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Umashankar Shukla Vs. Arts and Commerce College (by B.R. Anand, Chairman, Govorning Body) and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1969)ILLJ86MP; 1968MPLJ604
AppellantUmashankar Shukla
RespondentArts and Commerce College (by B.R. Anand, Chairman, Govorning Body) and ors.
Cases ReferredP.R.Godh v. A.L. Pandey
Excerpt:
- - he, however, submits that the college code read along with section 16 of the madhya pradesh general clauses act, 1957, confers statutory authority onthe governing body to suspend the petitioner and to deprive him of his pay in whole or in part during the period of suspension, 3. the law regarding the right of the master to suspend his servant and to deprive him of his remuneration is well-settled......with suspension. he, however, submits that the college code read along with section 16 of the madhya pradesh general clauses act, 1957, confers statutory authority onthe governing body to suspend the petitioner and to deprive him of his pay in whole or in part during the period of suspension,3. the law regarding the right of the master to suspend his servant and to deprive him of his remuneration is well-settled. a master can refuse to take work from his servant and in that sense can suspend him during the pendency of an enquiry against him even though there is no specific provision in the contract of service. but the servant remains entitled to his full remuneration in spite of suspension unless there is some contractual term or statutory provision which enables the master to.....
Judgment:
ORDER

G.P. Singh, J.

1. The petitioner is the principal of the Article and Commerce College, Harda. By letter of 29 July 1967, the chairman of the governing body of the college asked the petitioner to explain four charges the details of which need rot be stated. After the petitioner gave the explanation, the Vice-chancellor. Saugar University, on 9 October 1967, sanctioned the suspension of the petitioner pending an enquiry by the governing body. The chairman of the governing-body on 11 October 1967 passed an order suspending the petitioner pending enquiry into the charges. This order recites that the petitioner will draw Rs. 300 per month, during the period of suspension. It may be mentioned that the petitioner as principal is employed on a salary of Rs. 600 per month. The order of 11 October 1967 passed by the chairman was approved by the governing' body on 14 October 1967. The petitioner by this petition calls into question the charges framed against him as also the order suspending him and reducing his emoluments to half of his normal salary during the period of suspension.

2. The main contention raised by Sri Dharmadhikari, the learned counsel for the petitioner, is that in the absence of any term in the service contract or statutory provision the petitioner cannot be suspended and deprived of his salary, Sri R.K.Pandey, the learned counsel for the respondents, concedes that there is no term in the service contract which deals with suspension. He, however, submits that the college code read along with Section 16 of the Madhya Pradesh General Clauses Act, 1957, confers statutory authority onthe governing body to suspend the petitioner and to deprive him of his pay in whole or in part during the period of suspension,

3. The law regarding the right of the master to suspend his servant and to deprive him of his remuneration is well-settled. A master can refuse to take work from his servant and in that sense can suspend him during the pendency of an enquiry against him even though there is no specific provision in the contract of service. But the servant remains entitled to his full remuneration in spite of suspension unless there is some contractual term or statutory provision which enables the master to suspend the servant without payment of salary-Hotel Imperial, New Delhi and Ors. v. Hotel Workers' Union 1959-II L.L.J. 544 ; Cajee (T.) v. Jormanik Sing (V.) and Anr. 1961-I L.L.J. 652; and Karur (R. P.) v. Union of India and Ors. 1966-II L.L.J. 164.

4. We now turn to the argument that the college code read along with Section 16 of the Madhya Pradesh General Clauses Act, 1957, confers power of suspension along with power to withhold pay in whole or in part during the period of suspension. The college, with which we are concerned, is affiliated to the Saugar University and is governed by the college code which is an Ordinance made by the Saugar University under the University of Saugar Act, 1946. The code having-been made under statutory powers has the force of law-P.R.Godh v. A.L. Pandey 1965 L.L.J. 513 (S.C.). The only provision in the code to which our attention is drawn is Clause 9(iv) which reads as follows ;

No disciplinary action of any kind shall be taken against the principal of a college by its governing body without previous approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

The aforesaid provision neither expressly nor impliedly provides for suspension without; pay. The effect of the provision is that the governing body of a college can with previous approval of the Vice-Chancellor take disciplinary action against a principal. It is also implicit on general principles that the governing body will have power to suspend the principal during an enquiry against him. But there is nothing in the language of the clause from which a power to withhold pay either wholly or partly during the period of suspension may be spelt out. Section 1.1 of the Madhya Pradesh General Clauses Act, 1957, to which reference is made, is also of no assistance and is altogether inapplicable. The Madhya Pradesh General Clauses Act, 1058, applies for construing Madhya Pradesh Acts, Ordinances and Regulations made under the Constitution after the appointed day, i.e., after 1 November 1955, The definitions of the expressions' Madhya Pradesh Act,' ' Ordinance,' ' Regulation,' ' enactment' and ' appointed day'- as contained in Section 2 read along with Section 31 make that position clear. By force of Section 31(6) the Act also applies for construction of rules, regulations, bylaws, orders, notifications, schemes or forms made or issued under a Madhya Pradesh Act. But a Madhya Pradesh Act here referred to is again an Act which, according to the definition contained in Section 2(21), is made after 1 November 1956. In our opinion, the Madhya Pradesh. General Clauses Act, 1957, in general or Section 16 thereof in particular, cannot be resorted to for construing the University of Saugar Act, 1946, or an Ordinance made by the university under that Act. For construction of the University of Saugar Act, 1946, one has to take the assistance of the Central Provinces and Berar General Clauses Act, 1914. Section 15 thereof, which corresponds to Section 16 of the General Clauses Act, 1958, when read along with the definition contained in Section 2(30) applies to construction of a Madhya Pradesh Act enacted before 1 November 1956 ; but there is nothing in the Act to make Section 15 applicable for construing an Ordinance made by the university under the University of Saugar Act, 1946. Further neither Section 15 of the Central Provinces and Berar General Clauses Act, 1914, nor 8. 16 of the Madhya Pradesh General Clauses Act, 1957, confer any power to suspend without pay. The language used in them corresponds to Section 16 of the Central Act (the General Clauses Act, 1897) which was considered by their lordships in Kapur (R. P.) case 1966-II L.L.J. 164 (vide supra). It was there observed at pp. 171-172:.On general principles, therefore, the authority entitled to appoint a public servant would be entitled to suspend him pending a departmental enquiry into his conduct or pending a criminal proceeding, which may eventually result in a departmental enquiry against him. This general principle is illustrated by the provision in Section 16 of the General Clauses Act, 10 of 1897 which lays down that where any Central Act or Regulation gives power of appointment, that includes the power to suspend or dismiss unless a different intention appears, Though this provision does not directly apply in the present case, it is in consonance with the general law of master and servant. But what amount should be paid to the public servant during such supension will depend upon the provisions of the statute or rule in that connexion. If there is such a provision, the payment during suspension will be in accordance therewith. But if there is no such provision, the public servant will be entitled to his full emoluments during the period of suspension....

5. The aforesaid observations go to show that Section 16 of the General Clauses Act statutorily enacts the rule of general law that the authority entitled to appoint a servant is also competent to suspend and dismiss him but the section has not the effect of providing that the servant who has been suspended will not be entitled to his pay. In the absence of any other provision depriving the servant of his pay, he will be entitled to his full emoluments during the period of suspension.

6. For all these reasons we are of the view that the petitioner was entitled to receive his full remuneration during the period of suspension and the order of the chairman of the governing body depriving the petitioner of his half-remuneration during suspension was beyond his authority and invalid.

7. The learned counsel for the petitioner then urged that the charges framed were also invalid. We do not, however, think that it would be proper to examine at this stage the contention raised regarding the validity or invalidity of charges when the enquiry is still pending. The petitioner can raise hiS objections during the course of enquiry before proper authorities.

8. The petition is partly allowed. The order of the chairman, governing body, passed on 11 October 1967, in so far as it deprives the petitioner of part of his salary during the period of suspension, is quashed. In the circumstances of the case there will be no order as to costs of this petition. The security amount will be refunded to the petitioner.


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