1. The petitioner is an Educational Society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). It was running Ghana Tarragona Girls High School at Hotshot from the academic year 1972-73. The said School was given recognition and also aided under the Grant-in-Aid Code of the Government of Karnataka in the Department of Education pertaining to High Schools. It is alleged, by the petitioner-Society that on account of some politically motivated representations made by the Teachers and a few other politicians, the 2nd respondent. Director of Public Instruction visited Hoskote and thereafter the 2nd Respondent Director of Public Instruction passed the impugned order, operative portion of which is as follows:
'Sri Srinivasa Education Society registered under the Societies Registration Act exists only for name sake. This interference has been established by the joint Director of Public Instruction, Ban galore Division, Ban galore, also in his letter No. GAD 2461 PR 110/77-78 dated 23-7-1977. Therefore, the newly constituted management of Shri Hoskote Education Society is recognised for purpose of running Gnana Tharangini Girls High School, Hoskote and to draw the grants sanctioned to it already.'
2. The Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Rural District, Bangalore, is also permitted to approve the appointments of the staff of the above school, which are in order.
Draft approved by the Sd/- 24-4-79. Director of public Instruction for Director.'
3. Aggrieved by the said order, the Society has moved this Court for redress under Art. 226 of the Constitution having no other alternative remedy.
4. In spite of several opportunities given, no statement of objections has been filed on behalf of respondents 1,2 and 3. The main ground on which the impugned order which is at Exhibit -H is challenged is that the said order has been passed without an opportunity being given to the petitioner-Society.
5. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner-Society has further emphasized the fact that what has been done by the impugned order is to transfer the assets of the Society to the 3rd respondent-Society without having recourse to the procedure prescribed for such action under the Act.
6. In the absence of any return filed by the respondents and having regard to the language of the impugned order itself which says in clear, unmistakable terms that the petitioner-Society existed only for name sake and that had been established by inference by the Joint Director of Public Instruction is indicative that no opportunity was ever given to the petitioner-Society of being heard in regard to the representation made against it by those who made such representations. Reference to such representation has been made in the impugned order in the preamble portion it. On this score alone, the petitioner is bound to succeed, as the impugned order was passed in violation of Rules of natural justice and therefore is liable to be struck down.
7. It is useful to notice that under the provisions of Section 27-A of the Act, the State Government is empowered to appoint an Administrator in certain circumstances mentioned in sub-see. (1) of Section 27-A of the Act. Even that power can be exercised only after there has been an enquiry.
8. In the present case, it is obvious, that no such enquiry has been held under S. 27A of the Act nor an Administrator appointed under that provision for any shortcomings in the proper management of the petitioner-Society's affairs. On the other hand, what has been accomplished by the order in effect is to transfer the assets of the petitioner-Society to another Society formed for the sole- purpose of entrusting the management of the School at the instance of a few politicians. It is apparent from the perusal of the order, that the Director of Public Instruction visited Hostoke and discussed the representation with the Municipal President and the Member of the Legislative Assembly from that constituency and decided to hand-over the management of the School to a new Society to be headed by the Member of the Legislative Assembly at the relevant time. The entire action appears to have been motivated by the political mala fides which have been specifically alleged by the petitioner-Society. The action of the Department is not only high-handed and contrary to law but also appears to have been at the instance of those who had political influence and such improper exercise of power by the authority should be strongly condemned by Courts and I have no hesitation to do so in the instant case. The 2nd respondent has acted far in excess of the power vested in him and for extraneous consideration than the one for which he has been entrusted with such power and jurisdiction. The petitioner-Society succeeds, the impugned order at Exhibit-H is quashed and the respondents shall pay the costs of the petition. Advocate's fee is fixed at Rs.250/-. Accordingly, rule is made absolute. A writ of certiorari will issue quashing the impugned order.
9. Petition allowed.