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T.A. Chidambaram Vs. the University of Madras by Its Registrar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1989)1MLJ302
AppellantT.A. Chidambaram
RespondentThe University of Madras by Its Registrar and ors.
Cases ReferredUniversity of Mysore v. Govinda Rao
Excerpt:
- - overlooking the legitimate claims of the fifth respondent, for extraneous considerations and in bad faith, the second respondent had appointed the third respondent to the post. for these two posts, the selection committee consisting of eminent academicians and public persons interviewed three candidates, including respondents 3 and 5 and recommended the third respondent to the post of reader. it was also contended that the selection had been made well within the regulation and this court could not go into the question of the actual assessment of the related qualifications of the candidates who appeared for the interview, as the same had been done by a duly constituted selection committee consisting of experts. each of the departments like law, medicine and engineering form a.....padmini jesudurai, j.1. the petitioner in w.p.nos. 6029 and 6108 of 1987 is the appellant in w.a.nos. 664 and 665 of 1988 and respondents 1 to 5 therein, are the respondents here.2. the petitioner (parties ranked as in the writ petitions) filed w.p. no. 6029 of 1987 for a writ of quo warranto challenging the appointment of the third respondent as reader in the department of criminology of the university of madras, the first respondent here and w.p. no. 6108 of 1987 for a writ of certiorari to quash the above order of appointment. pending the above writ petitions, the petitioner filed w.p. no. 8783 of 1987 in w.p. no. 6108 of 1987 for an injunction restraining respondents 1 and 2 from confirming the third respondent in the above post and also filed w.m.p. no. 8685 of 1987 in w.p. no. 6029.....
Judgment:

Padmini Jesudurai, J.

1. The petitioner in W.P.Nos. 6029 and 6108 of 1987 is the appellant in W.A.Nos. 664 and 665 of 1988 and respondents 1 to 5 therein, are the respondents here.

2. The petitioner (parties ranked as in the writ petitions) filed W.P. No. 6029 of 1987 for a writ of quo warranto challenging the appointment of the third respondent as Reader in the Department of Criminology of the University of Madras, the first respondent here and W.P. No. 6108 of 1987 for a writ of certiorari to quash the above order of appointment. Pending the above writ petitions, the petitioner filed W.P. No. 8783 of 1987 in W.P. No. 6108 of 1987 for an injunction restraining respondents 1 and 2 from confirming the third respondent in the above post and also filed W.M.P. No. 8685 of 1987 in W.P. No. 6029 of 1987 for an injunction restraining respondents 1 and 2 from assigning any research students to the third respondent. Learned Judge dismissed W.M.P.Nos. 8665 and 8783 of 1987 in view of the fact that the third respondent had already been confirmed in the post and since the appointment itself would be subject to the result of the writ petitions held that the injunction need not be issued. W.A.Nos. 665 and 664 of 1988 are filed against the above orders.

3. When interim relief was sought for in these writ appeals, this Court directed that, in view of the nature of the issues involved, the main writ petitions themselves be posted along with the writ appeals for final disposal. The writ petitions therefore, were heard along with the writ appeals.

4. The petitioner has filed the writ petitions on the following averments: He is a Law Graduate, who has also been enrolled as an Advocate. He contemplated joining M.A. in Criminology in the first respondent University and applied for the same. He found that the third respondent, who was appointed as a Reader in the Department of Criminology, does not possess the basic qualifications required by the Rules and Regulations of the first respondent and the basic norms prescribed for the above post by the University Grants Commission. The necessary qualifications were advertised in the local dailies on the basis of the rules and regulations of the first respondent, which required that a Reader in Criminology, should have a Post Graduate degree either in the subject or in related subject, but should have Ph.D in the subjects, with teaching and research experience of not less than five years. The Specialisation required at the Doctoral level was Dilinquency. As against these basic qualifications, the third respondent, who, though he held an M.Sc., degree in Geography and an M.A., Degree in Criminology, and a Ph.D. only in Geography. He was not a Ph.D. in Criminology. Even his teaching experience, which at the time of the appointment was about 15 years, was wholly as a Tutor and later as Assistant Professor in Geography. He had no teaching and research experience in Criminology. The specialisation called for in the advertisement was Delinquency, which the third respondent did not have. Even his thesis for the Ph.D. only related to a pattern of crime in a particular geographical area viz., Madras City. The third respondent thus lacked even the basis qualifications. The Establishment Section of the University, finding that the third respondent did not have the basis qualifications for the post, did not send him the interview card. Later, at the instance of the second respondent, the interview card was sent to the third respondent just a few hours before the interview. The fifth respondent, who also attended the same interview for the same post, had an M.A., Degree in Criminology with Ph.D., in Criminology with five years of teaching and research experience in that subject. Overlooking the legitimate claims of the fifth respondent, for extraneous considerations and in bad faith, the second respondent had appointed the third respondent to the post. The fifth respondent filed (P. Thiagaraj v. University of Madras and Ors.) W.P. No. 3270 of 1985 before this Court for a writ of Prohibition, restraining the first respondent from appointing the third respondent since the latter was not qualified. The writ petition, however, later came to be dismissed as infructuous, as the order appointing the third respondent, had already been issued prior to the filing of the writ petition. The fifth respondent thereupon filed W.P. No. 4289 of 1985 challenging the appointment. Meantime the post of Lecturer in the Department of Criminology was advertised and the fifth respondent, who applied was interviewed and selected. The appointment order was, however, withheld on the advise of the second respondent that the appointment order would not be issued to him unless he withdrew W.P. No. 4289 of 1985 (R. Thiagaraj v. Vice Chancellor, University of Madras and 3 Ors.) The fifth respondent, left with no other alternative, withdrew the writ petition. The appointment order was thereafter issued to the fifth respondent. Though the illegality in the appointment of the third respondent as a Reader in the Department of Criminology was brought to the notice of the concerned authorities, the third respondent was able to scuttle every representation, by bringing pressure on the concerned authorities. Finding the third respondent not qualified and not competent, research students are unwilling to get themselves registered under him. On pressure, one student registered himself under the third respondent for M.Phil, in Criminology. The second respondent was contemplating confirming the third respondent in the post, Being a public post, the petitioner was entitled to have in the post, one who had the basic qualifications as prescribed by the Statute and Regulations of the University. Appointing persons who were not qualified and who were not eligible for appointment, does great injustice to the future of the students. The appointment of the third respondent had to be quashed and writ of quo warranto issued against him. Respondents 1 and 2 had to be restrained from confirming the third respondent in the post and also from assigning research students of Criminology to the third respondent.

5. The first respondent, through the counter filed, contended that an advertisement was made in the newspaper on 31st March, 1985 inviting applications for appointment to various posts in different departments of the University, including the post of one Reader and one Lecturer in the Department of Criminology. For these two posts, the Selection Committee consisting of eminent academicians and public persons interviewed three candidates, including respondents 3 and 5 and recommended the third respondent to the post of Reader. This was also approved by the Syndicate and an appointment order was issued to the third respondent, to hold the post, initially on probation for two years. The third respondent, who was then working as Assistant Professor in Geography in the Presidency College, after he was relieved from that post, joined the post of Reader in Criminology in the University, retaining the lien in his College, which after one year was severed. Regarding the requirement of basic qualification the first respondent contended that the third respondent is fully qualified to the post of Reader, he having two Post Graduate degrees, one in Criminology and Forensic Science and the other in Geography and he having a Ph.D. in Geography (inter disciplinary), with the subject of Crimino-Geographical study and he having a total teaching experience of 11 years and 7 months and having made some publications meantime. The Ph.D. degree was in the subject of Criminology and Geography, which were interconnected and inter-related. It was also contended that the selection had been made well within the regulation and this Court could not go into the question of the actual assessment of the related qualifications of the candidates who appeared for the interview, as the same had been done by a duly constituted selection committee consisting of Experts.

6. More or less to the same effect was the counter filed by the second respondent, who, in particular, stated that the selection of the third respondent was not his individual selection, but was the collective decision of the selection committee. The averments of mala fides and other insinuations made against him were denied.

7. The third respondent filed a lengthy counter, running to 40 pages. On the question of basic qualification, the third respondent also contended that he does possess the basic qualification as per the rules of the University, on the basis of which the advertisement was made. In particular, he contended that since a post graduate degree in a related subject was permitted, Ph.D. in a related subject should also be implied to have been permitted by the University. The qualification, therefore, relating to Ph.D., should be read as 'Ph.D. in the subject or in a related subject'. Those words 'or in a related subject' should be read into the Ordinance prescribing basic qualifications, without which the entire qualification would be meaningless. In the Madras University, there were only four post graduates in Criminology with a Ph.D. Three of them are respondents 3, 4, and 5. Certain disciplines in the first respondent University were being conducted on an inter-disciplinary basis and are taught by teachers having a Ph.D. in allied subjects. Even for M.A. Criminology only seven out of ten papers were taught by members of the University Faculty, while remaining papers were handled by outsiders, possessing no academic qualification in Criminology. The counter thereafter at great length deals with certain aspects peculiar to the subject 'criminology'. According to the third respondent, criminology is a multi-disciplinary social science, emerging from sociology, psychology, law, anthropology and other sciences and was, therefore, to be handled by persons belonging to different disciplines. Though his entire teaching experience of 15 years was in Geography and though he possessed a Ph.D. in Geography, his great interest in criminology prompted him to take for specialisation a Crimino Geographical Study, on the basis of which Ph.D. in Geography was awarded. Geography and Criminology are complementary. The counter also gives a summary of the thesis submitted by him, as also a list of papers presented by him on criminology.

8. The fourth respondent, through his counter, contended that even on 22nd November, 1984 he wrote to the second respondent that the essential qualification for the post of Reader in Criminology was a first or second class M.A. Degree in criminology. Ph.D. in Criminology with five years of research and post graduate teaching experience in criminology and the specialisation was research in delinquency at the doctoral level.

Even before the present appointment of the third respondent, a reminder in line with the earlier letter was sent by the fourth respondent on 4th March, 1985, requesting the second respondent not to appoint candidates who did not have the qualification in the requisite field of specialisation. He had chosen delinquency as the field of specialisation, since the different faculty members in the Department of Criminology had specialisation in the areas of Psychology of Crime, Penology and Correctional Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Social defence, Victimology and other aspects, whereas there was none in the Department with the specialisation in the area of 'Juvenile Delinquency', which was then assuming great importance in the broad discipline of Criminology. He had, therefore, requested the second respondent to specify the field of specialisation as 'Delinquency'. The fourth respondent has also contended that the third respondent does not possess the basic qualifications in that he is not a Ph.D. in Criminology and has no teaching experience in Criminology and has no teaching experience in criminology and he has specialisation in delinquency prescribed for the post. The fourth respondent has also voiced his grievance at being denied membership in the Selection Committee for the post of Reader, which, according to him, was maneouvred to keep him out of the picture, to make the appointment of the third respondent possible.

9. The fifth respondent also contended that the third respondent is not a Ph.D. in the subject and has no teaching and research experience in the subject and does not have the specialisation which was advertised for. His appointment, therefore, is not in accordance with the rules. The fifth respondent possessed all the above qualifications and though he appeared at the interview along with the third respondent, his claims were unjustly brushed aside though he was the only person, who answered all the qualifications advertised. His two attempts to get justice in filing W.P.Nos. 3270 of 1985 and 4289 of 1985 were futile, due to the tactics adopted by the second respondent, acting for the third respondent. Finally, the fifth respondent prayed that since he was the only applicant who possessed the necessary qualifications, this Court should direct respondents 1 and 2 to appoint him as Reader.

10. The first respondent filed a reply to the counter filed by the fourth respondent and contended that the essential qualification of a first or a second class M.A. degree in Criminology, Ph.D. in Criminology and five years research and post-graduate teaching experience in Criminology and specialisation in delinquency was only a suggestion made by the fourth respondent, but that the same was not accepted by the authorities.

11. The first respondent also filed a reply to the counter filed by the fifth respondent and denied that any pressure was brought upon the fifth respondent to make him withdraw the writ petition and also contended that the prayer of the fifth respondent for appointment in the place of the third respondent, is legally untenable.

12. The third respondent filed a reply to the counters filed by the respondents 4 and 5, wherein the third respondent has contended that the selections having been made by the selection committee, the equation of educational qualification and degrees are primarily matters for the authorities of the University and even if there are any doubts regarding the equation in the matter of educational qualification, it is a matter to be referred to the experts in the field of education within the University and the same cannot be determined on merits in these proceedings.

13. On the basis of the contentions raised in the affidavit and in the respective counters and replies filed, learned Counsel appearing for respective parties made their legal submissions.

14. Three main grounds of challenge regarding the appointment of the third respondent, as put forward by the petitioner, the fourth respondent and the fifth respondent, are as follows:

(1) The third respondent is not a Ph.D. in the subject;

(2) He has no teaching and research experience in the subject;

(3) He has no specialisation in 'Delinquency' which is the specialisation advertised.

15. Before we take up the real issues involved, it would be appropriate to extract the Ordinance of the first respondent University, in terms of which the advertisement has been made.

6. Qualifications for teachers in the Departments of the University: The following shall be qualifications of the teachers in the Departments of the University.

(1) Professor: A first or second class Post Graduate degree in the subject or related subject, and a Ph.D. degree in the subject with not less than ten years of teaching and research experience.

In the case of Law, a minimum of second Class M.L. degree (with not less than 50 per cent of the aggregate marks) with not less than 10 years of teaching and research experience.

(ii) Reader: A first or second class post-graduate in the subject or related subject, a Ph.D. degree in the subject and not less than five years teaching and research experience.

In the case of Law, a minimum of second class M.L. degree (with not less than 50 per cent of the aggregate marks) with not less than five years teaching and research experience.

(iii) Lecturer: A first or second class Postgraduate degree in the subject with not less than 50 per cent of marks or Grade 'B' under grading system and a Ph.D. degree in the subject with not less than three years teaching and research experience.

Subject to the fulfilment of the above general qualifications, it shall be competent for the Vice Chancellor to specify the particular field of specialisation under the main subject for the post of Professor, Reader or Lecturer on the recommendation of the Head of Department or in consultation with such experts as may be considered necessary by him in the case of new departments established by the competent authority.

For the post of Reader, the field of specialisation is given as Research in 'Dilinquency' at the doctoral level and post for the lecturer it is research in 'Dilinquency' or 'Victimology. This advertisement was made for the posts of Professor, Reader and Lecturer in 49 Departments of the University, wherever there was a vacancy. The qualifications for the posts of Professor, Reader and Lecturer as shown in the Ordinance above, is common to all the teachers in all the Departments, except for the posts in the Post Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, for which the applicants were directed to refer to the prospectus. For six out of 49 departments, whose vacancies were advertised, the University had prescribed different fields of specialisations Criminology is one among the six.

16. The admitted qualifications of the third respondent are:

(i) B.Sc. in Geography,

(ii) M.A. in Criminology and Forensic Science Second Class;

(iii) M.Sc. in Geography-Second Class

(iv) Ph.D. in Geography-the title of the thesis being the 'spatial pattern of Crimes and Criminal behaviour in Madras City' A Crimino geographical study (Geography)

(v) Teaching experience from 1968 to 1985 as Tutor in and later as Assistant Professor in Geography, first in Periyar E.V.R. College, Tiruchirapalli and later in the Presidency College, Madras.

(vi) Till 1985 had contributed articles to the Indian Geographical Journal and Indian Journal of Criminology; had written text books for B A. and B.Sc. Geography for the Tamil Nadu Text Book Society in 'Geography of Settlements' and 'Geomorphology' and was a joint editor of two books, 'Crimes in Banks' and 'Frauds in Banks' for the Indian Society of Criminology.

17. Certain facts relating to the first respondent University which have a little bearing in appreciating the object behind the University prescribing these qualifications for its teachers, could be stated. The first respondent University, is a teaching and an affiliating University. Being a teaching University, it has established several Departments in the University, for the purpose of teaching. Each Department is an independent Department functioning under a Professor, Readers and Lecturers. University has also established different Faculties such as Arts, Science, Indian and other languages, Fine Arts etc. under which the departments are grouped. Each of the departments like Law, Medicine and Engineering form a separate Faculty by itself. University has also a Board of studies attached to each Department, generally one for the under-graduate level and the other for the post-graduate level. There is also a Board of Research Studies, common to all the branches of studies, other than professional. The first respondent has several colleges affiliated to it, in which too, similar departments at the affiliated college level function. The first respondent exercises control over the quality of teaching given by the colleges affiliated to or approved by it. The Laws of the University, consisting of the Madras University Act, 1923 (Act VII of 1923), (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and the Statutes, Ordinances and the Rules, which are in force are compiled in The Calendar, Volume I, (1985) issued by the first respondent. A perusal of the same would show that the first respondent maintains a clear distinction between the teaching personnel employed by it in its own departments and the teaching personnel employed in the Colleges, affiliated to or approved by it. In the departments of the first respondent, there are only three categories of teachers viz., Professor, Reader and Lecturer, as defined in Section 2(k) and (p) of the Act, whereas the teachers in the affiliated institutions would include Professors, Assistant Professors, Readers, Lecturers, Librarians and other declared by the Statutes to be teachers. The emoluments, the conditions of service, as also the qualifications for the teachers of the University, are different from those of the teachers of affiliated colleges. The syllabus for any post graduate course, as offered by the first respondent in its department, is far higher than the syllabus for the similar course offered in the affiliated colleges. This distinction has been maintained in order to preserve the superior standard of the teaching offered by the first respondent in its own departments.

18. In the matter of prescribing qualifications for the teachers of the University, Section 31(d) of the Act, enables the Syndicate to make Ordinances for the qualification and emoluments of the teachers of the University. Ordinance No. 6, as found in page 158 of the University Calendar issued for the year 1985 and as extracted in para 15 above has been passed, in terms of which the advertisement has been made. Any Ordinance, after it has been passed by the Syndicate, has to be placed before the Senate under Section 32(2) of the Act at the next succeeding meeting of the Senate, which by two-thirds majority, of the members present, could cancel or modify it. After the Ordinance has taken effect, Section 19(a) gives power to the Syndicate to amend or repeal the same. These provisions are referred to merely to indicate that, when the Act provides for amending an ordinance for deleting or adding words, it could be done only in the way provided by the Act. Neither any other Authority of the University, nor even this Court, could intrude into that area. The Ordinance as it now stands, prescribing certain qualifications, will have to be read as they are. The question as to whether any further words should be read into this Ordinance, has to be decided on the basis of the principles relating to interpretation of statutes.

19. Contention No. 1: With this backdrop, we proceed to examine each one of the contentions put forward by the respective counsel. The first contention on behalf of respondents 1 to 3 is that the words 'or in the related subject' having been used in the Ordinance for the post-graduate qualification, should be read into for Ph.D. qualification also, and if so read, the appointment of the third respondent, he having done Ph.D. in Geography with inter-disciplinary subject related to Criminology, ought to be sustained. It is an accepted position of law that there is always a strong presumption that any law-making authority does not make mistakes or omissions and no Court could proceed on the assumption that such law-making authorities have made omissions and mistakes. When the language of the law is free from ambiguity, the duty of the Court is to construe it as it stands and not to make a new law by making additions and subtractions. Courts are not to put into the Act, words which are not expressed and which cannot be reasonably implied. Court could do nothing more than to give effect to the words used. If the words are plain and can have only one meaning in law, results are not a matter for the Court. Even when the Court finds that there is a mistake, the court has only to watch and wait for the necessary correction to be made by the authorities, competent to correct it.

20. Bearing the above principles in mind, we proceed to assess the legal merit of the contention of respondents 1 to 3. The requirement of 'Ph.D. in the subject' is a requirement common to the three categories of University teachers, viz., Professors, Readers and Lecturers. It is also common to all the teachers in all the Departments, except where different qualifications have been specifically provided. The advertisement shows that this requirement is common to all the posts in the Departments advertised, except for the posts in the post-graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, which are to be referred to the prospectus. If the words 'or in the related subject' are to be added to the requirement of 'Ph.D. in the subject', it would apply not only to the third respondent, but to all teachers including Professors and Lecturers in all the departments of the first respondent. This question, therefore, has to be considered de hors the nature of the discipline in which the third respondent has done Ph.D. and the nature of any inter-disciplinary subjects that the third respondent has selected for the thesis. It is also significant that the University also maintains besides full time teachers, to whom all the above regulations relate, part-time teachers as well. These distinct qualifications prescribed, are only for full-time teachers.

21. Learned Counsel appearing for the third respondent laid great emphasise on the fact that the subject criminology, is by nature, a multi-disciplinary subject and could have no independent existence. Besides what has been stated in the lengthy counter touching this aspect, a mass of materials has been placed before us in support of this position. This was done to press the point that Geography and Criminology are inter-related and inter-disciplinary, that criminology is being taught on an inter-disciplinary basis and in the first respondent University there are only four persons holding a post-graduate degree in Criminology with a Ph.D. As stated earlier, the question whether the qualification of Ph.D. in a related subject, could also be added as an alternative to the required qualification of Ph.D. in the subject, has to be decided without reference to any particular branch of knowledge, since these qualifications have been prescribed by an Ordinance-making-authority of the first respondent, viz., the Syndicate which has the power to amend its own Ordinance. This Court has to merely read it, as it stands conveying a plain meaning that, the Ph.D. that is required for the appointment of the full time Reader, as well as the other teachers in the University Department, is only a Ph.D. in that subject in which he seeks appointment and not Ph.D. in any related or inter-disciplinary subject. There being no ambiguity, no further words can be read into the Ordinance. The contention of the third respondent that if these words are not read into the Ordinance, the qualification would become meaningless is (not?) correct. The only qualification that is required about Ph.D. is that, it should be in the subject. It could be either from the first respondent University or any other University in the State or Country or could even be from a foreign University the emphasise being that the Ph.D. should be in the subject. Paucity of qualified hands from the Madras University is no criteria. If hands are not available, the posts have to be kept vacant, till qualified candidates, strictly answering to the qualifications are appointed. Merely to meet certain exigencies of circumstances, neither the other authorities of the first respondent University nor even the Courts can add words into the Ordinance-words which the Ordinance-makers in their wisdom, chose not to add.

22. One more pointer to this finding is that even as per the Ordinance, the Vice Chancellor on the recommendations of the Head of each Department, could specify specialisation in a particular field as part of the necessary qualification. This field of specialisation has to be in the main subject. The field of specialisation could not be in a related subject or in an inter-disciplinary subject. It has necessarily to be under the main subject. If even the additional optional qualification in the field of specialisation is required only to be in the main subject, it would be doing violence to the language of the Ordinance, to hold that Ph.D. need not necessarily be in the main subject, but could also be in any related subject or in any interdisciplinary subject. If the words 'or Ph.D. in related subject or in an inter-disciplinary subject' should be read into the qualifications, it would lead to persons holding Ph.D. even in inter-disciplinary subjects being appointed as Professors, who are to head separate and independent departments of study. This would lead to a total degeneration of all standards of education and loss of identity of each faculty and of each department maintained by the University. It would also lead to an anamoly of persons being appointed even as Professors in two different departments on the basis of one Ph.D. The third respondent would then be qualified to become the Head of Department of Geography, since he has Ph.D. in Geography and would on the basis of the very same degree be qualified to become the Head of Department of Criminology, merely because the topic selected for Ph.D. was inter-disciplinary. The object of maintaining different Faculties and independent Departments would be defeated. Page 161 of the University Calendar shows that on the establishment of the Post Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Taramani, Madras-42 qualifications have been prescribed for the teaching posts therein. The departments are Anatomy, Medical Bio-Chemistry, Microbiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Endocrinology, Genetics and Immunology. Though these basic medical sciences are closely inter-related, yet while prescribing qualifications for the post of Professor, Reader and Lecturer, it has been made clear that the Ph.D. should be in the subject of Anatomy, Medical Bio-Chemistry, Pathology etc., etc.-only exception being Microbiology, wherein Ph.D. could be 'in any one of the specialties of Microbiology'. This indicates that in the case of microbiology, where the broad discipline is microbiology, the specialisation could be in an area within the same discipline, ruling out travelling beyond the discipline to an inter-related area or inter-disciplinary area. This distinction made by the first respondent University in recent years, even after 1984 when Ph.D. done in interdisciplinary subject is being specifically mentioned in the degree along with the name of the subject, clearly shows that if the Syndicate did not choose to add the words 'or in any related subject' or inter-disciplinary subject' to the words 'Ph.D. in the subject', it has done so not without reason.

23. It was urged in particular by the learned Counsel for the third respondent, that even the first respondent University has been encouraging research in inter-disciplinary field in the case of related subjects. The first respondent, on a request by this Court, obtained information from academicians regarding the nature of 'related subjects' and 'inter-disciplinary subjects'. On a perusal of the same, we feel that any research into a related subject or inter-disciplinary subject, is made mainly for the purpose of applying the knowledge so acquired, to a better understanding of the main branch of studies. It is the main branch that gets enriched to a larger measure by the contribution of a study into a small aspect of a cognate subject and not vice-versa.

24. It was then contended by the learned Counsel for the third respondent that equation of educational qualification and degrees are primarily matters from the authorities of the University and even if there were any doubts in this matter, this Court could not go into the same and should refer it to experts in the field of education. Learned Counsel for the third respondent made a strenuous plea in the light of the materials placed before us that, the matter should be referred to a committee of experts in order to find out whether the area of specialisation undertaken by the third respondent would or would not be equivalent to a Ph.D in the subject of criminology. We are unable to accept this request of the learned Counsel. The decision of the Supremen Court in University of Mysore v. Govinda Rao : [1964]4SCR575 was also placed before us. In that case, the University of Mysore had prescribed certain qualifications for the appointment of Reader in English, one qualification being that the applicant should hold a First or High Second Class Masters Degree of an Indian University or an equivalent qualification of a Foreign University in the subject concerned. The applicant therein, had a Master's Degree in the Indian University securing 50.2 per cent and also had a Foreign Degree. The High Court held that 50.2 per cent is not a High Second Class in the Masters Degree and that, therefore, the applicant did not satisfy this qualification. The appointment was set aside. In the appeal by the University, the Supreme Court held that, in view of the fact that the University also permitted an equivalent qualification of a Foreign University, it was for the Board of Appointments, who are generally great academicians well versed in the field, to enter into this task of equalisation of the degree and when a decision of equalisation is taken up by them, Courts should be slow to interfere with the opinion expressed by these experts. The case on hand bears no analogy to the facts therein, since the question of equalisation of degrees does not arise here. The first respondent has the prescribed qualifications in no ambiguous terms, the qualification regarding Ph.D. being that, it should be in the subject. No equivalent degree has been permitted so as to make the committee that interviewed the third respondent, to decide the question off equalisation of degrees. If the appellant did not have Ph.D. in the subject, in the absence of the first respondent permitting Ph.D; either in a related subject or in an inter-disciplinary subject, the question of equalisation could never have been gone into by the Selection Committee then, or by any other Committee, even now.

25. It was next contended that the first respondent permits research in inter-disciplinary fields and that therefore, Ph.D. in an inter-disciplinary fields or related fields should be taken to be a Ph.D. in the main subject. We are unable to agree. Being an institution for promoting and advancing knowledge, it is incumbent on the first respondent to provide for research on an inter-disciplinary basis, among subjects which apparently may have no relationship to each other. In fact, Chapter XV deals with constitution and functions of the Board of Research Studies, and Rule 1(c)(iii) enjoins this Board to plan for inter-disciplinary research programmes. While fostering inter-disciplinary research for the general advancement of learning, the first respondent has chosen not to include Ph.D. obtained in related subjects or inter disciplinary subjects as a qualification for teachers in the Departments maintained by it. The reason is obvious. This Court cannot miss this fact.

26. Before we conclude the discussion on this aspect, mention could be made about one aspect, which by itself would not be very relevant, but which would still indicate how the University personnel had understood the qualifications prescribed. The contention of the petitioner is that, when the third respondent applied for this post, the Establishment Section of the University, finding that he did not have the Ph.D. degree in the subject of criminology, did not sent him the interview card and that later, the third respondent made some representations and somehow managed to get the interview card in the last moment. This allegation, though it has been denied by respondents 1 to 3, has been met by the fourth respondent, who has stated that even on 22nd November, 1984 he sent a communication to the second respondent stating that the Ph.D. should be in the subject and five years research and teaching experience should be in the subject and the specialisation for research should, at the doctoral level, be delinquency. Again when the present post was advertised, he had sent a reminder on 4th March, 1985 reiterating the qualifications that candidates not qualified in the requisite field of specialisation, ought not to be appointed. Advertisement was made on 30th January, 1985. Last date for application was 15th February, 1985. The third respondent has applied on 14th February, 1985. According to the counter of respondents 1 and 2, as also the third respondent, the third respondent sent two communications one on 14th March, 1985 and the other on 16th March, 1985 to the University that though he was qualified, he had not yet received any interview card. According to the first and second respondents, these representations of the third respondent, 'were placed before the authorities and it was decided to permit the third respondent to attend the interview' and he was, accordingly, interviewed on 23rd March, 1985. The interview card, therefore, could have reached just about 48 hours prior to the interview, as contended by the petitioner and respondents 4 and 5. It is not known as to who 'the authorities' before whom the first and secondo respondents placed the representations and as to why there was any necessity to take 'a decision to permit the third respondent to attend the interview'. It could very well be that, even the University personnel understood the qualification of a Ph.D. as Ph.D. in the subject and not Ph.D. in any other subject, related or inter-disciplinary and finding that the third respondent had only a Ph.D. in Geography and did not answer the qualification for appointment in the department of Criminology, did not send the third respondent any interview, until the 'authorities decided to permit the third respondent to attend the interview.

27. The Ordinance conveying a plain meaning and being in no way ambiguous or leading to absurd results, has to be read as it is. There is no justification for adding into it words not found therein. The qualification prescribed for the post of a Professor, a Reader and a Lecturer in the Departments of the University, is only a Ph.D in the subject and not Ph.D. in any inter-related or inter-disciplinary subject. The third respondent is not a Ph.D. in Criminology and, therefore, does not possess the basic qualification prescribed by the Ordinance.

28. Contention No. 2: The next ground of attack against the qualification of the third respondent is that, he does not possess teaching and research experience in the subject. Admittedly, on the date of appointment the third respondent had 15 years of teaching experience only as a tutor and Assistant Professor of Geography in different institutions. Though he appears to have written some articles and had been a joint editor of two books on certain aspects of criminology, he was an author of the text-books in Geography and had equally contributed articles to the Geographical magazines. While the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner and respondents 4 and 5 would contend that, the experience in teaching and research, should only be in the subject, learned Counsel for respondents 1 to 3 would contend that in the absence of any words in the Ordinance imposing any such restriction, teaching experience in any subject would be sufficient. No doubt, the Ordinance does not in so many words say that the experience in teaching and research should be in the subject. However, this last qualification has to be read as a whole, 'Ph.D. in the subject with teaching and research experience for not less than five years'. Here again, it has to be remembered that whatever interpretation that we would put upon these words, this same would be applicable not only to the third respondent, but would also be applicable to all the Professors, Readers and Lecturers in all the Departments of the University. We have to keep in mind the necessity of prescribing teaching qualification. One without teaching and research experience cannot be appointed even as a Lecturer in the University; while in an affiliated college, he can be. When, therefore, a teaching experience is insisted upon, it should be taken that it could not be a teaching experience in the abstract but teaching experience only in the subject. It is not merely for the purpose of acquiring the skill in the art of teaching, that teaching experience is insisted upon for University teachers. Experience in teaching a particular subject gives the teacher a grip over the subject, the ability to identify areas wherein students would be slow to understand, find methods for effectively conveying ideas even in those difficult areas to enable easy reception by students. It is with this object, teaching and research experience is insisted upon. One who has merely taught and done some research in Geography, would be a raw teacher in the criminology class. It would still be his maiden lesson in criminology, even as a Professor-Head of the Department. The teaching experience, therefore, has only be teaching and research experience in the subject. The third respondent has no teaching experience in criminology. He had taught only Geography. Even this basic qualification the third respondent lacks.

29. Contention No. 3: The third ground of challenge is that while the subject 'delinquency' has been prescribed in the advertisement itself, as the field of specialisation, the third respondent had merely done a thesis on the pattern of crime and criminal behaviour in relation to a particular geographical area viz., Madras City and does not satisfy this special qualification. In answer to this, the first respondent would contend that this suggestion about general and special qualifications made by the fourth respondent, 'was a mere suggestion and was not accepted by the University'. We fail to understand how the first respondent could ever take this stand. By a communication dated 22nd November, 1984 and again by another communication dated 4th March 1985, the fourth respondent had insisted that the qualifications should be as prescribed in the Ordinance and as advertised in the newspapers. This could not be characterised as a suggestion made by the fourth respondent, which the University authorities chose not to accept. The Ordinance itself embodies that, subject to the fulfilment of the general qualifications, already stated, it shall be competent for the Vice Chancellor, on the recommendation of the Head of the Department, to specify a particular field of specialisation under the main subject for these posts. No doubt, an option is given to the Vice Chancellor to specify a particular field of specialisation. However, in the instant case, obviously on the basis of the two letters of the fourth respondent, the second respondent had specified a particular field of specialisation for Criminology, it being one of 6 out of a total of 49 Departments for which vacancies were advertised. We find in the advertisement the field of specialisation at the doctoral level has been indicated as 'Delinquency' for the Reader in criminology and 'Delinquency' or 'Victimology' for the Lecturer in Criminology. After acting under the latter part of Ordinance 6 and after having advertised for the post indicating a particular field of specialisation, it is rather disquieting that the first respondent should have filed a reply to the counter of the fourth respondent to the effect that 'this was only a suggestion made by the fourth respondent, which was not accepted by the authorities'. The fourth respondent had also made it clear that he was writing those letters as Head of the Department, in order to see that persons specialised in the field of criminology be appointed and the identity of the Department may not be lost by appointing persons not qualified in the requisite field of specialisation. This cry of the fourth respondent had been lost in the wilderness. The third respondent has not specialised in delinquency, but has merely specialised in delinquency, but has merely specialised in the pattern of crime and criminal behaviour with reference to a particular geographical area viz., Madras City. This special qualification which has a statutory force, having been accepted by the second respondent and advertised, is also lacking in the third respondent.

30. Since the third respondent does not possess a Ph.D. in the subject, since he does not possess teaching and research experience in the subject and since he does not possess the specialisation in the delinquency at the doctoral level, the appointment of the third respondent is in violation of the qualification prescribed under the Ordinance of the University and as advertised by it. His appointment, therefore, is quashed.

31. Learned Counsel for the fifth respondent urged that, in the event of this Court quashing the order appointing the third respondent, this Court should give a direction appointing the fifth respondent to that post since he is the only candidate who has the necessary qualification. We are unable to accept this contention. Though respondents 3 and 5 and one Dr. Vijayakumar appeared for the interview, the Selection Committee selected and recommended only the third respondent. The case of the fifth respondent was also considered and was rejected. This is not a case where, as we generally find in admission to professional colleges, selections are made and are arranged in an order of preference and allotments are made for the seats available and the rest are placed in a waiting list so that if later, on the selection of any candidates being set aside in a court of law, those next in the order of preference would be automatically given seats. This is a case where the Selection Committee selected and recommended only the third respondent and rejected the fifth respondent. This Court, therefore, cannot direct appointment of the fifth respondent to that post. His prayer is rejected.

32. In the result, both the writ appeals and both the writ petitions are allowed. No costs.


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