Decided on November 10,1954

Ramlal Gupta Appellant
Principal, Victoria College, Gwalior Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



Dixit, J. - (1.)THIS is an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issue of a writ in the nature of mandamus or an order directing the opponent to forbear from enforcing his order dated 19 -10 -1954 by which he expelled the petitioner from Victoria College and for directing the opponent to permit the petitioner to attend the college and to receive his training in the course for which he was studying.
(2.)IN his petition the applicant has stated that he applied for admission into the college on 30 -6 -1954 and was duly admitted on 7 -7 -1954; that subsequently on 1 -8 -1954 he was appointed as a typist in the Office of the Director of Education, Gwalior Region; that when the Director of Education circularized a notice dated 21 -9 -1954 calling upon all those employees who were pursuing any course of studies in any college or school, either to resign from their posts or withdraw themselves from the educational institutions within a period of one month, he resigned from the post of typist on 19 -10 -1954; that on this very date at the suggestion of the Deputy Director of Education the opponent passed an order expelling him on the -ground that he had concealed from the college authorities the fact that at the time when he sought admission into the college and thereafter he was in Government employment.
The petitioner contends that this order of expulsion passed by the Principal was unjustified and wrong as at the time of applying for admission in the college he was not employed anywhere and that though he subsequently took up an employment in the office of the Deputy Director of Education, he gave up the appointment on 19 -10 -1954 and thus there could be no question of making any declaration to the college authorities that he was in Government service. He also urges that he could not be removed from the college otherwise than under the procedure prescribed by laws, statutes and regulations of the Agra University to which the college is affiliated and that under Rule 9, Chapter XX relating to admission of students to affiliated colleges (published at page 209 of Agra University Calendar for the year 1951 -1952), a student; can be expelled by the Principal only if he is guilty of grave misconduct or of persistent idleness and that too if the Principal's order of expulsion is confirmed by the executive council of the University. It is also alleged that the order expelling the petitioner was made behind his back without giving him an opportunity to explain the charge made against him.

In the return filed and sworn to by the opponent it has been averred that the applicant Ramlal Gupta applied for admission on 28 -6 -1954; that on this date he was actually employed in the office of the Director of Education that in column No. 16 of the admission form the applicant wrongly stated that he was not employed in Government service; that when it came to the notice of the college authorities that many students of the college who were Government servants had made false declarations in the admission forms that they were not in Government employment and some of them had falsely stated that they had obtained permission from the Heads of Department for joining the college, a notice was issued by the Principal on 25 -9 -1954 asking all such students to give reasons for the false statements made by them, to express their regret and to submit their discharge certificates on or before 1 -10 -1954; and informing the students when this done and the fine for committing a breach of college discipline is paid then the Principal would consider whether any student should be allowed to continue as a student of the college; that even after the issue of the notice, the applicant did not make a full disclosure of his employment in Government service on the material dates or express his regret or pay the required fine; that on or about 16 -10 -1954 the Principal learnt that the applicant sought admission without disclosing the fact, that he was in Government employment and was continuing to be a student of the college in defiance of the notice issued by the Principal on 25 -9 -1954; the Principal, therefore, made inquiries and found that the applicant had committed a breach of college discipline in suppressing the facts which he was required to state in the application for admission and in disobeying the notice dated 25 -9 -1954. The Principal, therefore, expelled him from the college.

(3.)AT the hearing of this petition Mr. Anand Bihari Misra learned counsel for the petitioner admitted that Ramlal Gupta had made a wrong statement in this petition that he applied for admission on 20 -6 -1954 and that on this date he was not in Government service. Learned counsel sought to explain this by saying that this was due to a lapse of memory. I am not inclined to think so. I find it difficult to believe that when the applicant filled in the application form for admission he did not remember the fact that he was on that date working as a typist in a Government Department. In determining the question whether the applicant was or was not guilty of an act of indiscipline, the question whether he made a correct statement of facts in the application form is very material.
In this application invoking the jurisdiction of this Court under Art. 226, the applicant deliberately suppressed the facts that he sought admission to the college on 28 -6 -1954 and that on this date he was in Government employment. It has been held by this Court in - - 'Gangaram v. The State',, AIR 1953 MP 58 (A) that if an applicant under Art. 226 suppresses material facts, the Court will refuse the writ prayed for without going into the merits of the case. This petition is therefore, liable to be dismissed on this ground alone. Even on merits the petition cannot be granted. Learned counsel for the applicant was not inclined to dispute the proposition that the Principal of a college could expel or rusticate a student for indiscipline.

He, however, argued that the disobedience of an order issued by the Principal which is contrary to directions given by the University with regard to the admission of Government employees in college is not an act of indiscipline; that the Principal has no power to expel or rusticate a student if the act of indiscipline does not amount to "grave misconduct" or persistent idleness"; and that the order of expulsion passed by the Principal is not effective until it is confirmed by the Executive Council of the University'. All these arguments seem to me altogether untenable.

It is clear to me that when Government frames a rule prohibiting their employees from joining educational institutions without obtaining the permission of the Head of the Department concerned, and when in conformity with this rule a person seeking admission to any college is required to state in the application form whether he is employed in Government service, and when the applicant makes a false statement on this point in the application form and when, as in this case, the student does not avail himself of the opportunity for penitence given to him by the college authorities and does not make full disclosure of the circumstances of his employment, the act of the student is nothing but an act constituting a breach of the college discipline.

The question whether the act of indiscipline is light or grave or whether for that act the student should or should not be expelled or rusticated is entirely one for the Principal to determine who is responsible for the maintenance of discipline, the upkeep of the necessary tone and the standard of behaviour of students in his college. It will be seen from a perusal of the rules of the Agra University relied upon by the applicant that for an order of expulsion to be operative it is not necessary that it should be confirmed by the Executive Council. The effect of non -confirmation is only this that the student who has been expelled can be admitted to another college of the University. If as is clear here, the applicant was guilty of an act of indiscipline, then the Principal was within his powers in expelling him front the college.

This Court will not interfere with the discretion of the Principal with regard to such disciplinary matters unless it is satisfied that the action of the Principal was arbitrary, due to a mala fide exercise of discretion actuated by extraneous considerations. In this connection I need only refer to the decision of the Madras High Court in - - 'C. D. Sekkilar v. Krishnamoorti', : AIR 1952 Mad 151 (B), where the circumstances in which the High Court will issue a writ under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India against a college Principal directing reinstatement of an expelled student have been fully explained. I am in respectful agreement with that decision.


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