w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, Represented by the Principal, Ernakulam & Another v/s P.K. Akhil & Others


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    WA No. 2345 of 2019

    Decided On, 21 November 2019

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. S. MANIKUMAR & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A.M. SHAFFIQUE

    For the Petitioners: Dr. K.P. Satheesan, Sr.Advocate, P. Mohandas (Ernakulam), S. Vibheeshanan, K. Sudhinkumar, S.K. Adhithyan, Sabu Pullan, Advocates. For the Respondents: R2-R3, Asok.M.Cherian, SC.



Judgment Text


S. Manikumar, CJ.

1. Challenge in this writ appeal is to the judgment dated 23.10.2019 passed in W.P.(C) No.23586 of 2019, by which the writ court directed the Chairman of Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, respondent No.4 therein, to finalise the complaint preferred by writ petitioner, in accordance with the procedure contemplated under Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997, at the earliest, at any rate, within two months from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment made the said writ petition after providing notice of hearing to the petitioner as well as respondents 1 and 2.

2. Short facts leading to the appeal are that.-

Respondent No.1 is a III Year B.Sc. (Computer Science) student of the appellant College. According to him, there was a dispute relating to timing of the opening of the college gates. Complaint was not responded as a result of which, students of the appellant College conducted a protest by blocking the college gates. College authorities suspended eleven students, including the general secretary and campus union representative, for fifteen days, pending enquiry.

3. Before the writ court, petitioner contended that he is innocent and the Principal of Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, Perumbavoor, Ernakulam district, 2nd appellant herein, deliberately included him. Petitioner raised grounds alleging violation of principles of natural justice.

4. The Principal, Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, Perumbavoor, Ernakulam District, appellant No.2, submitted that he received a telephonic message from the Assistant Professor informing that his child was seriously ill and when he went to the main entrance to go to the school where his child is studying, writ petitioner along with others forcibly closed the main entrance by parking their motorcycles in front of the gate obstructing the passage. Security personnel could not remove the motorcycles. The Assistant Professor gave a complaint to the appellants narrating the entire incident. On receipt of the complaint, Exhibit-R2(c), the Principal Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, Perumbavoor, Ernakulam District, appellant No.2, convened a College council meeting on 5.7.2019. The College council took a decision to suspend eleven students involved in the above incident. After placing the petitioner and others under suspension, the Principal, Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, appointed an Enquiry Commission to conduct a detailed enquiry with respect to the incident which happened on 4.7.2019. The Enquiry Commissioner conducted an enquiry and a detailed report was submitted. After considering the Enquiry Commission's report, the College council decided to take a lenient view and instructed the students, to express their regret in respect of the incident which occurred on 4.7.2019. Accordingly, on 22.7.2019 a printed format of the affidavit was given to all the eleven students. The Principal, Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, Perumbavoor, appellant No.2, further submitted that instead of giving an affidavit as required by the College council, writ petitioner and others sought assistance of politicians. All of them forcibly entered into the room of the Principal, and refused to give the affidavit in printed format. The Principal was confined in her room by the petitioner and others. The said incident happened on 23.7.2019. Writ petitioner and others submitted that they will give a letter of apology instead of an affidavit. Vide Exhibit- R2(g) written apology was given to the Principal on 24.07.2019 by the eleven students, including the petitioner, and they were allowed to attend the classes. All of them went to their respective classes, except the petitioner, who instead of going to the class, went to the staff room where the Assistant Professor was sitting and threw the printed format of affidavit on his face and humiliated him. A colleague of the Assistant Professor gave a complaint regarding the manner in which writ petitioner and others behaved in the staff room. Entire teaching staff of the appellant College gave a complaint to the Principal requesting to take appropriate action.

5. Before the writ court, further contention has been made that the College council decided to constitute an Enquiry Commission to conduct a detailed enquiry into the unfortunate incident, which occurred on 24.07.2019. On 26.07.2019, the Commissioner conducted a detailed enquiry in the presence of the writ petitioner. The student admitted that whatever he had done in the staff room on 24.07.2019 was wrong. On receipt of Enquiry Commission's report, the College council which met on 29.07.2019 decided that instead of dismissing the writ petitioner from the College, to issue transfer certificate so as to enable him to pursue his studies in some other institution. Thus, a lenient view was taken and Exhibit-R2(l) letter dated 29.07.2019 was sent to the Registrar, M.G.University, Kottayam. Placing reliance on the document stated supra, the Principal of Sree Sankara Vidyapeetom College, Perumbavoor, Ernakulam district, 2nd appellant, prayed to sustain Exhibit-R2(l) letter dated 29.07.2019.

6. Before the writ court, contention has also been made by the College that in the light of the judgment rendered by this Court in Sojan Francis v. M.G.University [2003 (2) KLT 582] and Indulekha Joseph v. Vice Chancellor [2008 (3) KLT SN 54], the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, respondent No.3, has no jurisdiction to entertain any grievance in the matter of discipline of students and further relying on the decision in Manu Vilson v. Sree Narayana College [1996 (1) KLT 788], contention has been made that the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances was not vested with any powers to entertain any complaint filed by any student.

7. Going through the provisions, viz. Rules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Chapter 27 of the Mahatma Gandhi University Statutes, 1997, which deals with Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, writ court at paragraphs (10) and (11) discussed and ordered thus:

“10. …........ In my considered view, in the judgment of this Court in W.P.(C) No.15779 of 2019 dated 16.08.2019, after analyzing the legal situations, the Court has considered the subject matter on its own merit and held that, the decision taken by the Vice-Chancellor to delegate the power of enquiry to a member of the Syndicate was not right, since there is no power conferred to do so under Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997, and therefore, there was no preliminary enquiry in contemplation of law. I do not think any proposition of law is laid down by this Court in the said judgment, that the Board for Adjudication under Chapter 27 of the M.G. University Statutes, 1997 is not vested with powers to entertain an appeal/complaint in contemplation of law.

11. So much so, the Mahatma Gandhi University Student's Code of Conduct Rules, 2005 is brought into force with the object of maintaining and enforcing good conduct inside the class rooms and campus in the affiliated colleges, Departments of teaching and Research and self financing schools of the Mahatma Gandhi University. As per Rule 3 thereunder, the rules shall be applicable to all the affiliated colleges under the University, University Departments of teaching and research and self financing schools of the University. Rule 6 thereunder deals with the procedure for imposition of punishment, wherein, the Principal of the college shall be the disciplinary authority in respect of the students in the college. After conducting due enquiry, the Principal is vested with ample powers to: (1) Impose fine; (2) Issuance of compulsory transfer certificate; and (3) Dismissal from the college. Rule 9 thereunder provides right to appeal to a student against whom the disciplinary orders had been passed, to the Board for Adjudication of Students' Grievances as provided in Chapter 27 of the Mahatma Gandhi University Statute of 1997. Analyzing the situation so, I am of the considered opinion that, there is no merit in the contention advanced by respondents 1 and 2 in that regard, and I am of the view, the Board of Adjudication is vested with ample powers to entertain the complaint in accordance with law.”

8. Stating so, writ court issued directions to the Chairman, Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, Mahatma Gandhi University, respondent No.4 therein, to finalise the complaint in accordance with the procedure contemplated, as per Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997. Being aggrieved, instant appeal is filed on the grounds, inter alia, that.-

“A) If the illegality and unruly behaviour shown by the first respondent is allowed to be perpetuated, the same will be a boon to the other students to resort to indiscipline. In such an event, the responsibility of this appellant to create a peaceful atmosphere in the College itself will be defeated.

B) The learned single Judge has relied upon the code of conduct rules. The manner in which the code of conduct rules are to be applied are governed by Chapter 27 of the M.G.University Statute. As per Chapter 27(5), the complaint shall ordinarily be sent to the Chairman through the University union or the Principal of the College concern. As soon as the Chairman receives a complaint seeking redressal of any grievance of the student of the College, he shall conduct a preliminary enquiry and if he finds it necessary to place it before the Board. The board shall then decide whether the complaint shall be entertained or not. This is the safeguard provided in the conduct rules considering the larger interest of the institution. This aspect was not considered by the learned Single Judge.

C) It is humbly submitted that none of the legal principles declared by this Hon’ble Court is not considered by the learned Single Judge. In all the Judgments, this Hon’ble Court declared that the Principal is the competent authority to maintain the discipline in the campus. The Principal as per the conduct rules can award three punishments namely imposition of fine, issuance of compulsory transfer certificate and dismissal from the college. The 2nd appellant as well as the College council took a lenient view and decided only to issue transfer certificate so that the first respondent could pursue his studies. His future is not affected and the Judgment is allowed to be implemented the future of thousands of students in the College will be prejudicially affected. None of these aspects are considered by the learned Single Judge.”

9. Based on the above grounds and placing reliance on the decision of a Hon'ble Division of this Court in Manu Vilson's case (cited supra) as well as the judgment of a learned Single Bench of this Court in W.P.(C) No.15779 of 2019 dated 16.08.2019, Dr.K.P.Satheesan, learned Senior Counsel for the appellants, made submissions and sought for reversal of the judgment made in W.P.(C) No.23586 of 2019 dated 23.10.2019.

10. Chapter 27 of the Mahatma Gandhi University Statutes, 1997 starts with a heading “Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances”. Chapter 27 is extracted hereunder:

“Chapter 27

Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances

1. Constitution:-

There shall be constituted a Board to entertain, adjudicate and redress any grievances of the Students of Colleges who may for any reasons be aggrieved otherwise than by an act of the court.”

11. Rule 5 of the Statues, 1997 deals with receipt and entertainment of complaint and the same is extracted hereunder:

“5. Receipt and entertainment of Complaint:- Complaints shall ordinarily be sent to the Chairman through the University Union or the Principal of the college concerned. As soon as the Chairman receives a complaint seeking redressal of any grievance of the students of colleges, he shall conduct a preliminary enquiry and if he finds it necessary he shall place it before the Board. The Board shall then decide whether the complaint shall be entertained or not.”

12. Rule 6 of the Statutes, 1997 speaks about the procedure on entertainment of a complaint by the Board and the same is extracted hereunder:

“6. Procedure on entertainment of a complaint by the Board:- After the Board has decided that a complaint filed before it should be entertained, it shall commence the enquiry at the appointed time, date and place or on such other date to which the enquiry may be adjourned. At the enquiry, the oral and documentary evidence on behalf of the complaint shall be first adduced and the authorities of the college or University, as the case may be, shall then be given an opportunity to adduce oral and documentary evidence. The complainant as also the authorities of the college or the University shall be allowed to file any supplementary statement in support of their case. The Board may at any stage of the examination of the witnesses put questions to them. After all the evidence is recorded, the Board may, if necessary, allow the parties concerned to argue their case before the Board. After all the evidence is recorded and arguments, if any, heard, the Board shall record its findings in respect of the complaint. The findings of the Board shall then be forwarded to the Syndicate by the Chairman of the Board for appropriate action”.

13. Bare reading of Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997, makes it clear the very constitution of the Board is to entertain, adjudicate and redress any grievances of the students of colleges, who may, for any reason, be aggrieved otherwise than by an act of the court. Complaints shall ordinarily be sent to the Chairman through the University union or the Principal of the College concerned. Thus, either a student/students can send a complaint to the Chairman through the University union or the Principal of the College concerned, as the case may be. No sooner the Chairman of the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances receives a complaint seeking redressal of any grievances of the students of colleges, he shall conduct a preliminary enquiry and if he finds it necessary, place the same before the Board. The Board shall then decide whether the complaint shall be entertained or not.

14. Though Dr.K.P.Satheesan, learned Senior Counsel for the appellants, submitted that the College Union representatives or the University Union representatives, would predominantly be a member of some political party and that, therefore, there is likelihood of bias in the decision of the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, Mr.Asok M.Cherian, learned Standing Counsel for M.G.University, submitted that reference in Rule 2(c) of Chapter 27 of the Statutes which states that “three Members of who one shall be a Principal of a College nominated by the Vice-Chancellor from among the Members of the Syndicate”, does not mean that there will be a representative from the College from where the student has submitted a complaint to the Board to entertain, adjudicate and redress. According to him, the word “a” used in Rule 2(c) would effectively mean that three members, who constitute the committee, will be from other colleges. Thus, from the submission of Mr. Asok M. Cherian, learned Standing Counsel for the University, we have no hesitation to hold that the apprehension of the learned counsel for the appellant college is not well founded.

15. Though Dr.K.P.Satheesan, learned Senior Counsel for the appellants, strongly relied on the decision in Manu Vilson's case (cited supra), on the aspect of the power of the Principal to take action for maintaining discipline in consultation with college council, going through the said decision, we find there is no reference to Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997, which deals with the power of the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances.

16. While considering the facts of the reported case vis-a-vis, the facts on hand, writ court has rightly distinguished the abovesaid decision. Reliance placed on the judgment in W.P.(C) No.15779 of 2019 dated 16.08.2019 is also misplaced for the reason that there was delegation by the Vice Chancellor to appoint Syndicate to conduct a preliminary enquiry, which is contrary to Rule 5 of Chapter 27 of the Statutes. In W.P.(C) No.15997 of 2019, relied on, writ court considered the issue as to whether Vice Chancellor can delegate his power, if the same is not conferred under Rule 5 of Chapter 27 of the Statutes. A perusal of said judgment makes it clear that writ court has impliedly held that as per Rule 5 of Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997, Chairman of the Board has to conduct a preliminary enquiry and in the absence of any express provision to delegate, the action of the Vice Chancellor in delegating his power to the Syndicate to conduct a preliminary enquiry, does not have any statutory backing. Relevant portions of the judgment dated 16.08.2019 in W.P.(C) No.15779 of 2019 are reproduced:

“20. Therefore as per statute 5, the Chairman of the Board has to conduct a preliminary enquiry. In case in that preliminary enquiry he finds it necessary, he need place it before the Board. It is only thereafter that it comes before the Board, when it has to decide whether the complaint has to be entertained or not. In this case, the Vice Chancellor has delegated his power to a member of the Syndicate to conduct the preliminary enquiry. Statute 5 does not provide that the power of the Chairman of the Board of Adjudication can be delegated. In the absence of an express provision to delegate the action of the Vice Chancellor in delegating his power to conduct preliminary enquiry to the 5th respondent does not have any statutory backing. In effect there was no preliminary enquiry and thus there was no finding that it need be placed before the Board for consideration.

21. In this context it is also relevant to examine whether the Vice Chancellor can delegate all or any of his powers. The provisions contained in Section 10 of the Act would show that wherever the Vice Chancellor is entitled to delegate his powers, it is provided separately as given in Subsection 18, which read as follows:

“10(18): Subject to the provisions in the Statutes and Ordinances, the Vice Chancellor shall have the power to appoint, suspend, dismiss or otherwise punish any member of the establishment of the University below the rank of the Deputy Registrar.

Provided that he may delegate any of his powers under this subsection to the Pro-Vice Chancellor or the Registrar.”

22. It is pertinent to note that under subsection 22, it shall be the duty of the Vice Chancellor to see that the proceedings of the University are carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Act, Statute, ordinances, the regulations, the rules and byelaws. Section 10(23) provides that the Vice Chancellor shall exercise such other powers and perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the statutes. The Act or Statute does not empower the Vice Chancellor to delegate his power to a member of the syndicate. The power of Vice Chancellor to act in the place of Syndicate or academic council does not enable the members of syndicate or academic council to act as Vice Chancellor in his absence or on his direction, as the Vice Chancellor does not have any such power to authorise them or to delegate his powers on the members of those bodies of the University. There is no provision in Chapter 27 of the MG University Statutes 1997 which empowers the Vice chancellor to delegate his power as Chairman of the Board of Adjudication to anybody. Therefore I am unable to accept the contention of respondents 1 to 3 that the action of the Vice Chancellor is in accordance with Section 10(17) or that it would not be possible for the Vice Chancellor to conduct preliminary enquiry in the colleges in the midst of various other functions. Therefore, the very act of the Board in entertaining the complaint of 4th respondent is contrary to law.

23. In this context, it is relevant to note the judgment of the Apex Court in Marathwada University's case (supra) where the departmental proceedings initiated and dismissal ordered by the Vice Chancellor was found without authority even after the Executive Council had ratified it. It was held that there cannot be a ratification of an action taken without authority. It was held that a statutory power must be exercised only by the body or officer on whom it has been codified, unless delegation of the power is authorised by express words or necessary implication. The judgments in Hukam Chand's case(supra) as well as Manager, St. Dominic College's case (supra) are also to the effect that an action initiated without authority is non-est. Those judgments squarely applies in the case. The contention of the learned Counsel for the 4th respondent relying on the judgment of the Apex Court in National Insurance Company Ltd. V Laxmin Narain Dhut (supra) that purposive interpretation has to be adopted in the matter, cannot also be accepted. Though it may be true that Vice Chancellor is otherwise busy on various matters in connection with the University, that will not validate his action in authorising a member of the syndicate to conduct the preliminary enquiry. Therefore the entire proceedings leading to Ext.P24, of the Board of adjudication, right from placing the complaint of the 4th respondent before the Board are liable to be set aside. The action of the syndicate in accepting the findings of the Board is also equally illegal.

24. Statue 6 provides for the procedure to be followed by the Board when it decides that a complaint filed before it, is to be entertained. Petitioner has raised complaints as to the violation of procedural formalities also against the Board, pointing out that the copy of the complaint itself was denied and he could not give a written statement or produce document in the absence of the complaints referred to in each of the notices. As I have found that the entire proceedings of the Board are without authority, I am not going into those questions.

25. The next question to be considered is whether the syndicate has the authority to interfere with the orders passed by the head of a college while enforcing discipline. This court has in a series of judgments held that the Principal of a College is the supreme authority to maintain discipline in the College and that power cannot be cribbed or curtailed by any other authority. It is also settled law that the principles of natural justice does not apply in its full vigour in matters of academic discipline and that the degree of proof required in it cannot be compared to that of criminal proceedings or even departmental proceedings. In Manu Vilson's case (supra), the Division Bench of this court, while dealing with a disciplinary action against students, after considering the provisions relating to the function of the Principal and the power of the syndicate, held that the function of the Principal in maintaining the internal discipline is sacrosanct and that cannot be diluted by the University. Relying on another judgment of the Division Bench in Thampan v. Principal, Medical College: 1979 KLT 45, it was held that powers of supervision and control on the Syndicate would not in any manner water down the authority and jurisdiction on the Principal of a College as the head of the institution to deal with matters affecting the discipline of the College. The right and authority of the Principal to take action for maintenance of discipline among students in the college in consultation with the College Council is virtually absolute and that the University has no authority to interfere with the said power of the Principal. Reiterating the dictum laid down in the judgment in Unni Raja v. Principal, Medical College, Trivandrum: I. L. R. 1983 (2) Ker 754, it was held as follows:

“it is clear that the law presumes that the head of the institution must possess inherent authority and right to do such acts as are necessary in his opinion to maintain discipline in the institution. If any attempt is made to water-down the right of the head of the institution, it would be to sound the death-knell of discipline in the institution. This is especially so when .we come across unwanted and uncalled for interference by political parties and their stooges in the working of the educational institutions. The Supreme Court in Hira Nath Mishra v. The Principal, Rajendra Medical College, AIR 1973 SC 1260, held that a teacher occupies pride of place next below the parents and he imparts education and discipline to the students. According to Their Lordships, Principal owes social responsibility and accountability to discipline the students by total dedication and sincere teaching. Teachers and Headmasters are in the position of loco parentis to all students (vide Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education v. K. S. Gandhi, (1991) 2 SCC 716).”

26. Referring to the provisions in the University Act, Statute and Ordinances and powers and functions of Principal and that of the syndicate, this court held that the syndicate has no authority to interfere with the orders of the Principal. The provisions are more or less similar in MG University also. It was held that:

“The Principal, the head of the institution, in consultation with the College Council, should have the primary authority to initiate appropriate action against the students for maintenance of discipline. His wisdom supported by the College Council alone should prevail in this regard over all other considerations. Whatever may be the differences of opinion between the students in the matter of political ideologies, they are not matters to be brought into the college campus or to the class rooms, lest it may affect the rights of other students whose prime consideration is academic excellence. Such students, who are interested in studies, have a right to have uninterrupted education without any political interference. Such a right, as per the decisions of the Supreme Court, is a fundamental right guaranteed under Art.21 of the Constitution of India”.

27. The aforesaid dictum was reiterated in Sojan Francis v. M.G. University: 2003 (2) KLT 582 and Indulekha Joseph v. Vice Chancellor: 2008 (3) KLT SN 54 (C.No. 67), etc. In Principal, Government Engineering College V John: :1979 KLT 686, following the judgment in Hira Nath's case (AIR. 1973 SC. 1260), it was held that the principle of natural justice does not apply in its full vigour to the educational institution's enquiries.

28. In this case the Board arrived at a finding that the order passed by the Principal is not in accordance with the Act or statutes and that the order of dismissal was unwarranted. The syndicate has accepted the findings of the Board and cancelled the order of dismissal which was ordered by the Principal, in implementation of the decision of the staff council.

29. Section 23(13) of the MG University Act empowers the syndicate only to maintain, supervise and control the residence and discipline of students. Statute 21 of Chapter 23 of the MG University First Statutes provides that in every college the Principal shall be the Head of the College and shall be responsible for the internal management and administration of the College. The pivotal position of the Principal in a College is recognised in various judgments, after analysing the provisions relating to power of the syndicate and that of Principal. The dictum laid down by this court in the judgments in Manu Vilson's case is applicable in this case also and therefore Ext.P4 order by which the syndicate has interfered with the authority of the Principal to maintain discipline in the college, is liable to be set aside.

According to the University the petitioner College has violated its provisions in Clause 8 of Rule 1 of Chapter III of the Kerala University First Ordinances, 1978 by not forwarding the transfer certificate and report of dismissal along with intimation of dismissal of the 4th respondent to the Syndicate. Clause 8 of Rule 1 of Chapter III provides that if any student is expelled from any College maintained or affiliated to the University intimation of fact of expulsion with a statement of reasons therefore shall be given forthwith by the Principal to the parent or guardian of the student and to the Syndicate. Intimation to the Syndicate shall be accompanied by the Transfer Certificate of the student. Syndicate may deliver the TC to the student or his parent or guardian with necessary endorsement, on application of either of them or withhold it temporarily or permanently, as it deems fit. It is seen that the statement of reasons and the TC were not furnished together with the intimation and same was forwarded to the syndicate only on 11.05.2019. The explanation of the petitioner is that the TC was forwarded before re-opening of the colleges and therefore no prejudice is caused to the 4th respondent. However the provisions in the ordinance does not provide for any relaxation for forwarding TC with reference to vacation. At any rate the delay in issuing a TC cannot be a ground for cancelling the order of dismissal as the power of the syndicate to interfere with the action of the Principal in enforcing discipline continues to be the same.

Therefore, Ext.P24 shall stand set aside. The Writ Petition is allowed accordingly.”

17. On the aspect as to whether the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, respondent No.4, has no jurisdiction to entertain, adjudicate and redress grievances relating to discipline of students in a college, we deem it fit to consider a few decisions as to how headings to a Section and Section to be interpreted.

“(i) In Refugee Co-operative Housing Society Ltd., New Delhi v. Harbans Singh Bhasin reported in AIR 1982 Del. 335, the Delhi High Court held that,

“Headings prefixed to a section may be read along with the enacting provisions of the section to resolve any doubt-heading cannot prevail when intention of the Legislature can be gathered by reference to other sections.”

(ii) In Raichurmatham Prabhakar v. Rawatmal Dugar reported in AIR 2004 SC 3625, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“The view is now settled that the Headings or Titles pre-fixed to sections or group of sections can be referred to in construing an Act of the Legislature. But conflicting opinions have been expressed on the question as to what weight should be attached to the Headings or Titles. According to one view, the Headings might be treated as preambles to the provisions following them so as to be regard as giving the key to opening the mind of the draftsman of the clauses arranged thereunder. According to the other view, resort to Heading can only be taken when the enacting words are ambiguous. They cannot control the meaning of plain words but they may explain ambiguities. (Principles of Statutory Interpretation by Justice G.P. Singh, Ninth Edition, v. 2004, pp. 152, 155). It is permissible to assign the heading or Title of a section a limited role to play in the construction of statutes. They may be taken as very broad and general indicators of the nature of the subject-matter dealt with thereunder. The Heading or Title may also be taken as a condensed name assigned to indicate collectively the characteristics of the subject-matter dealt with by the enactment underneath; though the name would always be brief having its own limitations. In case of conflict between the plain language of the provision and the meaning of the Heading or Title, the Heading or Title would not control the meaning which is clearly and plainly discernible from the language of the provision thereunder.”

(iii) In Mahesh Housing Co-operative Society Ltd., v. State of West Bengal reported in 2004 (1) CHN 10, the Court held that,

“That the headings constitute an important part of the Act and may be read not only as explaining the sections, which immediately follow them, but the headings may be read as preamble to a statute and may be looked for that purpose to explain the enactment. The same can be considered as key to the construction of section, which follow them.”

18. Let us consider a few decisions as to how, a Section has to be read and interpreted.

(i) In Samrao v. District Magistrate, Thana reported in AIR 1952 SC 324, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“It is the duty of the Courts to give effect to the meaning of an Act, when the meaning can be fairly gathered from the words used, that is to say, if one construction will lead to an absurdity while another will give effect to what common sense would show was obviously intended, the construction which would defeat the ends of the Act, must be rejected even if the same words used in the same section, and even the same sentence, have to be construed differently. Indeed the law goes so far as to require the Courts sometimes even to modify the grammatical and ordinary sense of the words if by doing so absurdity and inconsistency can be avoided.”

(ii) It is well settled that a statute must be read as a whole and one provision of the Act should be construed with reference to other provisions in the same Act, so as to make a consistent enactment of the whole statute. Such a construction has the merit of avoiding any inconsistency or repugancy either within the statute or between a Section or other parts of the statute. [Ref. Raj Krishna v. Bonod Kanungo reported in AIR 1954 SC 202].

(iii) In Rananjaya Singh v. Baji Nath Singh reported in AIR 1954 SC 749, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“The spirit of law may well be an illusive and unsafe guide in the interpretation of the statutes and the supposed spirit can certainly not be given effect to in opposition to the plain language of the sections of the Act, and the rules made thereunder. If all that can be said of these statutory provisions is that construed according to the ordinary, grammatical and natural meaning of their language they work injustice, the appeal must be made to the Parliament and not to the Supreme Court.”

(iv) In The State of Bihar v. Hira Lal Kejriwal reported in AIR 1960 SC 47, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, at Paragraph 6, held that,

“To ascertain the meaning of a section it is not permissible to omit any part of it: the whole section should be read together and an attempt should be made to reconcile both the parts. ......The first part gives life to that Order, and, therefore, the acts authorised under that Order can be done subsequent to the coming into force of the Ordinance. ......The second part appears to have been enacted for the purpose of avoiding this difficulty or, at any rate, to dispel the ambiguity.”

(v) In S.Gurmej Singh v. S.Pratap Singh reported in AIR 1960 SC 122, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, at Paragraph 9, held as follows:

“It is an elementary rule that construction of a section is to be made of all the parts together and not of one part only by itself, and that phrases are to be construed according to the rules of grammar.”

(vi) In A.R.Antulay v. Ramdas Sriniwas Nayak reported in 1984 (2) SCC 500, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“It is a well established cannon of construction that the court should read the section as it is and cannot rewrite it to suit its convenience; nor does any cannon of construction permit the court to read the section in such manner as to render it to some extent otiose.”

(vii) In Balasinor Nagrik Co-operative Bank Ltd., v. Babubhai Shankerlal Pandya reported in 1987 (1) SCC 606, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, at Paragraph 4, held as follows:

“It is an elementary rule that construction of a section is to be made of all parts together. It is not permissible to omit any part of it. For, the principle that the statute must be read as a whole is equally applicable to different parts of the same section.”

(ix) In T.N.State Electricity Board v. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission reported in 2007 (7) SCC 636, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that, -

“Resort can be had to the legislative intent for the purpose of interpreting a provision of law, when the language employed by the legislature is doubtful or susceptible of meanings more than one. However, when the language is plain and explicit and does not admit of any doubtful interpretation, the Supreme Court cannot, by reference to an assumed legislative intent expand the meaning of an expression employed by the legislature and therein include such category of persons as the legislature has not chosen to do.”

(x) In Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd. v. State of Haryana, reported in (2009) 3 SCC 553, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“It is a well-settled principle in law that the court cannot read anything into a statutory provision which is plain and unambiguous. The language employed in a statute is determinative factor of legislative intent. If the language of the enactment is clear and unambiguous, it would not be proper for the courts to add any words thereto and evolve some legislative intent, not found in the statute.”

19. On the aspect, as to when, a judgment has to be treated as judicial precedent, binding on the courts, this Court deems it fit to consider a few decisions.

“(i) In State of Orissa vs. Sudhansu Sekar Misra, reported in AIR 1968 SC 647, the Hon'ble Supreme Court explained as to when a decision can be taken as a precedent, which as follows:-

“A decision is only an authority for what it actually decides. What is of the essence of a decision is its ratio and not every observation found therein nor what logically follows from the various observations made in it. On this topic, this is what Earl of Halsbury LC said in Quinn v. Leathem, reported in 901 AC 495. 'Now before discussing the case of Allen vs. Flood, reported in 1898 AC 1 and what was decided therein, there are two observations of a general character which I wish to make, and one is to repeat what I have very often said before, that every judgment must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved, since the generality of the expressions which may be found there are not intended to be expositions of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which such expressions are to be found. The other is that a case is only an authority for what it actually decides. I entirely deny that it can be quoted for a proposition that may seem to follow logically from it. Such a mode of reasoning assumes that the law is necessarily a logical code, whereas every lawyer must acknowledge that the law is not always logical at all.” It is not profitable task to extract a sentence here and there from a judgment and to build upon it.”

(ii) In Union of India Vs. Dhanwanti Devi, reported in 1996 (6) SCC 44 = 1996 (7) Supreme 51, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has explained, what constitutes a precedent, which as follows:-

"Before adverting to and considering whether solatium and interest would be payable under the Act, at the outset, we will dispose of the objection raised by Shri Vaidyanathan that Union of India v. Hari Krishan Khosla reported in 1993 Supplement (2) SCC 149, is not a binding precedent nor does it operate as ratio decidendi to be followed as a precedent and is per se per incuriam. It is not everything said by a Judge while giving judgment that constitutes a precedent. The only thing in a Judge's decision binding a party is the principle upon which the case is decided and for this reason it is important to analyse a decision and isolate from it the ratio decidendi. According to the well settled theory of precedents, every decision contains three basic postulates— (i) findings of material facts, direct and inferential. A inferential finding of facts is the inference which the Judge draws from the direct, or perceptible facts; (ii) statements of the principles of law applicable to the legal problems disclosed by the facts; and (iii) judgment based on the combined effect of the above. A decision is only an authority for what it actually decides. What is of the essence in a decision is its ratio and not every observation found therein nor what logically follows from the various observations made in the judgment. Every judgment must be read as applicable to the particular facts proved, or assumed to be proved, since the generality of the expressions which may be found there is not intended to be exposition of the whole law, but governed and qualified by the particular facts of the case in which such expressions are to be found. It would, therefore, be not profitable to extract a sentence here and there from the judgment and to build upon it because the essence of the decision is its ratio and not every observation found therein. The enunciation of the reason or principle on which a question before a court has been decided is alone binding as a precedent. The concrete decision alone is binding between the parties to it, but it is the abstract ratio decidendi ascertained on a consideration of the judgment in relation to the subject-matter of the decision, which alone has the force of law and which, when it is clear what it was, is binding. It is only the principle laid down in the judgment that is binding law under Article 141 of the Constitution. A deliberate judicial decision arrived at after hearing an argument on a question which arises in the case or is put in issue may constitute a precedent, no matter for what reason, and the precedent by long recognition may mature into rule of stare decisis. It is the rule deductible from the application of law to the facts and circumstances of the case which constitutes its ratio decidendi. Therefore, in order to understand and appreciate the binding force of a decision it is always necessary to see what were the facts in the case in which the decision was given and what was the point which had to be decided. No judgment can be read as if it is a statute. A word or a clause or a sentence in the judgment cannot be regarded as a full exposition of law. Law cannot afford to be static and therefore, Judges arc to employ an intelligent technique in the use of precedents.

(iii) In State of Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries Ltd., reported in (2004) 11 SCC 26, the Hon'ble Supreme Court explained the doctrine of precedents and when a judgment becomes per incuriam. Paragraphs 334 to 336, 339 and 343, of the judgment are relevant and they are as follows:-

Precedent

334. The doctrine of precedent is a well-accepted principle. A ruling is generally considered to be binding on lower courts and courts having a smaller bench structure:

“A precedent influences future decisions. Every decision is pronounced on a specific set of past facts and from the decision on those facts a rule has to be extracted and projected into the future. No one can foresee the precise situation that will arise, so the rule has to be capable of applying to a range of broadly similar situations against a background of changing conditions. It has therefore to be in general terms and ‘malleable’ … No word has one proper meaning, nor can anyone seek to fix the meaning of words for others, so the interpretation of the rule remains flexible and open-ended. (See Dias Jurisprudence, 5th Edn., p. 136.)”

335. However, although a decision has neither been reversed nor overruled, it may cease to be “law” owing to changed conditions and changed law. This is reflected by the principle “cessante ratione cessat ipsa lex”. “… It is not easy to detect when such situations occur, for as long as the traditional theory prevails that judges never make law, but only declare it, two situations need to be carefully distinguished. One is where a case is rejected as being no longer law on the ground that it is now thought never to have represented the law; the other is where a case, which is acknowledged to have been the law at the time, has ceased to have that character owing to altered circumstances. (See Dias Jurisprudence, 5th Edn., pp. 146- 47.)”

336. It is the latter situation which is often of relevance. With changes that are bound to occur in an evolving society, the judiciary must also keep abreast of these changes in order that the law is considered to be good law. This is extremely pertinent especially in the current era of globalisation when the entire philosophy of society, on the economic front, is undergoing vast changes.

339. Judicial discipline envisages that a coordinate Bench follow the decision of an earlier coordinate Bench. If a coordinate Bench does not agree with the principles of law enunciated by another Bench, the matter may be referred only to a larger Bench. (See Pradip Chandra Parija v. Pramod Chandra Patnaik, reported in 2003 (7) SCC 01, SCC at paras 6 and 7; followed in Union of India v. Hansoli Devi, reported in 2002 (7) SCC 01, SCC at para 2.) But no decision can be arrived at contrary to or inconsistent with the law laid down by the coordinate Bench. Kalyani Stores, reported in AIR 1966 SC 1686 and K.K. Narula, reported in AIR 1967 SC 1368, both have been rendered by the Constitution Benches. The said decisions, therefore, cannot be thrown out for any purpose whatsoever; more so when both of them if applied collectively lead to a contrary decision proposed by the majority.

343. It is also trite that the binding precedents which are authoritative in nature and are meant to be applied should not be ignored on application of the doctrine of sub silentio or p er incuriam without assigning specific reasons therefor. I, for one, do not see as to how Kalyani Stores and K.K. Narula read together can be said to have been passed sub silentio or rendered per incuriam.”

(iv) In Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. v. Essar Power Ltd., reported in (2008) 4 SCC 755, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows:

“52. No doubt ordinarily the literal rule of interpretation should be followed, and hence the court should neither add nor delete words in a statute. However, in exceptional cases this can be done where not doing so would deprive certain existing words in a statute of all meaning, or some part of the statute may become absurd.”

(v) In Phool Patti v. Ram Singh reported in (2009) 13 SCC 22, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“9. It is a well-settled principle of interpretation that the court cannot add words to the statute or change its language, particularly when on a plain reading the meaning seems to be clear.”

(vi) In Mohd. Shahabuddin v. State of Bihar, reported in (2010) 4 SCC 653, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“179. Even otherwise, it is a well-settled principle in law that the court cannot read anything into a statutory provision which is plain and unambiguous. The language employed in a statute is a determinative factor of the legislative intent. If the language of the enactment is clear and unambiguous, it would not be proper for the courts to add any words thereto and evolve some legislative intent, not found in the statute. Reference in this regard may be made to a recent decision of this Court in Ansal Properties & Industries Ltd. v. State of Haryana [2009 (3) SCC 553] 180. Further, it is a well-established principle of statutory interpretation that the legislature is specially precise and careful in its choice of language. Thus, if a statutory provision is enacted by the legislature, which prescribes a condition at one place but not at some other place in the same provision, the only reasonable interpretation which can be resorted to by the courts is that such was the intention of the legislature and that the provision was consciously enacted in that manner. In such cases, it will be wrong to presume that such omission was inadvertent or that by incorporating the condition at one place in the provision the legislature also intended the condition to be applied at some other place in that provision.”

(vii) In Satheedevi v. Prasanna reported in (2010) 5 SCC 622, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows:

“12. Before proceeding further, we may notice two well-recognised rules of interpretation of statutes. The first and primary rule of construction is that the intention of the legislature must be found in the words used by the legislature itself. If the words used are capable of one construction, only then it would not be open to the courts to adopt any other hypothetical construction on the ground that such hypothetical construction is more consistent with the alleged object and policy of the Act. The words used in the material provisions of the statute must be interpreted in their plain grammatical meaning and it is only when such words are capable of two constructions that the question of giving effect to the policy or object of the Act can legitimately arise—Kanai Lal Sur v. Paramnidhi Sadhukhan [AIR 1957 SC 907].

13. The other important rule of interpretation is that the court cannot rewrite, recast or reframe the legislation because it has no power to do so. The court cannot add words to a statute or read words which are not there in it. Even if there is a defect or an omission in the statute, the court cannot correct the defect or supply the omission - Union of India v. Deoki Nandan Aggarwal [1992 Supp (1) SCC 323] and Shyam Kishori Devi v. Patna Municipal Corpn. [AIR 1966 SC 1678]”

(viii) In Sri Jeyaram Educational Trust & Ors., v. A.G.Syed Mohideen & Ors. reported in 2010 CIJ 273 SC (1), it is held that, "6. It is now well settled that a provision of a statute should have to be read as it is, in a natural manner, plain and straight, without adding, substituting or omitting any words. While doing so, the words used in the provision should be assigned and ascribed their natural, ordinary or popular meaning. Only when such plain and straight reading, or ascribing the natural and normal meaning to the words on such reading, leads to ambiguity, vagueness, uncertainty, or absurdity which were not obviously intended by the Legislature or the Lawmaker, a court should open its interpretation tool kit containing the settled rules of construction and interpretation, to arrive at the true meaning of the provision. While using the tools of interpretation, the court should remember that it is not the author of the Statute who is empowered to amend, substitute or delete, so as to change the structure and contents. A court as an interpreter cannot alter or amend the law. It can only interpret the provision, to make it meaningful and workable so as to achieve the legislative object, when there is vagueness, ambiguity or absurdity. The purpose of interpretation is not to make a provision what the Judge thinks it should be, but to make it what the legislature intended it to be."

(ix) In Delhi Airtech Services (P) Ltd. v. State of U.P., reported in (2011) 9 SCC 354, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, while dealing with a provision under Section 17(3-A) of the Act, held that, “Therefore, the provision of Section 17(3-A) cannot be viewed in isolation as it is an intrinsic and mandatory step in exercising special powers in cases of emergency. Sections 17(1) and 17(2) and 17(3-A) must be read together. Sections 17(1) and 17(2) cannot be worked out in isolation. 55. It is well settled as a canon of construction that a statute has to be read as a whole and in its context. In Attorney General v. Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover [1957 AC 436], Lord Viscount Simonds very elegantly stated the principle that it is the duty of court to examine every word of a statute in its context. The learned Law Lord further said that in understanding the meaning of the provision, the Court must take into consideration “not only other enacting provisions of the same statute, but its preamble, the existing state of the law, other statutes in pari materia, and the mischief which I can, by those and other legitimate means, discern that the statute was intended to remedy.” (All ER p. 53 I) 57. These principles have been followed by this Court in its Constitution Bench decision in Union of India v. Sankalchand Himatlal Sheth [1977 (4) SCC 193]. At SCC p. 240, Bhagwati, J. as His Lordship then was, in a concurring opinion held that words in a statute cannot be read in isolation, their colour and content are derived from their context and every word in a statute is to be examined in its context. His Lordship explained that the word context has to be taken in its widest sense and expressly quoted the formulations of Lord Viscount Simonds, set out above.”

20. Let us consider a few decisions on what “any” means.

(i) In Ashiq Hasan Khan v. Sub-Divisional Officer, Sadar, Monghyr reported in AIR 1965 Patna 446, a learned Single Judge of the Patna High Court, with reference to the word, “any”, held as follows: “...it is clear that the use of the expression "any" would be equal to the word "all" in certain contexts and as has been referred to in Stroud's Judicial Dictionary (3rd Edition, page 150), the word "any" excludes limitation or qualification. Referring to Liddy v. Kennedy, (1871) 5 HL 134, Stroud has quoted the following passage "So, a power in a lease, enabling the lessor to resume possession of any portion of the premises demised; enables him to resume aft." Even in the Oxford Dictionary "any has been taken to mean "all."

(ii) The word 'any' may have one of the several meanings according to the circumstances, it may mean 'all', 'each', 'every', 'some', or 'one' or more out of several, whether the expression 'any' used in the statute is indicative of singular or the plural will depend upon the context of each case. [Pashupati Nath Singh v. State 1978 Pat. LJR 578 (581); 1978 BLJ 593]. (iii) In Wharton's Law Lexicon, the word 'any' means “some; one of many; and indefinite number. One indiscriminately or whatever kind or quantity. Word 'any' has a diversity of meaning and may be employed to indicate 'all' or 'every' as well as 'some' or 'one' and its meaning in a given statute depends upon the context and the subject-matter of the statute. It is often synonymous with 'either', 'every' or 'all'. Its generality may be restricted by the context;' [Black's Law Dictonary, 5 th Edn.,]. [Ref. Shri Balaganesna Metals v. M.N.Shanmugham Chetty, (1987) 2 SCC 707 (718) ; AIR 1987 SC 1668].

(iii) In Lucknow Development Authority v. M.K.Gupta reported in AIR 1994 SC 787, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows:

“The word 'any' dictionarily means 'one or some or all'. In Black's Law Dictionary it is explained thus, "word ,any' has a diversity of meaning and may be employed to indicate 'all' or ,every' as well as 'some' or 'one' and its meaning in a given statute depends upon the context and the subject- matter of the statute". The use of the word 'any' in the context it has been used in clause (o) indicates that it has been used in wider sense extending from one to all.”

(iv) In Indian Medical Association v. V.P.Shantha reported in AIR 1996 SC 550, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that,

“The words `any ' and `potential' are significant. Both are of wide amplitude. The word `any' dictionarily means; one or some or all', In Black's Law Dictionary it is explained thus, "word `any' has a diversity of meaning and may be employed to indicate `all' or `every' as well as `some' or `one' and its meaning in a given statue depends upon the context and the subject- matter of the statute". The use of the word `any' in the context it has been used in clause (o) indicates that it has been used in wider sense extending from one to all.”

21. Reading of Rule 1 of Chapter XXVII of the M.G.University Statutes, 1997 also makes it clear the Board has power to redress any grievances of the students of colleges, who may, for any reason, be aggrieved otherwise then by an act of court.

22. The word “grievances” has not been explained in M.G University Statutes 1997, in the context of the Constitution of Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, the procedure contemplated and when no specific meaning is given in the statutes, it is permissible to refer to dictionaries to find out general meaning in which the word “grievance” is understood in common parlance. Reference can be made to a few decisions and definitions.

23. In Interpretation of Statutes, 13th Edition by Justice G.P.Singh, the word “dictionaries” is stated as below:

Dictionaries

When a word is not defined in the Act itself, it is permissible to get to dictionaries to find out the general sense in which that word is understood in common parlance. However, in selecting one out of the various meanings of a word, regard must always be had to the context as it is a fundamental rule that “the meanings of words and expressions used in an Act must take their colour from the context in which they appear”. Therefore, “when the context makes the meaning of a word quite clear, it becomes unnecessary to search for and select a particular meaning out of the diverse meanings a word is capable of, according to lexicographers”. As stated by KRISHNA AIYAR, J.: “Dictionaries are not dictators of statutory construction where the benignant mood of a law, and more emphatically, the definition claus funish a different denotation. In the words of JEEVAN REDDY, J.: “A statute cannot always be construed with the dictionary in one hand and the statute in the other. Regard must also be had to the scheme, context and to the legislative history.” JUDGE LEARNED HAND cautioned “not to make a fortress out of the dictionary”, but to pay more attention to “the sympathetic and imaginative discovery” of the purpose or object of the statute as a guide to its meaning. A dictionary meaning cannot be adopted if it will make some existing words redundant or will require reading of some additional words. Further, words and expressions at times have a 'technical' or a 'legal meaning' and in that case they are understood in that sense.

(i) In R. v. Peters', (1886) 16 QBD 636 at p; 641 (C) Lord Coleridge said that,-

In order to ascertain the ordinary meaning of words used in a statute the Courts may assist themselves by any literary help which they can find, including the consultation of standard authors and reference to well-known and authoritative dictionaries.

For ascertainment of the ordinary meaning of words, resort may be made to standard dictionaries. in -- ',

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as follows: "I am quite aware that dictionaries are not to be taken as authoritative exponents of the meanings of words used in Acts of Parliament, but it is a well-known rule of Courts of law that words should be taken to be used in their ordinary sense, and we are therefore sent for instruction to these books." (ii) Cozens-Hardy, M. R., also said in Camden (Marquis) v. I.R.C., 1914-1 K.B. 641 at P.647 (B): "It is for the Court to interpret the statute as best it may. In so doing the Courts may no doubt assist themselves in the discharge of their duty by any literary help they can find, including of course the consultation of standard authors and reference to well known and authoritative dictionaries." (ii) In -- 'Marquis Canden v. Commr. of Inland Revenue', 1914-1. KB 641 (D). p; 647, (COZEN HARDY, M.R.) it was said; "It is for the Court to interpret the statute as best they can. In so doing the Court may no doubt assist themselves in the discharge of their duty fay any literary help which they can find including of course the consultation of standard authors and reference to wellknown and authoritative dictionaries. Reference to the Oxford English Dictionary has been approved and adopted by Court.” 24. Let us consider what exactly the word “grievance” means. (i) In Black's Law Dictionary 9th edition (Page 771) referred as;- Grievance;- 1. An injury, injustice or wrong that gives ground for a complaint (a petition for a redress of grievances). (ii) In Oxford Dictionary, the word “grievance” is referred as;- Something that you think is unfair and that you complain or protest about:parents were invited to air their grievances (= express them) at the meeting. He had been nursing a grievance against his boss for months. Does the company have a formal grievance procedure (= a way of telling sb your complaints at work)? (iii) In Ramanatha Aiyers the Law Lexicon, the word “grievance” is referred as: Grievance. Ground of complaint. Grievance, HARDSHIP, Grievance is in general taken for that which is done by another to grieve or distress. Hardship is a particular kind of grievance that presses upon individuals. There are national grievances, though not national hardships. An infraction of one's rights, an act of violence on oppression, are grievances to those who are exposed to them, whether as individuals or bodies of men : an unequal distribution of labour, a partial indulgence of one to the detriment of another, constitute the hardship. The weight of taxes, levied in order to support an unjust war, will be esteemed a grievance : the partiality and caprice of the Collector in making it fall with unequal weight upon particular persons will be regarded as a peculiar hardship. Men seek a redress of their grievances from some higher power than that by which they are inflicted : they endure their hardships until an opportunity offers of getting them removed. (Crabb.) “It is better private men should have some injustice done them, then a public grievance should not be redressed. This is usually pleaded in defence of all those hardships which fall on particular persons, on particular occasions, which could not be foreseen when the laws was made.” (Spectator.) A grievance is a mental hardship, or a hardship as dwelt upon in the mind. Heavy taxation is a hardship when viewed in its pauperizing effects, a grievance as furnishing ground or complaint against a Government or an administration. Hardship comes from a force stronger than ourselves, whether from nature or a man. Grievance may exist between equals. Among civilized nations, one may have grievance against another, where hardship could not be predicted : at the national grievance might be such as to entail hardship upon individuals. (Smith.Syn. Dis.) In labour law, a complaint filed by an employee, or his or her union representative, regarding working conditions and for resolution of which there is procedural machinery provided in the union contract. An injury, injustice or wrong which gives ground for complaint because it is unjust, discriminatory, and oppressive. (iv) In Stroud's Judicial Dictionary of Words and Phrases, 7th Edition, Volume I states that: Grievance is interpreted with annoyance. (v) In Words and Phrases Permanent Edition, Volume 18A states that: Grievances A grievance is defined as an act, omission or occurrence which a permanent classified employee feels constitutes an injustice and can be established on factual information. It may relate to any condition arising out of the relationship between an employer and an employee, including but not limited to, compensation, working hours, working conditions, membership in an organization of employees or the interpretation of any law, regulation or disagreement. It does not include position allocation, involuntary transfers, dismissals, demotions, or suspensions. The grievance procedure and statements made on this form do not include all the rights available to a grievant. Consequently, NAC 284.658 through 284.697, which provide direction for the adjustment of grievances, should be reviewed prior to the filing of a grievance. (vi) In Corpus Juris Secundum, the word “grievance” is stated as an act or condition considered to be a justifiable reason for complaint, as a substandard working conditions or unfair regulations; a cause, of grief, as a wrong or slight, real of imagined. 25. Thus judgments referred to supra make it clear that the meaning of words used in Chapter XXVII of Mahatma Gandhi University Statutes, 1997, "any" and "grievances" would include a grievance relating to any disciplinary action taken by college. Chapter does not exclude matters relating to disciplinary action taken by the college and that a student of the college can maintain a complaint to the Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances. 26. Thus, giving due consideration to the submissions, the statutory provisions and the decisions relied on by learned Senior Counsel for the appellants, we find no merits in this appeal, warranting interference with the judgment of writ court dated 23.10.2019, which directed the Chairman, Board for Adjudication of Students Grievances, to finalise the complaint, in accordance with the procedure contemplated as per Chapter 27 of the Statutes, 1997. Writ appeal is accordingly, dismissed.
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