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Dr. Sudesh Kumar Bhalla and ors. Vs. H.P. Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtHimachal Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.W.P. No. 310 of 1984
Judge
Reported inAIR1986HP49
ActsHimachal Pradesh Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya Act, 1978 - Sections 8, 8(1), 8(2), 8(3), 8(4), 8(5), 8(6) and 36
AppellantDr. Sudesh Kumar Bhalla and ors.
RespondentH.P. Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya and ors.
Appellant Advocate Kamlesh Sharma, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Bhawani Singh and; R.K. Sharma, Advs.
DispositionPetition rejected
Cases ReferredCannanore v. M. K. Mohammed Kunhi
Excerpt:
- .....approval of the board (f) for reasons to be recorded the boardmay on the recommendations of the selectioncommittee and the vice-chancellor, approvethe selection of any candidate in relaxation ofqualifications as prescribed. (g) the period of validity of any panel prepared by the selection committee and approved by the board shall be six months from the date of approval. (2) four members of the selection committee shall form the quorum provided one of them is from outside university.' 7. now, it is apparent on a bare reading of sub-section (1) of section 8 that the chancellor, who is the head of the respondent-university, is entitled to cause an inspection to be made, inter alia, of the conduct of the functions of the respondent-university and to cause an inquiry to be made in.....
Judgment:

P.D. Desai, C.J.

1. The petitioners are presently holding teaching posts in the Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya (hereinafter called the respondent-university). On April 5, 1982 and Jan. 8, 1983, advertisements were issued by the respondent University inviting applications, inter alia, for one post of Professor of Soil Science and three posts of Chief Scientist. In response to the advertisements, petitioners 1 and 2 applied for the posts of Chief Scientists and petitioners 3 and 4 applied for the posts of Chief Scientist as well as for the post of Professor of Soil Science. In accordance with the procedure prescribed in statute 4.5 of the respondent-University, the applications of the petitioners were scrutinised by the screening Committee. The petitioners were then called for interview by the Selection Committee on May 18, 1983. The recommendations of the Selection Committee were placed before the Board of Management of the respondent-University (hereinafter referred to as the Board) for its approval on May 5, 1984, as per the provisions of statute 4.5. The Board decided not to consider/accept the recommendations of the Selection Committee and directed that the posts be re-advertised for making fresh selections, (vide Annexure P-13). The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on May 5, 1984 disclose that the recommendations of the Selection Committee, which were lying in a sealed cover, were not put up before the Board earlier on the direction of the Chancellor (fourth respondent) as contained in the telegram dt. May 27, 1983 (Annexure R-8) whereby it was ordered, inter alia, that no recruitment/appointment/promotion be made in the respondent-university till further orders and that cases regarding interviews held in the recent past might not be put up before the Board unless directed otherwise.

2. The grievance of the petitioners herein as formulated at the preliminary hearing of the petition is two-fold, first, that the fourth respondent had no power, authority and jurisdiction to issue a direction of the aforesaid nature and such an ultra vires direction, even if issued, could not have prevented the second respondent from discharging his statutory function to place the recommendations of the Selection Committee before the Board within a reasonable time and, secondly, that the Board was under a statutory duty to consider on merits the recommendations made by the Selection Committee and then decide whether or not to approve them and that the decision arrived at by the Board not to consider/accept the recommendations and to direct that the posts be re-advertised for making fresh selections without even considering those recommendations on merits is not in accord with and is contrary to the provisions of Statute 4.5. The petitioners have, therefore, sought the relief, inter alia, that a writ be issued directing the respondent-University to consider the recommendations made by the Selection Committee pursuant to the interviews held on May 18, 1983 and to grant its approval to such recommendations in accordance with law.

3. The petition is resisted on behalf of the respondent-university. The Registrar of the respondent-University has filed an affidavit-in-reply dt. Sept. 1, 1984 contesting the claim of the petitioners. In para 5 of the affidavit-in-reply, certain facts, which might have had a bearing on the issue of the direction by the fourth respondent, are set-out and a plea has been advanced that the fourth respondent, who is the Head of the respondent-University, has the power under Section 8 of the Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishva Vidyalaya Act, 1978 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) to issue directions of the nature therein mentioned and that he was, therefore, competent to issue the impugned direction in exercise of such power and the second respondent was under a legal duty to obey the same. The stand of the respondent-University as set-out in the affidavit-in-reply further is that the Board had duly considered the whole matter in all its aspects at its meeting held on May 5, 1984 and that it arrived at the decision that it has reached in an objective manner and on relevant considerations and in the larger interest of the administration of the respondent-university. The fourth respondent was added as party respondent on Sept. 4, 1984 and has been duly served. No separate affidavit-in-reply has been filed by him or on his behalf.

4. In order to appreciate the controversy between the parties, it would be proper to refer to the relevant statutory provisions at the out set. Section 17 of the Act enacts that the Chancellor, inter alia, may be one of the officers of the respondent-university. Section 18, inter alia, provides that the Governor of the State of Himachal Pradesh shall, by virtue of his office, be the Chancellor and, as such, the Head of the respondent-University and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be conferred or imposed on him by the Act or the Statutes, Section 8, which is relevant for the purposes of the present case, deals with the powers of the Chancellor in regard to visitation and inspection and it is quoted hereinbelow :

'8. (1) The Chancellor shall have the right to cause an inspection to be made by such person (s) as he may direct of the University, its buildings, laboratories, libraries, museums, workshops and equipment and any institution, college or hostel maintained or administered by the University, of the teaching and other work conducted by the University or under its auspices and of the conduct of any other functions of the University, and to cause an inquiry to be made in respect of any matter connected with administration and finances of the University.

(2) The Chancellor shall, in every case, give due notice to the University of his intention to cause an inspection or inquiry to be made, and the University shall be entitled to appoint a representative who shall have the right to be present and be heard at such inspection or inquiry.

(3) The Chancellor shall communicate to the University the results of such inspection or inquiry, and may, after ascertaining the opinion thereon of the University advise the University upon the action to be taken and fix a time limit for taking such action.

(4) The University shall, within the time limit so fixed, report to the Chancellor the action which has been taken or is proposed to be taken on the advice tendered by the Chancellor.

(5) The Chancellor may, where action has not been taken by the University to the satisfaction of the Chancellor within the time limit fixed and after considering any explanation furnished or representation made by the University, issue such directions as the Chancellor may think fit and the University shall comply with such directions.

(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in the preceding sub-sections of this section, if at any time the Chancellor is of the opinion that the affairs of the University are not managed in furtherance of the objects of the University, or in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and the statutory regulations or the special measures desirable to maintain the standards of University teaching, examination, research or extension, he may indicate to the University any matter in regard to which he desires an explanation, and call upon the University to offer such explanations within such time as may be specified by the Chancellor. If the University fails to offer any explanation within the time specified or offers an explanation which, in the opinion of the Chancellor is unsatisfactory, the Chancellor may issue such instructions as appear to him to be necessary and desirable in the circumstances of the case and may exercise such powers as he may consider necessary for giving effect to these instructions.

(7) The University shall furnish such information relating to the administration of the university as the Chancellor may require.'

5. Section 36 of the Act deals with appointment of teachers, officers and staff, Sub-section (1) of Section 36, inter alia, provides that subject to the provisions of the Act, the teachers of the respondent-university shall be appointed by the Board on the recommendations of the Selection Committee as may be constituted under the Statutes. The procedure for selection of teachers, unless otherwise provided in the Act, shall be as prescribed.

6. Statute 4.5., which also is relevant for the present purposes, reads as follows :

'4.5(1) The procedure for the appointmentof teachers of the University shall be as under :(a) The Vice-Chancellor may have the post(s)advertised with qualifications as prescribedand/or may invite suggestions andrecommendations from suchpersons/institutions/agencies as he deemsproper.

(b) On expiry of the last date for receipt of applications, all the applications so received, along with the bio-data of those who have been suggested or recommended by persons/ institutions/agencies and desired by the Vice-Chancellor to be considered as candidate, shall be compiled and placed before a Screening Committee constituted for the purpose by the Vice-Chancellor. The Screening Committee, after scrutinising the qualifications of the applicants shall prepare a list of names of candidates recommended to be called for interview, and place it before the Vice-Chancellor for his approval The Vice-Chancellor while according such approval shall have the powers to include in such a list name(s) of person(s) who may not have applied or may not have been recommended by persons/ institutions/agencies to whom the matter had been referred. The Vice-Chancellor shall also have the powers to drop name(s) from the list of candidates recommended by the Screening Committee.

(c) All eligible candidates may not be called for interview. The Vice-Chancellor shall have the discretion to limit the number of candidates to be called for interview for any post. The candidates finally approved by the Vice-Chanceller to be called for interview on a specified date will get adequate notice about the time, date and venue of the interview.

(d) After interviewing the candidates or considering them in absentia, as the case may be, the Selection Committee shall make its recommendations for each post separately.

(e) The Vice-Chancellor shall then submit the recommendations of the Selection Committee for the approval of the Board

(f) For reasons to be recorded the Boardmay on the recommendations of the SelectionCommittee and the Vice-Chancellor, approvethe selection of any candidate in relaxation ofqualifications as prescribed.

(g) The period of validity of any panel prepared by the Selection Committee and approved by the Board shall be six months from the date of approval.

(2) Four members of the Selection Committee shall form the quorum provided one of them is from outside University.'

7. Now, it is apparent on a bare reading of Sub-section (1) of Section 8 that the Chancellor, who is the Head of the respondent-University, is entitled to cause an inspection to be made, inter alia, of the conduct of the functions of the respondent-University and to cause an inquiry to be made in respect of any matter connected with the administration and finances of the respondent-university. Sub-sections (2) to (5) of Section 8 prescribe the mode of exercise of such right and make other incidental and ancillary provisions for the effective enforcement of the instructions or directions issued in exercise of such powers. Under Sub-section (6) of Section 8, an overriding power has been conferred upon the Chancellor to indicate to the respondent-University any matter in regard to which he desires an explanation and to call upon the respondent-university to offer such explanation within such time as may be specified by him if, at any time, he is of the opinion that the affairs of the University are not managed in furtherance of the objects of the University, or in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and the statutory regulations or the special measures desirable to maintain the standards of the University teaching, examination, research or extension. If the University fails to offer any explanation within the time limited or offers an unsatisfactory explanation, the Chancellor is empowered to issue such instructions as appear to him to be necessary and desirable in the circumstances of the case and to exercise such powers as he may consider necessary for giving effect to such instructions.

8. Against the aforesaid background, it is manifest that the directions issued by the fourth respondent in the telegram dt. May 27, 1983, Annexure R-8, cannot be regarded as ultra vires. The directions were in the following terms :

'The Chancellor (Governor) has ordered that no recruitment/appointment/promotion be made in the Agricultural University till further orders (.) Cases regarding interview held recently may not be put up before Board of Management unless directed otherwise (.) These orders will also be applicable in the case of personal promotion scheme (.) The Chancellor further desires that detailed information about the vacancies lying vacant in the University be sent for his consideration (.) Please confirm receipt(.)'

The directions issued accordingly, which are manifestly interim in nature, make it clear that the Chancellor was seized of the problem concerning the recruitment/appointment/ promotion to be made in the respondent-University and, more particularly, regarding the 'interview held recently' (which expression would appear to allude to the interview held nine days earlier on May 18, 1983 by the Selection Committee at which the petitioners appeared) and that he wanted certain information to be placed before him regarding existing vacancies in order to consider whether and, if so, what action he should take in exercise of the powers and duties conferred and. imposed upon him by the Act. It is firmly established that an express grant of statutory power carries with it by necessary implication the authority to use all reasonable means to make such grant effective. Where an Act confers a power or jurisdiction, it impliedly also grants the power of doing all such acts, or employing such means, as are essentially necessary to its execution See: Income-tax Officer, Cannanore v. M. K. Mohammed Kunhi, AIR 1969 SC 430. Under the circumstances, in our opinion, the powers which have been conferred by Section 8 on the Chancellor with widest possible amplitude must carry with them by necessary implication all powers and duties incidental and necessary to make the exercise of those powers fully effective. The power to issue interim directions, although not expressly conferred by Section 8 on the Chancellor, must, therefore, be held to have been conferred by implication as a necessary corollary and as incidental or ancillary to the powers of visitation and inspection conferred upon him by the Act. Before issuing such directions it was not necessary to follow the prescribed procedure or to afford any opportunity of hearing to any authority of the respondent-University because the directions were purely interim in nature and open to review upon a subsequent ascertainment of facts from or representation of the competent authorities of the respondent-University. Besides, the directions were issued by the Head of the respondent-University to hierarchically lower authorities or limbs and, under the circumstances, having regard to the nature and character of the directions and the apparent purpose for which they were issued, no question of affording hearing to them or any other party before the issue thereof arises. The submission, therefore, that the fourth respondent had no power, authority or jurisdiction to issue the directions contained in the telegram, Annexure-R-8, must, be rejected,

9. The exercise of the power by the fourth respondent in the instant case has not been challenged and, in our opinion, rightly, on the ground that it was vitiated by mala fides or arbitrariness. The affidavit-in-reply filed on behalf of the respondent-University alludes to ceriain facts and circumstances and suggests that on that account the fourth respondent might have been impelled to issue the impugned telegraphic directions vide Annexure R-8. The stand cannot be regarded as unreasonable or unfounded having regard to the language in. which the telegraphic instructions were couched and in view of the fact that the fourth respondent, although duly served, has not caused an appearance to be made and chosen to correct or controvert by affidavit or otherwise the version set-forth in the affidavit-in-reply filed on behalf of the respondent-University.

10. Once the aforesaid conclusion is arrived at, there is no escape from the further conclusion that the second respondent could not have placed the recommendations of the Selection Committee for the consideration of the Board till the said directions ceased to be operative. Provisions of Statute 4.5 cannot be read as imposing the second respondent a duty to act contrary to the directions given by the fourth respondent in exercise of his statutory powers under Section 8. Under the circumstances, the omission to place the recommendations before the Board till the ban was lifted, which is shown to have been lifted on April. 30, 1984 vide Annexure R-7, cannot provide any legitimate ground of grievance to the petitioners.

11. Under the relevant provisions ofStatute 4.5, after interviewing the candidates,or considering them in absentia, as the casemay be, the Selection Committee is to makeits recommendations for each post separately.The Vice Chancellor is then required to submitthe recommendations for the approval of theBoard. The period of any panel prepared bythe Selection Committee and approved bythe Board is six months from the date ofapproval The power of approval accordinglyconferred is wide enough to enable the Boardto consider and approve the recommendationsor disapprove them or, on the basis of anyrelevant and rational ground and onconsideration of the materials placed beforeit, to decline to consider the recommendationson merits and to direct that fresh selection beheld. So long as such power is shown to havebeen 'accordingly exercised bona fide, noexception can be taken to the same.

12. In the present case, as the minutes ofthe meeting held on May 5, 1984, AnnexureP 13, show, the Board was apprised of the factthat the recommendations of the SelectionCommittee, which were lying in a sealed cover,were not put up for consideration of the Boardearlier because of the directions of theChancellor. After a prolonged discussion, theBoard by a majority of eleven against twodecided not to consider/accept therecommendations of the Selection Committeein respect of not only the posts in question butalso in regard to all posts (ten posts andeighteen vacancies) and directed that the postsbe readvertised for fresh selection. In ouropinion, in so doing the Board cannot beregarded to have failed in its statutory dutyconferred by Statute-4.5 read with Section 36 of theAct. As earlier pointed out, the backgroundagainst which, at one point of time, theselections appear to have been brought under cloud are set out in para 5 of the affidavit-in-reply. It is manifest that the Board had considered all the relevant facts and circumstances and this is evident from what is mentioned in the minutes. There is no reason to believe and there is no material on record to reach the conclusion that the Board has not acted bona fide and in the interest of the respondent-University.

13. The Court cannot overlook that in a matter relating to appointments to academic posts, at both the stages, the decisions were taken by the highest authorities of the respondent-University. The direction imposing an embargo on recruitment was issued by the Chancellor who is Head of the University. The decision not to accept the recommendations made by the Selection Committee was arrived at by the Board which again is a high authority of the University. The Court would not lightly interfere with such decisions.

14. One more aspect, which is relevant, cannot also be overlooked. The advertisements for the posts in question were issued on April. 5, 1982 and Jan. 8, 1983. The recommendations were made pursuant to the interviews held on May 18, 1983. The meeting of the Board to consider the recommendations was held on May 5, 1984. It would thus appear that a period of a little over two years in the case of the post of Professor of Soil Science and a period of about one and a half years in the case of posts of Chief Scientist had elapsed between the date of advertisement and between the date on which the question of approval of selections fell for consideration before the Board. In case of recruitment to posts in public employment, such a long interval of time cannot ordinarily be regarded as reasonable. The relevant provision of Statute 4.5, which prescribes a period of six months from the date of approval for the validity of any panel prepared by the Selection Committee and approved by the Board, cannot be overlooked in this connection. Even on that ground, in the exercise of its judicial discretion, the Court may not like to intervene in the light of the other facts and circumstances of the case.

15. Having regard to overall facts and circumstances of the case, in our opinion, no ground justifying the relief is made out. The petition is, therefore, summarily rejected.


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