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D. Seshagiri Rao and ors. Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, Rep. by Its Secretary, Education Dept. and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition No. 10452 of 1989
Judge
Reported in1997(2)ALT556
ActsAndhra Pradesh Education Subordinate Service Rules; Andhra Pradesh Educational Service (Regulation of Pay Fixation of Principals and Lecturers) Act, 1990
AppellantD. Seshagiri Rao and ors.
RespondentState of Andhra Pradesh, Rep. by Its Secretary, Education Dept. and anr.
Appellant AdvocateV. Jagayya Sarma, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateGovt. Pleader for Higher Education
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
- - there is no good reason as to why these petitioners who are similarly situated should not be given the effect of the order passed in the favour by the tribunal in the r,p. therefore, they sought relief in the high court with success. the law cannot say, 20 years ago the parties had no rights, therefore, the requirements of the constitution will be satisfied if the law is dated back by 20 years. the central advisory committee of the union of india again issued fresh notifications which were again challenged in the high court, but without success. it has been further held in this case that if these tests are satisfied, the act can be held to be valid. they can legislate on the subjects prospectively as well as retrospectively. if the intention of the legislature is clearly expressed.....krishna saran shrivastav, j.1. five retired principals, through this writ petition under article 226 of the constitution of india, seek issuance of a writ of mandamus, directing the respondents to implement the judgment passed by andhra pradesh administrative tribunal, hyderabad, in r.p.no.3558/89, dated 10-4-1989, by fixing their pay in the scale of rs. 700-1100 with effect from 1-4-1996 as also to pay arrears.2. the petitioners were initially appointed as lecturers in category i class iv of andhra pradesh education subordinate service rules (for short apess rules') and later were promoted to the post of lecturers in category ii of class iv of andhra pradesh educational services (for short, 'apes'). they sought fixation of their pay in the scale of rs, 700- 1100 with effect from 1-4-1996.....
Judgment:

Krishna Saran Shrivastav, J.

1. Five retired Principals, through this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seek issuance of a writ of Mandamus, directing the respondents to implement the judgment passed by Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad, in R.P.No.3558/89, dated 10-4-1989, by fixing their pay in the scale of Rs. 700-1100 with effect from 1-4-1996 as also to pay arrears.

2. The petitioners were initially appointed as Lecturers in Category I Class IV of Andhra Pradesh Education Subordinate Service Rules (for short APESS Rules') and later were promoted to the post of Lecturers in Category II of Class IV of Andhra Pradesh Educational Services (for short, 'APES'). They sought fixation of their pay in the scale of Rs, 700- 1100 with effect from 1-4-1996 on the ground that the Lecturers who were junior to them were granted pay in the scale of Rs. 700 -1100 with effect from the said date. The Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, consolidated R.P. No. 1178/87 with R,P. No, 1984/86 and batch and disposed of the same on 14-7-1988 by directing the respondents to review the cases of the petitioners in the light of the judgment passed by it in R.P. No. 1682/80, within a period of one month from the date of the order. The Government of Andhra Pradesh did not take any decision and, therefore, the petitioners preferred R.P. No. 3558/89 before the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal (for short' APAT'), seeking the relief of fixation of their pay in the scale of Rs, 700 -1100 with effect from 1-4-1966 on the same ground that the pay of their juniors had been fixed in that scale and also requested for payment of arrears. On 10-4-1989, APAT allowed the said R.P., as prayed for, and directed the respondents to implement the orders passed in R.P. No. 1178/87 within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of the order. This order has also not been implemented in spite of representations and, therefore, the petitioners request for a direction to the respondents to implement the judgment passed by APAT in R.P. No. 3558/89, dated 10-4-1989 by fixing their pay in the scale of Rs. 700 -1100 with effect from 1-4-1966 and to pay arrears to them.

3. The relevant portion of the interim direction passed in W.P.M.P. No. 13863/89 reads as under :

'Interim direction to implement the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal dated 10-4-1989 in R.P. No. 3558/1989. Two weeks to file counter.'

No action was taken by the respondents in pursuance of the above mentioned interim direction. Therefore, the petitioners filed C.C. No. 676/89 in which it was observed that the relief to be granted in the C.C. depends upon the validity and applicability of the special rules for APES in G.O.Ms. No. 340, Education (H-l) Department, dated 27-10-1989 which has been given retrospective effect from 1-4-1996 as also the Act No. 10 of 1990 for regulation of pay fixation of the Lecturers of APES with retrospective effect from 1-4-1996 and the petitioners can raise the question of validity and applicability of the Act and Rules in the main writ petition and thus disposed of the contempt petition on 23-9-1991 holding prima facie the respondents not guilty of any contempt of Court.

4. The petitioners on 25-9-1996 filed W.P.M.P. No. 25189/96 alleging that there is no nexus between the object to be achieved and object achieved and, therefore, the provision made in G.O.Ms.No. 340, dated 27-10-1989 is liable to be declared as void merely on the ground that an Assistant Lecturer in Sanskrit of Category I of Class I of APESS Rules can be transferred as a Principal of the Government Oriental Colleges including M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, whereas a Lecturer in Sanskrit, which forms part of higher service, can be posted as Principal of M.R. Government Sanskrit College only by promotion and the post of Principal of M.R. Government Sanskrit College and the post of Assistant Lecturer of Sanskrit are made interchangeable. It is further alleged that the aforementioned G.O. has been issued and the Act has been enacted only to get over the judgment of APAT and the interim direction of the High Court and to the detriment of the petitioners and, therefore, the Act is also void, because a right accrued cannot be snatched away by the said G.O. and the Act,

5. The respondents denied the claim of the petitioners. They alleged that one Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu was working as the Principal of the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram with effect from 16-6-1963. This post was declared as Gazetted vide G.O.Ms.No. 911 Edn., dated 14-9-1978. His services as Principal of the said college were regularised and probation was declared. Thereafter, in the month of July, 1966, he was transferred as Assistant Lecturer in Sanskrit in Government Arts College, Rajahmundry, as per G.O.Ms.No. 1182 Edn., dated 16-5-1967. The scale of pay of teaching staff in Oriental Colleges was revised with effect from 1-4-1966 and consequently the scale of pay of the Principals was revised to Rs. 400 - 800. The High Court ordered that the emoluments of Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu cannot be reduced on the ground of his transfer as Assistant Lecturer in Government Arts College, Rajahmundry, because had he continued as Principal of M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, his pay would have been fixed in the revised scale of Rs. 400 - 800. The said scale of pay was again revised to Rs. 700 -1100 with effect from 1-4-1966. Again Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu approached the High Court and his writ petition was allowed and, therefore, his pay was revised in the scale of Rs. 700 -1100 with effect from 1-4-1966 on the ground that he had worked as Principal of M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, in regular capacity as on 1-4-1966. The said Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu was originally appointed as Principal of M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram and the Government had constituted the Principals of Government Oriental Colleges including the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, and Lecturers in Sanskrit and Government Degree and Oriental Colleges as a distinct class by making amendment to the special rules in APESS Rules vide G.O.Ms.No. 340 (HE. l) Department, dated 27-10-1989 with retrospective effect from 1-4-1966 and consequently the Lecturer in other subjects other than Sanskrit including the petitioners cannot claim parity of scale of pay with the said P.B.S. Appalacharyulu. The petitioners had been teaching subjects other than Sanskrit and, therefore, they cannot claim the same scale allowed to the Principals and Lecturers teaching Sanskrit in Government Degree and Oriental Colleges. The Andhra Pradesh Legislature enacted legislation declaring the teachers teaching Sanskrit vide Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Educational Service (Regulation of Pay Fixation of Principals and Lecturers) Act 10 of 1990. Act 10 of 1990 provides that notwithstanding any Government Order, judgment, decree or order of any Court, Tribunal or other Authority, the claims of all Lecturers, under APES, teaching any subject other than Sanskrit claiming parity of scale of pay with P.B.S. Appalacharyulu shall stand extinguished from the date of commencement of the Act. This Act has got retrospective effect and, therefore, the petition deserves to be dismissed.

6. Relying on the case of State of Gujarat and Anr. v. Raman Lal Keshav Lal Soni and Ors.., : (1983)ILLJ284SC . and the case of Govt. of A.P. and Ors. v. G.V.K. Girls High School, 1996 (3) ALT 82 = 1996 (3) ALD 1098 (D.B.). it is contended on behalf of the petitioner that G.O.Ms.No. 340, dated 27-10-1989 and Act 10 of 1989 liable to be declared void, because they have been made only to nullify the impugned judgment passed by APAT. APAT directed the respondents to fix the pay of the petitioners in the scale of Rs. 700 - 1100 on par with Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu, who was their junior as also to allow consequential benefits and this order had become final, Therefore, the respondents had left with no alternative except to implement the judgment, because a right has been accrued in favour of the petitioners by virtue of the said judgment. The respondents cannot get over the same by enacting a legislation with retrospective effect only to frustrate their claims. It is further contended on behalf of the petitioners that a person holding the post of Assistant Lecturer in Sanskrit, which forms Category I of Class I of APESS Rules, can be transferred as Principal of the Government Oriental Colleges including the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, while a person, who is working as a Lecturer in Sanskrit, which forms part of higher service, is entitled only to earn that post by promotion and, therefore, there is no nexus between the object to be achieved and the object achieved and on this count only, the provision made in G.O.Ms.No. 340, dated 27-10- 1989, is liable to be declared void. These two posts are made interchangeable and, therefore, there was no sense in creating a higher post in higher category and class.

7. On the other hand, relying on the case of Comorin Match Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. v. State of Tamil Nadu, : 1996ECR233(SC) , the Government Pleader for Higher Education has urged that, the Legislature has actually changed the law, on the basis of which the impugned judgment of APAT was declared, retrospectively and, 20 therefore, the judgment cannot be implemented, because the effect of the enactment has nullified the judgment, but has not overruled it. It is further urged on behalf of the respondents that the post of Lecturer in Sanskrit has been made a class in itself and, therefore, it is a distinct class and for this reason also the petitioners, who were never Lecturers in Sanskrit and could not teach Sanskrit, were not entitled to be posted in M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram. It is further urged that, the said P.B.S. Appalacharyulu was given the benefit under the orders of the High Court, because his emoluments could not be reduced merely on the ground that he was transferred from the post of Principal of M. R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, to Government Arts College, Rajahmundry in the post of Assistant Lecturer.

8. The relevant portion of the judgment passed by APAT in R.P. No. 3558/89, dated 10-4-1989 reads as under :

'The six petitioners herein along with others had earlier filed R.P. 35 No. 1178/1987, dated 14-7-1988 for the fixation of their scales of pay and the same was allowed. Therefore, the petitioners made frequent representation for the implementation the roof which has not seen the light of the day even to this day. Hence, they were constrained to file this Representation Petition for a direction to implement the said order. 40 It may, however, be stated as averred in the affidavit filed in support of the petition that in similar circumstances, when some of the employees filed R.P. earlier, directions were given to implement the pay scales as fixed in the order and the same was not implemented and they are stated to have invoked the jurisdiction of the High Court and eventually on 45 the orders being issued have been followed up by a Contempt application. The said orders were implemented. There is no good reason as to why these petitioners who are similarly situated should not be given the effect of the order passed in the favour by the Tribunal in the R,P. referred to above, Hopefully, therefore, the respondents are directed to implement the said order within six weeks from the date of receipt of this order. The R.P. is accordingly disposed of . No costs.'

9. In exercise of the powers conferred by proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India, the Government of Andhra Pradesh made the amendment to the special rules for the APESS issued in G.O.Ms.No- 259, General Administration (Rules) Dept. dated 9-2-1962 and published in Part I of the Andhra Pradesh Gazette, dated 22-3-1962 as amended from time to time. These amendments have been given retrospective effect from 1-4-1966. The relevant portion of the amendment in G.O.Ms.No. 341, Education (H-l), dated 27-10-1989 is reproduced as under :

'In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India and all other powers here into enabling, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh hereby makes the following amendments to the Special Rules for the Andhra Pradesh Educational Subordinate Services issued in G.O.Ms.No. 78 General Administration (Rules) Department , dated the 10th Junuary, 1962, and as subsequently amended.

The Amendment hereby made shall be deemed to have come into force on the 1st April, 1966.

AMENDMENT

In the said rules :-

(1) in Rule 1, in Class I, in Category 1 the words 'Principal, M.R. Govt. Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram' shall be omitted.

(2) in Rule 2, in Class I, in Category 1, the words, 'Principal, M.R. Govt. Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram' shall be omitted.

(3) in the Annexure I, under Class I, Category II, the words 'and Principal, M.R. Govt. Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram', shall be omitted.

(4) in the Annexure - II, under Class I, the words 'Principal, M.R. Govt. Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram', and the corresponding entries against it shall be omitted.'

10. It will be profitable to glance at the provisions of the preamble to the impugned Act 10 of 1990 as also its Sections 2 and 3.

'Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Andhra Pradesh in the Forty first year of the Republic of India as follows;-

1. (1) This Act may be called the Andhra Pradesh Educational Service (Regulation of Pay Fixation of Principals and Lecturers) Act, 1990.

(2) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 1st April, 1966.

2. Notwithstanding anything contained in any Rule or Order of the Government or any judgment of any Court, Tribunal or other authority, the Principals of Government Oriental Colleges including the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram and the Lecturers in Sanskrit in Government Degree Colleges and Oriental Colleges shall form a distinct class by themselves and no Principal or Lecturer teaching any subject other than Sanskrit in any College shall be entitled to claim common seniority with the Lecturers in Sanskrit or pay fixation on par with the Principals of Oriental Colleges and Lecturers aforesaid merely on the ground that before the issue 10 of amendments to the Andhra Pradesh Educational Service in G.O.Ms. No. 340, Education (HE. 1) Department dated the 27th October, 1989 they were seniors to the said Principals of Oriental Colleges and Lecturers in Sanskrit.

3. Notwithstanding any Government Order, any judgment, decree or Order of any Court, Tribunal, or other authority, the claims of all lecturers, under the Andhra Pradesh Educational Service teaching any subject other than Sanskrit claiming parity of scale of pay with Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu shall stand extinguished from the date of commencement of this Act and accordingly :-

(a) all orders issued by the Government or any other authority ordering fixation of pay to any Lecturer other than a Lecturer teaching Sanskrit, on par with Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu shall stand cancelled ; _

(b) no suit or other proceeding shall be maintained or continued in any Court, Tribunal or other authority against the Government or any person or other authority whatsoever for fixation of pay on par with Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu ;

(c) no Court shall enforce any decree or order directing the pay fixation on par with Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu to the lecturers teaching subjects other than Sanskrit ; and

(d) any amount paid under an order which is rendered unenforceable by this Act shall be recovered in such manner and in such number of instalments as the Commissioner for Collegiate Education may, 35 by order, direct. '

11. In the case of State of Gujarat ( 1 supra), the ex-Municipal employees, who had been alloted to the Panchayat Services as Secretaries, Officers and Servants of Gram and Nagar Panchayats, had achieved the status of Government servants by virtue of the provisions of the Gujarat Gram Panchayat Act of 1961, but they were denied the benefits of the recommendations of the II Pay Commission. Therefore, they sought relief in the High Court with success. The Gujarat Gram Panchayat Act, 1961 was substantially amended in 1978 and their status as Government servants was extinguished due to certain amendments which were made with retrospective effect. The Apex Court held that the Legislature is undoubtedly competent to legislate with retrospective effect to take away or impair any vested right acquired under existing laws, but since the laws are made under a written Constitution and have to conform to its does and dont's of the Constitution, neither prospective nor retrospective laws can be made so as to contravene fundamental rights {underlining is mine). The Law must satisfy the requirements of the Constitution to-day taking into account the accrued or acquired rights of the parties to-day. The law cannot say, 20 years ago the parties had no rights, therefore, the requirements of the Constitution will be satisfied if the Law is dated back by 20 years. The Legislature cannot legislate to-day with reference to a situation that obtained 20 years ago and ignore the march of events and the constitutional rights accrued in the Court of 20 years. That would be most arbitrary, unreasonable and negation of history.

12. In the case of S.R. Bhagwat and Ors. v. State of Mysore, 1995 (5) SLR 242. before the re-organisation of States, the petitioners No. 1,2 and 4, who had joined the services in the former State of Bombay, were in the category of Deputy Conservator of Forests while the petitioner No. 3 was working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in the former State of Hyderabad. In the year 1957, the State Government made provisional equation. The posts of Senior Conservator of Forests and Assistant Conservator of Forests, were equated with the post of Deputy Conservator of Forests coming from Hyderabad and Bombay. This was objected to by the petitioners and others. The State Government published a list in 1960 with slight modification. The Central Advisory Committee accepted the petitioner's contentions made in their respective representations and in Category III only the officials, namely, Deputy Conservator of Forests of Hyderabad and Bombay and Senior Assistant Conservator of Forests from Mysore were included in it. The Government of India accepted the said equation and communicated it to the State Government. Thereafter, several writs were filed before the Mysore High Court which disposed of the case. Appeal filed against the impugned judgment was dismissed 'by the Apex Court. The Central Advisory Committee of the Union of India again issued fresh notifications which were again challenged in the High Court, but without success. The Special Leave Petitions were also dismissed by the appellate Court. Though the petitioners were senior in the final seniority list to many others, their juniors were promoted in the mean time on the basis of higher ranking in the provisional seniority list which was earlier operative till it got superseded by the final seniority list- As their claim for being granted deemed dates of promotions with all consequential benefits was not accepted by the State of Mysore, the petitioners filed writ petitions before the High Court of Karnataka, The writ petitions were allowed, The respondents therein including the State of Karnataka was directed to consider the petitioners for promotion to the post next above the cadre of the post they 45 were holding as on 14-1956 and if they were found fit, than they should be promoted and should be given all benefits consequential thereon. In pursuance of the said order, the respondent- State considered their cases and they had been given deemed dates of promotion. This order had become final between the parties. But the consequential monetary benefits were not granted to them. The Government of Karnataka passed Act 11 of 1974 incorporating several amendments and in particular Section 11 having overriding effect. The Apex Court held that a mere look at Sub-section 2 of Section 11 shows that the State of Karnataka which was a party to the decision of the Division Bench of the High Court has tried to get off the binding effect of the decision by resorting to its legislative power. Vide sub-Section 2 of Section 11, the judgment, decree, any orders of any Court or the competent authority which has become final against the State were sought to be done away with by these provisions and the Apex Court held that such an attempt cannot be said to be permissible legislative exercise.

13. The position of law as gleaned and gathered from a catena of decisions of the Supreme Court has been elaborately enunciated in the judgment of this Court in the case of Government of A.P. v. G.V.K. Girls High School (2 supra) and the principles of law are laid down as under ;

1. Whether the legislature enacting the validating Act has competence over the subject-matter.

2. Whether by validation, the legislature has removed the defect which the Court had found in the previous law, and

3. Whether the validating Law is inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter III of the Constitution.

It has been further held in this case that if these tests are satisfied, the Act can be held to be valid. Otherwise, it will be something which the judiciary has to do which the Legislature would be doing and it is impermissible.

14. In the case of Bhubaneswar Singh and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors.. : (1994)6SCC77 it is held :

'Parliament and State Legislatures have plenary powers of legislation on the subjects within their filed. They can legislate on the subjects prospectively as well as retrospectively. If the intention of the legislature is clearly expressed that it purports to introduce the legislation or to amend an existing legislation retrospectively, then subject to the legislative competence and the exercise being not in violation of any of the provisions of the Constitution, such power cannot be questioned.

The Validating Acts are enacted to validate the action taken under the particular enactments by removing the defect in the stature retrospectively because of which the stature or the part of it had been declared ultra vires. The exercise of rendering in effective the judgments or orders of competent Courts by changing the very basis of legislation is a well-known device of validating legislation. Such validating legislation which removes the cause of the in validity cannot be considered to be an encroachment on judicial power. At the same time, any action in exercise of the power under any enactment which has been declared to be invalid by a Court cannot be made valid by a Validating Act by merely saying so unless the defect which has been pointed out by the Court is removed with retrospective effect. The validating legislation must remove the cause of invalidity. Till such defect or the lack of authority pointed out by the Court under a statute is removed by the subsequent enactment with retrospective effect, the binding nature of the judgment of the Court cannot be ignored. '

15. In the case of Comorin Match Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. (3 supra), the Apex Court has observed that it was recognised by this Court that in case the provisions of statute were declared as inadequate or ultra vires, it was open to the legislature to remove the defect so as to clear the defect and make the stature valid. It was further observed by the Apex Court in this case as under:

'What has happened in this case is that a large number of writ petitions were dismissed by the High Court on the basis of its decision in the case of Larsen and Toubro : AIR1968Mad407 . As a result of these decisions, a large number of assessment orders under the central Sales Tax Act were set aside. It was held in the case of Larsen and Toubro certain provisions of the Act were ultra vires and in any event excise duty could not be included in the assessee's turnover for the purpose of levy of Central Sales Tax. The main basis of the High Court's Judgments disappeared when the Supreme Court held that the impugned provisions of the Central Sales Tax Act which had been declared ultra vires by the Madras High Court were validly enacted, The other defect which relates to the includibility of excise duty in the 'turnover' of an assessee was cured retrospectively by amending the provisions of the Central Sales Tax. The new provisions introduced by the Amending Act were deemed to have come into, effect retrospectively. Section 9 of the Amending Act declared all assessments made upto 9th January. 1969, valid and binding. There is nothing in the long line of decisions cited by Mr. Vidyanathan to suggest that the legislature could not take such a step until and unless the judgments were specifically reversed by this Court. This argument is not tenable having regard to the principles of law laid down in the case of Shri Prithvi Cotton Mills : [1971]79ITR136(SC) (supra), which have been reiterated in the subsequent judgments of this Court. This is not a case of passing a legislation trying to nullify the interpretation of law given in the Judgment of a Court of law. This is a case of changing the law itself on the basis of which the judgment was pronounced holding that the assessment orders were erroneous in law.'

16. In the case of Peddinti Venkata Murali Ranganatha Desika lyengar and Ors. v. Government of Andhra Pradesh and Anr.., AIR 1966 SC 966, the State of Andhra Pradesh, without amending the Law under the Inams Abolition Act and without properly removing the foundation of the judgments rendered by the High Court under the said Act, (the legislature) sought to destroy the effect of the law in Inam Abolition Act on erroneous belief or assumption that it did not bind the religion or charitable institutions or endowment or that the holder of land did not acquire title or no patta was granted to him and the land was still with the institution and treated the occupant as encroacher. The Apex Court held that the legislation founded on such an erroneous assumption does not have the effect of depriving the holder of the land of their vested rights acquired under the Inams Abolition Act. In other words, the Apex Court reiterated that if the law is amended to remove the foundation of judgments rendered by the High Courts, the amended provisions cannot be said to be invalid or unconstitutional.

17. The position of law that emerges is that where the provisions of a statute were declared as inadequate, the legislature can remove the defect retrospectively so as to cure the same. If the law is changed, on the basis of which the judgment was previously pronounced, it cannot be said that by passing the legislation, the interpretation of the law given in the judgment of a Court of law has been nullified.

18. In re. The Kerala Education Bill, 19577, AIR 1958 SC 956. The Apex Court has held :

'While Article 14 forbids class legislation it does not forbid reasonable classification for the purposes of legislation and in order to pass the test of permissible classification two conditions must be fulfiled, namely, (i) the classification must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped together from others left out of the group and (ii) such differentia must have a rational relation to the object sought to the achieved by the statute in question. The classification may be founded on different bases, namely, geographical, or according to objects or the occupations or the like and what is necessary is that there must be a nexus between the basis of classification and the object of the Act under consideration. There is always a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of an enactment and the burden is upon him, who attacks it, to show that there has been a clear violation of the constitutional principles. The Courts must presume that the legislature understands and correctly appreciates the needs of its own people, that its laws are directed to problems made manifest by experience and that its discriminations are based on adequate grounds. It must be borne in mind that the legislature is free to recognise degrees of harm and may confine its restrictions to those cases where the need is deemed to be the clearest and finally that in order to sustain the presumptions of constitutionality the Court may take into consideration matters of common knowledge, matters of common report, the history of the times and may assume report, the history of the times and may assume every state of facts which can be conceived existing at the time of legislation.'

19. In State of Mysore v. P. Narsinga Rao, : (1968)IILLJ120SC . the Government of Karnataka had prescribed two different scales for tracers - one for matriculate tracers with higher scale and another for non-matriculate tracers with lower pay scale. The non-matriculate tracers complained of discrimination. The said plea was negatived holding that prescribing two different scales for matriculates and non-matriculates is not violative of Articles 14 and 16. It was held that distinction made on the basis of technical qualifications or for that matter even on the basis of general educational qualifications relevant to the suitability of the candidate for public service is permissible under the said articles. Indeed, in that case both the matriculate and non-matriculate tracers formed one single category with one single pay scale earlier. It was only at a later stage that a distinction was made between matriculates and non-matriculates, which led to the said proceedings. The Court proceeded on the assumption that both matriculates and non-matriculate tracers 'were doing the same kind of work', yet the classification made was upheld as permissible under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Distinction on the basis of the educational qualification has been upheld as valid by this Court in a large number of cases, since. By way of illustration, in State of Jammu and Kashmir v. Trikoli Nath Khosa, : (1974)ILLJ121SC , the classification of Assistant Engineers as Diploma Holders and Degree Holders and providing more promotional avenues to Degree Holders was upheld as reasonable. The later decision in P. Murugesan v. State of Tamil Nadu, : (1993)ILLJ944SC , is also to the same effect. In this decisions, all the decisions on the subject of classification on the basis of educational qualifications have been fully discussed.'

20. The principle laid down in the case of State of Mysore v. P. Narsinga Rao, : (1968)IILLJ120SC . has been relied upon in the case of Sita Devi and Ors. : (1996)IILLJ817SC . wherein it is further held that classification on the basis of educational qualifications is reasonable and permissible under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

21. It is common experience that there is a scarcity of scholars in Sanskrit while post-graduates in other subjects are found in abundance. While a scholar in Sanskrit when appointed a Principal in a Sanskrit College is competent to run other colleges, where he is transferred, the converse is not true, because a person not knowing Sanskrit would not be able to work in a Sanskrit College. Therefore, it cannot be said that classification between Sanskrit Lecturers on one hand and Lecturers of other subjects on the other hand cannot be permitted. The classification appears to be an intelligible differentia. It also appears that, in an attempt to obtain the service of Sanskrit Lecturers in Colleges to impart Sanskrit education, better facility has been provided by giving better scale to Sanskrit Lecturers.

22. The judgment of the APAT referred to in Para 8 above, was based on the rule as was existing at the relevant time from which it could not be said that the case of the petitioners was different from that of the Sanskrit Lecturer, Sri P.B.S, Appalacharyulu, who was initially given the scale of Rs. 400-800, because on transfer, his pay could not be lowered down that what he was entitled to get in the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram. Such was not the case with the petitioners. By the amending Rules and the Amending Act, the very foundation of the judgment rendered by the APAT has been removed. It appears that the post of Principal in the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, has been included in Category I Class I of APES only with a view to remove the defect existing in the unamended rules which led the other Lecturers in other subjects to claim pay equal to that of the Sanskrit Lecturers and Principals.

23. The case of State of Gujarat (1 supra) and the case of S.R. Bhagwat and others (4 supra), are distinguishable on facts. In the case of State of Gujarat (1 supra), right which was accrued 20 years ago to the parties was taken away by the legislature by extinguishing their status as Government servants and, therefore, the act of the Government was found to be arbitrary and unreasonable whereas in the case of S.R. Bhagwatand other (4 supra), the juniors were promoted on the basis of the provisional seniority list. Although their seniors were recognised by deemed dates of promotion, they were not given consequential benefits. Such is not the case here. Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu was working as the Principal of the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram from 16-6-1963 which post was declared as gazetted post and his service as Principal of the said College was recognised when he was transferred in the month of July as Assistant Lecturer in Sanskrit in Government Arts College, Rajahmundry. The pay of the teaching staff in Oriental College was revised with effect from 1-4-1966 because the pay of Sri P.B.S. Appalacharyulu could not be reduced merely on the ground that by the time of revision of pay scale he was transferred as Assistant Lecturer in Government Arts College, Rajahmundry. This Court ordered to fix his pay in the revised scale of Rs. 400 - 800 which was again revised to Rs. 700 -1100 with effect from 1-4-1966. The stand of the State Government appears from the very beginning that the Principal and the Lecturers in Sanskrit is a distinct class and only with a view to remove the lacuna in the relevant rules which were not specific, it was amended vide proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India and later by enacting the Act 10 of 1990 with retrospective effect.

24. There appears to be no force in the contention of the learned Counsel of the petitioners that a person holding the post of Assistant Lecturer in Sanskrit can be transferred as Principal of the Government Oriental College including the M.R. Government Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram, whereas a Lecturer in Sanskrit which forms part of a higher service is entitled only to earn that post by promotion because by transfer from Category of Assistant Lecturer in Sanskrit in APES, an Assistant Lecturer can only be appointed as Lecturer in Sanskrit in Government Arts (Degree) and Oriental colleges.

25. In the case of Government of A.P, and others (2 supra), a Division Bench of this Court has held that there was no defect in the earlier Government order or the enactment which had rendered its executive action invalid and for this reason only, the Division Bench of this Court held that the impugned legislation was out and out a legislation to nullify the instant judgment of the Court or authority by a declaration in the shape of decree in the legislature.

26. As noted above, the relevant unamended rules have been amended with a view to cure the defect or lacuna in the same by subsequent rules and by enacting the aforementioned law.

27. For the foregoing reasons, I reach the conclusion that the petitioners have failed to establish that the impugned legislation has nullified the interpretation of law given in the impugned judgment because the foundation of the judgment in question has been properly removed by changing the law itself. When the very foundation of the judgment has been removed, the argument that attempt has been made to nullify the judgment disappears and 15 under these circumstances, the petitioners cannot claim for the same scale allowed to the Principals and Lecturers teaching Sanskrit in Government Degree and Oriental Colleges and, therefore, the provisions made in G.O.Ms. No. 340, dated 27-10-1989 and G.O.Ms.No. 341, dated 27-10-1980 as also the provisions of Act 10 of 1990 cannot be declared as void and for similar reasons the respondents cannot be directed to implement the judgment passed by the APAT in R.P.No. 3558/89, dated 10-4-1989.

28. In result, I see no merit in this writ petition and, therefore, it is dismissed. However, in the circumstances of the case, the parties are directed to bear their own costs.


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