(1.)These three writ petitions have been filed by the Management of an Intermediate college or by the Society running these institutions and arise out of proceedings taken against the Principal of the institution. The relevant facts may be briefly stated as follows:
On 24th November, 1947, the Committee of Management passed a resolution appointing a sub-committee for inquiring into certain allegations against Sri Ram Het Singh, the Principal. The sub- committee was asked to prepare a charge-sheet in respect of those allegations and to hold a formal inquiry and to report to the Committee of Management. This is Annexure 4, to the Writ Petition No. 298 of 1979, the last of the three petitions. For the sake of convenience, all documents, unless otherwise identified, shall be referred to from the file of this writ petition only. On the same day, the sub-committee met and recommended to the committee of Management that the Principal be sus-pended pending inquiry. This resolution is Annexure 5. On the same day, Sri Singh applied for one month's leave which was granted to him. He also filed a suit for injunction in the Court of Munsif, Faizabad, to restrain the committee of Management from suspending him. No interim injunction was, however, granted by the court. Thereupon, he sent a telegram on 26th November, for cancellation of his leave and he also joined duty. On 28th November, the Committee of Management passed a resolution ordering the suspension of Sri Singh pending inquiry. This order is Annexure 6. It was mentioned in this resolution that the committee had considered the report of the sub-committee on this question. It was also provided in the order that Sri Singh should not leave the headquarters without permission of the Management and that he would get a subsistence allowance according to rules. Sri Singh allegedly evaded service of suspension order upon him. Thereupon, it was published in a local newspaper, the Jan Morcha, on 29th November, 1974. The sub-committee served a charge-sheet dated 14th/20th December, 1974, vide Annexure 8. In all, nine charges were framed against Sri Singh. On 6th/7th January, 1975, Sri Singh gave his reply, vide Annexure 9. He denied all the charges. With regard to charges Nos. 2 and 7, he further said that the charges were vague. One of the charges was that in the year 1973-74, the Principal had received a sum of Rs. 400/- from the District Inspector of Schools for expenditure on students participating P. T. events in the Regional Sports and that he had not spent the full amount on those students, but had misappropriated part of the same. In this connection, the Manager sent a letter on 30th November, 1974, Annexure 11, to the District Inspector of Schools (for short, DIOS) requesting him to furnish relevant information relating to that grant of Rupees 400/- and its expenditure. The sub- committee started the oral inquiry on 26th May 1975; a copy of the proceedings is Annexure 10. Sri Singh was questioned by the sub-committee in respect of the charges. He admitted receipt of the sum of Rs. 400/- from the D. I. O. S., but denied that he had not spent the full amount. While, according to the charge-sheet, he spent only Rupees 300/- out of Rs. 400/-, he stated that he had spent the entire amount on the students who participated in P. T. He also likewise repudiated the other allegations which were put to him. The inquiry was adjourned to 18th July, 1975. On that date, the sub-committee decided to await receipt of the information which had been sent for from the D. I. O. S. It was decided to send a reminder to the D. I. O. S. The proceedings are Annexure 12. On 8th September, 1975, the D. I. O. S., vide his letter, Annexure 13, replied to the Manager asking the latter to quote the relevant provisions of the Education Manual or the Intermediate Education Act, 1921, under which a copy of the documents mentioned in the Manager's letter dated 29th August, 1975, had been asked for. The letter dated 29th August, 1975, appears to have been a reminder issued in pursuance of the decision of the sub-committee dated 18th July, 1975. The letter of the D. I. O. S., was virtually a refusal to comply with the request of the Management. The sub-committee treating it as such, resumed the inquiry on 12th September, 1975. Oral evidence was recorded on that day, Sri Singh participated in the inquiry. A teacher, Sri Uma Shanker Singh, was examined. The Principal cross-examined this witness on 12th, 15th, 17th and 23rd September. Thereafter, the next meeting of the sub-committee for continuing with the inquiry was called for on 13th Oct. On that day, the Principal was absent and the sub-committee decided to adjourn the inquiry to 18th Oct. Information of the adjourned date was sent to Sri Singh by registered post but he did not appear and the meeting was adjourned to 23rd October. Information about this date was sent to his residence and it was published in the Jan Morcha as well. As he did not appear in spite of these attempts of the sub-committee to secure his presence, the sub-committee decided to proceed further with the inquiry ex parte. In the meantime, it may be stated here the D. I. O. S. passed an order on 3rd October, 1975, revoking the order of suspension dated 28th November, 1974. Against this order of the D. I. O. S., the Management filed Writ Petition No. 2322 of 1975, (the first of the three Writ Petitions). The sub-committee concluded the inquiry ex parte and examined several other witnesses and gave its report on 30th October, 1975, holding Sri Singh guilty of the various charges. This report is Annexure 28. The committee of Management met on 21st November, 1975, to consider the recommendations of the sub-committee. On this date, the Principal was also present and made oral sub- missions. After considering his sub- missions, the committee accepted the report of the sub-committee and decided to dismiss Sri Singh. This resolution is Annexure 30. On 28th November, 1975, the relevant papers were sent by the Committee to the D. I. O. S., seeking his approval. The D. I. O. S., by his order dated 22nd/24th April, 1976, Annexure 31, declined to grant approval. He held that Sri Singh had not been given a reasonable opportunity and he further held that the findings were incorrect. On 27th May. 1976, the committee of Management filed an appeal with the Deputy Director of Education (for Short, D. D. E.) vide Annexure 32, against the order of the D. I. O. S. On 7th July, 1976, the D. I. O. S. passed an order requiring the Committee of Management to reinstate Sri Singh. This order was challenged by the Management by its writ petition No. 1984 of 1976, (the second of the three writ petitions). The Management also secured an interim order from this court staying the operation of the order of the D. I. O. S. Ultimately, the Deputy Director dismissed the Management's appeal by order dated 20th December, 1978, Annexure 36. The Deputy Director passed a consequential order for reinstatement of Sri Singh on 27th December, 1978, vide Annexure 37. It was thereafter that the third petition mentioned at the outset was filed by the Management.
(2.)These writ petitions are contested by Sri Singh and also by the authorities concerned.
(3.)The first question that has been raised by learned counsel for the petitioner is that the D. I. O. S. has no appellate authority over the decision of the Management. There is a relationship of master and servant between the Society and the Principal and the Management acts as a domestic Tribunal. The findings of the domestic Tribunal should be treated as binding, and the D. I. O. S. or the Deputy Director cannot take a different view on the findings as if they had any appellate jurisdiction against the order of the Management. They cannot compel the institution to keep the teacher in service. In support of this contention, the learned counsel relied on Maclean V/s. Workers Union, 1929 1 Ch 602. Therein it was laid down, inter alia, that a domestic Tribunal is not required to act on what may strictly be construed as evidence. He also relied on State of Mysore V/s. Sivabasappa, 1963 AIR(SC) 375 and State of Orissa v. Murlidhar Jena, 1963 AIR(SC) 404. These authorities are not, in our opinion, applicable to the case. They deal only with the jurisdiction of the courts over decisions of domestic Tribunals. Here. the D. I. O. S. and the Deputy Director are exercising powers conferred on them by the Legislature. When power is given to the D. I. O. S. to approve or disapprove of an order of punishment or suspension, that authority is bound to sit in judgment over the decision of the Management. Jurisdiction of these authorities is not akin to the jurisdiction of a Civil Court. Although the proposal sent to the D. I. O. S. by the Management is for approval and the word 'appeal' is not mentioned in the statutory provisions, it is obvious that the D. I. O. S., as 'the authority required to take a decision on the proposal, can review the findings and also the validity of the proceedings. That jurisdiction is certainly wider than the jurisdiction of a Civil Court in a suit brought by an employee against the employer.