4 August 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Lal Bahadur Gautam Vs. State of U.P. and Ors.

MANU/SC/0755/2019

08.05.2019

Service

Termination shall not take effect unless approved by Vice-Chancellor

In facts of present case, the Appellant, a lecturer in a private unaided college affiliated to the Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCS University), Meerut under the Uttar Pradesh State Universities Act, 1973 assails his termination as being contrary to the provisions of the Act. Learned Counsel for the Appellant submits that the termination was in violation of Section 35(2) of the Act as no prior approval had been taken.

The High Court held that, merely because of affiliation to the CCS University, the writ petition was not maintainable against a private unaided college. The order is cryptic, non-speaking and devoid of any consideration of the statutory provisions of the Act. The effect and consequences of the order of the Vice-Chancellor has also not been considered.

The Respondent College terminated the services of the Appellant by a non-speaking order with immediate effect. The Appellant approached the Vice-Chancellor who after hearing the college, held that prior approval not having been obtained under Section 35(2) of the Act read with Rule No. 16.06 of the University Regulations, the termination was bad and set it aside. But, because there were serious allegations of financial misappropriation, liberty was granted to the management to hold departmental proceedings. The management accepted the order and initiated departmental proceedings culminating in a fresh order of termination. The fresh order of termination was again in violation of the provisions of the Act and the Regulations of the CCS University.

Section 35(2) of the Act provides that, every teacher in an affiliated or associated college (other than a college maintained exclusively by the State Government) shall be appointed under a written contract which shall contain such terms and conditions as may be prescribed. The contract shall be lodged with the University and a copy thereof shall be given to the teacher concerned, and another copy thereof shall be retained by the college concerned. Every decision of the Management of such college to dismiss or remove a teacher or to reduce him in rank or to punish him in any other manner shall before it is communicated to him, be reported to the Vice-Chancellor and shall not take effect unless it has been approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

The College being affiliated to the University was bound by the provisions of the Act with its attendant consequences for noncompliance. The college having accepted the order of the Vice-Chancellor and acted upon the same by holding departmental proceedings cannot urge that, it is bound by one part of the order and not the other. It cannot have the benefit of the order without complying with its obligations under the order.

A bare reading of the statutory provision makes it manifest that, prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor was mandatory before termination of the Appellant. The order of termination dated 24.04.2017 being in teeth of Section 35(2) of the Act is patently unsustainable.

The termination is in teeth of the provisions of the Act, it is set aside. The Appellant is held entitled to reinstatement. The Respondent management is not precluded from proceeding afresh in accordance with law from the stage of irregularity. The appeal stands disposed of.

Tags : Termination Prior approval Vice-chancellor

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