1. This is an appeal from the order of our learned brother, Kondaiah, J. Given in W. P. No. 300 / 1970 on 18th September, 1970, whereby the learned Judge allowed the writ petition and issued a writ of mandamus restraining the Government from prohibiting the use of Prakash Andhra Mudra Lekhini or any other Telugu typewriting machine in the Government Technical Examinations in Telugu typewriting Lower and Higher Grades.
2. The facts leading to the writ petition are that the two petitioners wanted to appear for the typewriting examination held by the Government. The Ist petitioner had appeared for lower grade typewriting examination in 1967. He even then used Prakash Andhra Mudra Lekhini for the purpose of giving the examination. The Government with held the result. The Government however, subsequently, was persuaded to announce the result and the petitioner passed in that examination. He then wanted to appear for the Higher Examination but insisted on the use of Prakash Andhra Mudra Lekhini. This Court by an interim order permitted the Ist petitioner subject to the result of the writ petition. He thus appeared for the examination and has been declared to have passed the examination.
3. The 2nd petitioner is a new entrant and intends to appear for the higher grade typewriting examination. He also filed an application to permit him to appear in the said examination. He was permitted by the Government but was insisted to give the examination on Chinnamamba Andhra Mudra Lekhini, which is the typewriter recognised by the Government for the purpose of holding the said examination. In view of the interim order in his favour by this Court he also appeared for the examination. He also seems to have passed the examination by using Prakash Andhra Mudra Lekhini.
4. The writ petition was filed by the petitioners in their capacity as students appearing for the examination on the ground that the Government has no power to prescribe a particular typewriter machine for the purpose of holding examinations. It was also contended that the Chinnamamba Andhra Mudra Lekhini was manufactured 35 years before , that the machine is not available in the market and since the petitioners have practised on Prakash Andhra Mudra Lekhini, they are entitled to use the said machine for the purpose of giving the examination.
5. The writ petition was resisted by the Government contending inter alia that the Government has a right to prescribe the syllabus for the examination or the use of a particular machine that it is only in the exercise of such power that Chinnamamba Andhra Mudra Lekhini has been prescribed, that in 1966 about 123 candidates appeared for lower and higher grades, that in 1967, 150 candidates appeared and that 170 candidates appeared in 1968 without any difficulty in using Chinnamamba Andhra Mudra Lekhini for the purpose of examinations. The Government however agreed in the counter that the machine was manufactured some 35 years before and is not readily available in the market for purchase.
6. The learned Judge quashed Rule 6 (b) solely on the ground that the said Rule is unreasonable, discriminative and arbitrary. It is this view of the learned Judge that is now assailed in this writ appeal.
7. From a reading of the judgment under appeal one gets an impression that the learned Judge allowed the writ petition on the ground that the petitioner's fundamental right guaranteed under Art. 14 of the Constitution has been violated because of Rule 6 (b) and that is why the learned Judge struck down the rule. It was however conceded before us by the learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners that they had not put any case under Article 14 of the Constitution a concession which is rightly made. No question of any unreasonable classification having any nexus to the object of the examinations that can be said to have been made by the impugned rule, will arise in this case. We need not therefore consider the petitioners' case from the point of view of Art. 14 of the Constitution. That removes the basis on which the learned Judge disposed of the writ petition.
8. It was however contended by the learned Advocate for the petitioners before us that their fundamental right under Art. 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution has been violated by framing Rule 6 (b).
9. Before we consider this contention it is relevant to note that the Rules in question are not made in pursuance of the exercise of any power conferred on the Government by any statute. This set of Rules is admittedly made in the exercise of the administrative power. The impugned Rule therefore is an administrative Rule. Nevertheless the position in our judgment does not alter.
10. In order to attract the provisions of Art. 19 (1) (g) it is necessary to lay a firm foundation in the petition itself. The petitioners ought to have shown that Rule 6 (b) affects the practice of their profession or impedes their occupation trade or business. In other words, Rule 6 (b) imposes an unreasonable restriction on the practice of their profession or carrying on their occupation, trade or business. We were taken through the writ petition. No such allegations are made in order to lay the foundation for any such contention on Art. 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution. It is true that the Ist petitioner owns a typewriting institute but he coaches the students only in English Typewriting. There is no reference made in the Writ Petition that he proposes to start a Telugu Typewriting Coaching Institute and for that purpose alone he is appearing for the higher grade examination, as was sought to be made out before us. No reference has been made in the petition as to how Rule 6 (b) interferes with the practice of his profession or his carrying of any occupation, trade or business. In so far as the petitioner No. 2 is concerned he is not in any profession connected with typewriting. In these circumstances it would not be proper for the Court to deal with a question in regard to which a foundation was not laid in the writ petition. The respondent had no occasion to meet any such case. For the first time in appeal we do not think we could permit the learned Advocate for the petitioners to build up altogether a new case.
11. Now the word ' reasonable ' or its correlative ' unreasonable ' and the corresponding adverbs are in common parlance in the law Courts constantly used, almost as often misused, and forced in to the service of many arguments into which they fit with varying and often with slight appropriateness. A broad division can be recognised between the use of ' reasonable ' as a measure of the standard of the conduct or foresight of the hypothetical normal citizen or of what he is entitled to receive by due process of law, and, on the other hand, of the rational or irrational character of a decision or a rule. In this context the test is probably more accurately stated thus : Was the decision or rule in question one to which no reasonable man, whether administrative authority or a Magistrate could have come Should the answer to the question so posed be negatived then the Court will have no more regard to the decision or rule in question.
12. We are satisfied that in view of the above even an administrative rule cannot be struck down merely because the Court thinks that it is unreasonable. It is now firmly settled that no administrative act can be struck down merely because the Court thinks that it is unreasonable. In order to attract the wrath of the Court the unreasonableness must be so gross as to almost amount to arbitrariness and it is now well settled that an administrative act can be attacked on such gross unreasonableness only when it amounts to bad faith or improper exercise of discretion, or when relevant considerations have been omitted from being taken into account or irrelevant considerations have gone into account. It is only in the context of those grounds that reasonableness goes very near to those grounds of attack on any administrative act. No such ground either is specifically pleaded or is made out. We do not therefore, think that Rule 6 (b) can be struck down merely because the Court thinks that it is unreasonable.
13. On facts also we do not think there is enough material to hold that the rule is unreasonable. It may be that Chinnamamba Andhra Mudra Lekhini was manufactured some 35 years ago. It may also be that it is not readily available in the market, but from the statistics incorporated in the counter one necessarily reaches the conclusion that when 170 students could appear for the examination only in using Chinnamamba Andhra Mudra Lekhini we fall to see how 40 students, who appeared in the relevant year along with the petitioners could not have given the examination on that machine. The Government has a right to prescribe a machine for the purpose of holding the examination. The petitioners are not shown to possess any right to compel the Government either not to prescribe any machine or prescribe only such machine which is available for practice to the petitioners. We are therefore satisfied that Rule 6 (b) is not reasonable.
14 We are not all impressed with the argument that while for the English Typewriting Examination as many as 31 typewriting machines are prescribed for Telugu unreasonably only one machine is prescribed. It was not disputed before us that at the moment there are only two typewriting machines in Telugu available. It was also not disputed that in the key-board as well as in performance they differ very much. It was brought out in the counter that Prakash Andhra Mudra Lekhini was sought to be recognised by the Government. The Government on examination thought that the machine does not come up to the standard and consequently refused to recognise it. In these circumstances how can the Government be compelled to allow the candidates to use a sub-standard machine for the examination
15. Finally it must be recognised that Mandamus is not a Writ which is issued as a matter of course nor can any one claim it as a matter of right. It is a discretionary remedy available only in cases where the petitioner satisfies the Court that the respondent is under a statutory duty of a public nature and that the petitioner approached the Government to discharge that statutory public duty and the Government declined to so perform that public duty. No such statutory duty was pointed out to us. In the absence of any such statutory obligation on the part of the Government, it is obvious that this Court cannot issue a Writ of Mandamus. We would therefore allow the appeal, set aside the judgment of the learned Judge and dismiss the writ petition with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/- In each Court.
16. Appeal allowed.