Decided on July 27,1993

FR.K.J. THOMAS Appellant

Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)These thirteen Writ Petitions are connected and raise questions relating to admission to the Teachers Training Course for the year 1992-93 in the St. John's Teachers Training Institute, Vadakara, Ernakulam District, which is a minority institution falling within Art.30 of the Constitution of India. Incidentally, a question also arises as to whether the decision of the Supreme Court in St. Stephen's College v. University of Delhi AIR 1992 SC 1630 has a bearing on the decision of this Court in Younus Kunju v. Stale of Kerala, 1988 (2) KLT 299 , rendered by a Division Bench of this Court and on the decision of this Court in Oonittan v. State of Kerala, 1989 (2) KLT 954 , rendered by a learned Single Judge of this Court.
(2.)The following are the facts. The above said teaching institute is a minority institute falling under Art.30(1) of the Constitution of India. It admits students who have passed S.S.L.C. or P.D.C. As per the Rules made under the Kerala Education Act, 1958, 50% of the seats are meant for those who have passed S.S.L.C. and 50 percent are meant for those who have passed P.D.C In this institute, there has been considerable litigation, which have resulted in O.S.No. 11 of 1981 on the file of the First Addl. District Court, Ernakulam. The said suit was instituted with leave under S.92 of the C.P.C. for the removal of the de facto trustees of the Vadakara St. John's Orthodox Church from office, for rendition of accounts, for appointment of new trustees and other reliefs. Two different factions, swearing by two different constitutions, have been fighting for the control of the Church and its asset, for some time past. There was an earlier suit, O.S. 13of 1978, for declaration that the committee then in office was incompetent to function, and for consequential injunction. In an interlocutory application in the said suit, a Commission was appointed by the Court to hold a general body meeting of the parish yogam to elect the church committee to be in office during the pendency of the suit, and 24 such committee members were elected. On 14-7-1980 the committee appointed one of the priests of the Church as the Vicar, and two other members as 'kaikars' (trustees), and these three jointly entered the administration of the Church from that date. There were disputes about the election, and before the disputes were resolved, the plaintiffs in the suit, O.S.No. 13 of 1978, represented to court that the suit was not pressed and thereafter the present suit was filed by another faction in 1981. A receiver application, I.A.No.659 of 1983, was filed in the said suit. Against the order passed in the said I.A., C.M.A.No.280 of 1983 was preferred by the petitioners in the said LA. In that C.M. Appeal C.M.P.No.34024 of 1983 was filed for appointment of a receiver. In that C.M.P., Paripoornan, J. passed an order on 12-3-1984 making an arrangement for the administration of the institution on the basis of agreement. It was agreed before the learned Single Judge that the administration of the properties would be conducted by a Board of Receivers. Apart from the Vicar, a person from the Patriarch party and another person from the Catholicos party were to be on the Board. Two strangers, preferably Advocates from this Court were also to be on the Board. The learned Single Judge therefore appointed five persons as Board of Trustees consisting of Sri. H. Sivaramakrishna Iyer, Advocate, Sri.T.V. Ramakrishnan, Advocate (as he then was), Vicar, Fr. Mr. K. J. Thomas, Sri. C. Skariah, and Sri.C.U. Joseph. Various other directions were issued to . the Board of Trustees in that order. The said order was modified in some respect on 7-6-1984 on the basis of Report No.III and thereafter another order was passed on 15-6-1984 by Bhaskaran, Ag.C. J. and M.P. Menon, J. disposing of the C.M. A. itself and directing the Board of Receivers appointed by Paripoornan, J. to continue to administer the properties. Thereafter, on 30-7-1985, the suit, OS No. 11 of 1981, was decreed removing the defendants 1 to 3 including the Vicar etc. and passing an order of injunction and also a preliminary decree for accounts. In the appeal, A.S. No.37 of 1988 filed by the defendants in this Court, there was an order in C.M.P.No.2850 of 1986 on 3-1-1986 directing the Board of Receivers appointed by Paripoornan, J. to continue until further orders. Upon the death of Sri.H. Sivaramakrishna Iyer, Advocate and upon the elevation of Sri.T.V. Ramakrishnan as Judge of this Court, two new receivers were appointed on 3-2-1989 (as per Ext. P1 order in O.P.No.6241 of 1993). On 3-2-1989, the Ist Additional District Judge appointed Sri.George D. Kinnattingal, Advocate as Chairman of the Board of Receivers and Shri P.C. Joseph, Advocate as Advocate Receivers. Rest of the three receivers continued as appointed by Paripoornan, J. on 12-3-1984. In this order dated 3-2-1989, the learned Additional District Judge stated (Ext. P1 in OP 6241 of 1993) that:
"the Board of Receivers and the Chairman will not have any right of selection and admission of candidates to the Teachers Training Course hereafter till the final disposal of the suit. They are directed to invite applications and collect and submit the same before court and the final list of the candidates will be prepared and published through the intervention of the court along with members of the Board of Receivers and two members from either faction of the Parishioners of the Edavakayogam of the plaint Church. The vacancies that may arise in future till the final disposal of the suit in the church and in the Teachers Training Centre except the vacancies in the various religious and spiritual officers are also be filled up as stated above under the supervision of the court with the junction of the members of the Board of Receivers and the nominee of the two factions consisting of two persons from either side."

In other words, in addition to the five Receivers, four more persons became nominees who were to have a say in the selection and admission of candidates, and all the said selection and admission were to be through the Court.

(3.)As things stood thus, a Division Bench of this Court consisting of Malimath, C. J. and Bhaskaran Nambiar, J. in Younus Kunju v. State of Kerala, 1988 (2) KLT 299, decided on 21-7-1988, that so far as the minority institutions were concerned, R.6, 7 and 8 of the Chap.25 of the Kerala Education Rules did not apply to them, in view of Art.30(1) of the Constitution of India. R.6 states that 20% of the seats in aided Training Schools shall be reserved for selection by the Managers of the respective Training Schools. R.7 states that sixty per cent of the seats in Government Training Schools shall be made by a Selection Committee consisting of a member of the Public Service Commission as Chairman and an Official nominee of the Education Department. R.8 states that in the remaining 20 per cent of seats, the Director shall depute untrained teachers employed in Government Schools for teacher's training in Government and Aided Training Schools. In other words, these three Rules were not applicable to the minority institutions, according to the above said Division Bench decision. The Division Bench relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in Sidharajbhai v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1963 SC 540 , and upon an earlier Division bench decision of this Court in State of Kerala v. Manager, CM. of Schools, 1970 KLT 106 , and referred to other decisions of the Supreme Court for arriving at the above said conclusion. At the end they observed that 'In the interest of excellence of educational standards, we hope and trust that merit is not unduly sacrificed by the management in making admissions'.

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