Madras High Court’s strong message to Anna University

The Madras High Court has Observed that it’s a shame on the part of Anna University (AU) to scrap two PG courses for want of funds despite them being in vogue for 35 years.

The Court has directed the Anna University to approach the State and resolve the reservation issue — whether it should be Centre’s 49.5 per cent or Tamilnadu government’s 69 per cent — and get the State to substitute funds, if required.

Justice B Pugalendhi, on directing both to resolve the issue by Monday, was aghast at the AU counsel’s submission that adopting the 69 per cent reservation prescribed by the State would result in the Central grant being withdrawn and hence both the courses had to be cancelled.

The judge also expressed dissatisfaction over the AU’s contention that the Department of Biotechnology of the Union government would send the merit list for admission as per the 49.5 per cent reservation and students were admitted accordingly.

But this year, the department had sent the list of candidates to the AU and sought it to evolve the merit list. Based on this, a clarification was sought from the State and owing to the latter’s insistence on the adoption of 69 per cent reservation, the courses were scrapped.

Wondering as to what difference the change in admission process entailed and faulting the AU for summarily scrapping the courses instead of resolving the issue, remarked in a lighter vein as to whether this is an offshoot of the confrontation between the AU Vice-Chancellor and the State. Petitioner’s counsel A Saravanan submitted that even if the 49.5 per cent reservation was adopted, only nine students would have missed admission. “Now, it has resulted in the suffering of 36 students,” he said.

However, Justice Pugalendhi, on asking the respective counsels to get necessary instructions from the higher education department and ensure the courses are resumed, posted the plea to Monday for passing orders.