Chennai: Leela Samson was restrained from functioning as the director of Kalakshetra Foundation in Tiruvanmyur by the Madras High Court on Tuesday. Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar passed the interim order while entertaining a writ petition from a group of 16 Kalakshetra employees. Appointed in February 2005, Leela attained the age of 60 years in May 2011. Noting that it was the age of superannuation and that she had not resigned yet, a public interest writ petition was filed in the High Court. Notice has been ordered.
Meanwhile, Samson wrote to the Centre on April 30 this year seeking to resign from the post. The resignation was accepted with effect from April 30 itself, and an in-charge director was appointed in her place. However, in a recent development, Leela was again appointed director of the Foundation on June 29 by the Centre, after accepting her withdrawal of the earlier resignation letter.
Assailing the re-appointment, Sai Shankar and others filed the present writ petition. When the matter came up first for admission on July 6, the High Court issued notice to the Centre. Though the Foundation chairman Gopala Krishna Gandhi had filed a counter-affidavit, the Centre had not yet filed its reply.
Senior counsel K M Vijayan submitted that it was improper for the Centre to permit withdrawal of a resignation which had already been accepted and acted upon. After the resignation of a ‘retired’ person was accepted, the re-appointment could not be made, adding that Section 19 of the Kalakshetra Foundation Act mandated procedures for both appointment and re-appointment of a director.
Justice Vasanthakumar granted the injunction restraining Leela Samson from functioning as Kalakshetra director for a period of one week.