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D.Senthil Kumar v. T.Balakrishnan - Contempt Petition No.916 of 2006  RD-TN 941 (14 March 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
Dated : 14.03.2007
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE P.JYOTHIMANI
Contempt Petition No.916 of 2006
W.P. No.24894 of 2006
M.P. No.2 of 2006
1. D.Senthil Kumar
7. M.Ravichandran ... Petitioners Vs
Salem 11. ... Respondents PRAYER:
Petition under Section 10 & 12 of the contempt of Courts Act, 70/71 to punish the respondents for having committed contempt of Court for disobeying the order dated 04.08.2006 and made in M.P.No.2 of 2006 in W.P.No.24894 of 2006. For Petitioners : Mr.K.M.Vijayan S.C. for Ms.La Law Mr.K.Selvaraj S.C. for Mr.S.Mani For Respondents : Mr.M.Sekar, Spl. G.P. O R D E R
This contempt arises in respect of the order passed by this Court in W.P.No.24894 of 2006 in M.P.No.2 of 2006 dated 04.08.2006 granting notice of motion and also granting an order of interim injunction restraining respondents 1 to 3 in the Writ petition, namely, the Periyar University its Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Syndicate members respectively, from promoting respondents 4 to 40 as Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Superintendent, Section Officer, Assistant, Junior Assistant respectively, pursuant to the minutes of the meeting of the Establishment Committee of Periyar University, Salem, held on 24.06.2006.
2. The writ petition is filed seeking to issue a Writ of mandamus forbearing respondents 1 to 3 from in any way promoting respondents 4 to 40 as Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Superintendent, Section Officer, Assistant, Junior Assistant respectively pursuant to the minutes of the meeting of the Establishment Committee of Periyar University Salem, held on 24.06.2006, without absorbing the petitioners to the appropriate posts in accordance with law. The writ petition is still pending.
3. The complaint of the applicant in the contempt petition is that when there is an order of injunction passed by this Court on 04.08.2006, promotions have been given contrary to the orders passed by this Court by ante-dating the same as 01.08.2006. The applicant, while admitting that the Syndicate of the University in the meeting held on 31.07.2006 has considered the minutes of the Establishment Committee dated 24.06.2006, has resolved to approve the minutes of the said Establishment Committee and has noted that 3 Syndicate members, namely, R.Venkatachalam, A.Muthumoni and K.S.Rangasamy have recorded their dissents out of the total 9 members present. It is the case of the applicants that, by communication dated 04.08.2006 issued by the Registrar of the University-the second respondent addressed to the Syndicate members, it has been informed to the members as follows: "I am, by direction, enclosing herewith the minutes pertaining to the 54th meeting of the Syndicate held on 31.07.2005 at 10.30 a.m. At Periyar University, Salem. In case of any comments, it may please be sent to the undersigned on or before 14th August 2006. If there is no comment, it will be presumed that the member has confirmed the minute."
4. Therefore, the contention of the learned Senior Counsel appearing for the applicants is that, even assuming that the Establishment Committee's decision dated 24.06.2006, in which, after noticing the dissent of the 3 members, the Establishment Committee has recommended to the Syndicate to approve the promotion of 37 incumbent non-teaching staffs to their respect next cadre and even though it is stated that the minutes are confirmed by the Syndicate on 31.07.2006, by virtue of the above said letter of the second respondent Registrar, it is only after 14th August 2006 i.e., after the comments are received, the resolution should be deemed to be operative and therefore in the mean time, promotions given to the said respondents by ante-dating the orders as 01.08.2006 when this Court has already granted an injunction on 04.08.2006 is only in violation of the court order. He would also submit that when the matter is pending, in all fairness respondents 1 to 3 should remain silent till a decision is arrived at in this Writ petition.
5. On the other hand, respondents have filed a counter affidavit.
6. It is the case of respondents 1 and 2 that in the Syndicate meeting held on 31.07.2006, even though the 3 members of the Syndicate have dissented, a resolution has already been passed. Mr.Sekar, learned Special Government Pleader, would submit that a perusal of the resolution of the Syndicate dated 31.07.2006 would show that the minutes of the Syndicate has been confirmed. Therefore, in effect there is no question of further confirmation by or comments to be received by the members of the Syndicate at all. He would also rely upon Section 26 of the Periyar University Act stating that all questions in the Syndicate meeting have to be decided by the majority of the members present and voted and therefore on 31.07.2006 when the quorum required for the meeting was present, a decision was taken; the subsequent communication of the Registrar dated 04.08.2006 is only a formal one and it has nothing to do with the legal effect of the resolution of the Syndicate dated 31.07.2006, which has already come into effect on the said date.
7. Mr.Sekar learned Special Government Pleader also would contend that on earlier occasions also when decisions were taken by the Syndicate, the Registrar used to communicate to all its members asking for their comments and this practice has been followed for a long time even though the same is not required as per law, since as per the Act and Statute framed under the Act when once the Syndicate passes any resolution by majority, it will come into effect.
8. In view of the above said facts, the respondents have submitted that there was no wilful disobedience to the order of this Court which was passed on 04.08.2006 by granting an order of interim injunction.
9. In view of the above said facts and considering the past practice which has been done as it is evident by the records produced by the learned Special Government Pleader, I do not think that there is any wilful disobedience on the part of respondents 1 and 2 in acting against the order of this Court.
10. In view of the above said facts, the contempt petition is closed as nothing further remains to be prosecuted in the same, however, making it clear that the applicants are at liberty to raise all the points raised here regarding the validity or otherwise of such resolution at the time of final disposal of the Writ petition. The contempt petition is closed with the above terms. nbj
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