Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has expressed his reservation over the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government ordering an investigation against Anna University Vice-Chancellor M K Surappa on alleged charges of corruption.
Letting his displeasure known over the ordering of the probe in a letter to the state government, Purohit has asked Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to drop the investigation as “it is not correct”.
Times of India reported that the Palaniswami government has neither acknowledged the Governor’s letter nor responded to it.
Purohit is reportedly upset that the investigation was ordered without informing him. Educationists say that it was wrong on the part of the EPS government to have ordered the probe without the Governor’s approval since he is the university Chancellor and the appointing authority.
The Governor’s letter is on the heels of the Madurai branch of the Madras High Court including him as a party in a petition filed against the Surappa probe.
The High Court, taking up the petition last week, asked the state government why it should not stay the investigation ordered by it. The Anna University Vice-Chancellor has made a plea to include him as one of the disputing parties but the EPS government is opposing it.
The court has called for all papers that forced the government to order the probe and the hearing will resume tomorrow (9 December).
Meanwhile, the Anna University Vice-Chancellor has also got the support of Makkal Needhi Maiam founder and Tamil actor Kamal Haasan, who that the former was being targeted for not "caving in" to the “demands of power”.
Haasan, who had opposed Surappa’s appointment wondering if there was no qualified candidate in Tamil Nadu, asked the state government why it had not probed various other allegations against other vice-chancellors.
He said his stand against Surappa’s appointment was still valid, though not the state government’s vindictive action. The actor was dubbed “sanghi” — a term used for supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party — on social media for supporting the Anna University Vice-Chancellor’s cause.
The Governor and Haasan are questioning the Tamil Nadu government move to order an investigation based on anonymous letters alleging corruption or wrong-doing on the part of Surappa.
On 14 November, the Tamil Nadu government ordered a probe into various allegations, including charges of bribe, against Surappa. Retired justice P Kalaiyarasan has been asked to investigate the allegations and submit a report within three months.
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