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S. Ramamani v/s The Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu, Department of School Education, Chennai & Others

    W.P.(MD).No. 11127 of 2018 & WMP(MD).Nos. 10182 & 11146 of 2018

    Decided On, 13 June 2018

    At, Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SURESH KUMAR

    For the Petitioner: N. Sathish Babu, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R6, K. Saravanan, Government Advocate, R8, Y. Krishnan, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying to issue a Writ of Mandamus, forbearing the respondents 1 to 3 from in anyway passing any order to upgrade Panchayat Union Middle School, Kaliyanthoor, Thiruppuvanam Union, Sivagangai District as high school in view of the recommendation made by the fifth respondent in his proceeding in 'TAMIL'1574/'TAMIL'1/2018 dated --.05.2018.)

The Prayer sought for in this Writ Petition is to issue a Writ of Mandamus, forbearing the respondents 1 to 3 from in anyway passing any order to upgrade Panchayat Union Middle School, Kaliyanthoor, Thiruppuvanam Union, Sivagangai District as high school in view of the recommendation made by the fif

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th respondent in his proceeding in 'TAMIL'1574/'TAMIL'1/2018 dated --.05.2018.

2. Heard Mr.N.Sathish Babu, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and Mr.K.Saravanan, learned Government Advocate appearing for the Official respondents 1 to 6 and Mr.Y.Krishnan, learned Counsel appearing for the 8th respondent. Since no adverse order would be passed against the 7th respondent, who has been impleaded in his personal capacity, notice to the 7th respondent is dispensed with.

3. The petitioner is the Headmistress of Panchayat Union Middle School at Kaliyandhoor, Thiruppuvanam Union, Sivagangai District. She claimed that the School, where the petitioner is working, is only a Panchayat Union Middle School and it does not have any infrastructure facilities including the required lands for Upgradation into a High School.

4. While that being so, when the proposal was sought for from the petitioner for Upgradation, the petitioner has not come forward to send the proposal as she is known to the fact that the said School is not meeting the requirements of infrastructure facilities as fixed by the Government.

5. Knowing the said fact, the 8th respondent who is one of the Village men has worked for Upgradation of the School as High School and therefore, at his instance, the 7th respondent who is the Additional Assistant Elementary Educational Officer, had sent a proposal for Upgradation of the School.

6. Only in that context, the petitioner has approached this Court for the aforesaid prayer, forbearing the respondents 1 to 3 from in anyway passing any order for upgradation of the School into High School.

7. Interim injunction was also sought for, which was granted by this Court on 16.05.2018. Only in that context, the 8th respondent has filed a vacate stay petition to vacate the order of interim injunction.

8. I have heard Mr.N.Sathish Babu, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, Mr.K.Saravanan, learned Government Advocate appearing for the Official respondents 1 to 6 and Mr.Y.Krishnan, learned Counsel appearing for the 8th respondent.

9. At the first instance, before going into the merits of this case, this Court posed a specific question to the petitioner about the locus standi to maintain this writ petition, as he is only a Headmistress working in a Government School/Panchayat Union School, the learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that in view of the peculiar facts, where the School the petitioner is working, that it is not fit to be upgraded as High School and invited the attention of this Court that the 8th respondent, for the reasons best known to him, had worked for upgradation and that upon his influence, being a political man, the Official respondents are acting upon. The learned Counsel for the petitioner would further submit that in view of the present issue, some disciplinary action was also initiated against the petitioner and the petitioner is facing the said disciplinary action unnecessarily because of this issue.

10. Therefore, the learned Counsel for the petitioner would submit that in view of these peculiar background facts, the petitioner is having no other option, but to come to this Court with the present writ petition and therefore, the learned Counsel for the petitioner would submit that in the interest of justice, this writ petition can be entertained as the petitioner is having locus standi to maintain this writ petition.

11. However, the learned Government Advocate appearing for the Official respondents as well as the learned Counsel appearing for the 8th respondent would submit that the petitioner does not have locus standi to maintain this writ petition.

12. Since the issue of locus standi has been raised as a preliminary issue, this Court also had prima facie view that the petitioner does not have locus standi to maintain this writ petition and posed the question to the learned Counsel for the petitioner, for which the aforesaid answer was given by him.

13. I have considered the reasoning given by the petitioner.

14. Admittedly, the petitioner is working as Headmistress of Panchayat Union Middle School, Kaliyandhoor, Thiruppuvanam Union, Sivagangai District. The prayer sought for in this writ petition is to issue a Writ of Mandamus, forbearing the respondents 1 to 3 from in anyway passing any order for upgradation of the School into High School.

15. If it is a Government School or Panchayat Union School, the Management is entirely vest with the Government, for which, hierarchy of Officials are there in the School Education Department headed by Director and the entire Managerial affairs of the Government School are vested with the hierarchy of the Officials of the Government. Insofar as the petitioner is concerned, she is only working as Headmistress of the said School. So all the academic activities to be conducted in the School is concerned, she is heading the School and so far as the question of upgradation of the School, it is not in the hands of the petitioner in its entirety and if at all any proposal is sought for in this regard by the Department, the petitioner has to send the report based on the available records and materials and beyond that the petitioner's role is nothing.

16. When that being the position, the petitioner has come out with this writ petition for the aforesaid prayer, as if she is managing the School.

17. A Headmistress of Government School or Panchayat Union School cannot step into the shoes of any Managerial person of the Government School as the management of the Government School is vested with the Government of Tamil Nadu and if at all any issue of upgradation to be decided, it must be decided only by the competent authority, who is none other than the Director of School Education or any other Officers in this regard.

18. When that being the position, this writ petition cannot be maintained by the present writ petitioner and therefore, this Court is of the firm view that the petitioner has no locus standi to maintain this writ petition.

19. In view of the above, as the question regarding the locus standi, which is the preliminary issue, decided against her, this Court is inclined to dismiss the writ petition on the ground that the petitioner has no locus standi to maintain this writ petition.

20. Accordingly, this writ petition is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.
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