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H.S. Nagarajaiah and ors. Vs. the Vice-chancellor, University of Mysore and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 7503 of 1977
Judge
Reported inAIR1979Kant186
ActsKarnataka State Universities Act, 1976 - Sections 3, 21(1)(18) and 48; Karnataka State Universities Ordinance, 1975 - Sections 72
AppellantH.S. Nagarajaiah and ors.
RespondentThe Vice-chancellor, University of Mysore and anr.
Excerpt:
.....dw.3, merely identifying the handwriting and also the signature of his father, the scribe of the will is of no legal consequence and does not meet the stipulation under section 69. - 1. in this writ petition, the five petitioners have impugned the notification dated 8th august, 1977, issued by the 1st respondent-vice-chancellor, the university of mysore and the order of the 2nd respondent-chancellor, the university of mysore, dated 25th august, 1977, passed in appeal, against the notification aforementioned, under section 48 of the karnataka state universities act, 1976, (hereinafter referred to as the act). the petitioners have challenged the jurisdiction as well as the legality of the impugned notification and order which are at exhibits b and f respectively. it seems to us that the..........'department' was defined in the following terms. '2a 'department', 'department of studies', 'post graduate department' and 'post graduate department of studies' mean the department, department of studies, post graduate department and post graduate department of studies in the university run and maintained by the university.'by karnataka act no. 18 of 1977, ('the second amendment act'), the act was further amended adding a proviso to section 2(2a) with retrospective effect. the amendment section reads as follows: '(2a)'department',, 'department of studies', 'post graduate department' and 'post graduate department of studies', mean the department, department of studies, post graduate department and post graduate department of studies in the university run and maintained by the.....
Judgment:

Chandrakantaraj Urs, J.

1. In this writ petition, the five petitioners have impugned the notification dated 8th August, 1977, issued by the 1st respondent-Vice-Chancellor, the University of Mysore and the Order of the 2nd respondent-Chancellor, the University of Mysore, dated 25th August, 1977, passed in appeal, against the notification aforementioned, under Section 48 of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 1976, (hereinafter referred to as the Act). The petitioners have challenged the jurisdiction as well as the legality of the impugned notification and order which are at Exhibits B and F respectively.

2. The facts leading to this petition are as follows:--

In accordance with the provisions of the Act and the Statutes relating to elections to the authorities of the University framed under Section 72 of the Ordinance (hereinafter referred to as the Statutes), the elections were held on 23rd July, 1976, from the constituency of teachers under S. 21(1)(18) to the Senate of the University, Section 21(1)(18) of the Act is, one of the constituencies for the composition of the Senate. The petitioners were declared elected as per notification dated 26th July, 1976, which is at Exhibit-A to the petition.

3. At this stage, it may be convenient to state the history of the Act in so far as it is necessary for the disposal of this writ petition.

In the State of Karnataka there were three Universities viz., the University of Mysore, the Karnataka University and the Bangalore University, apart from the University of Agricultural Sequences with which we are not concerned. The three first mentioned Universities were autonomous bodies created under different enactments. The Act was passed in 1976 replacing the Karnataka University Ordinance, 1975, and the Act was given effect to from the 25th day of September, 1975, the date on which the Ordnance had been promulgated. The earlier enactments constituting the three Universities had been repealed by the Ordinance and the Act was passed to cover the three Universities under a single enactment.

4. Under Section 3 of the Act, the earlier Universities had been reincorporated under the present Act with their respective jurisdictions of Bangalore, Karnataka and Mysore Universities. In this writ petition, we are only concerned with the Mysore University having its head-quarters at Mysore and exercising territorial jurisdiction over the area comprising the Districts of Chickmagalore, Chitradurga, Coorg, Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, South Kanara and Shimoga.

5. Under Section 2 of the Act, certain terms have been defined. Section 2(7) defined 'teachers' as follows:

''teachers' includes Professors, Readers, Lecturers and other persons imparting instruction in any affiliated college.'

Section 2(8) provides as follows:

' 'Teachers of the University' means persons appointed for the purpose of imparting instruction in the University or in any college maintained by the University.'

Section 2(9) defines 'University' as follows:

' 'University' means a University established and incorporated under Section 3.'

6. By Karnataka Act No. 57 of 1976 certain amendments were carried out to the Act. We shall refer for brevity in the course of this order, to this Amendment Act as 'the First Amendment Act'. By Section 2 of the said Amendment 'Department' was defined in the following terms.

'2A 'Department', 'Department of Studies', 'Post Graduate Department' and 'Post Graduate Department of Studies' mean the Department, Department of Studies, Post Graduate Department and Post Graduate Department of Studies in the University run and maintained by the University.'

By Karnataka Act No. 18 of 1977, ('the Second Amendment Act'), the Act was further amended adding a proviso to Section 2(2A) with retrospective effect. The amendment section reads as follows:

'(2A)'Department',, 'Department of Studies', 'Post Graduate Department' and 'Post Graduate Department of Studies', mean the Department, Department of Studies, Post Graduate Department and Post Graduate Department of Studies in the University run and maintained by the University:

Provided that where the University is not running and maintaining any Department, Department of Studies, Post Graduate Department or Post Graduate Department of Studies, such teachers in an affiliated college or colleges or institutions as the Chancellor may, in consultation with the State Government, nominate shall be deemed to be the Department, Department of Studies, Post Graduate Department or Post Graduate Department of Studies.'

By section 4 of the Second Amendment Act, Section 21 was amended. Section 21(1)(19) as amended provides:

'One Professor or Director in the Post Graduate Departments from each of the faculties, elected by Professors and Directors in the Post Graduate Departments of that faculty.'

Section 11 of the Second Amendment Act declared certain elections held either before or after the commencement of the Second Amendment Act contrary to the provisions of the Act, as amended by it, to be null and void. It reads:

'11. Certain elections to be void.-Notwithstanding anything in any judgment or order or any court, elections to the various authorities of the University shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the principal Act as amended by this Act and any election held either before or after the commencement of the Act contrary to the said provisions shall be necessary to refer.

7. It will now be necessary to refer to Section 20 of the Act. It refers to the authorities of the University and the first among them is the senate, the election to which we are concerned with in this writ petition. The other authorities indicated therein are the Syndicate, Academic Council, the Finance Committee, the Board of Studies, the Facilities; and such other bodies as by Statutes may be declared to be the Authorities of the University. Section 21 appears to be the key section in so far as this writ petition is concerned. Section 21(1) sets out the composition of the Senate. Section 21(1)(1) to 21(1)(12) and Section 21(1)(13) provide for members of the Senate by virtue of the office they hold. Section 21(1)(14) to Section 21(1)(22) refer to the elected representatives of different categories of persons enumerated therein, with the except of Section 21(1)(16) and Section 21(1)(17). The mode of elections are prescribed in the Statutes framed by the University. In the instant case, Statutes relating to the elections to the authorities of the university made under Section 72 of the Karnataka State Universities Ordinance, 1975, have been continued under Section 72 of the Act. Statute 5 of the Statutes provides for the maintenance of electoral rolls and Statute 5(vii) provides for electoral roll of Teachers other then Principals, professors and Directors in Post Graduate Departments, in so far as it relates to the constituency created under Section 21(1)(18).

8. It is not in dispute, as evidenced by Exhibit-A, that the petitioners were elected to the Senate from the constituency under Section 21(1)(18) of the Act in accordance with the electoral roll prepared under Statute 5(vii).

The validity of the petitioners' election held on 23rd July 1976 is not at all in dispute in this writ petition on any other ground than the alleged effect of Section 11 of the Second amendment Act.

9. Upon the Second Amendment Act coming into force, the Vice-Chancellor issued a notification as per Exhibit-B declaring the election of the petitioners to the Senate to be null and void in terms of Section 11 of the Second Amendment Act. For immediate reference, the material portion of the notification is set out below:

'It is hereby notified that the election of the following representatives of teachers to the Senate of the University of Mysore conducted in accordance with Section 21(1)(18) and 21(1)(19) of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 1976, and notified in the University Notification dated 26-7-1976 cited above is deemed null and void consequent on the enactment of the Karnataka State Universities (Second Amendment) Act, 1977.

S. 21(1)(18) 1. Shri Chambi Puranik.

2. Sri V. Chikkavenkatappa.

3. Dr. H. S. Nagarajaiah.

4. Sri. M. G. Renuka Prasanna.

5. Sri. P. Sripathi Tantry.

S. 21(1)(19)X X X X X'

xx xx xx xx

Aggrieved by the said notification, the petitioner filed an appeal to the Chancellor under Section 48 of the Act. The Chancellor after hearing the parties dismissed the appeal by order dated 25th August, 1977. The relevant portion of his order reads:

'As pointed out by the learned counsel of the University, the proviso to Section 2(2A) required that the Chancellor may, in consultation with the State Government, nominate teachers in affiliated colleges who shall be deemed to be the Department of studies etc. The proviso to Section 2(2A) read with Section 11 of the Second Amendment Act makes it necessary that the Chancellor should nominate some teachers as Department etc., and elections have to be held thereafter. The election held without such nomination by the Chancellor since it affects the composition of the Electorate under Section 21(1)(18), would be contrary to the provisions of the Second Amendment Act. The very purpose of the introduction of this Second Amendment of 1977 was to allow for the representation of all faculties and Departments even if some of them did not exist in the University but only in the affiliated colleges. This is clear from (i) of the Statement of Objects and Reasons given at the time of the introduction of this Second Amendment in the Legislature. Thus the proviso to Section 2(2A) becomes very important and any election held without acting in accordance with this proviso will be contrary to the provisions of the Act as amended by this Second Amendment which has been given retrospective effect.'

10. Shri. Murlidhar Rao, the learned counsel for the petitioners, contended that the order of the Vice-Chancellor was illegal and based on an erroneous construction of the Second Amendment Act. He also urged that since the constituency under Section 21(1)(18) of the Act remained unamended, the petitioners election ought not to have been declared void. In reply to this contention, Shri V. Krishna Murthy, learned Senior Advocate for the respondents, urged that the constituencies relating to the Senate under Section 21(1)(18) and Section 21(1)(19) of the Act were interlinked and overlapping, and in that position, when the Second Amendment Act amended Section 21(1)(19) of the Act, the electoral rolls of both the said constituencies got altered having regard to the retrospective operation of Section 2(2A) of the Act, and consequently the elections held to the Senate earlier both under Section 21(1)(18) and Section 21(1)(19) of the Act, has to be declared null and void. That according to him is the inevitable consequence of Section 11 of the Second Amendment Act.

11. The rival contentions really turn on the scope of the Second Amendment Act and not on the validity of it. It seems to us that the contentions urged for the petitioners are well founded and must be accepted as correct.

Under the definition of 'teachers' in Section 2(7), it has reference only to the Professors, Readers, Lecturers and other persons imparting instruction in any affiliated college. This definition having regard to the definition of 'University' under Section 2(9), must necessarily mean that teachers of colleges maintained by the University are excluded. This view finds further confirmation if we refer to the definition of 'college' in Section 2(2) which is as follows:

'College' means an institution maintained by the University as such and includes an institution admitted to the privileges of the University as an affiliated college of the University in accordance with the provisions of this Act.'

The college this includes both maintained by the University and also those affiliated to it. Sub-clause 2(2A) as amended by the First Amendment Act exclusively made reference to the Department etc., run and maintained by the University to the exclusion of the affiliated Colleges. It was only, by virtue of the proviso added by the Second Amendment Act and by virtue of the power to be exercised by the Chancellor, Department etc., as defined in Section 2(A) of the Act of the affiliated colleges come into the picture. This is also the view taken by a Division Bench of this court in Writ Petition Nos. 5610 and 5611 of 1976 disposed of on 8-8-1978 to which one of us was a party.

12. Now, if we turn to Section 21(1)(18), it is clear that constituency of the Senate is carved out for five representatives of teachers elected from amongst themselves excluding the Principles, Professors and Directors in Post Graduate Department in affiliated Colleges. Since the word 'teachers' is separately defined in Section 2(7) of the Act reference to 'teachers' in Section 21(1)(18) of the Act should be relatable to the 'teachers' as defined in the Act. Thus read, it has the effect of excluding teachers of University who are separately defined under Section 2(8) of the Act. It has also the effect in terms of Section 21(1)(18) itself of excluding the Professors and Directors of Post Graduate Department and Principals of even the affiliated colleges. It is, therefore, apparent that the object of Section 21(1)(18) of the Act was to give representation to a totally different class of persons than those contemplated under Section 21(1)(19) of the Act. This position would be further obvious by the fact that under Statute 5(vii) and 5(ix) separate electoral rolls are required to be prepared for Professors and Directors in Post Graduate Department and for teachers who are not Deans of Faculties or Heads of Post Graduate Departments of Studies or Principals of Colleges under Section 26(vi) of the Act. The electoral rolls prepared under Statute 5 for purposes of Section 21(1) of the Act are mutually exclusive and are not meant to overlap each other as contended for the respondents.

We are, therefore, of the opinion that the petitioners election ought not to have been disturbed since there is no amendment to Section 21(1)(18) by the Second Amendment Act and it remains intact with its original colour and content.

13. In the result, the rule is made absolute; the impugned notification of the Vice-Chancellor and also the order of the Chancellor are hereby quashed.

14. By an interim order passed earlier in this case, the petitioners were continued to function as Senators with the right to participate in the deliberations of the Senate but not to vote. The relief prayed for having been granted the petitioners are entitled to continue as Senators for the term to which they are entitled to under Section 33 of the Act without any restrictions on their participation in the activities of the Senate.

15. Having regard to the circumstances of the case, we think this is a case in which the petitioners are entitled to costs. Advocate's Fee Rs. 250/-.

16. Petition allowed.


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