University Law; St. Dominic’s College, Kanjirappally Vs. Joseph Chacko [Kerala High COurt, 08-09-2015]

Mahatma Gandhi University Act, 1985 – Ss. 63 & 67 – Order Imposing Censure – Disciplinary powers of Educational Agency over teachers of private colleges – University Appellate Tribunal – Punishment of Censure not mentioned in Section 63(6) – Since censure is the punishment imposed, the 1 st respondent could not have availed the appellate remedy before the Tribunal.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

ANTONY DOMINIC & P.V ASHA, JJ.

W.A Nos.1871 and 1876 of 2015

Dated this the 8th day of September, 2015

AGAINST THE JUDGMENT IN WP(C) 35171/2014 of HIGH COURT OF KERALA DATED 16-07-2015

APPELLANT/4TH RESPONDENT

THE MANAGER, ST.DOMINIC’S COLLEGE, KANJIRAPPALLY, PARATHODE.P.O PIN-686512.

BY ADVS.SRI.BABY ISSAC ILLICKAL SRI.ISAAC KURUVILLA ILLIKAL

RESPONDENTS/PETITIONER AND RESPONDENTS 1 – 3

1. JOSEPH CHACKO LAST GRADE STAFF, ST.DOMINIC’S COLLEGE, PARATHODE.P.O, KANJIRAPPALLY,

2. STATE OF KERALA REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL EDUCATION GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.

3. THE DIRECTOR OF COLLEGIATE EDUCATION, VIKAS BHAVAN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.

4. THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COLLEGIATE EDUCATION, KOTTAYAM, PIN-686001.

R1 BY ADV. SRI.BIJU MARTIN R BY GOVERNMENT PLEADER SRI SHYSON P.MANGUZHA

JUDGMENT

Antony Dominic, J.

These Writ Appeals are filed by the 4th respondent in W.P(c) Nos.35171 of 2014 and 26977 of 2012, which were disposed of by the learned Single Judge by common judgment dated 16.07.2015. We heard the learned counsel for the appellant, the learned counsel appearing for the 1 st respondent and the learned Government Pleader appearing for the other respondents. Since the parties are common and issues are connected, both the appeals are disposed of by this common judgment. Documents referred to are those produced in W.P(c) No.26977 of 2012, against which W.A No.1876 of 2015 is filed.

2. Briefly stated, the facts of the case are that the appellant is the Manager of an aided college affiliated to the Mahatma Gandhi University. The 1 st respondent is a last grade employee in that college. Disciplinary action was initiated against the 1 st respondent on allegations of misconduct and he was placed under suspension. Not satisfied with the explanation submitted by the 1 st respondent, an external enquiry officer was appointed, and report, finding that the allegations of misconduct were proved against the 1 st respondent, was submitted.

3. Disciplinary proceedings were finalised by order dated 5.11.2009, produced as Ext.R4(d), whereby the Manager imposed a punishment of censure. It was also ordered that he will not be eligible for wages during the period of unauthorised absence and that the period of suspension will be treated as eligible leave. It is stated by the learned counsel for the appellant that, by the time the order was issued, the salary for the aforesaid period was already paid and that despite the directions issued by the Manager calling upon the 1 st respondent to refund the ineligible amount, that was not complied with. It is also alleged that he did not apply for regularising the suspension period as eligible leave.

4. While matters stood thus, the 1 st respondent moved an application to the Director of Collegiate Education, which in turn was forwarded to the Deputy Director of Collegiate Education, for appropriate action in the matter. In this representation though the punishment imposed was not challenged or sought to be reversed, the complaint was only against the remaining part of the order of the Manager.

5. In the meanwhile, complaining that there was delay on the part of the Deputy Director of Collegiate Education in finalising the proceedings, the 1 st respondent approached this Court and filed W.P(c) No.7389 of 2012. That Writ Petition was disposed of by Ext.P1 judgment dated 23.03.2012 directing the Deputy Director to pass orders on the petition filed by the 1 st respondent. Accordingly, parties were heard and the Deputy Director passed Ext.P3 order. In Ext.P3 order, the Deputy Director ordered that the suspension period and the period of absence may be regularised immediately by sanctioning leave applied for by the 1 st respondent. It was also directed that all his claims including salary, subsistence allowance, annual increment, earned leave surrender, pay revision benefits and such other benefits shall be admitted immediately. Despite Ext.P3 order, the benefits thereof were not extended by the Manager. It was in such circumstances that the 1 st respondent filed W.P(c) No.26977 of 2012 seeking implementation of the said order.