LALJI PRASAD SAHU Vs. VICE CHANCELLOR JABALPUR UNIVERSITY
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
LALJI PRASAD SAHU
VICE-CHANCELLOR, JABALPUR UNIVERSITY
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bhargava J. -
(1.) THE petitioner Shri Lalji Prasad Sahu has filed this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India against the Vice-Chancellor, Jabalpur University (respondent No. 1), Dr. Mahavir Sharan Jain, Lecturer in Hindi, Jabalpur University (respondent No. 2) and the Jabalpur University (respondent No. 3), praying that the second respondent may be restrained from functioning as the Lecturer of the University, that the extension granted by the first respondent to him under annexures C, D and E, dated, respectively, 6-10-1965, 26-3-1966 and 4-10-1966, be quashed and declared to have been made by the first respondent without powers, and that the post of the Lecturer in Hindi be declared vacant.
(2.) THE facts are simple. On a recommendation of the Committee of Selection made on 7-8-1964, the Executive Council of the University in its meeting held on 14-8-1964 appointed the second respondent as Lecturer in Hindi in the Institute of Languages and Research in the University of Jabalpur on a salary of Rs. 400 per month in the scale of pay of 400-30-640-E. B.-40-800 and the said appointment was made on a temporary basis up to the 31st March 1965 from the date on which the second respondent joined his duties in the department. On 22-3-1965 the said Executive Council in its meeting decided to extend the term of the second respondent for a period of six months which was to expire on 30-9 1965. THE first respondent extended the term of the appointment of the second respondent for a period of six months with effect from 1-10-1965 to 31-3-1966 and this fact was notified to the second respondent through his letter dated 6-10-1965 (annexure C). Again, the first respondent extended the term of the second respondent for a further period of six months from 1-4-1966 to 30-9-1966 and the same was communicated to the second respondent under letter dated 26-3-1966 (annexure D). THEn for the third time the first respondent on 4-10-1966 extended the term of the second respondent for a further period of six months commencing from 1-10-1966 to 31-3-1967. This fact was communicated to the second respondent under letter dated 4-10-1966 (annexure E).
In the common return filed by the respondents it has been urged that the petitioner has no locus standi to file the present petition, that in a special meeting of the executive council held on 17-1-1967 it resolved to extend the term of respondent No. 2 from 1-4-1966 to 31-3-1967 and as a consequence of this resolution the petition has beGome infructuous. It was further urged that the action taken by the Vice-Chancellor on the three occasions specified above was justified as it was absolutely essential for running the Hindi Department of the University that a Lecturer should be there and therefore extensions were granted to the second respondent as the staff of the University had negligently failed to place the relevant papers before the Vice-ChancelloT to enable him to put those papers for getting the term of second respondent extended by the Executive Council. It was urged that in these circumstances the action of the Vice-Chancellor was not mala fide and he did not usurp any powers of the Executive Council for exercising them under section 12 (4) of the Act.
At the time of the hearing, the learned counsel for the respondents has further filed a copy of extract from the minutes of the Executive Council held on 27-2-1967 which shows that a resolution has been passed by the Executive Council continuing the service of the second respondent as Lecturer in Hindi beyond 31st March 1967 and authorising the Vice-Chancellor to con-, firm him in the post of Lecturer after considering the reports from the res-, pective Heads of his department about his work.
(3.) SHRI S. K. Pachori, on the other hand, has urged that the Executive Council on the second occasion had only extended the term of office of the second respondent up to 30-9-1965 and therefore he ceased to be in the service of the University on 1-10-1965 and thereafter the first order extending his term was passed by the Vice-Chancellor on 6-10-1965. It is urged by him that that order could not be passed by the Vice-Chancellor even under his emergency powers as the appointment of the second respondent had been terminated 5 days before he extended it. As he ceased to be in service on the expiry of 30-9-1965, it is contended that his term could not be extended. It is further urged that the resolution of the Executive Council passed on 17-1-1967 (annexure R- l) could not be given retrospective effect from 1-10-1966 and even if it were assumed for the sake of argument that such retrospective effect could be given, the resolution purported to extend the term of the second respondent only from 1-4-1966 still leaving a gap of six months between 1-10-1965 and 31-3-1966. He has further urged that as appointments to the teaching post of the University could only be made by the University Executive Council, the entire action of the Vice-Chancellor was utterly illegal and wholly unjustified.
In view of the fact that in this petition the right of the second respondent to hold the post of a Lecturer in Hindi till 31-3-1967 was challenged and as the Executive Council has passed a resolution on 17-1-1967 extending his term up to 31-3-1967, this petition must be held to have become infructuous. We are not concerned with the question as to whether the second respondent continuously remained in the service of the University even when there is no resolution according extension to his service from 1-10-1965 to ,31-3-1966 nor are we concerned in the present petition with the monetary implications which may result in case the Executive Council fails to pass any resolution in favour of the respondent in future giving retrospective sanction to his remaining in service for the said period or if it is found to be outside the scope of the powers of the Execntive Council on construction of section 54-A of the University Act which lays down:
"Where, prior to the coming into force of the Madhya Pradesh Universities Laws (Amendment) Act, 1965 (8 of 1965), appointment of teachers were made by the Executive Council to any of the posts, falling under section 54 for any specified period, and such period expiree after the coming into force of the said Act, the Executive Council may, notwithstanding anything contained in section 54, reappoint the same person to the same post or extend from time to time, the term of his appointment, for such further period as it may deem fit."
After 17-1-1967 till 31-3-1967 there can be no doubt that the second respondent had been holding the post on a resolution made by the Executive Council which is the proper authority for appointing Professors, Readers, Assistant Professors and Lecturers and which has also the power under section 54-A to reappoint the same person to the same post or extend his term of appointment from time to time for such further period as it may deem fit.;
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