Madras HC orders notice to IIT-M Director

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Chennai, Feb 5: The Madras High Court has ordered issuance of notice, returnable by four weeks, to Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) Director M S Ananth on a writ petition questioning his authority to hold the post.

The notice was issued by Justice Prabha Sridevan on a writ of quo warrant filed by one E Muralidharan of Alwarpet.

Union Higher Education secretary, chairperson of IIT Board of Governors and Usha Titus, the then IIT Registrar, were cited as the other respondents in the case.

In his petition, Mr Muralidharan contended that he was a Ph.D holder from the IIT and Mr Ananth had been the Director since December 2001. He was reappointed as Director in July 2007 for a period of five years by the Union HRD Ministry.

He contended that in an alleged violation of the provisions governing the institution, neither the IIT Council nor its Standing Committee met to ratify the reappointment since prior approval had not been obtained from the President of India as a 'visitor' of the institute.

He said Mr Ananth did not step down from the post after his first five-year term ended in December 2006. The then IIT Registrar, without any authority, issued a circular extending his tenure till June 2007.

Further, Mr Ananth himself had attended the interview for the post of Director though he was not supposed to do so since he was also a member of the IIT Council, the petitioner pointed out.


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