Rajbir Singh Dalal Vs.
Chaudhari Devi Lal University & ANR.  INSC 1323 (6 August 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO_4908______OF 2008
[Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 19142/2006] Dr. Rajbir Singh
Dalal .. Appellant -versus- Chaudhari Devi Lal University, Sirsa & Anr. ..
MARKANDEY KATJU, J.
appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment and order dated 21.9.2006
of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in CWP No. 6642 of 2005.
learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
short question in this appeal is whether the appellant fulfills the requisite
academic qualification for appointment to the post of Reader in Public
Administration in Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa.
respondent-university issued an advertisement for direct recruitment for
various posts, including the post of Reader in Public Administration. The
appellant herein, claiming to be fully eligible and qualified for the post of
Reader in Public Administration, applied for the aforementioned post on the
prescribed format. A Selection Committee interviewed the appellant on 18.7.2004
as per the call letter dated 8.7.2004.
The appellant was
selected as Reader and he joined as such on 4.4.2005.
No. 2 herein, Dr. Raj Kumar Siwach, who was a Lecturer in Public Administration
had also applied for the post of Reader, but he was not selected and instead
the appellant was selected. Hence, respondent No. 2 filed a writ petition in
the Punjab & Haryana High Court being CWP No. 6642/2005 in which he alleged
that the appellant herein, Dr. Rajbir Singh Dalal, did not possess the
requisite qualification for the post of Reader in Public Administration. It was
alleged in the writ petition that the appellant was an M.A. and Ph.D. in
Political Science and not in Public 3 Administration. Hence, it was alleged
that the appellant was not eligible for being selected and appointed as Reader
in Public Administration.
the counter affidavit filed by respondent No. 1, the University, it was stated
that Public Administration is one of the branches of Political Science, and
hence the appellant herein was rightly selected by the Selection Committee
consisting of eminent experts after evaluating his academic qualifications.
the counter affidavit filed by the appellant herein before the High Court it
was admitted that the appellant had his qualification from the discipline of
Political Science, but it was asserted that he was subjected to a process of
selection before an expert committee consisting of the Vice Chancellor of the
University, Dr. L. Goyal, Professor of Public Administration, Punjab University
and Dr. R.K. Tiwari, a Professor in Indian Institute of Public Administration,
High Court by the impugned judgment dated 21.9.2006 allowed the writ petition
and set aside the selection and appointment of the appellant. The High Court
relied on the decision of this Court in Dr.Bhanu Prasad Panda vs. Chancellor,
Sambalpur University (2001) 8 4 SCC 532 in which it was observed that the
subjects of Public Administration and Political Science are distinct and
separate and a person possessing the academic qualification in the discipline
of Political Science could not be appointed in the discipline of Public
Administration. The High Court also relied on Regulation 2 of the UGC
Regulations which states as under :
No persons shall be
appointed to a teaching post in university or in any institutions including
constituent or affiliated colleges recognized under clause (f) of section 2 of
the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 or in an institution deemed to be a
university under section 3 of the said Act in a subject if he/she does not
fulfill the requirements as to the qualifications for the appropriate subjects
as provided in the Annexure.
Provided that any
relaxation in the prescribed qualifications can only be made by the University
Grants Commission in a particular subject in which NET is not being conducted
or enough number of candidates are not available with NET qualifications for a specified
period only. (This relaxation, if allowed, would be given based on sound
qualification and would apply to affected Universities for that particular
subject for the specified period. No individual applications would be
Provided further that
these regulations shall not be applicable to such cases where selections of the
candidates having had the then requisite minimum qualification as were existing
at that time through duly constituted Selection Committee for making
appointments to the teaching posts have been made prior to the enforcement of
1.3.2. Reader 5 Good
academic record with a doctoral degree or equivalent published work. In
addition to these, candidates when join from outside the university system,
shall also possess at least 55% of the marks or an equivalent grade of B in the
7 point scale with latter grades, O, A, B, C, D, E and F at the Master's degree
Five years of
experience of teaching and/or research excluding the period spent for obtaining
the research degrees and has made one mark in the areas of scholarship as
evidenced by quality of publications, contribution to educational innovation,
design of new courses and curricula.
1.3.3. Lecturer Good
academic record with at least 55% of the marks or, an equivalent grade of B in
the 7 point scale with latter grades, O, A, B, D, D, E and F at the Master's
degree level, in the relevant subject from an Indian University, or an
equivalent degree from a foreign university.
the above qualifications, candidates should have cleared the eligibility test
(NET) for lecturers conducted by the UGC, CSIR, or similar test accredited by
Note:- Net shall
remain the compulsory requirement for appointment as Lecturer even for
candidates having Ph. D. degree. However, the candidate who have completed M.
Phil. Degree or have submitted Ph.D. thesis in the concerned subject up to 31st
December, 1993 are exempted from appearing in the NET examination."
High Court was of the view that a person is not qualified for appointment as
Reader unless he has qualification in the appropriate subject. The High Court
was also of the view that since the appellant had a qualification in the
discipline of Political Science he could not be appointed 6 in the discipline
of Public Administration. Aggrieved, this appeal has been filed by the
appellant in this Court.
P.S. Patwalia, learned senior counsel for the appellant submitted that in the
UGC Regulation for the post of Lecturer the requirement was a Master's degree
in the relevant subject, whereas the expression `in the relevant subject' is
not mentioned in the qualifications for the post of Reader. Hence, he submitted
that it was not necessary for the appellant to have a Master's degree in the
relevant subject for appointment to the post of Reader. We regret we cannot
agree. In our opinion, the words `in the relevant subject' has to be read into
the qualification for the post of Reader also.
take a contrary view would lead to a strange situation as that would mean that
a person who has an M.A. degree in Music or History, is qualified to be
appointed as Reader in Political Science.
doubt, the ordinary principle of interpretation is that words should neither be
added nor deleted from a statutory provision. However, there are some
exceptions to the rule where the alternative lies between either supplying by
implication words which appear to have been accidentally 7 omitted, or
adopting a strict construction which leads to absurdity or deprives certain
existing words of all meaning, and in this situation it is permissible to
supply the words (vide Principles of Statutory Interpretation by Justice G.P.
Singh, 9th edn. Pp 71-76).
in Siraj-ul-Haq vs. Sunni Central Board of Waqf, U.P. AIR 1959 SC 198, the
Supreme Court interpreted the words `any person interested in a Waqf' in
section 5(2) of the U.P. Muslims Waqfs Act, 1936 as meaning `any person
interested in what is held to be a waqf'.
in State Bank of Travancore vs. Mohammad AIR 1981 SC 1744, while construing
section 4(1) of the Kerala Agriculturists Debt Relief Act, 1970 the Supreme
Court interpreted the words `any debt due before the commencement of this Act
to any banking company' as meaning `any debt due at and before the commencement
of this Act'.
in Gujarat Composite Ltd. vs. Ranip Nagarpalika AIR 2000 SC 135, the Supreme
Court interpreted the words `Grog Minerals' to mean `Grog & Minerals'. In
Divisional Personnel Officer, Southern Railway vs. T. R. Challappan AIR 1975 SC
2216, the Supreme Court interpreted the words `any party to an arbitration
agreement' occurring in 8 section 33 of the Indian Arbitration Act, 1940 to
mean `a person who is alleged to be a party to an arbitration agreement'.
may also consider the matter from our traditional principles of interpretation
known as the `Mimansa Rules of Interpretation'.
is deeply regrettable that in our Courts of law lawyers quote Maxwell and
Craies but nobody refers to the Mimansa Principles of interpretation. Most
lawyers would not have even heard of their existence.
Today our so-called
educated people are largely ignorant about the great intellectual achievements
of our ancestors and the intellectual treasury which they have bequeathed us.
The Mimansa Principles of interpretation is part of that great intellectual
treasury, but it is distressing to note that apart from the reference to these
principles in the judgment of Sir John Edge, the then Chief Justice of Allahabad
High Court, in Beni Prasad v. Hardai Bibi, 1892 ILR 14 All 67 (FB), over a
hundred years ago and in some judgments of one of us (M. Katju, J.) there has
been almost no utilization of these principles even in our own country. Many of
the Mimansa Principles are rational and scientific and can be utilized in the
legal field (see in this connection K.L. Sarkar's `Mimansa Rules of
Interpretation' which is a collection of Tagore Law Lectures delivered in 1905
containing the best 9 exposition of these principles in English. Most other
books on Mimansa are in Sanskrit).
Mimansa Principles of Interpretation, as laid down by Jaimini around the 5th
century B.C. in his sutras and as explained by Sabar, Kumarila Bhatta,
Prabhakar, Mandan Mishra, Shalignath, Parthasarathy Mishra, Apadeva, Shree Bhat
Shankar, etc. were regularly used by our renowned jurists like Vijneshwara
(author of Mitakshara), Jimutvahana (author of Dayabhaga), Nanda Pandit (author
of Dattaka Mimansa), etc.
whenever there they
found any conflict between the various Smritis, e.g., Manusmriti and
Yajnavalkya Smriti, or ambiguity, ellipse or absurdity in any Smriti. Thus, the
Mimansa principles were our traditional system of interpretation of legal
texts. Although originally they were created for interpreting religious texts
pertaining to the Yagya (sacrifice), they were so rational and logical that
gradually they came to be utilized in law, philosophy, grammar, etc., that is,
they became of universal application.
has used the Mimansa Adhikaranas (principles) in his bhashya on the Vedanta
Mimansa principles were regularly used by our great jurists for interpreting
legal texts (see also in this connection P.V. Kane's' History of 10 the
Dharmashastra', Vol. V, Pt. II, Ch. XXIX and Ch. XXX, pp. 1282- 1351).
Mimansa, casus omissus is known as adhyahara. The adhyahara principle permits
us to add words to a legal text. However, the superiority of the Mimansa
Principles over Maxwell's Principles in this respect is shown by the fact that
Maxwell does not go into further detail and does not mention the sub-categories
coming under the general category of casus omissus. In the Mimansa system, on
the other hand, the general category of adhyahara has under it several sub-categories,
e.g., anusanga, anukarsha, vakyashesha, etc. Since in this case we are
concerned with the anusanga principle, we may explain it in some detail.
anusanga principle (or elliptical extension) states that an expression
occurring in one clause is often meant also for a neighbouring clause, and it
is only for economy that it is only mentioned in the former (see Jaimini 2, 2,
16). The anusanga principle has a further sub- categorization. If a clause
which occurs in a subsequent sentence is to be read into a previous sentence it
is a case of Tadapakarsha, but when it is vice-versa it is a case of
Anusanga principle of Mimansa was used by Jimutvahana in the Dayabhaga.
Jimutvahana found that there is a text of Manu which states: "Of a woman
married according to the Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Gandharva and Prajapartya form,
the property shall go to her husband if she dies without issue. But her
property, given to her on her marriage in the form called Asura, Rakshasa and
Paisacha, on her death without issue shall become the property of her
can be seen that in the second sentence the word `property' is qualified by the
words `given to her on her marriage', whereas in the first sentence there is no
such qualification. Jimutvahana, using the anusanga principle of Mimansa, said
that the words "given to her on her marriage" should also be inserted
in the first sentence after the word "property", and hence there also
the word `property' must be interpreted in a qualified sense.
the Mitakshara also the anusanga principle of Mimansa has been used.
Yajnavalkya II. 135-136 lays down the order of succession to the wealth of a
person dying sonless. Yajnavalkya II. 137 deals with succession to property of
a forest hermit, an ascetic, or a perpetual Vedic student. The Mitakshara then
holds that Yajnavalkya II. 138 `samaristinastu samaristi' is to be construed as
an exception to Yajnavalkya II. 135, 136 and understands 12 that the words `of
one dying without having a son' (grand son or great grand son) are to be
supplied before Yajnavalkya II. 138 from II. 136, i.e., there is to be anusanga
of the word `svaryatasya-putrasya'.
our opinion, in the present case, the Anusanga principle of Mimansa should be
utilized and the expression `relevant subject' should also be inserted in the
qualification for the post of Reader after the words "at the Master's
degree level". Hence, we cannot accept the submission of Mr. Patwalia in
we agree with Mr.Patwalia that since academic experts have regarded Political
Science and Public Administration to be one discipline, it is not right for
this Court to sit in appeal over the opinion of the experts.
Patwalia, learned counsel has pointed out that for the posts of Reader and
Lecturer in Public Administration and Political Science, a large number of
appointments have been made in the respondent-university as well as in the
higher education department of Haryana treating Political Science and Public
Administration as one discipline. There are a large number of persons who have
an M.A. & Ph. D. degrees in Political Science 13 and are working as
teachers in Public Administration department, and vice versa.
Tariq Islam vs. Aligarh Muslim University & Ors. (2001) 8 SCC 546,
following its earlier decision in the Constitution Bench of this Court in
University of Mysore vs. C.D. Govinda Rao, AIR 1965 SC 491 this Court observed
that "normally it is wise and safe for the Courts to leave the decision of
academic matters to experts who are more familiar with the problems they face
than the courts generally are".
similar view has been expressed in several decisions of this Court e.g. Dr. Uma
Kant vs. Dr. Bhika Lal Jain JT 1991 (4) SC 75 (para 9), Bhushan Uttam Khare vs.
The Dean, B. J. Medical College& Ors. JT 1992(1) SC 583 (para 8), Rajender
Prasad Mathur vs. Karnataka University & Anr. AIR 1986 SC 1448 (para 7) =
1986 Supp. SCC 740 (para 7), P.M. Bhargava & Ors. vs. U. G. C. & Anr.
2004 (6) SCC 661 (Para 13), Chairman, J&K State Board of Education vs.
Feyaz Ahmed Malik & Ors (2000) 3 SCC 59, Varanaseya Sanskrit
Vishwavidyalaya & Anr. vs. Dr. Rajkishore Tripathi & Anr. (1977) 1 SCC
279 (para 12), Medical Council of India vs. Sarang & Ors. (2001) 8 SCC 427
(para 6), 14 Bhagwan Singh & Anr. vs. State of Punjab & Ors. (1999) 9
SCC 573 (para 6).
may be mentioned that on a clarification sought from the UGC whether a
candidate who possesses a Master's degree in Public Administration is eligible
for the post of Lecturer in Political Science and vice-versa, the UGC wrote a
letter dated 5.3.1992 to the Registrar M.D. University, Rohtak stating that the
subject of Political Science and Public Administration are inter-changeable and
inter-related, and a candidate who possesses Master's degree in Public Administration
is eligible as Lecturer in Political Science and vice-versa. Thus, this is the
view of the UGC, which is an expert in academic matters, and the Court should
not sit in appeal over this opinion and take a contrary view.
counsel for the appellant has also pointed out that a large number of
universities in this country have a single department for both the subjects of
Political Science and Public Administration, and this also demonstrates that
the subjects Political Science and Public Administration are inter-changeable
and inter-related. Political Science is the mother subject and Public
Administration is the offshoot of the same.
agree with Mr. Patwalia, learned counsel, that it is not appropriate for this
Court to sit in appeal over the opinion of the experts who are of the view that
Political Science and Public Administration are inter-related and
inter-changeable subjects, and hence a candidate who possesses Master's degree
in Public Administration is eligible for the post of Lecturer in Political
Science and vice-versa. We are told that a large number of persons having
qualifications in the inter-changeable/inter-related subjects have been
appointed Readers/Professors/Lecturers and are continuing as such in various
colleges and universities in the State.
paragraph 5 of the counter affidavit filed by the respondent- university before
the High Court, it has been specifically stated therein that Public
Administration is one of the branches of Political Science, and the appellant
was selected by a selection committee consisting of eminent experts after
evaluating his qualifications and work.
regards the decision in Dr. Bhanu Prasad Panda vs. Chancellor, Sambalpur
University (supra), we have carefully perused the same. In paragraph 5 of the
said judgment it has been observed:
Department concerned for which the appointment is to be made is that of
`Political Science and Public Administration', the 16 appointment with which
we are concerned, is of Lecturer in Political Science and not Public
Administration and subject-matterwise they are different and not one and the
same. It is not in controversy that the posts of Lecturers in Public Administration
and in Political Science are distinct and separate and on selection the
appellant could not have been appointed as Lecturer in Public
perusal of the above passage shows that the observation that Political Science
and Public Administration are distinct and separate subjects was apparently
given on a concession, because what has been stated therein is that "it is
not in controversy" that the post of Lecturer in Public Administration and
Political Science are distinct and separate. The use of the words `it is not in
controversy' shows that a concession was made on the point by learned counsel
for the respondent in that case. Hence the observation cannot be regarded as a
no reasoning has been given in the aforesaid passage (quoted above) as to why
it has been held that Political Science and Public Administration are distinct
and separate subjects.
decision of a Court is a precedent if it lays down some principle of law
supported by reasons. Mere casual observations or directions without laying
down any principle of law and without giving reasons does not amount to a
State of Punjab vs. Baldev Singh (1999) 6 SCC 172, a Constitution Bench of this
Court observed (vide para 43) that a decision is an authority for what it
decides (i.e. the principle of law it lays down), and not that everything said
therein constitutes a precedent.
Divisional Controller, KSRTC vs. Mahadeva Shetty and Another (2003) 7 SCC 197
(vide para 23), this Court observed that the only thing binding as an authority
upon a subsequent Judge is the principle upon which the case was decided.
observed by this Court in State of Orissa vs. Sudhansu Sekhar Misra (AIR 1968
SC 647 vide para 13):- "A decision is only an authority for what it
actually decides. What is of the essence in a decision is its ratio and not
every observation found therein nor what logically follows from the various
observations made in it. On this topic this is what Earl of Halsbury, LC said
in Quinn v. Leathem, 1901 AC 495:
discussing the case of Allen v. Flood (1898) AC 1 and what was decided therein,
there are two observations of a general character which I wish to make, and one
is to repeat what I have very often said before, that every judgment must be
read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved,
since the generality of the expressions which may be found there are not
intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the
particular facts of the case in which such expressions are to be found. The
other is that a case is only an authority for 18 what it actually decides. I
entirely deny that it can be quoted for a proposition that may seem to follow
logically from it.
Such a mode of reasoning
assumes that the law is necessarily a logical Code, whereas every lawyer must
acknowledge that the law is not always logical at all."
Ambica Quarry Works vs. State of Gujarat & others (1987) 1 SCC 213 (vide
para 18) this Court observed:- "The ratio of any decision must be
understood in the background of the facts of that case. It has been said long
time ago that a case is only an authority for what it actually decides, and not
what logically follows from it."
Bhavnagar University vs. Palitana Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd (2003) 2 SC 111 (vide
para 59), this Court observed:- "It is well settled that a little
difference in facts or additional facts may make a lot of difference in the
precedential value of a decision."
44. As held in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. & another vs.
N.R.Vairamani & another (AIR 2004 SC 4778), a decision cannot be relied on
without disclosing the factual situation. In the same Judgment this Court also
not place reliance on decisions without discussing as to how the factual
situation fits in with the fact 19 situation of the decision on which reliance
Courts are neither to be read as Euclid`s theorems nor as provisions of the
statute and that too taken out of the context. These observations must be read
in the context in which they appear to have been stated. Judgments of Courts
are not to be construed as statutes. To interpret words, phrases and provisions
of a statute, it may become necessary for judges to embark into lengthy
discussions but the discussion is meant to explain and not to define. Judges
interpret statutes, they do not interpret judgments. They interpret words of
statutes; their words are not to be interpreted as statutes.
In London Graving
dock co. Ltd. vs. Horton (1951 AC 737 at p. 761), Lord Mac Dermot observed:
cannot, of course, be settled merely by treating the ipsissima vertra of
Willes, J. as though they were part of an Act of Parliament and applying the
rules of interpretation appropriate thereto. This is not to detract from the
great weight to be given to the language actually used by that most
In Home Office vs.
Dorset Yacht Co. (1970 (2) All ER 294) Lord Reid said, "Lord Atkin`s
speech .... is not to be treated as if it was a statute definition it will
require qualification in new circumstances." Megarry, J. in (1971)1 WLR
1062 observed: "One must not, of course, construe even a reserved judgment
of Russell L. J. as if it were an Act of Parliament."
And, in Herrington v.
British Railways Board (1972 (2) WLR 537) Lord Morris said:
"There is always
peril in treating the words of a speech or judgment as though they are words in
a legislative enactment, and it is to be remembered that judicial utterances
are made in the setting of the facts of a particular case."
flexibility, one additional or different fact may make a world of difference
between conclusions in two cases. Disposal of cases by blindly placing reliance
on a decision is not proper.
The following words
of Lord Denning in the matter of applying precedents have become locus
depends on its own facts and a close similarity between one case and another is
not enough because even a single significant detail may alter the entire
aspect, in deciding such cases, one should avoid the temptation to decide cases
(as said by Cardozo, J. ) by matching the colour of one case against the colour
of another. To decide therefore, on which side of the line a case falls, the
broad resemblance to another case is not at all decisive."
*** *** ***
"Precedent should be followed only so far as it marks the path of justice,
but you must cut the dead wood and trim off the side branches else you will
find yourself lost in thickets and branches. My plea is to keep the path of
justice clear of obstructions which could impede it."
view of the above, we are of the opinion that the decision of this Court in Dr.
Bhanu Prasad Panda's case (supra) cannot be read as a Enclid's formula or
treated as a precedent, since it has not given any reason for holding that
Political Science and Public Administration are distinct and separate subjects,
and since the aforesaid decision was given on a concession.
the foregoing reasons, we are of the opinion that the impugned judgment and
order of the High Court cannot be sustained and it is hereby set aside. The
appeal is allowed and the writ petition filed in the High Court stands
dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.
Katju) New Delhi;
August 6, 2008 22
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS. ________
OF 2008 (Arising out of S.L.P.( C) Nos.19142 OF 2006) Dr.Rajbir Singh Dalal
...Appellant Chaudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa & Another ...Respondents
Altamas Kabir, J.
1. Having had the
benefit of going through my learned brother's draft judgment, I wish to
indicate my own views in arriving at the same conclusion as arrived at by my
learned brother but by traversing a different route. Since the facts of the
case have been adequately dealt with by my learned brother, I 23 shall confine
myself to the legal aspect only.
2. In my view, the
main question which falls for consideration in this appeal is whether the
appellant, who has a post graduate degree and Ph.D in Political Science could
have been appointed as Reader in Public Administration by the respondent
University. The answer to the connected question, which flows from the first,
as to whether the High Court was right in quashing the appellant's appointment
as Reader in Public Administration, depends on the answer to the first.
3. As has been
pointed out by my learned brother, the University has in its counter affidavit
taken a stand that Public Administration is one of the 24 branches of
Political Science and the Selection Committee comprised of eminent scholars had
rightly chosen the appellant for the post of Reader after considering his
academic achievements and also relying upon the view of the University Grants
Commission in its letter dated 5.3.1992 stating that the subject of Political
Science and Public Administration are interchangeable and inter-related and
that a candidate who possesses a Masters degree in Public Administration is
eligible to be appointed as Lecturer in Political Science. Similarly, a candidate
possessing a Masters Degree in Political Science is eligible for appointment to
the post of Lecturer in Public Administration.
4. Despite the
aforesaid views expressed by the expert bodies such as the University and the
University Grants Commission, the High Court has held Public Administration and
Political Science to be distinct and separate disciplines. In arriving at such
conclusion, the High Court has relied on a decision of this Court in Dr. Bhanu
Prasad Panda V. Chancellor, Sambalpur University, (2001) 8 SCC 532), wherein
this Court had held Public Administration and Political Science to be two
Further reliance has
been placed by the High Court on Regulation 2 of the University Grants
Commission Rules to arrive at the finding that for appointment to the post of
Reader a 26 candidate would have to be qualified in the relevant subject.
5. As has also been
commented upon by my learned brother, the distinction made by the High Court
between Public Administration and Political Science in Dr. Bhanu Prasad Panda's
case (supra) is not based on any jurisprudential reasoning but on the basis of
a personal evaluation of the prevailing circumstances. On the other hand, in
the instant case, both the University and the University Grants Commission,
have supported the stand of the appellant and have filed affidavits in support
thereof. In deciding Dr. Bhanu Prasad Panda's case (supra), this Court did not
have the benefit of the views of the University and the University Grants
Commission and the conclusion 27 was arrived at on the basis of a personal
understanding of Public Administration and Political Science.
6. This is where the
distinction lies between the decision in Dr. Bhanu Prasad Panda's case (supra)
and the case in hand.
7. The recruitment
Rules followed by the University clearly indicates that in order to be
appointed as Lecturer in a particular discipline a candidate must have a
post-graduate degree in the relevant subject. On the other hand, for
appointment to the post of Reader such a condition has not been specified. In
fact, in Regulation 2 it has been generally indicated that no person shall be
appointed to a teaching post in the University or in any institution, including
constituent or 28 affiliated colleges recognized under the UGC Act, 1956, or
any institution deemed to be a University under Section 3 of the said Act, in a
subject, if he/she does not fulfil the requirement as to the qualifications for
the appropriate subject.
8. In my view, the
omission in the Regulations cannot be said to be unintentional or a case of
casus omissus. In my view, the expression `appropriate subject' was intended to
cover the post of Reader and once the expert bodies had indicated that the
appellant who held a post-graduate degree in Political Science was eligible to
be appointed to the post of Reader in Public Administration and had been
rightly appointed to such post, it is normally not for the Courts to 29
question such opinion, unless it has specialised knowledge of the subject.
9. Significantly, the
decision in Dr. Bhanu Prasad Panda's case (supra) does not reflect the
aforesaid position and does not also indicate the reason why and on what basis
such a decision holding Public Administration and Political Science to be two
distinct disciplines had been arrived at.
10. In such
circumstances, I agree with my learned brother that the judgment of the High
Court impugned in this appeal cannot be sustained. The appeal is accordingly
allowed; the writ petition filed in the High Court by the respondent-University
is dismissed and the appointment of the respondent as Reader in Public
Administration is upheld.
11. There will be no
order as to costs.