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James Chereath, Manager, C.J.M.U.P. School Vs. the Regional Deputy Director of Public Instruction and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1970)IILLJ653Ker
AppellantJames Chereath, Manager, C.J.M.U.P. School;p.M. Krishna Kurup, Manager, S.K.V.U.P. School
RespondentThe Regional Deputy Director of Public Instruction and anr.;state of Kerala and ors.
Cases ReferredK.N. Sankaranarayanan v. The Manager
Excerpt:
.....these rules causes undue hardship in any particular case, the government may dispense with or relax the requirements of that rule to such extent and subject to such conditions as they may consider necessary for dealing with the case in a just and equitable manner. in the scheme of the rules, which provide for appeals and revisions to the state government from several orders passed by subordinate authorities, even in respect of much less important matters, it is not possible to take it that the rule-making authority left a matter like the one which is dealt with in rule 7 in chapter 111 to, the sole decision of the director or the regional deputy director, without providing for any appeal or revision from that decision......that arises for decision in these two cases is whether the power of revision vested in the state government under rule 92 in chapter xiv(a) of the kerala education rules, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as the rules) relates only to orders passed by a subordinate authority in respect of matters falling under chapter xiv(a) of the rules or whether the said power is applicable in respect of any order passed by n subordinate authority under the rules.2. by an order ext. p. 5 dated 22.7.1968, the regional deputy director of public instruction, ernakulam, who is the first respondent in o.p. 3734 of 1968, held that the petitioner who is the manager of an aided school was unlit to hold the post of a manager of that school or in any other aided school in the state of kerala. by a similar.....
Judgment:

M.U. Isaac, J.

1. The short question that arises for decision in these two cases is whether the power of revision vested in the State Government under Rule 92 in Chapter XIV(A) of the Kerala Education Rules, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) relates only to orders passed by a subordinate authority in respect of matters falling under Chapter XIV(A) of the rules or whether the said power is applicable in respect of any order passed by n subordinate authority under the Rules.

2. By an order Ext. P. 5 dated 22.7.1968, the Regional Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Ernakulam, who is the first respondent in O.P. 3734 of 1968, held that the petitioner who is the manager of an aided school was unlit to hold the post of a manager of that school or in any other aided school in the State of Kerala. By a similar order dated 24.7.1968, which is marked as Ext. P-9 in O.P. No. 3777 of 1968, the Regional Deputy Director of Public Instruction, Trivandrum, who is the second respondent in that case, held that the petitioner therein who is also a manager of an aided school, was unfit to hold the office of the manager of that school or any other school in the State. These orders have been passed under Rule 7 in Chapter III of the Rules. The petitioners filed revision petitions before the State Government against the said orders. The revision filed by the petitioner in O.P. No. 3734 was dismissed by the State Government by its order Ext. P-7 dated 11.9.1968 stating that there was no provision for entertaining a revision from the order of the Regional Deputy Director. In O.P. 3777 of 1968, the petitioner had obtained an interim stay of the order of the Regional Deputy Director pending disposal of the revision petition. The State Government by its order, Ext. P-10 dated 29.8.1998, vacated the above order of stay, stating that the revision against the order of the Regional Deputy Director was not maintainable. The petitioners have, therefore, moved this Court to quash the above orders of the State Government, and also proceedings which led up to the said orders.

3. Rule 92 in Chapter XIV(A) is the only provision in the Rules for a revision to the Government against orders passed by a subordinate authority. This rule has come up for consideration in three single Bench decisions of this Court in O.P. Nos. 4315, 2970 and 772 of 1967. In the first case, there is only an observation that the State Government has power to interfere in revision with the order of a subordinate authority under the above rule. The decision in the second case is reported in K.N. Sankaranarayanan v. The Manager, S.N.M. Basic Training School and Ors. (1970) K.L.R. 541. In that case it was contended that the said rule permitted revision to the Government only from orders of subordinate authorities, which are appealable under the Rules. The contention was rejected; and it was held that the rule applies to all orders of sub-ordinate authorities whether they are appealable under the Rules or not. The same view has been taken in O.P. No. 772 of 1967. They were all cases of revisions from orders of subordinate authorities in respect of matters falling under Chapter XIV(A) of the Rules; and therefore the question whether Rule 92 would apply also in the case of orders relating to matters not falling under the said Chapter did not arise for decision in these cases.

4. Rule 92 read:

92. Revision.-Notwithstanding anything contained in these Rules the Government may, on their own motion or otherwise, after calling for the records of the case, revise any order passed by a subordinate authority which is made or is appealable under these rules-

(a) confirm, modify or set aside the orders,

(b) impose any penalty or set aside, reduce, confirm or enhance the penalty by the order;

(c) remit the case to she authority which made the order or to any other authority directing such further action or inquiry as they consider proper in the circumstances of the cse; or

(d) pass such order as they deem fit: Provided that-

(i) an order imposing or enhancing a penalty shall not be passed unless the person concerned has been given an opportunity of making any representation which he may wish to make against such enhanced penalty provided that such representations shall be based only on the evidence adduced during the inquiry.

(ii) If the Government propose to impose any of the penalties specified in items (iv) to (viii) of Rule 65 in a case where an inquiry is held and thereafter on consideration of the proceedings of such inquiry and after giving the person concerned an opportunity of making any representation which he may wish to make against such penalty, pass such orders as they deem fit.

The rule provides in unequivocal cal terms for revision from any order of a subordinate authority; and there is no justification to confine its application only to orders relating to matters falling under Chapter XIV(A). The contention to the contrary is based on the sole fact that this rule is put in Chapter XIV(A); and therefore it is argued that the expression 'these rules' used in the said rule means only the rules in Chapter XIV(A). The above expression occurs if Rule 3 of Chapter I also. It reads:

Where the Government are satisfied that the operation of any rule under these rules causes undue hardship in any particular case, the Government may dispense with or relax the requirements of that rule to such extent and subject to such conditions as they may consider necessary for dealing with the case in a just and equitable manner.

It is obvious that the expression 'these rules' used in the above rule means the entirety of the Kerala Education Rules, 1959. It is only reasonable to think that the said expression has been used in the same manner in Rule 92 in Chapter XIV(A) also.

5. Rules 75 to 91 were substituted and Rules 92 and 93 were inserted in Chapter XIV(A) by an amendment of the Rules by Notification published in the Kerala Gazette dated 2.2.1965. The present Rule 92 corresponds to old Rule 89 in Chapter XIV(A). The old Rule 89 reads as follows:

89. Revision.-Notwithstanding anything contained in these Rules, in cases where there is a grave miscarriage of justice or an error apparent on the face of the record, it is open to an authority either of its own motion or on application by the aggrieved party to call for the record of cases in which disciplinary action has been taken by a lower authority including managers and headmasters, and to pass such orders as it may consider necessary. The revising authority shall state the circumstances and the reasons under which the revised order was passed:

Provided that no application for revision shall be entertained after the expiry of a peril d of one month from the date of passing the order.

This rule conferred revisional power on the State Government only from orders of a subordinate authority is respect of matters specifically stated therein. The new Rule 92 confers revisional power on the State Government in respect of 'any order passed by a subordinate authority which is made or is appealable under the rules.' The object of the amendment was obviously to enlarge the scope of the revisional power, and to make any order of a subordinate authority liable for revision by the State Government. An order under Rule 7 in Chapter III of the Rules is a matter of serious consequence to the managers of aided schools. There it no provision in the Act or the Rules in specific terms other than Rule 92 in Chapter XIV(A) for enabling a person aggrieved by such an order to file an appeal or revision to a higher authority. If the application of Rule 92 is confined to orders passed in respect of matters falling under the above chapter, it would follow that the Director of Public Instruction or his delegate, the Regional Deputy Director, would be the sole authority to impose on the manager of an aided school the very serious punishment of declaring him unfit to hold the office of manager not only of his school but of any school in the State. In the scheme of the Rules, which provide for appeals and revisions to the State Government from several orders passed by subordinate authorities, even in respect of much less important matters, it is not possible to take it that the rule-making authority left a matter like the one which is dealt with in Rule 7 in Chapter 111 to, the sole decision of the Director or the Regional Deputy Director, without providing for any appeal or revision from that decision. For all these reasons, we are unable to give a restricted application to Rule 92 in Chapter XIV(A). We bold that the said rule confers on the State Government the power to revise any order passed by a subordinate authority.

6. In the result, we quash the orders, Ext. P-7 in O.P. 3734 of 1968 and Ext. P-10 in O.P. 3777 of 1968 and direct the State Government to consider and dispose of the revision petitions filed by the petitioners in these cases according to law. There will be no order as to costs.


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