C.B.M. College vs State Human Rights Commission on 30 September, 2003

Madras High Court
C.B.M. College vs State Human Rights Commission on 30 September, 2003
       

  

  

 
 
 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS           

DATED: 30/09/2003  

CORAM   

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. MISRA         

WRIT PETITION.NO.20786 OF 2001     


C.B.M. College,
Rep. by its Secretary,
Sakethapuri,
Kovaipudur,
Coimbatore 641 042.                     ..  Petitioner

-Vs-

1. State Human Rights Commission,  
   rep. by its Registrar,
   No.35, Thiru.Vi.Ka. Road,
   Chennai 600 014.

2. The State of Tamil Nadu,
   rep. by the Secretary to the Govt.,
   Higher Education Department,
   Fort St. George,
   Chennai 600 009.

3. V.R. Planisamy,
   S/o. Ramasamy Gounder,  
   No,.9, Valayapalayam,
   Thondamuthur Post, 
   Coimbatore 641 103.          ..  Respondents

Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the
issuance of Writ of Certiorari as stated therein.

For Petitioner : Mr.V. Ramasubramanian

For Respondent-1 : M/s.G.M. Mani Associates

Respondent-2 : Mrs. Thenmozhi Sivaperumal
A.G.P.,

Respondent-3 : Mr.P. Srinivas

:J U D G M E NT

The present writ petition has been filed by C.B.M. College, a
private college coming within the meaning of Section 2(8) of the Tamil Nadu
Private Colleges (Regulation) Act, 1976, receiving grant from the Government
of Tamil Nadu for quashing the order dated 15.6.2001 passed by the first
respondent, the State Human Rights Commission.

2. Third respondent was employed under the petitioner
college. He had filed an application before the State Human Rights
Commission, respondent No.1, alleging harassment by the management. The
gravamen of his allegation was to the effect that even though he had withdrawn
his resignation dated 31.8.1979 on the very same day, he was subsequently
relieved on 31.3.1981 by the management on the basis of the so called
resignation. Subsequently, he successfully challenged the action of the
management in the High Court. However, even though the management had
reinstated him in April, 1993, the management did not pay arrear of salary
from 1.4.1981 to 15.4.1993. It was further alleged that the third respondent
has been again placed under suspension on 4.4.2000, but such suspension was
not revoked even though expiry of 4 months as prescribed under the Act was
over and was kept out of employment inspite of the order passed by the Joint
Director.

3. The State Human Rights Commission in its report observed
that salary should have been paid by the college for the period from 1.4.198 1
to 15.4.1993 and as such the human rights of the third respondent had been
violated. It also directed that in addition to the above salary, compensation
of Rs.50,000/- should be paid and the entire amount should be paid by the
Government and thereafter recovered from the Grants payable to the
petitioners college.

4. The petitioner has raised the following contentions :-
(1) The petitioner college being a private college coming within the
scope of Act 19 of 1976, which bars the jurisdiction of Civil Court and gives
over-riding effect to the Act, the Human Rights Commission did not have any
jurisdiction to entertain the complaint filed by the third respondent.

(2) The question relating to suspension had been raised before the
appellate authority under Section 37 of the Act 19 of 1976 and a connected
matter is also pending in the High Court in W.P.No.11842 of 2000 and as such,
such matters could not have come within the purview of the Human Rights
Commission.

(3) Since the question relating to acceptance of the resignation had
been agitated before the appropriate authorities and had been decided by the
High Court, the decision operated as constructive res judicata and such
question should not be re-agitated before the Human Rights Commission.

(4) Even assuming that Human Rights Commission has no jurisdiction,
the complaint was barred by limitation in view of the provisions contained in
Section 36(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

5. Since the last two points raised by the petitioner are
worthy of acceptance, it is unnecessary to deal with other questions raised by
the petitioner.

6. Section 36(2) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
is to the following effect :-

36(2) The Commission or the State Commission shall not inquire into
any matter after the expiry of one year from the date on which the act
constituting violation of human rights is alleged to have been committed.

7. In the present case, the Human Rights Commission has not
purported to consider the question relating to suspension in 2000, but has
concentrated on the question of non-payment of the amount after the petitioner
was reinstated pursuant to the order of the High Court in 19 93. Though there
was a direction for reinstatement, there was no specific direction for payment
of arrear salary from the date of acceptance of resignation till the date of
reinstatement. It was open to the petitioner to claim such benefits at that
stage. If the petitioner had claimed such benefits and the prayer was not
granted, it would be deemed that prayer was rejected. On the other hand, if
the petitioner has not made any specific claim at that stage and it was
claimed only in 2000, it must be taken that the claim was barred by limitation
keeping in view the provisions contained in Section 36(2) of the Protection of
Human Rights Act, 1993. In either event it must be taken that recommendation
by the State Human Rights Commission regarding payment of arrear salary for
which cause of action had arisen atleast in 1993, if not earlier, must be
taken to be illegal and such direction must be quashed.

8. For the aforesaid reasons, the writ petition is allowed
and the order passed by the State Human Rights Commission dated 25.6.2001 is
quashed. No costs.

Index : Yes
Internet : Yes

dpk

To

1. State Human Rights Commission,
rep. by its Registrar,
No.35, Thiru.Vi.Ka. Road,
Chennai 600 014.

2. The State of Tamil Nadu,
rep. by the Secretary to the Govt.,
Higher Education Department,
Fort St. George,
Chennai 600 009.

3. V.R. Planisamy,
S/o. Ramasamy Gounder,
No,.9, Valayapalayam,
Thondamuthur Post,
Coimbatore 641 103.

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