Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday was sentenced to four year imprisonment and fined Rs100 crore in the 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. The verdict by a special court in Bangalore raises questions over her continuance on the post and the big question is who will head the government in the absence of Jayalalithaa. She ceases to be MLA and CM. She will go to jail tonight.
The conviction of the AIADMK supremo has come as a rude shock to the ruling party, casting a doubt over the 66 year-old leader’s political future ahead of the 2016 assembly polls.
She had to step down as Chief Minister in 2001 when Supreme Court observed that she cannot hold office, as she was earlier sentenced in two corruption cases in 2000, which, however, was set aside later.
Today’s verdict has come as a jolt to the ruling AIADMK as it had been enjoying a winning spree in all elections held since April 2011, when the party trounced DMK.
The party had put up a stellar performance in the Lok Sabha polls this year, winning 37 of the 39 states in the state, though its hopes of a pivot role in the Centre failed with the BJP mustering majority on its own.
However, there is no threat to the party government as AIADMK has a solid majority of 150 seats in the 234-member Assembly.
She had been acquitted in several other cases filed during the DMK regime.
After the apex court’s observation in 2001 that she cannot continue in office, Jayalalithaa had made her loyal aide and then not-so-known face O Panneerselvam as her successor to power.
After getting absolved of the charges in the Madras High Court, she had contested from Andipatti constituency and became the Chief Minister again in 2002.
Panneerselvam is also one of the names presently doing the rounds in AIADMK circles as one of the probables to take over as the next Chief Minister if Jayalalithaa has to resign.
The others being Transport Minister V Senthil Balaji and Electricity Minister Natham R Viswanathan and even former Chief Secretary and Consultant to the state government, Sheela Balakrishnan.
IPM and Arindam Chaudhuri are directed by Delhi HC not to offer MBA or BBA courses as well as refrain from publishing advertisement as management and business school
The Delhi High Court has asked Arindam Chaudhuri and his Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) not to offer management courses like Master in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). The HC also restrained IIPM from publishing advertisements as a management and business institute.
The High Court also slapped a cost of Rs25,000 on IIPM for misleading students by claiming to be a B-school even though it is not recognised by any statutory body including All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
In the verdict, Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, said, "IIPM admittedly does not have AICTE approval. It is thus not entitled to run a BBA or MBA course or to advertise itself as conducting any course or programme in management or to advertise itself as a management school or a business school or a B-school."
Chaudhuri and IIPM have been using full page advertisements in several newspapers in an effort to establish itself as premier management school. However, IIPM was never recognised by either AICTE or by University Grants Commission (UGC)
While asking Chaudhuri to prominently display on IIPM website that they are not recognised by any statutory body or authority to offer courses, the Bench said, "IIPM and its management or officials including its dean Arindam Chaudhuri are restrained with immediate effect from using the word 'MBA, BBA, management course, management school, business school or B-school' in relation to the courses or programmes being conducted by them or in relation to the representations if any made to the public."
Earlier in May 2014, the UGC issued a circular informing public at large and students that IIPM was not a a recognised university and cannot award MBA/BBA degrees. "As per Section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956, the IIPM does not have the right to conferring or granting degrees as specified by the UGC under Section 22 (3). It is further clarified for information that IIPM is neither entitled to award MBA/BBA. BCA degree nor it is recognised by UGC," the Commission said in an advertisement dated 18 May 2014.
However, interestingly, IIPM on its website claims that it has never applied to any body. Responding to questions about recognition by AICTE/UGC, the IIPM in its FAQ section says, "IIPM has never sought recognition from any statutory bodies and is proud of its world class course contents. Students bothered about statutory recognition of IIPMs programmes need not apply to IIPM."
The Arindam Chaudhuri-led institute also clarifies that it does offer MBA/BBA degrees. "The value of the IIPM certificate lies in the excellent course content and also placements that IIPM students get year after year and in the number of students who put their faith in the IIPM programme every year. However, students who do the IIPM programme in Planning and Entrepreneurship become eligible for a Post Graduate Degree in Management (comparable to MBA) / Graduate Degree in Management (comparable to BBA) from the International Management Institute in Brussels, Europe," IIPM says on its website.