Govinda Bhat, J.
1. The petitioner, after passing the Pre-UniversityExamination of the University of Mysore held in March-April 1971. sought admission to the pre-professional course leading to M. B. B. S.. in one of the Medical Colleges in the State. He claimed one of the seats reserved for political sufferers under Rule 4 (1) (h) of the Mysore Medical Colleges (Selection for Admission) Rules 1971, hereinafter referred to as the 'Rules'. His claim for the reserved seat was admitted by the Selection Committee-respondent No. 1, who by Memo dated 15-9-1971 intimated to the petitioner that he has been provisionally selected for admission to the Medical College, Mysore. The petitioner was directed to join the college on or before 25th of September 1971 by 5-30 p. m. paying the necessary fees, failing which he was informed that the seat allotted to him will be forfeited.
The petitioner had joined the 1st year B. Sc., Degree course in the Yuva-raja's College at Mysore before he had made the application for admission to the Medical College. On receipt of the memo aforesaid the petitioner obtained his discharge from the Yuvaraja's college after paying the full term fee. On the same day i.e., 22-9-1971 he paid the requisite fee of Rs. 239-50 P. and joined the Medical College. Mysore. On 25th September, 1971, the Chairman of the Selection Committee issued a memo cancelling the seat that had been allotted to the petitioner. The said memo reads thus:--
Sub:-- Provisional list of Selected candidates for admission to PPC leading to M, B. B. S., 1971-72.
Sri K. R. Shivadatta (PS 22) is informed that the seat allotted to him in PPC leading to M.B.B.S. provisionally at the Medical College, Mysore, is treated as cancelled, in view of the fact that his marks in the qualifying subjects are lower than the one selected in his place now. His name is transferred to the waiting list for, political sufferers category.
A similar memo was issued by the Dean of the Medical College (Respondent 2). On 11-10-1971 the Petitioner preferred the above writ petition and obtained an interim order directing the respondents to permit the petitioner to attend the pre-professional course pending the disposal of the writ petition.
2. The Chairman of the Selection Committee has filed a counter-affidavit, in which it was contended that the committee was competent to counsel (cancel?) the seat in exercise of its power under Rule 14(b) of the Rules, that the reasonfor cancellation was that after the publication of the provisional list and intimation was sent to all the candidates, it was found that one of the candidates by name, Smt. D. V. Uma Devi, who had secured 192 out of 300 marks, which was more than the marks obtained by the petitioner, had been inadvertently omitted to be included in the provisional list, that the said Uma Devi had also claimed one of the reserved seats for political sufferers and that on the discovery of the above mistake the name of Uma Devi was included in the list and the name of the petitioner was excluded and put in the waiting list.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner has challenged the action of the respondents on two grounds:--
(1) That in the circumstances of the case viz., that the petitioner obtained discharge from the Yuvaraja's College, Mysore, after receipt of the Memo dated 15-9-1971 and when he had approached the said Yuvaraja's College once again he was informed that it was too late for re-admission, the 1st respondent is estopped from cancelling its earlier selection on the ground of mistake;
(2) that the power under Rule 14(b) cannot be invoked in the instant case since it is not the case of the 1st respondent that the petitioner was an ineligible applicant.
4. In our opinion, the petitioner is entitled to succeed on the second ground and in that view it is unnecessary to deal with the first ground.
5. Rule 14 on which the learned High Court Government Pleader relies reads thus:--
'14. Selection subject to decision of University:--
(a) With regard to eligibility of qualification for admission, the decision of the University shall be final and an applicant who has been selected by the Selection Committee but found to be ineligible or disqualified by the University is liable to be refused admission: The Selection Committee shall not in such an event be held responsible in any manner whatsoever for any loss or prejudice which may result to the applicant.
(b) Where an ineligible applicant has been admitted to a College inadvertently by mistake or otherwise, such applicant shall have no claim to continue his studies in the college.'
Clause (a) of Rule 14 provides that on the question of eligibility for admission the decision of the University shall be final and further, it confers power on the University to refuse admission to a candidate who has been selected by the Selection Committee, provided the University is of the opinion that the candidate is ineligible or disqualified. The eligibilityreferred to in Clause (a) of Rule 14 has reference to the legal qualifications for admission under the Rules. The learned High Court Government Pleader did not lightly contend that the eligibility referred to therein is anything other than the legal qualifications provided under Rule 2 of the Rules, which prescribes the legal qualifications for admission. He however contended that Clause (b) of Rule 14 does not make any reference to the legal qualifications but states that where an ineligible applicant has been admitted to the College inadvertently or by mistake or otherwise, such an applicant shall have no claim to continue his studies in the college and that the 'ineligibility' referred to in the said clause is comprehensive enough to include the merit of the candidate as assessed by theapplication of the various principles enumerated in Rule 10.
In support of that argument, he relied on the observation in Manjunath v. University of Bangalore, (1966) 1 Mys LJ 716 = (AIR 1967 Mys 119). That was a case where the candidate had obtained admission on the production of his marks card of the Pre-University Examination for the year 1959 which showed that he had secured 190 out of 300 marks in the optional subjects. After selection, the candidate was admitted to the Bangalore Medical College; the Chairman of the Selection Committee cancelled his seat on coming to know after having ascertained from the Controller of Examinations. University of Mysore, that the candidate had in fact secured only 130 marks and not 1190 in the optional subjects as shown in the marks card produced by him. There the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner was that the Selection Committee was competent to review the selection once made by the Committee if it came to its notice subsequently that the selection had been made by mistake or otherwise. But the Court overruled that contention on the ground that Clause (b) of the then Rule 15, which corresponds to Rule 14 (b) of the Rules, conferred the power of revocation of selection where an ineligible candidate has been admitted to a College inadvertently or by mistake or otherwise. Thus far no exception can be taken to the statement in the decision. However, it was further ob-served thus:--
'In reading this rule, we have to take into account not only the eligibility as laid down by Rule 1, but also the qualification for being included in the selected list which would necessarily depend upon the merit of the candidate as assessed by the application of the various principles enumerated in Rule 10.'
It is on the above observation that the learned High Court Government Pleader places strong reliance. In our opinion, the above observation is clearly obiter. The candidate Manjunath whose selection was in question, having been found to have secured only 130 out of 300 marks was clearly ineligible for selection under the Rules then in force, which prescribed 45 per cent, of the total marks for eligibility for admission. If the candidate who had been selected or admitted is discovered to have been ineligible for admission for want of the requisite legal qualifications, the Rule clearly laid down that such candidate shall have no claim to continue the studies in the College. With respect we are unable to agree with the obiter dictum in the above decision that the eligibility of the candidate comprehends within its ambit not only the legal qualification for admission but also the merit of the candidates as assessed by the application of the principles enumerated in Rule 10.
It has to be noted that Clause (b) of Rule 14 is declaratory and that power can be invoked at any time during the course of the study of the student admitted to a College. Where an ineligible candidate has been selected by the Selection Committee the University may deny him admission on the ground that he is ineligible for admission. But where he obtains admission and the University subsequently discovers that he was ineligible for admission, Clause (b) of Rule 14 declares that such a candidate shall have no claim to continue his studies. Rule 14 does not confer any power to the Selection Committee to review its selections once made. In substance what the 1st respondent has done is to review its selection once made on a comparison of the relative merits of the petitioner and Uma Devi which is not permitted under Rule 14 or any of the Rules.
6. The learned High Court Government Pleader as a last resort sought reliance on Section 16 of the Mysore General Clauses Act. His argument was that the principles of the said section could be invoked by the Selection Committee, to cancel the selection once made. There is no substance in this contention and has to be stated only to be rejected. The said Section 16 has no application to a Rule and secondly, the power to select candidates for admission to colleges cannot be equated with the power of appointment. In our judgment, under the Rules, the Selection Committee's powers and functions cease on the publication of the list of selected candidates and thereafter it has no power of cancellation of seats. In that view the impugned Memos issued by the respondents cannot be supported.
7. For the above reasons we allow this petition and issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents 1 and 2 to recall their memos dated 25th September 1971 and 27th September. 1971. respectively, and further to forbear from giving effect to the same in any manner. Ordered accordingly. No costs.