The Tamil Nadu government has constituted an inquiry committee against Vice-Chancellor MK Surappa based on complaints alleging financial irregularities.

Actor and politician Kamal Haasan seated in black shirt at a photoshoot
news Controversy Sunday, December 06, 2020 - 09:39

Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan on Saturday came out in support of Anna University Vice-Chancellor MK Surappa who is currently under investigation for alleged financial irregularities in hiring teaching staff. He warned that if a person is hunted down for being honest, then the actor will not remain silent. Kamal Haasan also wondered whether Surappa is another Nambi Narayanan, referring to the space scientist who was falsely framed in the 1994 espionage case.

In a video message posted on his Twitter handle, Kamal Haasan said Surappa is an upright honest person and does not bend before the powers that be. The MNM leader said Surappa wanted to take Tamil Nadu's technical education to great heights, however, this was not tolerated by the corrupt in the state. "If a person does not bend, then he will be broken is their explanation," Kamal Haasan said.

He said based on an anonymous letter written by a ‘coward’, the state government has appointed an inquiry commission against Surappa. "Have you inquired those who had stayed and those who had used Anna University vehicles improperly?" Kamal Haasan posed to the state government.

The Tamil Nadu government has constituted an inquiry committee helmed by retired justice of the Madras High Court R Kalaiyarasan, against Surappa on complaints alleging financial irregularities. According to the government's order, retired justice Kalaiyarasan will submit his inquiry report in three months. 

The actor-politician also asked whether inquiries have been made against various ministers against whom corruption charges are being levelled by the opposition parties, social activities and the media.

According to Kamal Haasan, the issue is not between an educationist and politicians. "It is a war between a person who wants to be honest and the others, who are corrupt… Another Nambi Narayanan should not be allowed to emerge and those who want to stand on the side of truth should break their silence and speak out," said Kamal Haasan.

"Honesty is our only property and the corrupt would want to sell and gobble that. They have to be chased out," he added.

The Tamil Nadu government said it decided to conduct an inquiry against Surappa as the allegations are serious in nature. According to the government, it has received six complaints against the VC.

Reacting to the development, Surappa had said he had never taken any bribe in his life.

With regard to the allegation of Anna University hiring his daughter, Surappa said she was an intellectual property (IP) specialist working at the Indian Institute of Science. The Anna University IP officials use her services and she worked in an honorary capacity, he said.

According to the government, the inquiry officer will also check into the functioning of the Anna University and whether it conformed to the Anna University Act, 1978 during the temporary appointments made during Surappa's tenure.

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