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COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT versus DISTRICT INSPECTOR OF SCHOOL

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Committee Of Management v. District Inspector Of School - WRIT - C No. 34164 of 2000 [2001] RD-AH 41 (7 September 2001)

 

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

                                                                                 [Reserved]

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 34164 of 2000

              Committee of Management, Sri Yadvesh Inter Colleg,Jaunpur

                                                         v.

              District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur and others    

                           

Hon. R.K.Agrawal, J.

The Committee of Management, Shri Yadvesh Inter College, Nau Peruwa district Jaunpur through its Manager Murlidhar Yadav and Murlidhar Yadav as Manager of the said Committee of Management have jointly filed the present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking a writ order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the impugned order dated 28.7.2000 passed by the respondent no.1 contained in annexure 3 to the writ petition. The petitioners further seek a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents not to interfere in the peaceful functioning of the petitioners as Committee of management and manager of the institution in any manner whatsoever.

Briefly stated the facts giving rise to the present petition are as follows:

Sri Yadvesh Inter College, Nauperwa, district Jaunpur is a recognised Intermediate College and is governed by the provisions of U.P. Intermediate Education Act,1921 [hereinafter referred to as the 'College']. It has its own bye-laws and a Scheme of Administration. According to the petitioner no.2 he is the duly elected manager of the college. It is alleged by the petitioners that the then District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur on 7.1.1998 had directed the petitioners to appoint one Sri Brahma Dutt Yadav, son of Sri Bal Govind Yadav in the college. The petitioners sought some clarification from the District Inspector of Schools in the matter. However, the District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur vide order dated 7.4.1998 appointed authorised controller over the college. The order dated 7.4.1998 appointing authorised controller was challenged by the petitioners by filing Civil Misc.Writ PetitionNo.14554 of 1998 before this Court and vide orders dated 1.5.1998 and 27.5.1998 this Court had been pleased to stay the operation of the said order. However, the District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur in the capacity of authorised controller appointed Sri Brahma Dutt Yadav on 21.4.1998. The appointment of Sri Brahma Dutt Yadav was challenged by the petitioners before this Court in a writ petition, which was finally allowed vide judgment and order dated 20.7.1998 and his appointment was quashed. It appears that the then District Inspector of Schools passed another order on 27.7.1998 directing the Union Bank of India not to release the amount meant for distribution of salary and wages to the staff and the employees of the college to the petitioners. The petitioners once again approached this Court and challenged the order dated 27.7.1998, whereupon, this Court passed an order directing the respondents to make necessary arrangement for payment of salary to the staff and the employees of the college. Again a show cause notice was issued on 19.8.98 by the District Inspector of Schools calling upon the petitioners to show cause as to why authorised controller be not appointed in the college. The District Inspector of Schools vide order dated 9.9.1998 appointed an authorised controller, which was once again subject matter of challenge before this Court in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.30266 of 1998, which was allowed vide judgment and order dated 20.11.1998 and the order dated 9.9.1998 was set aside. This Court further directed that the petitioners and the committee of management shall continue to manage and conduct the affairs of the concerned institution during subsistence of its term. Pursuant to the judgment and order dated 28.11.1998 the petitioners were given charge on 2.12.1998. However, on 3.12.1998 i.e. just after one day the District Inspector of Schools once again passed an order of single operation under section 5[1] of the Payment of Salary Act,1971. The petitioners once again challenged the order dated 3.12.1998 by filing Civil Misc.Writ Petition No.2036 of 1999, which was disposed of finally vide judgment and order dated 20.1.1999 with certain direction. The directions given by this Court are reproduced below :

" The District Inspector of Schools shall take decision on the papers submitted by the petitioners for attestation of signatures of the Manger within two months from the date of production of the certified copy of this order before him after affording opportunity of hearing to the parties concerned unless the decision has already been taken.

In case, the signatures of the petitioner no.2 have not been attested, the salary of the members of the staff of the institution [teaching and non-teaching] shall be continued to be paid in accordance with the order dated 3.12.1998 till dispute, if any, regarding election is finally decided.

If the signatures of the petitioner no.2 have already been attested, the order dated 3.12.98 shall be inoperative and the respondents will have no right to interfere with the affairs of the institution except in accordance with law."

It is alleged by the petitioners that the then District Inspector of Schools fixed 17.2.1999 at 2.00 P.M. for hearing in the matter. The petitioners went to the office of the District Inspector of Schools on the date fixed, but were informed that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla, the then District Inspector of Schools was suspended on that day at 1.00 P.M. at Varanasi. However, the officiating District Inspector of Schools passed an order on 30.3.99 that single operation shall continue till the decision is taken. This order was again challenged by the petitioners by filing Civil Misc.Writ Petition No.21248 of 1999, which was disposed of finally by this Court vide judgment and order dated 21.5.1999 with a direction to take an appropriate decision within one month in conformity with earlier order dated 20.1.99. Pursuant to the aforesaid directions this time the District Inspector of Schools passed an order on 27.5.99 attesting the signatures of the petitioner no.2. Thus, the order for single operation stood set aside and the petitioners started functioning. However, the Joint Director of Education Vth Region, Varanasi, respondent no.2, vide order dated 14.5.99 directed the District Inspector of Schools to stay the order dated 27.5.99 and to submit a report in this behalf within a week. The District Inspector of Schools in compliance thereof submitted an enquiry report on 21.6.1999 and simultaneously appointed the Accounts Officer in the office of the District Inspector of Schools to operate the account singly. The petitioners challenged the order dated 21.6.99 by filing Civil Misc.Writ Petition No.32365 of 1999, which was dismissed as withdrawn on 6.12.1999 as an enquiry was held by the District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur afresh and vide order dated 12.10.1999 he once again attested the signatures of the petitioners. It further appears that another order was passed on 22.1.2000 by which the petitioners were again restrained from functioning as manager of the committee of management under the elections said to have been held on 6.9.98. The order dated 22.1.2000 was challenged by the petitioners before this Court by filing Writ Petition No.6243 of 2000 in which the order dated 22.1.2000 was held to be partly illegal. However, this Court vide judgment and order dated 9.2.2000 directed the parties to appear before the Director of Education on 1.3.2000,who may nominate any competent office other than Sri Vasudeo Yadav to decide the case. Another order was passed on 4.4.2000 by the Additional Director of Education [Secondary], U.P., Allahabad, respondent no.3, appointing an authorised controller, which was setaside by this Court vide judgment and order dated 13.4.2000 in Writ Petition No.17646 of 2000. Pursuant thereto the Additional Director of Education, U.P., passed an order dated 15.7.2000 removing the authorised controller, as a result of which the petitioners again started functioning as manager. However, vide order dated 28.7.2000 the Additional Director of Education had held that the elections held on 6.9.98 of the Committee of Management represented by the petitioner no.2 is a forged and on the basis of forged elections the Committee of management headed by petitioner no.2 cannot be given recognition. The respondent no.3 further found the elections held on 27.10.99 of the committee of management headed by Sri Ajay Kumar to be a valid election and recognised the said committee of management. The order dated 28.7.2000 passed by the Additional Director of Education is under challenged in the present petition.

I have heard Sri P.N. Saxena, learned Senior counsel assisted by Sri R.N. Vishwakarma on behalf of the petitioners and Sri Y.S. Vohra, learned Standing Counsel for the State -respondents and Sri P.K. Jain assisted by Sri A.K. Sinha and Sri R.K. Sinha on behalf of respondent no.4 and Sri N.K. Mishra on behalf of the auditor of the newspaper 'Tarun Mitra'.

Sri P.N. Saxena, learned Senior Counsel submitted that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla, the then District Inspector of Schools was placed under suspension on 17.2.99 at 1.00P.M. at Varanasi. He retired on 30.10.99 and was allowed to work as District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur, only for 15 days during which period he passed hundreds of illegal and forged orders, whereupon, the Joint Director of Education had issued an order on 30.11.1999 to the District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur, stating therein that it has come to the notice that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla had passed hundreds of illegal orders and no order passed by him should be honoured. Not only, this, the Additional Director of Education [Secondary], U.P., Allahabad, respondent no.3, had also written a letter on 4.11.99 to the District Magistrate, Jaunpur , to provide security to the present District Inspector of Schools in view of the threat to his life on account of the  forgery committed by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla. The District Inspector of Schools vide order dated 5.11.99 had issued an order that all those orders passed by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla between 15.10.99 to 30.10.99 are being scrutinised by the Directorate of Secondary Education and had cancelled the order dated 29.10.99 by which Sri Sangam Lal Shukla had recognised the election of respondent no.4. He further submitted that on 17.2.99 the petitioners were present in the office of the District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur, at 2.00 P.M. for hearing in the matter, but as Sri Sangam Lal Shukla had been placed under suspension on that very day at 1.00 P.M. at Varanasi, no hearing took place and, therefore, the order dated 17.2.99 could not have been passed by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla.

He further submitted that the findings recorded by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla in the order dated 17.2.99 for the election programme was not published in the daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' on 15.8.1998 as claimed by the petitioners and, therefore, no elections were held and if any election is claimed to be held, it is forged is wholly incorrect. He further submitted that the order dated 17.2.99 was not passed at all and if the same had been passed, it was merely a waste paper as Sri Sangam Lal Shukla, had been placed under suspension on 17.2.99 at 1.00 P.M. at Varanasi and the charge was taken by the Joint Director of Education Vth Region, Varanasi, respondent no.2, at Varanasi itself. This fact is corroborated from the letter dated 4.3.2000 written by the District Inspector of Schools to the Joint Director of Education, Varanasi Region, Varanasi [filed as Annexure-20 to the writ petition] wherein the District Inspector of Schools had also mentioned the aforesaid fact and further stated that this fact is corroborated by the letter of the then District Inspector of Schools/Deputy Director of Education, Sri A. Verma's letter No.2703-4/98-99 dated 30.3.99. In any event, he submitted that the order dated 17.2.299 even if it is taken to be an order in the eyes of law and to have been passed by an Officer having jurisdiction though, according to him it was passed by an officer who at the relevant time had been placed under suspension, the said order is vitiated being based on irrelevant materials and consideration. According to him, the election programme was advertised and published in the daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' on 15.8.1998 and, therefore, the view taken by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla that no advertisement was made is wholly incorrect and the conclusion and findings arrived at on the aforesaid basis is vitiated and has no binding effect in the eyes of law. He further submitted that this Court while deciding Writ Petition No.30266 of 1998 vide judgment and order dated 20.11.1998 had adversely commented upon the conduct of the District Inspector of Schools [Sri Sangam Lal Shukla]during the relevant period. This Court had found that the District Inspector of Schools was out to dislodge the duly elected committee of management and the reason for it were not too far to see. The legitimate action of the committee of management was sufficient to irk the unreasonable District Inspector of Schools. This Court had further found that in view of the stark realties of this case and the back drop of the facts stated above, one cannot escape from the finding that the respondent no.2, District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur, was out to crush the duly elected committee of management with a view to get it out of power. This he did not feed far the grudge nursed by him on account of non-submission of the petitioner to his commands. Thus, he submitted that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla, District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur, was out and out to dislodge the petitioners by any means. He further submitted that likewise the order passed by the Additional Director of Education, the order passed by the Additional Director of Education, U.P., Allahabad, is manifestly erroneous in law as it proceeds on the basis that the then District Inspector of Schools had already held the elections of the petitioners' committee of management to be forged.

The learned standing counsel, however, did not dispute the fact regarding suspension of Sri Sangam Lal Shukla and the handing over of charge by him at 1.00 P.M. on 17.2.99 at Varanasi as also the hearing fixed before the District Inspector of Schools [ Sri Sangam Lal Shukla] on 17.2.99.He also did not dispute the letter written by the Dy. Director of Education and the Joint Director of Education to the authorities for not giving effect to the orders passed by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla at the time of his retirement and within 15 days immediately preceeding thereafter. However, he submitted that the findings recorded by the Additional Director of Education regarding the elections held on 6.9.98 are pure findings of fact, which are based on appreciation of evidence and relevant material on record and does not call for any interference under Article 226; of the Constitution of India.

Sri P.K.Jain, learned counsel for the respondentno.4, however, submitted that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla had rightly passed the order on 17.2.99 holding the elections said to have been held on 6.9.98 to be a forged one and this order was passed before he was placed under suspension. He further submitted that the election schedule was not advertised in the daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' on 15.8.98 as alleged. He also produced a copy of the said newspaper, which did not contain any advertisement of the election programme. He further submitted that the Additional Director of Education had rightly rejected the representation made by the petitioners and the findings recorded by the Additional Director of Education, U.P., Allahabad, that no elections as claimed by the petitioners were held on 6.9.98 are based on appreciation of evidence and material on record and should not be interfered with under Article 226 of the Constitution.

From a perusal of the order dated 28.7.2000 passed by the Additional Director of Education, U.P., Allahabad, it appears that he has proceeded to decide the controversy on the basis of the order dated 17.2.99 passed by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla, the District Inspector of Schools. According to the Additional Director of Education, Varanasi Region, Varanasi, the petitioners had challenged the order dated 17.2.99 by filing a civil suit, which was subsequently, withdrawn on 6.4.99, the consequence of which is that the order dated 17.2.99 became effective. He further held that when the District Inspector of Schools had already decided the matter on 17.2.99 in compliance with the order dated 20.1.99 passed by this Court then there was no occasion for Sri Om Prakash Dwivedi , the then District Inspector of Schools to pass any order infavour of the petitioners. The Additional Director of Education had further held that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla had himself stated in his order dated 17.2.99 that his signatures on the order dated 10.9.98, whereby the elections of the petitioners had been recognised is forged. He had proceeded on the basis of the findings recorded in the order dated 17.2.99 by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla that the elections held by the petitioners on 6.9.98 is forged and since the elections held on 27.10.99 by the respondent no.4 has been recognised on 29.10.99 and the signatures of respondent no.4 have been attested which has been illegally cancelled by the District Inspector of Schools and could not have been done, the elections held on 27.10.99 are valid.

In order to settle the controversy regarding publication of the elections schedule in daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' on 15.8.98, the Court passed an order on 30.8.2000 directing the editor of the newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' to file an affidavit enclosing the copies of the order issued by the District Social Welfare Officer, Sultanpur, Chief Development Officer or the District Magistrate, Sultanpur for publishing full page advertisement on the back side of the sheet in which the elections programme has been published as also the bills raised for the advertisement issued by Zila Sahkari Bank Ltd. Mau, District Chief Medical Officer, Pratapgarh, Chief Veterinary Officer, Pratapgarh, Nagar Palika Parishad, Bela  Pratapgarh, Zila Panchayat, Mau, Nagar Palika Parishad, Sultanpur as also the details of payment made for publication of these advertisements. In compliance thereof Sri Kailas Nath, editor of the daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra'', filed his affidavit affirmed on 12.9.2000 stating that the elections schedule of the committee of management of the college to be held on 6.9.98 was published in the daily newspaper 'Traun Mitra' on 15.8.98. He also enclosed the orders placed by the various authorities and the bills for advertisements carried out in the said newspaper on 15.8.98.

Learned counsel for the respondent no.4, however, insisted that the election programme was not published in the daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' on 15.8.98, whereupon, the Court vide order dated 30.3.2001 directed the standing counsel to produce the original newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' published on 15.8.98 after requisitioning it from the office of the District Social Welfare Officer, Sultanpur. Pursuant to the aforesaid directions, Sri Y.S. Vohra, learned Standing Counsel produced the original newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' after requisitioning the same from the office of the District Social Welfare Officer, Sultanpur. By way of abundant caution he also produced a copy of the said newspaper after requisitioning it from the office of the District Social Welfare Officer, Pratapgarh. Both the newspapers were perused by the Court and it was found that the in the newspaper which have been requisitioned from the office of the District Social Welfare Officer, Sultanpur, the election programme of the committee of management of the college had been published whereas in the newspaper, which have been requisitioned from the office of the District Social Welfare Officer, Pratapgarh, there was no such advertisement. To resolve the anomaly the Court vide order dated 9.4.2000 directed notice to be issued to the editor of the newspaper 'Tarun Mitra', namely Sri Kailas Nath, to appear before the Court personally on 18.4.2001 and to explain the discrepancies. In compliance to the aforesaid directions, Sri Kailas Nath, editor appeared personally before the Court on 18.4.2001 and was directed to file an affidavit. In the affidavit affirmed on 19.4.2001 the editor has stated that since 15.8.98 was Independence Day and on such dates the newspaper owners received more advertisements; it was decided to carry out the advertisement issued by the respective districts in the copies of the newspapers, which are meant for that district. This practise is not only followed by his newspaper, but also by the leading dailies. The explanation given by the edditor is plausible and is accepted. There is no denying the fact that the election programme of the committee of management, which was schedule to be held on 6.9.98 was published in the daily newspaper 'Tarun Mitra' on 15.8.98 as was found from the copy of the newspaper requisitioned from the office of District Social Welfare Officer, Sultanpur, through the learned standing counsel. Thus, it cannot be said that the elections programme was not published. The findings recorded by the District Inspector of Schools in order to 17.2.99 that the elections programme was not advertised in daily newspaper is not correct and the findings recorded by him are vitiated being based on irrelevant material and considerations.

Moreover, it is not in dispute that Sri Sangam Lal Shukla, then District Inspector of Schools had been placed under suspension on 17.2.99 and the charge was taken by him at 1.00 P.M. at Varanasi. The hearing was fixed at 2.00 P.M. at Jaunpur. Thus, there was no occasion for him to pass an order on 17.2.99 and any order passed by an officer, who has been placed under suspension would be of no legal consequence. Thus, no benefit or advantage can be derived from the order dated 17.2.99. It has also come on record that the then District Inspector of Schools vide letter No.2703-4/98-99 dated 30.3.99 had informed the authorities that neither any hearing took place nor any order was passed on 17.2.99 as has been mentioned in the letter dated 4.3.2000 written by the District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur, to the Joint Director of Education, Vth Region, Varanasi [filed as Annexure-20 to the writ petition]. Apart from it this Court had already passed strictures against the then District Inspector of Schools, Jaunpur [Sri Sangam Lal Shukla] in the judgment and order dated 20.11.98 passed in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.30266 of 1998 that he was out and out to dislodge the duly elected committee of management of which the petitioner no.2 is the duly elected manager. Thus, no reliance can be placed on the orders passed by Sri Sangam Lal Shukla on 17.2.99. The conduct of the then District Inspector of Schools in seeking to oust the petitioners, who were duly and validly elected committee of management and its manager had been adversely commented upon by this Court in Civil Misc.Writ Petition No.30266 of 1998, decided on 20.11.1998. It is very easy for an officer to deny his signatures without bringing on record any further material. If the elections have been held on 6.9.98 as per the published programme then there is no question of holding of another election on 27.10.99 by the respondent no.4. The Additional Director of Education [Secondary], U.P., Allahabad, had proceeded on the assumption that in the order dated 17.2.99 the elections said to have been held on 6.9.98 have been found to be fictitious or forged. As already held hereinbefore the basis for holding the elections on 6.9.98 as forged or fictitious is non-existent and as such the order dated 17.2.99 stands vitiated. Consequently, the impugned order dated 28.7.2000 cannot be sustained and is hereby quashed. The matter is remanded back to the Additional Director of Education, U.P., Allahabad to pass appropriate orders in accordance with law in the light of the observations made above.

In the result, the writ petition succeeds and is allowed with costs.

September 7, 2001

Ak.


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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