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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Madras HC quashes Thiruvalluvar Varsity notification

The bench was disposing of a public interest writ petition from AIADMK former Law minister C Ve Shanmugam

By: PTI | Chennai |
Updated: August 7, 2021 9:59:10 am
The Madras High Court in Chennai. (File)

The Madras High Court on Friday set aside a notification of the Thiruvalluvar University inviting applications for post-graduate courses for 2021-22 at its extension centre in Villupuram.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu, which quashed the notification, also set aside all the steps taken pursuant to the notification.

The bench was disposing of a public interest writ petition from AIADMK former Law minister C Ve Shanmugam challenging the notification.

He contended that since Act 5 of 2021 has come into effect, the impugned notification could not have been issued as Thiruvalluvar University did not have the jurisdiction to invite applications for any PG courses at any extension centre in Villupuram.

Later, the State issued a notification in the Higher Education Department on August 3 pertaining to Bharathidasan, Annamalai and Jayalalithaa Universities.

It stated that the government, after careful examination, has proposed to move an amendment to the Annamalai University Act, 2013 (Tamil Nadu Act 20 of 2013) to convert it from ‘Unitary’ type to ‘Affiliating’ type by affiliating the colleges situated in Villupuram, Cuddalore, Kallakurichi and Mayiladuthurai districts.

It also proposed to make consequential amendments to the Bharathidasan University Act, 1981 (Tamil Nadu Act 2 of 1982) and to repeal the Dr J Jayalalithaa University Act, 2021 (Tamil Nadu Act 5 of 2021).

It stated that in view of the clear intention of the present government to repeal Act 5 of 2021, nothing remains of the matter.

Turning down the submission, the bench said that there is no doubt that the State legislature has equal authority to repeal a statute as it has to enact a statute in respect of matters falling within its legislation domain.

There is, equally, no doubt that the present government may intend to repeal Act 5 of 2021 and has issued a notification indicating such intention.

However, till such time that law is in place and its operation has not been stayed in accordance with law, the provisions of such law need to be followed.

“Seen in such light, the impugned admission notification issued by Thiruvalluvar University inviting applications to PG courses at its extension centre in Villupuram could not have been issued as, on the date of issuance of such notification for academic year 2021-22, the Thiruvalluvar University had no jurisdiction in the matter in view of Act 5 of 2021 having come into effect,” the judges said.

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