1. The petitioner herein seeks a writ of Mandamus directing the first respondent to admit him in the first year B.Com., in Telugu medium for the academic year 1982-1983.
2. The relevant averments in brief as stated in the affidavit of the petitioner are that he applied to the first respondent-college for admission to the first year B.Com. on 15-7-1982 for the academic year 1982-83. He secured 488 marks in the qualifying examination. A candidate with 427 marks has been provided with a seat, whereas he has not been admitted. He further avers that he belongs to Backward class and the rules of admission give preferential treatment by reservation, but the said Rule has not been implemented. Therefore the rejection is illegal and contravenes articles 15(4), 46 of the Constitution of India. Further the first respondent-college is affiliated to the osmania university and also is admitted to grant-in-aid since 1-4-1980 and so is receiving funds from the Government of Andhra pradesh and therefore this court's jurisdiction is invoked under art. 226 of the Constitution.
3. In the counter filed by the principal of the first respondent-college, it is stated that the college does not come within the definition of 'Authority' as envisaged under Art. 12 of hte Constitution of India. Therefore no writ lies against it. Under the Education code, the Act and the rules made thereunder, the director of Higher Education is the appellate authority against a decision made by the college. The petitioner in fact, has already preferred an appeal to the Director of Higher education and therefore on this ground also the writ petition should not be entertained. It is true that the petitioner passed Intermediate and secured 488 marks and belongs to backward Class 'D' Group. The petitioner discontinued his studies and did not study during the last academic year 1981-82.
4. Sub-clause 7 of guideline-3 of the brochure annexed to the prospectus, indicates that admission will be given to students who have completed Intermediate without any break after SSC and for those Intermediate students without any gap after getting through the Intermediate examination and in case of non-availability of such students only, the students with break in academic studies will be considered. Admittedly the petitioner passed Intermediate examination in June 1981 and did not pursue his studies in hte last academic year and therefore there is a gap. Hence he will not be treated on par with regular students. In fact there is heavy rush for admission to B.Com Ist year in Telugu medium and only those who have passed in one attempt without any gap, have been given admission. Further, the 2nd respondent belonging to B.C.'B' group and the 3rd respondent was given admission under the category of extra-curricular activities and therefore the grievance made against them is not justified No candidate with a gap and who has secured lesser marks than the petitioner had been accoroded admission. It is further avered that the petitioner is a trouble shooter. He entered the college premises along with few others on 27-7-1982 and went inside the lecture hall and disturbed the classes and created law and order problem. He also made speeches and raised slogans against the state and the Government and a crime is registered against him bearing cr. No. 126/82 under Ss. 452 and 353, I.P.C. at Wanaparthy police station. The petitioner absconded but later surrendered in the Munsif Magistrate's Court, Wanaparthy on 28-7-1982 As per the instructions issued by the director of higher education in Rc. No. 263/K-I-I/80, dt. 17-10-1980 students who were arrested by the police for involvement in criminal cases, should be rusticated till the cases are decided the petitioner has indulged in such acts even before his admission to the college and therefore, in oroder to maintain discipline law and order, it is not desirable to admit the petitioner on this ground also. All the seats meant for B.Com first year have been filled up and the admissions are now closed. In view of the above petitioner cannot be admitted.
5. The contentions of the learned counsel for the petitioner are that there is no regulation or instruction by the Government or the director of Higher Education restricting the admission to such of those students who pass the qualifying examination without any break and therefore the rule framed by the college is ultra vires the rule making power.
6. Secondly, there is no rule issued by the director of Higher education not to accord admission to students against whom a criminal case is pending.
7. Thirdly the defence that the college cannot be defined as an authority within the meaning of art. 12 of the consitution is baselessas the istitution is aided by the Government and is also regulated by various acts, Rules and Regulations issued by the Government hence the same is controlled by the Government and therefore it becomes an agent of the Government against whom the writ can lie.
8. Insofar as the first contention is concerned there is force in the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner. No Rule or Regulation has been brought to my notice which shows any preferential claim to such of those students, who have passed the qualifying examination without any break before seeking admission to the next higher course. Therfore a Rule cannot restrict the scope of regulations that guide the college authorities to follow the guidelines laid down by them in the matter of admission to the course. Hence the refusal on that basis in my view is not justified.
9. Coming to the next contention that the instructions issued by the Director of Higher Education is that a student who is pursuing studies should be rusticated, if a criminal case is pending against him. The admitted case of the petitioner herein is that he is certainly involved in a criminal case and that too for creating disturbances and law and order problem in the very college where in he is seeking admission. Consequently a criminal case is pending against him and therefore it is a fortiori case. The object behind the rule is quite obvious and that is to maintain discipline and also the standards of academic career. Therefore, if a criminal case is already pending surely the very admission to the college must be barred so long as the criminal case is pending hence the refusal on the basis of this ground is justified and therefore the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner in this behalf fails and the same is rejected.
10. Coming to the last contention that the 1st respondent-college is not an 'authority'within the meaning of Art. 12 of the Constitution and therefore the writ shall not lie; the facts which are not in dispute are that the college is affiliated to the osmania university and is also admitted to grant-in-aid by the Government and so receives finances from the Government Further it is also bound by the Act, Rules and regulations and instructions issued by the Government of and on.
11. The question hearin is whether it is an authority within the meaning of art 12 of the Constitution against which a writ shall lie.
Art. 226 of the Constitution reads:
'226 (1) :notwithstanding anything in Art. 32 every High Court shall have power throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction to issue to any person or authority including in appropriate cases, any Government within those territories directions orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus mandmus, prohibition quo warranto and certiorari, prohibition quo warranto and certiorari, or any of them for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by part III and for any other purpose'.
12. So what is manifest from the above Article is that a writ can even be issued against a person or any authority and of course in appropriate cases against any Government also not only for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by part III but for 'any other purpose'. While dealings with this aspect Justice choudary in a decision reported in T. Gattaiah v. Commr of Labour, Hyd. (1981) 1 APLJ 280 : (1981 Lab IC 942) held (at p. 949):
'The very wide and special language of Art. 226 of the Constitution occurring as it does in a primordial document like the Constitution must be given its full meaning. In doing so the fact that the Constitution itself declares that the General Clauses Act would apply to its interpretation must be given its full meaning. In doing so the fact that the Constitution itself declares that the General Clause Act would apply to its interpretation must be taken note of . According to the General clauses Act the word 'person' refers no only to a natural person but even to a legal person If so done there is no doubt that a writ under art. 226 of the Constitution would be available not only against an authority or Government but also against a private person. The restrictive meaning suggested to be given to the word render that word a surplusage because according to that interpretation the word person can only mean another Government authority. The rule of interpretation that the meaning of a word should be ascertained from the asociation it keeps cannot therefore be applied to the word person occurring in art. 226 of the Constitution'.
Concurring with Justice choudary. I have no hesitation in holding that a writ could be issued within the meaning of art. 226 of the Constitution even against a person let alone any authority within the meaning of art. 12, as occurring in the said Article. But, however, I may state that a writ could be issued against a person who seeks the writ, has sufficient legal interest. In fact the person against. Whom a writ is issued need not even be a public official or an official body. What is sine quo non for the issue of a writ against person or authority is that he should be obligated to perform a public duty. In short, the jurisdiction under Art. 226 springs into action whenever there is infraction in the discharge of public duty, whether it is by a person in authority in the state.
13. In this case, it is the duty of the college authority to follow the Rules and regulations issued by the Government and any Act at variance causing infraction of it, will certainly give rise to the issuance of mandamus directing him to discharge the public duty. The test is not as to what extent the 'Authority oftains financial aid in its managemetn so as to amount to hold that it is controlled' or agent of the Government . therefore, the respondents' contention in this behalf that a writ cannot lie against the first respondent has no substance and therefore the same is rejected.
14. In the result the writ petition is dismissed. No costs.