ORDER K. Ramamoorthy, J.
1. The petitioners in the writ petition challenged the appointment of the 3rd respondent as the Vice Principal of Sr. Navyug School, Peshwa Road, New Delhi and the appointment of the 3rd respondent as Principal of the same school. The 3rd respondent was appointed as Vice Principal and the minutes of the meeting of the DPC held on 16.3.1990 would read as under:- /p> "MINUTES OF THE DPC MEETING HELD ON 16.3.90 AT 4-00 P.M. IN THE ROOM OF THE ECRETARY TO SELECT THE CANDIDATE FOR THE POST OF VICE PRINCIPAL, SENIOR NAVYUG SCHOOL, PESHWA OAD.
1. Mrs. Neelam Sharma Chairperson 2. Sh. G.S. Patnaik Secretary 3. Mrs. Rama Murali F.A. 4. Dr. M.C. Mathur E.O.
It was decided that the criteria for selection for the post of Vice Principal, Senior Navyug School, Peshwa Road will be seniority cum - suitability. Therefore, out of the 4 andidates fulfillling the RRs., the senior most candidate Km. Raj Bala is selected or the post of Vice Principal Senior Navyug School,Peshwa Road."
She was promoted as the Principal of the same School by virtue of the decision taken n the DPC held on 29.11.1990. The minutes of the DPC held on 29.11.1990 would read as under :-
MINUTES OF THE DPC MEETING HELD ON 29.11.90 AT 10-00 A.M. IN THE ROOM OF ADMINISTRATOR TO SELECT THE CANDIDATES FOR THE POST OF PRINCIPAL, SENIOR NAVYUG SCHOOL, PESHWA ROAD.
1. Sh. Subhash Sharma Administrator (Chairman) 2. Sh. R.L. Srivastava Secretary 3. Smt. Rama Murali F.A. 4. Dr. M.C. Mathur E.O. 5. Sh. Prem Singh DEO, SC/ST Representative 6. Smt. Promila Bhandari OfficerI/C Navyug School
Service records of all the HMs/Vice Principal of Navyug Schools were placed before the DPC. The post of Principal is in the grade of Rs.3000-4500. Normally, promotion is given in the next grade. DPC, therefore, considered the service records including administrative experience of persons working in the scale of Rs.2000-3500 only. Miss Raj Bala, Vice Principal, Navyug School, working in the scale of Rs.2000-3500. H/Ms of Navyug Schools are in the grade of Rs.1640-2900.
After considering the service records, DPC recommends that Miss Raj Bala be selected for the post of Principal, Navyug School in the scale of Rs.3000-4500."
Representation was made by the second petitioner in the writ petition and also by the Association of Teachers about the appointment of the 3rd respondent as the Vice Principal and the Principal violating the recruitment rules. At the time of the consideration by the DPC of the candidates for the post of Vice Principal the qualifications of the 3rd respondent were:-
STATEMENT SHOWING THE PARTICULARS OF H/M JUNIOR NAVYUG SCHOOL AND TEACHERS OF SENIOR NAVYUG SCHOOL WHO APPLIED FOR THE POST OF VICE PRINCIPAL SENIOR NAVYUG SCHOOL, PESHWA ROAD.
Name/date Present School Qualifications of birth Designation/ Grade. Miss Raj Bala Headmistress B.A. IIIrd Div. 10.8.40 Jr.Navyug School from Delhi University. Peshwa Road Scale : M.A. (Eco) IIIrd div. 1640-2900 from Meerut University. B.Ed. IInd Div. from Punjab Uni. The second petitioner possessed the following qualifications :- Mrs.Leela Sr. Teacher in B.A.(Hons)Eng.IInd Prasad Navyug School Divs. from Patna Uni. 10.8.40 Sarojni Nagar Scale : M.A. (Eng.) IInd 2000-3500 Div. from Patna Uni. B.Ed. Ist Div. IIIrd in Merit List from Patna Uni. M.Ed. Certificate of attendance Bwansea Uni. Swansea South Wales (UK)
The qualifications prescribed for the post of Principal are as follows:-
RECRUITMENT RULES FOR THE POSTS OF PRINCIPAL, VICE PRINCIPAL ETC. in the following Directorate of Education, Delhi Administration, Delhi.
Name of post No. of Qualific- Scale of pay Whether posts ations Selection post or non-selec- tion. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. Principal General Rs.1100-50-1600 Selection Govt. Hr.Sec. Central Schools Service - Male Group 'A' - Female Gazetted i) Vice-Prin- General Rs.650-30-710-35 Selection cipal-III Central 810 EB-40-1080 Hr.Sec.Schools Service EB -40-1200 - Male Group 'B' - Female Gazetted ii) Vice-Pri- ncipal Teachers Training Institute for Male Candidate - one post. iii) Headmaster Govt. Adult (Training) Posts for male candidates-9 posts. Note: Male or female candidates will be considered for apptt. to the posts meant for such candidates only. 6. 7. 8. 9. Age limit for ESSENTIAL Whether age and Period direct recruits. qualification of pro- educational bation prescribed for if any direct rectts will apply in the case of promotion. Not exceeding At least second class No 2 years 45 years (Rel- Master's Degree from a axable for recognised University Govt.Servants) or equivalent. Note: The crucial ii)Degree in teaching/ date determining Education from a the age limit shall Recognised University be the closing or equivalent. date for receipt of applications iii) 10 years's experience from candidates of teaching in a High (other than those or Hr. Sec. School or in Andaman & Ni- an Intermediate College. cobar Islandsand (Qualifications relaxable Lakahadweep) at the discretion of the Union Public Service Commission in case of candidates otherwise well qualified; in particular the qualification regarding experience is relaxable in case candidates belong to SC/ST for the Post reserved to them). DESIRABLE i) Experience in Administrative charge of a recognised high/Higher Sec. School/Intermediate College. ii) Doctrate degree. iii) Public school experience. Method of rectt. in case of rectt If D.P.C. Circumstances whether by direct by promotion/dep- exists what in UPSC is to rectt. or by dep- tation/ transfer is its making ution/transfer & & grades from composition recruit- percentage of the which promotion/ ment vacancies to be depution transfer filed by various to be made. methods. 10. 11. 12. 13. 50% by promotion 1. PROMOTION Group 'A' DPC Selection on failing which by i)Vice-Principal, i)Chairman/ each occasion direct recruitment Govt. Hr.Sec. Member of shall be made 50% by Direct School. the UPSC in consultation recruitment. with the UPSC ii)Vice-Principal, ii)Chairman, Teachers Training Chief Sec. Institute. Administ- ration. iii)Head Master, iii) Member. Govt. Adult Secretary (Evening) Schools. concerned with 5 years regular in the Admn. service in the respective grade. II. Foiling (1) iv) Member above 10 yrs. Head of Dept. combined regular concerned unless service in posts he is ex-officio in Group 'A'and Sect. in the Group 'B' below:- Administration i) Vice-Principal, Member. Govt.Hr. Sec. School. ii) Vice-Principal, Teachers Training Inst. iii)Head Master Adult Govt. (Evening) School. iv) Post-Graduate Teachers (Special cadre) and Head Master (Middle Schools). v) Post-Graduate Teacher (Admn. Cadre) vi) Asstt. Special Education Officer. vii) Asstt. District Inspector of Schools. Failing (1) and (II) above i) Post Graduate Teachers (Special cadre) & Head Masters, Middle Schools. ii) Post Graduate Teachers (Admn. Cadre). iii)Asstt. District Inspector of Schools. iv) Assistant Social Education Officer. with 10 years regular service in the respective grades. NOTE: The promotion quota for promotion to the post of Principal etc. from Post-Graduate teachers(spl. cadre) and Head Masters, Middle Schools vis-a-vis Post Graduate Teachers (Admn. Cadre) will be fixed proportionately as calculated on the last day of the last academic session. by promotion Promotion: Group 'B' D.P.C. Consultation 1.a) Post Graduate (The seniormost with UPSC not Teachers officer will necessary unless (Special cadre) preside over the it is intended DPC & remaining to relax, at any b) Post-Graduate will be members) time the provi- Teachers sion of recruit- (Admn.Cadre) i) Fin.(Secy) ment rules. Delhi Admn.Delhi. 2. Head Masters ii) Administrative Middle Schools Secy. 3. Assistant District or labour commissioner Inspector of Schools or both. 4. Asstt. Social iii) Joint Director Education Officers Transport, Delhi. with 5 years regular service in the respective iv) Deputy Secy grade and hold (Services) Master's of a recognised University Delhi Admn., Delhi. or equivalent.
NOTE: The promotion quota for promotion to the post of Vice Principal etc. from Post-Graduate teachers(spl. cadre) and Head Masters, Middle Schools vis-a-vis Post Graduate Teachers (Admn. Cadre) will be fixed proportionately as calculated on the last day of the last academic session.
NOTE: 1. The age limit for direct recruitment will be relaxable in case of scheduled castes/Tribes Candidates and other special categories of persons in accordance with the General orders issued from time to time by the Central Govt.
2. Nothing in there shall effect reservations and other concessions required to be provided for SC/ST and other special categories of persons in accordance with the orders issued by the Central Govt. from time to time in this regard.
3. No male candidate who has more than one wife living or no female candidate which has married person already having a wife living shall be eligible for apptt. in case of direct recruitment provided that the Administrator, Delhi may after he has satisfied that there are special ground for doing so exempt any such candidate from the operation of this rule.
4. The crucial date for determining the age limit mentioned in column 6 of the recruitment rule will in each case, be the closing date for receipt of application from candidate in India (other than Andaman, Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep) in respect of posts the appointment to which are made through the employment exchange, the crucial date for determining the age limit will in each case, be the last date to which the Employment Exchange are asked to submit the names."
The qualifications for the post of Vice-Principal are as follows :-
Recruitment Rules for the post of Vice Principal Senior Navyug School, Peshwa Road, New Delhi.
Name of Scale of pay Qualifi- Age Whether Selection Post cations selec- Board tion or non- selection 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Vice-Pri Rs.2000-60- Essential Not exce- Selec- As cons- ncipal 2300-EB-75- i) Good eding 45 tion tituted Senior 3200-100- 2nd class yrs. on by the Navyug 3500 master's the last Adminis- School, degree from date of trator, Peshwa recognised receipt of New Delhi Road, University. applications Municipal New Delhi ii)Degree in (Relaxable to Committee from recogni- departmental sed teaching/ candidates). Edn.University. iii) 10 years teaching experience in a public/ progressive School including 5 years of Secondary classes. Desirable 1. Publication of matter relating to Educational thought. 2. Well versed with cultural and sports activities. (Qualifications relaxable for departmental candidates at the discretion of the Committee).
On 12.12.1989 a circular was issued by the NDMC inviting applications for the post of Vice Principal. The circular reads as under :-
"The Governing Body of Senior Navyug Schools is going to appoint one Vice-Principal in Senior Navyug School, Peshwa Road in the scale of Rs.2200-4000. The required essential qualifications are as under:-
i) Master's degree from recognised University.
ii) Degree in teaching/education from recognised University.
iii) 10 years' teaching experience in a public/progressive School.
i) Well versed with cultural and sports activities.
ii) Sufficient Administrative experience in supervisory capacity in Progressive/Public School.
All the H/Mrs of Junior Navyug Schools and the teachers working in Senior Navyug Schools in the scale of Rs.1640-2000/2000-3500 fulfillling the above qualifications may submit their application giving complete bio-data latest by 21.12.1989 to the Principal. No request will be entertained after this date."
As I had noticed above, the DPC held the meeting on 16.3.1990 changing the mode of selection. The 3rd respondent was selected. Appointment of Vice Principal was made in May 1990.
2. On 27.11.1990 the Committee is stated to have taken a decision by which the post of Vice Principal was upgraded as Principal. That decision reads as under :-
"NDMC is running five Navyug Schools i.e. Navyug School, Sarojini Nagar, Navyug School Peshwa Road as Senior Schools and three Junior Navyug Schools namely Junior Navyug School Laxmibai Nagar, Junior Navyug School Lodhi Road and Junior Navyug School Moti Bagh for importing quality education to the children of weaker section of society.
From the year 1990-91, these Jr. Navyug Schools have been upgraded upto Middle standard by introducing Class VI. The HMs working in these schools are in pay scale of Rs.1640-2900. The selected teachers will be also appointed in the same pay scale of Rs.1640-2900 for the middle classes in these schools. Therefore, in order to maintain a difference between the HM and the teachers is proposed to grant a special pay of Rs.250/- p.m. in addition to the usual pay sale in view of their administrative responsibilities. It is also proposed that the work'Junior' may be deleted from the name of those Schools as these have been upgraded to the middle standard.
Navyug School Peshwa Road was upgraded to middle standard in 1988 and from 1989-90, class IXth was started in this school. In the next session i.e. 91-92 class XI will also be aided and there is need for Principal for the School with immediate effect as the existing Vice Principal (Proposed to be upgraded to Principals) has additionally also to look after the primary sections, which is not the case with Principals of Sr. Secondary Schools.
The RRs existing for appointment of Principal Sr. Navyug School shows that it is a selection post to be filled in by direct recruitment. It is, however, felt that this will create a sort of frustration among the HMs and Vice Principals of Navyug School as there will not be any chance of promotion to them. Keeping in view of the RRs of Principal, Sr. Secondary Schools in Delhi Admn. it is now proposed to modify the existing RRs to make it as 50% by direct recruitment and 50% by promotion and also give relaxation interms of age and qualification to the departmental candidiates.
It is, accordingly proposed to upgraded the post of Vice Principal in the Peshwa Road School to that of Principal in the scale of Rs.3000-4500 and fill up the same by departmental candidate as the post of principal at Sarojini Nagar has already been filled by direct recruitment. Needless to mention that the pay scale of Principal Navyug School is Rs.3750-5000. But the upgraded post of Principal at Navyug,Peshwa and will be presently operated in the pay scale of Rs.3000-4500 so as to keep the financial implications at the minimum. The post of Vice-Principal will also not be operated. The post of Principal, Navyug Peshwa Road will be automatically operated in the normal pay scale of Rs.3750-5000 the moment class XII also comes up there.
The case has been seen by the Finance and the Administrator.
The matter is laid before the Committee of Officers for consideration and decision.
COMMITTEE'S DECISION Resolved by the Committee that the proposals contained in the preamble are a roved. Action be taken in anticipation or confirmation of the minutes."
On 29.11.1990 the DPC is stated to have met and considered the case of the 3rd respondent and the minutes of the meeting has already been extracted above. On 4.12.1990 Office Order was issued by the NDMC appointing the 3rd respondent as the Principal. It reads as under :-
"Miss Raj Bala, Vice Principal, Sr. Navyug School, Peshwa Road, has been selected as Principal, Sr. Navyug School, Peshwa Road, vide Committee's Resolution No. 34 dated 4.12.90 and is hereby promoted and posted as Principal in the same school with immediate effect in the scale of Rs.3,000/-, Rs.4,500/- plus usual allowances. The probation period will be of one year from the ate of joining.
Joining report be sent to this Office."
3. The learned counsel for the petitioners Mr.Sinha submitted that the appointment of the 3rd respondent was contrary to the Recruitment Rules and, therefore, NDMC had no authority to appoint her as Vice Principal and Principal and the 3rd respondent has no right to hold the post and, therefore, the petitioners pray for issuance of writ of quo-warranto.
4. Mr. Sushil Salwan, the learned counsel for respondents 1 and 2, contended that the 3rd respondent had done a lot of service to the cause of Navyug School and in particular, the School in Peshwa Road and having regard to her rich experience she was appointed as the Vice Principal and when the post was upgraded she was appointed as the Principal. Respondents 1 and 2 had acted in accordance with law. The petitioners are guilty of latches in approaching this Court in 1994 while the appointments had been made in 1990. The learned counsel submitted that on 17.11.1993 the Sanskrit Teacher issued a note to the second petitioner complaining about the child of the second petitioner and that had given rise to sunderstanding between the 2nd petitioner and the 3rd respondent and that is the genesis of the filing of the writ petition. Respondents 1 and 2 did not file any document along with the reply filed by them. The 3rd respondent filed separate counter and she had filed Annexures R-1 to R-19. Mr. S.R. Yadav, the learned counsel for respondent No. 3, submitted that the petitioners have no locus standi to challenge the appointment of the 3rd respondent. The 3rd respondent had been appointed by the NDMC taking into account her rich experience in the field of education and the meritorious services rendered by her and as per the advertisement issued on 12.12.1989 the 3rd respondent was fully qualified to be considered for the post of Vice Principal and, therefore, the petitioners cannot seek to unseat the 3rd respondent by the issuance of writ of quo warranto.
5. In the light of these facts two principal questions arise for consideration. First is whether the selection of the 3rd respondent as the Vice Principal on 16.3.1990 was in accordance with law, (2) whether the selection of the 3rd respondent on 29.11.1990 as the rincipal upgrading the post of Vice Principal is in accordance with law.
6. Shorn of all other details which have come on record we can start rom the circular issued by the NDMC on 12.12.1989. When the qualifications prescribed for the post of Vice Principal were in force the NDMC had no authority to reduce the qualifications for the purpose of appointing the 3rd respondent as the Vice Principal was the argument of the learned counsel Mr. A.K. Sinha on behalf of the petitioners. The answer given by Mr. Sushil Salwan on behalf of the respondents 1 and 2 was that the NDMC had power to prescribe qualifications and, therefore, in issuing the circular on 12.12.1989 the NDMC had acted within its powers and what was done pursuant to the circular was done in accordance with the power conferred on the NDMC.
7. When Recruitment Rules are prescribed and the NDMC had been following the same the NDMC had no authority at all to prescribe or reduce the qualification prescribed by the Delhi Administration. I am quite unable to accept the submissions of Mr.Salwan that NDMC had the power to reduce the qualification. It was not disputed before me that if the circular dated 12.12.1989 was ignored the 3rd respondent would not satisfy the requirements of the qualifications prescribed in the Recruitment Rules. Respondents 1 and 2 had admitted in the counter that "however it is stated that the Recruitment Rules as prescribed in case of Senior Secondary Schools by State Government/Administration are applicable. When this is the position, the appointment of the 3rd respondent as the Vice Principal cannot at all be sustained.
8. With reference to the appointment of 3rd respondent as the Principal while upgrading the post of Vice Principal, Mr. Sushil Salwan, the learned counsel for respondents 1 and 2, sought to sustain the action by submitting that on 27.11.1990 the NDMC had decided to upgrade the post and NDMC had decided to appoint the 3rd respondent, she being the only person fit to be appointed having regard to her experience. In the counter filed by respondents 1 and 2, it is stated :
"the Committee vide its Resolution No. 13 dated 8th November, 1988 declared the Peshwa Road Navyug School as a composite School upto Secondary level. Subsequently, vide Resolution No. 29 dated 27th November, 1990 the school was considered for being upgraded to the Senior Secondary level with consequential action on the administration and academic side. The D.P.C. as per rules, after taking into consideration the records of various Head Mistresses, Vice-Principals of Navyug Schools and Respondent No. 3 recommended the said respondent for the post of Principal of the said school. On the recommendation of the D.P.C. for filling the post by departmental promotion of an internal candidate, there was no need or occasion to advertise the said post."
The third respondent in her counter would state:-
"it is denied that there was no advertisement etc. In fact, the said post was advertised and a copy of the advertisement is annexed and marked as annexure R-8."
It is absolutely a misstatement of facts. R-8 filed by her is as under:-
"Accounts Assistant 3 posts Qualifications B.Com. with 1-2 years experience of Higher Secondary with 3-4 years experience. 3 General Assistant 1 post. Qualifications Science Graduate with 1- 2 years experience. 4. Assistant Sales Executive: 1 post Location of Service: Faridabad. Please apply within 10 days giving full details of qualifications, experience and minimum salary acceptable to :
M/s. Skytons Electrical (India), 43, Industrial Area, Faridabad-121001.
N.D.M.C. Navyug School 1 Avenue Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi-110023.
Applications are invited for the following posts:-
1. Headmaster/Headmistress for primary School. Pay scale Rs.550-900.
2. Teachers to teach, English, Mathematics, Hindi, Sanskrit, General Science, Social Studies, pay scale Rs.440-750.
3. Music Teacher, pay scale Rs.330-560.
4. Junior clerk pay scale Rs.260-400.
No. 1 Trained Post Graduate with good command over English and Hindi should be well conversant with co-curricular activities and should have some administrative experience preferably of English medium schools.
No. 2 Trained graduates of age less than 30 years with good command of both English and Hindi.
No. 3 Preferably with Gharana training one M.A.
No. 4 Graduate with knowledge of English and English typewriting speed of 45 w.p.m.
Allowance as per NDMC rules.
Apply to Principal latest by 31st July, 1980 giving full details alongwith copies of testimonials.
SITUATION WANTED This was for different posts and this advertisement was made in 1980. Therefore, the 3rd respondent has projected totally a different picture for the purpose of her case. In paragraph 4 of the writ petition, the specific point taken is:-
"That hardly within six months after respondent No. 3 became the Vice Principal, her post of Vice Principal was upgraded along with the incumbent to the post of Principal. Again there was no open advertisement, no interview. The age requirement is relaxed, the qualification requirement is relaxed, the teaching experience mandatorily required is completely given a go bye. All rules and norms for the public appointment are thrown into winds. It is all the more shocking to note that Ms Raj Bala, the respondent No. 3 is not even qualified to be appointed to the bottom most post of Assistant Teacher. To be appointed as an Assistant Teacher in Navyug School she is not eligible as she does not have a second class graduation. She is only a 3rd class graduate with B.Ed. However, if it is borne in mind that she is a post graduate in 3rd class in Economics, the absence of second class graduation could be overlooked. However, the requirement for being appointed as a T.G.T. the next higher post cannot be met by the respondent No. 3 as a second class post graduation with B.Ed. for being appointed as a T.G.T. is an essential qualification in Navyug School in addition o teaching experience. After T.G.T. comes the rank of P.G.T. for which high second class Master's degree is a must. Now, the same has been made a first class Master's degree in Navyug Schools. Therefore, she could not have been appointed either as a P.G.T. or T.G.T. in any of the Government Schools in Delhi let aside the Navyug Schools. An ingenious method has been invented for the purpose of appointing and elevating respondent No. 3 as Vice Principal and thereafter as Principal which smacks of favouritism of a very high order and an act of high-handedness hitherto unknown in the history of Navyug Schools. For the purpose of appointment to the post of Vice Principal, the recruitment rules insisted upon a good second class Master's degree with 10 years teaching experience out of which 5 years should be in secondary classes. These rules contained a clause of relaxation for departmental candidates. Invoking this power to relax solely for the purpose of accommodating respondent No. 3 the rigours of all qualifications were modified and a Master's degree plus degree in teaching plus 10 years experience in a public progressive school was laid down, in place of good II class Maser's degree, degree in teaching and 10 years teaching experience out of which at least five years must be for secondary classes. It is rather interesting to note that Respondent No. 3 had only 3rd class Master's degree. Therefore, good second class Master's degree was given a go bye and a simple Master's degree was brought in. The teaching experience of 10 years out of which 5 years was insisted upon for the secondary classes was modified and it was made simple 10 years teaching experience as Ms Raj Bala did not have even a single year's teaching experience either in secondary class or in senior schools."
9. Therefore, the 3rd respondent has made an attempt to show as if there was an ertisement by the NDMC before the appointment was made for the post of Principal in November 1990.
10. Therefore, the appointment of the 3rd respondent as the Principal on the premise of upgradation was without any authority of law and the 3rd respondent has no right to continue in the post. The scope of the power of this Court to issue writ of quo warranto has been considered by a Division Bench of this Court in Hira Lal Sharma Vs. M.C.D., , and in Common Cause and another Vs. Union of India & Others, 62(196) D.L.T. 55 and in Common Cause & another Vs. Union of India & Others, 61(1996) D.L.T. 507 (DB). The position is well settled and I need not dwell at length. The appointment of 3rd respondent was contrary to the recruitment rules and, therefore, the 3rd respondent is not entitled to hold the post of Principal and she cannot hold the post of Vice Principal also.
11. Accordingly, the writ petition stands allowed. A writ of quo warranto shall issue and the 3rd respondent is deemed to have vacated the office immediately and respondents 1 and 2 are directed to hold the DPC to consider all candidates within the zone of consideration and make appointments for the posts of Vice Principal and Principal on or before 31.5.1999. There shall be no order as to costs.