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Educational trust restrained from alienating properties

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, APRIL 17. The Supreme Court on Friday restrained the Chairman and Executive Trustee of T. Thomas Education Trust, which is running a number of educational institutions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from alienating the assets of the Trust.

A Bench, comprising Justice Santosh N. Hedge and Justice B.P. Singh, passed the order while dismissing an application from T. Verghese George seeking appointment of a Receiver.

In August 2003, the Bench had admitted a special leave petition from Dr. George against a judgment of the Madras High Court permitting appointment of non-minorities as trustees of a minority trust running nine educational institutions, including an engineering college in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The Bench had then granted leave to Dr. George, Vice-Chairman, Tele Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, associated with the Trust, to file the special leave petition against the High Court judgment dated December 5, 2002.

In the present application, Dr. George submitted that his petition for removal of the Chairman, J. Kanakaraj (retired judge), and Executive Trustee, Palamalai (retired IAS officer), a non-Christian, was still pending in the High Court. He contended that even as the appeal in the apex court was pending the Chairman and Executive Trustee were disposing of the properties and had closed an engineering college.

Appearing for Dr. George, senior counsel, K. Subramanian, contended that the subject matter of the appeal should be preserved during the pendency of the appeal. But, he alleged that the Chairman and Executive Trustee were obtaining orders from the High Court for disposal of the assets without disclosing the pendency of the matter in the apex court. Hence he pleaded for appointment of a Receiver.

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