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Lakshna Mohapatra Vs. State of Orissa and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.J.C. No. 318 of 1973
Judge
Reported inAIR1975Ori201
ActsOrissa Education Code, 1969 - Article 347
AppellantLakshna Mohapatra
RespondentState of Orissa and ors.
Appellant AdvocateG.A.R. Dora, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateR.K. Mohapatra, Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....of the orissa education code. save when prolonged enquiries are necessitated, or under other exceptional circumstances, grants for the period between the expiry and renewal of the grant will not be given......of majhiakhanda m. e. school in the educational district of nayagarh. he challenges the action of opposite parties in withholding the grant in aid for the school for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73. 2. the case of the petitioner is that though the school was receiving grant in aid regularly from its inception, the district inspector of schools (opposite party no. 3) has not released the same for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 on account of some disputes between the petitioner and the opposite parties. it is alleged that at the instance of the ruling party in the government, a new managing committee for the school was constituted. the petitioner filed a writ petition challenging the constitution of the new committee in o. j. c. no. 730 of 1970 and was successful. it is out of that grudge.....
Judgment:

P.K. Mohanti, J.

1. The petitioner is the Secretary of the Managing Committee of Majhiakhanda M. E. School in the Educational District of Nayagarh. He challenges the action of Opposite Parties in withholding the grant in aid for the school for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73.

2. The case of the petitioner is that though the school was receiving grant in aid regularly from its inception, the District Inspector of Schools (Opposite Party No. 3) has not released the same for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 on account of some disputes between the petitioner and the opposite parties. It is alleged that at the instance of the ruling party in the Government, a new Managing Committee for the school was constituted. The petitioner filed a writ petition challenging the constitution of the new committee in O. J. C. No. 730 of 1970 and was successful. It is out of that grudge that payment of the grant in aid was stopped. The petitioner prays for issue of a writ of mandamus commanding the Opposite Parties to release the grant in aid for those two years.

3. The opposite parties filed counter contending that the grant in aid has not been sanctioned on the following amongst, other grounds:--

(a) Failure to submit application for renewal of recognition of the school as required by the provisions of the Orissa Education Code.

(b) Illegal constitution of the Managing Committee and continuance of the members in the committee in contravention of Article 286 of the Orissa Education Code;

(c) Arbitrary termination of services of teachers;

(d) Appointment of teachers in contravention of the orders of the Director of Public Instructions:

(e) Improper maintenance of the records of the, school;

(f) Non-compliance with the audit objections.

4. The learned Government Advocate candidly conceded that the grounds taken by the opposite parties for withholding the grant in aid are irrelevant. He however submitted that the grants in aid for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 cannot be released since no application and financial return as required under Article 347 of the Orissa Education Code have been filed by the Managing Committee.

5. Article 347 reads as follows:--

'347. Renewal and Termination of grants:-- Applications for the renewal of grants should be made to the proper authority at least three months before the expiry of the current grant. The application shall be accompanied by such returns as the Director may from time to time prescribe with the view of ascertaining the financial position of the schools and its eligibility for aid. Submitting officers must pass on the applications with recommendations at once. Save when prolonged enquiries are necessitated, or under other exceptional circumstances, grants for the period between the expiry and renewal of the grant will not be given.'

6. The petitioner filed an affidavit on 20-3-1975 stating that no particular form of application for renewal of grant has been prescribed under Article 347 and the Director of Public Instructions has also not prescribed any return for ascertaining the financial position of the school. He however submitted statements showing anticipated requirement of grant in aid for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 on 14-8-1971 and 21-8-1972 respectively. Copies of those statements have been filed as Annexures 1 and 2 to the said affidavit. The District Inspector of Schools Nayagarh Opposite Party No. 3 filed a counter-affidavit on 21-3-1975 stating that under Article 347 the District Inspector of Schools is the proper authority to whom the application for renewal of grants has to be made and since the petitioner did not make the requisite applications for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 at the appropriate tune, the grant in aid was rightly withheld. The relevant file of the office of the District Inspector of Schools dealing with the sanction of grant in aid was made available to us by the learned Government Advocate at the time of hearing of this writ application. The statements said to have been submitted by the petitioner on 14-8-1971 and 21-8-1972 are not available in the file. There is also nothing to show that such statements were submitted by the petitioner,

7. Article 319 of the Orissa Education Code dealing with grants in aid to Middle English Schools provides that Government will pay as grant in aid two thirds of the net deficit subject to the minimum of Rs. 30/- a month and the Managing Committees of aided schools shall be responsible to bear the remaining one-third of the net deficit, Reading this article along with Article 347 as quoted above it is clear that the payment of grant in aid to cover two thirds of the net deficit is subject to the condition that the application for the renewal of the grant should be made at least three months before the expiry of the current grant and the application should be accompanied by a return showing the financial position of the school. It is required obviously for the purpose of determination as to whether the financial condition of the school makes it eligible for the grant in aid. Even assuming that no form has been prescribed for filing the return, the Managing Committee has the duty to furnish a statement showing the financial position of the school along with the application for the renewal of the grant. The grant in aid will not be sanctioned as a matter of course but after determination by the proper authority as to whether the financial position of the school discloses any deficit which requires to be covered by the grant. It is therefore obligatory on the Managing Committee of an aided school to comply with the provisions of Article 347.

8. In the course of hearing of this writ application the learned Government Advocate agreed that the arrears of pay and allowances for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 will be paid directly to the teachers and the non-teaching staff of the school by the opposite parties within a time to be fixed by the court. He also conceded that the grant-in-aid for the expenditure on account of building repairs and contingencies for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 will be paid on receipt of applications and returns in accordance with the provisions of Article 347 of the Orissa Education Code. Mr. Dora the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner agreed to these terms.

9. In view of the above agreement between the parties, the writ application is allowed but without any order as to costs. Issue writ of mandamus commanding the opposite parties to disburse the arrears of pay and allowance to the teachers and the non-teaching staff of the school for the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 within two months hence and also to release the grant-in-aid for the expenditure on account of building repairs and contingencies for these two years within two months from the date of submission of applications and returns by the petitioner in accordance with Article 347 of the Orissa Education Code.

G.K. Misra, C.J.

I agree.

N.K. Das, J.

I agree.


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