K. RAGUPATHI VS THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH

K. RAGUPATHI VS THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3913  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 9214  of 2022]
[@Diary No. 17212 of 2020]
K. RAGUPATHI                ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
AND OTHERS ...RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. Delay condoned.
2. Leave granted.
3. The   appellant­K.   Ragupathi   has   approached   this
Court being aggrieved by the impugned order dated 23rd May
2018 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad,
thereby dismissing the writ petition being Writ­A No. 51962
of   2014   filed   by   the   appellant,   thereby   challenging   the
communication of the respondent No.3 ­ Registrar, Gautam
Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh (hereinafter
1
referred to as the “said University”) dated 12th August 2014
informing   the   appellant   that   his   services   stands
discontinued.
4. The facts in brief giving rise to the present appeal are
as under:
In   response   to   the   advertisement   issued   by   the
respondent No.3, the appellant had applied to the post of
Senior   Scientific   Officer.     After   undergoing   due   selection
process, the appellant came to be selected and appointed as
Senior   Scientific   Officer   on   contractual   basis   in   the   said
University vide its order dated 3rd  August 2011.   The said
appointment was initially for a period of two years.   The
appellant’s services were extended for another period of one
year by the said University vide its order dated 7th  August
2013.   However, vide communication of the said University
dated 12th August 2014, the appellant was informed that the
period of his contractual appointment had expired on 11th
August 2014 and he was directed to complete the formalities
regarding relieving from the service.  Being aggrieved thereby,
the appellant approached the High Court of Judicature at
Allahabad by filing writ petition being Writ­A No. 51962 of
2
2014.   Vide the impugned order dated 23rd  May 2018, the
High Court of Judicature at Allahabad dismissed the said
writ petition.  Hence, the present appeal.
5. We   have   heard   the   appellant­in­person   and   Shri
Vibhav Mishra, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respondents.
6. The appellant has submitted that he was appointed
after following the due selection process, and as such, his
services could not have been terminated without holding an
enquiry.   He   further   submitted   that   though   vide
communication   of   the   said   University   dated   12th  August
2014,   the   appellant   has   been   relieved,   in   effect   it   would
amount to punitive termination.  He further submitted that
the   aforesaid   communication   is   passed   in   a  mala   fide
manner.
7. Shri   Mishra,   on   the  contrary,  submitted  that  the
appellant’s   appointment   was   purely   contractual,   and   as
such, the appellant did not have any right to continue in
service   after   the   expiry   of   the   contractual   period.     He
therefore submitted that no interference is warranted in the
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impugned   order   of   the   High   Court   of   Judicature   at
Allahabad.  
8. Shri   Mishra   further   submitted   that   since   the
appellant was indulging into certain activities, which were
detrimental   to   the   interest   of   the   said   University,   it   was
found that the appellant’s continuation in service was not in
the interest of the said University.
9. It will be apposite to refer to the relevant part of the
supplementary counter affidavit filed on behalf of the said
University before the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad:
“5.   That Clause (6) of the Amendment Act of
2008   substituted   Section   29(1)   of   the   Gautam
Budh University Act, 2002.  The amended Section
29(1) reads as under:
“(1)     Every   employee   in   the   first
instance   shall   be   appointed   under   a
written contract, which shall be lodged
by the University and the copy of which
shall   be   furnished   to   the   employee
concerned.”
6.  That consequent to the aforesaid amendment
made by the State of U.P., in the statute of the
Univesity,   it   is   obligatory   on   the   University   to
initially  appoint   employees  only on  contractual
basis.
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7.  That it is also necessary to clarify at this stage
that even though the University is appointing its
employees on contractual basis, the method of
selection   and   thereafter   appointment   of   these
employees is the same as that which is followed
in   the   case   of   regular   appointment   of   its
employees.
8.   That   for   every  post  which   is   vacant   and
which   is   proposed   to   be   filled   up,   the
University   publishes   an   open   advertisement
inviting   applications   from   all   interested
candidates.  Applications so received are then
placed   before   a   duly   constituted   Selection
Committee,   which   holds   interviews   of   the
applicants/candidates   for   the   various   posts.
It   is   on   the   basis   of   the   recommendations
made   by   the   duly   constituted   Selection
Committee   that   appointment   letters
appointing the employees on contractual basis
are issued by the University.
9.   That  these  employees,  though  technically
appointed   on   contract,   get   all   benefits   and
allowances, as per the Rules applicable.   They
are placed in a regular pay­scale and extended
annual   increments,   leaves,   EPF/GPF
deductions/contributions   and   other   benefits.
But for permanency in tenure, their terms and
conditions   of   appointment   are   identical   to
those of any regularly appointed candidate.
10.   That it may be stated that since 2011, the
University has not regularized any candidate on a
teaching post.   All the teaching employees are
continuing on contractual basis.
11.     That   for   considering   regularization,   the
University is finalizing detailed guidelines.  These
guidelines have been approved by the Board of
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Management   in   its   meeting   dated   18­5­2015.
These guidelines are pending approval from the
Board of Governors of the University, which is its
apex body.
12.   That  till such  time as the  guidelines  are
finally approved by the Board of Governors of the
University,   the   University   shall   not   be   in   a
position to regularize any of its employees.”
[emphasis supplied]
10. As per the affidavit of the said University, it could
thus clearly be seen that, for every vacant post, the said
University   publishes   an   open   advertisement   inviting
applications   from   all   the   interested   candidates.   It   would
further show that the appointments are made only after the
candidates are selected by the Selection Committee.   It is
thus   clear   that   though   the   nomenclature   given   to   the
appointment   is   contractual,   candidates   are   required   to
undergo the entire selection process.  It could further be seen
that as per the affidavit of the said University itself, though
the  employees  are  technically  appointed  on  a  contractual
basis, they get all the benefits and allowances as per the
Rules applicable.  The affidavit would further show that even
according to the said University, for permanency in tenure,
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their terms and conditions of appointment are identical to
those of regularly appointed candidates.  
11. It is thus clear that the appellant was appointed
after he underwent the entire selection process.  Even as per
the University, though the appointment shows that it is on a
contractual basis, for all the purposes, it is on a regular
basis.  It could thus be seen that even for the appointment
on a contractual basis in the said University, a candidate is
required to undergo the entire selection process. Though he
is appointed on a contractual basis, his terms and conditions
are almost like a regular employee.  It will be relevant to note
that the Annual Performance Assessment Report (for short
“APAR”) of the appellant during the period 2012­13 show his
performance to be outstanding.  Every other parameter in his
APAR is shown as excellent.  With regard to his integrity, it is
mentioned   that   there   is   nothing   against   the   appellant
adversely reflecting his integrity.  It is further stated in his
APAR that he enjoys a good reputation and his integrity is
good.  
12. It will  be further relevant to  refer to the  counter
affidavit filed before this Court on behalf of respondent Nos.
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2 to 4.  It is stated in paragraph (4) that the reasons for the
appellant not being continued in the service are at Annexure
P­9 (Page 116­120) and Annexure P­26 (Page 165­166).
13. Insofar as Annexure P­9 is concerned, it is an APAR
to which we have already referred hereinabove.  As such, the
same cannot be a ground for non­continuation of the services
of   the   appellant.   As   a   matter   of   fact,   thereafter,   the
appellant’s services have been continued for another one year
vide order dated 7th August 2013.  
14. Insofar   as   the   document   at   Annexure   P­26   is
concerned,   it   is   an   administrative   warning   issued   to   the
appellant by the Dean of the said University on 10th January
2014, which reads thus: 
“Office of Dean, Planning & Research
GBU­013 /Dplng/09/2014­21         Dated: 10/1/14
Administrative Warning
It has been observed that you write on files simply
"Put up file on such and such date". You have been
continuing to do this even after my several verbal
communications and warning against this. This is
not only against ethics and official decorum but also
against   administrative  norms.   In   response   to   my
objections   you   told   me   that   you   have   been
instructed   by   the   finance   officer   and   the   earlier
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officiating registrar, Mr. Pankaj Sharma to do so.
You have put this noting even on dates when I have
been on leave. Photocopies of such recent notings
are being attached herewith as evidence. There is
also an overwriting in the date mentioned in one of
the   notings.   All   your   above   mentioned   activities
amount to gross irregularity in your work and also
expose your conspirational character. This definitely
makes   you   unfit   to   work   on   any   responsible
position. 
You are being served this warning in writing to
provide you an opportunity to improve your official
working and conduct. 
S/d 
Anuradha Mishra 
Dean P & R
CC: 
1. Registrar for information and record 
2. PS to Hon’ble Vice­Chancellor for information”
15. It   could   thus   be   seen   that   though   the
communication of the said University dated 12th August 2014
states that the appellant’s contractual period has expired, in
the facts of the present case, it would reveal that his services
were discontinued on account of the allegation made against
him by the Dean of the said University.  Since even according
to   the   said   University,   though   the   employment   was
contractual   but   the   employee   was   entitled   to   get   all   the
benefits of a regular employee, we find that in the facts of the
present case, the appellant’s services could not have been
9
terminated without following the principles of natural justice.
We therefore find that the present  appeal deserves to  be
allowed on this short ground.  
16. In the result, the impugned order dated 23rd  May
2018 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad,
thereby dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant and
the communication passed by the said University dated 12th
August   2014,   thereby   discontinuing   the   services   of   the
appellant, are quashed and set aside.
17. The   appellant   is   directed   to   be   reinstated   with
continuity in service.  However, the appellant would not be
entitled to any back wages.  
18. The appeal is allowed in the above terms. Pending
application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of in the above
terms.  No order as to costs. 
……..….......................J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
…….........................J.       
[B.R. GAVAI]
NEW DELHI;
MAY 12, 2022.
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