Views of DEC can't be undermined: Madras HC

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Chennai, Aug 1 (UNI) The Madras High Court today observed that the views expressed by the Distance Education Council (DEC) could not be undermined by the University while framing the statute for the post of Dean for the School of Distance Education (SDE).

Dismissing a writ petition seeking a direction to the Bharthiar University, Coimbatore, to call for fresh advertisement to appoint the Director of SDE as per the University's norms and guidelines, Justice K Chandru ruled that in the absence of any mandatory obligation on the part of the Universty to be bound by the DEC's circulars, the court could not direct the University to prescribe a particular qualification for the post of the Director, SDE.

The Judge also said the University Syndicate was empowered to prescribe the qualification and also create posts. In the present case, the advertisement itself stated that the post was temporary and people were liable to be retired at the age of 58 years, thus making it clear that it was only a non-academic post.

Hence the court was unable to interfere with the advertisement issued and the consequential selection, the Judge observed.

In his petition, M D Rajkumar, contended that the SDE Director should be an academic person. The post should not be filled up with non-teaching staff holding the post of Deputy Registrar.

The petitioner prayed the court to call for the records connected with the advertisement for appointing the Director and quash the same. He also sought a direction to the University to issue a fresh advertisement.

Justice Chandru also categorically stated that in all the Universities, the post of the Director was reserved for the academic side. Since the Bharthiar University's statutes had not been amended and the post had not been incorporated as part of the statutes and there was nothing wrong in the advertisement.

But at the same time, Parliament had created the DEC under the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act and the Council had been permitted to lay down coordination and standards in the matter of distance education by all the Universities concerned, he observed.

''It must be only an academic poosition. While framing statutes creating permanent posts, the University should take note of the DEC's advice. The University should also provide necessary qualifications treating the Dean as an academician. This will uphold the prestige of the University as well as the SDE,''the Judge added.

UNI XR DS LPB HT2205

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