1. In these appeals by the State of Punjab, the common question that arises for consideration is whether the State Government has any power to override the decision of the appropriate authority of the University when such power is not conferred directly upon the State Government under the Statute or any regulation framed thereunder?
2. The State Government being the authority which funds the University for several purposes sought to rely upon the provisions of Sections 19, 23 and 25 of the Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar Act, 1969 (for short 'the Act') and it was contended that the provisions of the aforesaid sections if read together, it would appear that the State Government retains the power of control, particularly when it relates to the funds being spent by the University for various purposes including the grant of accelerated increment and allowance to its employees.
3. Under the University Statute, Statute 41 deals with the grant of accelerated increment and allowance and power is conferred upon the Syndicate or the Vice Chancellor or the Registrar. The power of the State Government under Section 25 of the Act to get the accounts of the University audited will not include within its sweep any power to nullify a decision of the appropriate authority of the University in the matter of grant of accelerated increment or allowance which has been specifically conferred upon the authorities of the University. The power of the State Government under Section 23 of the Act is to the effect that the State Government may provide such amounts by way of grants for meeting the capital recurring or other expenditure of University as it may deem fit. Merely because the State Government has been conferred power to provide amounts by way of grant for meeting the expenditure of the University will not clothe the State Government any further control in the matter of expenditure or the service condition of the employees which is specifically provided for in the Statute itself and the Statute confers powers on the Vice Chancellor, the Syndicate or the Registrar and not on the State Government. The University is an autonomous body and, therefore, the State Government will not be entitled to interfere with the internal administration of the University notwithstanding the fact that the State Government is the funding body until and unless the University Statutes provides for the same or there is any Act of Legislation conferring that power on the State Government. In course of arguments, the learned Counsel appearing for the State Government brought to our notice the provisions of Section 10 of the Haryana and Punjab Agricultural Universities Act in support of the contention that since the Vice Chancellor has certain power of control and that power must be held to be with the State Government as the Vice Chancellor exercises that power in aid and advice of the State Government. This provision is not there either in the Statute of the Guru Nanak Dev University or Punjab University. But even for the Haryana and Punjab Agricultural University also the aforesaid power on a plain reading cannot be held to be conferring power on the State Government to take any decision in the internal administration of the University which the Statute itself does not provide. The impugned judgment in C.A. No. 5088/96 clearly indicates that no provision has been pointed out which may show that the Government is entitled to interfere with the internal administration of the University or the grant of benefit to the employees.
4. Having considered the different provisions of the Act and the Statute which had been placed before us, we are unable to accept the contention raised by the learned Counsel appearing for the State Government that the provisions of Sections 23 and 25 of the Act could be construed to have conferred the power on the State Government in the garb of controlling the funds which the State Government grants for the running of the University, to have a control over the internal administration of the University. In the aforesaid circumstances, we see no infirmity with the impugned judgments of the High Court to be interfered with by this Court. These appeals accordingly fail and are dismissed.