Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

A view of World-renowned Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, in Madurai on March 11, 2011, which has been accorded the coveted ISO 9001:2008 certificate. UNI PHOTO
A view of World-renowned Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, in Madurai on March 11, 2011, which has been accorded the coveted ISO 9001:2008 certificate. UNI PHOTO
A view of World-renowned Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, in Madurai on March 11, 2011, which has been accorded the coveted ISO 9001:2008 certificate. UNI PHOTO

Minority schools cannot appoint unqualified teachers: Madras HC

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has observed that minority schools cannot appoint teachers who do not possess even the minimum qualification for the post.

The right of a minority school management to appoint teaching and non-teaching staff of its own choice does not mean that it can appoint candidates who do not possess even the minimum required qualification, Mr Justice K Chandru said.

He dismissed a writ petition filed by the correspondent of a school in Kanyakumari, seeking the court's intervention to get exemption from the government rule that only people with five years of teaching experience could be appointed as Headmasters.

In his petition, the school correspondent submitted that the Joint Director (JD) of School Education, Government of Tamil Nadu, had rejected a plea made by the management on May 18, 2010 to permit Rev Fr Varghese Thomas with a teaching experience of two years, 11 months and 12 days, to be the Headmaster.

A representation had also been sent to the JD through the District Educational Officer seeking exemption from the rule insisting on five years of experience.

However, the JD refused to give exemption by exercising his powers under Section 20 (3) of the Tamil Nadu Recognized Private Schools (Regulation) Act, 1972.

After verifying the documents, Justice Chandru refused to give permission to the Headmaster Rev.Fr.Varghese Thomas to continue in the post in the school at Kanyakumari, stating that it was not as if there was dearth of talent in the country and the petitioner could not find any other person who was fully qualified for the post.

The correspondent had appointed Fr.Thomas as the headmaster of the school on probation and consolidated pay for a period of five years from June 2, 2004. Thereafter, he regularised Fr Thomas's services on regular pay scale.


Madras HC dismisses cops' plea against order to compensate from salaries

The Madras High Court bench here yesterday dismissed a plea by four police personnel against Tamil Nadu Home Secretary's order to deduct Rs 40,000 from their salaries as compensation by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) for allegedly mistreating a retired fire officer.

The Home Secretary had directed the Director General of Police to deduct Rs 15,000 each from the salaries of sub-inspectors Kamala and Muruganantham and Rs 5,000 each from the salaries of head constables Gopalakrishnan and Madasamy.

The amount was meant for compensation as per SHRC order on March 12, 2010 for allegedly assaulting and handcuffing retired fire officer K Kumar and detaining him in prison for seven days in 2006 for not having a two-wheeler licence.

The personnel were attached to the Karivalamvanda Nallur Police Station in Tirunelveli district.

When the plea came up for hearing, a Division Bench comprising Justices N Paul Vasantha Kumar and R Subbiah said the SHRC had given cogent reasons for ill-treatment and mental agony caused to the retired fire officer.

The arrest of the victim and seven-day confinement in prison for a bailable offence shows ill-will towards him by the petitioners.

The HC observed that handcuffing of the victim was a serious violation of human rights and also an inhuman act.

The court noted that the SHRC findings were based on appreciation of oral and documentary evidence and rejected the petitioners' contention that the retired fire officer had delayed in approaching the SHRC.

"It cannot be treated as a ground to disbelieve the version of the officer," the judges said.

The court ordered one of the petitioners, Muruganantham, to pay a fine of Rs 2,500 payable to the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the HC for filing a false affidavit in this case earlier.


Will take more responsibilities if given bigger post: Azhagiri

Union Minister and Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) South Zone Organising Secretary M K Azhagiri today said he would accept more responsibilities in the coming Assembly elections if the party offerred him a bigger post.

In a brief chat with newspersons at the airport here before leaving for New Delhi, he said, "I will not ask for any post. If they offer, I will accept the same."

He was replying to a question whether he was being given a bigger post apart from South Zone Organising Secretary in the coming Assembly elections.

"I am already a Union Minister and South Zone Organising Secretary of the party," he said.

Mr Azhagiri evaded a direct reply when asked about reports that he had handed over resignation letters to his father and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi offering to quit the party post and step down from the Union Cabinet.

"The Chief Minister has already given a detailed explanation on this. I have nothing more to say," he said.

Asked whether the DMK would get an additional berth in the Union Cabinet, he said, "I am not the Prime Minister to answer this question."

Answering a question, he denied having demanded that the DMK should sack former Communications Minister A Raja for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.

"I have not made such demands. This is only a campaign launched by the media," he said.

Showing signs of rapproachement, Mr Azhagiri yesterday had called on Mr Karunanidhi, his father, at his Gopalapuram residence here.

This was the first time that Mr Azhagiri had called on his father after reports surfaced early this month that he was not happy with party affairs, especially in southern districts and offered to resign, both from the party post and from the Union Cabinet.

Mr Azhagiri was also reported to be unhappy with the party's handling of the 2G spectrum issue, refusing to distance itself from Mr Raja.

However, Mr Karunanidhi, reacting to reports that the Madurai-based Mr Azhagiri had handed over the resignation letters to him, had said "they were only media reports" and denied his son had given him any such letters.


Congress will form Government in Tamil Nadu in future: Rahul Gandhi

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi said here today that the party would form a government headed by in Tamil Nadu in the future.

During an interaction with newly-elected office bearers of the Youth Congress at the Gandhi Memorial Museum here this evening, Mr Gandhi said, "We will form a government headed by the Congress in Tamil Nadu though it is not going to happen quickly as it is not going to be easy.''

"There will be no shortcuts to achieve our goal. We can form a government on our own," he said.


SC upholds 1 year jail term for person who took bribe of Rs 50

The Supreme Court has upheld the one-year sentence and a fine of Rs 800 awarded to a municipal employee in Tamil Nadu for taking a bribe of Rs 50 over 17 years ago.

The judgement was delivered on December 15.

Kootha Perumal, an employee of Pudukottai municipality in Madurai, was caught taking a bribe of Rs 50 on August 24, 1993, for furnishing property certificate and Municipality tax extract of a house.

He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 800 by the trial court. The Madras High Court upheld the sentence.

Supreme Court Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar also dismissed his appeal which means he will have to go to jail after 17 years of occurrence of the crime.

Perumal told a news channel that he has not been paid his salary since 1999.


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