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Case Analysis of The Andhra University v. Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam

FACTS OF THE CASE

On 3rd January 1940, the plaintiff got dismissed by the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University, Sir C.R Reddy. Plaintiff was working as a clerk in Andhra University under the Vice-Chancellor. The Vice-Chancellor dismissed the plaintiff after which the inquiry was done into the offence of theft that is the university records of the B.Ed., diploma. After this process of inquiry, the plaintiff was guilty and after knowing about this the Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University dismissed the plaintiff. [1]

Later, the plaintiff appealed to the Syndicate, knowing that there is no legal right and power for the defendant to dismiss. Hence, the Syndicate considered the Vice-Chancellor’s decision in giving the decision. The Syndicate without conducting any inquiry over this matter and without looking into this matter independently accepted the decision that was given by the Vice-Chancellor. After the decision given by the Syndicate, the plaintiff sued for the declaration that the given orders were not just and legal.

Issues Raised

  • Whether the plaintiff was guilty or not guilty of the charge of theft made against him.
  • Whether the dismissal was for a proper reason or not a proper reason.
  • Whether this case comes under Sec 42, Specific Relief Act[2], and falls within its provisions.
  • Whether the dismissal can be challenged on the ground that no opportunity had been given to the plaintiff to show cause or that the plaintiff was not heard.

Issues Explained

Whether the plaintiff was guilty or not guilty of the charge of theft made against him?

In this case, the plaintiff was found guilty of the charge of theft by the defendant that is by the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University. But as the plaintiff sued the District Court, this issue was raised by the District Judge and this case got remanded for the issue that is added in the trial court. The new issue was framed before the trial court to find the plaintiff was guilty or not guilty which is against him for the theft charge.[3]

Whether the dismissal was for a proper reason or not a proper reason?

The observations and approach made by the District Judge were so clear and the issues raised by him were proper. In this case, the plaintiff was dismissed by the Syndicate. Usually, in some of the situations and consequences, the Syndicate was not required or not needed to make the charges during the dismissal. The Syndicate did not require the inquiry to do the dismissal. Moreover, the power of dismissal is in the hands of the Syndicate. In this case, as the plaintiff was found guilty by them the dismissal was for a proper reason. [4]

Whether this case comes under Sec 42, Specific Relief Act, and falls within its provisions?

This case does not fall under Sec 42, Specific Relief Act, 1963[5]. As there are no provisions applied to this Act and nothing, in this case, is probably to this Act and provisions. In this case, no issue was raised which falls under Sec 42, Specific Relief Act, 1963.[6] The reason is that the plaintiff did not sue for any damages and also did not sue for any that is nominal.

Whether the dismissal can be challenged on the ground that no opportunity had been given to the plaintiff to show cause or that the plaintiff was not heard?

In this case, the plaintiff cannot be challenged on the ground that no opportunity had been given to the plaintiff to show cause the reason or to explain the reason, and the plaintiff was not heard.

In case, the dismissal done by the Syndicate is not correct then the dismissal done by the Syndicate would not be correct and in that case, the issue can be raised regarding that issue. Moreover, the plaintiff can challenge on other grounds like suing for the reputation or getting placed in the same position after the dismissal, in this circumstance for having the judgment in favour of the plaintiff.

THE DECISION FROM THE TRIAL COURT TO THE HIGH COURT

The Decision of The Trial Court

The plaintiff filed the case before the trial court against the defendant Andhra University. In the trial court, the case was held by the Addl. Subordinate Judge of Vizagapatam. In this case, it was held that the inquiry is not held by the Syndicate for the dismissal of the plaintiff. And also, the Syndicate did not take a stand in the process of inquiry but it was dependent on the decision of the Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University. So, the plaintiff sued that no chance was given for the plaintiff to hear the reason, and no notice that is show cause was not given before the dismissal order. Hence, the Judge held that the Syndicate can take the Vice-Chancellor’s decision as the recommendations before coming to the decision and can make the decision.

The Subordinate Judge also held that no declaratory relief can be granted to the plaintiff as he had got employment somewhere else. Hence, the relief is not granted as it raises many issues and it becomes another litigation in this case.  The case was dismissed.[7]

The Decision of The District Court

After the decision of the trial court, the plaintiff appealed and this case was held by the District Judge Of Visakhapatnam where the judgment was reversed and it was opposite to the trial court. That is, it was held in the court that the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant is the same as the relationship between the master and servant. In this way, the master can dismiss the servant in any situation for wrongdoing or misconduct.

In this case, the Judge also raised an issue to the trial court mentioning whether the plaintiff was guilty or not guilty of the charge of theft made against him. Hence, regarding this issue to find it out the fresh disposal was recorded in the trial court. And the defendant favoured this appeal.[8]

The Decision of The High Court

The High Court Judge Raghav Rao J. on 17th August 1950, made a proper and clear observation in this case and also raised the question that should be checked and inquired. And the judge also appreciated the factual position raised in the legal sense by taking this stand.

In the Madras High Court, the appeal failed. The court considered the advocate’s fee and also took into consideration the issues raised which have importance. Also, they considered the time that is consumed for the argument and then charged Rs.250 considering the rules as there is discretion. Hence, the case got dismissed in the High Court and made the order mentioned that there is nothing to reconsider the case.[9]

ANALYSIS

In this case, the decision which was taken by the High Court Judge was having a proper understanding. And in this case, the plaintiff sued in the trial court mentioning that there was no inquiry before giving the dismissal order from the side of the Syndicate. For this statement, the court gave proper reasoning that the plaintiff cannot sue on this ground as the Syndicate has the power to dismiss by considering the Vice-Chancellor’s decision.

In my observation, there is a proper way where the plaintiff can sue the case asking for the reposting of him in the same position or for some other. In this case, the plaintiff didn’t ask for damages, and also the damages can be nominal.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, in this judgment, it was held that the dismissal cannot be challenged on the ground that no opportunity is given or the show cause notice before the order of dismissal rather than that they can sue on the other grounds.

In my opinion, before giving the order of dismissal the show cause notice should be sent to the one, and also the hearing should be done. The reason should be heard by them before making the decision. In this case, that was not done and there is no proper inquiry by the Syndicate before taking the decision and they took the decision considering the Vice-Chancellor. So, there is a chance of making wrong decisions. Hence, before deciding anything they should not be dependent on any other and the decision should be taken independently.

Author(s) Name: Majjari Pavani (Alliance School of Law, Alliance University)

References:

[1] The Andhra University Vs Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam AIR [1951] MAD 870, (1951) IMLJ 518

[2] Specific Relief Act 1963, s. 42.

[3] The Andhra University Vs Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam AIR [1951] MAD 870, (1951) IMLJ 518

[4] The Andhra University Vs Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam AIR [1951] MAD 870, (1951) IMLJ 518

[5] Specific Relief Act 1963, s. 42.

[6] Specific Relief Act 1963, s. 42.

[7] The Andhra University Vs Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam AIR [1951] MAD 870, (1951) IMLJ 518

[8] The Andhra University Vs Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam AIR [1951] MAD 870, (1951) IMLJ 518

[9] The Andhra University Vs Korada Durga Lakshmi Manoharam AIR [1951] MAD 870, (1951) IMLJ 518