1. This is a writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution.
2. The petitioner Shri Kanhaiyalal is a registered graduate of the University of Rajastnan. By Resolutions Nos. 24 and 21, dated the 28th of January, 1958 and 8th of January 1959 respectively, the University of Rajasthan, which is Respondent No. 1 in this Writ Petition, decided to award the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy to Respondent No. 4 Shri Madan Lal Sharma, who was a Lecturer in the Maharaja's Sanskrit College, Jaipur, and the said degree was conferred on him. According to the petitioner, Respondent No. 4 managed to get the aforesaid resolution passed at the meetings of the Syndicate by exercising his influence on some members of the Syndicate.
The contention of the petitioner is that Respondent No. 4 had never applied for being awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy but had applied only for the degree of 'Vachaspati'; that for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy under Ordinance No. 124, made under Section 30 of the University of Rajputana Act, 1946, 'a candidate for the degree of Ph. D. must be an M. A. M.Sc., M.Com, M. Ed., or M. Pharm.' and Respondent No. 4 did not hold any of these degrees, and as such, could not be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy under the aforesaid Act, that the petitioner pursued no research for being awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy; that the petitioner carried on research, if any, for being awarded the degree of 'Vachaspati' which was not equivalent to the degree of Ph. D. and that the petitioner could not be awarded even the degree of 'Vachaspati' as he had not submitted his thesis in Sanskrit but had submitted it in Hindi. The petitioner has claimed the right to file this Writ petition on the ground that he was a registered graudate of the University of Rajasthan and was keenly interested in the affairs and good name of the University.
To this Writ the Syndicate and the Registrar of the aforesaid University were also made parties and are Respondents Nos. 3 and 4 respectively. The petitioner has prayed that any appropriate Writ, Direction, or Order be issued against the University of Rajasthan, or the Syndicate of the aforesaid University, and the Registrar by which they may be directed to withdraw the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy awarded to Respondent No. 4. This Writ Petition was contested by the University of Rajasthan and its authorities and though Respondent No. 4 appeared at a late stage, yet we have permitted him to submit his reply. Respondents Nos. 1 to 3 submitted that there was no collusion with Respondent No. 4 or bad motive in conferring the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on him on their part. Respondent No. 4 had the degree of Acharya which degree was equivalent to M. A. in Sanskrit and had applied to carry on research for the conferment of the degree of 'Vachaspati', which degree was equivalent to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy as under Ordinance No. 329 the Ordinance and statutes which provided for conferment of the degree of Ph.D. were applicable to cases for conferment of the degree of 'Vachaspati'.
The Oriental Faculty of the University became defunct and the thesis submitted by Respondent No. 4 was sent to the examiners for conferment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The majority of the referees recommended that the said degree be conferred on him. It was under these circumstances that the said degree was conferred on the petitioner, it is also submitted on behalf of the University that it was an autonomous body and It was the sole Judge of the fact as to whether a particular degree should be conferred on a parti- cular person or not. it is also urged that no legal right of the petitioner was violated and he could not invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court for challenging the propriety of the act of the university in conferring the Ph. D. degree on Respondent No. 4. iiespondent No. 4 has also taken the same defence. It is urged on his behalf that the petitioner had an alternative remedy as he could have moved the University.
3. The first point that arises for consideration is whether the petitioner has a right to file the present petition for the grant of Writ of Mandamus which, in our opinion, is the appropriate Writ to be issued in case we agree with the contentions urged on behalf of the petitioner. As already mentioned, the petitioner is a registered graduate of the University of Rajasthan. He statad that under the provisions of the Act, he can elect members to the Senate who in their turn can elect members of the Syndicate which is the executive body of the University under Section 21 of the University of Rajasthan Act. The petitioner is, however, not in a position to say that his personal right is in any way affected by the conferment of the degree on Respondent No. 4. A Division Bench of this Court in Pratapmal v. The income-tax Officer, Jodhpur Division, ILR (1951) 1 Raj 257 : (AIR 1951 Raj 150 (2) ) has observed, as follows:
'Article 226 is the counter-part of Article 32, so far as the High Courts are concerned, and the trend of authorities in India also is that generally speaking it is only the person whose fundamental right has been infringed who can approach the Court for relief. There is a well-known exception in the case of the writ of habeas corpus, and it may be that a similar exception might be made in the case of a writ of quo warranto. But so far as the writs of mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari are concerned, the authorities seem to lay down that only the person affected can approach the Court for relief.'
Learned counsel for the petitioner has urged that the observations in the case were made in a case in which a writ of prohibition was prayed for and that those observations must be read with the facts of that case and should not be applied to a case like the present where the petitioner is challenging the act of the University which is clearly in disregard of the statute which the University was bound to obey. A number of decisions have been brought to our notice by the learned counsel for the parties. Learned counsel for the petitioner has cited--
(i) Municipal Corporation for the City of Bombay v. Govind Laxman, AIR 1949 Bom 229,
(ii) Narendra Nath Chakravarty v. Corporation of Calcutta, AIR 1960 cal 102, while the learned counsel for the respondents has relied on--
(i) In re Jatindra Mohan Sen Gupta, AIR 1925 Cal. 48,
(ii) General Secy. Eastern Zone Insurance Employees' Association v. Zonal Manager, Eastern Zone, Life Insurance Corporation, AIR 1962 Cal 45,
(iii) Indian Sugar Mills Association v. Secy. to Govt. Uttar Pradesh labour Dept., AIR 1951 All 1 (FB),
(iv) In re. P. Ramamoorthi, AIR 1953 Mad 94.
(v) Satya Prakash v. Commr. Land Reforms and Jagirs, M. B., (S) AIR 1955 Madh-B. 188,
(vi) Nagpur Glass Works Ltd. v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (S) AIR 1955 Nag 33,
(vii) Sri Durga Gita Vidyalaya Association v. State of U. P. AIR 1962 All 187 (FB),
(viii) Prem Narain Tandon v. State of U. P., AIR 1900 All 205,
(ix) State of Orissa v. Madan Gopal Rungta, AIR 1952 SC 12,
(x) Vice-Chancel lor, Utfca! University v. S. K. Ghosh, AIR 1954 SC 217.
We may also refer to the article entitled 'Legal Interest Required to Challenge the Validity of Administrative Action : (a Preliminary Survey), by A. T, Markose, Director of Research, Indian Law Institute Vol. I, No. 2. Page 273. After referring to Chiranjit Lal v. Union of India, 1951 SCJ 29 : 1950 SCR 869 : (AIR 1951 SC 41) and the Director of Endowment Govt. Hyderabad v. Akram Ali, (S) AIR 1956 ,SC 60 the learned author nas observed that 'the Supreme Court has made out two propositions on the subject : the first is that the interest of the applicant should be direct and the second is that the applicant should have a present interest.'
4. After the arguments were heard in this case, two decisions of their Lordships of the Supreme Court also came to our notice. They are--
1. Kalyan Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1962 SC 1183,
2. Dr. Rai Shivendra Bahadur v. Governing Body of the Nalanda College, Bihar Sharif, AIR 1962 SC 1210.
In the first case it was observed at Page 1188, Para 14, that 'a right to maintain such a petition (a petition under Article 226 (the words within brackets are ours) postulates a subsisting personal right in the claim which the petitioner makes and in the protection of which he Is personally interested.' In the second case, the petitioner Mr. D.P. Srivastava was appointed the Principal of Nalanda College in March 1953 which had been affiliated to the Bihar University in 1951 but the Government withdrew him on February 4, 1958 as he was a Government servant. The petitioner's appointment was terminated by the Governing Body of the College and Respondent No. 4 in that Writ petition was appointed the Principal. Mr. D.P. Srivastava thereafter filed the Writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging the validity of appointment of Respondent No. 4 as Principal on the ground that his appointment was never terminated and if there was any resolution to that effect, it was illegal and was void because of certain provisions in the University of Bihar Act, 1959 which had the force of law. Their Lordships dismissed the appeal filed against the order of the High Court dismissing the Writ petition with the following observations :
'A great deal of controversy was raised before us as to whether the Statutes framed by the University under Section 20 of the University of Bihar Act have or have not the force of law and whether a writ under Article 226 of the Constitution can issue against the Governing Body of the College, i.e. whether the appellant has a legal right to the performance of a legal duty by the respondents. In order that mandamus may issue to compel the respondents to do something it must be shown that the Statutes impose a legal duty and the appellant has a legal right under the Statutes to enforce its performance, it is, however, wholly unnecessary to go into or decide this question or to decide whether the Statutes impose on the Governing Body of the College a duty which can be enforced by a writ of mandamus because assuming that the contention of the appellant is right that the College is a public body ana it nas to perform a public duty in the appointment of a Principal, it has not been shown that there is any right in the appellant which can be enforced by mandamus. According to the Statutes all appointments of teachers and staff have to be made by the Governing Body and no person can be appointed, removed or demoted except in accordance with Rules but the appellant has not shown that he has any right entitling him to get an order for appointment or reinstatement. Our attention has not been drawn to any Article in the Statutes by which the appellant has a right to be appointed or reinstated and if he has not that right he cannot come to Court and ask for a writ to issue. It is therefore not necessary to go into any other question.'
5. The aforesaid observations clearly show that in order to maintain a writ for grant of mandamus the petitioner must show that there resides in him a right entitling him to compel the opposite party to act in it particular manner or to forbear from acting in a particular manner. In the absence of any such right the petition for the grant of mandamus cannot be allowed. In the case before us it cannot be paid that the petitioner is an aggrieved person or has a right to compel the University to act into a particular manner. Giving him the credit that he is acting with the best of motives it cannot be said that the personal right of the petitioner is in any way affected by conferment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on Respondent No. 4. In our opinion, these two decisions of their Lordships of the Supreme Court clearly make it necessary that a Petitioner who has filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, must show that his personal right has in any way been infringed by the act of the opposite parties. In view of these pronouncements of their Lordships of the Supreme Court, it is not necessary for us to enter into any further discussion on this point, or to survey all the authorities cited by the parties. We are, therefore, of the opinion that this Writ petition is not maintainable.
6. The Writ petition, therefore, fails and it is therefore dismissed with costs. Only one set cf costs is allowed.