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Mool Behari Saxena Vs. K.L. Govil, Registrar and Acting Vice-chancellor, Allahabad University, Allahabad and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 2679 of 1958
Judge
Reported inAIR1959All392
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226
AppellantMool Behari Saxena
RespondentK.L. Govil, Registrar and Acting Vice-chancellor, Allahabad University, Allahabad and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.C. Khare, ;C.S. Saran, ;J. Swarup, ;Virendra Swarup and ;G.K. Sahai, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateK.L. Misra, ;R.B. Misra and ;P.N. Duda, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....pressed he would have asked the court to examine, as at preliminary point, the constitution of the allahabad university union and its place and status in the corporate life of the university to decide whether the petitioner had, even on his own uncontroverted allegations, made out any case for the infringement of any right vested in him which could be enforced by this court under its extraordinary powers under' article 226 of the constitution, he pointed out that the vice-chancellor of the university enjoyed, under the constitution of the union itself, overriding powers including the power to suspend the union. however strong may be the alleged grievance of any defeated candidate and however grave the injustice done to him individually, the principle of corporate life shall transcend..........nand misra, a student of the university of allahabad, to the office of the president of the allahabad university union. the petitioner mool behari saxena was one of the rival candidates who contested the election and was a close runner-up to the winning candidate, having obtained 1190 votes as against 1221 of satchida nand misra. the election was challenged on a number of grounds which it is not necessary for me to discuss in view of the statement which has been made on behalf of the petitioner to-day.the foundation of the petition was the allegation contained in paragraph 16 of the petitioner's affidavit that there had been a great irregularity in the counting of votes, due to the fact that the returning officer did not take care which he was required to take in the matter of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.S. Dhavan, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution impugning the legality of the election of Sri Satchida Nand Misra, a student of the University of Allahabad, to the office of the President of the Allahabad University Union. The petitioner Mool Behari Saxena was one of the rival candidates who contested the election and was a close runner-up to the winning candidate, having obtained 1190 votes as against 1221 of Satchida Nand Misra. The election was challenged on a number of grounds which it is not necessary for me to discuss in view of the statement which has been made on behalf of the petitioner to-day.

The foundation of the petition was the allegation contained in paragraph 16 of the petitioner's affidavit that there had been a great irregularity in the counting of votes, due to the fact that the Returning Officer did not take care which he was required to take in the matter of the counting of votes and allowed unauthorised persons to do the counting for him, which was contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the University Union.

2. When the case was called up for hearing today Mr. S. C. Khare on behalf of the petitioner made the following statement to the Court which was recorded on his insistence;

'Sri Satchida Nand Misra, respondent No. 10, who had been declared elected President of the Union of the Allahabad University, has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Gorakhpur University and has joined that post. As such, there is now a vacancy in the office of the President of the Allahabad University Union and this writ petition has become infructuous. It is not pressed.' Another statement was made by Mr. K. L. Misra representing the respondents 1 to 9, which include the Vice-Chancellor, the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the aforesaid Union, Mr. J. S. Negi, a member of the Board of Trustees, and Professor A. B. Lal, who was the Returning Officer in the election. Mr. Misra stated that, as learned counsel for the petitioner had requested the Court to record the reasons why he was not pressing the petition, the Court might record his statement on behalf of the respondents too.

Mr. Misra then stated that if the writ petition had been pressed he would have asked the Court to examine, as at preliminary point, the constitution of the Allahabad University Union and its place and status in the corporate life of the University to decide whether the petitioner had, even on his own uncontroverted allegations, made out any case for the infringement of any right vested in him which could be enforced by this Court under its extraordinary powers under' Article 226 of the Constitution,

He pointed out that the Vice-Chancellor of the University enjoyed, under the constitution of the Union itself, overriding powers including the power to suspend the Union. There was no right vested in the petitioner on which a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution could be founded. Mr. Misra however conceded that it was not possible for him to develop and press his points in view of the fact that the petition itself was not being pressed today. Finally he informed the Court that he had been instructed not to press for costs against the petitioner as the various respondents were anxious not to penalise the petitioner financially even if he had been misguided enough to come to this Court and asked for a relief to which he was not entitled,

3. In view of Mr. Khare's statement on behalf of the petitioner I reject' this petition and direct the parties to bear their own costs. But I am constrained to observe, after having carefully read the petition and the affidavit, that this case should not have been brought to the Court at all. The Allahabad University Union is one of several institutions which are an integral part of the Allahabad University and whose fundamental object and purpose are to preserve and enrich the corporate life of the University.

The essence of corporate life in a University is the implicit understanding among all members of the University that the Professors and students will regulate their dealings with one another without interference from outside. The Allahabad University Union- is not the only institution in that University in which office-bearers are appointed by election. In fact every institution connected with the intellectual, athletic or cultural activities of the University, is organised on the principle of election.

But there must be an implied understanding that the purpose of the activities connected with, or arising out of these institutions, is to strengthen and not weaken or disrupt the principles of corporate brotherhood on which the University is founded. However strong may be the alleged grievance of any defeated candidate and however grave the injustice done to him individually, the principle of corporate life shall transcend individual grievances. The moment any member of the University, be he the Vice-Chancellor or a Professor or any student, appeals to a forum outside the University for the purpose of redressing his individual grievance he violates this transcendent principle and spills the essence of corporate brotherhood in the dust.

I am constrained to make these observations in view of the statement made by Mr. Khare which implies that had the respondent No. 10 not left, the University, he would have pressed this petition. This court will not lend its assistance under Article 226 of the Constitution to a person who violates the code of corporate brotherhood nor interfere in the affairs of a University if such interference will have the tendency to disrupt or weaken the spirit of corporate life in the University,

(Order on application for interim order -- 6-10-1958)

4. This is an application for an interim order restraining Shri Satchida Nand Misra, respondent No. 10, from exercising the functions of the Allahabad University Union during the pendency of this petition. It appears from the petitioner's affidavit supporting the petition that he contested the election as he was a candidate for election to the office of the President of the Allahabad University Union. The respondent Sri Satchida Nand Misra was elected having secured 1221 votes, the petitioner being close behind with 1190 votes.

The petitioner has come to this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution impugning the legality of the election of the President on various grounds. He also prays that the winning candidate be restrained from functioning as President during the pendency of this petition. The petition was ad-mittetd by Hon'ble Jagdish Sahai J. on 19th September 1958. He also passed an order that the consideration of the prayer for an interim order would be made today.

5. Learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr. C.S. Saran, relied upon the allegations in the affidavit of the petitioner in which he has contended that the elections were irregular and illegal.

6. I am satisfied that it will not be in the public interest to pass an order of the sort demanded by the petitioner in this case. The Allahabad University Union is an organization of the students of that University. The autonomous functioning of an authority including all its institutions is the foundation of University life. The Union has been given the power under Ordinance III of Chapter 55 to frame its own constitution and to lay down other rules and regulations governing its activities.

It was open to the University to frame comprehensive and detailed rules and regulations governing the disposal of cases where the election of an office-bearer is disputed. I am informed by the learned counsel for the petitioner that there is provision for a Judicial Committee constituted for the purpose of deciding election disputes, but no committee has yet been constituted under that provision.

7. In the present case, the respondent Sri Satchida Nand Misra has been elected by a majority of votes. His election must be deemed to be valid-unless and until it is declared otherwise by a competent authority. If I were to grant the prayer for a restraint order the result obviously will be that the Union will be without a President. It is true that there are provisions enabling the Vice-President or any other officer to function in the place of a President. But there is no reason why the office of the President should be made vacant or the elected President rendered unable to function.

8. But the main reason why I am exceedingly unwilling to pass any interim order is that such an order would be an intrusion into the affairs of an autonomous body which is perfectly capable of dealing with the present dispute. In considering this matter I have taken into account not only the competing interest of the defeated and the elected candidate but the] larger interest, of the public will. I regret to say that in recent years there has been an increasing tendency in University circles to come to this Court for decision in matters which should never have been taken to the Court at all. I, therefore, reject the application for an interim order.

9. Fix this case peremptorily as the first case on my list on the 15th of October, 1958. It shall have priority over all other cases, including those which are part heard.

10. Mr. P. N. Duda on behalf of respondents 1, 2 and 9 seeks permission to file a counter-affidavit. He is given one week's time to file a counter-affidavit. Mr. R. B. Misra is also permitted to file a counter-affidavit on behalf of respondent No. 3 within one week. Any other respondent may file counter-affidavit within a week from today if he so desires.


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