1. Gopal Narain Misra filed writ Petition No. 225 of 1962 under Article 220 of the Constitution praying for a writ of certiorari quashing the orders dated 28-3-1962, 27-7-60 and another order of the same date, copies being annexures 12, 2 and 9 respectively. He also prayed for a writ of mandamus directing the opposite parties to treat the petitioner as continuing in service in accordance with his grade and seniority. The petition came up for hearing before the learned Chief Justice and was dismissed with costs by judgment dated 21st May. Against that judgment, Gopal Narain Misra has filed this special appeal.
2. The assertions in the writ petition are that the petitioner was appointed on 2-8-1957 to teach Civics and History in the intermediate classes in M. D. Shukla Intermediate College, Lucknow, on the expiry of the period of probation of one year the petitioner asserts that he was automatically confirmed. He continued to perform his duties till he was removed from service by letter dated 27-7-60 copy of which is annexure 2 to the writ petition. It is asserted that prior to this certain charges were levelled against the petitioner on 31-3-1960 by letter, copy of which is annexure 3 to the petition. The petitioner replied to the charges and it is asserted that the letter dated 31-3-1960 (sic), copy of which is annexure 5B, would show that the petitioner's removal was by way of punishment.
Reliance was placed on Regulation 26(1)(b) framed under the intermediate Education Act II of 1921 as amended in 1958 which requires the approval of the inspector of Schools before termination of the service of a teacher It was further asserted that though it was alleged that Civics and History classes had been abolished, in fact the Civics class was not abolished. There were nine students in the XII class in July 1960. We have heard the learned counsel for the appellant at considerable length.
3. The learned counsel has urged that the petitioner was confirmed in his appointment. There is no such assertion in the writ petition and the assertion that he was automatically confirmed is not justified, in any case, the learned counsel agrees that the petitioner could be removed from service on three months' notice in accordance with the terms of the contract and the terms of Regulation 26 framed under Section 16-G of the Intermediate Education Act, 1921.
4. The first question for our consideration is whether the order of termination was one of punishment. Annexure 2 reads:
'You are hereby informed that owing to the abolition of the teaching of civics and History in the intermediate classes in this institution from July 1960 your services will no more be required and hence you are served with three calendar months' notice, under Regulation 26(1)(b) or the intermediate Education (Amendment) Act, 1958 with effect from August 1, 1860. This may be treated as the requisite notice of the termination of your services.'
The learned counsel concedes that the frame of the letter is innocuous and no aspersion is made against the petitioner. He however urges that in the particular circumstances the order must be regarded as one of punishment. The learned counsel has relied on the case of P. C. Wadhwa v. Union of India, AIR 1964 SC 423. Reliance is placed on the terms of paragraphs 18 and 17.
We are of opinion that the facts of the case are entirely different. In the present case certain charges were levelled against the petitioner with a view to stopping his annual increment. Thereafter the Management appears to have found that the maintenance of classes in Civics and History was not a paying proposition and they, therefore, appear to have decided to abolish these subjects in their College. It has not been suggested anywhere in the petition or in the arguments of the learned counsel that the abolition was only a device to get rid of the services of the petitioner or that the classes have been restarted or that another person was engaged to carry on with these classes Immediately after the termination of the services of the petitioner. The reason of abolition of the class can, therefore, not be held to be a nongenuine reason and as this has nothing to do with the charges levelled against the petitioner, we can see no force in the contention of the learned counsel that the termination was by way of punishment.
Besides, as laid down at page 8 of the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Champaklal Chimanlal Shah v. union of India, Civil Appeal no. 472 of 1962, D/- 23-10-1963: (AIR 1964 SC 1854 at p. 1861):
'Even though misconduct, negligence, inefficiency or other disqualification may be the motive or the inducing factor which influences the Government to take action under the terms of the contract of employment or the specific service rule, nevertheless, if a right exists, under the contract or the rules, to terminate the service the motive operating on the mind of the Government is wholly irrelevant.'
The order contained in annexure 2 is a simple order of termination with no stigma attaching to the petitioner and entailing no penal consequences.
5. That brings us to the next contention of the learned counsel. The contention is that Regulation ay applies only when the teaching of a particular subject has been completely given up and all the classes in the subject have been abolished. The contention of the learned counsel is that as certain students in the Civics class were still enrolled in the XII class, the subject could not be said to have been completely abolished. It Is contended that thus the reason given is non-existent and, therefore, the approval given by the inspector of Schools and the order of the appellate authority are without jurisdiction and a nullity, we are unable to agreewith the learned counsel in this view of the matter. Regulation 26(1)(b) of Chapter III of the Regulations framed under the intermediate Education Act reads:
'(1) The services of a permanent employee may be terminated by giving him three months' notice or three months' pay in lieu thereof on the ground of the abolition of the post which the employee is holding. The abolition may be due to one of the following reasons:
(b) Abolition of a subject.
we cannot agree with the learned counsel that the services of the staff engaged for teaching a particular subject can be dispensed with only when the classes have Been completely abolished in the sense mentioned by the learned counsel earlier. To our mind if the classes were big ones and several teachers were employed to teach the particular subject, the abolition of a subject and the non-enrollment of students in that subject in any particular class would be a sufficient justification for the management to terminate the services of at least some of the teachers. The question of alternate arrangement for teaching the subject la one between the school authorities and the students and the teacher does not come Into the picture so for as the consideration of the matter is concerned. As we see it, the regulation provides that on the abolition of a subject being decided upon, the staff may be retrenched under the provisions of Regulation 26(1) (b). TO our mind it is not at all necessary that all classes in that subject should cease and no one should be enrolled in any class in that subject.
6. No other point has been pressed before us.
7. We see no force in this special appeal anddismiss it summarily.