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The Managing Committee of M.M. Degree College, Modi Nagar Vs. Vice-Chancellor, Meerut University & Ors [1997] INSC 300 (17 March 1997)

K. RAMASWAMY, G.T. NANAVATI

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

O R D E R

Leave granted. We have heard learned counsel on both sides.

The third respondent, Dr. B.S. Goel, while working as Head the Department of Statistics in MMD Degree College, Modinagar had gone on foreign assignment in Basra University, Iraq for a period of one year. Subsequently, a letter was written by the Managing Committee on August 20, 1979 seeking the third respondent to join duty. Since he did not join the duty, the Managing Committee passed a Resolution to hold an enquiry into unauthorised absence from duty. On 27.2.1980, a charge-sheet in the shape of a letter was sent to respondent No.3. He did not participate in the enquiry. The Enquiry Officer submitted his report on 19.6.1980. The Managing Committee, on consideration of the report, dismissed the third respondent on 31.7.1980 stated that since the third respondent had gone on foreign assignment, with the approval giving by the appellant- Management, termination without giving an opportunity to the respondent to join duty is not proper. Accordingly, a cable was sent to the third respondent university as under:

"ON 20.1.1981, the University sent him a cable on his Basrah address and had also sent a copy in confirmation of the above cable that he should join M.M. College, Modi Nagar (Ghaziabad) immediately and latest by 15th February, 1981 positively failing which the Vice- Chancellor will approve the termination proceedings in this case." Admittedly, the third respondent, Dr.B.S. Goel did not join the duty by the prescribed time. Consequently, he was not taken to the duty when he later on reported for duty after coming to India. He filed a writ petition in the High Court. The High Court, in the impugned order, dated January 8, 1996, in Writ Petition No.9343/81, has held that since the approval of termination was not given earlier, the Vice- Chancellor had no power to review the order and accord sanction for termination by the proceedings dated 21.2.1981.

We find that the view taken by the High Court is not correct. The approval sought by the appellant for third responden's absence from service was after the expiry of the period of foreign assignment. Necessarily, he, therefore, un-authorised remained absent from duty. Approval by the Vice-Chancellor to the dismissal of teacher from service is a pre-condition and the Vice-Chancellor had passed on order with a direction to give further opportunity for joining.

Letter dated 15.2.1981 is a conditional letter. On his failure to join duty, the approval of the Vice-Chancellor stood accorded. Under these circumstance, the removal of the respondent from service is accordingly in accordance with law.

The appeal is accordingly allowed. The judgment of the High Court stands reversed. The writ petition dismissed. No costs.

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