Chennai, Jan. 31: Madras High Court today rejected a petition by the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Charitable Trust for permission to sell a medical institute and hospital near Chennai.
The Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Institute of Medical Science and the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankara Hospital were established in 2003 at Perumbakkam, 45 km from Chennai, to provide “medical education at an affordable cost”.
The “teaching hospital” attached to the institute catered to 47 villages. Only paramedical courses were being taught at the institute because government approval for the medical college was still awaited.
Last week, the trustees of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Trust petitioned the high court for permission to sell the institute and the hospital, citing losses of Rs 22.62 crore. The application said the state government has declined to issue the “no-objection certificate” for the medical college. Without the college, running the hospital “is not a viable project”, it said. The trust said M/s Chettinad Hospitals Private Limited had offered to take over the assets for Rs 105 crore, which “is most favourable”.
Dismissing the petition, the court said such commercial transactions would “defeat” the purpose of the trust — to serve the people. The institute and hospital “would lose its character as a charitable organisation”, it added. “The offer of sale through private negotiations, not visible to the public eye, gives rise to suspicion,” the court said.