Rules required to appoint school non-teaching staff: HC

Gold seized by
Chennai Customs
Chennai Customs officers on
Friday seized gold worth Rs 36
lakhs from a passenger and
arrested him. The department
said that Manikandan Shankar
(21) of Kallakurichi, who
arrived from Dubai by an Indigo
flight, was intercepted by
Customs officials on suspicion.
During his personal search,
three bundles of gold paste
weighing 836 grams were found
concealed in his person. On
extraction the paste yielded 722
grams gold worth Rs 36.52 lakhs.
The same was recovered and
seized under Customs Act. Man-
ikandan Shankar was arrested.
All videos of ‘Chennai
Talks’ channel removed
from YouTube
Chennai police on Friday got
all the videos from the YouTube
Channel of ‘Chennai Talks’. The
channel had found itself at the
centre of a controversy after
three members of the channel
were arrested by the police for
uploading obscene videos on
their channel.
The city police have arrested
three persons associated with
the channel. Shastri Nagar
police on Monday arrested M.
Dinesh (31), owner of ‘Chennai
Talk’ channel on YouTube, K.
Asen Badshah (23), the anchor
of the channel and cameraman
K. Ajay Babu (24). Dinesh had
started the channel in 2019 and
the channel has more than 200
videos and reportedly seven
crore people had seen them.
TMC leader
no more
Senior Vice President of Tamil
Maanila Congress (TMC), B S
Gnanadesikan, passed away in
Chennai on Friday following a
brief period of hospitalization.
He was 71. He is survived by
wife Thilagavathy and two sons.
A traditional Congressman,
Gnanadesikan began his politi-
cal career during the period of
K Kamaraj. An acolyte of G K
Moopanar, he went along with
him when he formed the TMC.
Later when G K Vasan revived
the TMC he again went with
A two-time member of the
Rajya Sabha, Gnanadesikan
was the president of the Tamil
Nadu Congress Committee
(TNCC) between 2009 and 2014.
In his condolence message,
Vasan thanked the Chief
Minister, Edappadi K
Palaniswami, Deputy Chief
Minister, O Panneerselvam, and
Health Minister, C Vijayabaskar,
for regularly enquiring about
the health of Gnanadesikan in
the past two months when he
was in hospital.
Among those who condoled
the death of the leader were
Palaniswami, DMK President M
K Stalin and TNCC President K
S Alagiri.
Opposition to the mega
expansion of Kattupalli
Port proposed by Marine
Infrastructure Developer
Pvt Ltd (MIDPL), a verti-
cal of Adani Ports, is gain-
ing momentum. A public
hearing is scheduled at
Bhagavaan Mahaveer Au-
ditorium in Chandra-
prabhu Jain College, Min-
jur at 11 am on January 22.
The opposition leader
MK Stalin, in a statement,
demanded that the Central
and State Governments
withdraw the Kattupalli
Port Expansion project
and stop all the related
work immediately. He has
questioned why the BJP
government in Centre and
ADMK government in the
State are supporting the
port expansion project
which would destroy the
livelihood of one lakh
fishermen, increase the
threat of food in the
region and pose a threat to
the Pulicat lake.
Stalin is asking why the
state government is gift-
ing land from Tamil Nadu
Industrial Promotion
Corporation and from
individuals for the project
by abusing government
norms. He said 1,967 acres
of land would be convert-
ed by way of sea reclama-
tion. More than one lakh
fishermen from 82 coastal
villages are dependent on
farming the marine
species in the region. The
land would be submerged
in sea if the project was
implemented and the frag-
ile, eco-sensitive Pulicat
lake would disappear from
the landscape. He said the
Arani- Kosasthalaiyar
rivers would be severely
affected. The Government
must withdrawn public
hearing and cancel the
project immediately, he
A group of volunteers
from Poovulagin
Nanbargal undertook a
walk recently from
Chennai to Kattupalli to
understand the threat
being posed by the exist-
ing Port, thermal plants
and the danger posed by
the port expansion project
in Kattupalli. In 2018, the
Adani Group had pur-
chased the Kattupalli port
from L&T which had
established it in 2012.
The Adani Group is plan-
ning to expand the port to
a proposed total area of
2,472.85 hectares of land
which includes 133.50 ha
of existing area, 761.8
hectares of government
land, 781.4 hectares of pri-
vate land and proposed
sea reclamation of 796.15
hectares. It will be one of
the major ports in the
country and handle cargo
capacity from the current
24.66 MTPA (million
tonnes per annum) to 320
MTPA. The company will
invest more than Rs 50,000
crore in the project.
Environmental activists
allege that the project
would eat into wetlands of
the fragile Ennore ecosys-
tem and is likely to pose a
significant threat to
India’s second largest
brackish water body –
Pulicat lake. During the
journey, volunteers found
that sea had already
intruded in the coastal
region near Kattupalli.
The proposed mega proj-
ect would pose a threat to
Chennai as it would occu-
py a major portion of the
Kosasthalaiyar river. The
river, which meets Bay of
Bengal in two places, acts
as a drainage channel for
Chennai. The port would
also pose threat to man-
grove forest in the region.
The mega port would be
set up on 6,000 acres of
land, of which 2,000 acres
would be in sea and the
sea bed would be convert-
ed as land for the project.
The coastal people are
already hit by sea erosion
after Adani Port was set
up in the region. A larger
port would pose more
threat in the region.
Besides affecting agricul-
tural activities, it would
pose a danger to environ-
ment and potable drinking
water, the volunteers
Opposition builds up to
Kattupalli port expansion
Rules required to appoint school non-teaching staff: HC
The high court pointed out
the failure of the authori-
ties to indicate any rule or
notification requiring prior
permission to be sought to
look for a replacement upon
a sanctioned post falling
vacant in the non-teaching
category in government
aided schools. The court
upheld an order of a single
judge, which had ruled in
favour of an aided school
appointing a person to the
post of an Office Assistant
in 2018.
The First Bench compris-
ing Chief Justice Sanjib
Banerjee and Justice
Ramamoorthy dismissed an
appeal filed by the Director
of School Education, the
Chief Educational Officer,
Thiruvarur District and the
District Educational
Officer, Thiruvarur, chal-
lenging an order of a single
judge dated February 26,
The Vadamattam Higher
Secondary School in
Thiruvarur district had ini-
tiated the process of
appointing S.Murugan to
the post of an Office
Assistant, which fell vacant
in 2014 and sought permis-
sion from the DEO. Since
there was no response,
Murugan moved the high
court, which directed the
authorities to dispose of the
request of the school.
However, permission was
declined on December 12,
This was challenged and a
single judge passed an order
against the authorities
holding that there was no
room for seeking permis-
sion for appointment of any
non-teaching staff of a gov-
ernment aided school.
Aggrieved, the authorities
filed the present appeal.
The bench said it was pos-
sible that there may be sur-
plus staff in other govern-
ment aided schools in the
district or nearby areas. It
was equally possible that
the government may
require the surplus staff to
be deployed at other aided
schools upon vacancies in a
similar post.
However, there has to be a
mechanism put in place for
such purpose and the
process has to be certain. It
would not do for the depart-
ment to refuse an appoint-
ment merely because, at the
time of appointment, the
department finds surplus
staff of similar description
in other aided schools in the
district or the locality. The
position as to surplus staff
ought to exist at the time
when the vacancy arose or,
at any rate, prior to the
process of appointment
being initiated. Once, the
appointment process was
undertaken and a person
was identified, it may no
longer be open to the
department to refuse the
appointment and undo the
process by citing surplus
staff, the bench added.
The bench said the depart-
ment may do well to either
bring in rues that would
require aided schools to
obtain permission from the
DEO before undertaking an
appointment procedure and
the DEO being required to
respond to the request with-
in a fixed time, so that the
relevant school can fill up
the vacancy without undue
delay. In the alternative, the
DEO may circulate the
description and number of
the surplus staff at various
levels for such schools to be
able to fill up any vacancy
that arises from the surplus
In the absence of either,
an aided school cannot be
faulted for undertaking the
appointing of a person to a
sanctioned post or seeking
the appointment, the bench
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami takes selfie with people during Pongal cele-
brations at Salem. — DC
Bull tamers trying to tame the bulls in the Jallikattu which was held at Avaniyapuram
near Madurai on Thursday. — DC
CM, Dy CM celebrate
Pongal with people
Pongal celebrations took
Chief Minister Edappadi
K Palaniswami, Deputy
Chief Minister O
Panneerselvam and
Health Minister C
Vijayabaskar to be with
the people at various
places on Thursday.
Panneerselvam rode a
bullock cart at Pallapatti
in Theni district where an
event was organized in
the pastoral settings by
the tourism department
on Mattu Pongal day.
Local AIADMK leaders,
including Member of
Parliament P
Ravindranath, were
onboard the bullock cart,
in which the Deputy Chief
Minister took the driver’s
seat, cracking the whip
with aplomb.
Vijayabaskar, for a
change, drove people
around in an auto rick-
shaw at Pudukottai. He
said that he played the
auto driver’s role to reach
out to the people and
know about their prob-
Palaniswami, on his
part, spent the day with
the people of an
Arunthathiyar Colony in
Salem district by ta-
king part in the celebra-
Phone loan fraudsters widen
tentacles using smishing tactics
While the people are
struggling with financial
stress during Covid19 pan-
demic times, loan fraud-
sters are using smishing
tactics widening their ten-
On Thursday, this corre-
spondent received a text
message from an address
QP-ABROAD that said:
“We are arranging private
finance from a private
financing company at a
low rate of interest, kind-
ly contact Mr. Sreejith
When the number was
dialled, a Malayali, claim-
ing to be ‘Robin’, picked
up the phone and gave a
straight offer of loan at 6
percent interest. He
asserted that his compa-
ny’s name was ‘Dhanv-
arsh’, and sought to pro-
vide personal details to
get the arrangement done.
But when asked about the
address of the company,
he wanted to send a “Hi”
to Whatsapp. Though the
‘Hi’ was sent, he did not
provide any details.
When we contacted
Kerala police on the
smishing attack, they said
many such frauds were
taking place in recent
times. Aji Nair,
Superintendent of Police,
Kerala Cyber Cell said all
such messages are fraud.
“Don’t fall into their trap
by providing your private
details including bank
account and Aadhaar
numbers. Nobody has
been authorised to
arrange private finance to
people at low interest. We
are seeing such fraud
cases in the newspapers
every day,” he said.
It may be recalled that
Chennai City police
arrested four persons,
including two Chinese
men, for loan frauds.
According to the police,
they employed more than
100 persons to advance
loans and through them
targeting people suffering
due to a cash crunch. The
scam was conducted via
30 mobile phone apps
procuring over 2,000 SIM
cards and the crackdown
was launched after three
people died by suicide.
Cyber crime experts say
that a customer should
never pay any person who
promises to get them a
loan. “No banks charge
processing fees upfront.
Any person who asks for a
fee for getting a personal
loan sanctioned from the
consumer is misguiding
him and most likely will
run with that money and
the loan will never get
sanctioned. People are
often misguided that they
are receiving such text
messages as the sender
knows them,” an official
Court cautions student, parents over OMR sheet row
Cautioning a student and
his parents that they have to
face the legal consequences
if any investigation ordered
reveals manipulation has
been committed by them in
the screen shots of the OMR
sheet, the Madras high
court directed the Medical
Counselling Committee to
admit the student at
Tuticorin Medical College
where he has already been
selected pursuant to an
interim order of the court.
Passing further interim
orders on a petition filed by
K.S. Manoj (minor), Justice
B.Pugalendhi gave the
directive and made it clear
that this admission is sub-
ject to the result of the peti-
Manoj had sought a direc-
tion to the NTA to declare
the results and rank of the
petitioner in NEET (UG)
2020 as 594 of 720 marks
commensurate with his per-
formance as reflected in
first OMR answer sheet
uploaded on October 16,
2020 and issue directions to
the authorities to allow the
participation of the peti-
tioner in the counselling for
admission to medical cours-
es 2020 and provide him
admission to medical
The court had on
December 10, 2020 directed
the National Testing
Agency (NEET UG 2020) to
consider the entire materi-
als that have been placed by
the petitioner and conduct
an investigation and file a
report before the court by
December 23 explaining as
to how two OMR Sheets con-
taining name of this candi-
date was uploaded in the
website and how it was com-
pletely at variance with
each other. The court had
also directed the authorities
to permit the petitioner to
participate in the coun-
selling for admission to the
Medical UG course by tak-
ing the marks of the peti-
tioner in NEET exam as 594
marks and if the petitioner
secures a seat, the same
shall not be finalised and
the results shall be kept in a
sealed cover, awaiting final
When the case came up for
hearing on January 11, 2021,
Senior counsel
G.Masilamani, appearing
for NTA, demonstrated that
the screenshots relied on by
the petitioner from October
5 to October 16, 2020 show-
ing more marks to the peti-
tioner were fabricated ones
and that there was only one
OMR sheet, which would
expose that the petitioner
has secured 248 marks and
not more than that.
However, M.Ravi, counsel
for the petitioner, after get-
ting instructions from the
petitioner and his parents,
submitted that the petition-
er has not tampered any
document, as claimed by the
authorities and the court
could order an investigation
by any agency. According to
him, the authorities were
attempting to justify their
second OMR sheet uploaded
on October 17, 2020 and the
truth can be ascertained
only after thorough investi-
gation. He also requested
for an investigation and if it
reveals that the petitioner
has committed any fraud by
manipulating the screen-
shots, then the petitioner
was prepared to face the
consequence of a criminal
trial. On the contrary, if it
was found that a mistake
has been committed by the
authorities, then the benefit
must be given to the peti-
tioner, Ravi added.
Abdul Saleem, counsel for
Medical Counselling
Committee, submitted that
pursuant to the earlier
orders of this court, the
petitioner was called for
counselling and has been
allotted a seat at Tuticorin
Medical College. However,
the petitioner had not been
admitted in the college,
waiting for the outcome of
the petition.
In his order, Justice
Pugalendhi said, “In view of
the paucity of time and con-
sidering the fact that the
report as directed by this
court, has been filed only
today, this court is inclined
to order for an interim
arrangement for admission,
subject to the outcome of
this petition”.
Posting the matter to
January 21 for deciding fur-
ther course of action, the
judge made it clear that “if
an investigation is ordered
and it reveals manipulation
has been committed by the
petitioner, not only the peti-
tioner, but his parents will
also be held responsible and
have to face the legal conse-
quences. Needless to state
that the petitioner can nei-
ther take any advantage on
the admission obtained in
the college, which was made
pursuant to the order of
this court, nor can claim
any refund of the fee paid at
the time of admission. He is
also liable to pay the discon-
tinued fee. The petitioner
and his parents, present
before this court, virtually
agreed for the terms”.
The judge said since the
issue involved was yet to be
decided on the case and
counter claims by ordering
an investigation, the court,
as an interim arrangement,
extended the benefit to the
petitioner, based on the
marks on his screenshots
for admission in the
Tuticorin Medical College.
A 13-year-old boy who
went missing from his
house in Mannivakkam
near Vandalur was fou-
nd mysteriously dead on
Thursday evening. Ide-
ntified as Mukeshkumar
(13), son of Ponnurang-
am residing in Ma-
nnivakkam in Chengal-
pet district, had gone out
for a walk with his dog
on Wednesday evening.
Police said that at 8 pm
the dog came home al-
one and Mukesh’s paren-
ts launched a search for
their son, who could not
be found. The father lo-
dged a missing compla-
int with the Otteri
On Thursday, the pol-
ice received an alert that
the body of a boy has be-
en spotted under a fly-
over between Urapa-
kkam and Aadhanoor.
From P1
Though minister D.
Jayakumar immediately
reacted to that, saying that
leaders in the party
should speak in a unified
voice, it needed to be noted
that Ms Indira spoke in
praise of Ms Sasikala at a
protest organised against
DMK youth wing secre-
tary Udhayanidhi Stalin
for speaking ill of Ms
While Ms Stalin’s prime
target in the speech was
Mr Palaniswami, the
remarks were construed
as defamatory to Ms
Sasikala and considered
worthy of condemnation
through a protest when
Mr Palaniswami was try-
ing to assert that he was
not chosen by Ms Sasi-
kala as chief mini-
Another AIADMK leader
Anwar Raaja had said that
things would change
upside down in state poli-
tics when Ms Sasikala
came out of jail, indicat-
ing that many leaders,
particularly among those
not having any ministeri-
al berths or MLA posts,
were waiting for
Ms Sasikala to come
Ms Sasikala had held the
reins of the party till she
left Chennai to serve her
jail term and most of the
leaders who now hold
posts and posi-
tions were chosen by
Mixed message on Sasikala from leaders
A group of volunteers
from Poovulagin
Nanbargal undertook a
walk recently from
Chennai to Kattupalli to
understand the threat
being posed by the
existing Port, thermal
plants and the danger
posed by the port
expansion project in
Kattupalli. In 2018, the
Adani Group had pur-
chased the Kattupalli
port from L&T which had
established it in 2012

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