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DR. GIRJA SHANKAR versus CHANCELLOR AND OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Dr. Girja Shankar v. Chancellor And Others - WRIT - A No. - 30639 of 2007 [2007] RD-AH 18068 (20 November 2007)

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Reserved

Civil Misc. Writ Petition. No. 30639 of 2007

Dr. Girja Shankar

Versus

Chancellor of Ch. Charan Singh University, Meerut and Governor of U.P. Raj Bhawan, Lucknow and others

___________

Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli J.

Hon'ble K.N. Ojha, J.

The petitioner, who appears from the record to be a retired teacher, has argued this case in person.

During the arguments, we tried to point out to the petitioner the law and the limitations of writ jurisdiction, requesting him to confine his argument to issues which could be legally examined under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. But unmindful of our suggestions, the petitioner insisted that we should hear him out. This case has been transferred by at least two Benches, which declined to hear the matter because of which it has come up before this Bench, by nomination. We have therefore heard the petitioner at great length.

Considering the obvious handicap of the petitioner, who seems to be ignorant of the law, we have examined the facts carefully.

We have tried to keep this judgment as simple as possible.

The first prayer in the writ petition is for quashing an order of the Chancellor dated 13.4.2007 (Annexure 1 to the writ petition). By that order, the Chancellor of Meerut University has sent a representation of the petitioner dated 2.2.2007 to the Vice Chancellor for taking appropriate action after examining the same. The petitioner has not even cared to file a copy of that representation dated 2.2.2007 to enable this Court to know what was sought by that representation. He has argued before us that the present Vice Chancellor of the Meerut University is biased against the petitioner because of which the Chancellor should not have sent the representation to the Vice Chancellor.

Alleging bias against the Vice Chancellor of a University by a teacher is a serious matter and should not be allowed unless the allegation is made with sufficient sense of responsibility and is based upon cogent material which inspires confidence of the Court. As the record shows the petitioner has been making wild allegations not only against the present Vice Chancellor but also against the former Vice Chancellor. In fact, in this writ petition, the Chancellor, the State of U.P. through Secretary, Department of Higher Education and the University Grants Commission through its Secretary are also respondents and allegations have been made against all the respondents. For example, paragraphs 6 and 7 of the writ petition are quoted below:

"6. That the present case has much deeper roots. It is a long story of injustice, untold hardship, privations and enormous loss, damages and sufferings done to the petitioner because he raised his voice against illegal and fraudulent appointments and blatantly corrupt and despicable activities in University.

7. That all the respondents have involvement in the happenings, at one stage or the other, which have taken place over the years after respondent No. 4 Dr (Mrs) Gita Devi Srivastava's and respondent No. 5 Dr. K.K. Sharma's appointments were secured by illegal and fraudulent means as illustrated in this petition."

After having examined the matter, we are of the opinion that the petitioner in this writ petition is trying to suggest that everybody except the petitioner is dishonest, corrupt, incompetent. The arguments advanced before us were also of no legal relevance, and basically without substantiating any fact or averment, the petitioner was just accusing and abusing everybody else.

Coming back to the first prayer, we are not satisfied about the allegation of mala fide made by the petitioner against the present Vice Chancellor. So far as we have been able to see, the only act of the present Vice Chancellor which is the basis of the entire accusation is that a letter of complaint was made by a private individual to the Government, which was sent by the Government to the Vice Chancellor and that letter was placed by the Vice Chancellor before the Academic Council. The Academic Council decided against the petitioner by a huge majority. The petitioner's argument, as we understood, was that the matter should not have been placed before the Academic Council but should have been placed before the Executive Council. No opinion can be expressed on this issue because the document has not been enclosed to show its content. Without knowing the content and the prayer, it can not be decided whether the matter should or should not have gone before the Academic Council. In any case, even if by some stretch of imagination, the matter should have been placed before the Executive Council and not before the Academic Council, we do not think that placing the matter, even wrongly, before the Academic Council is such a heinous act on part of the Vice Chancellor as is trying to be made out by the petitioner. We, therefore, find no good ground for quashing that order dated 13.4.2007 of the Chancellor.

The second prayer in the writ petition is that a mandamus be issued to the Meerut University to appoint the petitioner as honarary emeritus professor. This kind of an appointment is an honour conferred upon deserving individuals. Honour and respect are to be commanded by one's ability and not to be demanded be means of writs and mandamus. No person can claim to have a right to be honoured. Further more, we find from the record of this writ petition that the petitioner has been litigating on the civil as well as the criminal sides with almost all of his colleagues. Some of those litigations have been mentioned in the list of dates annexed to this writ petition. In fact, from the narration of events and knowing the time consumed by litigation in this country, we are tempted to think that the petitioner has devoted more time to these battles as compared to the time devoted to academics. While we judge ourselves by what we think we are capable of doing, others judge us by what we have actually done.

The third prayer in this writ petition is quoted below:

"iii. Pass orders directing the University to implement the report and recommendations dated 16-8-2003 of the one Man Committee of Dr. R.S. Agrawal which includes fixation of basic salary of the petitioner in the new U.G.C. pay scales of 1973 w.e.f. his date of increment, removal of hurdles in the way of the petitioner's research project and fellowship, compensation of Rs. 25 lacs and release of pension and arrears with interest at the rate of 18% (vide J.T. 2001 (6) SC 285)."

In this context, we may point out that the petitioner had filed Writ Petition No. 20459 of 1998, which was disposed of finally by a judgment dated 19.7.2002 passed by a Division Bench of this Court. The said judgment, which quotes the prayers made in that writ petition, is reproduced below for ready reference.

"Heard the petitioner who appeared in person, Standing Counsel representing the respondent no. 4 and Sri Anurag Khanna for respondents no. 2 and 3. None appears for respondents no. 1 and 5. The writ petition has been instituted for the following reliefs :

i) issue a writ of certiorari/order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the order contained in the letter dated 16.05.1998 of Chaudhari Charan Singh University, Meerut, sent through its registrar asking the petitioner to vacate

the House No. C-13 of the University by 18.06.1998.

ii) Quash the order of 04.01.88 of the Vice Chancellor passed on behalf of respondent no. 2, to the effect of debarring the petitioner from the work of teaching and supervising research scholars.

Iii) Direct the respondent no. 2, to release to the petitioner his pension and arrears as due along with interest, as this Hon'ble Court may decide and also to release to the petitioner his own remaining contribution of provident fund.

iv) Direct the State of Uttar Pradesh, respondent no. 4 to fix basic salary of the petitioner in the new U.G.C. Pay Scales, pending for fixation in Uchcha Shiksha Vibagh, Anubagh - 15 and Anubagh - 11, Government of U.P.

v) Direct the respondent to pay to the petitioner compensation of Rs. 25 Lakhs (to be apportioned among the respondents, in the circumstances of case on the discretion of this Hon'ble Court) for causing to the petitioner enormous losses and damages and endless physical and mental agonies by their various acts of commission and omission, as illustrated in this Petition.

vi) Pass such order about respondent no. 3, Dr. K.K.Sharma as may be deemed proper and just in the circumstances of the case.

Vii) Grant any other relief or relief to the petitioner to which he may be justly entitled including the costs.

By impugned order dated 16.05.1998, being annexure no. 1, to the writ petition, the petitioner, a retired Reader was called upon to vacate the quarter allotted to him by June 18, 1998 on the premises that he had ceased to be a teacher of the University. The petitioner submits that in view of Meerut University House Allotment Rules for Teachers, 1987, the term teacher includes, "Professor, Reader, Lecturer, Visiting Faculty, Professor Emeritus and teachers in the Schemes of U.G.C. and all Central Government Research Scheme Awarding Agencies." The grievance of the petitioner is that the impugned order has been passed without affording any opportunity of hearing and without taking into reckoning Meerut University House Allotment Rules for Teachers, 1987, referred to herein above. It is well settled that the order which has adverse effect ought not to have been passed without affording opportunity of hearing. The question is whether the petitioner was entitled to retain the University quarter after his retirement having regard to the fact that he is still continuing in the Project/Fellowship which should have been decided after affording opportunity of hearing to the petitioner. The principle of law laid down so far in Basudev Tiwari Vs. Sido Kanhu University and others, JT 1998 (6) SC 464 will be attracted to this case. We are of the view that the impugned order dated 16.05.1998 is liable to be quashed as the same has been passed without affording any opportunity of hearing to the petitioner.

The other order impugned herein is dated 04.01.1998. If there is any dispute between the petitioner on the one hand and Dr. K.K. Sharma on the other, the same may be redressed after affording opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and also due to the reason that it is non speaking order:

So far as the grievance regarding payment of pension along with interest and fixation of basic salary in the U.G.C. pay scales as also the petitioner's claim for compensation is concerned, we would like to observe that the Vice Chancellor shall look into the grievance of the petitioner and direct release of his pension together with arrears and such interest as may be payable on the delayed payment of pension within a period of one month or pass a reasoned order. In case the representation succeeds the pension together with arrears etc. shall be paid to him forthwith. It goes without saying that if the salary of the petitioner has not been fixed in the new U.G.C. pay scale, the same shall be done within a month from the date of receipt of representation. As regards the payment of compensation, the petitioner will have the liberty to raise the dispute after decision of the Vice Chancellor and the petitioner shall have the liberty to file a fresh writ petition if his claim is rejected by the Vice Chancellor.

The writ petition is disposed of in terms of the above direction."

Thus, the prayer No. 3 of the present writ petition is barred by the principles of res judicata and as well as constructive res judicata.

Moreover, annexure 29 to the writ petition which is a letter dated 23.10.2004 sent by the University to the Secretary Higher Education, says that the order of the High Court dated 19.7.2002 (quoted above) could not be complied with for two reasons. (1) The petitioner despite repeated requests has not submitted the appropriate papers and (2) the pay revision has been referred to the U.P. Government and the reply of the Government is still awaited. During the arguments the learned counsel for the University has stated that the University will take the decision with regard to the post retirement benefits as well as the pay revision upon submission of the necessary papers by the petitioner and upon receipt of pay revision decision from the U.P. Government. During the arguments, the petitioner expressed an apprehension that if he submits the necessary papers, it may be treated as abandonment of the remaining claim of the petitioner to higher pension, etc. consequent upon pay revision, if upon the pay revision/pay fixation, he is placed in a higher scale. The apprehension is baseless. The papers could be submitted by the petitioner 'without prejudice' to the other claims of the petitioner to higher amounts.

The fourth prayer in this writ petition is quoted below:

"Pass orders directing the University and the U.P. State Government to make recovery of salary and emoluments given to Dr. K.K. Sharma and Dr. (Mrs.) Gita Devi Srivastava during the period from 1980 to July 2000."

So far as Dr. K.K. Sharma is concerned, his appointment was challenged by the petitioner and three others in Civil Appeal No. 3693 of 1997 (See Paragraph 19 and 20 of the writ petition). The Supreme Court in its final judgment dated 1.5.1997 refused to disturb the appointment of Dr. K.K. Sharma. Thus, the third prayer of the present writ petition quoted above is barred by res judicata so far as Dr. K.K. Sharma is concerned.

So far as Dr. (Mrs.) Gita Devi Srivastava is concerned, she was appointed on 5.7.1978 apparently on a temporary vacancy whereas, Dr. K.K. Sharma was appointed with effect from 31.12.1979.

Dr. (Mrs.) Gita Devi Srivastava was given a regular appointment with effect from 21.11.1985 under section 31(3)(b) of the U.P. State Universities Act, 1973. It is not clear as to why the issue of validity of the appointment or confirmation/regularisation of Dr. (Mrs.) Gita Devi Srivastava was not raised in the Civil Appeal No. 3693 of 1997 before the Supreme Court. We are of the opinion that this issue of validity of the appointment of Dr. (Mrs.) Gita Devi Srivastava, even if not barred by the principles of constructive res judicata, can not be allowed to be raised in this writ petition filed in the year 2007 on the ground of laches. A regularisation of 1985 can not be challenged after the incumbent has put in more than 21 years of service. For the same reason, the fifth prayer of the writ petition also does not deserve to be granted. The fifth prayer is quoted below:

"Declare the appointment and promotions given to Dr. Gita Devi Srivastava in the Dept of History as null and void."

The sixth and seventh prayers are general in nature and not specific.

In the circumstances, we do not find any merit in this writ petition, which is dismissed.

Dated : November 20, 2007

AM/-


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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