G P GUPTA Vs. DIRECTOR MUSLIM UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF OPHTHALMOLOGY
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
DIRECTOR, MUSLIM UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF OPHTHALMOLOGY
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K.B. Asthana, J. -
(1.)BY this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioner, Dr. G.P. Gupta, has questioned the validity of a resolution of the Executive Council of the Aligarh Muslim University dispensing with his services as Lecturer.
(2.)THE petitioner was appointed on one year's probation as a Lecturer in the Muslim University Institute of Ophthalmology. THE petitioner joined his post in the University on 1-10-1963 after resigning from his post as Ophthalmic Surgeon in the Gandhi Eye Hospital at Aligarh. According to the allegations of the petitioner he successfully completed his probationary period which expired on 30-9-1964 and was entitled for confirmation but to his surprise he was served with an order on 4-12-1964 that his probationary period had been extended by one year. THEreupon the petitioner made a representation on 8-12-1964 to the Vice-Chancellor of the University. According to the petitioner no orders of the Vice- Chancellor on his representation were communicated to him for three months and on 3-3-1965, the petitioner received a letter from the Director of the Institute informing him that the petitioner's representation had been considered by the Vice-Chancellor who was of the opinion that it was open to the University to extend the term of probation of the petitioner or to terminate his services without assigning any reason,
It is alleged by the petitioner that he met the Vice Chancellor on 5-6-1965 and apprised him of his case and requested him to make an enquiry but despite the petitioner's request and submission of a list of relevant papers no enquiry was made and he was not given any opportunity to submit his explanation against the grounds on the basis of which his, probation had been extended. The extended period of probation of the petitioner expired on 30-9-1965, but no order from the University was received and the petitioner thought that he had been automatically confirmed. The petitioner, however, on 24-2-1966 applied to the Vice-Chancellor for an interview to ascertain about his confirmation and seniority but no reply to his request was received. Then on 21-4-1966 the petitioner was served with a one month's notice of termination of his services along with an extract of the resolution of the Executive Council dated 29-1-1966 passed on the basis of some report of unsatisfactory work and conduct on his part. A true copy of the said notice is Annexure "I" to the affidavit and a true copy of the extract from the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Council held on 29-1-1966 is Annexure "II" to the petitioner's affidavit. The text of the resolution of the Executive Council reproduced in the said Annexure is as follows: ''Resolved that the services of Dr. G.P. Gupta, Lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology, be dispensed with in view of the unsatisfactory report about his work and conduct during the extended period of his probation"
It would be seen that though the resolution dispensing with the services of the petitioner was passed by the Executive Council on 29-1-1966 yet the services of the petitioner in effect had been terminated by the notice Annexure "I" dated 20-4-1966 received by the petitioner on 21-4-1966 and since it was a one month's notice of termination of service, the period of one month beginning from the date of its receipt the services of the petitioner stood terminated with effect from 21-5-1966. The allegation of the petitioner that he was never informed during the period of probation of any unsatisfactory work or conduct on his part has been controverted in the counter-affidavits filed on behalf of the University which show that the Director of the Institute had some complaints in respect of the work and conduct of the petitioner and had on more than one occasion asked him to improve and to act on the directions of his seniors in treating the patients assigned to him. However, this fact has not been disputed by the opposite parties that before passing the impugned resolution dispensing with the services of the petitioner the Executive Council had not afforded any opportunity to the petitioner to submit an explanation against the grounds on which his work and conduct was thought to be unsatisfactory.
(3.)THE main contentions raised on behalf of the petitioner in support of the petition by his learned counsel Sri S.N. Kacker are: (i) that the action of the University in terminating the services of the petitioner was mala fide and (ii) that the resolution of the Executive Council dispensing with the services of the petitioner followed by the notice of termination was invalid as it was in violation of the statutory provisions which required an opportunity to be afforded to the petitioner to show cause against the proposed action to be taken against him.
The contention that the termination of the services of the petitioner was mala fide is grounded on the allegation that the Director of the Institute for personal reasons of his own was annoyed with the petitioner and in order to back his favourites, who were the colleagues of the petitioner, from the very beginning of the appointment of the petitioner adopted an attitude to put him down and because the petitioner tried to fight for his legitimate rights and claimed seniority, the Director mala fide recommended the termination of his services. On a perusal of the allegations in the affidavit, the counter-affidavits and the original the which Sri S.J. Hyder, learned counsel for the University was good enough to place before the Court, I do not find that any case has been made out by the petitioner for quashing of the impugned action of the University on the ground that It was mala fide. In fact I found from the relevant papers on the original record that the Director of the Institute took a sympathetic attitude and at no time recommended to the Vice-Chancellor for dispensing with the services of the petitioner.
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