Thirteen years after the Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College in Puducherry was brought under the administrative control of the Law Department, the Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed the G.O. transferring the institution from the Education Department’s control.
Justice K.K. Sasidharan passed the order on a writ petition by one I.Suriya seeking a direction to the Puducherry government to retransfer the college from under the control of the Law Department to the Education Department.
The shifting of control to the Law Department was effected through the impugned G.O. of January 27, 2000. The petitioner contended that the G.O. had been issued under Rule 3 of the Business of the Government of Pondicherry (Allocation) Rules. Counsel submitted that Rule 3 could not be invoked in this manner to entrust the administrative control of the college to the Law Department without amending the relevant entries under the Rules of Business.
The Law Department considered the college as a subordinate office and failed to take any action either to recruit teachers or to develop it as a premier law institution.
Mr.Justice Sasidharan said the President had not amended the Rules of Business of Government of Pondicherry by entrusting legal education with the Law Department.
Unless there was an amendment, there was no question of the department taking over administrative control. Neither the business rules regarding the Education Department nor Law Department had undergone changes so as to divest the Education Department of its administrative control of the law college and to entrust it with the law department. The impugned G.O. has no legal standing. The court quashed the order and directed the Education Department to take over the control of the college.
The court directed the Puducherry administration to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the Pondicherry University and the Bar Council of India. A Principal should be appointed on a regular basis and vacancies in the post of Assistant Professor should be filled.
The Education Secretary should set right the deficiencies in a time-bound manner. The Principal, Lecturers and other employees should be appointed by December 31 this year. The Pondicherry University had been extending provisional affiliation to the college time and again.
The court directed the university to pass appropriate orders for granting affiliation for 2013-14 within three days. The Chief Secretary should monitor the working of the college. Efforts should be made to develop the institution as a National Law School of Excellence.