HC asks State to reconsider decision to set up Siddha university near Chennai


The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has asked the State government to reconsider the decision to establish the university for Siddha medicine near Chennai. Instead, the court has asked the government to find a suitable place near the Western Ghats.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Sundar and B. Pugalendhi observed that Western Ghats was where the system blossomed and where it could reach its glory. The development of the Indian system of medicine would not only benefit mankind, but also take the pride of the country to the world. The court lauded the State for having initiated steps to bring in a legislature, viz., Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical University Act, 2022, which was reportedly awaiting the Governor’s assent.

The court was hearing the modification petition filed in 2023 by the State for modifying an earlier order of the court which prohibited authorities from demolishing existing buildings and other amenities and constructing a new building at the Government Siddha Medical College in Palayamkottai till the University for Indian Medicine at Chettikulam, Tirunelveli, or any other place was established. The court had issued directions on a petition filed by S. Vijai Vikraman, a former student of the Palayamkottai college.

The State told the court that a policy decision had been taken to establish the University for Siddha Medicine near Chennai. The court observed that the projects were often taken to Chennai for the convenience of the administrators, rather than the requirements of the projects.

The court observed that when the decision was taken to start a Siddha college in Tamil Nadu, Courtallam in the Western Ghats was identified. The college was established at Courtallam in 1956 and was temporarily shifted to Palayamkottai in 1964. It appeared that for the convenience of the professors and staff it was allowed to continue in a temporary place for the past 60 years. The present campus at Palayamkottai was within five acres which was not adequate for the college. By establishing an annex campus at Vannarpettai in Palayamkottai the Institution was functioning.

This system of medicine emerged from the Western Ghats and the space originally identified at Courtallam had to be restored by utilising the funds available for renovating the college, the court observed.

Not only the college, the university also required sufficient land with a garden of medicinal plants and space for research facilities. By providing proper infrastructure alone the objective could be achieved, the court observed and dismissed the petition.

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