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Vijay Kumar Sinha v/s Vinoba Bhave University


Company & Directors' Information:- VIJAY INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U25199DL1998PTC096860

Company & Directors' Information:- D N SINHA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51109WB1958PTC023794

Company & Directors' Information:- VIJAY J AND K PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52100GJ1974PTC002504

Company & Directors' Information:- SINHA & COMPANY PVT. LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U17299WB1989PTC047322

Company & Directors' Information:- M L SINHA & CO PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51909WB1945PTC012778

Company & Directors' Information:- S P SINHA & CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB1974PTC029681

Company & Directors' Information:- BHAVE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22219MH1949PTC007839

Company & Directors' Information:- D VIJAY AND COMPANY LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1933PTC002056

Company & Directors' Information:- B. SINHA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U99999JH1935PTC000072

    Writ Petition (S) No. 5073 of 2014

    Decided On, 13 October 2020

    At, High Court of Jharkhand

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE DEEPAK ROSHAN

    For the Appearing Parties: R. Krishna, I. Sen Choudhary, Sanjoy Piprawal, Advocates.



Judgment Text

1. Heard learned counsel for the parties through V.C.2. The petitioner has preferred this writ petition, initially for quashing the show cause as contained in Memo No. VBU/P/R/1615/14 dated 10.9.2014 (Annexure-8) issued by the Registrar, Vinoba Bhave University, whereby the petitioner was asked to submit his explanation/reply as to why the services of the petitioner be not terminated.3. During the pendency of the instant writ application, an order as contained in Memo No. 1963/2014 dated 15.10.2014 has been issued, whereby the service of the petitioner has been terminated with immediate effect. Pursuant to that, an amendment application being I.A. No. 5579/2014 was filed for amendment in the prayer which was allowed vide order dated 11.12.2014 and thereafter, amended writ petition was filed in which the petitioner added the prayer for quashing of the order as contained in Memo No. 1963/2014 dated 15.10.2014, by which the service of the petitioner has been terminated with immediate effect.4. The case of the petitioner is that the Jharkhand Public Service Commission has issued an Advertisement for appointments on different posts including the Assistant Registrar vide Advertisement No. 2/2004. In the aforesaid Advertisement, all the five posts of Assistant Registrar was indicated under the Ranchi University but at Sl.No.1 of the Advertisement, necessary directions was stipulated that the post of Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Assistant Librarian can be changed (reduced or enhanced) and the persons appointed can be transferred/adjusted against any of the three Universities.5. The petitioner, having all requisite qualification as prescribed in the Advertisement, applied for the post of Assistant Registrar and after facing the interview, the Jharkhand Public Service Commission has recommended the name of the petitioner for appointment on the post of Assistant Registrar in Vinoba Bhave University vide its letter as contained in Memo No. 49 dated 29.3.2005.6. Thereafter, the then Vice Chancellor of the Vinoba Bhave University had shown his difficulty in appointing the petitioner on the post of Assistant Registrar on the ground of non-compliance of the provision under section 58(3) of the Jharkhand State University Act and has referred the matter to the Hon’ble Chancellor for appropriate decision and direction vide its letter dated 11.05.2005.7. Thereafter, a letter dated 17/19.12.2005 was issued from the Office of the Hon’ble Chancellor addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Vinoba Bhave University in which a direction was issued to appoint the petitioner on the post of Assistant Registrar, if there is no stay order passed by this Court (Annexure-B to the Counter Affidavit dated 12.03.15).8. After the aforesaid order of the Hon’ble Chancellor received in the office of the Vinoba Bhave University, the appointment letter was issued to the petitioner on the post of Assistant Registrar, Vinoba Bhave University vide letter no. 2029 dated 12.1.2006 and accordingly the petitioner joined and started working. Thereafter, the case of the petitioner was further placed before the Syndicate in its meeting held on 15.4.2006 and the Syndicate of the University has approved the appointment of the petitioner on the post of Assistant Registrar which has been communicated vide order contained in Memo No. 2697/06 dated 02.05.2006 (Annexure-3). Thereafter, the petitioner is continuously working under the respondent authorities.9. All of a sudden, a show cause notice dated 10.09.2014 (Annexure-8) was issued to the petitioner inwhich the petitioner was directed to submit his reply that why the service of the petitioner be not terminated. The reasons stated in the show cause is that there is no requisition sent by the Vinoba Bhave University for appointment on the post of Assistant Registrar and appointment which has been made at the relevant time has been reviewed by the Hon’ble Chancellor and accordingly the decision of Hon’ble Chancellor has been communicated vide letter No. VBU-361/03-1698 dated 26.08.2014 directing the University to proceed for cancellation of appointment because of several irregularities (Annexure-8).10. The petitioner had submitted his reply, however, vide impugned office order as contained in Memo No. 1963/14 dated 15.10.2014, the service of the petitioner has been terminated which the petitioner has challenged in instant writ application (Annexure-10).11. The petitioner has assailed the impugned order dated 15.10.2014 on the ground that the provision under section 57 (2) (C) of the University Act was complied considering the Advertisement as well as subsequent action of the Vinoba Bhave University by which the vacancy position of the Assistant Registrar was intimated to the Commission before appointments were made.12. Mr. Rajendra Krishna, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Advertisement which was published in the newspaper is known to all the three universities i.e. Ranchi University, Vinoba Bhave University and Sidhu Kanho Murmu University since there are other posts advertised in the same Advertisement for the other two Universities named above. Therefore, it is an admitted fact that all the three Universities knew that the Advertisement which was published for the post of Assistant Registrar for the Ranchi University but according to the necessary directives given in the Advertisement, the persons appointed on the post of Assistant Registrar and others can also be adjusted in other Universities.13. The Vinoba Bhave University did not make any objection to the Jharkhand Public Service Commission for issuance of such Advertisement. Therefore, it was known to the people in general that the Assistant Registrar appointed against five posts can be adjusted in Ranchi University and other two Universities as well which in fact amounts to acceptance by the Vinoba Bhave University. Further, the vacancy position of the Assistant Registrar in Vinoba Bhave University was also inquired by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission from Vinoba Bhave University and Vinoba Bhave University has sent FAX message to the Jharkhand Public Service Commission on 27.12.2004 showing vacancy position of Assistant Registrar in which one post of Assistant Registrar for is General Category and one is for Reserved Category of SC and ST (Annexure-9).14. He further contended that the grounds taken by the Vinoba Bhave University that there was no requisition sent by the said University to the Jharkhand Public Service Commission for appointment on the post of Assistant Registrar is not acceptable since the Advertisement as well as the subsequent events show that the University was very much in the knowledge that the Assistant Registrar appointed pursuant to the Advertisement No. 2/2004 can be adjusted in the Vinoba Bhave University hence, the said ground is not tenable. He further submits that the aforesaid statement and documents have not been disputed by the Vinoba Bhave University. Therefore, any stand taken by the Vinoba Bhave University that this appointment is contrary to the Jharkhand State University Act is not acceptable.15. Mr. Krishna further contended that the provision under section 57 (2) (C) of the University Act was fully complied considering the Advertisement as well as subsequent action of the Vinoba Bhave University by which the vacancy position of the Assistant Registrar was intimated to the Commission before appointments were made. He further submits with regard to the investigation by the CBI that the agency has not charge-sheeted the petitioner. Therefore, the appointment of the petitioner has also not been found irregular during the investigation done by the CBI whereas the CBI has charge-sheeted other persons like one Mr. Bijay Kumar Singh who was appointed on the post of Deputy Registrar in the Vinoba Bhave University which is evident from the letter having Reference No. 626/2013 dated 19.08.2013 written by the Vice Chancellor, Vinoba Bhave University to the Principal Secretary of Hon’ble Governor (Annexure C/1 of the Counter Affidavit filed on behalf of the Respondent No.1 and 2) in which at paragraph-6, they have specifically stated that one Mr. Bijay Kumar Singh was charge-sheeted because of the reasons given therein but there is no statement relating to any charge-sheet against the petitioner. Therefore, the appointment of the petitioner has not even been attached by the CBI.16. Learned counsel concluded his argument by submitting that even otherwise the Hon’ble Chancellor cannot review its own decision that too after a lapse of eight years, as the same which is against settled proposition of law.17. Mrs. Indrani Sen Choudhary, learned counsel for the Vinoba Bhave University reiterated its stand made in the counter affidavit and submits that the letter of the office of Hon’ble Chancellor dated 17.12.2005 has intimated the Vice Chancellor on the basis of information by JPSC that one writ petition has been filed by Raj Kishore Rai challenging the recommendation for appointment of Vijay Kumar Singh in the post of Deputy Registrar but no order has yet been passed and no relief has been granted to the petitioner. It has been directed by Hon’ble Chancellor that since the Hon’ble Jharkhand High Court has not granted any stay on the appointments of Deputy Registrar and Assistant Registrar, the process of their appointments on the basis of recommendation may be started. The Hon’ble Chancellor being the statutory head of the University, and his order being final, by the order of the Vice Chancellor, the Registrar issued appointment letter vide Memo No. VBU/Esstt/2029/2006 dated 12.01.2006. After completion of probation period of one year, the Syndicate of the V.B. University confirmed their services post-facto and approved the appointment. The petitioner worked till his appointment was terminated vide letter No. VBU/RO/950/2013/1963- 2014 dated 15.10.2014. She further submits that with regard to the statements made in para 13 of the writ petition it is stated that the answering respondents are not bound by all the statements made by Ranchi University in the counter-affidavit. She reiterated that the V.B. University neither requisitioned for the post of Assistant Registrar nor the same was advertised. The submission by the petitioner nowhere shows that the V.B. University made requisition to J.P.S.C for recommendation on the post of Assistant Registrar. She further submits that the statements made in the paras 14 & 15 of the writ petition it is stated that the office of the A.G. in its audit report 05/2011-12 dated 03.05.2011 raised serious objection upon the appointment of the petitioner as Assistant Registrar of V.B. University. The Principal Secretary to the Hon’ble Chancellor was requested by letter No. VBU/VC/R/0626/2013 dated 19.08.2013 to place the matter before the Hon’ble Chancellor. In reply vide letter No. VBU-361/2003-1698 dated 26.08.2014, Rajbhawan held that the appointment of the petitioner as Assistant Registrar of V.B. University was ab-initio illegal and directed for cancellation of the appointment and only thereafter, a show cause notice dated 10.09.2014 was issued to the petitioner. She further submits that Section 57(2)(c) of Jharkhand State Universities Act is binding on the Universities.18. Mr. Sanjoy Piprawal, learned counsel for the Jharkhand Public Service Commission submits that it would be evident from perusal of Annexure-2 of the writ application that the petitioner was recommended for appointment by the J.P.S.C. on the post of Assistant Registrar. He further submits that it is well settled law that appointing authority has power to make appointment on the strength of the recommendation of Public Service Commission and the appointing authority has also power to differ with the recommendation of the Public Service Commission by assigning reasons and at the same time the appointing authority has also power to terminate the services of such appointee in the facts and circumstances of the case.19. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and after going through the materials available on record, it is quite evident that the ground for termination of service of the petitioner is not in consonance with the law since the Provision under section 57(2) (C) of the University Act was complied along with considering the Advertisement as well as subsequent action of the Vinoba Bhave University by which the vacancy position of the Assistant Registrar was intimated to the Commission before appointments were made and taking into consideration the entire aspects of the matter, the petitioner was appointed in the year 2006. At this stage it is pertinent to mention here that in the Advertisement No. 2/2004, all the five posts of Assistant Registrar was indicated under the Ranchi University but at the same time; at Sl.No.1 of the Advertisement, necessary directions was stipulated that the post of Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Assistant Librarian can be changed (reduced or enhanced) and the persons appointed can be transferred/adjusted against any of the three Universities. Further, after completion of probation period of one year, the Syndicate of the V.B. University also confirmed the services post-facto and approved the appointment.20. There is also another aspect of the matter. The Hon’ble Chancellor was having no fresh ground to review its own order directing the University to terminate the services of the petitioner. The grounds upon which the services of the petitioner has been terminated, was communicated by the Vice Chancellor, Vinoba Bhave University to the Hon’ble Chancellor showing his reluctance for towards the appointment of the petitioner. Thereafter, before the appointment of the petitioner the said issue was overcome and the direction was given by the Hon’ble Chancellor to appoint the petitioner. Therefore, the issue was already adjudicated before appointment of the petitioner and thereafter the petitioner was appointed vide letter/order contained in VBU/Estt./2029/2006 dated 12.01.2006. Thereafter, the petitioner has worked for eight years. The Hon’ble Chancellor and/or the respondent University were not having any fresh ground to terminate the service of the petitioner. The ground which was already adjudicated cannot be taken into consideration for terminating the services of the petitioner that too after more than 7 years of appointment and hence the decision taken by the Hon’ble Chancellor is not in consonance with the law.21. Before departing it would be apt to clarify that though Section 4 (Ka) of the Jharkhand State University Act provides that the Hon’ble Chancellor has power to review its earlier order but there is no period of limitation prescribed and therefore in absence of any period of limitation it does not mean that the Hon’ble Chancellor can review its own order even after lapse of eight years. In the grab of review the sword of Damocles cannot be kept hanging indefinitely.This issue has been adjudicated by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Government of India Vs. CITEDAL FINE PHARMACEUTICALS, Madras and Others, (1989) 3 SCC 483 wherein at para 6 it has held as under;6. While it is true that Rule 12 does not prescribe any period within which recovery of any duty as contemplated by the rule is to be made, but that by itself does not render the rule unreasonable or violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. In the absence of any period of limitation it is settled that every authority is to exercise the power within a reasonable period. What would be reasonable period would depend upon the facts of each caseFurther in the case of State of Punjab and others vs. Bhatinda District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd., (2007) 11 SCC 363 at para 18 the same principle has been laid down which is quoted as under;18. It is trite that if no period of limitation has been prescribed, statutory authority must exercise its jurisdiction within a reasonable period. What, however, shall be the reasonable period would depend upon the nature of the statute, rights and liabilities thereunder and other relevant factors.Further, in the case of Sulochana Chandrakant Galande vs. Pune Municipal Transport and Others, (2010) 8 SCC 467 at para 29 the Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under;29. In view of the above, we reach the inescapable conclusion that the revisional powers cannot be used arbitrarily at a belated stage for the reason that the order passed in revision under Section 34 of the 1976 Act, is a judicial order. What should be reasonable time would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.Further, in the case of State of Jharkhand and others Vs Shivam Coke Industries, Dhanbad and others, (2011) 8 SCC 656 at para 45 and 46 has held as under;45. It is a settled position of law that while interpreting a statute, nothing could be added or subtracted when the meaning of the section is clear and unambiguous. In this connection we may also refer to the decision of this Court in Sakuru v. Tanaji wherein it was stated by this Court that the Limitation Act applies to courts and not to quasi-judicial authority. The aforesaid principle and settled position of law was totally ignored by the High Court while laying down that Article 137 of the Limitation Act would be applicable to the facts and circumstances of the present case.46. We would, however, agree with the position that such a power cannot be exercised by the revisional authority indefinitely. In our considered opinion, such extraordinary power i.e. suo motu power of initiation of revisional proceeding has to be exercised within a reasonable period of time and what is a reasonable

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period of time would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. For this proposition, a number of decisions of this Court can be referred to on which reliance was placed even by the counsel appearing for the respondent.22. Considering the aforesaid proposition of law, it is clear that suo-motu power of initiation of revisional proceeding has to be exercised within a reasonable period of time and what is a reasonable period of time would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. In the instant case, the appointment was made vide letter no. 2029 dated 12.01.2006 that too after the objection raised by the respondent University before the Hon’ble Chancellor; who in turn directed to respondent University to appoint the petitioner. Thereafter, the case of the petitioner was further placed before the Syndicate in its meeting held on 15.04.2006 and the Syndicate University has approved the appointment of the petitioner on the post of Assistant Registrar which has been communicated vide order contained in Memo No. 2697/06 dated 02.05.2006 (Annexure-3). As such, in the background of these facts and circumstances of the case the order of review of own order by the Hon’ble Chancellor after a gap of more than 8 years is not in consonance with the law.23. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, the impugned order is fit to be quashed. Consequently, the impugned order as contained in Memo No. 1963/2014 dated 15.10.2014, whereby the service of the petitioner has been terminated with immediate effect is quashed and set aside. The Respondent authorities are directed to ensure that all consequential benefits pursuant to setting aside the impugned order be given to the petitioner within a period of 4 months from the date of receipt/production of copy of this order.24. With the aforesaid directions the instant writ application is allowed and disposed of. The interlocutory application, if any, also stands disposed of.
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