Writ Petition; Self Financing Arts and Science College Management Welfare Association Vs. Mahatma Gandhi University [Kerala High Court, 01-08-2016]

Constitution of India – Article 226 – the petitioner Association has no locus standi to maintain a writ petition challenging schedule for the Centralised Allotment Process for Undergraduate Courses-2016 and seeking consequential direction allowing the members of the petitioner Association to make admission to the seats, over and above the seats allotted in the allotment as per schedule. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed as not maintainable. No order as to costs.

# Writ Petition


IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

P.R.RAMACHANDRA MENON & ANIL K.NARENDRAN, JJ.

W.P.(C)No.19729 of 2016

Dated this the 1st day of August, 2016

PETITIONER

SELF FINANCING ARTS AND SCIENCE COLLEGE MANAGEMENT WELFARE ASSOCIATION REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, BABY M.VARGHESE, S/O.VARGHESE, AGED 72 YEARS, YELDO MAR BASELIOUS COLLEGE, KOTHAMANGALAM, ERNAKULAM DISTRICT.

BY ADV. SRI.ALEXANDER JOSEPH

RESPONDENTS

1. MAHATMA GANDHI UNIVERSITY REPRESENTED BY ITS REGISTRAR, KOTTAYAM-PIN-686560.

2. THE VICE CHANCELLOR, MAHATMA GANDHI UNIVERSITY, KOTTAYAM-PIN-686560.

3. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION, GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM-695001.

R1 & R2 BY ADV. SRI.VARUGHESE M.EASO, SC, M.G.UNIVERSITY R3 BY GOVERNMENT PLEADER SRI.BIJOY CHANDRAN

JUDGMENT

Anil K.Narendran, J.

The petitioner is stated to be a welfare association representing the managements of Self-financing Arts and Science Colleges in Kerala, having registration under the Travancore-Cochin Literary Scientific and Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955. The petitioner has filed this writ petition mainly seeking an order allowing the members of the petitioner Association to make admission to the seats, over and above the seats allotted in the 1 st and 2 nd allotment conducted as per Ext.P2 schedule for the Centralised Allotment Process for undergraduate courses-2016. The reliefs sought for in the writ petition are as follows;

(i) Issue appropriate writ, order or direction declaring that the respondents are not entitled to enforce the Centralized Allotment process into the members of the petitioner Association over and above the 2 nd allotment and quash Ext.P2 to the extent of insisting Centralised Allotment Process for Undergraduate Courses in private self financing unaided colleges under the 1 st respondent University over and above the 2nd allotment.

(ii) Issue appropriate writ, order or direction allowing the members of the petitioner Association to make admission to the seats, over and above the seats allotted in the 1 st and 2nd allotment as per Ext.P2.

2. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner, the learned Standing Counsel for M.G. University, representing respondents 1 and 2, and also the learned Government Pleader appearing for the 3 rd respondent State, on the question of maintainability of the writ petition.

3. In

# State of Orissa v. Ram Chandra Dev, AIR 1964 SC 685

a Constitution Bench of the Apex Court held that, though the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution is wide, the concluding words of that Article clearly indicate that before a writ or an appropriate order can be issued in favour of a party, it must be established that the party has a right and the said right is illegally invaded or threatened. Para.8 of the judgment reads thus;

“8. …. Under Article 226 of the Constitution, the jurisdiction of the High Court is undoubtedly very wide. Appropriate writs can be issued by the High Court under the said article even for purposes other than the enforcement of the fundamental rights and in that sense, a party who invokes the special jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 is not confined to cases of illegal invasion of his fundamental rights alone. But though the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 is wide in that sense, the concluding words of the article clearly indicate that before a writ or an appropriate order can be issued in favour of a party, it must be established that the party has a right and the said right is illegally invaded or threatened. The existence of a right is thus the foundation of a petition under Article 226. ……. ”

4. In

# Vinoy Kumar v. State of U. P., (2001) 4 SCC 734

the Apex Court held that, the relief under Article 226 of the Constitution is based on the existence of a right in favour of the person invoking the jurisdiction. The exception to the general rule is only in cases where the writ applied for is a writ of habeas corpus or quo warranto or filed in public interest. It is a matter of prudence, that the Court confines the exercise of writ jurisdiction to cases where legal wrong or legal injuries caused to a particular person or his fundamental rights are violated, and not to entertain cases of individual wrong or injury at the instance of third party where there is an effective legal aid organisation which can take care of such cases. Para.2 of the judgment reads thus;

“2. Generally speaking, a person shall have no locus standi to file a writ petition if he is not personally affected by the impugned order or his fundamental rights have neither been directly or substantially invaded nor is there any imminent danger of such rights being invaded or his acquired interests have been violated ignoring the applicable rules. The relief under Article 226 of the Constitution is based on the existence of a right in favour of the person invoking the jurisdiction. The exception to the general rule is only in cases where the writ applied for is a writ of habeas corpus or quo warranto or filed in public interest. It is a matter of prudence, that the Court confines the exercise of writ jurisdiction to cases where legal wrong or legal injuries caused to a particular person or his fundamental rights are violated, and not to entertain cases of individual wrong or injury at the instance of third party where there is an effective legal aid organisation which can take care of such cases. Even in cases filed in public interest, the Court can exercise the writ jurisdiction at the instance of a third party only when it is shown that the legal wrong or legal injury or illegal burden is threatened and such person or determined class of persons is, by reason or poverty, helplessness or disability or socially or economically disadvantages position, unable to approach the Court for relief.”

5. In

# Pournamy Mohan v. State of Kerala, 2012 (1) KLT 686

a learned Judge of this Court deprecated the practice of filing writ petitions by ‘associations’ and ‘federations’ of the Managements of Colleges without the individual Managements figuring as petitioners. In the said decision it was held that, the makers of the Constitution have advisedly made a clear distinction between a fundamental right available to ‘any person’ and those guaranteed to ‘all citizens’. Part III of the Constitution of India deals with the same and all citizens are persons, even though all persons are not citizens. A registered federation might be a person entitled to file a writ petition and is not a citizen who alone can complain of violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

6. Admittedly, the present writ petition is not one filed in public interest. Even in cases filed in public interest, this Court can exercise the writ jurisdiction at the instance of a third party only when it is shown that, the person or a determined class of persons who suffered legal injury or legal wrong is, by reason or poverty, helplessness or disability or socially or economically disadvantages position, unable to approach this Court for relief. In the instant case, it cannot be said that the members of the petitioner Association are prevented by any such reason to approach this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking appropriate relief.

7. In the instant case, the grievance highlighted in the writ petition is that, if repeated allotments of students are insisted as per Ext.P2 schedule for the Centralised Allotment Process for Undergraduate Courses-2016 there will not be sufficient students in the self financing colleges, causing irreparable injury to the members of the petitioner Association. The petitioner Association contended that, the self financing colleges run by its members are not given any financial assistance from the respondents and as such, the insistence of Centralised Allotment Process at the whims and fancy of the respondents is illegal. The further contention in the Writ Petition that, in the absence of a Committee constituted under Section 73A of the Mahatma Gandhi University Act, 1985, the Centralised Allotment Process conducted by the University is not binding on the private self financing colleges is no more available to the Managements, in view of Annexure.R1(b) Government order dated 5.4.2016 constituting such a Committee; Annexure.R1(c) Government letter dated 26.4.2016 implementing the said decision in the Universities in the State; and Annexure.R1(d) order dated 12.5.2015 of the 1 st respondent University introducing Centralised Allotment Process, by implementing the recommendation of the said Committee.

8. In our view, the petitioner Association can have no grievance in the matter. At best, the members of the petitioner Association could have a grievance in the matter. If the members of the petitioner Association have any such grievance, it is for them to approach this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking appropriate relief, after paying the requisite court fee.

9. In the result, we hold that the petitioner Association has no locus standi to maintain a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging Ext.P2 schedule for the Centralised Allotment Process for Undergraduate Courses-2016 and seeking consequential direction allowing the members of the petitioner Association to make admission to the seats, over and above the seats allotted in the 1st and 2nd allotment as per Ext.P2 schedule.

The writ petition is accordingly dismissed as not maintainable. No order as to costs.

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