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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Section 31(4) , Section 31(8) (a) of the U.P. State Universities Act, 1973, When there is a difference of opinions in appointment of a professor - the decision of the Chancellor is final = Dr. Mrs. Poonam Tandon …. Appellant Versus The Chancellor, Lucknow University & Ors …. Respondents = published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=41022

Section 31(4) , Section  31(8)  (a)  of  the  U.P.  State
                 Universities Act, 1973,  When there is a difference of opinions in appointment of a professor  - the decision of the Chancellor is final = 
             appellant holds the prescribed  and  requisite  qualifications
             for appointment to the post  of  Professor  in  Physics. =
   The  Selection
             Committee unanimously resolved to  recommend  the  appellant’s
             name for the aforesaid post to the Executive Council,  Lucknow
             University under Section 31(4) of the Act.
          4. The Executive Council considered  the  recommendation  of  the
             Selection Committee but did not agree with it and  passed  the
             following recommendation:
                 “Resolved  that  the  recommendation  under  reference  be
                 referred, under  Section  31(8)  (a)  of  the  U.P.  State
                 Universities Act, 1973, to H.E., The  Chancellor,  Lucknow
                 University for his decision  because  the  lone  candidate
                 recommended namely Dr. Mrs. Poonam Tandon  does  not  have
                 research publications in the field of   Experimental Solid
                 State Physics and as such she is not “actively engaged  in
                 research” in this field of specialization;  also  she  has
                 not taught the subject under reference  at  any  stage  so
                 far.  Consequently, she  has  not  fulfilled  the  minimum
                 qualification for the post of Professor as  laid  down  in
                 Statute 11.02”.

       5. Upon this, the Chancellor perused the record and held that the
             appellant holds the prescribed  and  requisite  qualifications
             for appointment to the post  of  Professor  in  Physics.    =

The appellant has challenged the order of the  Allahabad  High
             Court, by which the High Court has set aside the order of  the
             Chancellor dated 13th March 2007 passed under Section 31(8)(a)
             of the U.P. State Universities Act, 1973 (hereinafter referred
             to as the ‘Act’).  
By  the  said  order,  the  Chancellor  had
             approved the appointment of the appellant by holding that  the
             appellant possessed the prescribed and required  qualification
             for the  post  of  Professor  of  Physics  (Specialization  in
             Experimental Solid State).  
The  Chancellor  had  passed  this
             order on a reference made under Section 31(8) (a) of the Act.
          
 The appellant was selected by the duly  constituted  Selection
             Committee  consisting  of   the   Vice   Chancellor,   Lucknow
             University, three experts in the field of Physics appointed by
             the Chancellor,  the  Head  of  Department,  Physics,  Lucknow
             University, the Registrar, Lucknow University  and  two  other
             members  as  representatives  of  the  SC/OBC.  
The  Selection
             Committee unanimously resolved to  recommend  the  appellant’s
             name for the aforesaid post to the Executive Council,  Lucknow
             University under Section 31(4) of the Act. =
  
The  reference  was  clearly
             competent under Section 31 (8)(a) of the Act, which  reads  as
             follows:
                 “In the case of appointment of a teacher of the University,
                 if  the  Executive  Council  does  not   agree   with   the
                 recommendation  dame  by  the  Selection   Committee,   the
                 Executive Council shall refer the matter to the  Chancellor
                 along with  the  reasons  of  such  disagreement,  and  his
                 decision shall be final.


                 [Provided that if the Executive Council  does  not  take  a
                 decision on the recommendation of the  Selection  Committee
                 within a period of four months from the date of the meeting
                 of  such  Committee,  then  also  the  matter  shall  stand
                 referred to the  Chancellor,  and  his  decision  shall  be
                 final”]                  
 the appellant relied  on  a  decision  of
     this in Neelima Misra v. Harinder Kaur Paintal and Others: (1990) 2 SCC
     746.  Our view is in consonance with the same.      
      There was no reason for the High Court  to  interfere  with  the
     order of the Chancellor, which  must  be  upheld.   As  a  result,  the
     judgment of the High Court is set aside.   The  University  Authorities
     shall act in accordance with the decision of the Chancellor  and  shall
     give effect to the directions issued by the Chancellor as contained  in
     the order dated 13th March, 2007.
The appeal is allowed.

                   NON-REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                       CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10722 OF 2013
        (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No. 3038 of 2008)







      Dr. Mrs. Poonam Tandon                                    ….
   Appellant



                                   Versus


     The Chancellor, Lucknow University & Ors              …. Respondents











                                  JUDGMENT





     S. A. BOBDE, J.




          1.  Leave granted.
          2. The appellant has challenged the order of the  Allahabad  High
             Court, by which the High Court has set aside the order of  the
             Chancellor dated 13th March 2007 passed under Section 31(8)(a)
             of the U.P. State Universities Act, 1973 (hereinafter referred
             to as the ‘Act’).  
By  the  said  order,  the  Chancellor  had
             approved the appointment of the appellant by holding that  the
             appellant possessed the prescribed and required  qualification
             for the  post  of  Professor  of  Physics  (Specialization  in
             Experimental Solid State).  
The  Chancellor  had  passed  this
             order on a reference made under Section 31(8) (a) of the Act.
          3. The appellant was selected by the duly  constituted  Selection
             Committee  consisting  of   the   Vice   Chancellor,   Lucknow
             University, three experts in the field of Physics appointed by
             the Chancellor,  the  Head  of  Department,  Physics,  Lucknow
             University, the Registrar, Lucknow University  and  two  other
             members  as  representatives  of  the  SC/OBC.  
The  Selection
             Committee unanimously resolved to  recommend  the  appellant’s
             name for the aforesaid post to the Executive Council,  Lucknow
             University under Section 31(4) of the Act.
          4. The Executive Council considered  the  recommendation  of  the
             Selection Committee but did not agree with it and  passed  the
             following recommendation:
                 “Resolved  that  the  recommendation  under  reference  be
                 referred, under  Section  31(8)  (a)  of  the  U.P.  State
                 Universities Act, 1973, to H.E., The  Chancellor,  Lucknow
                 University for his decision  because  the  lone  candidate
                 recommended namely Dr. Mrs. Poonam Tandon  does  not  have
                 research publications in the field of   Experimental Solid
                 State Physics and as such she is not “actively engaged  in
                 research” in this field of specialization;  also  she  has
                 not taught the subject under reference  at  any  stage  so
                 far.  Consequently, she  has  not  fulfilled  the  minimum
                 qualification for the post of Professor as  laid  down  in
                 Statute 11.02”.




          5. Upon this, the Chancellor perused the record and held that the
             appellant holds the prescribed  and  requisite  qualifications
             for appointment to the post  of  Professor  in  Physics.  
The
             Chancellor observed that the candidate has been recommended by
             the  Selection  Committee  only  after  due  consideration  of
             competence  of  the  candidate  in  Experimental  Solid  State
             Physics.  The Chancellor, however, observed that the Executive
             Committee ought  to  have  been  clear  and  specific  in  its
             dissent.
          6. The matter was carried to the High Court by two candidates who
             were agreed by non-selection.  The Division Bench of the  High
             Court held that since the Chancellor had observed  that  there
             was no disagreement, which is a requirement of the Section and
             therefore the reference under Section 31(8) (a) of the Act was
             not  a  competent  reference,  the  matter  should  have  been
             referred by to the Executive  Committee  for  taking  a  fresh
             decision.  The High Court further  held  that  the  Chancellor
             ought not to have answered the  question  of  eligibility  and
             qualification of the respondent No.4.

          7. We have  heard  learned  counsel  for  the  parties  and  have
             carefully perused the orders of the Authorities.  We find that
             the  order  of  the  Chancellor  was   unexceptionable.    The
             Executive Council had by  a  majority  referred  the  question
             whether the appellant does has the  requisite  qualifications,
             to the Chancellor for decision (supra).   The  Chancellor  was
             therefore bound to answer that question and in fact  has  done
             so.   The  reasoning  of  the  High  Court  that  because  the
             Chancellor  observed  that  the  Executive  Council  had   not
             expressed clear and specific dissent about  the  qualification
             and appointment of the appellant,  the  Chancellor  could  not
             have entertained the  reference  and  decided  it,  is  wholly
             untenable  and  contrary  to  law.   The  Chancellor  had  not
             observed that there  was  no  disagreement  expressed  by  the
             Executive Council for appointing the appellant  but  had  only
             observed that the disagreement had not been clearly specified.
              This did not mean that the Chancellor had held the  reference
             to be incompetent. Indeed  the  resolution  of  the  Executive
             Council clearly  referred  the  question  of  the  appellant’s
             qualification to the Chancellor and  letter of  the  Executive
             Council dated 19th October,  2006  clearly  -states  that  the
             Executive Council “did not agree” with the  recommendation  of
             the  Selection  Committee  and  therefore   had   passed   the
             resolution referring the matter.  The  reference  was  clearly
             competent under Section 31 (8)(a) of the Act, which  reads  as
             follows:
                 “In the case of appointment of a teacher of the University,
                 if  the  Executive  Council  does  not   agree   with   the
                 recommendation  dame  by  the  Selection   Committee,   the
                 Executive Council shall refer the matter to the  Chancellor
                 along with  the  reasons  of  such  disagreement,  and  his
                 decision shall be final.


                 [Provided that if the Executive Council  does  not  take  a
                 decision on the recommendation of the  Selection  Committee
                 within a period of four months from the date of the meeting
                 of  such  Committee,  then  also  the  matter  shall  stand
                 referred to the  Chancellor,  and  his  decision  shall  be
                 final”]




     8.    The learned counsel for the appellant relied  on  a  decision  of
     this in Neelima Misra v. Harinder Kaur Paintal and Others: (1990) 2 SCC
     746.  Our view is in consonance with the same.


     9.     There was no reason for the High Court  to  interfere  with  the
     order of the Chancellor, which  must  be  upheld.   As  a  result,  the
     judgment of the High Court is set aside.   The  University  Authorities
     shall act in accordance with the decision of the Chancellor  and  shall
     give effect to the directions issued by the Chancellor as contained  in
     the order dated 13th March, 2007.


      10. The appeal is allowed.
      11. In the circumstances of the case, however, we make no order as to
          costs.
                                                  ................………………..J.

           [DR. B.S. CHAUHAN]


                                                           ….....………………………J.
                               [S.A. BOBDE]


     New Delhi,
     November 28, 2013



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