Berhampur University & ANR Vs. Dr. Sailabala Padhi  INSC 444 (21 April
RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA
O R D
E R Leave granted.
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
appeal by special leave arises from the judgment of the Division Bench of the Orissa
High court, made on September
11, 1996 in O.J.C No.
8420 of 1993.
admitted position is that the respondent had applied for selection to the post
of professor, Environmental Science. The Selection committee on January 31, 1992 interviewed 13 candidates and found
none to be qualified for appointment to the post of Professor, Environmental
Science. The matter was referred to the sub- committee of the syndicate which
by its proceedings dated June
22, 1992 opined that
since the respondent had secured 44 out of 90 marks, she was be eligible for
appointment and accordingly the matter was referred to the Chancellor under
first proviso to section 21(2) of the Orissa Universities Act. 1989 (for short,
the 'Act') The Chancellor (the Governor of Orissa) directed re-advertisement as
per opinion of the Expert committee by its proceedings dated January 15, 1993
Pursuant there to , another advertisement was issued on October 16, 1993 for
recruitment to the post of Professor in Environmental Science. The
qualification desired was Master's degree in Botany or Zoology or Environmental
Biology. The respondent questioned the re- advertisement of the post in
question. The High Court in the impugned judgment has directed appointment of
the respondent within four weeks from the date of the judgment. We are informed
that pursuant to the contempt proceedings initiated by the respondent,
appointment of the respondent came to be made.
contended by Mr. Misra, learned counsel appearing for the appellants that the
Expert body is the competent committee to opine as to who is qualified and fit
to be selected as professor in Environmental Science which requires
Environmental Biology. The High Court cannot evaluate the relative requisite
qualification and come to its own conclusion as to who would be fit for
Jaising, learned senior counsel appearing for the respondent, contends that the
advertisement made does not relate to Environmental Biology ; it requires only
master's degree in Botany or Zoology or Environmental Biology. Since the
respondent possessed master's degree in Botany with requisite experience in the
field, she, having secured 414 marks out of 90, is entitled to be considered
for the post and the competent authority has no power to direct re-
advertisement of the post. The High court was, therefore, right in giving
direction to appoint the respondent as Professor in Environmental Biology.
regard to the respective contentions the question that arises for consideration
is whether the High court is justified in evaluating whether the respondent is
qualified to be appointed as Professor. Section 21 reads as under:
of officers, teachers and other employees of the University.
All officers of the University excepting the Registrar, and the Comptroller of
Finance shall be appointed by the concerned Vice Chancellor on the
recommendation of a selection Committee consisting of the Director, the
Registrar, one member to be selected by the Syndicate of such University from
amongst the remaining members of the and two experts appointed by the said vice
Chancellor wherever necessary.
The teachers of a University shall be appointed by the syndicate of that
University on the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of the
concerned vice Chancellor, the Director, an expert nominated by the Chancellor
in the case of appointment of Professor, and three experts selected by the said
vice chancellor from out of the list of six experts furnished by the said Syndicate,
which shall not include- (i) any teacher of such University or of any of its
constituent or affiliated colleges;
(ii) any person who has been an examiner of such University in the preceding or
the relevant year.
that where the committee fails to make any specific recommendation or where the
syndicate differs from the recommendation made by the committee, the matter
shall be referred to the chancellor whose decision thereon shall be
final." It is not in dispute that an Expert Committee has been constituted
to select the candidates. The Expert Body consists of Vice-Chancellor, Berhampur University;
Higher Education, Orissa; Professor, Anna University, Quindy; professor, school
of Environmental Science, Cochin University, Visakhapatnam. They have opined as
candidates were called for interview out of which 10 candidates appeared before
the selection committee and they were interviewed. Taking into consideration
research publications, teaching experience, confidential character roll and
performance at the Viva-voce test, the selection committee recommends no one
for the professor of Environmental science." The Vice-Chancellor, after
taking into consideration the opinion expressed by the expert selection
committee, has opined as under:
For the post of Professor of Environmental Science, Dr. (Smt.) Sailabala Padhy,
who has secured the highest marks in the interview, does not have specialisation
in Environmental science either at the P.G. stage or at the Doctoral stage.
However, she passed M.Sc in Botany with specialisation in Algology, securing a Ist
class and did Ph. D. in Algology. According to the proposal submitted to the
UGC for the 8th plan, it was indicated that the specialised course (Ph.D/M. Phil)
in Environmental science shall be started as an inter-disciplinary course of
Botany/Zoology Departments. and for this purpose the Professor and the Reader
should be from the Botany and Zoology streams. the Sub-Committee, therefore,
suggested that the syndicate might consider referring her case to the
Chancellor for a decision under the Ist proviso of section 21 (2) of the Orissa
Universities Act, 1989.
recommendations of the selection committee and the report of the syndicate
sub-committee thereon, alongwith the above observations of the syndicate be
referred to the Chancellor fr consideration/decision." The Syndicate in
its Resolution stated as under:
Chancellor has further been pleased to order that the Berhampur University should re-advertise the following vacancies as per the
required stipulations viz., qualification, experience and specialisation
etc." (i) xx xxxxx xx (ii) Professor of Environmental Science.
In the light of these factual and legal situation, the question that arises for
consideration is: whether the High Court would be justified in directing
appointment of the respondent ? It is seen that, admittedly the respondent
possessed Master's degree in Botany with specialisation on the subject of Algology.
Even among her articles published in various journals we come across, only two
articles are on Environmental science but the experience referred therein
relates to other subjects. Obvious, therefore, the Expert Body was to select a
candidate for professor in Environmental science from amongst the candidates by
adjudging whether a candidate is fit for appointment as professor. It is true
that the Syndicate thought it justified that if respondent should have the
qualification in one of the subjects namely; master's degree in Botany, she
would be preferred as a candidate since Environmental science shall be started
as a candidate since Environmental science shall be started as
interdisciplinary course of Botany/zoology and for that purpose the
professor/Reader should be from the Botany and Zoology streams. Under the first
proviso to sub-section (2) of section 21 , the order of the Chancellor shall be
final and that therefore, the opinion expressed by the sub-committee of the
Syndicate loses its sanctity. In the selection of Professor/reader or an y
other teacher with specified qualifications, it is for the Expert Body to go
into the merit and competency of the candidates for selection to the posts
advertised for. No. doubt, in the advertisement, Environmental science was not
specifically mentioned but it is not in dispute that Botany and Zoology being
the integral part of Environmental science, necessarily the syndicate is
enjoined to select candidates having the needed qualification and experience
for the post of professor in Environmental science with master's degree in
Botany, Zoology or Environmental science. Thus, it could be seen that the
authority was competent to evaluate the merit of the candidates and the Expert
Body came to its own conclusion that the candidates securing 44 marks out of 90
should be passed for appointment to the post. The chancellor having had the
advantage of the report of the Expert Body, obviously was not inclined to agree
with the sub-committee of the Syndicate to appoint the respondent as Professor
and accordingly, he has given direction in accordance with the rules for
re-advertisement of the post of Professor in Environmental Science. The High
court was, therefore, manifestly in error in directing the appointment of the
respondent. The re-advertisement is accordingly in accordance with the rules.
Ms. Indira Jaising has prayed that since the respondent has been appointed, she
may be allowed to continue in the post of Professor, Environmental Science.
Having noted that the Expert Body has not selected her, we cannot give any
Positive direction for her continuance till the selection for the post of
Professor in Environmental science is made.
appeal is accordingly allowed. No costs.