(Prayer:Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Mandamus, forbearing the respondents herein from in any manner filling up the vacancy to the post of Professor in Folklore, Folklore Department of respondent University with any candidate having no qualification of Folklore contrary to the notification advertised by the 1st respondent on 11.11.2017 in the Tamil Newspaper Dhinathanthi and consequently, directing the respondents herein the consider the petitioner for appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore, Folklore Department, Tamil university, Thanjavur, 1st respondent, on merit as per the qualification prescribed in the advertisement dated 11.11.2017,within a reasonable time as may be fixed by this Court.)
The prayer sought for in the Writ Petition is for a Writ of Mandamus, forbearing the respondents herein, from in any manner filling up the vacancy to the post of Professor in Folklore, Folklore Department of the respondent University, with any candidate having no qualification of Folklore, contrary to the notification advertised by the 1st respondent on 11.11.2017 in the Tamil Newspaper Dhinathanthi and consequently, to issue a direction to the respondents herein, the consider the petitioner for appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore, Folklore Department, Tamil University, Thanjavur, on merits as per the qualification prescribed in the advertisement dated 11.11.2017, within a reasonable time, as may be fixed by this Court.
2. Heard Mr.K.Appadurai, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and Mr.B.Vijay Karthikeyan, learned standing counsel appearing for the respondents 1 and 2 and Mr.S.K.Mani, learned counsel appearing for the third respondent.
3. The facts which are required to be noticed for the disposal of this Writ Petition, are as follows:-
3.1. The petitioner has been working as Assistant Professor, Tamil Department, Mannar Saraboji Government College, Thanjavur. The petitioner claimed that, he has completed all his educational qualifications in the Tamil medium only. The petitioner has completed the qualification in M.A., (Tamil), Diploma in Folklore, M.Phil., (Folklore), Ph.D., (Folklore), SLET, NET (Tamil) and NET(Folklore), pertaining to Folklore Department.
4. Originally, the petitioner was working as Guest Lecturer from the year 2004 in Government Arts College, Kumbakonam and subsequently, in the year 2009, the petitioner was selected by the Teachers Recruitment Board and appointed as Assistant Professor in Tamil Department at Mannar Saraboji Government College, Thanjavur and has been continuously working in the said post till date for the past nearly about ten years.
5. During his career, the petitioner has been awarded with distinguished awards like 'Kalai Valarmani' and also, he is the recipient of various awards from Sangam, Societies and public organisations. The petitioner had so far released 20 Audio Cassettes of Tamil Folk songs and also has a research experience of twenty years, excluding the period, he spent in doing M.Phil.,/Ph.D. The field of specialisation of the petitioner is Folklore alone. While that being so, the respondent University issued a paper advertisement on 11.11.2017 in the Tamil Daily, 'Dinathanthi', inviting applications from eligible candidates to fill up various teaching posts at the respondent University, like Assistant Professors & Professors. One of the Department, for which, applications were invited by the University through this advertisement was Folklore Department ('TAMIL'). For the said Folklore Department, application was invited to fill up one post of Professor and one post of Assistant Professor.
6. As per the qualifications prescribed by the respondent University under the University Grants Commission(UGC) Regulations, since the petitioner is having all those qualifications prescribed in this regard, for consideration of appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department at the respondent University, in response to the said notification issued on 11.11.2017, the petitioner had applied to the post of Professor (Folklore Department).
7. Pursuant to the application made by the petitioner along with the necessary educational qualifications and credentials, the application of the petitioner with all other credentials were scrutinised by the respondent University and thereafter, the petitioner received a call letter dated 28.12.2017 for interview to be conducted on 09.01.2018 at 12:00 p.m. at the respondent University.
8. Pursuant to the said call letter dated 28.12.2017 issued by the respondent University, the petitioner, with all his certificates required therein, appeared before the Interview Committee and performed well in the interview. After having completed the interview, the petitioner has been under the impression that he is having the maximum qualification among the candidates, who had been called for the interview and since, he performed well in the interview, he was under the expectation that he would be considered for selection and appointment for the said post of Professor in Folklore Department of the respondent University. However, the petitioner, after some time, came to know that, the respondent University, instead of selecting the petitioner, was trying to select one R.Kamarasu (who has been later impleaded as the party respondent (i.e.,) R3 in this writ petition) and therefore, the petitioner has filed this writ petition on the allegation that, since the said Kamarasu, the third respondent herein, did not have the necessary qualification for consideration of appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department, the move on the part of the respondent University to select him and appoint him as Professor, in that regard, was against the UGC Regulations, as well as the qualifications prescribed by the respondent University and therefore, on that scope, the petitioner has filed this Writ Petition.
9. This Court, at the admission stage, on 20.02.2018, has granted an interim order of injunction restraining the respondent University from filling up the post of Professor in Folklore Department, pursuant to the notification / selection. After notice, the respondent University entered appearance before this Court through its standing counsel. Also, the third respondent has filed his counter affidavit and a Vacate Stay Petition in W.M.P.(MD) No.9791 of 2018.
10. In the counter affidavit filed by the third respondent, he has stated that he is having the qualification of B.(Lit.,) B.(Ed.,) M.A., (Tamil) and also he is having the qualification of SLET and M.A(Meiyiyal) and Ph.D., in Lexicography ('TAMIL'). The third respondent has further stated that, apart from these academic qualifications, he is having other additional qualifications as per the UGC norms and therefore, in that capacity, he has also applied to the respondent University for the post of Professor in Folklore Department and pursuant to the said application, the third respondent has also been called for interview and he claimed that, he has also performed well in the interview.
11. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has raised a ground that, the third respondent did not have the minimum qualification, as prescribed under the UGC Regulations, that, the person to become a Professor must have a Ph.D., qualification in the concerned subject and since the third respondent did not have that qualification, as he is having the qualification of Ph.D., only in Lexicography, he cannot be a suitable candidate for selection and appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department.
12. The learned standing counsel appearing for the respondent University submitted that, all the applications were initially verified and scrutinised by the Scrutiny Committee and based on that, decision was taken by the Scrutiny Committee and those, who were eligible to be called for the interview alone, were called for the interview, which means, those, who had been called for the interview, have fulfilled the basic minimum qualification required for consideration for appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department.
13. The learned standing counsel appearing for the respondent University further submitted that, pursuant to the interview conducted by the Interview and Selection Committee, the report of the Selection Committee had been placed before the Syndicate and the Syndicate also had taken some decision. However, since an interim order of injunction has been granted by this Court, as referred to above, the selection result has not been disclosed.
14. Having heard the learned standing counsel at that stage (i.e.,) during the last hearing on 27.06.2018, this Court directed the respondent University to produce the relevant file of the Selection Committee in a sealed cover by passing the following order:
'It was submitted by the learned counsel appearing for the University that, the report of the Selection Committee, who interviewed the candidates including the petitioner as well as the third respondent, has reportedly been submitted to the University for its consideration. However, since this Writ Petition, in the meanwhile, has been filed, where, interim order was granted by this Court, the report has not been acted upon and it has been kept pending.
2. In view of the above, the report of the Selection Committee submitted to the University Syndicate shall be filed before this Court in a sealed cover on 05.07.2018.'
15. Pursuant to the said directions issued by this Court, today, Mr.Muthukumar, Registrar of the respondent University, has produced the relevant file of the Committee in a sealed cover before this Court.
16. The main ground raised by the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner is that, the petitioner is having the Ph.D., qualification in the concerned subject viz., Folklore, whereas, the third respondent is having, admittedly, the Ph.D., qualification only in Lexicography, since the UGC Regulations prescribes that, only those who are having Ph.D., qualification in the concerned subject alone shall be considered for appointment to the post of Professor, since the third respondent, admittedly does not have such qualification, he cannot be selected. The learned counsel would also submit that, since the petitioner is the only qualified candidate with all necessary qualifications, he alone can be considered and selected for the post of Professor in Folklore Department.
17. In support of his contentions, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has relied upon the UGC Regulations, 2010, dated 28.06.2010. (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and other Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, Regulations 2010), hereinafter, referred to as 'UGC Regulations'.
18. Learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon the Regulation 4.0.0 under the heading, 'Direct Recruitment', wherein, 4.1.0, the qualification required for Professor has been given, which reads thus:
'4.0.0. DIRECT RECRUITMENT
A. (i) An eminent scholar with Ph.D. qualification(s) in the concerned/allied/relevant discipline and published work of high quality, actively engaged in research with evidence of published work with a minimum of 10 publications as books and/or research/policy papers.
(ii) A minimum of ten years of teaching experience in university/college, and/or experience in research at the University/National level institutions/industries, including experience of guiding candidates for research at doctoral level.
(iii) Contribution to educational innovation, design of new curricula and courses, and technology – mediated teaching learning process.
(iv) A minimum score as stipulated in the Academic Performance Indicator (API) based Performance Based Appraisal System (PBAS), set out in this Regulation in Tables I to IX of Appendix III
B. An outstanding professional, with established reputation in the relevant field, who has made significant contributions to the knowledge in the concerned/allied/relevant discipline, to be substantiated by credentials.'
19. By relying upon these Regulations, the learned counsel would submit that, the words 'an eminent scholar with Ph.D., qualification in the concerned /allied/relevant discipline' shall be relevant for the purpose of this case. In this regard, he would submit that, if a person having Ph.D., qualification in the concerned subject is available, he should be given preference and if no person with the concerned subject is available, then only, those who are having Ph.D., qualification in allied or relevant subject can be considered.
20. By making this submission, the learned counsel for the petitioner would further contend that, admittedly, the petitioner is having Ph.D., qualification in Folklore subject, whereas, admittedly, the third respondent is having Ph.D., qualification in Lexicography subject. Merely because, an equivalent certificate is given by the respondent University, the qualification of the third respondent with Ph.D., in Lexicography subject cannot be equated with that of Ph.D., in Folklore Subject.
21. Apart from this main ground, the petitioner has also raised some other grounds, which may not be relevant for the purpose of deciding the issue raised in the writ petition.
22. In order to meet the said contentions raised by the petitioner side, both the learned standing counsel appearing for the respondent University as well as the learned counsel appearing for the third respondent would contend that, the word 'concerned /allied/ relevant discipline' mentioned under the UGC Regulations, as referred above, does not mean that, the person with Ph.D., qualification in the concerned subject should be given preference. The words 'concerned /allied / relevant' shall be treated equally and therefore, whether the qualification is in the concerned subject/allied subject/ relevant subject are all equal, since, it is the basic minimum qualification. That apart, the incumbent /candidate must also have other qualifications such as publications and attending seminars and other activities etc., and based on those performances, which is otherwise called as Academic Performance Indicator(A.P.I.,), marks or points to be awarded for each of such API activity and based on all those performances alone, the Selection Committee would make final selection of any candidate for the post of Professor in Folklore Department.
23. I have gone through the materials placed before this Court including the report of the Selection Committee, produced in a sealed cover by the respondent University and also considered the rival submissions made by the respective counsel appearing for the parties.
24. With regard to the ground raised by the petitioner that, the petitioner is the only candidate, having the required qualification for consideration to selection and appointment to the post of Professor (Folklore Department) and no other candidate, including the third respondent was available with such a qualification, is considered, the relevant provisions available under the UGC Regulations can be taken into account and in this regard, the Regulations 4.0.0 and 4.1.0 have already been extracted.
25. In this regard, the qualification prescribed for the post of Assistant Professor under the same UGC Regulations has been provided under regulations 4.4.0 with the heading 'Assistant Professor', which reads thus:
'4.4.0 ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
4.4.1. Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, Commerce,Education, Languages, Law, Journalism and Mass Communication
(i) Good academic record as defined by the concerned university with at least 55% marks (or an equivalent grade in a point scale wherever grading system is followed) at the Master’s Degree level in a relevant subject from an Indian University, or an equivalent degree from an accredited foreign university.
(ii) Besides fulfilling the above qualifications, the candidate must have cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the UGC, CSIR or similar test accredited by the UGC like SLET/SET.
(iii) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-clauses (i) and (ii) to this Clause 4.4.1, candidates, who are, or have been awarded a Ph. D. Degree in accordance with the University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2009, shall be exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SLET/SET for recruitment and appointment of Assistant Professor or equivalent positions in Universities/Colleges/ Institutions.
(iv) NET/SLET/SET shall also not be required for such Masters Programmes in disciplines for which NET/SLET /SET is not conducted.'
26. In the above qualifications prescribed under the UGC Regulations for the post of Assistant Professor, the essential minimum qualification on the academic side is that, 'Good academic record with atleast 55% marks at the Master's Degree level in the relevant subject from an Indian University or an equivalent degree from an accredited Foreign University' is very crucial. Here, the UGC, very cautiously prescribed the qualification for the post of Assistant Professor, where, it has specifically mentioned that Master's Degree level in relevant subject from an Indian University or a Foreign University. Here, the words either 'concerned subject' or 'allied subject' is not available; whereas, in the qualification prescribed for the post of Professor, the Ph.D., qualification may be in the concerned subject or in the allied subject or in the relevant discipline which can be treated as eligible qualification for consideration for appointment to the post of Professor.
27. The distinction made between the qualifications prescribed for the post of Assistant Professor and Professor by the UGC Regulations is a purposive distinction and therefore, the word 'relevant' used in both clauses can be interpreted for its own purpose. In the case of Assistant Professor, Post Graduate qualification with 55% marks in the relevant subject is a must, whereas, for the post of Professor, apart from other qualifications, a Ph.D., qualification is a must and such a Ph.D., is from either the concerned subject or allied subject or a relevant subject.
28. Whether a particular subject is relevant or allied with the concerned subject, or not is the matter of academic issue, which can only be decided by academicians and not by this Court. In this regard, the law is well settled and a number of decisions have been made in this regard, because, Court is not expert in academic matters and in cases of this nature, the Court cannot have the expertise/knowledge to decide as to whether the particular discipline or subject is equivalent or allied or relevant subject to a particular or concerned subject. The following decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court can be usefully referred to appreciate the settled legal position.
29. In one of the earlier decisions of a Constitution Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of University of Mysore and another vs., C.D.Govinda Rao and another reported in AIR 1965 SC 491, almost a similar circumstance was confronted with their Lordships. The Hon'ble Supreme Court, in paragraph 13, has held as follows:-
'(13) Before we part with these appeals, however, reference must be made to two other matters. In dealing with the case presented before it by the respondent, the High Court has criticised the report made by the Board and has observed that the circumstances disclosed by the report made it difficult for the High Court to treat the recommendations made by the expert with the respect that they generally deserve. We are unable to see the point of criticism of the High Court in such academic matters. Boards of Appointments are nominated by the Universities and when recommendations made by them and the appointments following on them, are challenged before courts, normally the courts should be slow to interfere with the opinions expressed by the experts. There is no allegation about mala fides against the experts who constituted the present Board; and so, we think, it would normally be wise and safe for the courts to leave the decisions of academic matters to experts who are more familiar with the problems they face than the courts generally can be. The criticism made by the High Court against the report made by the Board seems to suggest that the High Court thought that the Board was in the position of an executive authority, issuing an executive fiat, or was acting like a quasi-judicial tribunal, deciding disputes referred to it for its decision. In dealing with complaints made by citizens in regard to appointments made by academic bodies, like the Universities, such an approach would not be reasonable or appropriate. In fact, in issuing the writ, the High Court has made certain observations which show that the High Court applied tests which would legitimately be applied in the case of writs of certiorari. In the judgment, it has been observed that the error in this case is undoubtedly a manifest error. That is a consideration which is more germane and relevant in a procedure for a writ of certiorari. What the High Court should have considered is whether the appointment made by the Chancellor had contravened any statutory or binding rule or ordinance, and in doing so, the High Court should have shown due regard to the opinion expressed by the Board and its recommendations on which the Chancellor has acted. In this connection, the High Court has failed to notice one significant fact that when the Board considered the claims of the respective applicants, it examined them very carefully and actually came to the conclusion that none of them deserved to be appointed a Professor. These recommendations made by the Board clearly show that they considered the relevant factors carefully and ultimately came to the conclusion that Appellant 2 should be recommended for the post of Reader. Therefore, we are satisfied that the criticism made by the High Court against the Board and its deliberations is not justified.'
30. In the case of Medical Council of India vs Sarang and others, the Hon'ble Supreme Court by considering the case of University of Mysore and one another vs., C.D.Govinda Rao and another (cited supra), has held as follows:
'(6) In matters of academic standards, courts should not normally interfere or interpret the rules and such matters should be left to the experts in the field. This position has been made clear by this Court in University of Mysore v. C.D. Govinda Rao [AIR 1965 SC 491 : (1964) 4 SCR 575] , State of Kerala v. Kumari T.P. Roshana[(1979) 1 SCC 572 : (1979) 2 SCR 974] and Shirish Govind Prabhudesai v.State of Maharashtra[(1993) 1 SCC 211] . The object of the said Regulation appears to be that although the course of study leading to the IInd professional examination is common to all medical colleges, the sequence of coverage of subjects varies from college to college. Therefore, the requirement of 18 months of study in the college from which the student wants to appear in the examination is appropriately insisted upon. Migration is not normally allowed and has got to be given in exceptional circumstances. In the absence of such a stipulation as contained in Regulation 6(5), it is clear that the migrated student is likely to miss instruction and study in some of the subjects, which will ultimately affect his academic attainments. Therefore, the strained meaning given by the High Court, which actually changes the language of Regulation 6(5), is not permissible. Thus we disagree with the view taken by the High Court and state that the correct interpretation is as given by the Medical Council of India, set forth above by us.'
31. In yet another judgment reported in (2012) 1 MLJ 130 (SC) in the case of Sanchit Bansal and another vs., Joint Admission Board (JAB) and others, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held as follows:
'(19) Thus, the process of evaluation, the process of ranking and selection of candidates for admission with reference to their performance, the process of achieving the objective of selecting candidates who will be better equipped to suit the specialised courses, are all technical matters in academic field and the courts will not interfere in such processes. The courts will interfere only if they find all or any of the following: (i) violation of any enactment, statutory rules and regulations; (ii) mala fides or ulterior motives to assist or enable private gain to someone or cause prejudice to anyone; or where the procedure adopted is arbitrary and capricious.An action is said to be arbitrary and capricious, where a person, in particular, a person in authority does any action based on individual discretion by ignoring prescribed rules, procedure or law and the action or decision is founded on prejudice or preference rather than reason or fact. To be termed as arbitrary and capricious, the action must be illogical and whimsical, something without any reasonable explanation. When an action or procedure seeks to achieve a specific objective in furtherance of education in a bona fide manner, by adopting a process which is uniform and non-discriminatory, it cannot be described as arbitrary or capricious or mala fide.'
32. In a later decision reported in (2016) 1 SCC 454 in the matter of Madras Institute of Development Studies and another vs., K.Sivasubramaniyan and others, it has been held as follows:
'12. The contention of Respondent 1 that the shortlisting of the candidates was done by a few Professors bypassing the Director and the Chairman, does not appear to be correct. From a perusal of the documents available on record it appears that shortlisting of the candidates was done by the Director in consultation with the Chairman and also Senior Professors. Further, it appears that the Committee constituted for the purpose of selection consists of eminent Scientists, Professor of Economic Studies and Planning and other members. The integrity of these members of the Committee has not been doubted by the respondent writ petitioner. It is well settled that the decision of the academic authorities about the suitability of a candidate to be appointed as Associate Professor in a research institute cannot normally be examined by the High Court under its writ jurisdiction. Having regard to the fact that the candidates so selected possessed all requisite qualifications and experience and, therefore, their appointment cannot be questioned on the ground of lack of qualification and experience. The High Court ought not to have interfered with the decision of the Institute in appointing Respondents 2 to 4 on the post of Associate Professor.'
33. In this context, the qualification possessed by the third respondent can be relevant. The third respondent is having the qualifications of Ph.D., apart from other required qualifications. The only objection raised by the petitioner side is that, the third respondent is having Ph.D., qualification in the subject called 'Lexicography', and not in 'Folklore'. In this regard, the equivalent certificate issued by the very same respondent University dated 27.11.2009 cannot be forgotten. The equivalent certificate reads, thus:-
34. If the equivalent certificate given by the respondent University certifying that the Ph.D., qualification obtained by the third respondent in Lexicography is equivalent to the Ph.D., in Folklore, it can be accepted for the reason that, the respondent University, is the University established for the research and development of Tamil language in this State. Whoever is having any doubt over the qualification in Tamil or branches of Tamil language, the ultimate Authority to resolve the issue is the Tamil University, which is the higher Academic body in this State for Tamil language. While that being the position, the equivalent certificate given by the respondent University in favour of the third respondent, certifying that, the qualification of Ph.D., in 'Lexicography' is equivalent to the Ph.D., in 'Folklore', has to be accepted.
35. In this context, the qualification prescribed by the respondent University through the notification dated 11.11.2017 inviting applications from the eligible candidates, also can be taken into account. The relevant clause of the notification, insofar as for the post of Professor in Folklore Department, prescribing the qualification for the candidates, is as follows:-
36. Even in the notification of the respondent University, it has been specifically mentioned that, the candidate must either have a Post Graduate Degree in Folklore or Tamil with 55% marks or 'B' grade and also, he must have Ph.D., either in Folklore or in Tamil. Since the 'Lexicography', subject is nothing but one of the branch in Tamil language and 'Folklore' is another branch of the Tamil language, by virtue of the said qualifications prescribed by the University in the notification, as has been referred to above, both the qualification of Ph.D., in Folklore and Ph.D. in Lexicography can be accepted or treated as equivalent.
37. Since the petitioner as well as the third respondent are having necessary / minimum qualification prescribed by the UGC through its Regulations, as well as the respondent University through its notification, both the petitioner and the third respondent are eligible to be considered for selection for appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department at the respondent University.
38. Now, it can be considered as to whether, the candidatures of both the petitioner as well as the third respondent has been considered by both the Scrutiny as well as the Selection Committee of the respondent University, in a proper perspective by evaluating properly the qualification, experience and performance of both the candidates, including the other candidates, who have also been called for the interview by the respondent University.
39. In this regard, the relevant report produced by the University through its Registrar, as referred above, has been perused by this Court. According to the report, all the applications and their credentials were first considered by the Scrutiny Committee ('TAMIL'). Before the Scrutiny Committee, the credentials of seventeen applicants were placed for consideration. Out of the seventeen applicants, only six candidates were cleared by the Scrutiny Committee, based on their marks/points obtained by them, as per the Academic Performance Indicator ( API ). The petitioner as well as the third respondent are among those six candidates cleared by the Scrutiny Committee. Accordingly, all the six candidates were called for the interview. The Interview Committee consisting of nine persons, headed by the Vice Chancellor of the University, conducted the interview on 09.01.2018. Before the Interview Committee, five, out of six candidates appeared and attended the interview. Each of the members, including the Chairman of the Committee, have given their marks, depending upon the performance of each of the candidates. Based on the marks awarded by the Interview Committee and also based on the API score obtained by each of the candidates, the Interview / Selection Committee gave their report to the Syndicate. According to the said report, the Selection Committee, based on the performance of the candidates, had selected the third respondent and the petitioner has been placed at the waiting list. The reason being that, the third respondent had performed comparatively well than all other candidates. Therefore, he obtained the highest marks among all other candidates in the interview as well as in the API score and therefore, he was selected. The candidate who got next higher marks, among the candidates, is the petitioner and therefore, he has been placed in the waiting list.
40. Pursuant to the Selection Committee Report, which was placed before the Syndicate, the Syndicate, in its meeting, dated 27.03.2018, has approved the recommendations of the Selection Committee. The Syndicate not only approved the recommendations made by the Selection Committee for the appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department, but also approved all other recommendations made by the respective Selection Committee in respect of appointments for various posts such as Professor, Assistant Professor in various departments of the respondent University. Only at that stage, since injunction has been granted by this Court not to publish the results of selection, the respondent University has kept it pending.
41. After having gone through the materials placed before this Court, including the relevant file of the respondent University and having considered the submissions made by the learned respective counsel appearing for the parties, this Court, in view of the discussions made above, is of the considered view that, the respondent University either at the time of issuance of notification or at the time of conducting the interview or in the entire selection process ha
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s not violated any UGC Regulations nor any other prescriptions made through the notification inviting the applications. Insofar as the only objection raised by the petitioner's side by raising a legal ground that the candidates must have necessary qualification in the relevant subject only and who does not have such qualification in the relevant subject shall be rejected, is concerned, that kind of interpretation cannot be given to the UGC Regulations prescribing the qualifications for the post of Professor. The UGC has purposely made the words 'concerned /allied /relevant' under clause 4.1.0 of the UGC Regulations 2010 inorder to enable the Employer /Selection Authority to treat all those candidates, who are having minimum qualification either in the concerned subject or in the allied subject or in the relevant subject, alike. 42. If at all the UGC wants to give preference to those, who are having qualification in the concerned subject and if there is no qualified candidates in the concerned subject, then only, the candidates with the qualification either in the relevant subject or allied subject can be given preference, the UGC would have given this order of preference, specifically, by stating that, 'qualification in the concerned subject and if not available in the concerned subject, then, allied subject and if not still available, then, in the relevant subject. However, the UGC Regulations is not provided in that manner and it has only been provided as either concerned or allied or relevant. Therefore, those having the qualification either in the concerned subject or in the allied subject or in the relevant subject can be equally treated for the purpose of selection and appointment to the post of Professor. 43. In that context, since the petitioner as well as the third respondent are having the relevant qualification or the concerned qualification or allied qualification, are to be treated as equivalent and there can be no justification to state that the respondent University should not have considered the candidature of the third respondent and should have considered only the candidature of the petitioner, as he is the only person having the Ph.D., qualification in the concerned subject (i.e.,) Folklore. 44. Moreover, the performance of a candidate in an interview, that too, based on the appraisal on academic qualification and other allied and related activities, can be evaluated only by the academic experts and not by this Court. 45. On perusal of the file produced by the respondent University consisting of the relevant documents pertaining to the Scrutiny Committee's decision, Selection Committee's decision and the Syndicate's decision of the respondent University, this Court is of the considered view that, no Rule or Regulations prescribing the qualification either under the UGC or in the notification of the respondent University, has been violated by any of the Authorities of the respondent University, while making the process of selection. 46. When that being the position, this Court has no hesitation to hold that the ground raised by the petitioner and the challenge made in this writ petition are liable to be rejected, as he has not made out a case for interference. 47. In the result, this Writ Petition fails, accordingly, the same is dismissed. The interim order granted by this Court dated 22.03.2018 is hereby vacated and the respondent University can publish the result of the selection process with regard to the appointment to the post of Professor in Folklore Department at the respondent University. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Consequently, W.M.P.(MD) No.9179 of 2018 is closed.