The Chairperson Governing Body … vs Dr. Asha on 5 January, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

The Chairperson Governing Body … vs Dr. Asha on 5 January, 2021

Author: Ashok Bhushan

Bench: Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, M.R. Shah

                                                                                        1


                                                                              REPORTABLE

                                  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                                 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 13     Of 2021
                                (Arising out of SLP(C)No.8053 of 2019)

         THE CHAIRPERSON GOVERNING BODY
         DAULAT RAM COLLEGE                                            ...APPELLANT(S)

                                                 VERSUS

         DR. ASHA & ORS.                                           ...RESPONDENT(S)




                                           J U D G M E N T

ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal has been filed by the appellant

questioning the judgment dated 06.03.2019 of the

Division Bench of Delhi High Court issuing certain

directions in LPA No.316 of 2018 filed by respondent

No.1-Dr. Asha, although not interfering with the

judgment of the learned Single Judge dated 09.03.2018
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MEENAKSHI KOHLI

disposing of the writ petition filed by Dr. Asha-
Date: 2021.01.05
16:43:42 IST
Reason:

respondent No.1. The appellant aggrieved by the
2

directions issued by the Division Bench has filed this

appeal.

3. Brief facts giving rise to this appeal are:

Daulat Ram College is affiliated to the

University of Delhi since 1960. The Hostel of the

Daulat Ram College is an integral part of the College.

The Daulat Ram College Society is a registered Society

which was established on 03.03.1960 which in turn has

established Daulat Ram College (hereinafter referred

to as the ‘College’). The Daulat Ram College Society

has a Memorandum of Association as well Rules. The

College has a Governing Body which is approved by the

Executive Council of the University (Delhi

University). We in the present case are only concerned

with the Hostel of the Daulat Ram College and that too

appointment of Warden of the Hostel of the College.

The Governing Body of the College has been appointing

the Warden of the Hostel of the College.

4. On 10.09.2013, respondent No.4-Dr.Kavita Sharma

was unanimously appointed as Warden of the College by
3

the Governing Body with effect from 12.09.2013 for a

period of two years. The two years’ term of respondent

No.4 as Warden was going to end on 11.09.2015, the

Governing Body of the College vide its Resolution

dated 11.09.2015 re-appointed respondent No.4 as

Warden of the College for two years. The Governing

Body of the College directed the Principal to seek her

willingness/ unwillingness in writing and in case she

is willing, to issue her a letter of appointment with

effect from 12.09.2015. The Principal issued a letter

dated 15.09.2015 informing respondent No.4 that her

term of appointment as Warden of the Hostel of the

College has been extended upto 12.05.2016. The

Chairperson of the Governing Body wrote to respondent

No.3, Principal of the College questioning the letter

dated 15.09.2015 appointing respondent No.4 for a

period of eight months only. The Chairperson of

Governing Body informed that re-appointment was for a

period of two years and explanation was called from

respondent No.3 as to why she has not complied with
4

the order of the Governing Body. The Chairperson

issued a letter dated 02.05.2016 to respondent No.3

sending agenda for the meeting scheduled to be held on

07.05.2016.

5. The Principal on 02.05.2016 issued notice

inviting applications from permanent teachers who are

interested to work as Warden of College Hostel. Dr.

Asha submitted her application. The Principal,

respondent No.3 issued a letter dated 06.05.2016

appointing respondent No.1-Dr. Asha as Warden of the

College Hostel and she was directed to assume charge

on 21.05.2016. In the meeting of the Governing Body it

was noted that vide Resolution dated 11.09.2015

respondent No.4 was appointed for a period of two

years which term was to expire on 11.09.2017. It was

resolved that necessary letters containing the term of

appointment be sent accordingly. On 21.05.2016 a show

cause notice was issued to respondent No.1 asking her

to explain how she illegally and willfully attempted

to occupy the post of the Hostel Warden when she was
5

aware that respondent No.4 was the Hostel Warden

appointed by the Governing Body vide its Resolution

dated 11.09.2015 for a term of two years. Respondent

No.1 wrote a letter on 24.05.2016 to the Chairperson,

Governing Body asking that show cause notice issued to

her being unwarranted and not based on facts be

withdrawn. The Principal wrote on June 9/14, 2016 to

the Manager, Indian Overseas Bank informing that

respondent No.1 has been appointed as a Hostel Warden

with effect from 21.05.2016 for two years and she will

operate the College Hostel Accounts with effect from

21.05.2016. On 13.06.2016, the University of Delhi

wrote a letter to respondent No.3 that appointment of

Warden in a College Hostel is purely an administrative

affair of the College and the University has no role

to play in this behalf. The Principal was advised to

act as per clause 6-A(5)(b)(iii) of Ordinance XVIII of

the University.

6. In the Minutes of the meeting of the Governing

Body dated 24.06.2016 it was recorded that the
6

Principal has illegally appointed Dr. Asha as Warden

of the Hostel of the College. The Governing Body

resolved that earlier status quo be maintained and

respondent No.4, Dr. Kavita Sharma would continue as

the Warden till such time that proper guidelines for

appointment of Warden are made by the Governing Body

Hostel Committee. Respondent No.3 recorded her dissent

in the meeting dated 24.06.2016. The Principal issued

a notice dated 30.07.2016 inviting applications from

interested permanent teachers of the College for the

post of Warden in the College Hostel. Respondent No.1

filed a Writ Petition No.7289 of 2016 praying for

issuing a writ, order or direction in the nature of

mandamus and/or certiorari directing respondent Nos.2

and 3, i.e., the Principal and Chairperson of the

Governing Body to withdraw the notice dated

30.07.2016, declaration was sought that notice dated

30.07.2016 is illegal and unconstitutional. The

petitioner’s case in the writ petition was that she

was appointed as Warden of the Hostel of the College
7

by Principal vide letter dated 06.05.2016 for a period

of two years and took charge on 21.05.2016. The

allegations were made against the Chairperson,

Governing Body that she has created obstruction in the

functioning of the writ petitioner.

7. Learned single Judge vide order dated 19.08.2016

passed an order of the status quo regarding the

petitioner’s position as Warden of the Daulat Ram

College Hostel. Counter-affidavit was filed by the

Governing Body. Learned Single Judge after hearing the

parties passed a detailed order dated 25.11.2016

vacating the interim order dated 19.08.2016. Against

order dated 25.11.2016 Letters Patent Appeal was filed

by respondent No.3, Principal, Daulat Ram College

where order dated 22.12.2016 was passed by the

Division Bench directing the matter to be listed on

10.01.2017 till such time, status quo as of that day

be maintained. The Division Bench also passed several

orders subsequently and made it clear that pendency of

the appeal shall not come in the way of the learned
8

Single Judge in deciding the writ petition. Learned

Single Judge by judgment dated 09.03.2018 disposed of

writ petition.

8. Learned Single Judge found that the appointment

of the Warden in the College Hostel is the

administrative affair of the College. The learned

Single Judge held that appointment of the writ

petitioner as Warden in the College Hostel by the

Principal is irregular. In paragraph 14 following was

held:

“14. In the facts and circumstances of
this case, this petition and application
are disposed of with direction to the
Governing Body of respondent-College, for
the post of Warden in question and it be
placed before the Staff Council of
respondent-College, who shall make
recommendation for the post of Warden in
the College Hostel within a period of
four weeks and the said recommendation be
considered by the Governing Body of
respondent-College within two weeks
thereafter, so that the post in question
is expeditiously filled up.”

9. Aggrieved by the judgment of the learned Single
9

Judge dated 09.03.2018, LPA No.316/2018 was filed by

Dr. Asha-respondent No.1. The Chairperson, Governing

Body wrote to the Principal and other members to

initiate process for the appointment of the Warden. On

Principal not initiating the process of the

appointment, the Governing Body convened a meeting on

07.04.2018. The applications were also invited for the

post of Hostel Warden. Respondent No.4 applied in

pursuance of the application. On 07.04.2018 Governing

Body in its meeting resolved to appoint respondent

No.4 as Warden of the College Hostel. Thereafter an

interim order dated 01.05.2018 was passed by the

Division Bench. On 22.05.2018 Letters Patent Appeal

was filed by respondent No.1 against the judgment

dated 09.03.2018 of the Learned Single Judge.

10. The Division Bench decided the LPA vide judgment

dated 06.03.2019. The Division Bench although did not

interfere with the direction of the learned Single

Judge but in addition issued various directions. The

Division Bench vide its direction in paragraph 41
10

directed for issue of notice by the Principal of the

College inviting applications for appointment of

Warden of the Hostel, which applications were required

to be placed before the Staff Council which was to

take a decision thereon and make its recommendations

not later than 01.04.2019 and recommendations were to

be placed before the Governing Body. Paragraph 41 of

the Division Bench judgment is to the following

effect:

“41. The Court, while not interfering with
the directions issued by the learned Single
Judge in the impugned order, issues the
following directions:

(i) Within a period ten days from today, and
in any event not later than 18th March 2019,
a notice will be issued by the Principal of
the College inviting applications for
appointment as Warden of the Hostel from
amongst the teaching Staff, not limited to
the Teachers living on campus, but subject to
the undertaking given by the applicant (if
living outside the campus) that if appointed
as Warden she will stay on campus in the two-
room set in the Hostel building.

(ii) The applications received will be placed
before the Staff Council which will take a
decision thereon and make its recommendations
not later than 1st April 2019.

11

(iii) The recommendations of the Staff
Council shall then be placed before the GB by
the Principal forthwith, and in any event not
later than 3rd April 2019.

(iv) The GB will meet and take a decision on
such recommendation of the Staff Council not
later than 10th April 2019.

(v) If for some reason the GB does not accept
the recommendations of the Staff Council, it
will give its reasons, which will form part
of the minutes of its meeting and send the
minutes to the Staff Council not later than
15th April 2019. In such event, the Staff
Council will again convene and make a fresh
recommendation from among the remaining
applicants and this will be placed before the
GB not later than 17th April 2019. The GB
will be bound such recommendation and will
take a decision on the appointment of the
Warden not later than 20th April 2019. Dr.
Kavita Sharma, if not appointed as Warden in
the above process, shall immediately hand
over charge to the newly appointed Warden.
Likewise, the Matron would abide by the
directions issued in para 39 above.

(vi) The minutes of the meetings of the Staff
Council and the GB in compliance with the
above directions will be placed before the
Court on the next date.”

11. Aggrieved by the judgment of the Division Bench

dated 06.03.2019, the Chairperson, Governing Body,

Daulat Ram College has filed this appeal. While
12

issuing notice in this appeal on 05.04.2019 following

order was passed by this Court:

“Issue notice.

Till the next date the warden, who is
as on date looking to the affairs of the
hostel, shall continue.”

12. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant

and learned counsel appearing for the respondents.

13. Learned counsel for the appellant submits that

appointing authority of Warden of the College Hostel

is the Governing Body of the College. The appointment

of respondent No.1 was directly made by the Principal-

respondent No.3 on 06.05.2016 without approval of the

Governing Body which was an illegal appointment.

Learned counsel submits that both learned Single Judge

and Division Bench having found the appointment of

respondent No.1 illegal, the appointment made by the

Governing Body in pursuance of judgment of the learned

Single Judge ought to have been maintained. There was

no occasion for directing fresh appointment as has
13

been directed by the learned Division Bench of the

High Court. It is submitted that Delhi University vide

its letter dated 23.10.2013 and letter dated

02.08.2016 had clarified that the appointment of

Warden and Matron in College Hostel is purely an

administrative affair of the College and the

University of Delhi has no role to play in this

regard. It is submitted that Ordinance XVIII, 6A(5)

(b)(iii) does not confer any authority to Staff

Council to appoint a Warden of the Hostel of the

College. It is further submitted that the letter of

the University Grants Commission dated 19.02.1987 does

not confer any authority on the Principal to make

appointment of Warden of the Hostel of the College. It

is submitted that the learned Division Bench has

issued various directions which encroach on the right

of the Governing Body to exercise its jurisdiction of

the appointing authority of the Warden of the Hostel

of the College.

14. Learned counsel appearing for respondent No.3
14

submits that Daulat Ram College is affiliated to the

University of Delhi and 95% grants is funded from

University Grants Commission and only 5% of the funds

is to be paid by the Society-Trust. The letter dated

19.02.1987 was written by the University Grants

Commission in response to the letter of the Vice-

Chancellor, University of Delhi and said letter was

ratified by the Executive Council of the University in

its meeting dated 25.04.1987 that it is the Principal,

who is the appointing authority of the Warden of the

Hostel of the College. The Principal, being the

administrative head of the College, is entitled to

make appointment. It is also submitted that Staff

Council also has no role in the appointment of Warden

which is in the domain of the Principal of the

College.

15. Learned counsel appearing for respondent No.1 has

adopted the submissions made by the learned counsel

for respondent No.3. It is submitted that after

judgment of the Division Bench, Staff Council in its
15

meeting dated 01.04.2019 has recommended respondent

No.1 for appointment as the Warden of the Hostel of

the College, there is no power in the Chairperson of

the Governing Body to appoint any one of her choice as

Warden of the Hostel of the College.

16. On behalf of respondent No.2, it has been

submitted that the appointment of an existing teaching

staff in an honorary capacity as Warden of a College

Hostel is not specifically provided for under any of

the provisions of University of Delhi Act, 1922,

Statutes, and Ordinance. It is submitted that all

Colleges which are affiliated to or constituent of

University of Delhi follow the practice of inviting

applications from interested teachers of their

respective Colleges by putting up a notice by the

Principal of the College and thereafter Principal

recommends/shortlist the name for appointment

whereafter the Governing Body grants approval and the

procedure for appointment takes thereafter.
16

17. We have considered the submissions of the learned

counsel for the parties and have perused the records.

18. Only two questions arise for consideration in

this appeal:

(1) Whether it is the Principal of the College

who is empowered to appoint Warden of the

Hostel of the College or it is the Governing

Body in whom the power to appoint Warden is

vested ?, and

(2) what is the procedure to be adopted before

making appointment of Warden of the College

Hostel ?

19. Both the questions being inter-related are being

taken together.

20. The claim of the Principal as well as respondent

No.1 that it is the Principal who is the appointing

authority of Warden of the College Hostel is based on

letter of the University Grants Commission dated

19.02.1987. The letter dated 19.02.1987 was written by
17

the Secretary of University Grants Commission to the

Vice-Chancellor of the Delhi University regarding

revising the existing staffing pattern in the Hostels

of the Colleges affiliated to Delhi University. The

above letter has been brought on record as Annexure-

P2. It is useful to extract the entire letter which is

to the following effect:

“UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION
BAHADURSHAH ZAFAR MARG NEW DELHI

D.O.NO.F.1-4/B84/884(NP-II) Vol.II
February 19, 1987
Dear Professor Moonis Raza

Kindly refer to your office DO letter No.
DC/632/87 dated 3rd February, 1987 regarding
revising the existing staffing pattern in the
hostels of colleges affiliated to Delhi
University in accordance with the
recommendation of the Committee appointed by
the University.

The proposal has been considered in the
light of the information earlier furnished by
the University vide letter No.DSW/85/9391 dated
17th October, 1985 which was required to
streamline the rules about fees charged and
facilities provided in the hostels of the
central universities. We find that there is a
need to revise the staffing pattern in the
hostel mess staff which was fixed as far back
as in 1971.

18

Though the Warden has been desired to be
provided for the women’s hostels, it is felt
that each hostel should have a warden who
should be responsible for all hostel
administration in the college and he/she should
be appointed by the Principal from amongst
senior teachers in the college. As an incentive
for this extra work an allowance of Rs.300/- pm
be paid. In order to have the accounts of the
hostel up to date and in perfect order a need
for providing a clerk is also felt as a
necessity. Since some of the hostels are also
having the services of Chowkidar/Mali Safai
Karamchari to be left categories provided the
total staff in Group D for hostel mess staff
does not exceed the prescribed limit of
additional four.

In view of the above the commission agrees
to provide the following additional staff for
the smooth functioning of the hostel
activities:

1.Warden (One) To be paid Rs.30/- per month

2.

3.Clerk (One) In the scale of pay of Rs.950-

1500.

3.Ground D       In the scale of pay of
  employees      Rs.(four)in the category 750-
                 940. of Chowkidar/Mali/Safai
                 Karamchari

The provision of the above staff will be
effective from 1st January, 1987 and the
pattern of funding will be the same as for the
payment of maintenance grant to Delhi Colleges
i.e. 100% 95% as the case may be. You are
requested to bring this decision to the notice
of the concerned colleges having hostel
facilities with a request that they should send
19

2 separate statements of accounts in respect of
staff working in the hostels on the existing
pattern and on the basis of the revised pattern
with the accounts of the college for the year
1986-87.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,

(S.P. Gupta)

Prof. Moonis Raza,
Vice-Chancellor,
University of Delhi.”

21. The emphasis has been laid by the counsel for

respondent No.2-University of Delhi on the following

sentence occurring in the letter:

“…it is felt that each hostel should have
a warden who should be responsible for all
hostel administration in the college and
he/she should be appointed by the
Principal from amongst senior teachers in
the college.”

22. The letter of the Secretary dated 19.02.1987

communicates the decision of the Commission. The last

portion of the letter incorporates decision of the

Commission beginning with the word:

“In view of the above the commission agrees
20

to provide the following additional staff for
the smooth functioning of the hostel
activities:

1.Warden (One) To be paid Rs.30/- per month…”

23. A careful reading of the aforesaid letter

indicates that the decision of the Commission which

was communicated by the Secretary was the decision of

the University Grants Commission to provide additional

staff for smooth functioning of the Hostel of the

College. The Commission neither took decision

regarding appointment of the Warden nor such decision

was communicated by the said letter.

24. It is further submitted that the above decision

of the University Grants Commission dated 19.02.1987

has been ratified by the Executive Council of the

Delhi University vide its minutes dated 25.04.1987. In

the counter-affidavit filed by respondent No.3 the

minutes of the Executive Council dated 25.04.1987 are

filed in which proceeding, Item No.15, the letter of

the University Grants Commission dated 19.02.1987 has
21

been referred to and the decision taken by the

Executive Commission was recorded. The relevant

minutes of the proceeding of Item No.15 is as follows:

“15. Resolved that receipt of the following
letters from the University Grants Commission and
the Government of India and the action taken
thereon wherever necessary be recorded:-

Letters from the U.G.C.

             Letter No.& Date                       Subject

       1.            …                              …
       2.            …                              …
       3.            …                              …
       4.   F.I-4/84(NP-II)       Conveying the Commissions

            Vol.II, dated         approval to(i) raising the
             19.2.1987            funding pattern of Salaries
                                  of Hostel, employees from
                                  75% to 95% (100% in case of
                                  University maintained institu-
                                  tions)    subject    to     the
condition
                                  that the remaining 5% of the
                                  expenditure may be made by the
                                  Management as in the case of
                                  College administration with no
                                  financial burden, whatsoever,
                                  on the students residing in
                     the
                                  Hostels. (ii) Sanction for a
                                  few   additional   posts    for
                     smooth
                                  functioning       of     Hostel
                                  activities.”



25. A perusal of the above minutes of the Executive
22

Council of the Delhi University indicates that what

Executive Council noticed in the minutes is that the

Commission has approved the raising of the funding

pattern of salaries of the employees of the Hostel

from 75% to 95% and the remaining 5% of the

expenditure was to be made by the Management as in the

case of College administration with no financial

burden on the students residing in the Hostels. Only

to the extent of the above part of the decision of the

Commission the Executive Council reiterated and there

was no decision by the University that appointment of

Warden of the Hostel is to be made by the Principal of

the College.

26. The University has filed counter-affidavit in the

writ petition before the High Court where it has

categorically taken the stand that the University Act,

Statutes and Ordinance do not provide for appointment

of the Warden of the Hostel College and it is a

private matter concerning the respective college. In

the LPA affidavit was called for and the affidavit
23

dated 11.01.2019 by Prof. T.K. Das, Registrar,

University of Delhi was filed. In paragraph 5 of the

said affidavit following has been stated:

“5. The appointment of an existing teaching staff
in an honorary capacity as Warden of a college is
not specifically provided for under any of the
provisions of University of Delhi Act, 1922
statutes, and Ordinance; being a private matter
concerning the respective college and University of
Delhi has no role to play. However, all the
collages, which have their own hostel and, are
affiliated or constituted of University of Delhi
follow the practice of inviting applications from
interested teachers of their respective college by
putting up notice by the Principal of said College,
willing to take on this honorary charge. Then the
Principal of the respective college considers such
application received and recommends/shortlist the
name for such appointment. Thereafter, the name of
shortlisted teacher and appointed to the honorary
post of warden is placed before the Governing Body
for approval.”

27. Two earlier letters dated 21.10.2013 and

13.06.2016 which have been brought on record as

Annexure-P7 and Annexure-P23 have also communicated

that appointment of Warden in the College Hostel is

purely an administrative affair of the College and the

University has no role to play in this behalf.

28. In view of the aforesaid, letter dated 19.02.1987
24

issued by the University Grants Commission cannot be

read to mean that it is Principal who is the

appointing authority of the Warden of the Hostel of

the College.

29. Learned single Judge in its judgment dated

19.08.2016 has rightly held that University Grants

Commission’s letter dated 19.02.1987 is of no avail.

26. Much emphasis has been laid by the learned

counsel for the respondent on Ordinance XVIII which

deals with “Of Colleges and Halls”. Ordinance XVIII,

6-A deals with Staff Council. 6-A relevant for the

present case is quoted hereunder:

“6-A. (1) There shall be a Staff Council in every
College.

(2) All the members of the teaching staff, the
Librarian and the Director of Physical Education
shall constitute the Staff Council.

(3) Subject to the provisions of the Act, the
Statutes and the Ordinances of the University, the
Principal shall act as Principal-in-Council in
respect of matters on which Staff Council is
required to take decisions.

ORDINANCE XVIII
(4) (a) The Principal shall be ex-officio Chairman
of the Staff Council.

25

(b) The Council shall elect its Secretary, who
shall hold office for a term of one year. The
Secretary may be re-elected for a second term but
no person shall hold office of Secretary for more
than two consecutive terms.

(5) (a) Subject to the provisions of the Act, the
Statutes and the Ordinances of the University, the
Staff Council shall take decisions in respect of
the following matters:

(i) Preparation of College time-table.

(ii) Allocation of extra-curricular work of
teachers not involving, payment of remuneration.

(iii) Organising extra-curricular activities,
including cultural activities of students, sports,
games, National Service Scheme and other social
services schemes and academic societies.

(iv) Laying down guide-lines for purchase of
library books and laboratory equipment in
consultation with the appropriate departments.

(v) Organising admission of students.

(b) Subject to the provisions of the Act, the
Statutes and the Ordinances of the University, the
Staff Council shall make recommendations in
respect of the following matters :

(i) Formulation of recommendations on
introduction of new teaching posts in the
departments and expansion of the existing
departments;

(ii) Formulation of admission policy within the
framework of the policy laid down by the
University;

(iii) Formulation of guidelines regarding
arrangements for the residence and welfare
26

of students in consultation with
appropriate students organisations;

(iv) Formulation of guide-lines regarding
discipline of the students;

(v) Formulation of policies for recommending
names of teachers for participation in
seminars and conferences and financial
assistance to teachers.

Note : The administrative staff of the College
will not be within the purview of the Staff
Council.”

30. The reliance has been placed on 6-A(5)(b)(iii),

formulation of guidelines regarding arrangements for

the residence and welfare of students in consultation

with appropriate students organisations. When we read

the Ordinance 6-A which deals with the Staff Council

of every College, clause (5)(a) provides that subject

to the provisions of the Act, the Statutes and the

Ordinances of the University, the Staff Council has to

take decisions in respect of the matters enumerated

therein. There is reliance only on clause (5)(b)(iii)

which is extracted above. Clause (5)(b) provides that

subject to the provisions of the Act, the Statutes and
27

the Ordinances of the University, the Staff Council

shall make recommendations in respect of the matters

mentioned therein. Formulation of guidelines regarding

arrangements for the residence and welfare of students

in consultation with appropriate students

organisations, in no manner can embrace in it the

power to make appointment of Warden. It has been

clearly stated by the University in its letters and

affidavit that it is a matter of administration of the

College and is not dealt in the Act, Statutes and

Ordinances. Had the Ordinance 6-A(5)(b)(iii)

contemplated recommendation of Staff Council for

appointment of Warden, the University could have very

well taken that stand which stand has not been taken

in the present proceedings.

31. The Delhi University has also filed a counter-

affidavit in the proceedings before this Court. In the

counter-affidavit filed by the University of Delhi in

these proceedings, the stand of University of Delhi

has again been taken in paragraph 4 which is to the
28

following effect:

“4. The appointment of Warden of the hostel
maintained by the College
constituent/affiliated to the University of
Delhi is purely an administrative affair of the
College and the University has no role to play
in this behalf. It is respectfully submitted
that the appointment of an existing teaching
staff in an honorary capacity as Warden of a
college is not specifically provided for under
any of the provisions of the University of
Delhi Act, 1922 Statutes, and Ordinances.
However all the Colleges, which have their own
Hostel and, are affiliated or constituent of
University of Delhi, follow the practice of
inviting application from interested teachers
of their respective College by putting up
notice by the Principal of said College,
willing to take up the honorary charge. Then
the Principal of the respective College
considers such application received and
recommends/shortlist the name for such
appointment. Thereafter, the name of the
shortlisted teacher to be appointed to the
honorary post of Warden is placed before the
Governing Body of the said college for
approval. This practice has been in vogue, more
or the less in the light of the letter of UGC
dated 19.02.1987 (Annexure P-2 herein). The
Hindu college for instance also follows the
same practice.”

32. In the counter-affidavit of the University

referring to practice, the University clearly states

that appointment of Warden is purely an administrative
29

affair of the College and the University has no role

to play and further the same is not provided for under

any of the provisions of the University of Delhi Act,

Statutes and Ordinances. We, thus, come to the

conclusion that Ordinance XVIII 6-A(5)(b)(iii) does

not empower the Staff Council to make any

recommendation with regard to the appointment of

Warden of the College Hostel.

33. The Governing Body of the College is to

administer the affair of the College. Ordinance XVIII

Chapter VII-2 at page 47 of the paper book is to the

following effect:

“2. The Governing Body will meet at least once
in a term, and, subject as hereinafter
provided, shall have general supervision and
control of the affairs of the College and
maintain its own records of its proceedings
which shall be open to inspection by the
inspection authority.”

34. The Governing Body, thus, has general supervision

of the College. Even in the Colleges and Institutions

which are maintained by the University, it is provided

in Ordinance XX that the Governing Body which is
30

constituted by the Executive Council is empowered to

appoint the administrative staff of the College.

Similarly, the Governing Body of the affiliated

Colleges is empowered to appoint administrative staff

of the College. The Ordinance does not empower the

Principal to make any appointment of the Warden of the

Hostel nor any other statutory provision has been

referred which empowers the Principal to appoint

Warden of the College.

35. The Principal, however, who is entrusted the over

all internal administration of the College is a person

who knows all the staff of the College and his/her

recommendation with regard to appointment of Warden of

the College Hostel is to carry weight. The Governing

Body while making appointment of Warden of the College

Hostel has to give due weight to the recommendation of

Principal. The appointment of Warden of the Hostel is

made from amongst the permanent staff of the College,

the practice which is followed in the College and with

which there is no dispute between the parties is that
31

the applications are invited through notice by

Principal for appointment of Warden and after

recommendation is made by the Principal, a decision is

taken by the Governing Body is to appoint Warden.

36. With regard to the role of Staff Council in the

appointment of Warden of the Hostel, we have already

observed that Ordinances do not empower the Staff

Council to make any recommendation with regard to the

appointment of Warden. We have found that the

Principal has no authority to appoint Dr. Asha-

respondent No.1 as Warden in the Hostel of the College

and appointment made by the Principal was irregular.

The Division Bench also did not interfere with the

judgment of the learned Single Judge. The Division

Bench in the directions in paragraph 41 has directed

that the applications received in response to notice

for appointment of Warden to be placed before the

Staff Council which was to take a decision and make

recommendations on the said applications. We having

found that Staff Council is not statutorily empowered
32

to make any recommendation regarding appointment of

Warden of the College Hostel, the direction of the

Division Bench requiring placement of all applications

before the Staff Council was uncalled for. The

appointment of Warden of the Hostel being in the

domain of the Governing Body, the High Court should

have left it to the Governing Body to take appropriate

steps along with the Principal of the College for

making appointment of the Warden of the Hostel of the

College. We, thus, are of the view that directions in

paragraph 41 of the Division Bench judgment cannot be

sustained and are hereby set aside.

37. The High Court has also appointed two Advocates

as Commissioners to visit the Hostel premises. The

Commissioners visited the Hostel and submitted report

to the High Court. No further directions are needed in

the above reference.

38. Respondent No.4 in its counter-affidavit has

stated that in pursuance of direction of the learned

Single Judge, respondent No.4 was appointed by the
33

Governing Body as Warden of the Hostel of the College

whereas respondent No.1 claims that respondent No.1

has been appointed as Warden in pursuance of notice

issued by the Principal on 08.03.2019. The appointment

of respondent No.4 as Warden which was made subsequent

to the judgment of the learned Single Judge by the

Governing Body on 07.04.2018, the tenure of which has

come to end. The initial appointment of respondent

No.1 on 06.05.2016 as well as subsequent appointment

as claimed by respondent No.1 cannot be held to be

valid.

39. The dispute which ensued regarding the

appointment of Warden of the College Hostel arose due

to the fact that position regarding procedure and

right to make appointment on the post of Warden was

not clear and the claim was raised by the Principal on

the strength of letter of the University Grants

Commission dated 19.02.1987 which we have dealt as

above. From the discussion as above, it is clear that

it is the Governing Body of the College which has the
34

authority to appoint Warden of the College Hostel.

However, the Principal being Executive head of the

entire College and being in position to know the

members of the staff as per prevailing practice the

applications are to be invited through the Principal

of the College and after receipt of the applications

the applications along with recommendation of the

Principal may be placed before the Governing Body

which is to take decision regarding appointment of the

Warden of the Hostel of the College.

40. The affidavit has also been filed on behalf of

the respondent No.3 that Hostel of the College is

closed since June 2019 which has not yet been opened.

An affidavit has also been filed by the appellant

stating that Schools and Colleges were closed under

the orders issued by the Government of India, Ministry

of Home Affairs and it has to be opened in the fair

manner. The appellant submits that Schools, Colleges

and Hostels cannot be opened as of now. The issue

regarding opening of the Hostels is not being subject
35

matter of this appeal, we need not consider the said

issue in this appeal. It is for the University and

College administration to take a call regarding

opening of the Hostels. We, however, observe that the

Governing Body should initiate process for fresh

appointment of Warden of the Hostel of the College by

inviting applications through Principal of the College

before the Hostel is open for housing the students.

41. In the result, the directions contained in

paragraph 41 of the Division Bench judgment are set

aside. The appeal is allowed subject to observations

as above.

……………………J.

( ASHOK BHUSHAN )

……………………J.

( M.R. SHAH )
NEW DELHI,
JANUARY 05, 2020.



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