Skip to content


Bhaskar Narayanrao Band Vs. the Vice-chancellor, Nagpur University - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case Number Special Civil Application No. 212 of 1969
Judge
Reported in(1971)73BOMLR670
AppellantBhaskar Narayanrao Band
RespondentThe Vice-chancellor, Nagpur University
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
nagpur university act (mah, xxii of 1964), sections 12, 18, 8, 60 - rules of procedure of the nagpur university court, regulations section 9, 11, 2--general clauses act (x of 1897), section 16-whether vice-chancellor has power to exclude resolution from agenda before holding of meeting of university court-power to rule out such resolution from agenda whether permissible under regulation s or under section 16, general clauses act-whether under section 12(3) of university act the vice-chancellor competent to decide that resolution should be excluded from agenda as ultra vires of court-whether under section 12(2) read with section 12(1) of act the vice-chancellor has power to decide that a resolution should be placed on agenda or not- statutory authority making wrong reference to law under.....deshmukh, j.1. [his lordship after setting out the facts, proceeded], so far as the main petition is concerned, it is contended that the provisions of section 12 of the nagpur university act and regulation no. 8 read with regulations 45 and 54 clearly clothe the vice-chancellor with the power to refuse to send a particular topic or resolution to the agenda, it is incidentally alleged that the petitioner has not moved this court out of any particular regard for the proper working of the university or the proper functioning of the vice-chancellor. he has a personal axe to grind, and a committee has been appointed by the vice-chancellor to enquire into the complaints received against the petitioner as the principal of a college. even that reference has no particular relevance for deciding.....
Judgment:

Deshmukh, J.

1. [His Lordship after setting out the facts, proceeded], So far as the main petition is concerned, it is contended that the provisions of Section 12 of the Nagpur University Act and Regulation No. 8 read with Regulations 45 and 54 clearly clothe the Vice-Chancellor with the power to refuse to send a particular topic or resolution to the agenda, It is incidentally alleged that the petitioner has not moved this Court out of any particular regard for the proper working of the University or the proper functioning of the Vice-Chancellor. He has a personal axe to grind, and a Committee has been appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to enquire into the complaints received against the petitioner as the Principal of a College. Even that reference has no particular relevance for deciding the very limited issue that arises, in this writ petition.

2. According to me, the proposition that follows for decision is very simple and equally clear. Before I examine the provisions of the Nagpur University Act as well as the Regulations and discuss the case law which is cited before me, let me analyse the resolution which is proposed by the petitioner for consideration of the Court. The resolution is as follows:

Be it resolved that this University Court feels it very urgent and expedient that the Hon'ble Chancellor of the Nagpur University and his Excellency the Governor of Maharashtra State, be apprised of the discontent and dissatisfaction prevailing in the functioning of the affairs of the Nagpur University during the regime of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. V. B. Kolte, on account of the Vice-Chancellor's acts of favouritism and nepotism in matters of employment, creating a sense of insecurity amongst the University employees; by his acts of undue interference in the functioning of the Faculties of the University his unwarranted interference in the affiliation of new colleges and continuance of affiliations and in the managements of the affiliated college, bringing about wholesale dissatisfaction amongst the students, the teachers and the public interested in University education and for that reason this Court requests the Hon'ble Chancellor to appoint a Committee under the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act, 1963 to cause an enquiry to be made in respect of the matters referred to above and to take necessary action against Vice-Chancellor Dr. V.B. Kolte for the mal-administration.

Proposer :-Sd/ - B.N. Band.

Member of the University Court.

Date : 29th Jan. 1960.Seconder : Sd/ - S. G. Kukday,

Member , University Court.

3. On a proper analysis, the above resolution contains three parts. The opening few lines indicate the subject or the motive which guides the petitioner to move such a resolution. He says that it is felt very urgent and expedient that the Hon'ble Chancellor of the Nagpur University and His Excellency the Governor of Maharashtra State be apprised of the discontent and dissatisfaction prevailing in the functioning of the affairs of the Nagpur University during the regime of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. V.B. Kolte. This completes the first part of this resolution. Therefore, the need of the hour was to apprise the Chancellor of the misconduct of the Vice-Chancellor in relation to the functioning of the Nagpur University. In the second part, the petitioner refers to the Vice-Chancellor's acts of favouritism and nepotism in the matter of employment creating a sense of insecurity amongst the University employees etc. A long list of acts of commission and omission has been mentioned. These are the reasons why the petitioner thinks that the Chancellor should be apprised of the prevailing conditions at Nagpur. This is not an inference which I draw as happily the resolution itself points out that these are the reasons which guide the petitioner to move this resolution. The expression used by him is 'and for that reason this Court requests'. These are, therefore, the reasons for which the Court is supposed to request the Chancellor; and what is the ultimate object to be achieved, is given in the last portion. It is stated that the request is made to the Hon'ble Chancellor to appoint a Committee under the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act, 1963 to cause an enquiry to be made in the alleged conduct of the Vice-Chancellor. This is, therefore, the type of resolution which is sought to be moved. The very basis of this resolution, even if passed, is that an individual or a body, by a majority vote, entertains some notions about the administration conducted by the present Vice-Chancellor of the Nagpur University. They considered it urgent and expedient that the Chancellor should be apprised of this state of affairs and they .ultimately desired that the Chancellor should take action under Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act.

4. On behalf of the petitioner Mr. Kukday particularly emphasised the rights of the Vice-Chancellor to shut out the consideration of such a resolution. That, in fact, was the main burden of his song. He examined the various provisions of the Act as well as the Regulations from that point of view. That approach, of course, will be considered by me in due course. However, it must be made amply clear that this is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. The University is an autonomous and self contained body. It is a creation of a statute and has to function within the limits of that statute. It has a hierarchy of officers and bodies whose functions and duties have been specified. So long as these bodies and officers are conducting themselves honestly and faithfully in the spirit of enforcing the Act as well as the Regulations, the bona fides of their acts will have to be presumed. A person, who wants to make an attack on the bona fides, will have to lead before the Court satisfactory evidence to induce this Court to hold otherwise. Besides the academicians, who are primarily supposed to conduct the affairs of the University, are not necessarily trained lawyers. They have to interpret the provisions of the Act as well as the statutes and Regulations during the course of the administration of the University. When a certain view of the provisions is taken and that is a possible view, then Courts will be slow to exercise their powers under Article 226 of the Constitution by way of interference with the smooth working of an institution of this type. An additional rider can be added that for a person to approach the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution with a grievance, he must at least make out a case that the subject-matter of his grievance falls squarely within some provisions of the Nagpur University Act and still he was not allowed to function by exercising certain rights which are conferred upon him, may be as a member of this body or that body.

5. With this broad approach in the first instance before the technical position is examined, let me again examine the type of topic that is included in the proposed resolution, annexure-P-1. As I am able to read the resolution as a whole, the only subject-matter is the misconduct of the Vice-Chancellor .with so many adjectives being added, but not a single instance of mal-administration being cited. The University Court is being requested to pass a resolution requesting the Chancellor to take a particular action. The resolution if passed and sent to the Chancellor is going to be in the nature of a representation or a memorandum of the University Court to the Chancellor. It will be necessary to examine whether passing such resolutions and making representations to the Chancellor in the nature of memorandum of grievances fall within any of the functions of this body under the Act.

6. The Vice-Chancellor has given a reply through the Deputy Registrar that he has taken action under Regulation 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court. In the return also, emphasis is laid upon Regulation 54. No doubt, the provisions of the Act and other Regulations are also referred to, but the action is sought to be justified on the powers vested in the Vice-Chancellor under Regulation 8 read with Regulation 54. Ultimately, while arguing the matter before this Court, Mr. Bobde tried to rely upon the substantive provisions of Section 12(5) of the Act read with Regulation 8(1). In the communication addressed to the petitioner, there is no reference to the other provisions. However, according to me, it is not necessary to confine the Vice-Chancellor to justify his action to Regulation. 54 only. The reply given by him could not be treated as a pleading in a suit, so that no other defence could be permissible. When the action is being challenged as unlawful and contrary to the provisions of the Nagpur University Act and Regulations, it would be enough if the action is justified as supported by substantive provisions of the Act, as also some of the Regulations.

7. Let me consider now in brief the approach of Mr. Kukday on behalf of the petitioner. He first took us through the provisions of Chapter III of the Nagpur University Act which deals with the officers of the University. Various functionaries were pointed out and their functions as: enumerated in the sections were read out. Undoubtedly, the Chancellor has the right to preside at all meetings of the Court as well as at the Convocation of the University as provided by Sub-section (2) of Section 10. Under Sub-section (2) of Section 10, the Chancellor, by virtue of his office, is made the head of the University and the President of the Court and, when present, he is entitled to preside at meetings of the Court and at any Convocation of the University. The Vice-Chancellor is the principal executive and academic officer of the University and can preside at the University Court meetings only in the absence of the Chancellor. He is an ex-officio member and the Chairman of the Executive Council, of the Academic Council, and of the Committees constituted under Sections 4(5, 46 and 47 of the Nagpur University Act. He has a right to convene meetings of the various bodies and authorities and could delegate the power of calling meetings to any other officer of the University. Sub-section (3) of Section 12, which would be of particular relevance in this case, is in the following terms:

12. (3) It shall be the duty of the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that this Act, the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations are faithfully observed, and he shall have all powers necessary for this purpose.

8. We were then taken through the provisions of Chapter IV dealing with various authorities of the University and our attention was particularly drawn to Sections 17 and 18. Sub-section (1) of Section 17 provides for holding- of the Court meeting on a date to be fixed by the Chancellor once a year. That meeting is styled as the annual meeting of the Court. Sub-section (2) authorises the Vice-Chancellor to call a meeting of the Court at any time he thinks fit and obliges him to call a special meeting of the Court upon a requisition in writing signed by not less than twenty-five members of the Court. Section 18 again is the most important section for the purpose of understanding the nature of the present dispute which is in the following terms:

18. (1) Subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by or under this Act, the Court shall exercise the following powers and perform the following duties, namely :-

(i) to make provision for instruction, teaching and training in such branches of teaming and courses of study as it may think fit, for research and for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge;

(ii) to make such provision as will enable affiliated colleges and recognised institutions to undertake specialisation of studies and to organise and make provision for common laboratories, libraries, museums and other equipment for teaching and research;

(iii) to establish and maintain colleges, departments, hostels and institutes of research and specialised studies;

(iv) to institute Professorships, Assistant Professorships, Readerships, Lecturerships, and any other posts of teachers required by the University ;

(v) to institute Fellowships, travelling Fellowships, Scholarships, Studentships, Exhibitions, Medals and Prizes;

(vi) to institute and confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions;

(vii) to make, amend or repeal the Statutes;

(viii) to consider, cancel or refer back, but not amend the Ordinances;

(ix) to consider and pass resolutions on the annual reports;

(x) to consider the annual financial estimates prepared by the Executive Council and to pass resolutions with reference thereto and to effect such reduction as it may deem fit;

(xi) to elect office-bearers and other authorities as provided in this Act and the Statutes;

(xii) to lay down scales of pay and conditions of employment of members of the teaching and non-teaching staff in affiliated colleges and recognised institutions and to ensure the observance thereof through the Executive Council ;

(xiii) to provide for training for competitive examinations for recruitment to the services under the Union and State Governments ;

(xiv) to make grants from the University funds for the National Cadet Corps and to make provision for the physical and military training of students ;

(xv) to exercise such other power and perform such other duties as may be conferred or imposed on it by this Act and the Statutes.

(2) The powers and duties under Clauses (i) to (vi) of Sub-section (1) shall not be exercised except upon the recommendations made by the Executive Council and the Academic Council.

8. This section in terms lays down the powers of the University Court and the duties it has to perform. In respect of topics; included in Clauses (i) to (vi) of Sub-section (1) of Section 18, the Court shall not exercise those powers and duties except upon the recommendations made by the Executive Council and the Academic Council. This section clearly lays down the ambit of the powers as well as duties of the University Court. In order that the University Court should properly function under the Act in faithful observance of the Act as well as Regulations made thereunder, it must confine itself to any of the topics that fall under its powers or duties under Section 18.

9. With these substantive provisions, Mr. Kukday took us through Regulation 8 relating to the procedure of the Court. The provisions of this Regulation are again going to play a very important role in the decision of the present dispute and hence that Regulation is reproduced for ready reference:

8. (a) A member who wishes to move a resolution shall give twenty-three clear days notice of his intention to do so to the Registrar, and shall together with the notice, submit a copy of the resolution which he wishes to move. The Vice-Chancellor may in his discretion allow to be entered on the agenda any resolution received beyond time.

(b) The Registrar, before entering any such resolution on the agenda paper, shall submit it to the Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor may refer-

(1) Any resolution on a matter the consideration of which in the first instance properly appertains to another authority or body of the University, except a resolution submitted under the provisions of Sub-section (6) of Section 27 of the Act, to the appropriate authority or body for consideration and the decision of that authority or body shall be placed before the Court at its next meeting; and

(2) any resolution tending to revise the Acts of the Executive or Academic Council, under the provisions of Section 18 of the Act, to the Council concerned at a meeting of that Council preceding the meeting of the Court, and the decision of the Council shall be placed before the Court.

10. As I have pointed out earlier, a person, who wants to move a resolution at the Court meeting, must give twenty-three clear days notice. A resolution with shorter notice could be admitted in the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor. These are the provisions of Clause (a). Under Clause (b) of that Regulation, the Registrar, before entering any such resolution on the agenda paper, has to submit the resolution to the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor is authorised to refer that resolution to the various other bodies and the authorities of the University mentioned in sub-clauses (1) and (2) for their consideration before it reaches the Court for discussion.

11. The main argument on behalf of the petitioner was that the only condition on which a resolution has to go to the agenda is 23 days clear notice. If the resolution is given with a shorter notice, then the person moving the resolution must induce the Vice-Chancellor to exercise his discretion. However, when a resolution is filed with the Registrar with 23 days clear notice, or when a resolution is admitted for consideration by the Vice-Chancellor in his discretion with a shorter notice, the resolution must follow one or the other course. The Vice-Chancellor may examine the contents of the resolution and, under the powers vested in him, refer it to any of the bodies of the University or any authority of the University. If this is not done, then the only other course which the resolution must follow is to go on the agenda paper of the University Court meeting. This is the limited discretion left with the Vice-Chancellor, and he can either refer the resolution to one of the bodies of the University or place it before the University Court. It was incidentally pointed out that Regulation 54 can have no application to a case of a resolution being filed with the Registrar under Regulation 8(1). Regulation 54 is in the following terms:

In any case not provided for by these Regulations, the Chairman shall be entitled to give his own ruling as to procedure.

It was emphatically argued that Regulation 54 merely conceives of an action to be taken by the Chairman. This presupposes that the Chairman of the meeting is one who presides when the Court meets. Who shall be the Chairman of the meeting is undecided under the provisions of the Act. The Chancellor alone is the permanent statutory President of the Court, but that does not make him a Chairman of the meeting unless he actually remains present. He has a right to do so and if he chooses to attend, he automatically becomes the Chairman of the Court. In his absence, the Vice-Chancellor, if present, becomes the Chairman of the meeting. If both are absent, under Regulation 2 the members present are entitled to elect a Chairman for the meeting. From these provisions, it was pointed out that the word 'Chairman' used in Regulation 54 conceives of the person who will preside at that meeting as and when the Court is summoned to hold a meeting.

12. On the strength of these provisions, it was argued that the petitioner had given a resolution 23 days before the date of the Court meeting. This resolution should have been referred to any of the bodies of the University if the Vice-Chancellor felt that it was necessary in the first instance that they should deliberate and express their opinion upon it. If he did not do it, any other course does not seem to be open on a plain reading of the provisions of the Act as well as the Regulations. The petitioner's right to send a resolution for the consideration of the Court is given to him by Regulation 8. It is only the members of the Court who could move a resolution under Regulation 8. This primary right of the petitioner is being frustrated by the Vice-Chancellor by his unauthorised action which is also styled as mala, fide.

13. In my view, the entire approach of the petitioner is erroneous and could not be sustained. I have already pointed out that the Nagpur University is a creature of law. It is created for discharging certain functions. When a statutory body is created for discharging certain functions only, it is not necessary for the Legislature to add a clause that this body shall not do any other thing or shall not do any other functions. The purpose for which the body is created itself shows that by necessary implication, this is all that the body could do and nothing else. When the Statute does not authorise expressly or by necessary implication the doing of a particular thing in the case of such statutory bodies, the doing of it must be deemed to have been prohibited.

14. Let me, therefore, revert back to the provisions of Section 18 of the Nagpur University Act. Section 15 contemplates the formation of several authorities, under the University. The Court is the first such authority. The Court of the University owes its existence to Section 15 and is invested with certain powers and is enjoined to perform certain duties under Section 18 of the Nagpur University Act. A mere look at the various clauses of Sub-section (1) of Section 18 will show that primarily the Act aims at requiring this body to deal with matters concerned with education and dissemination of knowledge among the public. Clause (i) authorises the Court to make provisions for instruction, teaching and training in such branches of learning and courses of study as it may think fit, for research and for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. In order that this approach may be carried into practice, it has the authority to make such provisions as will enable affiliated colleges and recognised institutions to undertake specialisation of studies and to organise and make provision for common laboratories, libraries, museums and other equipment for teaching- and research. It is also a part of the duty and power of this body to establish and maintain colleges, departments, hostels and institutes of research and specialised studies. The Court can in its power institute Professorships, Assistant Professorships, Readerships, Lecturership, and any other posts of teachers required by the University. It can also institute Fellowships, travelling Fellowships, Scholarships, Studentships, Exhibitions, Medals and Prizes. It is also a part of the duties and powers of this body to institute and confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions; to make, amend or repeal the Statutes; to consider, cancel or refer back, but not amend the Ordinances; to consider and pass resolutions on the annual reports; to consider the annual financial estimates prepared by the Executive Council and to pass resolutions with reference thereto and to effect such reduction as it may deem fit; to elect office-bearers and other authorities as provided in this Act and the Statutes; to lay down scale of pay and conditions of employment of members of the teaching and non-teaching staff in affiliated colleges and recognised institutions and to ensure the observance thereof through the Executive Council; to provide for training for competitive examinations for recruitment to the services under the Union and State Government; to make grants from the University funds for the National Cadet Corps and to make provision, for the physical and military training of students; and to exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be conferred or imposed on it by this Act and the Statutes,

15. I have practically verbatim reproduced the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 18 which is only provision dealing with powers and duties of the University Court. Sub-section (2) of this section adds a rider that in certain matters covered by topics under Clauses (i) to (vi), the Court shall not exercise its powers except upon the recommendations of the Executive Council and the Academic Council. That may be the manner in which the particular subject will come before the Court but the Court has a right to consider and take appropriate decisions in respect of those topics. If the list of duties and powers of the Court contained in Section 18 is exhaustive, it would be interesting to examine whether the proposed resolution falls under any of these topics. One has to merely read that resolution to give a reply that it cannot fall and it does not fall under any of the subject-matters enumerated in Section 18. The conduct of the Vice-Chancellor in making a request to the Chancellor to institute a Committee of enquiry do not figure anywhere in Section 18, either directly, indirectly, or incidentally. Section 8 on which particular reliance is placed merely deals with the powers and functions of the Chancellor. On the contrary, a close examination of the provisions of Section 8 will show that it is not expected of the University Court or the Executive Council to adopt what may be described to understand the petition properly an imitative attitude. The type of memorandum or representation, which is sought to be made through the resolution, is according to me in the nature of agitation. To satisfy the Chancellor that something is wrong in the Nagpur University and to induce him to act under Section 8 is a right, not confined to the members of the Court alone. It is any citizen's right and whoever has a genuine feeling- that things have gone wrong in the Nagpur University and need correction at the hands of the Chancellor, would try to induce the Chancellor to take action. In what manner he should act consistent with the democratic way of life is left to that individual. It does not appear that a member of the Court can use the Court as a forum for making such representation to the Chancellor.

16. Let me now consider the provisions of Section 8. Sub-section (1) of Section 8 declares the rights of the Chancellor. He has two types of rights. One is of inspection. Here again, I might exhaustively enumerate the topics with reference to which inspection is visualised under Sub-section (1) of Section 8. The section says that the Chancellor shall have the right to cause an inspection to be made, by such person or persons as he may direct, of the University, its buildings, laboratories, libraries, museums, workshops and equipment of any institution, college or hostel maintained or recognised by, or affiliated to, the University, of the teaching and other work conducted by the University, and of the conduct of examination held by the University. This completes the first part of Sub-section (1).- The second part deals with causing an enquiry to be made in respect of any matter connected with the University. A mere glance at the provisions will show that the topics included in Sub-section (1) in respect of which the Chancellor has a right to cause an inspection cover the entire field of the University. The second part says that he has a right to institute enquiry in respect of any matter connected with the University, It is, therefore, assumed by this Act that the Chancellor is not the mere figure-head who may watch the progress of the University but will see to it that no department or the University as a whole goes wrong. If he finds signs of any mal-administration or mal-practices entering into the body politics of the University, he will immediately call for an enquiry. It is important to note that the framers of this Act assumed that the University must be given a notice of the intention of the Chancellor to inspect or enquire into matters and the University has been given a right to make representation at such enquiry or inspection. The Chancellor is not supposed to make a surprise inspection ,under this provision. Sub-section (2) 'requires that the Chancellor shall communicate to the Court and to the Executive Council his views with reference to the result of such inspection or inquiry and shall, after ascertaining the opinion of the Court and the Executive Council thereon, advise the University on the action to be taken. Sub-sections '(3) and (4) deal with actual implementation of the suggestions which the Chancellor may make.

17. Pausing here for a moment, it appears to me that the Chancellor may not depend upon a particular source for his information. However, when he finds that there is ground for making an enquiry against the conduct of any of the officers or a body of the University and accordingly makes such enquiry, the result of that enquiry has to be communicated to the Court and the Executive Council. These bodies have, therefore, to express their views for the first time. When the Chancellor otherwise holds an enquiry and sends a report for the consideration of these bodies, and if that happens and a report is sent to the Court, the Court will come in the picture for the, first time under Sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act.

18. The petitioner purports to take resort to the provisions of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act for bringing his resolution within the competence of the Court to discuss that subject. Section 8(1) cannot be read in its isolation. It has to be read as a whole. That section has laid down a complete scheme for the inspection and enquiry by the Chancellor into any evils that may have got into the body politic of the University. In the total scheme of enquiry or inspection and the action to be taken thereupon for the correction of the evils, the Court and the University have been given a distinct place and a role to play. When the Chancellor makes an enquiry and prepares his report, he is obliged to place that report for ascertaining the opinion of the Court and the Executive Council. Sub-section (2) of Section 8 provides for the action being taken and also for the expression of opinion by the Court which is required to be ascertained by the Chancellor. The Court, as a collective body, has to express its opinion on the report of the Chancellor and not earlier. The implications of this scheme are clear. Individual members of the Court may not have enough access to all the information relating to the real or supposed evils in the University. At the same time, the Court as such does not seem to possess any right to call for information of a general nature relating to the supposed or real evils in the University. The collective mind or the collective reflection of the members of the Court is expected only after deliberation upon the authenticated report prepared by the Chancellor. That would give the members of this Court an opportunity to understand what according to the Chancellor is the real position of facts and what are the defects that have developed. This does not mean that individual members are prohibited from entertaining personal opinions. Some of them may think very highly of the Vice-Chancellor. It may be that in the matter of some events which are the subject-matters of the report, it is possible that some members may hold the view that what is considered as a defect or evil is not a defect at all. However, when the Court meets for deliberation on the Vice-Chancellor's report, many of the members may think that the prejudices which they entertained earlier, were not proper. Some others, who were complaisant and felt that the University was one of the best-run institutions, may be surprised to find what the Chancellor has been able to place before them. When all these effects take place upon the collective mind of the Court on the basis of the report of the Chancellor, they deliberate and give their opinion. It is this opinion under Sub-section (2) of Section 8 which is in the nature of a power as well as duty cast upon the Court. Before that happens, on a private resolution of the present type, to make the Court deliberate upon such information as the petitioner may have and to make the Court express some opinion for or against, is to subvert the very provisions of Section 8. It amounts to putting the cart before the horse. This stage for collective deliberation by the Court has been provided in the Act. If a private individual wants to circumvent those provisions and wants the Court to express collective opinion upon a subject-matter, it amounts to undermining the provisions of the Act. When violence is being done in this manner or is attempted to be done in this manner by a member of the Court, the only provision, I see, for preventing such an attempt succeeding, is contained in Sub-section (5) of Section 12. Sub-section (3) deals with the powers and duties of the Vice-Chancellor as such irrespective of the fact whether he is or is not acting as a Chairman of a particular meeting. It is because of the possibility of the provisions of the Act not being followed either knowingly or unknowingly that the Vice-Chancellor has been given statutory powers to see that the Act, the Statutes, Ordinances and the Regulations are faithfully observed. It will be useful to note the expression used by the Legislature in describing the powers of the Vice-Chancellor. Sub-section (3) says 'he shall have all powers necessary for this purpose.' The language has been deliberately chosen to clothe the Vice-Chancellor with all possible powers to see that the Act and the various Ordinances, Regulations, Statutes etc. under the Act are faithfully followed.

19. I will consider one more approach about the utility as well as legality of the petitioner's resolution being moved and discussed at the University Court meeting. The object of that resolution as I have already analysed shows that it is meant to influence the Chancellor to take a particular action. Let me try to understand how the Chancellor is supposed to act under Section 8. Is the Chancellor bound to take action simply because the majority of members of the Court vote in favour of the present resolution? I see no obligation upon the Chancellor in this Act to act upon the majority view. This is a technical view of the provisions. I am even prepared to consider the practical utility. It appears to me that if the Chancellor has to take action against the Vice-Chancellor on certain evils of omission and commission, he will have to act upon information and nothing else, and if he gets authentic information that a case for enquiry is made out, I assume that any Chancellor, performing his function properly will immediately institute an enquiry. Let me, therefore, consider the position on facts which may be possible. I will assume that in respect of the present resolution which is in the nature of censure of the Vice-Chancellor, a resolution was sent up with all praises and glorification of the Vice-Chancellor. We may assume that the Vice-Chancellor has been aware that he has committed some evils which have reached the ears of the Chancellor. Suppose the said resolution is unanimously passed by the Court, and it reaches the Chancellor through post. Further assume that on that day a private citizen has an appointment with the Chancellor over the complaints against the Chancellor. The Chancellor may read the resolution containing' all praises of the Vice-Chancellor but when he sits for an interview with the person concerned, on the original evidence produced be convinced that there is a case for enquiry. What does the Chancellor act upon; the resolution or upon the evidence produced? Even from that point of view, I think the expression of opinion upon a resolution at this stage is premature and against the provisions of the Statute.

20. One more approach to such an example. It was argued by Mr. Kukday that the deliberations that may take place at the meeting when the resolution is moved, may have two possible effects and I will consider the practical utility or the implication of both of them. One effect possible, he says, is that no further information disclosed by other members of the Court or on a statement made by the Vice-Chancellor himself in reply to the resolution and the discussion, the petitioner may change his mind and may think that his resolution was uncalled for. He may withdraw the resolution or may not press for being voted or immediately apologise and make amends. The other effect is that the resolution may be passed at the end of his deliberation and the resolution, as passed, will be forwarded to the Chancellor. No third thing seems to be possible unless, of course, the petitioner merely changes his mind and withdraws the resolution before deliberations,

21. Now let us take into account the implications of the petitioner changing his view on the explanation of the Vice-Chancellor. Is the Vice-Chancellor bound to give explanation to the Court relating to his conduct? The present resolution is in the nature of censure on the Vice-Chancellor. In the Parliamentary set-up of institutions, the Ministry is responsible to the House and, therefore, when a vote of no confidence is moved, it is bound to obtain the confidence of the House. Is the Vice-Chancellor required to obtain the confidence of the Court? I see no provisions in the Act which require the Vice-Chancellor to make a statement in reply to such a debate.

22. Again, has the petitioner right to expect a statement by the Vice-Chancellor and is the Vice-Chancellor under obligation to make a statement and satisfy the petitioner? There is no authority for either of these propositions in the University Act. Let us now consider the other possibility. If the resolution is passed by the majority, what is intended is that the resolution should go to the Chancellor. II have already pointed out that the Chancellor is not bound to act upon any opinion but he must act upon information and authentic information at that, regarding the alleged evils. It is not intended in the meeting and it is not stated in the argument that the entire evidence is a part of the resolution and has to reach the Chancellor, If the information was intended to go to the agenda, the Act does not provide that the Court is a channel through which it should reach the Chancellor, It is upto this Hon'ble member to place it before the Chancellor, as it is upto any citizen of the State. I, therefore, find that a resolution of this type which is proposed to be moved has no place anywhere either in the positive scheme of the Act or in the implied functions that are supposed to be performed by the various bodies under the Act.

23. In this regard, a technical approach to the letter sent on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor seems to be possible. The provisions of Regulation 54 are alone mentioned in the letter and Section 12(5) has not been specifically pleaded in the return. It is amply clear that when the action taken by a statutory authority is challenged, and, while taking that action, wrong provisions were mentioned, it is always open to the authority to justify the action by pointing out proper provisions of the statutes, vide Hukumchand Mills v. State of Madhya Pradesh A.I.R.[1964] S.C. 1339. It would undoubtedly have been better if Section 12(5) was specifically mentioned in the return, but the non-mention of that section does not in any way make the return infirm.

24. It may now be considered whether the Vice-Chancellor has such rights under Regulation 8 also when the agenda is being prepared. I have already quoted the provisions of Regulation 8 earlier. Clause (a) deals with only two propositions. One is a question of limitation. A member moving the resolution must give twenty-three days' clear notice. If there is a shorter notice then he must induce the Vice-Chancellor to use his discretion or the subject may be so important that the Vice-Chancellor may himself be inclined to use his discretion. The first hurdle is crossed when the resolution is either in time or the question of time is condoned by the Vice-Chancellor.

25. Then comes the provisions of Clause (6) of Regulation 8. This provision deals with the preparation of the agenda. The preparation of the agenda consists of two parts. One could be described as mechanical and the other consists of sorting out the resolutions and admitting such of them to the agenda. I am aware that no words are used in Clause (i) which in terms say that a certain officer of the University has to admit a subject 011 the agenda. The words used in the clause are 'entering any such resolution on the agenda paper'. In this function of entering a resolution on the agenda, the mechanical part has been entrusted to the Registrar. However, the Registrar is under obligation to place all such resolutions before the Vice-Chancellor. When that is done, what the Vice-Chancellor will do, has been laid down in the further portion of Clause (&), if the resolution relates to a subject, which could better be deliberated by some other body of the University. Before the resolution comes before the University Court, the Vice-Chancellor may refer that resolution to the particular body concerned. The wording of this clause stops at that. On a literal construction and a mechanical view of Regulation 8(6), it is canvassed before this Court that the Vice-Chancellor's right, which has been specifically enumerated in Regulation 8(b), enables him to refer the resolution to one of the other bodies under Sub-clauses (1) and (2) and nothing more. If he finds that the resolution need not go to any other bodies of the University, he has no choice but to direct the Registrar to enter the remaining resolution upon the agenda of the Court meeting. This, according to me, would not be the proper understanding of the provisions, as well as the spirit of Regulation 8. These Regulations were drafted for the proper implementation of the Act. They seemed to be drafted on the assumption that the members of the various bodies of the University will know their duties and functions and will submit resolutions which strictly pertain to the business of the University. If the business of the University is being dealt with by the various bodies, then a resolution properly sent up dealing with some activity of the University must relate to the function of either of the bodies of the University. On that assumption, it was visualised that the Vice-Chancellor may either refer to some other body and retain it for deliberation of the Court, if that resolution was within the powers and functions of the Court. As it now appears, that assumption that the members knowing their responsibility and duties will send up resolutions only relating- to the business of the University, does not seem to be working out well. However, the framers of the Act had possibly considered all exigencies of the situation. They have, therefore, clothed the Vice-Chancellor with all possible powers for the faithful observance of the Act as well as various Ordinances, Statutes and Regulations thereunder.

26. According to me, if Regulation 8 is to be understood in the spirit in which it was framed, the intention obviously is to enable the Vice-Chancellor to sort out all resolutions received. He may send only such resolutions for the deliberations of the various bodies including the Court which related to the respective functions. The other resolutions have got to be kept out and not entered upon the agenda of the meeting. It is for this purpose that not the Registrar but the Vice-Chancellor has been given the powers to examine all the resolutions. Even assuming that Regulation 8 does not in terms clothe the Vice-Chancellor with these powers, according to me, if the resolution is clearly outside the purview of the Act and is ultra vires of the Act, the Vice-Chancellor has all the powers to keep out such a resolution from the deliberation of the Court, under Regulation 8 read with Sub-section (3) of Section 12,

27. If this is the correct approach, let me examine the arguments made before me for the purpose of finding out whether the resolution either directly, indirectly or incidentally has anything to do with a subject which squarely falls within the ambit of the Act or the powers and duties of the University Court. No doubt, in the resolution, several words are used which appear in the provisions of s1. 18. In the attempt to point out how this resolution pertains to an activity on which the University Court has a right to express opinion, reference was made by the learned counsel, for the petitioner to the question of affiliation of a college. One of the clauses in the resolution is 'his unwarranted interference in the affiliation of new colleges and continuance of affiliations and in the management of the affiliated colleges.' It was tried to be faintly argued that affiliation is a subject which may fall under Clause (ii) of Sub-section (1) of Section 18. On a plain reading of that provision it appears that the Court is merely supposed to make provisions for enabling the colleges to be affiliated. Once the conditions of affiliations are laid down, the question of affiliation of a college does not come before the Court under any provisions of this Act. It does ultimately come to them as a mere matter of information after the affiliation is granted by the State Government under Sub-section (3) of Section 34 and a report thereof is circulated for the information of the Court by the Registrar under Sub-section (5) of Section 34. While taking the question of affiliation, an argument was raised that the Vice-Chancellor is misusing his powers under the cloak of emergency in the matter of affiliation of colleges. I, therefore, asked Mr. Kukday as to whether the Vice-Chancellor is empowered to grant affiliation. He had to concede that the Vice-Chancellor could not grant affiliation himself though he could perform the duties of the Executive Council under the emergency clause Section 12(4). However, granting or refusing an application for affiliation of a college is a function of the State Government under Sub-section (3) of Section 34. That sub-section authorises the State Government to grant or refuse the application after such enquiry as may appear to it to be necessary. The mere report received through proper channel in due course from the Executive Council, or even the report of the Vice-Chancellor by using emergency powers under Section 12(4), is not conclusive of the matter. The State Government can institute, if it so desires, such enquiry as it thinks fit and then only grant or refuse the application. Further attempt to show how affiliation in the real sense of the term relates to the function of the Court was then given up. No other attempt was made to point out whether any of the evils of the Vice-Chancellor referred to in the resolution falls squarely under any of the provisions of Section 18 or any other provision of the Act. Thereafter another faint attempt was made to refer to the provisions of Clause (xii) of Sub-section (1) of Section 18 relating to the laying down of the pay scales and conditions of employment of members of the teaching and non-teaching staff in affiliated colleges and recognised institutions. It was also pointed out that the resolution complains of interference with these scales of employees. The provisions of Clause (xii) enables the Court in the first instance to lay down pay scales. It then enables the same Court to ensure the observance of these conditions through the Executive Council. On a plain reading of this provision, it appears to me that on receipt of a specific complaint that a member of the teaching or non-teaching staff in a particular college is made to work in violation of these conditions, the Court may, by taking suitable action through the Executive Council, see to it that the particular member gets the proper pay. This presupposes that individual servant in some college is not paid according to the scale and payment to him is to be restored according to the scale. Not a single instance has been mentioned in the resolution in order to bring it within the purview of Clause (xii) of Section 18. All that is mentioned in the resolution is the misconduct of the Vice-Chancellor relating to several topics without mentioning any particular instance which requires any rectification by taking action under Section 18. I am, therefore, satisfied on a close examination of the resolution, as also the provisions of Section 18, that the resolution does not refer to any topic on which deliberation is permissible or possible under the provisions of Section 18. Not only that but a deliberation upon the alleged misconduct of the Vice-Chancellor is not within the purview of the Court under any of the provisions of the Act. In fact, such a topic is ultra vires of the Act itself, In view of the provisions of law relating to Regulation 8 read with Section 12(3), the action of the Vice-Chancellor was fully justified and was supported by the direct provisions of law.

28. I will also consider another approach to the proposition under consideration, assuming that the Vice-Chancellor is not able to point out to a. specific provision which supports his action. What should be done in a petition of this type? The remedy under Article 226 is a corrective remedy and is within the discretion of the High Court. The minimum that a petitioner must point out for requesting' the High Court to grant him relief is that he had some right which is being violated. The present petitioner, according to me, had no right to move such a resolution. The right of a member of the Court to move a resolution under Regulation 8 again presupposes that it must be the resolution which relates to some activity of the University. To move a resolution upon a subject which is ultra vires of the Act does not appear to be the right of the petitioner under Regulation 8. When the petitioner attempted to do something which he had no right to do and is prevented from doing so, I do not think that he is entitled to the assistance of this Court in doing something which he is unable to justify as being legally done. Even on that short ground the petition was liable to be thrown out.

29. I will now consider one or two suggestions which transpired during the course of the discussion in the name of fairness in an academic institution like the University. So far as the provisions of Regulation 54 are concerned, Mr. Kukday said that the Chairman may have a right to override and throw out a particular resolution when the meeting assembles. However, on a second thought he felt that that was his first impression, and the Chairman of the meeting under Regulation 54 may not be in a position to give any other relief except the one which relates to the procedure as contemplated by that Regulation. When the agenda is prepared for a meeting and is circulated to the members for their deliberation, according to me, it is a substantive right of the member to deliberate upon the subject which is included in the agenda. The Chairman of the meeting so far as the Court is concerned, could be either the Chancellor if he is present, or the Vice-Chancellor in his absence, if present, or in the absence of both, any member of the Court elected for that purpose. Regulation 54 provides that in any case not provided for by these Regulations, the Chairman shall be entitled to give his own ruling as to procedure. Procedure is the only subject-matter on which ruling is to be given by the Chairman in the meeting. It is extremely doubtful and this point was not further amplified by arguments whether dropping an item from the agenda from the consideration of the body is a matter of mere procedure.

30. As a further limb of this argument, it was tried to be suggested that, in fairness, let the Vice-Chancellor allow this resolution to go on the agenda and let a decision be given at the meeting. The difficulty envisaged further was that if the Chancellor does not come, respondent No. 1 will be the Chairman of the meeting. Here is a resolution against, him and if, as a Chairman, he takes the same action as he did before the meeting, then what would happen? The action of respondent No. 1 is being described as the respondent becoming the Judge of his own cause. Since the action of the Vice-Chancellor was susceptible to such a criticism, it was suggested that the best course for the Vice-Chancellor to adopt is to remain absent and let the meeting do what it likes. These suggestions on a closer examination do not appear to me to be as innocent as they look. If such a course of conduct is to be advised, it is fraught with dangers. How this will help solve the problem is not clear to me. The Vice-Chancellor is not a Chairman of the Court alone in his ex-officio capacity but he is a Chairman of many other Committees. Sub-section (1) of Section 12 says that he' shall be an ex-officio member and the Chairman of the Executive Council, of the Academic Council, and the Committees constituted under Sections 45, 46 and 47. These are all Committees again for specific purposes. They have certain functions to discharge and decide academic matters coming within their respective spheres. If it were to be laid down as a principle of fairness that the Vice-Chancellor should remain aloof when a resolution on his character or conduct is tabled, it will give a handle in the hands of a few miscreants to keep the Vice-Chancellor out from every body where he is a Chairman. The reason why the Vice-Chancellor is made a Chairman of these bodies is not far to seek. The Legislature has expressed in the very first clause of Sub-section (1) of Section 12 that 'the Vice-Chancellor shall be the principal executive and academic officer of the University'. If this officer, who is made principal academic officer and whose presence is considered useful by the Act for the deliberations of the various bodies, were to remain out, he would be abdicating his duties which are cast upon him under the Act. The proposition does not seem to concern an individual. It involves a principle. For the proper functioning of the autonomous body like the University, the provisions of the Act must be so construed by the High Court as to enable the smooth implementation of the provisions and proper working of the Act and the various bodies thereunder. Objection may be taken to this line of reasoning by saying that such occasions would not be many. This, according to me, would not at all be a proper reply to the possible mischief that the proposition involves. I have already pointed out earlier that the framers of the Act had certain assumptions in their mind. They expected the academicians to introduce for discussion only such topics as fall within the ambit of the Act. One dissatisfied individual will be in a position to create difficulties in the smooth working of the entire University and keep the Vice-Chancellor out of every Committee. For constructive work, it is well known that large number of people have to act together. For destructive work, a few miscreants are enough. This must be an approach of the High Court to the interpretation of the provisions of an Act like the University Act and the High Court must lay down principles which will enable the authorities under the Act to implement its provisions in letter as well as in spirit.

31. There is one other incidental psychological effect of such a resolution. Is the Vice-Chancellor to abdicate his duties, merely out of fear of a resolution involving criticism on himself? I do not think that the High Courts should advise abdication of duty simply out of fear of personal criticism. Looked at from any point of view the socalled principle suggested in the name of fairness is not a sound principle or is likely to lead to undesirable results.

32. Here is a case where the Vice-Chancellor has kept out of agenda the resolution of the petitioner by construing certain provisions of the Act and the Regulations. However, when communication was sent to the petitioner, all these provisions and the implications thereof were not communicated to him. However, when the Vice-Chancellor is called upon to reply to the petition, he has placed before this Court a certain interpretation, which he puts and which I am inclined to accept, of the provisions of the Act and the Regulations thereunder. What should be the attitude of Courts when a proposition of this type is before them. The Supreme Court of India has pointed out what the High Courts should do when they are faced with the propositions relating to autonomous bodies like the University in the case of Principal, Patna College v. K. S. Raman A.I.R.[1906] S.C. 707. The relevant observations of their Lordships in para. 20 are as follows (p. 713) :.where the question involved is one of interpreting a regulation framed by the Academic Council of a University, the High Court should ordinarily be reluctant to issue a writ of certiorari where it is plain that the regulation in question is capable of two constructions, and it would generally not be expedient for the High Court to reverse a decision of the educational authorities on the ground that the construction placed by said authorities on the relevant regulation appears to the High Court less reasonable than the alternative construction which it is pleased, to accept.

This is, therefore, the principle on which the decisions of autonomous academic bodies have to be accepted and least interference is advocated unless the view taken is not sustainable at all. I must confess that in the examination of the Act and the Regulations I have not been able to come across any negative provision directing that the subject other than the one for which the University was created, should be kept out of deliberation from various bodies of the University, According to me, such a negative provision is not necessary. When a Statute creates a particular body for a particular purpose, the very functioning of that body is conditioned by the purpose for which it is created.

33. In the case of Narendra Nath v. Corporation of Calcutta : AIR1960Cal102 , two resolutions were placed for consideration before the Calcutta Corporation, one condemning the Kerala Government for certain action and the other sought to justify them. A writ petition was filed to restrain the Corporation from discussing any of these resolutions. One of the arguments raised before the Calcutta High Court was that, under the Corporation Act, there was no negative provision of the type which was canvassed before the Court that the Corporation Act docs not specifically prevent deliberation of such a resolution. The learned single Judge of the Court while negativing the argument observed as follows (P- 110) :

Where however, the statute does not expressly or impliedly authorise a particular thing, it must be taken to have been prohibited.

This observation is made in the context of the approach that the Corporation is a statutory body created by an Act for a specific purpose. Unless, therefore, the topic concerned falls under any of the provisions, either expressly or impliedly, that topic must be deemed to have been prohibited from the operation of the Act. I am in respectful agreement with the observations of the Calcutta High Court. I am aware that a Division Bench of this Court has made certain observations in the case of Bom. Municipal Corporation v. Ramchandra A.I.R.[1960] Bom. 38 : 61 Bom. L.R. 1129. In that case, a resolution was sought to be moved before the Bombay Municipal Corporation which described Mr. Imre Nagy and his three associates as fighters for the freedom of their motherland, as persons who even at the cost of their lives displayed great courage and steadfastness in the cause of their country's freedom, and as persons who upheld the dignity of men and rendered great service to the highest value of life, namely, freedom. The Mayor disallowed the deliberation of such a resolution. The Hon'ble member of the Corporation, who was dissatisfied with this decision of the Mayor, filed a writ petition in the High Court requiring the High Court to give directions to the Corporation to permit deliberation upon that resolution. That writ petition came to be allowed, but in a Letters Patent Appeal, decided by a Division Bench to which I have just referred above, it was held as follows:

That the resolution and the debate on it would educate the public and instruct them to cherish the ideals of freedom, to love their country and to be ever ready to sacrifice even their lives for the freedom of the country, and therefore, were within the purview of Section 68(k).

The facts and circumstances under which that judgment came to be delivered are very much different from the facts and circumstances of the case before me. In that case, there was a resolution which was; moved in the names of some persons but those names were associated with the resolution for the purpose of training certain qualities which are fundamental to any living nation. The Division Bench took the view that the words 'likely to promote public instruction' used in Clause (k) of Section 63 may permit deliberation of such a resolution.

34. So far as the present petition is concerned, there are several distinguishing features which must be noted. The nature of a Municipal Committee is entirely different from an academic body like the University. The Local bodies V like the Municipalities and Panchayats are being described as cradles for the training of democracy. Deliberations which might lead to general instructions may be permissible in such bodies. Even those deliberations were related to specific provision under the Act. Even accepting the principle, I find that no part of Section 18 or any other provision could be invited to bear the construction that that particular purpose will be promoted by the deliberation of this resolution by the Court, Under Sub-clause (1) of Sub-section (1) of Section 18 of the Nagpur University Act, the ending portion makes provision for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. The knowledge that the University has to disseminate is well known and it is not necessary to point out that the grievance voiced in the resolution and the discussion that may follow for pointing out the evils of the Vice-Chancellor, if any, would not be the kind of dissemination of knowledge that is conceived of by Section 18(1).

35. It was also argued that the resolution was received in the University on January 29, 1969. The communication sent by the Vice-Chancellor is dated February 11, 1969. In the circumstances, there was enough time for the Vice-Chancellor to refer the matter to the Chancellor. As an additional argument, it was also sought to be pointed out that here was a question which related to the conduct of the Vice-Chancellor himself. Instead of giving a decision himself and shutting out the deliberation of this resolution, he should have referred it to the Chancellor under Section 60 for his decision which would have been final. There was enough time to do so as the resolution was received on January 29, 1969, and the reply prepared in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor is dated February 11, 1969. This approach again presupposes that the Vice-Chancellor is shirking his duties in implementing the Act simply because some allegations are being made against him in the resolution. It is primarily for him to take all decisions. Section 60 is in the nature of a remedy for an aggrieved party to approach the Chancellor. True, that under Section 60 the Vice-Chancellor can suo motu move the Chancellor, provided a question arises regarding the interpretation. If .he was doubtful, undoubtedly a question can be said to have arisen, the decision of which could be referred to the Chancellor. If, however, the Vice-Chancellor was clear in his mind and acted under the Act, it is not necessary for him to refer the matter to the Chancellor tinder Section 60 simply because the decision relates to a resolution in which he is personally involved. This would again be in the nature of abdicating his functions which is against the statutory duty cast upon him.

36.Looked at from any point of view, either on first principle or on the authorities, I see no justification for granting- any relief to the petitioner. This being my view of the matter, I would propose that this petition be dismissed with costs.

Vimadalal, J.

37. I regret I am unable to agree with the judgment just delivered by my brother Deshmukh. It is not necessary for me to state the facts of this case which have already been set out in his judgment. Suffice it to say, that the substance of the resolution which the petitioner forwarded to the Registrar in accordance with 'Regulation 8 was that the Petitioner asked the Chancellor to order an enquiry into mal-administration by the Vice-Chancellor in regard to certain matters connected with the University. When the Vice-Chancellor ruled out that resolution, that ruling was communicated by the Registrar to the petitioner by his letter dated February 11, 1969. The said letter shows that the Vice-Chancellor was acting in exercise of the purported powers of the Vice-Chancellor under a particular Regulation, namely, Regulation 54, and that he was ruling out that resolution on a specific ground, namely, that it fell outside the purview of Section 8(1) of the Nagpur University Act, 1963. The Vice-Chancellor did not rule out that resolution on the ground that it was ultra, vires the Act as a whole.

38. With these preliminary observations, I will refer to the relevant sections of the Act. Section 8 which is important for the purpose of the present petition must be quoted in extenso and it is in the following terms:

8. (1) The Chancellor shall have the right to cause an inspection to be made, by such person or persons as he may direct, of the University, its buildings, laboratories, libraries, museums, workshops and equipment of any institution, college or hostel maintained or recognised by, or affiliated to, the University, of the teaching and other work conducted by the University, and of the conduct of examinations held by the University; and to cause an inquiry to be made in respect of any matter connected with the University. The Chancellor shall in every case give notice to the University of his intention to cause an inspection or inquiry to be made, and the University shall be entitled to be represented thereat.

(2) The Chancellor shall communicate to the Court and to the Executive Council his view with reference to the result of such inspection or inquiry and shall, after ascertaining the opinion of the Court and the Executive Council thereon, advise the University on the action to be taken.

(3) The Executive Council shall report to the Chancellor such action, if any, as it has taken or may propose to take upon the result of the inspection or inquiry. Such report shall be submitted with the opinion of the Court thereon and within such time as the Chancellor may direct.

(4) Where the Executive Council does not within a reasonable time take action to the satisfaction of the Chancellor, the Chancellor may, after considering any explanation furnished or representation made by the Executive Council, issue such directions as he may think fit, and the Executive Council shall comply with such direction.

Section 9 of the Act lays down who are the Officers of the University, and Section 10(2) enacts that the Governor of Maharashtra, who is the ex-officio Chancellor of the University, is to preside, when present, inter alia at meetings of the Court. Section 12(1), however, lays down that, in the absence of the Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor is to preside at meetings of the Court, and Sub-section (2) of that section empowers the Vice-Chancellor inter alia to convene meetings of the Court. Sub-section (3) of Section 12 is again important for the purpose of the present case and must be quoted verbatim. It is as follows:

12. (3) It shall be the duty of the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that this Act, the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations are faithfully observed, and he shall have all powers necessary for this purpose.

Section 15 prescribes the authorities of the University, the first of which is the Court, and Section 17 lays down that the Court must, on a date to be fixed by the Chancellor, meet once a year at a meeting to be called the annual meeting of the Court. It may be stated here that it is that meeting which is fixed by the Chancellor for February 22, 1'969. Section 18 enlists the powers and duties of the Court which, it may be stated, include the making of provision for teaching, making provision for affiliated colleges undertaking specialisation of studies, and laying down scales for pay and conditions of employment of the staff of the University. Section 60 provides that if any question arises regarding the interpretation of any provision of the Act, or Regulation, or Rule, the matter may be referred on petition by any person or body directly affected, or suo motu by the Vice-Chancellor, to the Chancellor, who after taking such advice as he deems necessary, has to decide the question, and that decision is to be final. Section. 64(xii) saves Regulations made under the Nagpur University Act of 1923 which is repealed by the preceding section. It may be stated that the Regulations which arise for consideration in the present case were framed under the former Act of 1923 and have continued to be in force by reason of this clause of Section 64.

39. I will now refer to the relevant Regulations. Regulation 1, in compliance with Section 17 of the Act, provides that the Court is to meet once a year, and Regulation 2 lays down that in the contingency of both the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor being absent from any meeting of the Court, the members present are to elect a Chairman for the meeting-. Regulation 8 is important for the purpose of the decision of this petition and must, therefore, be quoted. It runs as follows:

8. (a) A member who wishes to move a resolution shall give twenty-three clear days notice of his intention to do so to tile Registrar, and shall together with the notice, submit a copy of the resolution which he wishes to move. The Vice-Chancellor may in his discretion allow to be entered on, the agenda any resolution received beyond tune.

(b) The Registrar, before entering any such resolution on the agenda paper, shall submit it to the Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor may refer-

(1) any resolution on a matter the consideration of which in the first instance properly appertains to another authority or body of the University, except a resolution submitted under the provisions of Sub-section (6) of Section 27 of the Act, to the appropriate authority or body for consideration and the decision of that authority or body shall be placed before the Court at its next meeting and

(2) any resolution tending to revise the Acts of the Executive or Academic Council, under the provisions of Section 18 of the Act, to the Council concerned at a meeting of that Council preceding the meeting of the Court, and the decision of the Council shall be placed before the Court.

Regulation No. 9 requires the Registrar to forward an agenda paper to each member eighteen clear days before the day of the meeting. Regulation No. 11 provides that no business other than that contained in the agenda paper is to be transacted at a meeting 'unless with the consent of the Chairman of the meeting, and unless permission is given to introduce it by the vote of majority of the members present'. Regulation No. 12 provides for certain specified kinds of resolutions being permitted to be moved even without notice or without their being included in the agenda paper. Regulation No. 45 lays down that the Chairman is to be the sole judge on any point of order, and might call any member to order, and might, if necessary, dissolve the meeting or adjourn it to some hour on the same or the following day. Regulation No. 54 is in the following terms:

54. In any case not provided for by these Regulations, the Chairman shall be entitled to give his own ruling as to procedure.

40. Having referred to the relevant provisions of the Act and the Regulations I must next refer to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Principal, Patna College v. K. S. Raman : [1966]1SCR974 in paragraph 20 of which the principles that should be observed by the Court in dealing with matters relating to orders passed by authorities of educational institutions under Article 226 of the Constitution are laid down. It is only necessary to refer to one of those principles, and that is, that the High Court should ordinarily be reluctant to issue a writ of certiorari where it is plain that the regulation in question is capable of two constructions, and it would generally not be expedient for the High Court to reverse a decision of the educational authorities on the ground that the construction placed by the said authorities on the relevant regulation appears to the High Court less reasonable than the alternative construction which the Court accepts. In my opinion, however, as far as the present case is concerned, two views are not possible in regard to the question as to whether the Vice-Chancellor could rule out a resolution which was intended to be placed before the Court, prior to the meeting of the Court itself. Two other decisions were also cited from the Bar and they were the decision of this Court in the case of Bom. Municipal Corporation v. Ramchandra A.I.R.[1960] Bom. 58 : 61 Bom. L.R. 1129, and the decision of a Single Judge of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Narendra Nath v. Corporation of Calcutta : AIR1960Cal102 , but I do not think it necessary to deal with those decisions, firstly, because the Supreme Court itself has laid down the principles which are to be observed by the Court in a case like the present one in Raman's case to which I have already referred; and secondly, because the question which arose before this Court and before the High Court of Calcutta in the said cases was wholly different, namely, a question of the competence of the Corporation itself to discuss certain resolutions which were sought to be moved before them. It may further be mentioned that, in each of those cases, the Mayor had given the necessary ruling' at the meeting and the question which arises in the present case, namely, whether a ruling could be given prior to the meeting did not arise at all.

41. The petitioner's case was formulated by Mr. Kukde on his behalf in the form of 3 propositions-

(i) That the petitioner's resolution does fall within Section 8(1) of the Act;

(ii) That even if the petitioner's resolution does not fall within Section 8(1) of the Act, it cannot be ruled out by the Vice-Chancellor prior to the meeting, but could only be dealt with at the meeting in accordance with Regulations Nos. 45 and 54; and

(iii) That the action of the Vice-Chancellor in ruling out the resolution in question which was directed against him was contrary to the principles of natural justice in so far as he was thereby acting as a judge in his own cause. It would be convenient to deal with the second of these propositions first, because if the question embodied in it is decided in favour of the petitioner, nothing else would survive on this petition.

42. As far as the second proposition of Mr. Kukde is concerned, I may start with a proposition which I consider to be basic, and that is, that unless there is an express power in the Act or the Regulations framed under it, or a power can be inferred by clear implication from that Act or those Regulations, the Vice-Chancellor cannot rule out the resolution in question prior to the meeting of the University Court for which it was intended. In ruling out that resolution prior to the meeting, the Vice-Chancellor has purported to act only under Regulation No. 54, and that is made amply clear by the Registrar's letter 'dated February 11, 1969 written according to the directions of the Vice-Chancellor, as the letter itself states. According to Mr. Bobde, Regulation 54 is a residuary rule operating outside Regulation 8 and Section 12(3). In my opinion, it is not possible to place a construction on Regulation 54 which would give it such a wide meaning. Each of these provisions refers to a different situation and, in my opinion, it is clear that Regulation 54i relates only to what can be done at the meeting of the Court itself, and does not profess to deal with the situation prior to the meeting. There are two reasons that have made me come to that conclusion. The first and the most important reason is that the powers which Regulation 54 confers are not conferred on the Vice-Chancellor, but on the 'Chairman', which, on a combined reading of Sections 10(2), 12(1) and Regulation 2, may or may not be the Vice-Chancellor. The second reason why I have come to that conclusion is that Regulation 54 uses the terms 'ruling' and 'procedure', which, in the context of each other, indicate that the said Regulation deals with what the Chairman is empowered to do at the meeting of the University Court itself. I have therefore no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that, under Regulation 54, the Vice-Chancellor had no power whatsoever to rule out the petitioner's resolution prior to the meeting of the Court, as he has purported to do under that Regulation.

43. Realising the infirmity of the Vice-Chancellor's stand based on Regulation 54, Mr. Bobde attempted to justify the ruling of the Vice-Chancellor under the powers, which, he contends, are conferred upon him by Regulation 8 read with Section 12(3). In my opinion, respondent No. 1 is not entitled to fall back on Regulation 8 or Section 12(3), or for that matter, on any section or Regulation other than Regulation 54 on which alone his ruling is based. The Registrar's letter dated February 11, 1969 states that he has been directed by the Vice-Chancellor to convey its contents to the petitioner, and what is stated in that letter is, therefore, as good as if the Vice-Chancellor had written that letter himself. It may also be mentioned that there is no case made out in the joint Return filed by the respondents that the said letter dated February 11, 1969 does not correctly set out the ruling given by the Vice-Chancellor. In my opinion, a statutory authority who purports to exercise a 'power' under a particular statutory provision, and the Regulations do have statutory force, cannot be allowed to turn round and justify the exercise of that power under totally different statutory provisions;. That is not the same thing as supporting validity of an impugned act on a 'ground' other than the one on which it was initially sought to be rested. The 'ground' in the present case is the same, both at the hearing of the petition as well as in the letter of the Registrar dated February 11, 1969, and that is, that the resolution in question does not fall within Section 8(1) of the Act, but what is now sought to be done is to attempt to find the 'power' for ruling it out in a statutory provision other than that under which the power was actually exercised. That, in my opinion, is not permissible for respondent No. 1 to do. I may mention that the case that the action of the Vice-Chancellor in ruling out the resolution prior to the meeting is valid under Regulation 8 read with Section 12(5) is not to be found even in the Return filed by the respondent. Mr. Bobde has, in this connection, drawn my attention to the paragraph 14 of the Return, but I am afraid I am unable to find that case in the said paragraph. Though, in my opinion, the respondents are not entitled to take their stand on Regulation 8 read with Section 12(3) for the purpose of sustaining the ruling given by the Vice-Chancellor (respondent No. 1), as my brother Deshmukh does not agree with me on this point, and the point was fully argued before us, I must proceed to deal with it.

44. I will first examine this argument of Mr. Bobde in so far as it is based on Regulation No. 8. The argument is that under Regulation 8 the Vice-Chancellor is required to 'admit' a resolution on its being submitted to him by the Registrar, and the power to admit implies the power to reject the resolution. The whole basis of that argument, therefore, is that the Vice-Chancellor is empowered under Regulation No. 8 to 'admit' the resolution. Not only is the word 'admit' conspicuous by its absence in Regulation No. 8, but Regulation 8, read as a whole, clearly negatives the contention that the Vice-Chancellor is called upon to admit a resolution. I say so for reasons which I will presently discuss. Reading Regulation No. 8 as a whole, there is no doubt in my mind that under Clause (b) thereof the Registrar submits a resolution received by him to the Vice-Chancellor for the limited purpose of considering whether any action under Clause (1) or Clause (2) is called for. If the Vice-Chancellor thinks that action under Clause (1) is called for, the resolution has to be put on the agenda of the next meeting, along with the decision of the appropriate authority or body to which it may, in the first instance, be referred by the Vice-Chancellor. If the Vice-Chancellor thinks that action under Clause (2) is called for, the resolution has to be put on the agenda of the very meeting of the Court for which it was intended, along with the decision of the Executive or Academic Council. In any other case, the resolution submitted by the Registrar to the Vice-Chancellor under Clause (b) of Regulation 8 must be put directly on the agenda of the meeting of the Court for which it was intended. The words 'before entering' in Regulation 8(b) show that every resolution has to be entered on the agenda, the only question being, when has it to be entered on it. The position, therefore, is that not only is there no express power in Regulation 8 under which the Vice-Chancellor could refuse to admit a resolution, but the scheme of Regulation 8 itself shows that every resolution must ultimately reach the Court for which it was intended, either directly, or via the appropriate authority or body.

45. I will next proceed to consider the argument of Mr. Bobde in so far as it was based on Section 12(3) of the Act. In my opinion, Sub-section (3) of Section 12 does not relate to proceedings connected with meetings of the University Court with which only Sub-sections (1) and (2) of that section deal. In fact, none of the other sub-sections of Section 12 deal with the subject of meetings. Moreover, the powers which Sub-section (5) of Section 12 confers are those of the Vice-Chancellor, and there is no guarantee, in view of the provisions of Section 10(2) and Regulation 2, that the Vice-Chancellor would necessarily be the Chairman of the meeting of the University Court for which the resolution was intended. There is, therefore, no reason for such a right being conferred upon the Vice-Chancellor with regard to resolutions intended for meetings of the University Court. If any other person happens to be the Chairman of the meeting' in question, and he consents, and the majority of those present permit, any resolution can be put up and business transacted at that meeting by virtue of the provisions of Regulation No. 11. If, therefore, a resolution could be ruled out by the Vice-Chancellor under Section 12(3), and the same is put up at the meeting- under Regulation No. 11 and is permitted to be considered in the manner indicated therein, there would be a clear conflict which could never have been intended by the framers of the Act or the Regulations. Moreover, a blanket power of that nature, if applicable to business which has to be transacted at a meeting-, would set at naught the entire process of free discussion at meetings of public bodies whose members may never come to know that a particular resolution was mooted at all. This could also not have been intended by the Legislature or by the framers of the Regulations. ]', therefore hold that, though Section 12(3) is very wide in terms, it does not confer any power on the Vice-Chancellor to keep out a resolution from reaching the meeting of the University Court for which it was intended . I hold that, in that respect, he has only the limited powers under Regulation 8 discussed above, which do not include the power to rule out prior to the meeting any resolution whatsoever.

46. Mr. Bobde has conceded that there is not a single reported case in which the ruling out of a resolution before the meeting has been upheld by the Court, and I am not surprised that that is so. He has only referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Jai Charan Lal v. State of U.P. : [1967]3SCR981 in which the act of a statutory Chairman adjourning a meeting even before it was held was held to be valid. It may, however, be pertinent to note that under Sub-section (4) of Section 87A of the U.P.. Municipalities Act, 1916, under which that question arose, if a statutory Chairman did not arrive within half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting, the meeting was to stand automatically adjourned to a later date to he notified, and in Sub-section (5) of the same section it was provided, 'if the judicial officer is unable to preside at the meeting he may, after recording his reasons, adjourn the meeting' to such other date and time as he may appoint'. The rest of that sub-section is not material for the purpose of the present discussion. The Supreme Court in its judgment took into account the fact that Sub-section (4) provided for an automatic adjournment in the absence of the statutory Chairman which made it pointless to take the view that he could not adjourn the meeting in advance even if he knew in advance that he would not be able to attend the meeting. The Supreme Court also took the view that the terms of Sub-section (5) were wide enough to permit the statutory Chairman to adjourn the meeting even before it was held. Mr. Bobde has relied upon this decision for the proposition which he propounded that what could be done at the meeting could be done before the meeting, or at any rate, shortly before it. I am afraid the decision of the Supreme Court in Jai Charan Lal's case lays down no such broad proposition. It is clearly distinguishable on three grounds: First, the fact that there was statutory provision for an automatic adjournment which made it 'pointless' to hold the meeting; secondly, the terms of Sub-section (5) were wide enough to place the construction which the Supreme Court did place upon it; and thirdly, that that was a case of a statutory Chairman who alone could preside and there was, therefore, no possibility of conflict by the actual Chairman giving a different ruling. In the result, I hold that the Vice-Chancellor in the present case has no power to rule out the petitioner's resolution prior to the meeting of the Court, either under Regulation 54, or under Regulation 8 read with Section 12(3) of the Act. No other statutory provision has been relied upon on behalf of the respondents.

47. In that view of the matter, it is not really necessary for me to decide the first or the third proposition formulated by Mr. Kukde, As, however, the matter has been fully argued before us, I would prefer to express my views in regard to the first proposition which was that the petitioner's resolution does fall within Section 8(1) of the Act. I hold that the petitioner's resolution relates to a 'matter connected with the University' within the terms of Section 8(1) and the Vice-Chancellor was, therefore, wrong in the view which he took that it did not 'fall within the purview' thereof. The only ground on which the Vice-Chancellor has purported to rule out the petitioner's resolution is that it did not fall within the ambit of ,s. 8(1), and it is on that ground alone that he purported to exercise his powers under Regulation 54 for the purpose of ruling out that resolution. In my opinion, the Vice-Chancellor was right in confining himself to Section 8(1) and considering whether the resolution fell within its ambit, though of course, his conclusion in that behalf was, in my opinion, wrong and he had no power whatsoever to decide that matter at that stage. As stated above, the substance of the resolution was to have an inquiry directed by the Vice-Chancellor under Section 8(1) itself. What one has, therefore, to consider is whether the resolution fell within Section 8(1) and, in my opinion, Section 18 has nothing to do with it, though I may state that, according to me, matters relating to employment, affiliation and the functioning of the Faculties do fall within Section 18 also. Moreover, it is not as if the University is not concerned at all with an inspection or an inquiry under Section 8(1). All matters connected with the University in regard to which an inspection or an inquiry may be ordered by the Chancellor under Section 8(1) will ultimately have to be considered by the University under Section 8(2), which is, therefore, a power or duty of the University Court in addition to the powers enumerated in Section 18. The University Court considering the resolution at that stage would not conflict with its duty under Section 8(2), because all that the University Court will be concerned at that stage would be to find out whether there was a prima facie case for asking the Chancellor to direct an inquiry, whereas under Section 8(2) the University Court is required to express a definite opinion after considering the result of the inquiry which has to be communicated to the University Court by the Chancellor. It may be that the petitioner could get the same thing done by the Chancellor by approaching him directly under Section 8(1), but the petitioner is entitled to take the view that a resolution of the University Court would carry greater weight with the Chancellor. I have, therefore, no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the petitioner's resolution did fall within Section 8(1) of the Act. It is, indeed, hard to conceive how a matter so clearly connected with the University could be said to be ultra vires Section 8, or ultra vires the Act as a whole which is concerned with the larger interests of the University. I may, however, state that that is a matter primarily for the Chairman of the meeting, whoever he, may be, to decide.

48. As far as the third proposition of Mr, Kukde is concerned, namely, that the action of the Vice-Chancellor in ruling' out his resolution was contrary to the principles of natural justice, in so far as it was directed against him and he was thereby acting as a judge in his own cause is concerned, I do not propose to go into that question, as in view of the conclusion at which I have arrived in regard to the second proposition of Mr. Kukde, it is unnecessary for me to do so. I will only say that, in my opinion, it was improper on the part of the Vice-Chancellor, as a high functionary of an important public body like the University, to rule out a resolution which directly concerned him in his official capacity, even if he took the view that he had the power to do so. In this connection, it may be pointed out that the Vice-Chancellor could have referred the question as to whether the petitioner's resolution fell within Section 8(1) of the Act to the Chancellor under Section 60, and he had sufficient time to do so, but he has not chosen to adopt that course. In my opinion, if a question regarding the interpretation of any provision of the Act arises, Section 60 can be invoked, irrespective of the question as to whether the Vice-Chancellor has a doubt in regard to it, or was clear in his mind about it. I am not expressing any opinion on the question as to whether it would be legal or even proper, for the Vice-Chancellor to preside over a meeting at which such a resolution is on the agenda, or might be put up under Regulation No. 11 notwithstanding his prior rejection of it, rather than remain absent and allow some other person to take the chair at such meeting under Regulation No. 2. I must, however, state that I do not share the view of my brother Deshmukh on that question. I do not think it necessary to discuss the several other points which arose in the course of the argument and which have been dealt with by my brother Deshmukh as, with respect to him, in my opinion, they do not arise in this petition.

49. In the result, I would make the rule absolute in terms of prayer (1) of the petition. As my brother Deshmukh and myself have differed in regard to all the three propositions formulated by Mr. Kukde which have been set out above, the papers will have to be placed before the Chief Justice to have the questions contained in those three propositions referred to a third Judge under Clause 36 of the Letters Patent. In the situation which has arisen by reason of my brother Deshmukh and myself having differed, and in view of the fact that the meeting of the University Court is fixed for tomorrow and my brother Deshmukh is not agreeable to a stay being granted pending the disposal of this matter as prayed for in prayer (2) of the petition, I do hope that, in fairness to the petitioner, the meeting of the University which is fixed for February 22, 1969 will be adjourned till this petition is decided by a third Judge.

Chandurkar, J.

50. On a difference of opinion between Mr. Justice Deshmukh and Mr. Justice Vimadalal this petition has been placed before me under the orders of my Lord the Chief Justice.

51. The petitioner, who is a member of the Court of the Nagpur University and a principal of the Janata Mahavidyalaya, Chandrapur, had forwarded to the Registrar of the Nagpur University a resolution dated January 29, 1969 which he desired to move at the meeting of the Court which was convened to be held on February 22, 1969 by a notification issued on January 15, 1969 by the Registrar of the Nagpur University, respondent No. 2 to the petition. This resolution recites that the Chancellor of the Nagpur University should

be apprised of the discontent and dissatisfaction prevailing in the functioning of the affairs of the Nagpur University during the regime of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. V. B. Kolte, on account of the Vice Chancellor's acts of favouritism and nepotism in matters of employment, creating a sense of insecurity amongst the University employees; by his acts of undue interference in the functioning of the Faculties of the University; his unwarranted interference in the affiliation of new colleges and continuance of affiliations and in the management of the affiliated colleges, bringing about wholesale dissatisfaction amongst the students, the teachers and the public interested in University education and for that reason this Court requests the Hon'ble Chancellor to appoint a Committee under the provisions of Sub-section (I) of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act, 19C3, to cause an enquiry to be made in respect of the matters referred to above and to take necessary action against Vice Chancellor Dr. V.B. Kolte for the mal-administration.

52. The petitioner claims that he had given the requisite notice of 23 days in respect of this resolution and that he was entitled to have this resolution included in the agenda of the meeting scheduled to be held on February 22, 1969. A communication dated February 11, 1969 was however,; received. by, the petitioner from the Deputy Registrar; acting for the Registrar of the University by which he was intimated that the matter referred to in his resolution did not fall within the purview of Section 8(1) of the Nagpur University Act, 1963, and that the Vice-Chancellor had, therefore, 'in accordance with the provisions of Regulation No. 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court' directed him to inform the petitioner that his resolution cannot be taken on the agenda of the University Court meeting.

53. After this communication was received by the petitioner he approached this Court by a petition filed on February 15, 1969 challenging the decision of the Vice-Chancellor. His grievance is that he has been illegally precluded from moving' the resolution at the meeting' of the University Court. In his petition he challenged the decision of the Vice-Chancellor not to include the resolution in the agenda for the meeting to be held on February 22, 1969 on four grounds. These grounds are as follows:

(1) The view expressed by the Vice-Chancellor that the resolution does not fall within the purview of Section 8(1) of the Nagpur University Act is not correct,

(2) The Vice-Chancellor is not entitled to forbid the said resolution from being considered by the University Court under Regulation 54, because under that Regulation the Vice-Chancellor is not entitled to preclude the resolution from going on the agenda even before the Court meeting is held.

(3) Neither the Vice-Chancellor (respondent No. 1) nor the Registrar (respondent No. 2) have any choice once a resolution is submitted if the Vice-Chancellor does not refer it to any other body.

(4) As the resolution pertains to the regime of the Vice-Chancellor and allegations were made in respect of the Vice-Chancellor himself he should not have sat in judgment over the resolution instead of allowing the said resolution to go on the agenda and be freely discussed at the meeting of the Court. On these grounds the petitioner asked for a direction that the resolution should be included in the agenda of the meeting of the Nagpur University Court scheduled for February 22, 1969. A. relief that during' the pendency of the petitioner's petition the respondents should be directed not to hold a meeting of the University Court was also asked for, but that part of the relief is not now material because the meeting has already been held as scheduled.

54. Both the respondents denied that the petitioner was entitled to any relief on the grounds enumerated above. According to their case in the return, the interpretation put forward by the petitioner upon Regulation 54 was not correct and they contended that even before the University Court meeting the Vice-Chancellor is entitled to give a decision about the inclusion of the resolution in the agenda. They also denied that merely because the resolution pertained to the regime of the Vice-Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor could not have taken a decision not to allow the resolution to be discussed at the meeting. Their further case was that initiation of an enquiry or inspection at the instance of the University was neither called for nor was it within the competence of the University Court. .According to them, the resolution which was sent by the petitioner was not covered by any of the powers or duties of the University Court as contemplated by Section 18 or other relevant provisions of the Act, The right of the petitioner to move the said resolution was also contested on the ground that the Nagpur University Court has no say in the matter of appointment of the Vice-Chancellor nor has it any power, authority or .jurisdiction to pass a resolution which was in the nature of vote of no confidence in the Vice-Chancellor.

55. The petition was heard by Deshmukh and Vimadalal JJ. On a construction of Section 8 of the Nagpur University Act, 1963, Deshmukh J. held that the University Court comes into the picture for the first time under Sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the Act and therefore to make the Court deliberate on a private resolution upon such information as the petitioner may have and make the Court express some opinion for or against the resolution would be to subvert the provisions of Section 8. He further held that the resolution was premature and had no scope in the scheme of the Act, and therefore, the Vice-Chancellor could prevent the resolution from going before the Court in exercise of his powers under Section 12(3) of the Act which deals with the powers and duties of the Vice-Chancellor. Deshmukh J. construed Regulation 8 of the Rules and Procedure of the Court as giving power to the Vice-Chancellor to send only such resolutions for the deliberation of the various bodies, including the Court, which related to their respective functions and to keep out the other resolutions which did not fall in the above category. Alternatively he held that if Regulation 8 did not in terms clothe the Vice-Chancellor with these powers the resolution was clearly outside the purview of the Act and was ultra vires of the Act and the Vice-Chancellor had all the powers to keep out such a resolution from the deliberation of the Court under Regulation 8 read with Sub-section (3) of Section 12 of the Act. He held that not only did the resolution not refer to a topic on which deliberation is permissible or possible under the provisions of Section 18, but that deliberation upon the alleged misconduct of the Vice-Chancellor is not within the purview of the Court under any of the provisions of the Act. On the question whether the petitioner was entitled to a relief under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, Deshmukh J. held that to move a resolution upon a subject which was ultra vires of the Act did not appear to be the right of the petitioner under Regulation 8, and therefore, he was not entitled to the assistance of this Court in doing something which he was unable to justify as being legally done.

56. Vimadalal J. did not agree with the view taken by Deshmukh J. that the Vice-Chancellor had power to rule out the resolution sent by the petitioner prior to the meeting of the University Court. The petitioner's case was formulated in three propositions which he discussed. These propositions were:

(i) That the petitioner's resolution does fall within Section 8(1) of the Act;

(ii) that even if the petitioner's resolution does not fall within Section 8(1) of the Act, it cannot be ruled out by the Vice-Chancellor prior to the meeting, but could only be dealt with at the meeting in accordance with Regulations Nos. 45 and 54; and

(iii) that, the action of the Vice-Chancellor in ruling out the resolution in question which was directed against him was contrary to the principles of natural justice in so far as he was thereby acting as a Judge in his own cause.

Vimadalal J. took the second proposition for consideration first and held that Regulation 54 relates only to what can be done at the meeting of the Court itself and did not profess to deal with the situation prior to the meeting. He further took the view that the respondents were not entitled to fall back on Regulation 8 or Section 12(3) of the Act, because not only did the communication of the Registrar sent to the petitioner not refer to any exercise of powers under this Regulation but the case that the action of the Vice-Chancellor was valid under Regulation 8 read with Section 12(3) was not to be found even in the return. He took the view that it would not be permissible for the respondents to sustain the action of respondent No. 1 on the basis of a provision, the power under which was never sought to be exorcised; and even on merits he took the view th at all resolutions in respect of which actions under Clauses (1) and (2) of Regulation 8(b) were not taken had to be entered on the agenda. On a construction of Section 12(3) of the Act, he held that the provision did not relate to the proceedings connected with the meeting of the University Court with which only Sub-sections (1) and (2) of that section were concerned. He held that though Section 12(3) was very wide in terms it did not confer any power on the Vice-Chancellor to keep out a resolution from reaching the meeting of the University Court for which it was intended. Referring to the first proposition reproduced above, Vimadalal J. held that the petitioner's resolution fell within the terms of Section 8(1) as it related to 'matters connected with the University' within the terms of Section 8(1). He further held that matters relating to employment, affiliation and functioning of the Faculties fall within Section 18 and that all matters connected with the University in regard to which an inspection or enquiry may be ordered by the Chancellor under Section 8(1) ultimately will have to be considered by the University under Section 8(2), which was therefore a power or duty of the University Court in addition to the powers enumerated in Section 18. He further observed that though the resolution of the petitioner did fall within Section 8(1) that was really a matter primarily for the Chairman of the meeting, whoever he may be, to decide. Vimadalal J. did not think it necessary to go into the question whether the action of the Vice-Chancellor in ruling out the resolution was contrary to the principles of natural justice. He however expressed an opinion that it was improper for the Vice-Chancellor to rule out a resolution which directly concerned him in his official capacity even if he took the view that he had the power to do so. He did not express any opinion on the question as to whether it would be legal or even proper for the Vice-Chancellor to preside over a meeting at which such a resolution is on the agenda or might be put up under Regulation No. 11 notwithstanding his prior rejection of it, rather than remain absent and allow some other person to take the chair at such a meeting- under Regulation No. 2. Having discussed the questions as stated above, Vimadalal J. expressed the view that he did not think it necessary to discuss several other points which arose in the course of the argument and which have been dealt with by Deshmukh J. as, with respect to him, in his opinion, they did not arise in the petition.

57. There was thus a difference of opinion on the question whether the Vice-Chancellor had the power to rule out the resolution Annexure 1 from the agenda of the meeting of the Court which was to be held on February 22, 1969 before the time of the meeting. Regulation 8 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court which admittedly are the Regulations which are in force is as follows:

8. (a) A member who wishes to move a resolution shall give twenty-three clear days notice of his intention to do so to the Registrar, and shall together with the notice, submit a copy of the resolution which he wishes to move. The Vice-Chancellor may in his discretion allow to be entered on the agenda any resolution received beyond time.

(b) The Registrar, before entering any such resolution en the agenda paper, shall submit it to the Vice-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor may refer-

(1) any resolution on a matter the consideration of which in the first instance properly appertains to another authority or body of the University, except a resolution submitted under the provisions of Sub-section (6) of Section 27 of the Act, to the appropriate authority or body for consideration and the decision of that authority or body shall be placed before the Court at its next meeting and

(2) any resolution tending to revise the Acts of the Executive or Academic Council under the provisions of Section 18 of the Act, to the Council concerned at a meeting of that Council preceding the meeting of the Court, and the decision of the Council shall be placed before the Court.

The petitioner's contention is that under this Regulation the duty of making an agenda is that of the Registrar and the power of the Vice-Chancellor in respect of a resolution sent by a member of the Court under this rule is limited to the one contained in Clause (b) and if the Vice-Chancellor does not refer a resolution to an authority or body of the University, the consideration of which in the first instance may properly appertain to that body, the Registrar must include the resolution in the agenda of the meeting for which it is intended. The learned counsel for respondent No. 1, however, argues that Regulation 8(b) of the Rules governing the procedure of the Court must be so construed as to vest powers in the Vice-Chancellor not only to see whether the resolution pertains to any other body of the University, but also to see whether it pertains to the duties and the powers of the Court.

58. In order to appreciate the rival contentions a reference to some provisions of the Act and the Regulations is necessary. Section 15 of the Act prescribes that the Court is an authority of the University and under Section 13 it is provided that the Registrar shall be a whole time salaried officer and shall act as the Secretary of the Court, of the Executive Council, of the Academic Council and of the Board of University Teaching and Research. Thus statutorily the Registrar is required to function as the Secretary of the University Court, Under Regulation 8 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court a member who wishes to move his resolution has to give twenty-three clear days notice of his intention to do so to the Registrar and has to submit a copy of the resolution which he wishes to move. Having regard to the fact that the Registrar is to function as the Secretary of the Court it is clear that when a resolution is required to be sent to him under Regulation 8(a) ho is functioning as the Secretary of the Court. A discretion is given to the Vice-Chancellor under the latter part of Clause (a) of Regulation 8 to allow a resolution received beyond time to be entered on the agenda. Clause (a) of Regulation 8 does not seem to give any discretion either to the Registrar or to the Vice-Chancellor to exclude from the agenda any resolution if it satisfies the condition of the required notice. The latter part of Clause (a) of Regulation 8 gives a clear indication that while resolutions received beyond time could be entered on the agenda only if the Vice-Chancellor allows them, other resolutions received within time must be entered on the agenda by the Registrar who also is the Secretary of the Court. Under Clause (b) the Registrar has to submit a resolution received by him to the Vice-Chancellor before entering it on the agenda and that clause also lays down how the Vice-Chancellor may deal with a resolution so submitted to him by the Registrar. The words 'before entering any such resolution on the agenda paper' in Clause (b) clearly refers to the resolution referred to in Clause (a), namely, resolution received within time and resolution which may have been received beyond time but the Vice-Chancellor, in his discretion, has allowed it to be entered on the agenda. After a resolution is submitted to the Vice-Chancellor, if he finds that the consideration of that resolution in the first instance properly appertains to another authority or body of the University he has discretion to refer that particular resolution to the appropriate authority or body for consideration and the decision of that authority or body is required to be placed before the Court at its next meeting. The words 'properly appertains to another authority or body of the University', must be construed as referring to a body or authority other than the University Court. Otherwise the word 'another' will have no significance and in my view the use of the word 'another' is clearly intended to indicate that the body or authority contemplated is other than the University Court. It is only if the Vice-Chancellor exercises his discretion in respect of any such resolution that that resolution can be referred to another body or authority, with the result that it requires to be omitted from the agenda of that particular meeting and the subject is then placed at the next meeting of the Court. Sub-clause (2) of Clause (b) relates to a resolution tending to revise the acts of the Academic Council or the Executive Council under the provisions of Section 18 of the old Act. The powers and duties of the Nagpur University Court under the Nagpur University Act, 1923, were different from the powers and duties of the Court under the present Act. Under Section 18 of the old Act it was provided that the Court shall be the supreme governing body of the University and shall have power to revise the acts of the Executive and Academic Councils and shall exercise all powers and perform all duties conferred or imposed on it by or under this Act and shall exercise all the powers of the University not otherwise provided for by or under this Act. Thus the provisions of Section 18 of the old Act gave authority to the Court to revise the acts of the Executive and Academic Councils and it is in respect of such resolutions that the Vice-Chancellor could exercise power under Sub-clause (2) of Clause (b) of Regulation 8. The position of the Court, however, under the new Act is entirely different and it ceases to be the supreme governing body of the University. The resolution contemplated by Sub-clause (2) of Clause (b) of Regulation 8 was a resolution intended to revise the acts of the Executive or Academic councils by the Court in the exercise of its powers as the supreme governing body of the University. Such a position cannot be contemplated now, and therefore, Sub-clause (2) of Clause (b) of Regulation 8 must be taken to be inoperative. This position was not disputed by the learned counsel for the respondents. The construction which is sought to be placed on Regulation 8 by the learned counsel for the respondents that the power to refer a resolution to any other body or authority of the University must be taken to include the power to refer or not to refer a- resolution to the Court is not borne out by the manner in which Regulation 8 is framed. The discretion of the Vice-Chancellor while dealing with a resolution submitted to him by the Registrar is clearly limited by the provisions of Clause (b)(1) of Regulation 8 and no further power or discretion to the Vice-Chancellor can be read in Regulation 8. On a simple construction of Regulation 8, therefore, I am of the view that subject to action being taken by the Vice-Chancellor under Sub-clause (b) all resolutions including those received beyond time but permitted to be entered on the agenda, in which such action is not taken must be entered by the Registrar who is the Secretary of the Board on the agenda of the meeting for which they are submitted.

59. This construction also receives support from Regulation 9 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court. Regulation 9 is as follows:

9. The ^Registrar shall, eighteen clear days before the day of the meeting, forward to each member an agenda paper showing the business to be brought before the meeting and resolutions to be proposed to which notice has been given and the names of the proposers of the resolution.

(Italics are mine).

This Regulation makes it clear that the agenda paper must show resolutions of which notice has been given and the resolutions contemplated by this Regulation are the resolutions of which notice has been given under Regulation 8(a). This Regulation does not make any mention of the fact that resolutions which are only permitted by the Vice-Chancellor to be put on the agenda paper are to be included in the agenda and the only requirement which is to be fulfilled for a resolution to be included in the agenda which is to be forwarded by the Registrar to the members of the Court is that due notice as contemplated by Regulation 8 has been given. The action of the Vice-Chancellor, therefore, in deciding 'that the resolution should not be inscribed on the agenda', to use the words of the counsel for the respondents, cannot be supported on the ground that he had any power to so decide under Regulation 8.

60. The learned counsel for the respondents then contended that the power to rule out resolution from agenda could also be spelled out from Regulation No. 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court. Regulation 11 is as follows:

11. No business oilier than that contained in the agenda paper shall be transacted at a meeting unless with the consent of the Chairman of the meeting, and unless permission is given to introduce it by the vote of majority of the members present.

It is argued that in view of this provision & resolution which is not contained in the agenda paper could still be discussed at a meeting with the consent of the Chairman and if permission is given to introduce it by the vote of majority of the members present. The further argument is that a matter may not be included in the agenda paper for diverse reasons and one of the reasons can be that a resolution can be excluded from the agenda. Thus according to the learned counsel for the respondents, if a resolution which was not on agenda can be discussed in the meeting, then a power must be implied in the Vice-chancellor that the resolution could be ruled out of agenda prior to the meeting. I am unable to see how such a proposition can flow from Regulation 11. The manner of submission of resolution and the making of the agenda is specifically provided by Regulation 8 and Regulation 8 also prescribes the contingency in which a particular resolution may not be put on the agenda of that particular meeting of the University Court, i.e. if action is taken under Clause (1) of Regulation 8(b). In the face of the provisions of Regulation 8 and in the absence of any express provision empowering the Vice-Chancellor to rule out the resolution from the agenda of the meeting, it is impossible to spell out such a power from Regulation 11 which does not even remotely refer to any such power.

61. The learned counsel for the respondents then referred to the provisions of Section 16 of the Bombay General Clauses Act which provides that where a power to make any appointment is conferred, then unless a different intention appears, an authority having power to make the appointment shall also have a power to suspend and dismiss any person appointed by it in exercise of that power and contended that if there was a power to include a particular item on the agenda, then a power must also be implied to exclude, an item from the agenda. The learned counsel relied on a decision of the Federal Court in K. V. Rayarappan Nayanar v. K. V. Madhavi Amma [1949] F.C.R. 667. The Federal Court in this case has held that Order XL, Rule 1, Civil Procedure Code which empowers the Court to appoint a Receiver must be read along with Section 16 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, which provides that the power to make an appointment includes the power to remove or dismiss the person appointed, and an order removing a Receiver is therefore an order under Rule 1 of Order XL, Civil Procedure Code, appealable under the provisions of Order XLIIII, Rule 1, Civil Procedure Code.

62. Section 16 of the Bombay General Clauses Act provides for a statutory power to suspend or dismiss a person in the authority which has the power to make the appointment. In my view the provisions of Section 16 of the General Clauses Act or the principle contained therein does not help the respondents. Referring to Section 16 of the General. Clauses Act their Lordships of the Federal Court in Rayarappan Nayanar's case (cit. supra) have observed as follows (p. 669):

The statute has codified the will understood rule of general law as stated by Woodroffe on Receivers, Fourth Edition, that the power to terminate flows naturally and as a necessary sequence from the power to create. In other words, it is a necessary adjunct of the power of appointment and is exercised as an incident to, or consequence of, that power;...

The existence of the power to make the appointment is a precondition for the applicability of Section 16 of the General Clauses Act. If the Vice-Chancellor has no power to decide whether a resolution should be included in the Agenda or not, then the question of a further power not to include it does not arise. The only power which the Vice-Chancellor has under Regulation 8 is one to condone the delay in giving a notice of the resolution and to refer a particular resolution to an authority or body of the University other than the University Court. Applying the principle of Section 16 of the Bombay General Clauses Act, assuming it to be applicable, it can only mean that the power to condone the delay includes the power not to condone it and the power to refer a resolution to another authority or body implies the power not to refer it to such a body or authority. But if beyond these two powers the Vice-Chancellor has no other power in the matter of resolutions submitted to the Registrar, it is difficult to sustain the action of the Vice-Chancellor of deciding to exclude the petitioner's resolution from agenda on the basis of the analogy of Section 16 of the General Clauses Act. In my view this not a case where the applicability of the principle contained in Section 16 of the General Clauses Act can be successfully invoked by the respondents.

63. The respondents then contended that Regulation 8 was not a total repository of the power to deal with an agenda and that such power can also be spelt out from Section 12(3) of the Act. It is contended on behalf of the respondents that if the resolution was outside the powers of the Court the Vice-Chancellor acting in exercise of the powers under Section 12(3) of the Act which cast on him a duty to see that the Statutes are faithfully observed Was entitled to take a decision that the resolution was ultra vires the powers of the Court and he had, therefore, power to direct that the resolution should not be included in the agenda of the meeting. To appreciate this contention it is necessary to refer to the provisions of Section 12(1), (2) and (3) of the Act, which are as follows:

12. (1) The Vice-Chancellor shall be the principal executive and. academic officer of the University and shall, in the absence of the Chancellor, preside at meetings of the Court and any convocation of the University. He shall be an etc-officio member and the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Academic Council, and of the Committees constituted under sections 45, 46 and 47. He shall be entitled to be present, with the right to speak, at any meeting of any other authority or body of the University, but shall not be entitled to vote thereat unless he is a member of that authority or body.

(3) The Vice-Chancellor shall have power to convene meetings of the Court, Executive Council, the Academic Council, the Board of University Teaching and Research and such other authorities of which he is the Chairman. He may delegate this power to any other officer of the University.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that this Act, the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations are faithfully observed, and he shall have all powers necessary for this purpose.

Section 12(1) provides that the Vice-Chancellor shall be the principal executive and academic officer of the University and shall, in the absence of the, Chancellor, preside at meetings of the Court. He has also been made an ex-officio member and the Chairman of the Executive Council, of the Academic Council and of the Committees constituted under Sections 45, 46 and 47. Under Sub-section (2) the Vice-Chancellor has been given a power to convene meetings of Court, Executive Council, the Academic Council, the Board of University Teaching and Research and such other authorities of which he is the Chairman. This power to convene meetings of these bodies can be delegated by him to any other officer of the University. Then under Sub-section (5) a duty is cast on the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that the Act, the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations are faithfully observed and he can exercise all powers necessary for the purpose. It is obvious that this duty which is cast on the Vice-Chancellor is in his capacity as the principal Executive and Academic officer of the University. The function of making an agenda of the meeting of the University Court, has, by the Regulations been entrusted to the Registrar, who is the Secretary of the Court. It is difficult to extend the scope of the powers or duties of the Vice-Chancellor as principal Executive and Academic officer of the University to the field which is expressly covered by specific rules, and in my view Section 12(5) has no relevance so far as the determination of the question whether a matter should be allowed to be debated by the University Court or not is concerned. Indeed, in my opinion, the position would be the other way, and if as according to the learned counsel for the respondents under this section a supervisory jurisdiction is given to the Vice-Chancellor over the acts of the Registrar in his capacity as the Secretary of the Board, or while he is performing his functions under Regulation 8, then having reached to the construction, which I have placed on Regulation 8, it will be the duty of the Vice-Chancellor to see that the Registrar observes the Regulations and puts every resolution, of which proper notice has been given, on the agenda paper. As I shall presently show the question whether a resolution included on the agenda is in. order or not is really for the Chairman of the meeting of the Court to decide. In my view in the purported exercise of the powers of the Principal Executive and Academic Officer under Section 12(5) of the Act, the Vice-Chancellor cannot control the proceedings of the meeting of the Court because that is a function which, under the Regulations, belongs to the Chairman of the meeting and in a given case the Chairman of the meeting may or may not be the Vice-Chancellor. This is clear from Regulation 2 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court which requires that if both the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor are absent from any meeting, the members shall elect a Chairman for the meeting.

64. It was contended for the petitioner that in the return filed by the respondents it is not their case that the Vice-Chancellor was acting in the exercise of his powers under Section 12(3). It is true that the respondents have not sought to support the action of the Vice-Chancellor in the return on the basis of the alleged powers under Section 12(3), but it is well established that if an act done by an authority is referable to a particular power which that authority possesses, merely because that authority states a wrong provision of law as a source of its power that authority cannot be shut out from showing that the exercise of that power is referable to some other provision in the Act. In Hukumchand Mills v. State of Madhya Pradesh : [1964]52ITR583(SC) their Lordships of the Supreme Court observed that it is well settled that merely a wrong reference to the power under which certain actions are taken by the Government would not per se vitiate the act done, if they can be justified under some other power under which the Government could lawfully do these acts. In my view these observations will apply with equal force to the acts of a statutory authority and merely because a statutory authority makes a wrong reference to the provisions of law under which it was acting, if, in fact, that act of the statutory authority is referable to any other provision of law that authority is entitled to justify the act under that provision. If Section 12(5) really could have been successfully invoked by the respondents they were entitled to have the action of the Vice-Chancellor supported under Section 12(3), but as I have pointed out Section 12(3) does not give any such power as the respondents claim for the Vice-Chancellor.

65. It was further argued that a power to convene a meeting given to the Vice-Chancellor under Section 12(2) coupled with the power under Section 12(1) will take in a power to decide whether a matter should be taken on an agenda or not. Even this argument it is difficult for me to accept. The power under Section 12(2) is restricted only to the convening of the meeting of the Court and other bodies specified therein. The word 'convene' means, according to Oxford Dictionary, to come together, to assemble or meet for a common purpose or for united action; to cause to come together, to summon (a person) before a tribunal. In the context in which the word 'convene' is used in Section 12(2) of the Act it can only mean 'call' or 'summon'. Thus Section 12(2) only provides for calling of the meeting of the Court and other bodies or authorities. It is that limited power, which itself is capable of delegation, that is given under Section 12(2) and I fail to see how this power could be said to include something which is not even conveyed by the term 'convene' which is used in Section 12(2). Therefore, even under Section 12(2) read with Section 12(1) the Vice-Chancellor cannot be said to have the power to decide whether a resolution should be placed on an agenda or not.

66. It is next contended on behalf of the respondents that the resolution submitted by the petitioner does not relate to any of the items specified in Section 18 of the Nagpur University Act, 1963, which provides for powers and duties of the Court, and therefore, the resolution could not be discussed by the Nagpur University Court. Another limb of the same argument is that the subject of asking the Chancellor to make an enquiry under Section 8 of the Act is also not within the powers of the Court and therefore it was rightly excluded from the agenda by the Vice-Chancellor. On the other hand it is argued on behalf of the petitioner that under Clause (xi) of Section 29 of the Act the University Court has the power to frame Statutes regarding classification and mode of appointment of teachers of the University and if there is any violation of any Statutes regarding the appointments of teachers of the University, then the Court will have the power to discuss whether the Statutes framed by it have been violated or not. According to the learned counsel, the resolution relates to a sense of insecurity amongst the University employees on account of the Vice-Chancellor's acts of favouritism and nepotism in matters of employment, and therefore the resolution, relates to the question whether the Statutes regarding employment of teachers have been violated or not. His further argument is that the several Faculties are Authorities of the University under Section 15(iv) of the Act, and under Section 29(iv) the Court has a power to frame Statutes regarding the constitution, powers and duties of the authorities of the University, which also include the Faculties. The argument is that the Faculties must be allowed to function in accordance with the Statutes framed by the Court and if these Statutes are violated as a result of undue interference in the functioning of the Faculties of the University the Court is entitled to take notice of this interference and discuss the matter. Further about the subject of dissatisfaction amongst the students, the teachers and the public interested in the University education, with regard to which the resolution is framed, the learned counsel for the petitioner contends that this is covered by Clause (in) of Section 18(1) which is as under:

18.(1)(vi) Subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by or under this Act, the Court shall exercise the following powers and perform the following duties, namely:-to institute and confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions;

It is further argued on behalf of the petitioner that the University Court has the power to consider and pass resolutions on the annual reports which are framed and presented to the Court as required by .s. 51 of the Act and the annual report must relate to the affairs of the University in the preceding year and if the report can be discussed by the Court this discussion must necessarily relate to the acts of the Vice-Chancellor in his capacity as the principal Executive and Academic officer of the University and therefore a discussion of the acts of the Vice-Chancellor not only cannot be said to be outside the purview of the powers of the Court, but falls expressly within such powers under Section 18. He further relies on '.Regulation 56 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court under which a member of the Court is entitled to put questions regarding any matter connected with the administration of the University. He relies on Clause (e) of the conditions which are laid down in that proviso which reads as follows:

Provided that no question shall be admitted, unless it complies with the following conditions :-

(a) ...

(b) ...

(c) ...

(d) ...

(e) It shall not refer to the character or conduct of any person, except in his official capacity as connected with the University.

On the basis of this condition (e) it is contended that the conduct of the Vice-Chancellor in his official capacity can expressly be made subject of questions to be asked by a member of the Court which again indicates, according to the learned counsel, that conduct of the Vice-Chancellor in his official capacity can be a subject matter of discussion in the University Court. His further contention is that Section 8 empowers the Chancellor to cause an enquiry to be made in respect of any matter connected with the University and that the matters raised by the resolution are certainly matters which are connected with the University and if the Court can discuss these matters, then the Court can also suggest to the Chancellor that an enquiry into the matters raised by the resolution should be made by the Chancellor. According to him, Regulation 45 gives the Chairman of the meeting power to give a ruling on a point of order, and, if at all, it is in exercise of this power that the resolution could be ruled out by the Chairman.

67. I have reproduced the rival contentions because the question whether the resolution falls within the powers and duties of the Court under the Act was argued before me. In my view, however, the question whether the resolution sent by the petitioner falls or does not fall within the powers and duties of the Court is a matter which does not arise for decision in this case. In my view the scope of the petition cannot be unduly enlarged. The limited grievance of the petitioner in this case is that the Vice-Chancellor does not have the power to decide if a resolution should be excluded from the agenda and to rule out the resolution even before the meeting. If the Vice-Chancellor does not have this power under any of the provisions of the Act or the Regulations as held by me, then the question whether the resolution is outside the powers of the Court as contained in Section 18 or any other provision of the Act or whether the Court was competent to discuss a resolution regarding action to be taken by the Vice-Chancellor under Section 8 of the Act is really a matter on which the Vice-Chancellor is not competent to take a decision before the meeting is held. The occasion to decide whether the subject contained in the resolution falls within the competence of the powers and duties of the Court is only the meeting; of the Court and the proper person to take that decision is the Chairman of that meeting, whosoever he may be, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Court. If the question of such determination properly falls within the power and jurisdiction of the Chairman of the meeting of the Court, in my view and with respect to Deshmukh J., it will not be proper for this Court to decide that question before the authority competent to decide it has given a decision on it. In this context a reference may well be made to Regulation 11 which permits a matter not contained in the agenda to be transacted with the consent of the Chairman of the meeting and if permission to introduce it is given by the vote of majority of the members present. This indicates that the ultimate decision, right or wrong, whether a resolution should be discussed or not, ultimately rests with the Chairman and the majority of the members present at the meeting. In such circumstances any decision on the question whether the resolution can or cannot be discussed by the Court will be premature having regard to the limited scope of the petition, which relates essentially to the powers of the Vice-Chancellor which he purported to exercise by excluding the resolution from the agenda before the meeting.

68. The next argument in support of the action of the Vice-Chancellor is that if the Vice-Chancellor had the power to give a decision on the legality and validity of the resolution of the petitioner at the meeting he could, well exercise those powers even prior to the meeting. According to the learned counsel, what could be done 'at the meeting' could also be done at a point of time proximate and near to the time of the meeting and in support of this proposition the learned counsel relies on a decision in the Supreme Court in Jai Charm Lal v. State of U.P. : [1967]3SCR981 . A reference is also made to the meaning of the word 'at' in the Oxford Dictionary, which meaning is given as 'in a sense of close to or nearby'. I am unable to accept the argument that if a decision regarding the resolution can be given at the meeting it could also be given prior to the meeting. As already pointed out, the Regulations governing the Rules of Procedure of the Court contemplate that the questions raised at the meeting shall be decided by the Chairman, who, as already stated, may or may not be the Vice-Chancellor. Even if the Vice-Chancellor is the Chairman, then it is in his capacity as the Chairman of the meeting and not as the Vice-Chancellor that he gets the power to decide the legality or validity of a resolution sought to be moved by a member of the Court at the meeting of the Court. The powers which are given to the Chairman by the Rules of Procedure of the Court are the powers of the Chairman and not the powers which, are to be exercised as the Vice-Chancellor. The powers of the Chairman of the meeting could only be exercised by the Chairman at the meeting itself. I fail to see how the learned counsel can draw any support from the decision in Jai Charan Lal's case relied upon by him. The facts in that case were that under the provisions of the U.P. Municipalities Act the District Magistrate who had a power to convene a meeting- to consider a motion of no confidence oil the President of the Board, had to arrange with the District Judge for a stipendary civil judicial officer to preside at the meeting and there was a prohibition that no other person shall preside at such a meeting. Sub-section(5) of Section 87 of the II.P. Municipalities Act which dealt with the motion of no confidence against the President was as follows:

87. (5) If the judicial officer is unable to preside at the meeting, he may, after recording his reasons adjourn the meeting to such other date and time as he may appoint but not later than fifteen days from the date appointed for the meeting under Sub-section (3). He shall without delay communicate in writing to the District Magistrate the adjournment of the meeting. It shall not be necessary to send notice of the date and the time of the adjourned meeting to the members individually, but the District Magistrate shall give notice of the date and the time of the adjourned meeting by publication in the manner provided in Sub-section (3).

The District Judge had nominated the Additional Civil Judge, Aligarh for presiding over the meeting which was convened on November 25, 1966. The Additional Civil Judge, however, made an order on November 22, 1966 intimating that he was unable to preside at the meeting on November 25, 1966 and that the meeting would be adjourned to December 5 and the District Magistrate sent out a notice on the same date intimating the members of the change of date. The resolution of no-confidence was passed and the person against whom the resolution was passed approached the High Court to get the resolution quashed. The High Court declined to do so on the ground that even if there were some irregularities in calling the meeting the resolution having been passed by necessary majority the ease was not fit for its exercise in its discretionary powers. One of the contentions advanced in appeal before the Supreme Court was that the action of the Additional Civil Judge, Aligarh in changing the date of the meeting violated the provisions of Sub-section (5), because the judicial officer was not empowered to adjourn the meeting in advance but he could only do so if he was unable to preside at the meeting, that is to say, on the date on which the meeting was to be held. Negativing this argument and referring to Sub-section (4) of Section 87, their Lordships observed as follows (p. 8) :. Sub-section (4) provides that if the presiding judicial officer does not attend the meeting, the meeting stands automatically adjourned after half an hour to a date and time to be appointed later find notified to the members by that officer under Sub-section (5). It seems pointless, therefore, to think that if the judicial officer knows in advance that he would not be able to attend the meeting that he has not the power to adjourn the meeting in advance. No visible profit results from such a construction. In fact, the words of Sub-section (5) are that if the judicial officer is unable to preside at the meeting he may, after recording his reasons, adjourn the meeting to such other date and time as he may appoint. This can happen not only at the meeting but also before the date of meeting if the judicial officer is in a position to say that he would be unable to preside at the meeting. If this were not so some unforeseen event which requires the presiding officer to be absent would frustrate the entire no-confidence motion because the judicial officer would be unable to adjourn it in advance. That the consequences under Sub-section (4) would automatically flow also show that it should be possible for the presiding officer to adjourn a meeting which under the law would in any event be adjourned under Sub-section (4). In our opinion it is not necessary that the judicial officer should be present at the meeting and then adjourn it for purposes of Sub-section (5). He can take action in advance. This will be convenient all round because it will save members from attendance on that day. This was done in this case and in our opinion the action was correct.

As the above quoted observations will show the decision turned on a construction of Sub-sections (4) and (5) of Section 87 of the U.P. Municipalities Act, 1916, and this decision, therefore, is hardly of. assistance to the respondents in support of their contention that if the resolution could be ruled out at the meeting of the Court the same could be done also at a point of time prior to the meeting.

69. It is then argued that even assuming that the decision of the Vice-Chancellor was wrong, this Court could not sit in appeal against that decision and a mere error in the construction of the power under Regulation 8 was not reversible in exercise of the powers under Article 226 of the Constitution. The learned counsel relied on the decisions of the Supreme Court in Vice-Chancellor v. S.K. Ghosh : [1954]1SCR883 and Principal, Patna College v. K.S. Raman A.I.R. [1960] S.C. 707. In the Utkal University case the Supreme Court held that in mandamus petitions, the High Court and the Supreme Court would not act as Court of appeal and consider and examine the facts for themselves. It has further been observed that it was not the function of the Court of law to substitute their wisdom and discretion for that of the persons to whose judgment the matter in question was entrusted by the law. The facts of that ease were that the syndicate of the University on hearing the Principal of the Medical College and examining the President of the Board of Examiners and one another person passed a resolution that it was satisfied that there had been a leakage of questions from the paper in Anatomy and the result of the Anatomy examination be cancelled' and another examination in the subject should be held commencing from May 7, 1951. The Syndicate consisted of 12 members out of whom at this meeting one member, who was not told that the matter regarding the leakage of the question paper was to be considered, was absent. The Syndicate was asked to reconsider its decision by the successful candidates at the examination and the Vice-Chancellor without placing this matter on the agenda suo motu brought it for decision at a later meeting when one of the members who was present at the earlier meeting remained absent, but the earlier decision was unanimously adhered to. The High Court on these facts held that want of notice to the absent member at each of the meetings invalidated the resolution and it was further held by the High Court that they had examined the facts for themselves and concluded that even if the evidence was sufficient to indicate a possibility of some leakage there was 'no justification for the Syndicate to pass such, a drastic resolution in the absence of proof of the quantum and the amplitude of leakage,' and that the Syndicate had acted unreasonably and without due care. A mandamus was, therefore, directed to the Syndicate to take steps for publication of the results. In appeal by the Vice-Chancellor and other persons connected with the University the right of the Syndicate to control the examinations, to scrutinise the results, to invalidate an examination for proper reasons and to order a re-examination, when necessary, was not disputed. On these facts the decision of the High Court was reversed and their Lordships of the Supreme Court observed as follows (p. 219) :

The substance is more important than the form and if there is substantial compliance with the spirit and substance of the law, we are not prepared to let an unessential defect in form defeat what is otherwise a proper and valid resolution.... In our opinion, the High Court was wrong in holding that the two resolutions were invalid. Whatever may be thought about each taken separately, the defects, if any, arc, in our judgment, cured when the two are read together and regarded as a whole.

Referring to the decision of the Syndicate that there had been leakage of questions their Lordships observed (p. 219) :

We also think the High Court was wrong on the second point. The learned Judges rightly hold that in a 'mandamus' petition the High Court cannot constitute itself into a Court of appeal from the authority against which the appeal is sought, but having said that they went on to do just what they said they could not. The learned Judges appeared to consider that it is not enough to have facts established from which a leakage can legitimately be inferred by reasonable minds but that there must in addition be proof of its quantum and amplitude though they do not indicate what the yard-stick of measurement should be. That is a proposition to which we are not able to assent.

We are not prepared to perpetrate the error into which the learned High Court Judges permitted themselves to be led and examine the facts for ourselves as a Court of appeal but in view of the strictures the High Court has made on the Vice-Chancellor and the Syndicate toe are compelled to observe that we do not feel they are justified. The question was one of urgency and the Vice-Chancellor and the members of the Syndicate were well within their rights in exercising their discretion in the way they did. It may be that the matter could have been handled in some other way, as, for example, in the manner the learned Judges indicate, but it is not the function of Courts of law to substitute their wisdom and discretion for that of the persons to whose judgment the matter in question is entrusted by the law.

The University authorities acted honestly as reasonable and responsible men confronted with an urgent situation are entitled to act. They had experts of their own on their body. They examined others who in their opinion might throw light on the incident. They themselves compared the two papers and , after a deliberation of some six hours, arrived at an unanimous decision and then they reviewed the matter afresh at a second meeting with the assistance of one of their number who was not present on the first occasion. It is inaccurate to describe that as haste and unjust to characterise their action as unreasonable and lacking due care. This is decidedly not the sort of case in which a 'mandamus' ought to issue.

(Italics are mine.)

It will be clear that in the case before the Supreme Court power to control examinations, to scrutinise the results, to invalidate an examination for proper reason and to order a re-examination, when necessary, was not disputed and their Lordships of the Supreme Court held that the Syndicate had arrived at a decision that there had been a leakage of questions in Anatomy and therefore the result in Anatomy examination should be cancelled. The members of the Syndicate were well within their rights in exercising their discretion in the way in which they had done and on these facts the Supreme Court held that the action of the Syndicate was not liable to be challenged.

70. In the other case of the Principal, Patna College the Supreme Court has observed (p. 713) : .where the question involved is one of interpreting a regulation framed by the Academic Council of a University, the High Court should ordinarily be reluctant to issue a writ of certiorari where it is plain that the regulation in question is capable of two constructions, and it would generally not be expedient for the High Court to reverse a decision of the educational authorities on the ground that the construction placed by the said authorities on the relevant regulation appears to the High Court less reasonable than the alternative construction which it is pleased to accept.

The facts of this case were that in Geography, the respondent attended 73 out of 93 lectures, 15 out of 20 tutorials, and 6 out of 25 practicals. His percentage of attendance taken separately was 75,75 and 24; but if the said percentage was taken tog-ether, it would come to 66 and the case of the student was that the requirement under Regulation 4 of 75 per cent, attendance has not to be satisfied disjunctively by reference to lectures, tutorials and practicals, while the case of the University was that the requirement about 75 per cent. attendance has to be satisfied by a candidate in reference to lectures, tutorials and practicals taken separately, and not collectively; and unless that requirement is satisfied, the student does not become eligible to appear for the examination, subject to this that the shortage in attendance may be condoned as provided by the relevant regulations and in that case, the student may be permitted to appear at the examination. As the student was not permitted to appear at the examination and he was intimated that his roll number has been included in the list published earlier duo to clerical mistake, he approached the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The High Court rejected the construction placed by the University authorities on Regulation 4 regarding attendance and further held that it was obligatory on the Vice-Chancellor to have considered the question whether the deficiency in the respondent's attendance in the practicals of Geography should be condoned or not. The High Court, therefore, directed that a writ in the nature of certiorari should be issued to quash the impugned notice, and that a writ in the nature of mandamus should be issued to the appellants directing them to act in accordance with Regulation 5 in the light of the construction placed by the High Court on the said regulation. The High Court also ordered that if the shortage in the respondent's attendance was condoned by the Vice-Chancellor the result of the student in the examination which he had taken under the interim order of the Court will be published. The Principal of the College and the Vice-Chancellor appealed against this decision. Regulations 4 and 5 in that case were as follows (p. 710) :

Every candidate, presented by a College or a University Department at any University examination, shall be required to complete the regular course of study, prescribed by these regulations, in each subject which he offers for the examination. No student shall be considered to have completed the regular course of study in any subject unless he has attended at least seventy-five per cent of the lectures, tutorials and/or practicals, as the ease may be, delivered or provided in that subject, in one or more colleges or University Departments admitted in the subject, and has devoted due attention to that part of the course which consists of tutorial instruction or practical work.

The percentage, specified above, shall be calculated on the total number of lectures, tutorials and practicals delivered or provided during the session'...

'In case of serious illness or other unavoidable circumstances, a shortage of attendance at lectures, tutorials and practicals to the extent of fifteen per cent may be condoned.

Shortages upto five per cent shall be considered and may, in suitable circumstances, be condoned by the Principal of a College or the Head of a University Department or the Director of the Institute or the Head of the Institution concerned.

Shortages exceeding five per cent but not exceeding fifteen per cent shall be considered and may, in suitable circumstances, be condoned by the Vice-Chancellor'.

Their Lordships of the Supreme Court while construing Regulation 4 observed (P. 711) : .The second consideration which may not be irrelevant is that ever since the present regulations were brought into force in 1961, appellant No. 3 and colleges within its jurisdiction appear to have consistently interpreted Regulation 4 in the manner suggested by appellant No. 3.

Appellant No. 3 was the Patna University and their Lordships did not accept the construction placed on Regulation 4 by the High Court and held as under [p. 711) : .We are unable to agree. It seems to us that in the context, it is more reasonable to hold that the said requirement must be read disjunctively; and so, it must be satisfied by the student by reference to lectures, tutorials and/or practicals as the case may be.

It was further held (p. 711):.We have carefully considered the reasons given by the High Court in support of its conclusion, but we are not satisfied that those reasons justify the construction which the High Court has placed on the material words used in Regulation 4.

On these facts their Lordships further held in para. 20 of the judgment as follows (p. 713) :.It is hardly necessary to emphasise that in dealing with matters relating to orders passed by authorities of educational institutions under Article 226 of the Constitution, the High Court should normally be very slow to pass ex parte interim orders, because matters falling within the jurisdiction of the educational authorities should normally be left to their decision, and the High Court should interfere with them only when it thinks it must do so in the interests of justice. Even on the merits, we think we ought to point out that where the question involved is one of interpreting a regulation framed by the Academic Council of a University, the High Court should ordinarily be reluctant to issue a writ of certiorari where it is plain that the regulation in question is capable of two constructions, and it would generally not be expedient for the High Court to reverse a decision of the educational authorities on the ground that the construction placed by the said authorities on the relevant regulation appears to the High Court less reasonable than the alternative construction which it is pleased to accept. The limits of the High Court's jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari are well recognised and it is, on the whole, desirable that the requirements prescribed by judicial decisions in the exercise of writ jurisdiction in dealing with such matters should be carefully borne in mind.

In the above decision not only did their Lordships of the Supreme Court hold that the construction placed by the University authority on Regulation 4 was the correct one, but what is more important is that one of the facts which the Supreme Court considered as not irrelevant was that ever since the Regulations were brought into force in 1961 the Patna University and the Colleges within its jurisdiction had consistently interpreted Regulation 4 in the manner in which it was finally construed by the Supreme Court.

71. It will appear from the facts of both the cases referred to above that the authorities whose decisions were challenged were held to be competent to decide those questions. In the first case the decision was that of the Syndicate whose power to decide whether an examination should be cancelled and held again was not disputed. In the second case the construction of Regulation 4 which was canvassed as a correct construction by the University authorities was consistently given effect to by the University authorities and by the Colleges affiliated to the University. Thus in both the eases the power and jurisdiction of the concerned authorities to take the decisions which they had taken was not disputed. The power to take a decision having been found in those cases the correctness of the decisions was challenged. It is, however, not so in the instant case. The contention of the petitioner is that the decision of the Vice-Chancellor to exclude his resolution from the agenda is completely without jurisdiction, because he has neither power nor jurisdiction to decide this question. Since the question involved in this case is with regard to the very power of the Vice-Chancellor to decide the question whether a resolution should be included in the agenda, in my view the ratio of the two Supreme Court decisions does not help the respondents in the instant case.

72. It is also not possible to accept the argument of the learned counsel that the decision of the Vice-Chancellor is based on an erroneous construction of Regulation 8. It is necessary at this stage to refer to the communications sent to the petitioner by the Deputy Registrar on behalf of the Registrar on February 11, 1969. In this communication it is stated 'the Vice-Chancellor has therefore in accordance with the provisions of Regulation No. 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court directed me to inform you that your resolution cannot be taken on the agenda of the University meeting.' This communication does not give even the remotest indication that it is based on a construction of Regulation 8, but the powers which the Vice-Chancellor was seeking to exercise were under Regulation 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court. Regulation 54 is in the nature of a residuary provision giving powers to the Chairman of the meeting of the Court to give his own ruling as to procedure in a case which is not provided by these Regulations. Regulation 54 is as follows:

54. In any case not provided for by these Regulations, the Chairman shall be entitled to give his own ruling as to procedure.

Obviously Regulation 54 relates to the powers of the Chairman at the meeting and as already stated it is in the nature of a residuary provision, I have already taken the view that the resolution could not be ruled out from the agenda by the Vice-Chancellor prior to the meeting. The action of the Vice-Chancellor was not supported as falling under Regulation 54 at all, because, the argument was that the Vice-Chancellor acted under Regulation 8 and alternatively if Regulation 8 did not give the power to the Vice-Chancellor to act in the manner in which he has done, his act could be supported under Section 12(3) of the Act. It does not, therefore, appear that when the impugned decision was taken by the Vice-Chancellor he did so on an erroneous construction of Regulation 8. The two decisions in Utkal University and the Patna University cases do not, therefore, help the respondents.

73. There is another way of looking at this. Under Section 60 of the Nagpur University Act, 1963, the jurisdiction to decide a question relating to the interpretation of any provisions of the Act or of any Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations or Rules has been given to the Chancellor and this jurisdiction of the Chancellor could lie invoked suo motu by the Vice-Chancellor or the Chancellor can decide the question on a petition by any person or body directly affected. Section 60 is as follows:

60. If any question arises regarding the interpretation of any provision of this Act, or any Statute, Ordinance, Regulation or Rule, or as to whether a person has been duly elected or appointed as, or is entitled to be, a member of any authority or other body of the University, the matter may be referred on petition by any person or body directly affected or suo motu by the Vice-Chancellor to the Chancellor, who shall after taking such advice as he deems necessary, decide the question, and his decision shall be final:Provided that, such reference shall be made by the Vice-Chancellor to the Chancellor upon a requisition signed by not less than ten members of the Court.

This provision indicates that the Legislature contemplated that the proper authority to interpret the provisions of the Act or the Regulations was the Chancellor and if the Chancellor had given his decision on the construction of Regulation 8 then in that case the respondents may have been able to rely on the ratio of the Patna University case. Admittedly no reference in this case was made to the Chancellor and it cannot, therefore, be said that the scope of Regulation 8 has been decided upon by the Chancellor who has been empowered by the Act to decide this question. On this ground also the argument of the learned counsel for the respondents that this Court should accept the construction of Regulation 8 made by the Vice-Chancellor is liable to be rejected.

74. The learned counsel for the petitioner did not press before me his contention that the action of the Vice-Chancellor in sitting in judgment over a resolution which related to his own acts was in violation of the principles of natural justice. The challenge to the decision of the Vice-Chancellor on that ground was given up before me. No other points were argued before me.

75. Having regard to the foregoing discussion, it must therefore be held that the Vice-Chancellor had no power to exclude the petitioner's resolution, Annexure P-1, from the agenda of the meeting of the Nagpur University Court which was scheduled to be held for February 22, 1969. The petitioner had thus a right to have his resolution included in the agenda and this right was defeated by the decision of the Vice-Chancellor. The decision of the Vice-Chancellor communicated to the petitioner by Annexure P-2, is, therefore, liable to be quashed. In my view the petitioner is, therefore, entitled to the relief claimed by him.

76. The matter may now be placed before the appropriate Bench for orders.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //