsity to expedite the process of forwarding the name of the persons for the post of VC.