Manish Gupta vs President, Jan Bhagidari Samiti on 21 April, 2022


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Supreme Court of India

Manish Gupta vs President, Jan Bhagidari Samiti on 21 April, 2022

Author: B.R. Gavai

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, B.R. Gavai

                                            NON­REPORTABLE

              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
               CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


             CIVIL APPEAL NOS.3084­3088 OF 2022
     [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.12946­
                         12950 of 2017]

MANISH GUPTA & ANR. ETC. ETC.                ...APPELLANT(S)

                     VERSUS
PRESIDENT, JAN BHAGIDARI SAMITI
& ORS. ETC. ETC.                           ...RESPONDENT(S)




                            ORDER

B.R. GAVAI, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. The present appeals challenge the common judgment and

order dated 8th February, 2017, passed by the Division Bench of

the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Bench, in Writ

Appeal No. 386 of 2016 along with companion matters, thereby

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allowing the appeals filed by the State of Madhya Pradesh as

well as the Jan Bhagidari Samiti and setting aside the common

judgment and order dated 29th September, 2016 passed by the

learned single judge of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh,

Gwalior Bench in Writ Petition (Civil) Nos. 4716 of 2016, 5326

of 2016 and 5145 of 2016.

3. The facts in the present case are taken from Writ Petition

(Civil) No.4716 of 2016.

4. The State Government of Madhya Pradesh, vide

Notification dated 30th September, 1996, started a Scheme

known as “Jan Bhagidari Scheme” (hereinafter referred to as

“the said Scheme”). As per the said Scheme, the Government

had decided that the local management of the Government

Colleges was to be handed over to a Committee so as to ensure

public participation in the Government Colleges. Under the

said Scheme, the said Committees were to be constituted

having members from various fields. The Chairman of the said

Committee was to be appointed by the State Government from

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the members of the concerned Civic Body, District Panchayat,

Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Member of Parliament

(MP). The District Collectors or their representative were to be

the ex­officio Deputy Chairman of the General Council of the

said Committee. The representatives of the donors, farmers,

and the representative of benefitting schools were to be the

members of the said Committee. The said Committee was

known as Jan Bhagidari Samiti.

5. Vide the Government Circular/Order dated 5 th October,

2001, the State Government decided to start some courses on a

self­financing basis. For the said courses, the appointments

were to be made on contractual/tenure basis and the

honorarium of the teachers and other staff was to be decided by

the said Committee.

6. In pursuance to the said Scheme, an advertisement came

to be issued in the year 2014 for appointment of teachers as

guest faculty for the Academic Year 2014­2015 in different

Colleges. The writ petitioners in Writ Petition (Civil) No.4716 of

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2016, having requisite qualifications, applied to the advertised

positions in pursuance to the said advertisement. Upon their

selection by the duly constituted Committee, they were

appointed. After the end of the Academic year, the writ

petitioners were discontinued from service. Fresh

advertisements were issued for the next Academic Year 2015­

2016. Being aggrieved thereby, the writ petitioners approached

the High Court by way of Writ Petition (Civil) No. 4716 of 2016.

The said writ petition was allowed by the learned single judge of

the High Court vide judgment and order dated 29 th September,

2016, thereby directing that the writ petitioners therein would

continue to work on their respective posts till regular selections

were made. It was also directed that the writ petitioners

therein were entitled to get the salary in accordance with the

UGC circular issued in February, 2010.

7. Being aggrieved thereby, the State Government as well as

the Presidents of the Jan Bhagidari Samitis preferred appeals

before the Division Bench of the High Court. The Division

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Bench of the High Court by the impugned judgment and order

dated 8th February, 2017, allowed the writ appeals and set

aside the judgment and order passed by the learned single

judge of the High Court. Being aggrieved thereby, the present

appeals by way of special leave.

8. We have heard the Shri Rana Mukherjee, learned Senior

Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants and Shri K.M.

Nataraj, learned Additional Solicitor General (“ASG” for short)

appearing on behalf of the respondents.

9. Shri Rana Mukherjee, learned Senior Counsel, would

submit that the Division Bench of the High Court has erred in

interfering with the judgment and order passed by the learned

single judge. He submits that, as a matter of fact, the

appellants were duly qualified and were selected in accordance

with due selection process and were required to undergo the

selection process in every Academic Year. He submits that the

modus operandi of the Government Colleges was to engage the

services of the appellants at the beginning of the Academic

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Session and to discontinue them at the end of the Academic

Session; and again to issue fresh advertisements for the next

Academic Session. In response to the same, the candidates

were again required to follow the selection process to get

appointed. It is therefore submitted that though there was

sufficient workload for regular posts, the appellants were

deprived of regular employment. It is submitted that, in any

case, the appellants had not sought for regularization. The

relief claimed was only for continuation of their services till duly

selected candidates were appointed. He therefore submits that

the impugned judgment and order delivered by the Division

Bench of the High Court deserves to be set aside.

10. Shri K.M. Nataraj, learned ASG, on the contrary, would

submit that the appellants were appointed in accordance with

the said Scheme. It is submitted that under the said Scheme,

the Government Colleges were required to run various courses

on a self­financing basis. The expenditure for the same was to

be meted out from the tuition fees, received from the students.

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He submits that the appointments of appellants were neither

ad hoc nor temporary. It is submitted that their services were

as guest lecturers and were on contractual basis for 11 months.

11. Shri Nataraj further submits that the requirement of the

guest lecturers was from year to year on the basis of the

number of students available for particular course(s). He

further submits that the said Scheme itself provided for

appointment of lecturers on a guest faculty basis and as such,

since the appellants had chosen not to challenge the said

Scheme, the Division Bench had rightly allowed the writ

appeals and dismissed the writ petitions.

12. A perusal of the advertisement dated 24 th June, 2016

issued by the Principal, Government Kamla Raja Girls Post

Graduate Autonomous College, Gwalior, which is at Annexure

P­2 of the Appeal Paper Book and the advertisement dated 2 nd

July, 2016 issued by the Principal, SMS Government Model

Science College, Gwalior, M.P., which is at Annexure P­3 of the

Appeal Paper Book, would show that the appointments were to

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be made after the candidates had gone through due selection

procedure. Though Shri Nataraj, learned ASG has strenuously

urged that the appointments of the appellants were as guest

lecturers and not as ad hoc employees, from the nature of the

advertisements, it could clearly be seen that the appellants

were appointed on ad hoc basis. It is a settled principle of law

that an ad hoc employee cannot be replaced by another ad hoc

employee and he can be replaced only by another candidate

who is regularly appointed by following a regular procedure

prescribed. Reliance in this respect can be placed on the

judgment of this Court in the case of Rattan Lal and others

vs. State of Haryana and others1 and on the order of this

Court in the case of Hargurpratap Singh vs. State of Punjab

and others2.

13. In that view of the matter, we do not find that an error was

committed by the learned single judge of the High Court by

directing the writ petitioners to continue to work on their
1 (1985) 4 SCC 43
2 (2007) 13 SCC 292

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respective posts till regular selections are made. We, however,

find that the direction issued by the learned single judge of the

High Court that the writ petitioners would be entitled to get the

salary in accordance with the UGC circular is not sustainable.

The advertisements themselves clearly provided that the

selected candidates would be paid the honorarium to be

determined by the said Committee.

14. We are informed at the Bar that the appellants are being

paid on a per hour basis, i.e., at the rate of Rs.1,000/­ per hour

and they are continuing to work in pursuance of the order of

status quo passed by this Court on 28 th April, 2017. We also

find substance with the submission made on behalf of the

respondent – State that continuation of the appellants would

depend on the number of students offering themselves for the

concerned courses.

15. In that view of the matter, we are inclined to partly allow

the present appeals.

16. Accordingly, we pass the following order:

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A. The appeals are partly allowed.

B. The impugned judgment and order dated 8 th February,

2017 passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of

Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Bench in Writ Appeal No.386

of 2016 along with companion matters is quashed and

set aside;

C. The judgment and order dated 29 th September, 2016

passed by learned single judge of the High Court is

modified as under:

(i) The writ petitioners ­ appellants herein would be

entitled to continue on their respective posts till

they are replaced by regularly selected candidates;

(ii) The writ petitioners ­ appellants herein would be

continued on their respective posts provided that a

sufficient number of students are available for the

particular course(s) for which the writ petitioners –

appellants herein are appointed.

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(iii) The writ petitioners – appellants herein would be

entitled to honorarium at the rate of Rs.1,000/­

per hour as is being paid to them presently.

17. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.

There shall be no order as to costs.

…..……………………..J.

[L. NAGESWARA RAO]

………………………….J.

[B.R. GAVAI]
NEW DELHI;

APRIL 21, 2022.

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