No Specific Qualifications Mentioned - SC Directs For Regularization Of Lecturer Teaching In MGKVP For 16 Years
A two-judge Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V. Ramasubramanian has set aside a judgment of Allahabad High Court and held that the appointment of the Appellant as a lecturer of Karm Kand at the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth University was valid.
The Court also held that since no specific qualifications were mentioned in the job advertisement regarding the post of a Lecturer, the appointment of the Appellant had to be regularized.
In this case, the University issued an advertisement inviting applications for appointment to post of Lecturer (Karm Kand) and several other posts. Thereafter, a controversy erupted, when the then Chancellor of the University issued an oral order restraining the Vice Chancellor from convening the meetings of Selection Committees pursuant to the aforesaid advertisement. But the High Court, by an order made it clear that statutory functions performed by the Vice Chancellor cannot be put on hold by oral orders of the Chancellor. Thereafter Chancellor issued a written order. However, the said order was challenged in another writ petition and the same was stayed by the Allahabad High Court, paving the way for the Selection Committees to proceed and certain recommendations were made including that of Dinesh Shukla but the Executive Council disagreed to the same. Later the Chancellor passed an order annulling the recommendations made and appointment of Appellant.
Appellant filed a writ petition before the High Court the writ petition was allowed and the matter was remanded back to the Chancellor because admittedly there was no University in the country awarding a post graduate degree in 'Karm Kand' and that, therefore, there were actually no experts in the subject of 'Karm Kand', as sought to be projected by the Chancellor.
Pursuant to the direction the chancellor passed a further order rejecting the recommendation of the Selection Committee. The said order was again challenged by a fresh writ petition before the Allahabad High Court on the ground that after the order of remand, the Chancellor had consulted a few experts and found that the subject of 'Karm Kand' is altogether different from the subject Sanskrit and that therefore, with the qualifications that the appellant possessed, he could not have been selected for appointment.
The Supreme Court took note of the fact that the Appellant was teaching students undergoing a one-year diploma course in 'Karm Kand' for the past16 years.
The Court held that the Chancellor as well as the High Court ought to have verified (i) whether the Statutes prescribed any specific qualifications necessary for appointment to the post of Lecturer in 'Karm Kand'; and (ii) if not, what should be considered as "relevant subject and by whom."
The Apex Court relied upon Punjab University vs. Narinder Kumar and Others and reiterated that the expression "equivalent qualifications" has a different connotation than the expression "relevant subject".
Further, the Bench held that in the absence of any specific prescription, the University ought to have referred the question of what constitutes relevant subjects.
"The parameters to be applied to a case where an incumbent to a post does not fulfil the qualifications prescribed for a post, are different from the parameters to be applied to a case where no specific qualifications are prescribed for a particular post," the Court opined.
The Court also held that in the case no candidate was available with a post graduate degree in 'Karm Kand' and the Selection Committee which comprised of a representative of the Department of Sanskrit found the appellant to possess a Master's degree in the relevant subject. The appointment itself was to the post in the Department of Sanskrit and valid.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned order of the High Court on the ground that (i) the appellant has been teaching the very same subject for the past nearly 16 years; and (ii) the original Selection Committee which found him eligible for appointment.