Guwahati High Court: Grievances regarding internal affairs of Unaided Private Educational Institutions not under Article 226

Guwahati High court Law Insider

Ambika bhardwaj

Published On: January 25, 2022 at 18:09 IST

The Guwahati High Court in the Case of Mukti Nath Gogoi v. The State of Assam And Ors. noted that conflicts relating to the internal affairs of an unassisted private educational institution are not subject to the High Court’s Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The High Court stated that a Mandamus can only be issued against such an institution if it is performing a public function and the grievance is related to the withdrawal of that public function.

Justice Michael Zothankhuma rejected two Writ Petitions lodged against an unaided private educational institution questioning termination of services as unmaintainable.

The Petitioners were hired as Assistant Professors at the Girijananda Choudhury Institute of Management & Technology that is the “Respondent Institution” and a private, unassisted establishment.

According to the offer letter, the Respondent Institution was required to issue the Petitioners one month’s notice before terminating them. The Petitioners’ services were terminated without notification but a month’s salary was given.

The termination letters were challenged in Writ Petitions lodged before the Guwahati High Court under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.

Mr. I.H. Saikia, who represented the Petitioners, relied on Ramesh Malwari v. State of Punjab And Ors., Janet Jeyapaul v. SRM University (2015), and Binny Ltd. v. V. Sadasivans to assert that the Writ Petitions were maintainable because the Respondent Institution performed a public duty by giving education.

The Respondent Institution’s Counsel contended that a Writ Petition could not be filed against an unassisted private institution. Mr. S. Bhuyan, who represented the State, made the same claim. Furthermore, it was argued that the dismissal of faculty members was not a public function.

The Court stated that even though a Writ of Mandamus can be released against a private authority, it is vital that it discharges public function, and the impugned decision ought to be in discharge of such function.

The Court found that the Respondent Institution provided education, which is a public function. However, the decision that is challenged is the Petitioners’ termination of services, which is not in the discharge of a public function and is related to service contract.

Also read: Different types of Writs

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