Quo warranto

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    • #112126
      Tina DU

      (A) UGC Regulations are mandatory and not recommendatory on the statutory
      authority vested in the UGC under Section 26. It lends
      credence to the proposition that the 2000 Regulations carry
      the force of statute and are this liable to be enforced through
      a writ of quo warranto.
      (B) An outsider possesses the necessary locus standi to question an appointment in violation of the UGC Regulations
      which have the force of statute.
      (C) The limited inquiry to be conducted by the Court while considering a writ of quo warranto is not whether the selected
      candidate was the more qualified candidate for the post, but
      rather, whether his credential fell below the minimum
      statutory bar imposed by the Regulations.
      (D) Selection Committee sits as an expert body to consider the suitability of the academic qualifications of the candidates
      which a Court should not and, as a matter of law, cannot
      review on merits.

      As the Supreme Court noted in Hari Bansh Lal v. Sahodar Prasad Mahto and Ors., (2010) 9 SCC 655:

      “20. From the discussion and analysis, the following principles emerge:

      (a) Except for a writ of quo warranto, PIL is not maintainable
      in service matters.
      (b) For issuance of writ of quo warranto, the High Court has to
      satisfy that the appointment is contrary to the statutory rules.

      Indeed, that a writ of quo warranto may be issued for appointments contrary to statutory rules is an established principle of law under Article
      226 is clear from the decisions in The Mor Modern Cooperative
      Transport Society Ltd. v. Financial Commissioner and Secretary to
      Govt. Haryana and Anr., (2002) 6 SCC 269 and recently in Central
      Electricity Supply Utility of Odisha v. Dhobei Sahoo and Ors., 2013
      (13) SCALE 477

      Thus, barring clear cases where a writ of quo warranto can be issued, Courts cannot take upon themselves the task of a “merits review” of appointments to public or such like offices (Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Anr. v. Union of India (UOI) & Anr., 2011 (4) SCC

      Other decisions (R.K. Jain v. Union of India & Ors. 1993 (4) SCC
      119; Dr. Duryodhan Sahu & Ors. Etc. Etc. v. Jitendra Kumar Mishra
      & Ors. 1998 (7) SCC 273, Dattaraj Nathuji Thaware v. State of
      Maharashtra & Ors., 2005 (1) SCC 590, and Ashok Kumar Pandey
      v. The State of West Bengal and Ors., 2004 (3) SCC 349) have
      declared that there can be no public interest litigation in service matters.

      issuance of a writ of quo warranto is discretionary and such a writ should be issued only upon a clear finding that the appointment to a public office was contrary to the statute.” (Arun Singh @ Arun Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar and Ors., (2006) 9 SCC 375)

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