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The Madras high court has directed authorities to reconsider the withdrawal of approval for two colleges, Sri Padmavathi College of Engineering and V K K Vijayan Engineering College in Sriperumbudur.
While both institutions had CBI cases pending against them, their affiliation was withdrawn on the grounds that they did not comply with the norms fixed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The institutions were called for a hearing by the AICTE in April 2011 but were not told why it was conducted, the petitions said. Two months later, an announcement on the website of the affiliating body informed them that their approval had been withdrawn. The chairpersons of both colleges were asked to appear before the appellate committee later that month. At the time, they submitted compliance reports to indicate that they had satisfied the AICTE norms and so the order had to be set aside. Counsel for petitioner K Duraisami observed that no such order was passed. The petitions contended the AICTE was prejudiced due to the registration of cases by the CBI. They were filed after both institutions were raided in 2009 following the arrests of AICTE member-secretary K Narayana Rao and its former chairman R A Yadav. The duo was charged with demanding and accepting bribes from owners of private engineering colleges to overlook inadequate infrastructure while granting approval to institutions. Passing orders, Justice N Paul Vasantha kumar said that since huge amounts had been invested, buildings constructed and other facilities provided, withdrawal of approval could have serious consequences. Directing the AICTE to reconsider the withdrawal order, based on the compliance reports submitted, the judge said another inspection team could be sent to the spot to find our whether all AICTE orders were complied with and pass fresh orders thereafter. Until then, status quo would be maintained. He added that the process should be completed within three weeks as admissions and classes were to commence shortly.
Courtesy: Times of India
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