IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS DATED: 20.02.2012 CORAM: THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE VINOD K.SHARMA W.P.No.24966 of 2011 & M.P.No.1 of 2011 Dr.R.Prabhaakaran .. Petitioner. - vs - 1. University of Madras Rep. by its Vice-Chancellor Chepauk, Chennai-600 005 2. Pachaiyappa's College Rep. by its Secretary Chennai 3. Dr.P.Kandaswamy .. Respondents. Prayer: Writ petition is filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India for the issuance of writ of declaration, declaring the action of the 1st respondent approving the appointment of the 3rd respondent by order dated 30.11.2011 bearing Ref.No,.A-Ii/RSK/Pachaiyappa's Trust/2011/1259 to the post of the principal in the 2nd respondent as illegal, arbitrary and contrary to principles of natural justice. For Petitioner : Mr.S.Balan Haridas For R1 : Mrs.G.Thilakavathi For R2 : Mr.M.Krishnamoorthy For R3 : Mr.D.Kanaga Sundaram ***** O R D E R
The petitioner has approached this Court with a prayer for issuance of a writ in the nature of quo-warranto, to challenge the appointment of 3rd respondent as Principal of Pachaiyappa's college, Chennai.
2. The challenge to the appointment of respondent no.3 as Principal is on the ground that the 3rd respondent does not have essential qualification prescribed by the Statutory rules, governing appointment of Principal of a college.
3. The submission of the petitioner is that respondent no.3 did have 55% marks in his Masters degree, which is pre-requisite for appointment as Principal / Grade-I.
4. In support of this contention, reliance is placed on the Rules framed by the University for appointment of Principal (Grade-I), which stipulates that a candidate for being considered for appointment as Principal Grade-I, by way of direct recruitment should possess;
i)Master Degree with at least 55% or its equivalent grade "B" in the seven point scale.
ii)Ph.D or equivalent qualification and minimum total experience of 15 years of teaching/research in Universities/Colleges and other institutions of Higher Education.
5. This writ petition is opposed by the learned counsel for the University on the ground that the petitioner has no locus standi to maintain the present writ petition, as petitioner was not one of the candidates for appointment. Nor any legal rights of his is affected by appointment of respondent no.3, as Principal.
6. This objection deserves to be noticed to be rejected, in view of settled law that a writ of quo warranto can be filed by any citizen to oust the illegal appointment to public office.
7. The writ petition is also opposed on the ground that the stand of the petitioner that respondent no.3 is not qualified for appointment is totally misconceived. The submission of the respondent is that though it is not disputed that respondent no.3 secured 52% in his Master's degree, obtained prior to 19.09.1991, but he acquired Ph.D., in the year 1994.
8. The contention of the learned counsel for the respondent no.3, therefore, was that service conditions of the Principal Grade-I are governed by the regulations framed by the University Grants Commission, which have statutory force of law and override the University rules. That as per UGC Regulations of 2000, 5% of mark relaxation is permissible to the eligible candidate, holding Ph.D., provided he had obtained Master's Degree prior to 19.09.1991. The respondent no.3, therefore, fulfills the statutory qualification prescribed under the UGC Regulations.
9. This contention was opposed by the learned counsel for the petitioner, on the ground that University Grants Commission Regulations of 2000 stands superseded by, University Grants Commission Regulations on (minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in Universities and colleges and measures for the maintenance of standards in higher education) Regulation 2010. This contention again cannot be accepted, as even under the regulations of 2010, the qualification for appointment to the post of principal, is as under:
4.2.0. PRINCIPAL i. A Master's Degree with at least 55% marks (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) by a recognized University.
ii. A Ph.D Degree in concerned/allied/relevant discipline(s) in the institution concerned with evidence of published work and research guidance.
iii. Associate Professor/Professor with a total experience of fifteen years of teaching/research/administration in Universities, Colleges and other institutions of higher education.
iv. A minimum score as stipulated in the Academic performance Indicator (API) based Performance Based Appraisal System (PBAS), as set out in this Regulation in Appendix III for direct recruitment of Professors in Colleges.
Sub-clause IV shows that relaxation can be given as in the case of Professors. In the case of Regulation of 3.5.0 dealing for appointment of Professors stipulates as under:
3.5.0. A relaxation of 5% may be provided, from 55% to 50% of the marks to the Ph.D. Degree holders, who have obtained their Maste's Degree prior to 19, September 1991.
Therefore, the reading of the Regulations 2010, also shows there is no change in the qualification for appointment of Principal Grade I from earlier Regulations. The 3rd respondent is therefore qualified to hold the post.
10. The challenge to appointment on the ground, that he did not acquire 55% marks in the Masters degree qualification cannot be sustained.
11. It may however be noticed that the learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on the judgment of this court in Dr.S. Arulmani Vs. Government of Tamilnadu & Others. 2006 Writ L.R.390, wherein this court was pleased to lay down as under:
31. The constitution of selection committee is referable to regulation 3.5.0 of the UGC regulations. The very same regulation relating to the constitution of the committee is reproduced in the impugned order. Though the Government order was issued in exercise of power under Article 162 for the purpose of extending the benefit of revision of pay scales, in so far as the qualification for the post of principal and constitution of committee was incorporated in the said order as per the statutory regulations of the UGC. Regulations made under Section 26 of the Act has statutory force. The Apex Court in the judgment reported in University of Delhi vs. Rah Singh and others (A.I.R 1995 SC 336) has held that UHC was the competent authority to prescribe the educational qualifications that are ordinarily required to the post of a Lecturer including the principal and such regulations shall statutory force.
32. So afar as the educational qualification prescribed by regulations framed by UGC, there cannot be any dispute that the college should abide by the minimum qualification while selecting the candidate of the post of principal. In fact, in the impugned order, the eligibility norms notified by the College is in tune with the minimum educational qualifications prescribed in the regulations framed by UGC."
12. The reading of the judgment also does not support the case of the petitioner, but supports the case of the 3rd respondent, as the University is bound by the University Grants Commission Regulations, which have statutory force of law.
13. Regulation of the University Grants Commission reproduced above, show that 3rd respondent was entitled to relaxation of 5% of Marks in Master's degree, as it is not disputed that 3rd respondent secured 52% marks in Master's degree with Ph.D. Degree, therefore was fully qualified to be appointed under regulation.
14. No merits. Dismissed. Connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
20.02.2012 kpr/ar To
1. University of Madras Rep. by its Vice-Chancellor Chepauk, Chennai-600 005
2. Pachaiyappa's College Rep. by its Secretary Chennai