IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA
CWJC No.5625 of 2008
1. UMESH MANDAL s/o Sri Ram Autar Mandal, resident of village- Madhuban, Gram Panchayat- Dohat Narayan, Block- Bahedi, P.S. Bahedi, District- Darbhanga.
2. Binod Lal s/o late Dadan Lal Deo, resident of village- Dohat Narayan, Panchayat- Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
3. Rajesh Kumar s/o Sri Jibachh Singh, , resident of village- Madhuban, Gram Panchayat- Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
4. Rohit Mochi s/o Sri Jiwan Mochi, , resident of village- Madhuban, Gram Panchayat- Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
5. Mritunjay Kumar s/o Sri Narayan Prasad, resident of village- Dohat Narayan, Gram Panchayat- Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
6. Ram Pravesh Singh s/o Sri Dani Singh, , resident of village- Dohat Narayan, Gram Panchayat- Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
1. THE STATE OF BIHAR.
2. The Principal Secretary, Human Resources Development Department ( Education),Government of Bihar, New Secretariat (Bihar Bhawan),Patna.
3. The Director Primary Education, Government of Bihar, New Secretariat (Bihar Bhawan),Patna.
4. The State Project Director, Government of Bihar, Patna.
5. The Director, Panchayat Raj, Government of Bihar, Patna.
6. The Deputy Development Commissioner, Darbhanga Division, Darbhanga.
7. The Collector, Darbhanga.
8. The District Superintendent of Education, Darbhanga.
9. The Block Development Officer, Baheri, P.S. - Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
10. The Block Education Extension Officer, Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
11. The Gram Panchayat Raj Dohat Narayan , Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga through its Panchayat Secretary.
12. The Mukhiya, Gram Panchayat Raj, Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
13. The Panchayat Secretary, Gram Panchayat Raj Dohat Narayan, Block- Baheri, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
14. Mr. Pramod Kumar s/o not known, resident of village - Madhuban, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
15. Mr. Dilip Mahto s/o not known, resident of village- Amta, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
16. Sri Ram Kumar s/o not known, resident of village- Dohat Narayan, P.S. Baheri, District- Darbhanga.
For the Petitioners : Mr. Rajendra Prasad Singh,Sr.Adv. and M/s Alok Kumar and Ramakant Singh.
For respondent no.16: Mr. Gajendra Pd. Jha and Mr. Bam Bahadur Jha.
6 31.3.2011 The petitioners were duly selected as Shiksha Mitras, in the year 2005, in respect of Gram Panchayat Raj Dohat Narayan, Baheri in the district of Darbhanga. Upon abolition of the post of Shiksha Mitras and their abolition as Panchayat Teachers in terms of Bihar Panchayat Teachers (Appointment and Service Condition) Rules, 2006, they were all absorbed as Panchayat Teachers on permanent basis. It appears that one Ram Kumar filed CWJC No.9728 of 2005 before this Court claiming that for the purposes of appointment of Shiksha Mitra, he was wrongly not selected . The said writ application was disposed of on 8.8.2007 by this Court without any adjudication. It gave liberty to the petitioner (Ram Kumar) to file an appropriate application before the Collector, Darbhanga, who would dispose of the same on merit by a reasoned order. From the order of this Court, it is not apparent that the fact that the post of Shiksha Mitra itself was abolished and all persons, so appointed, and working, had already been absorbed on permanent post as Panchayat Teachers, was ever brought to the notice of this Court. From the order also it is clear that under 2006 Rules, under rule 18 thereof, specific statutory jurisdiction had been created in matters of dispute before the Block Development Officer, which provision was not also shown to the Court and the order obtained for moving the Collector. The Collector on 3
being moved , pursuant to order of this Court aforesaid, Misc. Case no. 85 of 2007-08 was registered at the instance of the said Ram Kumar. Ram Kumar is respondent no. 16 herein and has appeared and has been heard. The order of the Collector ,in those proceedings, dated 19.2.2008 is Annexure 1 and is impugned. By the said order, the Collector in the year 2008 set aside the selection process of Shiksha Mitra, as was done in the year 2005 and directed for fresh recruitment of Shiksha Mitras. Mr. Rajendra Prasad Singh, learned Senior Counsel, appearing on behalf of the petitioners submits that the order of the Collector is liable to be quashed primarily on three grounds. Firstly, the Collector had no jurisdiction in the matter.The statutory jurisdiction, if any, have with the Block Development Officer, secondly, the Collector could not set aside the appointment of the petitioners without even notice to the petitioner much less hear to them and lastly, the Collector could not have set aside the appointment of the petitioners as Shiksha Mitras and ordered fresh recruitment inasmuch as in 2006, the post of Shiksha Mitra itself had been abolished and the petitioners had been absorbed as permanent Panchayat Teachers. To the contrary, Mr. Gajendra Jha ,learned counsel appearing for respondent no. 16 ( Ram Kumar) submits that this Court had conferred the jurisdiction on the Collector and as such the order of the Collector was within the jurisdiction. He then submitted that the Collector perused the records of the selection process and found the selection process vitiated. He, 4
therefore, had the jurisdiction to cancel the entire selection process and it was not required for him to notice the individual, who were beneficiaries of the selection process and lastly he submitted that notwithstanding abolition of the post of Shiksha Mitras, the Collector had the authority to set aside the selection and consequently ordered fresh selection.
With the consent of the parties, the writ petition has been heard for disposal at this stage itself. Having given my anxious consideration, in my view, the order and the action , as proposed by the Collector by the impugned cannot be sustained. Firstly, he lacks jurisdiction to entertain such a complain. It is well settled that no jurisdiction can be conferred either by consent of the parties or otherwise, which is not so provided by the statue, more so, when the contrary provision is there by the statute. Respondent no.16 could not satisfy this Court as to why they failed to bring the provisions to the notice of the Court and why they suggested the Collector to be the enquiring authority contrary to the statutory authority of the Block Development Officer. Thus, the order of the Collector is wholly without jurisdiction but this Court does not rest the order on that ground alone. The grater infirmity is that the Collector, who lacks the jurisdiction and even if it was conferred with the jurisdiction by this Court, could not have pass an order as against the petitioners terminating their services without notice to them. The order is in gross violation of principle of natural justice and this is void ab 5
initio. Lastly it must also be held that as the post of Shiksha Mitra itself had been abolished before the Collector had been moved and the petitioner had been absorbed permanently as Panchayat Teachers ,the Collector had no jurisdiction to cancel the appointment to the post of Shiksha Mitra, which was non existence at that time and worst ordered re- selection to the post of Shiksha Mitra, which did not exist. Thus, any steps taken towards fresh selection was equally bad and cannot be sustained. It may also be noticed here that the persons, who were selected ,have also been made party were noticed and notices have been validly served but they have chosen not to appear except respondent no.16 ( Ram Kumar), who was the complainant and has been selected. Thus, considering the aforesaid, the order of the Collector dated 19.2.2008 passed in Misc. Case no. 85 of 2007-08 is set aside with all consequences and it is held that the petitioners were wrongly removed and as such would be re- instated forthwith. The responsibility whereof would on the concerned Block Development Officer to see the implementation of the order of this Court within one months from the date of production of a copy of this order before him. The writ petition is, thus, allowed in terms, as indicated above.
Singh ( Navaniti Prasad Singh, J.)