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Order allowing consortium to hold CET challenged

Special Correspondent

"It can be held only by an association of colleges of a particular type"

CHENNAI: The statutory committee order granting permission for the Consortium of Professional, Arts and Science Colleges in Tamil Nadu to conduct the common entrance test for management quota seats in professional colleges has been challenged in the Madras High Court.

Justice P.D. Dinakaran, admitting the petition filed by All-India Medical and Engineering Colleges Association (AIMECA) president T.D. Naidu ordered notices to the Permanent Committee for the Conduct of Common Entrance Test and the Consortium. On July 14, the statutory committee rejected the AIMECA's plea for permission to hold the CET in Tamil Nadu, and, instead, asked the Consortium to take up the process.

The Consortium was not an association of colleges of a particular type, the petitioner said adding the committee's decision was flawed. Claiming a membership of 189 engineering colleges, he said that as per the decision of the Supreme Court, permission to conduct the CET had to be given only to an association of colleges and that there was no question of consent from the colleges even before permission from the statutory committee. "Colleges have to exercise their option only after the permission."

He charged the committee with acting in a "predetermined" manner, and said its January 27, 2005 advertisement published in some dailies referred to the claim of only the Consortium and not that of the AIMECA. Though the AIMECA had conveyed to the Committee its willingness to conduct the CET, the advertisement was silent about the claim.

Mr. Naidu also noted that his representation to the Committee, calling upon it to furnish copies of consent as well as confirmation letters issued by colleges in favour of the Consortium, did not evoke any response. Had these been given to the AIMECA it could have ascertained the "genuineness of the confirmation letters," he said.

"The impugned decision based on the alleged confirmation letters and the decision taken without furnishing the copies is totally arbitrary, unjustified and against the principles of natural justice," the petition further said.

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