On Tuesday, the Supreme Court observed that the Governing Body of a college has the authority to appoint administrative staff of the college.
The Bench observed that ‘the Principal’ looks after the college’s internal administration, and he is a person who knows all the college staff; therefore, his recommendation carries weight. While appointing Warden of a hostel, the Governing Body should consider the recommendation made by the Principal.
Background of the Case:-
In 2016m Ms Asha was appointed as the Warden of Daulat Ram College, and she assumed charge on 21/05/2016. In a meeting, the Governing Body noted that the term of another woman who was appointed before Ms Asha’s appointment was to expire on 11/09/2016. In this regard, the Governing Body issued a notice to Ms Asha and asked her to explain how she willfully and illegally tried to occupy the post even though she was well aware of another woman’s appointment.
In June 2016, the Principal wrote a letter informing Ms Asha that she has been appointed as the Warden for two years. However, Delhi University stated that the appointment of a warden was an administrative affair of the college. The Delhi University did not have any role in it and asked the Principal to act as per Ordinance XVIII of Delhi University.
Ms Asha approached the Delhi University where a Single Judge Bench held that the appointment of Warden was an administrative affair of the college and that Ms Asha’s appointment was irregular.
Aggrieved by the order, Ms Asha filed an appeal before a Division Bench which directed that appointment applications would be placed before a Staff Council who will have the power to make an appointment.
The parties then approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court:-
Two main issues raised before the Supreme Court:-
- Whether the Principal of a college has the power to appoint a warden or the Governing Body has the power?
- What is the procedure to appoint a warden of the hostel?
Observations of the Court
After pursuing the counter affidavit filed by the University, the Court opined that Statutes, Ordinance or the Act of the University do not provide a provision for appointment of Warden.
On examining the Ordinance XVIII, the Court noted that the appointment of Warden was a purely administrative function and the University had no role in it. The Court also noted that as per Ordinance eXVIII 6-A(5)(b)(iii) the Staff Council does not have the power to appoint a Warden.
Procedure to be followed for appointment of Hostel Wardens:-
The Apex Court provided the following steps for appointment of Hostel Wardens:-
- The Warden should be chosen from the permanent staff of the college.
- The Principal should invite applications for the post.
- The Governing Body will decide who will be the Warden, on the recommendation made by the Principal.
- The Governing Body should give due weightage to the Principal’s recommendation.
The order passed by the Delhi High Court was set aside by the Apex Court, and the Governing Body was directed by the Court to invite fresh applications for the post of hostel warden.
Title: CHAIRPERSON GOVERNING BODY DAULAT RAM COLLEGE vs DR. ASHA
Case No.:CIVIL APPEAL NO. 13 Of 2021
Date of Order:05.01.2021
Coram: Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan and Hon’ble Justice MR Shah