Competent to Institute a Petition for a Writ of Quo Warranto against the Alleged Usurpation: Gauhati High Court

The Proceeding of the Writ of Quo warranto, the locus standi to assail the same remains with any member of Public whose individual legal rights are not affected, but the proceedings are initiated in the Public interest to ensure that a person is duly qualified or not authorized under the law do not hold public office held in the Gauhati High Court before the HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ACHINTYA MALLA BUJOR BARUA in the matters of Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and Ors V. The State of Assam and Ors. [WP(C)/4957/2016]

The background of the case arises from the Petitioner posting the advertisement for the vacancy position in the college. And the necessary eligibility to be appointed as a Principal of the college must satisfy the criteria such as Associate Professor/ Professor with a total experience of 15 years of teaching/research/ administration in University/ college and other institutes of higher education. Also, provided that the maximum score as stipulated in the Academic Performance Indicator (API) based on the performance appraisal for direct recruitment of Professors in the college. 

Referring to the criteria the Respondent was appointed as a Lecturer for the subject Education and Consolidation salary of Rs. 500/- per month till the respondent’s MA results are released. Eventually Respondent passed the MA examination in 2nd class. The aforesaid Application for the post of Principal was approved. But the petitioner raised a contention that the Adhoc period of service cannot be counted towards counting the teaching experience as per the appropriate regulation of the UGC. So, the Respondent has experienced less than 15 years. 

Respondent has raised a question on the maintainability of the Writ of quo- warranty. Under the provision of Clause 3.9.0 of the UGC Regulations have raised the counter contention that the period spent by the candidate for his PhD degree cannot be counted towards the total period of experience of such candidate. Learning Counsel laid down in the Supreme Court Judgement in Rajesh Awasthi V. Nand Lal Jaiswal & Ors, “The nature of quo warranto and stands in the position of a related and the real test is to see whether the person holding the office is authorized to hold the same as per law and even delay and laches do not constitute an impediment to deal with the lis on merits” 

The Hon’ble Court held that “Contention raised by the Writ petitioner did not have the requisite 15 years of total experience as a required condition under the post criteria would be rejected. No material evidence has been submitted with the respect of Adhoc period is considered as a service period and conclusion given by the Selection authority was duly given, not influenced


Click here to read the Judgement.

Judgement Reviewed by – Kaviya S

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