Decided on August 13,1993

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.)Petitioner in O.P. 10248 of 1991 is a resident of Kavarathi Island in Lakshadweep Islands. Petitioner in O.P. 8653/93 is the President of an association in Kavarathi. In the year 1972, a college by name Jawaharlal Nehru College was established at Kavarathi, which is the capital of the group of Lakshadweep Islands. According to the petitioners, for the establishment of this college the people of the locality had given liberal contribution of money and land and this college became a full-fledged educational institution with library, laboratory, hostel and playgrounds. According to the petitioners; Kavarathi Island is a centrally located island having easy access to the persons of other islands and most of the students studying in this college hail from Kavarathi Island and many of them are children of the employees working in the Administration. The petitioners further allege that the Administrator of the Lakshadweep Island due to extraneous pressure by some powerful persons decided to shift the college from Kavarathi to Kadamat. Petitioners' contend that the Kadamat is an inaccessible Island in most of the seasons especially during heavy monsoon and it as an unhealthy area with large incidence of leprosy and there is also scarcity of drinking water. Petitioners allege that Administration is taking hurried steps to shift the college to Kadamat. Petitioners made various representations to the Administrator not to shift the college to Kadamat. There fore petitioners seek for a writ of mandamus against respondents 1 and 2 from shifting Jawaharlal Nehru College from Kavarathi to Kadamat.
(2.)On behalf of the 2nd respondent a detailed counter affidavit is filed. It is alleged in the counter affidavit that in 1964-65 a higher secondary school affiliated to the Central Board of Education was established in the Island, Students from other islands were selected for admission to this school. Free hospital accommodation was available to the students admitted from various islands. There was strong demand for starting a junior college. The suggestion was approved by the Ministry on condition that the existing higher secondary school should be abolished so that no additional financial commitment would be there for staff and building on that account. The junior college was started in 1973. Postgraduate teachers in the higher secondary school were appointed as Junior Lecturers of the college. Playgrounds, laboratory, library and other staff of the higher secondary school were made available for the functioning of the college. The allegation in the Original Petitions that the members of the public contributed for the construction of the building is denied. The decision for shifting the college from Kavarathi to Kadamat was taken only after weighing the pros and cons of the issue involved in the matter. There were deliberations both at official level and also by the Administrator's Advisory Council. Administrator's Advisory Council unanimously passed resolutions urging the Government to shift the college to Kadamat. Service organisation also submitted memorandum for immediate shifting of the college. Decision was taken as early as in 1988. The matter was taken up with the Registrar of Calicut University for approval. There was constant pressure from the public and from service organisation to shift the college and other offices from the Headquarter island to a less congested area like Kadamat. The local political party also admitted a memorandum to the Honourable President of India to expedite the shifting of the college to Kadamat. Steps were taken to construct a new building in the college at Kadamat. The construction work was taken up by the , School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. An officer was appointed specially to manage the shifting of the college. The averment in the Original Petition that Kadamat Island is inaccessible and unhealthy are flimsy and without valid grounds. There are three passenger ships sailing between the island and there is regular helicopter service. There is Vayudoot service between the island and the main land. Kadamat is one of the tourist resorts centre in Lakshadweep. The President of India stayed at Kadamat during his visit to Lakshadweep. Tourist huts are arranged for the stay of tourists under the package tour programme. The .Administrator is bound to honour the unanimous decision of the Advisory Council and the Pradesh Council. Necessary budgetary provision is also made to shift the college in this year itself. It is further contended that the decision to shift the college .was taken after due deliberation of issues involved in the matter. The Administration has taken decision to shift the college on the basis of several representations received from various groups. It is stated that the shifting of the college will not in any way hamper the higher studies of the ward of the petitioners as there is free educational facilities for Island students seeking admission from various Islands.
(3.)In O. P. 8653/93 petitioner challenges Ext- P-1 order passed by the University permitting the Lakshadweep Administration to shift the college to Kadamat Island. According to the petitioner, in, this Original Petition Ext. P-1 resolution passed by the Syndicate of the Calicut University is without jurisdiction and liable to be declared invalid. It is alleged by the petitioner therein that the University has not considered 'all the relevant aspects arid the meeting of the Syndicate was held on a Saturday while most of the members were away from Calicut. Petitioner alleges that a matter of considerable importance to the .entire student community of the Lakshadweep Islands was decided in a hurry and there was no proper application of mind. Petitioner also prays for a declaration that the shifting of the college from Kavarathi to Kadamat is violative of the right to education protected under the Constitution.

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