The Tamil Nadu government Friday formed an inquiry committee helmed by retired Madras High Court Justice P Kalaiyarasan under the provisions of section 11 of Anna University Act, 1978, to probe into the alleged financial irregularities, malpractices in semester examination and revaluation charge leveled against varsity’s Vice-Chancellor VC Surappa. According to the order, the panel needs to submit their report within three months.
The government order, issued by the Tamil Nadu Higher Education Department on November 11, read: “Since the prime-facie in the above allegations are serious in nature, the Government have decided to conduct an inquiry against Prof MK Surappa, Vice-Chancellor, Anna University.”
The order further stated that the government received six complaints against Surappa. This included a complaint from one Suresh from Tiruchirapalli, who alleged rampant corruption in Anna University with professors appropriating crores of rupees from government funds. In his complaint, Suresh has alleged that one Sakthinathan and Dr. Surappa have amassed nearly Rs 80 crore by taking bribes between Rs 13-15 lakh per candidate for the recruitment of temporary teaching fellows for the Anna University main campus and its constituent colleges.
Another complaint from one Athikesavan alleged that Surappa appointed his daughter in the university by misusing the powers vested in him. He also alleged that there have been irregularities in the purchase of machineries for the constituent colleges.
The investigative officer is required to inquire into the functioning of Anna University and whether its activities in all respects conform to Anna University Act, 1978, and the various statues framed thereunder, during the tenure of Prof MK Surappa. He will also inquire into the temporary appointments and other requirements made in the academic as well as the administrative side of the university during the tenure of Prof MK Surappa.
Retired Justice P Kalaiyarasan will inquire into the amounts received during the tenure of Prof MK Surappa in the form of fees, assistance, donations, grants, etc. The inquiry will also look into the contracts and agreements entered into the university during his tenure with any person including a firm, company, trust, social, LLP, and such other entities. Further, the inquiry will probe whether there was any lapse or abuse of official position on the part of any persons connected with the university during Mr. Surappa’s tenure, stated the order.
The order added that if the allegations are true, the panel is required to suggest suitable ways and means to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Speaking to reporters, Surappa Friday said, “I never took bribe in my life. I worked in Punjab as a director of IIT for six years, that is the best IIT in terms of financial prudence, there has not been a single objection. Based on that, they appointed me to the advisory committee of the CAG. I’m surprised (on the allegations about his daughter), my daughter was an IP (Intellectual property) specialist working at the Indian Institute of science. These (Anna University) IP people wanted her services, so she worked in an honorary capacity for six months. Basically, she helped them. Let the inquiry committee do their job, I am ready to answer anyone. This is not my first job, I have not violated any rule. Till now, I have not received any letter from the government. I am not afraid, I am not meeting anyone.”
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