The Madras High Court has stayed a probe against Bharathiar University Vice-Chancellor A Ganapathy over alleged offences under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act. Admitting a petition from the V-C, Justice M S Ramesh granted interim relief and said the stay would be in force till November 24, when the matter would be taken up for further hearing. The petitioner had sought quashing of criminal proceedings pending before the Vadavalli police station in Coimbatore. Following a November 6 complaint from Lakshmi Praba, a Sub-Inspector (SI) of the station registered the case against the Vice-chancellor for offences under various sections of the SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015.
In his order granting the stay, the judge pointed out that the SI, who at once registered the complaint, was not the designated officer to do so under the Act. “I am unable to comprehend as to how the SI could straightaway register the complaint without holding the preliminary enquiry in spite of his knowledge that the person named in the FIR is a constitutional authority holding a high ranking and responsible post. This hasty action of the SI is ex-facie lamentable,” the judge said.
Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel contended that the woman’s complaint was motivated and it was an abuse of the process of law as she was aggrieved by the legitimate actions of the VC.