5 December 2022


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Saraswati Vidya Mandir Ganoja (Devi) and Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors.

MANU/MH/2151/2022

04.07.2022

Education

Total period for which management of educational institution can be taken over cannot exceed five years

The management of the educational institution run by the Petitioner-Society was taken over for a period of two years pursuant to an order passed under Section 3(1) of the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Management) Act, 1976 by the Director of Education on 12th May, 2017. The order passed by the Director of Education was challenged in an appeal preferred by the Society under Section 3(4) of the Act of 1976 and the said appeal has been dismissed. While dismissing that appeal, it has been directed that the appointment of the Administrator for managing the affairs of the educational institution would continue. Being aggrieved, the Petitioner-Society has challenged the said order.

Under Section 3(1) of the Act of 1976 on the Director being satisfied that the management of any educational institution is liable to be taken over on account of its neglect in performing duties imposed upon the management, the same can be done after giving a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the proposed action. The management can be taken over for a limited period not exceeding three years. Where the management of an institution has been taken over for a period of three years, it is open for the Director after forming an opinion that such management should continue to direct continuance of such management for a period not exceeding one year at a time. The total period for which such management can be taken over cannot exceed five years. The order passed by the Director is subject to appeal to the State Government under Section 3(4) of the Act of 1976. The appellate Authority can order restoration of the management or also reduce the period during which the management of the institution shall remain vested in the Administrator.

Section 3(4) of the Act of 1976 does not permit the appellate Authority to further extend the period for which the Administrator has been appointed by the Director, that too in the appeal preferred by the aggrieved Society. In other words, the Society by filing an appeal has been placed in a worse position than it was if it would not have challenged the order passed by the Director. As held in Pradeep Kumar vs. Union of India and others, a party cannot be put in a worse position by availing of legal remedy than it would have been by not availing such remedy. In any event, the order passed by the appellate does not indicate that the Society was put to notice that the appointment of the Administrator was proposed to be extended beyond two years or that the position prevailing after expiry of two years from 2nd November, 2017 was considered by the Director so as to warrant continuation of the Administrator.

Hence, the order passed by the appellate Authority directing continuation of the Administrator beyond the period of two years as directed by the initial order passed by the Director cannot be sustained. It is held that, the Administrator as ordered to be appointed by the Director was only for a period of two years. The order is set aside being illegal. The Respondent no. 3 shall within a period of one week hand over the institution alongwith the property of the institution to the Society in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of the Act of 1976.

Tags : Appointment Administrator Time period

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