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A political decision, not matter for courts to be mixed with: Madras High Court dismisses PIL over Central Institute of Classical Tamil awards

"(It is) entirely a political decision and the petition indeed has been filed on political considerations at a time close to elections," the Court opined.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought directions for continuing the awards given by Central Institute of Classical Tamil to encourage Tamil scholars (S Doraisamy v. Central Institute of Classical Tamil and ors).

The Institute used to give Rs 10 lakh as a yearly cash award to encourage Tamil scholars out of a fund created by former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, before it was discontinued.

When the matter came up for hearing, Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee orally observed that these are not matters where the Court can be asked to step in. He also opined that there was a political angle to the matter.

“How can we do these things? If you want privately do it, do it. But don’t ask the court to do this. We have much more important things to do,” he remarked.

The Bench of Chief Justice Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy proceeded to dismiss the matter, after noting that it involved a plea for a government-controlled centre to present awards on the birth anniversary of a former Chief Minister of the State.

These are matters in which courts should not be mixed…(It is) entirely a political decision and the petition indeed has been filed on political considerations at a time close to elections,” the Court opined in its order.

Whether or not a particular award has been continued or whether it should be instituted are matters for the private consideration of the Institute’s authorities, even if such authorities are controlled by the government, the Bench said.

The petitioner, a practicing advocate, was aggrieved by the discontinuance of the award. Another Bench of the High Court had issued notice in the plea last December, after taking note that the petitioner’s representation on the issue had not been replied to by the authorities concerned.

The First Bench yesterday noted that it is open to the petitioner to pursue the matter with the authorities concerned privately.

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