Pal Verma & Ors Vs. Chancellor of Meerut University  INSC 485 (1 May
RAMASWAMY, S. SAGHIRAHMAD, G.B. PATTANAIK
O R D
E R Leave granted.
application is dismissed.
is aclassiccase ofdelay defeats justice".This appeal by special leave
arises from the order of the Division Bench of the AllahabadHigh Court, made on November 28, 1994 in writ petition No. 38070/94.
to give in detail all the facts.
to state that pursuant toan advertisement on March 14, 1978 for selection to the post of Professor, AncientHistory, Mr.
K.K. Sharma, the 3rd respondent had appliedfor selection. While the selection
was to bemade by a committeeconsisting of Vice-Chancellor,the dean and three
experts on the subject,of whomone wasfrom outside the University and two from
outside thestate were comprised therein. On the day when the committeemet forselection
of the teacher, two of the experts form outside the State did not attend themeeting.
They appear to have acted upon the telegram sent by the Vice-Chancellor asking
them to abstain from the selection panel. The Vic e-chancellor, theDean and thelocal
experts Mr. K.K. Nizam from Aligarh University then selected Mr. K.K. Sharma. The ExecutiveCouncil,
the appointing authority, did not approve of the selection. Mr. K.K. Sharma wasqualified
only in modern and medieval Indian historywhile the candidate was required to
possess degree in Ancient History. Accordingly, the matterwas referred underSection
31(8) (a)of the U.P. University Act, (10 of 1973) (forshort, the 'Act') to the
Chancellor, finding that all the seats of the Executive councilwere not filled
up, filled upfour vacant seats by nomination, instead offollowing the due
procedure andthen referred the matter tothe Executive Council. The Executive
Council approved theselections made by the Selection committee and pursuantthere
to, the third respondentcame to be appointed in March 1979as theProfessor in
Ancient History. The appointment came to be challenged before the High court, Several
rounds oflitigations have since taken place. Ultimately, the firstappellant who
is one of the professors, challenged the said appointment, as stated earlier,
on diverse legal grounds. The High Court has dismissed the matter in limine.
Since the appellant is appearing in person, we have requested ShriD.D Thakur, learnedseniorcounsel,
to assist the Court. He had graciously accepted and ablyassisted us. We express
our deep thanks forthe valuable assistancegiven by him.
is: whetherthe action of the Chancellor in filling up the vacancies by
nomination and insteadof following the dueprocedure remitting g the matter to
the Executive council for reconsideration of the matter is valid in law? In
other words, could he alone decide it? Section 31(8)(a) reads as under:
the case of appointment of a teacher of the University, if the Executive Councildoes
not agree with the recommendation made by the Selection Committee. The
Executive Councilshall refer the matter to the Chancellor along with the
reasons of such disagreement t and his decision shall be final.
appointment dealing with "applintment and condition of service of teachers
and officers", undersub- section(1) of Section 31 it isprovided thus:
to the provisions of this Act, the teachers of the university and the teachers
of an affiliated orassociate college (other than a college maintained
exclusively by the state Government shall be appointed by the Executive Council
orthe Management of the affiliated orassociated college, asthe case maybe, onthe
recommendation of a selection committee i the manner hereinafter provided.
details as to the constitution of the selection Committee and manner of
selection arenot material for the purposeof thiscase. Section 31 (8)(a)
postulates that i n the case of appointment of a teacher of the university, if
the Executive Council does not agree with the recommendationmade by the
Selection Committee, the Executive Council shallrefer,the matter to the Chancellor
along with the reason of such disagreement, andhis decision thereonshall be
final. Theprovisois not necessary for the purpose of this case, henceomitted.
The contention of Shri D.D. Thakur is that since the statute attaches finality
to the decisionof the Chancellor in the matterof selection Committee andthere
Executive Council, the appropriate authority to decide the legality of selectionand
approval of the selection would be the Chancellor. Therefore, he has no power,
by necessaryimplication, to remit the matter to the Executive council for
reconsideration. He alone can decide it. TheChancellor has derelicted in the
performance of thestatutory dutywhich is in violation of Section 31(8)(a) of theAct.
Though plausible,we findit difficult to give acceptance to the s aid
contention. Itis seenthat when there is a difference of opinion on the selectionof
a teacher of the Universityor affiliatedcollege for appointment asa professor
of Lecturer, asthe case may be, between the Selection Committee and the Executive
Councilwhich is the appointing authority, thematter shall be referred to The
Chancellor. The Chancellor shall consider the reasons given by the Executive
Council for its disagreement with the Selection Committee and then he is
entitled to take a decision in an appropriatemanner. He should articulate his
major premise by a reasoned order. In case the Chancellor feels that some
material circumstances have not been considered by the executive committee or
the same escaped their attention,insteadof himself taking a decision, he may
remit the matter to the Executive Council to reconsider the matter in terms of
his guidance, and may also express his opinion fro such a course of action. He
may also himself take a decision in which event it shall be final. In the later
case, the Executive Council, on remittance andfresh consideration may still
disapprove of the selection. In case theExecutive council expresses opinionthereafter,
the Chancellor is entitledto take his own decision.The decision then shall be
final and, of course, subject to judicial review and theintermediary action of
remittance taken bythe Chancellor is not final.
these circumstances, we hold,on principle,that there is noinfirmity in the
decision taken by the Chancellor in remitting the matter to the Executive
Council for reconsideration. It is true thatthe Chancellor has reconstituted
the committee by nomination, instead of following the due procedure prescribed underthe
Act and loaded in favour of Mr. Sharma whichmay be open to grave doubt on the proprietyof
the course of actiontaken by the Chancellor. Though, prima facie, we are in agreementwith
Shri D.D. Thakur, in view of the long lapse oftime, it is not necessary to recordany
finding in this regard.
contends that theentire operation success was done behind the screen by Mr.
B.C. Sharma, the Vice- Chancellor to benefit the thirdrespondent, Mr. K.K.
Sharma and, therefore, it isvitiated by mala fides. He contends that till the
last date prescribed tosubmit the application, K.K. Sharma did not have PH.D. degree.
To facilitate him, the Vice-chancellor extended the lastdate of he application
so as to enable the third respondent to become eligible to submit theapplication
is not disputed. He prevented the outside experts to participate in the
selection bysendingtelegrams requesting No.3 was not qualified. Thus, the
respondent No. came to be selected. It is but astage-managed affair due to
very unfortunate and sad to noticethat centres of learning ofyesteryears have
become casteinfected and caste cust oriented clusters and the autonomy of
management is given tothem sanctioning power gives impetus to camouflage the
blatant conduct generating deleterious effect on true and congenial atmosphere,
honestlearned and secular outlook for future education politicisation and
division of staff on caste lines is another debilitating factor which need
urgent attention for remedy, teachers are at the receiving end and arediscouraged
and effective performance of the duties in teaching and inthe managementof theUniversities
is sagging and disappearing Centres of learning meant toprepare the students
with broad, enlightening and secular breed to improve excellence, higher
learning, rational thinking and scientific temper with objectively and
fairness, are breading with narrow minded and cynical attitude.
and secular outlook wouldbe brought back on board only when teacher becomes Guru
and servesas Guru Devo Bhave but not as castedemon.The true teacher scintilates
the young receptiveminds with scientific though and rational and thinking and
makes him progressive minded man to occupy any hosen faculty, profession,
avocation, serviceto serve the society with prideof his almam mater.
third respondent came to be appointed as late as in March 1979 and 18 yearshave
passed andwe are informedthat he is no the verge ofretirement nextyear. Though
he was not qualified for appointmentat thefirst instance as he did not possesthe
Ph.D. degree in Ancient History, the subject tobe taught,nonetheless,since the
time has run out, we decline to disturb the appointment of the third respondent
the observation that there is deterioration of standards ofrectitudes in
management of higher educational institutionwith the fond hope that the
Executive wouldlook into and meander the malady and restore the lost gloryof
the educational institutions. University is thecentre of learning and there
students look to the teacheras realGuru Devo Bhavawith all respect, reverence
in theheart, as thetrue guide, mentor, frient and philospher. Before parting
with the matter, we are inclined to place on record our appreciation for theregood
cause espoused by the appellantas public as public interest litigant.
we are constrainedto dismiss the appeal. No costs.