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TAMILAGA ASIRIYAR KOOTTANI versus THE GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU

High Court of Madras

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Tamilaga Asiriyar Koottani v. The Government of Tamil Nadu - Writ Appeal No.717 of 2005 [2005] RD-TN 309 (19 April 2005)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

Dated: 19/04/2005

Coram

THE HON'BLE MR. MARKANDEY KATJU, THE CHIEF JUSTICE and

THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE F.M.IBRAHIM KALIFULLA Writ Appeal No.717 of 2005

and

Writ Petition No.7388 of 2005

Tamilaga Asiriyar Koottani

rep. by the General Secretary

V. Annamalai

No.52, Nallathambi Street,

Triplicane,

Chennai-5. .. Appellant/petitioner -Vs-

1. The Government of Tamil Nadu

rep. by its Secretary,

School Education Department,

Fort St. George,

Chennai-9.

2. The Director of Elementary Education,

College Road,

Chennai-6.

3. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Thanjavur District,

Thanjavur.

4. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Coimbatore District, Coimbatore.

5. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Perambalur District at Ariyalur.

6. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Ariyalur District, Ariyalur.

7. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Virudhunagar District,

Virudhunagar.

8. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Tuticorin District, Tuticorin.

9. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Tirunelveli District, Tirunelveli.

10. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Dindigul District, Dindigul.

11. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Ramnad District, Ramnad.

12. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Salem District, Salem.

13. The District Elementary Educational Officer, Thiruvannamalai District, Thiruvannamalai.

14. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Trichy District, Trichy.

15. The District Elementary Educational Officer, Pudukottai District, Pudukottai.

16. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Nagai District, Nagai.

17. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Namakkal District, Namakkal.

18. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Karur District, Karur.

19. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Dharmapuri District,

Dharmapuri.

20. Tamil Nadu Primary and Middle School

Graduate Teachers Association

rep. by its

General Secretary C.Sekar

No.3/52, Vivekananda Street,

Gandhi Nagar,

Vepur, Vellore District. .. Respondents in both the writ appeal and the writ petition Writ Appeal filed under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent against the order passed in W.P.M.P.No.8069 of 2005 and W.V.M.P.No.812 of 2005 in W.P.No. 7388 of 2005 dated 30.3.2005.

Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issue of writ of mandamus forbearing the respondents from implementing the G.O.Ms.No.13 School Education (C2) Department dated 9.2.2005 till the end of the academic year 2004-05 i.e. 31.5.2005 and issue a consequential direction to the respondents to consider the grievance of the elementary school Head Masters working in the upgraded middle Schools as per G.O.Ms.No.135 dated 23.8.2002 for replacement, transfer and postings in the month of June 2005.

For appellant/ :: Mr. R. Saseetharan

petitioner

For respondents :: Mr. P.S. Sivashanmugasundaram 1 to 19 Additional Govt. Pleader For respondent :: Mr. Elanthiriyan

20for M/s. Sai, Bharath & Ilan

:J U D G M E N T



(Judgment of the Court was delivered by

The Honourable The Chief Justice)

This writ appeal has been filed by an Association calling itself as Tamilaga Asiriyar Koottani.

2. The writ petition was filed for a mandamus forbearing the respondents from implementing the G.O.Ms.No.13 School Education (C2) Department dated 9.2.2005 till the end of the academic year 2004-05 i.e. 31 .5.2005 and for a consequential direction to the respondents to consider the grievance of the elementary school Head Masters working in the upgraded middle schools as per G.O.Ms.No.39 dated 21.3.2002 and G. O.Ms.No.135 dated 23.8.2002 for replacement, transfer and postings in the month of June 2005.

3. As per G.O.Ms.No. 13, 676 elementary schools were upgraded as middle schools and directions were given to fill up the post of Headmasters in such upgraded middle schools from the Headmasters in elementary schools on the pay scale of Rs.5300-150-8300 and B.T. Assistants and Tamil teachers on the pay scale of Rs.5500-200-9000.

4. In our opinion, the appellant had no locus standi to file the writ petition or this writ appeal.

5. A Division Bench of this Court in Formation of Indian Network Marketing Association, Chennai vs. M/s. Apple FMCG Marketing Pvt. Ltd. Chennai and others (Writ Appeal No.688 of 2005 dated 7.4.2005) has held that such writ appeals are liable to be dismissed on the ground of lack of locus standi (vide paragraphs 6 to 13). In paragraph - 6 of the said judgment it was observed :-

" It is well settled that ordinarily a writ petition or writ appeal can only be filed by someone who is personally aggrieved".

6. In Indian Sugar Mills Association Vs. Secretary to Government, AIR 1951 All 1 a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court held (vide paragraphs 10 and 11) :-

" The further argument is that any person, whether his interests are directly affected or not, can file an application challenging any Act of the Legislature or the order of the Government on the ground that it is ultra vires. In this connection we cannot do better than quote the decision of the learned Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States in Commonwealth of Massachusetts V. Andrew W.Mellon, 262 U.S. 447:67 Lawyers Edn. 1078, Sutherland, J. who delivered the opinion of the Court quoted with approval the remarks of Thomson, J. with whom Story, J. concurred, which were as follows:

"It is only where the rights of persons or property are involved, and when such rights can be presented under some judicial form of proceedings, that courts of justice can interpose relief." Dealing with the question whether a single tax-payer can challenge the enforcement of a Federal Appropriation Act on the ground that it was invalid and would increase the burden of his taxes, the learned Judge observed: "His interest in the moneys of the treasury-partly realised from taxation and partly from other sources-is shared with millions of others; is comparatively minute and indeterminable; and the effect upon future taxation of any payment out of the funds so remote, fluctuating, and uncertain that no basis is afforded for an appeal to the preventive powers of a Court of equity??If one tax-payer may champion and litigate such a cause, then every other tax-payer may do the same, not only in respect to the statute hereunder review, but also in respect of every other appropriation Act and statute whose administration requires the outlay of public money, and whose validity may be questioned. The bare suggestion of such a result, with its attendant inconveniences, goes far to sustain the conclusion which we have reached, that a suit of this character cannot be maintained."

Those remarks are with reference to a suit. They are much more applicable to proceedings under Article 226 which are of a summary and of a coercive nature without providing for a normal trial or a right of appeal except in those cases where a substantial question of interpretation of the constitution arises. This Court is being flooded with applications under Article 226 of the Constitution which is seriously affecting the normal work of the Court. We feel that the time has come when we may point out that Article 226 of the Constitution was not intended to provide an alternative method of redress to the normal process of a decision in an action brought in the usual courts established by law. The powers under this Article should be sparingly used and only in those clear cases where the rights of a person have been seriously infringed and he has no other adequate and specific remedy available to him".

7. No doubt, the law has developed since the above decision was given by the Allahabad High Court in the year 1951, yet it must be reiterated that the development in the law relating to locus standi in writ petitions only carved out some exceptions to the main rule which has been stated correctly by the Allahabad High Court, and it is not that this main rule itself has been totally abolished. Exceptions remain exceptions, and do not become the main rule. Hence, we must reiterate that ordinarily a writ petition can only be filed by a person who is personally aggrieved.

8. In Vinoy Kumar Vs. State of U.P., AIR 2001 SC 1739 the Supreme Court observed (vide paragraph-2):-

"Generally speaking, a person shall have no locus standi to file a writ petition if he is not personally affected by the impugned order or his fundamental rights have neither been directly or substantially invaded nor is there any imminent danger of such rights being invaded or his acquired interests have been violated ignoring the applicable rules. The relief under Article 226 of the Constitution is based on the existence of a right in favour of the person invoking the jurisdiction. The exception to the general rule is only in cases where the writ applied for is a writ of habeas corpus or quo warranto or filed in public interest. It is a matter of prudence, that the Court confines the exercise of writ jurisdiction to cases where legal wrong or legal injuries caused to a particular person or his fundamental rights are violated, and not to entertain cases of individual wrong or injury at the instance of third party where there is an effective legal aid organization which can take care of such cases. Even in cases filed in public interest, the Court can exercise the writ jurisdiction at the instance of a third party only when it is shown that the legal wrong or legal injury or illegal burden is threatened and such person or determined class of persons is, by reason or poverty, helplessness or disability or socially or economically disadvantaged position, unable to approach the Court for relief (emphasis supplied)." 9. In State of Orissa Vs. Ram Chandra Dev & Another, AIR 1964 SC 685 the Supreme Court observed (vide paragraph - 8):-

"But though the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 is wide in that sense, the concluding words of the article clearly indicate that before a writ or an appropriate order can be issued in favour of a party, it must be established that the party has a right and the said right is illegally invaded or threatened. The existence of a right is thus the foundation of a petition under Article 226".

10. Similarly, in Gadde Venkateswara Rao Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1966 SC 828 (vide paragraph- 8) the Supreme Court observed:- "The right that can be enforced under Article 226 also shall ordinarily be the personal or individual right of the petitioner himself ( emphasis supplied), though in the case of some of the writs like habeas corpus or quo warranto this rule may have to be relaxed or modified".

11. In Sand Carrier's Owners' Union and Others Vs. Board of Trustees for the Port of Calcutta, AIR 1990 Cal 176 it was observed by the Calcutta High Court that "a Public Interest Litigation can be moved, where persons concerned for whose benefit it is moved are socially and educationally backward, and Public Interest Litigation is also maintainable in cases such as environmental pollution, etc."

However, it was also observed:-

"The members of such association may be affected by a common order and may have common grievance, but for the purpose of enforcing the rights of the members, writ petition at the instance of such association is not maintainable".

Accordingly, the Calcutta High Court dismissed the writ petition filed by the Owners' Union.

12. A similar view has been taken in Government Press Employees' Association, Bangalore Vs. Government of Mysore, AIR 1962 Mysore 25.

13. In Dr.Duryodhan Sahu Vs. Jitendra Kumar Mishra, (1998) 7 SCC 273 the Supreme Court observed that in service matters PILs should not be entertained.

14. Subsequently, in Ashok Kumar Pandey Vs. State of W.B., (2004) 3 SCC 349 ( Vide Paragraph - 16) the Supreme Court observed:- "Though in Dr. Duryodhan Sahu Vs. Jitendra Kumar Mishra (1998) 7 SCC 273 this Court held that in service matters PILs should not be entertained, the inflow of so-called PILs involving service matters continues unabated in the courts and strangely are entertained. The least the High Courts could do is to throw them out on the basis of the said decision".

15. In our opinion, if any educational institution or Head Master or Teacher is aggrieved by the impugned G.O.Ms.No.13 dated 9.2.2005 they can file a writ petition in this Court challenging the same, but the appellant - association had no locus standi in the matter. It cannot be said that the educational institutions or Head Masters are so poor that they are unable to approach this Court. If any particular educational institution or Head Master has a grievance against the impugned G.O.Ms.No.13 dated 9.2.2005 it is for such person to file a writ petition or writ appeal, and not for any association. The writ appeal is dismissed on the ground of lack of locus standi. The writ petition is dismissed for the same reason. W.A.M.P.No.1384 of 2005 is dismissed.

Index:Yes

Internet: Yes

Vu/sm

Copy to:-

1. The Secretary,

Govt. of Tamil Nadu,

School Education Department,

Fort St. George,

Chennai-9.

2. The Director of Elementary Education,

College Road,

Chennai-6.

3. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Thanjavur District,

Thanjavur.

4. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Coimbatore District,

Coimbatore.

5. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Perambalur District at Ariyalur.

6. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Ariyalur District, Ariyalur.

7. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Virudhunagar District,

Virudhunagar.

8. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Tuticorin District, Tuticorin.

9. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Tirunelveli District, Tirunelveli.

10. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Dindigul District, Dindigul.

11. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Ramnad District, Ramnad.

12. The District Elementary Educational

Officer,

Salem District, Salem.

13. The District Elementary Educational Officer, Thiruvannamalai District, Thiruvannamalai.

14. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Trichy District, Trichy.

15. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Pudukottai District, Pudukottai.

16. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Nagai District, Nagai.

17. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Namakkal District, Namakkal.

18. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Karur District, Karur.

19. The District Elementary Educational

Officer, Dharmapuri District,

Dharmapuri.




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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