Allahabad High Court dismisses appeal challenging removal of appellant from Lecturer post in Christ Church college
The Allahabad High Court has dismissed an appeal challenging the order passed by a Single Judge dismissing Petition, which was filed by the appellant challenging his removal from a post of Lecturer in Christ Church College, Lucknow, on the ground that the removal was done in violation of Section 16 G (3) of the UP Intermediate Education Act, 1921.
The Division Bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Subhash Vidyarthi passed this order while hearing a special appeal filed by Devesh Verma.
The facts of the case are that the appellant had filed the Writ Petition pleading that he had been duly selected and was appointed as a Lecturer in Physics in the College and he had joined his duties on 07.10.1991. On 31.03.1992, the Principal of the College had lodged a First Information report against the appellant, bearing Case under Sections 504/506 of the Indian Penal Code in Police Station Hazratganj, Lucknow, and the appellant was arrested on 16.07.1992.
The appellant was granted bail on the same day but the Principal of the College did not permit him to resume his duties and said that he would not permit the appellant to resume his duties until he was acquitted of the charges.
Ultimately the appellant was acquitted by means of a judgment dated 24.05.1996, but when he went to join his duties, the Principal of the college told him that another person had been appointed in place of the appellant and the appellant’s services had come to an end automatically with effect from 17.07.1992.
The appellant challenged the oral termination of his services mainly on the ground that before dispensing with his services, no approval required under Section 16 G (3) of the U. P Intermediate Education Act was obtained.
The college filed a counter affidavit pleading that it is a minority institution recognized by the Indian Council for Secondary Education. It is a private institution which does not receive any financial assistance from the State Government and the State Government has no role to play in it. The provisions of the U. P Intermediate Education Act is not applicable to the college.
It was also stated in the counter affidavit that no selection was held for making appointment on the post of Lecturer and the petitioner personally made a request for his engagement and he was orally allowed to work temporarily on his personal request.
The petitioner worked only for about four months and after he misbehaved with the Principal on 31.03.1992, he did not perform his duties even for a single day.
The Single Judge dismissed the Writ Petition as not maintainable, taking into consideration the plea taken in the counter affidavit that the College, Lucknow is a private minority institution recognized by Indian Council of Secondary Education and the writ petition filed against a private minority institution is not maintainable.
R. C Saxena, Advocate, the Counsel for the appellant has submitted that the College is engaged in imparting education to the children, which is a public duty and the writ petition filed against such an institution would be maintainable.
Per contra, Jai Pratap Singh, the counsel representing the college has submitted that the institution in question being a private unaided minority institution, the Single Judge had rightly held that the writ petition is not maintainable.
The Court observed that,
In the case, the college is a private minority institution which does not receive any financial aid from the Government and the grievance raised is against termination of services of a teacher and the prayer made is for restitution of the appellant in service. Therefore, the aforesaid principles laid down in Andi Mukta after specifically highlighting that the petitioners in that case were not challenging the termination of their services and they were not seeking restitution in service, will not apply to the case.
From a reading of the aforesaid judgments, the law as summarized in St Mary’s (Supra) is that the employees of a private educational institution would not have the right to invoke the powers of the High Court conferred by Article 226 in respect of matters relating to service where they are not governed or controlled by the statutory provisions. In light of St John Inter College (Supra), the provisions of Section 16 G (3) of the U. P Intermediate Education Act are not applicable to the teachers employed in private minority institutions. There is no other Statutory provision, which is alleged to have been violated in the instant case.
Therefore, we find ourselves in agreement with the view taken by the Single Judge that the Writ Petition filed by a former teacher against the private unaided minority institution challenging the order of his termination and seeking restitution of his service, is not maintainable.
The Court said that the writ Petition would not be maintainable for one more reason that there are several disputed questions of fact involved in the case. The appellant claims that he had been duly selected and appointed, but he has not filed a copy of the appointment letter or a contract of appointment from which his service conditions may be ascertained. The college has contended neither any advertisement had been issued nor any selection was held and on a personal request made by the appellant, he had been orally engaged to work and after he had worked merely for about 4 months, he misbehaved with the Principal of the college and the Principal had filed a First Information Report against him on 31.03.1992. The appellant did not perform his duties thereafter. Whether or not the appellant was duly selected and appointed, and what were his service conditions, are facts which are in dispute and regarding which no material is available on record. For this reason also, the Writ Petition would not be maintainable.
‘In view of the aforesaid discussion, we find ourselves in agreement with the view taken by the Single Judge that the Writ Petition filed by the appellant was not maintainable and we do not find any reason to interfere in the Judgment of the Single Judge’, the Court further observed while dismissing the appeal.