of Maharashtra Vs. Shashikant S. Pujari & Ors
 Insc 849 (24
Sinha & P.P. Naolekar
W I T
H CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1387 OF 2006 S.B. SINHA, J :
Shahaji Law College, Kolhapur, is affiliated to Shivaji University, Kolhapur. The institution is under the control of the Government of Maharashtra.
It started five year law course in the year 1983-84. The department of
Political Science is said to be one-man department.
S. Pujari (Respondent No.1) was appointed as a part time lecturer. Allegedly, a
teacher would be considered to be a full timer, if he has a workload of 12
teaching periods per week subject to his making good the shortfall by taking
additional lectures. Respondent was appointed on 'Clock Hour Basis' (CHB). He
was selected through Local Selection Committee of the College.
chart would show the nature of post, period of working and process of
selection. So far as the Respondent is concerned :
of Post Period of Working Selection through Local Selection Committee of
College & whether approved by University Clock Hour basis (CHB) 1.8.1983 to
30.4.1984 Selection by LSC of College- University granted approval 1.5.1984 to
30.6.1984 61 days break in service Break not condoned by University Full Timer
(though workload of Part Timer only) 1.7.1984 to 15.4.1985 Selection by LSC of
College and approval by University.
to 15.7.1985 91 days break in service Not condoned by University Full Timer
(though workload of Part Timer only) 16.7.1985 to 30.10.1985 Selection by LSC
of College and approval by University 1.11.1985 to 30.8.1986 295 days break in
service Not condoned by University.
Timer 1.9.1986 to 15.4.1987 Selection by LSC of College but no approval from
University. 16.4.1987 to 30.6.1987 76 days break in service Not condoned by
University Part Timer 1.7.1987 to 30.6.1992 Selection by LSC of College but no
approval from University. 1.7.1992 to 31.10.1992 115 days break in service.
condoned by University.
Timer 1.11.1992 to 31.1.1993 Selection by LSC of College but no approval from
University. 1.2.1993 to 19.6.1995 2 years and 139 days break in service.
this period one Mr R.A. Patil was appointed by University Selection Committee
on Clock Hour Basis.
condoned by University.
Timer 20.6.1995 to till date Selection by LSC of College but no approval from
for college lecturers were set out in a G.R. dated 31.01.1983, which is in the
following terms :
good academic record with at least second class (C in the seven point scale)
Master's degree in relevant subject from an Indian University or equivalent
degree from a foreign university; and b. an M. Phil degree or a recognized
degree beyond the Master's level or published work indicating the capacity of a
candidate for independent research work.
that if the Selection Committee is of the view that the research work of a
candidate as evident either from his published work is of a very high standard,
it may relax any of the qualifications prescribed in (a) above.
further that, if a candidate possessing the qualifications as at (b) above is
not available or not considered suitable, the college on the recommendation of
the Selection Committee may appoint a person possessing a consistently good
academic record on a condition that he will have to obtain an M. Phil degree or
a recognized degree beyond the master's level within eight years of his
appointment failing which he will not be able to earn future increments till he
obtains that degree or gives evidence of equivalent published work of high
standard." It is stated at the Bar that a person is treated to be Second
Class 'C' who has obtained 55% of the marks.
question which arises for consideration is as to whether Respondent satisfied
the criteria of having a second class Master's Degree and, thus, could have
been considered for regular appointment.
services were approved as a temporary teacher in 1983-84 by the Selection
Committee as he is said to have taught in four periods per week. Allegedly, he
was taking twelve periods per week, break-up whereof is as under:
periods per week: First Year LL.B. Class 8 periods per week : Second Year LL.B.
Class The Selection Committee in its meeting held on 29.09.1986 adopted a
resolution, the relevant provisions whereof are as under :
University Selection Committee held its meeting on Sunday, 29th June, 1986 to appoint Lecturer at Shahaji Law College, Kolhapur, in the premises of Shahaji Law College, Kolhapur in the subject of Politics.
Selection Committee members were present for the said meeting :
Name Signature 1 President, Council of Education Kolhapur Shri Ratanapppa- nna Kumbhar
Sd/- 2 Vice Chancellor, Nominee Shri P.R. Mundragi Sd/- 3 University Subject
Expert Dr. K.K. Kavalekar Sd/- 4 Representative of Joint Director for Higher
Education Absent 5 Principal of the College Prin. D.B. Kurane Sd/- To appoint
part time teacher in Politics the Committee interviewed candidates and selected
following candidates preferentially :
Pujari, Shashikant Shankarrao
Mrs. Patil Bharti Tukaram" The College appointed Respondent as a full-time
lecturer for two years for 1985 and 1986 subject to the condition that he must
acquire M. Phil. Degree in six years. There exists a controversy as to whether
the University had approved the same or not. Indisputably, he obtained a M.
Phil. Degree on 26.01.1986 on the basis whereof he contended that he fulfilled
the conditions precedent for his appointment on a regular basis.
to Respondent, even the University Selection Committee found him qualified.
about 19.09.1991, the University Grants Commission revised the qualifications
in the following terms :
(a) ARTS, SCIENCES, SOCIAL SCIENCES, COMMERCE, EDUCATION, PHYSICAL EDUCATION,
FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND LAW :
academic record with at least 55% marks or an equivalent grade at Master's
degree level in the relevant subject from an Indian University or an equivalent degree from a
besides fulfilling the above qualifications should have cleared the eligibility
test for Lecturers conducted by UGC, CSIR or similar test accredited by the
U.G.C." However, the Government of Maharashtra issued a letter on
18.06.1994, inter alia, stating :
University Grants Commission, vide its letter No.1-11/87 (CPF/PS), dated 28th October, 1991, notified the revised minimum
qualifications required for the recruitment of teachers in Universities &
Colleges. The revised qualifications for appointment to the post of lecturer in
University/College only is as follows if :
possesses a Good Academic Record with at least 55% marks or a equivalent grade
at Master's Degree Level in the relevant subject and,
should have cleared the eligibility test for lecturership conducted by the
UGC/CSIR or a similar test accredited by the University Grants Commission.
been brought to the notice of the Commission that the teachers appointed prior
to revision of pay scales are not considered eligible for post of lecturer in
other College or University as they do not fulfill the above revised prescribed
qualifications. The Commission has examined the matter and it has been decided
that the revised qualifications are not applicable to the teachers who were in
service as Lecturers prior to revision of pay scales. The lecturers who were in
service prior to revision of pay scales and fulfilling the qualifications
prescribed & were in permanent position may be considered eligible for
applying to the post of lecturer in other College or University." On or
about 30.06.1997, a direction was issued by the University to consider twelve
periods per week as a relevant criterion for recruitment of a full time
Government also issued an order on 17.03.1998, inter alia, stating :
appointing lecturer at University and affiliated colleges the work load is
taken into account.
lecturer having 12 or more period work load, will be appointed as a full time
lecturer. The educational qualifications & Eligibility norms are decided by
University Grants Commission they are applicable to full time & part time
lecturers." Respondent is said to have been assigned duties to frame
question papers and examination of answer books. A purported approval was
granted to Respondent to work as full-time lecturer with effect from 1983-84. A
communication to that effect is said to have been made on 04.01.2001.
Managing Committee allegedly found him qualified. By reason of an order dated
22.10.2002, the Management Council, however, declined to accept the
recommendations of the Managing Committee, opined that Respondent was not
qualified, stating :
is clarified in respect of item No.3 of the recommendation that the opinion has
been given by the Dy. Registrar to implement the decision of Management Council
made on 30.10.2000. In this, there is no contradiction. In this respect Shri
S.S. Pujari has filed a writ petition in the Hon'ble High Court at Mumbai for
grant of approval to him as a full time teacher since 1984-85. The Committee
appointed by Management Council has recommended to grant the approval to Shri Pujari
as a full time teacher from June 1999. Shri Pujari has served from 1983, but
for this there was no approval from the University, hence it would be proper to
take decision about the approval. Along with this breaks in service of Shri Pujari
has not been condoned. After considering the other matters, the report of the
committee appointed by Management Council is for consideration in respect of
approval of Shri S.S. Pujari.
resolution of Management Council dated 30.10.2000 giving full time approval to Shri
Pujari is cancelled.
report submitted by Shri M.J. Mohite and Prin. P.R. Karanjikar Enquiry
Committee is taken note of.
Pujari does not bear the required eligibility for the post of teacher hence he
should not be given approval as a teacher." The University also opined
that Respondent was not qualified to be a full-time teacher pursuant whereto or
in furtherance whereof, Respondent No.2-College asked him to refund all amounts
paid to him since June 1999.
petition was filed by Respondent before the High Court. A statement was made
before the High Court on behalf of Respondent No.2- College that the post of
full-time lecturer on the basis of the norms set up by the University and the
State had fallen vacant from June 1999. Inter alia, relying on or on the basis
of the said statement, the High Court opined :
are, however, of the view that the alternate submission which has been urged on
behalf of the Petitioner has to be accepted and the Petitioner is entitled to
the conferment of the status of a full-time Lecturer with effect from June,
1999. At the outset, it would be worthwhile to reiterate that this was in fact,
the plea of the First Respondent-College. The plea found favour with the two
member Committee appointed by the University" Whereas the State of Maharashtra
preferred a special leave petition questioning the grant of relief, Respondent
has preferred a petition for grant of special leave contending that he was
entitled to the benefit of a full-time lecturer from 1983 and not from June
place on records that the Respondent No.2-College has not preferred any special
leave petition as it is of the view that whereas from June 1999 it is for the
State Government to make reimbursements of payment towards salaries, but in the
event, the appeal preferred by Respondent (Civil Appeal No. 1387 of 2006) is accepted,
the College will have to bear the same.
State, inter alia, contends that :
approval having been given after 31.10.1985 in regard to appointment of
Respondent by Shivaji University, his continuation therein was illegal.
There having been several breaks in services of Respondent and such breaks
having not been condoned, the High Court erred in passing the impugned order,
particularly in view of the fact that even the University had not condoned the
breaks during the period from 01.02.1993 to 19.06.1995 i.e. for the period of
two years 139 days.
The Local Selection Committee although appointed Respondent again on
20.06.1995, but no approval therefor having been granted by the University as
it was considered to be a fresh appointment, the question of his eligibility
was required to be considered having regard to the educational qualifications
laid down by UGC in 1991.
The impugned judgment is not sustainable in view of Section 26(1)(e) read with
Section 14 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (for short, 'the Act')
and Regulation 2 of "the Qualifications which required of a person to be
appointed to the teaching staff of a University and Institutions affiliated to
it) Regulation, 1991", no person shall be appointed to a teaching post in
affiliated college of any recognized University, if he does not fulfill the
required qualification specified in the schedule-I, which for a lecturer in
Political Science is as under :
academic record with at least 55% marks in Master Degree; and
should have cleared eligibility test of Lecturer (NET conducted by UGC or SET
conducted by State Govt.
Indisputably, Respondent having obtained 51% marks in M.A. and having cleared
the said examination, was not eligible to continue as full-time lecturer since
Respondent having not fulfilled the requisite qualifications could not have
been directed to be appointed as a full-time teacher.
contentions of Respondent , on the other hand, are :
obtained a second class Master's Degree and having been appointed on a specific
condition which he had fulfilled, the impugned order passed in the writ
petition was legal.
Respondent being a full-time lecturer from 1984 onwards, status given to him as
a full-time lecturer only from 1999 is wholly wrong as he became entitled
thereto from 1984;
Respondent being covered by G.R. dated 31.01.1983, in terms whereof the
requirement was to have the minimum of 50% marks in M.A., which he possessed,
qualification of 55% marks in M.A. and passing of NET/SET examinations could
not have been given a retrospective effect.
G.R. dated 18.06.1994 must be read with G.R. dated 22.12.1995 and the letter
dated 21.03.1997 which clearly show that the teachers appointed by Local
Selection Committee prior to the pay revision of 19.09.1991 were exempt from
55% qualifying marks and NET/SET examinations.
The University having approved the recruitment of a person cannot be permitted
to resile therefrom as he had been granted full-time status with effect from
The Managing Committee could not have taken a different view from the
resolution of the Management Council resolution dated 30.10.2000 granting
approval of full time with effect from 1983-84 and the letter of the University
informing the College dated 04.01.2001. In any event, there was no basis for
the Managing Council to depart from its earlier resolution dated 30.10.2000.
Respondent No.2 itself having recommended that Respondent No.1 be appointed as
a full-time lecturer in Political Science with effect from June, 1999, the
State should not have filed this special leave petition.
fact of the matter as noticed hereinbefore is not much in dispute.
core question, however, is as to whether G.R. dated 28.10.1991 could be given a
retrospective effect. We would deal with the said question, a little later.
at the outset, note that concededly Respondent obtained 51% marks in his
question with regard to retrospective effect of the said resolution will have
to be answered having regard to the fact situation obtaining herein.
prior to October 1991, Respondent was validly appointed, he could justifiably
contend that the 1991 Regulation could not have been given a retrospective
effect. With a view to examine the said question, we may notice the following
provisions of the Act.
14 of the Act reads as under :
Consequences of failure of Universities to comply with recommendations of the
Commission. If any University [grants affiliation in respect of any course of
study to any college referred to in sub-section (5) of section 12A in
contravention of the provision of that sub-section or] fails within a
reasonable time to comply with any recommendation made by the Commission under
section 12 or section 13, [or contravenes the provisions of any rule made under
clause (f) or clause (g) of sub-section (2) of section 25, or of any regulation
made under clause (e) or (f) or clause (g) of section 26,] the Commission,
after taking into consideration the cause, if any, shown by the University [or
such failure or contravention,] may withhold from the University the grants
proposed to be made out of the Fund of the Commission." Section 26(1)(e)
reads as under :
Power to make regulations.
The Commission [may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make regulations]
consistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder, (e) defining the
qualifications that should ordinarily be required of any person to be appointed
to the teaching staff of the University having regard to the branch of
education in which he is expected to give instructions;" The colleges
affiliated to University are bound by the Regulations.
Regulations have force of law. Terms and conditions of services of an
University Employee as also the employees of colleges affiliated to it are
governed by statutory regulations. Regulations in terms of the provisions of
the Act were framed in 1991 known as "The University Grants Commission
(Qualification required of a person to be appointed to the teaching staff of a
University and Institutions affiliated to it) Regulation, 1991".
Regulation 2 provides for the essential qualifications.
195(1) of the Shivaji University provides for composition of duly constituted University
Selection Committee for Teachers. Statutes 195(3)(d) and 195(3)(e) read as
The Selection Committee shall interview and adjudge the merits of each
candidate in accordance with the qualifications advertised, and recommend to
the Vice-Chancellor the names arranged in order of merit of the persons, if
exceeding one, whom it recommends for appointment to the posts advertised
giving reasons for the order of preference. If no person is selected, a report
to that effect be made. The Committee will have the right to recommend only one
name if others are not found suitable for recommending a panel. The
recommendations of the Committee shall be subject to the approval of the
Governing Body shall appoint from amongst the persons so recommended and
approved by the Vice- Chancellor the Principal or the number of teachers
required to fill in the posts advertised.
appointment shall be strictly according to the order of merit prepared by the
Selection Committee and approved by the Vice-Chancellor.
that, where the Governing Body proposes to make an appointment otherwise in
accordance with the order of merit arranged by the Selection Committee, it
shall record its reasons in writing and submit them to the Vice-Chancellor, who
may approve the proposal or return into the Governing Body for reconsideration.
reconsideration, if the Governing Body desires to pursue its Original Proposal,
it shall refer the matter again to the Vice-Chancellor for his decision which
shall be final." Respondent was appointed on 'Clock Hour Basis' through
the Selection Committee. There exists a dispute as to whether it is one-man
department or not. It is also in dispute as to whether the workload was divided
not denied and disputed that prior to June 1999 there had been workload of a
full-time post of teacher. It is furthermore not in dispute that Respondent was
not appointed by a duly constituted University Selection Committee. The Government
Resolution dated 31.01.1983 to which reliance has been placed by Respondent
reads as under :
qualifications prescribed by the University Grants Commission and accepted by
the Government of India are applicable as a condition precedent to the teachers
becoming eligible for the revised scales have, inter alia, been mentioned in para
V of Government Resolution, Education & Youth Services Department No.
USG-1180/129387/XXXII (Cell), dated 25th October, 1977. The question of relaxation of the
condition regarding consistently good record and B+ at the Master's degree
precedent to the eligibility of the revised University Grants Commission
recommended scales was under consideration of the Government of India for some
time past. The Government of India, Ministry of Education & Culture, New
Delhi in their letter dated 4th November, 1982 have since communicated that the
question regarding relaxation of minimum qualifications has since been reviewed
by them and that the revised minimum qualifications recommended by the
University Grants Commission for teaching posts in Universities and Colleges
will continue to be operative as in the past. The University Grants Commission
has since revised the qualifications for the University and College teachers
suitably. In view of the decision taken by the Government of India, Government
is pleased to direct in partial modification of the orders contained in para V
of Government Resolution, Education & Youth Services Department No.
USG-1177/129387/XXXII (Cell), dated 25th October, 1977 that the revised
qualifications prescribed by the University Grants Commission and accepted by
the Government of India as shown in Appendix 'A' of this Government Resolution
shall be applicable as a condition precedent to the teachers becoming eligible
for the revised scales.
Orders contained in Government Resolution dated 25.10.1977 mentioned above
should be treated as modified to the extent indicated in para 1 above.
Universities should be requested to initiate action to amend the existing
statutes in the matter framed under the relevant provisions of the respective
Universities Acts of 1974 with a view to implementing the scheme of revision of
scales of pay of their own teachers as well as of teachers in Colleges
affiliated to them in the light of the provisions contained in this Government
Resolution." On that date, Respondent was not in service. If on that date
he was not in service, the question of his being duly selected by the
University Selection Committee on permanent basis would not arise. He,
furthermore, was not even found suitable.
purport relaxation granted in terms of the G.R. in regard to the qualifications
of the teacher was in relation to those who were already in service in
permanent position duly selected by the University Selection Committee prior to
revision of pay scales. It was, therefore, not applicable to the case of
approval, moreover, of the State Government in terms of Section 8(1)(a) of the
Act was a pre-requisite.
relaxation of NET/SET examinations in terms of the GR dated 22.12.1995 was
granted to the lecturers, who had got more than 55% marks at Master's Degree;
passed M. Phil. Examination before 31.12.1993;
their Ph.D. thesis; and who were appointed through competent proper Selection
Committee constituted by University.
in that view of the matter no relaxation about percentage of the marks obtained
by Respondent in Master's Degree was available to him, as he had not submitted
his Ph.D. thesis. He, it will bear repetition to state, was also not appointed
on permanent post by the University Selection Committee.
also notice the Government Circular dated 11.01.1996, which is in the following
discussing the problems of teachers, MFCTO brought it to the notice of the
Government that, if between two full time services of a teacher, there is a
part time service, his full time services are not considered in counting the
total period of service. As a result while giving him the benefit of Career
Advancement Scheme, he is not given the benefit of his former full time
services. If the break between his two full time services is condoned and his
services are treated as continuous, he gets the benefit, due to him, after
retirement. In order to remove this discrepancy, the Government is issuing the
order that if the part time services occur or fall between two full time
services, such services should be treated as a technical break and subject to
the following terms and conditions, the benefit of such services should be
given to the lecturers.
Between two full time services, maximum six breaks amounting to the maximum
period of two years should be considered as acceptable.
break out of these six breaks should be more than the period of one year."
Respondent could not take any benefit of the said circular letter also, inter alia,
for the reason that he had not been appointed by duly constituted University
Selection Committee. Another question which was relevant but had not been
considered by the High Court was that having regard to the breaks in service,
he could have been appointed only as a freshly recruited teacher. At one point
of time, the College and the University might have committed mistake in
treating him as a full-time teacher, but such mistakes could have been
rectified, if they were apparent on the face of the records.
the order impugned in the writ petition, in our opinion, cannot be said to be
wholly arbitrary and unreasonable so as to warrant interference by a superior
Court. The eligibility criteria cannot be relaxed unless there exists a
specific provision therefor. A person can avail the benefit of relaxation
notification only when he comes within the purview thereof and when he
satisfies the conditions specified therein.
been contended that the University had not given any approval as regards his
appointment as part-time teacher in Political Science, as he did not receive a
copy therefor. If there had been no approval to his appointment after
30.10.1985, the decision of the University Managing Council on 30.10.2000
cannot be faulted. Condonation of breaks in his service was also imperative in
nature which had not been given.
Council of Education of the College by a communication dated 03.05.2000 stated
Principal Shahaji Law College has sent proposal for approval of Prof. S.S. Pujari
as a full time teacher a number of times from 1983-84 onwards, but the approval
was refused by the University Authorities on the ground that he does not fulfil
the required educational qualifications (University letter No.5980 dated
05.09.1985 No.11228 dated 10th May 1996, No.12929 dated 3rd January 1998,
letter from Joint Director of Higher Education, Kolhapur letter No. 10493 dated
25.06.1997). It clearly shows that, there was no default on the part of the
college. Hence, the question of payment of fine does not arise. In these
circumstances, the decision taken by the University Authorities in respect of
grant of approval to Prof. S.S. Pujari as a full time teacher (Political
Science) since 1983-84 onwards is not correct and legal and hence is liable to
authorities have taken the decision in connection with the letter from Shahaji
Law College dated 23rd September 1999. According to the above mentioned letter
dated 4th January, 2001, we are taking necessary steps to appoint Prof. Pujari
as a full time teacher (Political Science) from June 1999 subject to the
approval of the Joint Director of Higher Education, Kolhapur. Under the
circumstances, as mentioned above, I request your honour to issue fresh order
to that effect. I am enclosing herewith some of the relevant zerox copies of
the letters received from University and Joint Director (H.E.), Kolhapur for favour
of information and early action." [Emphasis supplied] If that is so, the
High Court must be held to have committed an error in arriving at the said
decision. We may also notice that he was found unsuitable, as being not
possessed of the requisite qualifications.
might have been appointed by the College, but the State while undertaking to
bear the financial burden of payment of salaries and other remunerations to
teachers of a College are not bound thereby. It is entitled to contend that all
appointments must be in accordance with the Statute. [See A. Umarani v.
Registrar, Cooperative Societies and Others (2004) 7 SCC 112; Mahendra L Jain
and Others v. Indore Development Authority and Ors. (2005) 1 SCC 639; National
Fertilizers Ltd. and Others v. Somvir Singh (2006) 5 SCC 493; and Surendra
Prasad Tiwari v. Uttar Pradesh Rajya Krishi Utpadan Mandi Parishad & Others
(2006) 9 SCALE 101].
in view the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the opinion that the
impugned judgment cannot be sustained, which is set aside accordingly. However,
in exercise of our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India,
we direct that no recovery of any amount paid to him, shall be made. Civil
Appeal No.1386 of 2006 filed by the State of Maharashtra, therefore, is allowed
and Civil Appeal No. 1387 filed by Respondent herein is dismissed. No costs.