Allahabad High Court - Lucknow Bench Judgement

Allahabad High Court - Lucknow Bench Judgement

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JUDGEMENT HEADLINE : ...no Provision Of The Act Or The Statutes...empowers The Chancellor To Appoint An Administrator In Exercise Of The Power Under Section 68........
JUDGEMENT TITLE : Board Of Trustees Of The Shia College & School Thru. Secy. Vs. Chancellor Lucknow University Lucknow & 8 Ors. On 19/08/2014 By Allahabad High Court - Lucknow Bench
CASE NO : MISC. BENCH NO. 7287 OF 2014
CORAM : Hon'ble Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud,Chief Justice And Hon'ble Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya,J.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

Chief Justice's Court A.F.R.

Case :- MISC. BENCH No. - 7287 Of 2014

Petitioner :- Board Of Trustees Of The Shia College & School Thru. Secy.
Respondent :- Chancellor Lucknow University Lucknow & 8 Ors.
Counsel For Petitioner :- Apoorva Tewari
Counsel For Respondent :- C.S.C.,Brijesh Kumar Shukla,Rakesh Bajpai,Shashi Prakash Singh

Hon'ble Dr. Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud,Chief Justice
Hon'ble Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya,J.

The Board Of Trustees Of The Shia College And School And Other Connected Institutions, Lucknow Is A Society Which Is Registered Under The Societies Registration Act, 18601. The Society Was Registered In 1919 And Is Managed In Accordance With Its Registered Bye-laws. The Society Runs And Administers A Postgraduate College, Known As Shia Postgraduate College, Lucknow Which Is Affiliated To The University Of Lucknow. The Society Also Runs And Administers Other Institutions.
The Constitution Of The Society Provides That The Governing Body Shall Be The Board Of Trustees Consisting Of The President, Two Vice Presidents, The Honorary Secretary, The Joint Secretary And Such Number Of Trustees As May Be Determined In The Manner Thereafter Provided.
Clause 4 Of The Constitution Provides As Follows:
"4. (a) The Number Of Trustees Shall Not Be Less Than Seventy And Shall Not Exceed One Hundred. At Least Forty Percent Of The Said Trustees Shall Be Persons Possessing Any Of The Qualifications Mentioned In Section 5 (b) Clause (2), (3) And (4), And At Least Five Of The Trustees Shall Be Shia Mujtahids Or Recognized Shia Ulama-e-din.
(b) Except As Other Wise Hereinafter Provided, A Trustee Shall Hold Office For Five Years, But He Shall Be Eligible For Re-election."
The Qualifications For Election As A Trustee Are Provided In Clause 5 As Follows:
"5. (a) No Person Other Than A Shia Shall Be Elected As A Trustee.
(b) The Persons To Be Elected Shall Belong To One Of The Following Classes:
[1] A Shia Mujtahid Or A Recognised Shia Alim-a-din,
[2] A Graduate Of Any University,
[3] A Barrister Or Vakil,
[4] A Doctor Of Medicine, An Engineer Or An English Diploma-holder Of Any Branch Of Learning, Or Science,
[5] A Diploma Holder Of Any University Or Recognized Institution In Oriental Learning,
[6] A Member Of Governing Body Or Academic Council Or Faculty Or Any Other Constituent Body Or A University,
[7] A Member Of The Provincial Or Central Assembly Or Council,
[8] Any Person Who Has Contributed A Sum Of Ten Thousand Rupees Or More Towards The Shia College Fund, Or Is An Eminent Benefactor Of The College Or Connected Institutions In Any Other Way, Or From Whom Any Appreciable Benefit May Be Expected.
Clause 7 (2) (c) States That The Board Of Trustees Shall Elect A Managing Committee And Other Committees That May Be Necessary From Amongst The Members Of The Board. Clause 32 Of The Constitution Provides That His Excellency The Governor Shall Be The Patron Of The Shia College And Shall Be Entitled To Call For Any Information And Offer An Opinion On Matters Relating To The Administration And Welfare Of The College.
Clause 32 Of The Constitution Provides As Follows:

"His Excellency The Governor Of The United Provinces Shall Be The Patron Of The Shia College, Consistent With The Institution, His Excellency May At Any Time Call For Any Information With The Trustees And Offer Them His Opinion Relating To The Better Administration And Welfare Of The College. It Shall Be The Duty Of The Board Of Trustees To Take His Opinion Into Consideration And To Act In Accordance With It, He So Requires."

Insofar As The Shia College Is Concerned, Clause 14 Of The Constitution Provides That The Executive Administration And Government Shall, Subject To The General Control And Supervision Of The Board Of Trustees, Vest In A Managing Committee Of Twelve Members, Excluding The Ex Officio Members. Under Clause 14 (b), Separate Managing Committees For All The Institutions Shall Be Constituted By The Board Of Trustees From Amongst Its Members And Shall Work Under The General Control Of The Board. Under Clause 15, The Members Of A Managing Committee Are To Hold Office For A Term Of Three Years Or Till The Next Election Is Held.
On 12 November 2009, Elections Took Place To The Board Of Trustees For A Period Of Five Years, I.e. For The Period Until 11 November 2014. On 31 March 2010, The List Of Office Bearers Is Stated To Have Been Filed Before The Registrar Under Section 4 Of The Act Of 1860. On 14 November 2010, An Election Was Held For The Managing Committee Of The Shia Postgraduate College For A Term Of Three Years. The University Approved The Election Which Was Held On 14 November 2010 In Accordance With Its Statutes On 10 February 2011.
Disputes Occurred On Or About 14 October 2011 When The Membership Of Certain Members Of The Board Of Trustees Was Terminated. The Deputy Registrar Passed An Order Holding That The Resolution Dated 14 October 2011 Appeared To Be Invalid. The Deputy Registrar Made A Reference To The Prescribed Authority Under Section 25 Of The Act Of 1860. Subsequently, That Formed A Subject Matter Of A Separate Writ Petition (Writ Petition No. 6597 (M/S) Of 2012), Which Is Pending Consideration.
The Election Of The Managing Committee Of The Shia Postgraduate College Was Held On 20 October 2013 And Approval Of The University Was Sought. On 3 December 2013, The Registrar Of The University Directed That The Minutes Of The Meeting Dated 20 October 2013 Be Kept In Abeyance And While Directing Maintenance Of Status Quo Issued A Further Direction To Hold A Fresh Meeting After Inviting Objections. This Order Of The Registrar Was Challenged In A Writ Petition (Writ Petition No. 8176 (M/S) Of 2013) Which Was Withdrawn.
The Petitioner Made A Reference Under Section 68 Of The U.P. State Universities Act, 19732 Before The Chancellor On 24 April 2014. However, In The Meantime, The Order Passed By The Registrar On 3 December 2013 Was, According To The Petitioner, Complied With And Objections Were Invited To The List Of Membership. On 13 June 2014, An Agenda Was Issued For Convening An Extraordinary General Body Meeting. On 27 June 2014, The Chancellor Was Requested To Stay The Proceedings On The Reference As The Meeting Had Been Convened In Accordance With The Directions Of The Registrar. On 28 June 2014, The Extraordinary Meeting Of The General Body Of The Shia Postgraduate College And Shia Intermediate College Was Held And The Committees Were Stated To Be Have Been Elected. The Results Were Submitted, According To The Petitioner, To The University On 9 July 2014 For Approval. The Chancellor Passed The Impugned Order Dated 24 July 2014 In The Exercise Of Powers Conferred Purportedly By Section 68. The Chancellor Has Directed The Appointment Of A Former Judge Of This Court As An Administrator. The Administrator Has Been Vested With The Powers Of The Board Of Trustees As Well As Of Other Officers With A Further Direction To Compete The Elections To The Board Of Trustees.
The Challenge To The Order Passed By The Chancellor Is Two Fold. Firstly, It Is Submitted That The Chancellor Has No Jurisdiction Under Section 68 Of The Act Of 1973 To Pass An Order Appointing An Administrator. Secondly, It Has Been Submitted That, In Any Event, The Reference Before The Chancellor Which Arose From The Direction Of The Registrar Dated 3 December 2013 Had Been Rendered Infructuous Since, In The Meantime, The Order Of The Registrar Had Been Complied With And Elections Had Been Held.
On The First Limb Of The Submissions, Section 68 Of The Act Of 1973 Would Fall For Consideration.
Section 68 Provides As Follows:
"Reference To The Chancellor.--If Any Question Arises Whether Any Person Has Been Duly Elected Or Appointed As, Or Is Entitled To Be, Member Of Any Authority Or Other Body Of The University, Or Whether Any Decision Of Any Authority Or Officer Of The University (including Any Question As To The Validity Of A Statute, Ordinance Or Regulation, Not Being A Statute Or Ordinance Made Or Approved By The State Government Or By The Chancellor) Is In Conformity With This Act Or The Statutes Or The Ordinance Made Thereunder, The Matter Shall Be Referred To The Chancellor And The Decision Of The Chancellor Thereon Shall Be Final:
Provided That No Reference Under This Section Shall Be Made--
(a) More Than Three Months After The Date When The Question Could Have Been Raised For The First Time;
(b) By Any Person Other Than An Authority Or Officer Of The University Or A Person Aggrieved:
Provided Further That The Chancellor May In Exceptional Circumstances--
(a) Act Suo Motu Or Entertain A Reference After The Expiry Of The Period Mentioned In The Preceding Proviso;
(b) Where The Matter Referred Relates To A Dispute About The Election, And The Eligibility Of The Person So Elected Is In Doubt, Pass Such Orders Of Stay As He Thinks Just And Expedient."

Ex Facie, Section 68 Contemplates A Reference To The Chancellor Where Any Question Arises Whether Any Person Has Been Duly Elected Or Appointed As, Or Is Entitled To Be, A Member Of Any Authority Or Other Body Of The University, Or Whether Any Decision Of Any Authority Or Officer Of The University Including Any Question As To The Validity Of A Statute, Ordinance Or Regulation Is In Conformity With The Act, Statutes Or The Ordinances. The Chancellor Has No Jurisdiction To Direct The Appointment Of An Administrator Under Section 68 In Respect Of The Management Of A Society Registered Under The Act Of 1860. The Chancellor Had No Such Jurisdiction To Appoint An Administrator Under Section 68 Even In Respect Of The Affairs Of An Affiliated College. The Power Of The Chancellor Under Section 68 Is Confined To Those Matters For Which A Reference Is Provided. No Power Is Conferred Under The Statute To The Chancellor Under Section 68 To Appoint An Administrator Nor Is Such A Power Vested In The Chancellor Under Any Other Provisions Of The Act.
We Also Find Merit In The Second Limb Of The Submissions. The Reference Before The Chancellor Arose From A Direction Of The Registrar Of The University Dated 3 December 2013 Which Was Based On An Approval Which Was Sought By The University To The Elections Of The Managing Committee Of The Shia Postgraduate College. The Reference To The Chancellor Was Necessitated In View Of The Direction Of The Registrar To Hold The Resolution Of The Minutes Of The Meeting Dated 20 October 2013 In Abeyance And In Regard To The Direction To Hold A Fresh Meeting For Electing The Managing Committee Of The College. There Was No Reference In The First Place In Respect Of The Constitution Of The Board Of Trustees, Even Assuming Such A Reference Could Be Maintainable. In The Meantime, The Order Of The Registrar Was Complied With And In Fact, A Request Was Made Before The Chancellor To Stay The Proceedings On The Reference And Thereafter For The Withdrawal Of The Reference. The Chancellor Could Have Simply Disposed Of The Reference On The Ground That The Direction Issued By The Registrar Had Been Implemented And The Petitioner, At Whose Behest The Reference Was Made, Was Not Proceeding Ahead With The Reference. Instead, The Chancellor Has Proceeded To Entertain The Reference And Passed An Order For The Appointment Of An Administrator, Vesting In The Administrator All The Powers Of The Board Of Trustees As Well As Of The Other Officers Of The Society And The College. With Great Respect, We Are Unable To Trace A Source Of Power For Sustaining The Impugned Direction Of The Chancellor.
The Governor Under Clause 32 Of The Constitution Of The Society Is Vested With The Power, In His Capacity As The Patron Of The Shia College To Call For Any Information And Offer His Opinion Relating To The Better Administration And Welfare Of The College. Clause 32 Mandates That It Shall Be The Duty Of The Board Of Trustees To Take His Opinion Into Consideration And To Act In Accordance With It, If He So Requires. The Power Which Has Been Exercised In The Present Case Is Not A Power Under Clause 32. Consequently, We May Only Clarify That, At This Stage, We Are Not Expressing Any View On The Ambit Of The Provisions Of Clause 32 And Leave It Open To His Excellency The Governor To Initiate Appropriate Steps, As He May Consider Necessary And Proper For The Better Administration And Welfare Of The College.
Section 10 Of The Act Of 1973 Provides That The Governor Shall Be The Chancellor Of The University And By Virtue Of His Office, Shall Be The Head Of The University And The President Of The Court. Under Sub-section (2) Of Section 10, Every Proposal For The Conferment Of An Honorary Degree Shall Be Subject To The Confirmation Of The Chancellor. Under Sub-section (3) Of Section 10, It Is The Duty Of The Vice-Chancellor To Furnish Such Information Or Records Relating To The Administration Of The Affairs Of The University As The Chancellor May Call For. Sub-section (4) Of Section 10 Provides That The Chancellor Shall Have Such Other Powers As May Be Conferred On Him By Or Under This Act Or By The Statutes.
In The Present Case, No Provision Of The Act Or The Statutes Has Been Drawn To The Attention Of The Court Which Empowers The Chancellor To Appoint An Administrator In Exercise Of The Power Under Section 68 Or Any Other Provision Of The Act.
For These Reasons, We Are Of The View That The Impugned Order Passed By The Chancellor Dated 24 July 2014 Has Travelled Beyond The Jurisdiction Vested In The Chancellor Under Section 68 And Would Have To Be Quashed And Set Aside. The Impugned Order Dated 24 July 2014 Is, Accordingly, Quashed And Set Aside. We, However, Clarify That We Have Left It Open To His Excellency The Governor To Take Such Steps As May Be Necessitated For Ensuring The Better Administration And Welfare Of The College Under Clause 32 Of The Constitution Of The Society.
The Petition Is, Accordingly, Allowed In The Aforesaid Terms. There Shall Be No Order As To Costs.
Order Date :- 19.8.2014
RK (Dr.D.Y.Chandrachud,C.J.)

(D.K.Upadhyaya,J.)







C.M. Impleadment Application No. NIL Of 2014
In Re:
Case :- MISC. BENCH No. - 7287 Of 2014
***
Hon'ble Dr. Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud,Chief Justice
Hon'ble Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya,J.

The Applicant Of The Impleadment Application Since Supports The Petitioner Has Been Heard As An Intervener.
The Impleadment Application Is Allowed. There Shall Be No Order As To Costs.

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