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Gandhi Memorial Teachers Training College and anr. Vs. the Kameshwara Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit Vishvavidalaya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Appeal No. 944 of 1971
Judge
Reported inILR1972Delhi312B
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226
AppellantGandhi Memorial Teachers Training College and anr.
RespondentThe Kameshwara Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit Vishvavidalaya and ors.
Advocates: A.B. Lal,; Balraj Dewan,; Trikha and;
Cases ReferredRobertson v. Minister of Pensions
Excerpt:
constitution of india - article 226--writ of mandamus--representation made by a statutory body--provisional affiliation of petitioner college granted by a university--acted upon by the college--subsequent cancellation by the university--doctrine of estoppel applicable--writ of mandamus issued.; in the instant case, the petitioner college applied to be affiliated to the university for the year 1969-70 and the matter was considered by the syndicate of the university and resolution was passed on 28th october, 1969, whereby provisional recognition for navin shastri and shiksha shastri was granted. in furtherance of this decision of the syndicate, a letter was written by the registrar for the year 1970-71, which was similar to the one previously written for the year 1969-70. in this letter it.....d.k. kapur, j. (1) this is a writ petition under article 226 of the constitution of india brought by the gandhi memorial teachers training college, model town, delhi and its director, hari chand suneja. the writ petition is concerned with the disaffiliation of the petitioner college from the kameshvara singh darbhanga sanskrit vishvavidyalaya, respondent no. 1 which is a statutory corporation set up by an act of the bihar legislature as a sanskrit university. the said university affiliates various educational institutions in different parts of the country and admits students from those institutions to its examinations and grants them various degrees. the petitioner college admits students who prepare for the navin shastri and shiksha shastri examinations which are held by the university.....
Judgment:

D.K. Kapur, J.

(1) This is a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India brought by the Gandhi Memorial Teachers Training College, Model Town, Delhi and its Director, Hari Chand Suneja. The Writ Petition is concerned with the disaffiliation of the petitioner college from the Kameshvara Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit Vishvavidyalaya, respondent No. 1 which is a statutory corporation set up by an Act of the Bihar Legislature as a Sanskrit University. The said University affiliates various educational institutions in different parts of the country and admits students from those institutions to its examinations and grants them various degrees. The petitioner college admits students who prepare for the Navin Shastri and Shiksha Shastri examinations which are held by the University and examinations for which are held by the University in May and June every year.

(2) The University has a Syndicate and a Senate. It appears that the college applied to be affiliated to the University for the year 1969-7O and the matter was considered by the Syndicate of the University and a resolution was passed on 28th October, 1969. An English translation of the same appears as Annexure 'D-T' to the Writ Petition and may be re-produced for convenience :-

'S.N.6.The applicant has applied for affiliation to run Shastri and Shiksha Shastri in Gandhi Memorial Teachers Training College. The deputed team for Vishwa Vidya Pratishthan has inspected the institution occasionally. According to the report, provisional affiliation for the year 1969-70 has been recommended. The recommendations of Delhi Education have been received. The organiser of this institution enclosing a cheque of Rs. 7,000.00 offered an agreement that 'this institution would be paying Rs. 7,000.00 yearly to the University for its development till it is connected with the University. In this regard, it has been proposed by University office that on the basis of the report one year provisional affiliation for the year 1969-70 be accorded and expecting a special permission of the Senate, the permission for admission and forwarding the University Examination form be accorded. In addition to this, the permission to accept the amount offered by the institution as donation be granted. Next session, before giving permanent affiliation, regular inspection of the institution be made.'

(3) This led to a letter being written by the Registrar of the University which is himself a party to these proceedings as respondent No. 3. The letter stated that by orders of the Syndicate provisional affiliation for the year 1969-70 for the examinations of Navin Shastri and Siksha. Shastri had been granted to petition No. 1. It was also stated that in the next year the petitioner would have to deposit Rs. 1,500.00 along with an application for affiliation and then an inspection would be arranged by an Inspection Team for taking further action on its report. There is no doubt that in furtherance of this provisional affiliation of petitioner No. 1, the candidates belonging to the college were permitted to sit for these examinations and obtained degrees.

(4) In the following year, the petition college again applied for affiliation for the years 1970-71 and 1971-72 and the Syndicate again considered the matter in its proceeding dated 28th July, 1970. The proceedings are very important and may be reproduced here for convenience. A translation thereof being Annexure 'F-T' to the Writ Petition :-

S. No. 15 'To give consideration to accord It has been decided that a provisional affiliation to Gandhi cording to the resolution Teachers Training College provisional affiliation for Na 5/2, Model Town on the basis of vin Shastri and Shiksha the inspection report. Shastri be granted from July, 1970 to June, 1971 and July, 1971 to June, 1972. But for the time being, one year sanction be communicated before communicating the sanction for the next year, the Registrar should check its workings and on finding it satisfactory, sanction for the next year be communicated.'

In furtherance of this decision of the Syndicate, a letter was written by the Registrar for the year 1970-71, which was similar to the one previously written for the year 1969-70. In this letter it was noted that the University authorities reserved the full right to cancel the affiliation 'at any time if any unfair means will be adopted by the institution cancerned.' It will be noticed that this letter was entirely in accord with the decision of the Syndicate which was to give affiliation for only one year and to leave it to the Registrar for the following year in case he found that the working of the petitioner college was satisfactory. The letter of the Registrar is dated 7th August, 1970.

(5) In January, 1971 petitioner No. 2 who is Director of the petitioner college wrote a letter to the University slating that the college had been paying Rs. 7,000.00 yearly for the development of the University and sanction should thereforee be given for the following year well in advance so that the college might be able to plan for the next year. This was followed by a reminder addressed to the Registrar on 10th May, 1971, which is Annexure 1' to the Writ Petition. In this letter, the Director of the petitioner college pointed out that the Syndicate of the University had granted two years provisional sanction in its resolution dated 28th July, 1970 and, thereforee, the formal intimation of affiliation for the year 1971-72 may be given, In response to this letter the Registrar wrote a letter dated 20th May, 1971 which is Annexure 'J' to the Writ Petition. In this letter, it was stated that the provisional affiliation was being extended from July, 1971 to June, 1972 for Navin Shastri and Shiksha Shastri degrees. It was again noted that the University Vice Chancellor reserved full right to cancel the affiliation if any unfair means were adopted by the institution.

(6) After this provisional affiliation had been granted for the year 1971-72 an express letter was sent by the Registrar as respondent No. I to the Director of the petitioner college staling as follows (in translation):-

'PER direction of the v.C. it is informed that your institution is not affiliated for the year 1971-72. So you are not entitled for admission and for forwarding the forms to the University.'

This was followed by a letter of protest by the Director of the petitioner college dated 14th June, 1971. In this letter it was stated that no reasons had been given for cancelling the affiliation for the year 1971-72 and some Explanationn should be given otherwise legal action would be taken. A further letter was then written by the Director on 30th June, 1971, Annexure 'M' to the Writ Petition, in which it was stated that as affiliation had already been granted for the year 1971-72 and students had been admitted, the letter staling that the college was not affiliated was illegal and unconstitutional and was based on old grudges because of the Vice Chancellor's personal interest in support of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Teachers Training College, Kirti Nagar, which actually belonged to him. It was also stated that legal action would be taken. In response to this letter, the Office Superintendent wrote a letter from the University at Darbhanga staling that the affiliation of the college had been treated as cancelled. Three reasons were given. Those being--(1) according to regulations, recommendations of the Director Public Instructions or high official of the education Department is essential which has not been received, (2) the affiliation has not received the approval of the Senate and, (3) there are certain deficiencies in your institution. In response to this letter, the Director of the petitioner college wrote to the Office Superintendent of the University staling that the same condition prevailed as had previously prevailed. It was stated that the affiliation had been granted for the year 1969-70 and for the year 1970-71. And it was also stated regarding the three items as follows. The recommendations of the Education Department, Delhi, were sent at the time of the first provisional affiliation and in the case of Gaur Brahamin Sanskrit Maha Vidyala, Rohtak no recommendation of the Director Public Instructions Haryana had been sent but the affiliation was not cancelled. Similarly. Madan Mohan Malviya Medical College of Vishwa Vidya Pratishthan Lajpat Nagar. New Delhi had been affiliated without any State recommendation. As regards, point No. (2) it s stated that the affiliation granted by the decision of the Syndicate dated 28th July, 1970 was not subject to the condition of approval by the Senate. It was also mentioned that the affiliation of Madan Mohan Malviya Medical College had not been approved by the Senate but no such notice was sent by the Senate. As far as point No. (3) is concerned, it was stated that no deficiency had been pointed out with regard to the institution. It was, thereforee, stated that the action of the respondent No. 1 was unconstitutional and illegal and based on personal grudges.

(7) Some further correspondence took place between the parties which is not relevant for the purposes of the decision in this Writ Petition and an appeal as well as a telegram was sent to the Governor of Bihar against the unconstitutional act of the respondents.

(8) In the return filed on behalf of the University and its Vice Chancellor certain preliminary objections have been raised concerning the maintainability of the Writ Petition. The main objection is that the petitioners have an alternative remedy by way of filing an appeal to the Chancellor of the University which is the Governor of Bihar and have in fact filed an appeal. It is also stated that the petitioner college was granted affiliation and had been wrongly allowed to send candidates for the examinations in 1969-70 and 1970-71. It was further stated that the Registrar, respondent No. 1 had been conducting the affairs of the University in an illegal manner and the decision which had been taken by the Registrar had been found to be invalid. It was further stated that it was only after the present Vice Chancellor, respondent No. 2 was appointed on 26th December, 1970 that the various defects in the working of the affairs of the University had been detected and pointed out. The Registrar or the Syndicate, according to the University had no power to grant affiliation to the college. According to the return the only authority that could grant affiliation was the Senate and there had been no meeting of the Senate at which the question of granting of affiliation to the petitioner had been considered. According to the return, it is stated thus in para 14 :-

'UNDER the Rules this resolution of recommendation had te be confirmed by the next meeting of the Syndicate and after that it had to come to the Senate. This recommendation was not put to the second meeting of the Syndicate to get it confirmed nor it has been put to the Senate for obtaining its final decision as a step to forward it to the Bihar State University Commission.'

It is later on stated in the return that the Syndicate Body is a recommendatory body. It cannot give any sanction for affiliation. According to the reutrn, thereforee, the whole procedure adopted by the University in granting affiliation was illegal and invalid. The irregularity is said to have come to light later after the students had been admitted and their result had been declared. In short, the case of the University is that there was no application granted to the petitioner college at any time and for two years the students had been allowed to sit in the examination without proper affiliation and, thereforee, the University was entitled to treat the affiliation as being cancelled. It is necessary now to consider the total legal effect of these rival contentions in the light of the provisions of the statute.

(9) Before doing so however, it is necessary to point out one very important fact which is that in May, 1971 candidates from the petitioner college sat in the examination for the Navin Shastri and Shiksha Shastri Degrees held by the University and their examination papers were sent to the University. The fees etc., relating to their examinations were also accepted by the University without protest. The letter purporting to cancel the affiliation was apparently written to the college after the examinations were over. As a result of the attempt to disaffiliate the petitioner college the results were not announced along with the result of the candidates appearing from other institutions. One of the consequences of the dis-affiliation would be that the candidates from the petitioner college would not get degree? in case the dis-affiliation is upheld. However, T must state that Mr. Trikha, appearing on behalf of respondents I and 2 stated on October 20, 1971 that the University will announce the results of the students who had appeared in 1971 examination within three weeks. A result was announced but there is a contest between the parties whether it has been announced in full or inpart. According to the petitioners, only a part of the result is announced. This view is supported by certain letters which have been produced by the petitioners concerning the results. It is stated in a letter from the Registrar, dated 8th September, 1971 that certain results were not being declared because the previous qualifications of certain candidates had not been sent. The petitioners have stated that no question of sending the qualifications arises at this stage because the admission form? were accepted without protest and roll numbers etc., had been given to these candidates. I am of the opinion that whatever be the other consequences of this Writ Petition, the results of these candidates have to be declared by the University after they have accepted their admission forms and also given them roll numbers. If there was any doubt about their applications then the doubt should have been entertained before they sat in the examination and not afterwards.

(10) I now come to consider the various provisions relating to affiliation under the Kameshwara Singh Durbhanga Sanskrit Vishvavidyalaya Act, 1962 (Bihar Act No. 21 of 1965). Section 6 of this Act deals with the affiliation of institutions etc. It is stated therein that the university may affiliate educational institutions imparting Sanskrit, Pali or Prakrit education situated in any part of the territory of India or outside etc. The proviso to this Section is important. It runs as follows:-

'PROVIDED that the University shall not, except upon the recommendation of the Government concerned,- (a) affiliate or recognise an institution situated outside the State of Bihar, or, (b) * * * * * * '

(11) The Act further provides that there will be a Senate and a Syndicate. Among the powers and duties of the Senate which are detailed under Section 17(2) is the exercise of the power of control and superintendence over colleges and institutions including the power of affiliation and disaffiliation of colleges and institutions. This is Section 17(2)(d). There is a proviso to this sub-section which runs as follows :-

'PROVIDED that the affiliation of such colleges shall not take effect unless approved by the Bihar State University Commission.'

Section 17 further defines the Senate as being the supreme governing body of the University having the entire management of. and superintendence over the affairs, concerns and property of the University. Then Section 18 provides that the Syndicate shall be the Chief Executive Body of the University and Section 20 deals with the powers and duties of the Syndicate. Sub-clause (j) of this Section runs as follows :-

'TO recommend to the Senate proposals for affiliation and disaffiliation of colleges and institutes and recognition or withdrawal of recognition of tools in the manner and accordance with the conditions laid down in the Statutes.'

There is a further Section dealing with the affiliation of colleges which is Section 25. The relevant portion of this Section runs as follows :-

'SUBJECT to the provisions of this Act the Statutes may provide for matters relating to the University and shall in particular provide for the following :- (d) the conditions subject to which educational institutions may be recognised by or affiliated to the University and the condition subject to which such affiliations or recognitions may be withdrawn.'

(12) This provision clearly indicates that an affiliation to the University can only be made by the Senate and the Syndicate is a recommendatory body and thus the legal position made out in the return by the University is not incorrect. It seems that the affiliation granted to the petitioner college has been granted without following the procedure prescribed in the Act. It may be that there are Statutes which provide for provisional affiliation but the same have not been placed before me by either the petitioners or the respondents. The legal position being what it is, the question arises: What is the effect of the conveying of provisional affiliation to the petitioners by reason of the decision of the Syndicate? The petitioners have nothing to do with the running of the University and cannot be accepted to know the manner in which the University reaches its decisions. The affidavits filed by the respondents indicate that the Senate of the University has not met for several years and, thereforee, the question of affiliation of the petitioner college was never placed before the Senate as required by the Act. This cannot be the fault of the petitioners to whom the decision of the University had been conveyed as being a provisional affiliation. The Syndicate is the Chief Executive Body of the University which includes as its members, the Vice Chancellor, the Deans of the Faculties the Secretary to the Government of Bihar in the Department of Education, the Director of Public Instructions, Bihar, four Heads of Colleges admitted to or maintained by the University and 8 other elected persons. The Senate consists of all the members of the Syndicate plus the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor and some others. In other words, the Senate is a body of which the members of the Syndicate are a part. It may be that for some reason it was impossible lo call a meeting of the Senate. As far as the petitioners are concerned, the decision of the University has been conveyed to them that the petitioner college has been provisionally affiliated. After that, the University has been accepting the candidates of the college for the examinations and did so for the years 1969-70 and 1970-71. It is too late now for the University to withdraw the provisional affiliation. In my view, the University is not entitled to take advantage of its own procedural faults in the matter of affiliation or to cancel the affiliation. The decision of the University conveyed to the petitioners must be treated to be a lawful decision and cannot be set aside by the University itself sitting in appeal over itself. In fact, the University has so acted that it will be impossible to allow it to now represent that it had been wrong in its decision in provisionally affiliating the petitioner college and was thereforee entitled to withdraw that affiliation. I shall now consider whether this gives a lawful cause of action to the petitioners.

(13) I shall first deal with the authorities cited by Mr. Trikha in support of the view that this Court should not interfere in these proceedings with a matter relating to the University. Mr. Trikha has cited Wasim Ahmed Khan v. Secretary, Board of High School and Intermediate Education, U.P. Allahabad and another, : AIR1961All290 , in support of the proposition that the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Board of Secondary Education is not to be readily interfered with. It is indicated therein that the High Court will only interfere if there is an infringement of fundamental rights of a student. I do not think this judgment is of any assistance in the present case. Mr. Trikha suggests that this judgment lays down that the courts have a very limited authority in interfering with the internal matters of an institution like the University. This is undoubtedly true. but, here, I am dealing with a case in which an entire college has been disaffiliated in an entirely arbitrary manner. This cannot be considered to be an internal matter of discipline, but an interference with the rights and careers of several students, who have joined the petitioner institution for the purpose of passing of the examination of the University on the basis that the affiliation granted to the petitioner college was a real affiliation and not an affiliation that was dependent on the whim and fancy of particular persons holding office of the University.

(14) The next judgment relied upon is Kumaravalu Chettiar Subramoniam Chettiar, v. The State, : AIR1957Ker22 . In this case, there was an order passed concerning the cremation of dead bodies at two different cremation grounds in the city of Trivandrum. Certain portions of these cremation grounds were divided for use of different communities. This order and some other orders of a similar type were sought to be challenged by way of a writ petition. It was held that no Writ lay. I do not think, this authority has also any bearing on this case.

(15) The next authority cited is Mansingh v. Board of Revenue and others, . In this case, it was held that where there was an alternative remedy open, the High Court should not interfere under article 226 of the Constitution. That was a case in which an alternative remedy was open by way of a civil suit. Mr. Trikha relies on this judgment to suggest that an appeal is open to the Chancellor and such an appeal has been filed. And, thereforee, this Court should not interfere by way of writ. I do not think this principle has any application to the present case, because the so-called appeal to the Chancellor only lies after a decision has been taken by the University. In view of the previous discussion, it will be obvious that, here the decision of the University such as it is, is to provisionally affiliate the petitioner college and the objection of the petitioner is not to any particular act of the University, but to the attempt by the University to cancel its previous decision. The real controversy, thereforee, is to see whether the University can cancel its order as previously conveyed. This is not at all a matter of an appeal to the Chancellor.

(16) The next authority cited is The Karnai Kaithal Co-operative Transport Society Ltd., Karnal v. The State of Punjab and another, . In that case, four pre-requisites for issue of a writ of mandamus were set out. They were mentioned as-(l)whether the petitioner has a clear and specific legal right to the relief demanded by him, (2) where there is a duty imposed by law on the respondent (3) whether such duty is of an imperative ministerial character involving no judgment or discretion and (4) whether the petitioner has any remedy other than mandamus for enforcing its rights. Mr. Trikha submits that these essentials are not specified in the present case and, thereforee, no writ should issue. I do not think that general propositions stated in a particular case on completely different facts can be of any help in the present case. The judgment cited was given in relation to an industrial dispute. The question was whether a mandamus should issue regarding a reference by the Government of an industrial dispute to a Tribunal. This is a completely different case from the present. In the present case, I am only concerned with what powers the University has after it has reached a particular decision and conveyed the same to a college. The question is, can an affiliation granted by the University be cancelled on the ground that it was wrongly granted by the University In other words, the question is, whether the University can act as a Judge qua its own previous action? No similar question was involved in the case cited and, thereforee, I am of the opinion that it has no relevance at all with the particular case before me.

(17) The next authority cited is Gurdit Singh Bishan Singh v. The District Magistrate, Jullundur. in that case.. it was held that a mandamus could be issued when there was a specific legal right, but not specific legal remedy. This again is a generalisation which cannot be applied except to the particular case before the Court and no further reference to this judgment is. thereforee, necessary.

(18) The next case cited is v. Gopalakmhna v. The Secretary, Board of Revenue, Madras and another, : AIR1954Mad362 . This was a judgment to the effect that no writ of certiorari will like to quash a notification under section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, but a suit is the proper remedy. I doubt if this judgment lays down the correct law in view of all the subsequent judgments on the question, but assuming it does, I do not see how a suit can lie in the circumstances of the present controversy and what sort of relief can be obtained in such a suit. This authority is also of no help in the case before me.

(19) The next authority cited is Ashalata v. M. B. Virkram University, Uijain and others, : AIR1961MP299 . This was a Writ Petition directed against a University. In that case, a student, who had failed in the examination in the year 1960 and was to appear in the year 1961 challenged a change in the text-books in the examination on certain grounds. It was held that the High Court should not use its extraordinary powers under Article 226 of the Constitution which are discretionary and equitable in nature merely because of the breach of a provision of law. The mere change in the text-books brought about by an irregular procedure was held to be insufficient to entitle the petitioner to the issue of a writ. The matter before me is not a trivial matter involving a change of text-books. An entire college, with a number of students, who have sat in the examination and were also preparing for the subsequent year are likely to have their results cancelled for the previous year and found unable to appear in the subsequent year because of the actions impugned in this Writ Petition. This is certainly a case in which this Court will have to interfere provided legal grounds exist for such an interference.

(20) I now proceed to deal with the contentions of Mr. Avadh Behari Lal, learned counsel for the petitioners in support of his submission that there is an infringement of a legal right which entitles the petitioners to get relief in this Writ Petition. The first judgment cited is Lever (Finance) v. Westminster Corporation, (1970)3 All. E.R. 496. In this case, a certain plot of land was proposed to be developed. An application was made for permission to the Westminster City Council in this behalf. Along with the application, a detailed development plan was submitted. On 24th March, 1969, the Planning Authority gave permission for development in accordance with the plan. A month later, the architect made some variations in the plan and submitted the same to the authorities. The Planning Officer approved by the Planning Authority told the architect that the variation was not material and no further consent was required. Accordingly, the developers acted according to the plan and started erecting houses in accordance therewith. One of these houses was started in September. 1969 and was identified by letter 'G'. Some objections were made to the construction of this house by other residents in the vicinity. This led the Planning Authority to suggest to the developers of the colony that they should make another application for permission. This was done in March, 1970 but the application was rejected. Another application in the same behalf in April, 1970 was also rejected and a notice was issued for the demolition of the house. By this time the house 'G'- had been constructed and almost completed. This led the developers to seek a writ which was granted and, thereafter the Planning Authority appealed to the Court of Appeal. It was held:

'IF the planning officer tells the developer that a proposed variation is not material, and the developer acts on it, then the planning authority cannot go back. I know that there are authorities which say that a public authority cannot be stopped by any representations made by its officers. It cannot be stopped from doing its public duty. See, for instance, the recent decision of the Divisional Court in Southern-on Sea Core. v. Hodgson (Wickford) Ltd, (1961) 2 All ER46. But those statements must now be taken with considerable reserve. If an officer, acting within the scope of his ostensible authority, makes a representation on which another acts, then a public authority may be bound by it, just as much as a private concern would be.'

(21) This authority is sought to apply to the facts of the present case on a Parity of reasoning. It is submitted that the provisional affiliation conveyed to the petitioner institution amounts to a representation similar to the one in question before the Court of Appeal. The fact that the petitioners have acted upon it and enrolled students who have sat in the examination held by the University and also enrolled students to appear in the examination in the next year operates as a kind of estoppel against the University. There is considerable force in this contention. It is not for the petitioners to decide how the University conveys its grant of affiliation to the petitioner and it cannot be expected that the petitioners will investigate the correctness of the decision by a reference to the statute. Once an authorised agent of the University and a decision of the Syndicate of the University has informed the petitioners that the college has been affiliated, although provisionally, the petitioners are entitled to enroll students and those students are entitled to sit in the examination for the two years in question and are also entitled to get degrees in accordance with their results in the examination.

(22) The next authority relied upon is Union of India and others v. M/s. Indo Afghan Agencies Ltd., : [1968]2SCR366 . This was a case in which certain representations had been made to exporters concerning the grant of certificates to import material equal to 100 per cent of the value of their exports. It was held that once a person has acted upon a representation then the State is bound and cannot back out of its representation. Reliance was placed on the observations of Denning J. in Robertson v. Minister of Pensions, (1949) 1 K..B. 227, a portion of which may be reproduced for convenience:-

'THE Crown cannot escape by saying that estoppels do not bind the Crown for that doctrine has long been exploded. Nor can the Crown escape by playing in aid the doctrine of executive necessity, that is, the doctrine that the Crown cannot bind itself so as to fetter its future executive action.'

(23) Thus, there is no authority for the proposition that even a representation made by the State may in certain circumstances be binding upon it. I think that the petitioners can call this doctrine to their aid for the purpose of challenging the attempted disaffiliation of the petitioner institution.

(24) The last authority cited on behalf of the petitioners is Century Spinning and . and another v. The Ulhasnagar Municipal Council and another : [1970]3SCR854 . In this case, the appellant had set up a factory in 1956 in an area which was denoted as an industrial area. In April, 1960, a municipality was constituted of certain villages by a notification issued by the State of Maharashtra. A representation was made by the company to exclude industrial area from the municipal jurisdiction. The municipality agreed to exclude the company from payment of octroi for a period of seven years from the date of the levy. The municipality purported to levy the octroi duty. which was challenged by means of a Writ Petition, which was dismissed in liming by the High Court. Ob appeal to the Supreme Court, it was held :-

'PUBLIC bodies are as much bound as private individuals to carry out representations of facts and promises made by them, relying on which other persons have altered their position to their prejudice. The obligation arising again an individual out of this representation amounting to a promise may be enforced ex contractu by a person who acts upon the promise: When the law requires that a contract enforceable at law against a public body shall be in certain form or be executed in the manner prescribed by statute, the obligation may be enforced against it in appropriate cases in equity.'

(25) Later on, in the same judgment, it is stated as follows :-

'I Four nascent democracy is to thrive, different standards of conduct for the people and the public bodies cannot ordinarily be permitted. A public Body is, in our judgment, not exempt from liability to carry out its obligation arising out of representations made by it relying upon which a citizen has altered its position to his prejudice.'

(26) These three authorities cited by Mr. Avadh Behari Lal seem to apply fully to the circumstances of the present case. A representation has been made on behalf of the University that the petitioner institution has been provisionally affiliated for two particular years. Acting on this representation which is supported by a decision of the Syndicate of the University, the petitioners have enrolled students who have sat in the examination. It is extraordinary that after they have sat in the examination, the University should have thought of disaffiliating the college, merely on the ground that the matter has not yet been placed before the Senate. This is certainly not a matter which is within the knowledge or power of the petitioners. As far as they are concerned, they have acted on the representation and a number of students enrolled in the petitioner college has also acted on this representation. It is impossible now to permit the University to back out from its provisional affiliation of the petitioner college. The attempt to disaffiliate the petitioner college must, thereforee, be amenable to the writ jurisdiction of this Court in the same manner as the orders in the three aforementioned decisions.

(27) It must be held that' the letters directed to the petitioners staying that the petitioner college has been disaffiliated are of no legal effect and cannot be given effect to. The provisional affiliation granted to the petitioner college has, thereforee, to continue for the examination for Navin Shastri and Shiksha Shastri for the period July, 1970 to June. 1971 and also for the period July, 1971 to June, 1972, in accordance with the resolution of the Syndicate dated 28th July, 1970. A writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ will, thereforee, issue to the respondents directing them to continue the affiliation of the petitioner college up to June, 1972. A writ of mandamus will also issue directing the respondents to publish and declare the result of the candidates who have appeared in the May/June, 1971 examination. As I have already indicated, part of this result has been declared and now the remaining result should also be declared. I also hold in this connection that having accepted the examination forms of the candidates of the petitioner college for this year, the qualifications of those students who have appeared in the examination cannot be called in question by the University at this stage and the University is estopped from disputing the qualifications after the candidates have sat in the examination. The petitioners will get their costs in this Writ Petition.


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