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The Governing Body is constituted to appoint the warden for college: SC

The appointment of Warden of the hostel maintained by the College constituent affiliated to the University of Delhi is purely an administrative affair of the College and the University has no role to play in this behalf. It is respectfully submitted that the appointment of an existing teaching staff in an honorary capacity as Warden of a college is not specifically provided for under any of the provisions of the University of Delhi Act, 1922 Statutes, and Ordinances. (Para 31)



The Chairperson Governing Body Daulat Ram College V. Dr. Asha & Ors.

Civil Appeal No. 13 Of 2021

January 5, 2020


The Hon’ble Supreme Court Justices Ashok Bhushan, M.R.Shah in an appeal filed by the appellant by the Division Bench judgment of Delhi High Court dated 06.03.2019. Daulat Ram College is affiliated to the University of Delhi since 1960. It has a Governing Body which is approved by the Executive Council of the University. In this case we deal with appointment of hostel warden. On 10.09.2013, the respondent – 4 Dr. Kavita Sharma was appointed as the warden of the college by the Governing Body for period of two years. After the completion of two years, the Chair Person of the Governing Body asked the principal to seek the willingness of the respondent – 4 for reappointment.

The principle issued a letter to the Chair Person dated 15.09.2015 informing respondent – 4 that the term of appointment of warden, for 8 months. The Principal on 02.05.2016 issued notice inviting applications from permanent teachers to work as warden. The principle appointed respondent – 1 Dr. Asha as the warden of the college. In the meeting of the Governing Body it was noted that vide Resolution dated 11.09.2015 respondent - 4 was appointed for a period of two years which term was to expire on 11.09.2017. The Chair Person issued a show cause notice to respondent – 1 that she occupied the post of warden illegally. Respondent - 1 wrote a letter to the Chairperson, stating the principle informing the Indian Overseas Bank that respondent - 1 has been appointed as a Hostel Warden with effect from 21.05.2016 for two years and she will operate the College Hostel Accounts. The University of Delhi wrote a letter to respondent - 3 that appointment of Warden in a College is purely an administrative affair of the College and the University has no role to play in this behalf.

Respondent - 1 filed a Writ Petition No.7289 of 2016 praying for issuing a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus and/or certiorari directing respondent Nos.2 and 3, i.e., the Principal and Chairperson of the Governing Body to withdraw the notice, declaration was sought that notice dated 30.07.2016 is illegal and unconstitutional. Learned Single Judge by judgment dated 09.03.2018 disposed of writ petition.

This petition and application are disposed of with direction to the Governing Body of respondent-College, for the post of Warden in question and it be placed before the Staff Council of respondent-College, who shall make recommendation for the post of Warden in the College Hostel within a period of four weeks and the said recommendation be considered by the Governing Body of respondent-College within two weeks thereafter, so that the post in question is expeditiously filled up. (Para 14)

The Chair Person invites the application for the post of warden. Respondent – 4 was appointed as the warden. Letters Patent Appeal was filed by respondent - 1 against the judgment dated 09.03.2018 of the Learned Single Judge. The Division Bench decided the LPA vide judgment dated 06.03.2019. The Division Bench although did not interfere with the direction of the learned Single but in addition issued various directions. The Division Bench directed for issue of notice by the Principal of the College inviting applications for appointment of Warden of the Hostel, which applications were required to be placed before the Staff Council which was to take a decision thereon and make its recommendations not later than 01.04.2019 and recommendations were to be placed before the Governing Body.


The Learned counsel for the appellant submits that appointing authority of Warden for the College Hostel is the Governing Body of the College. The appointment of respondent - 1 was directly made by the Principal respondent - 3 on 06.05.2016 without approval of the Governing Body which was an illegal appointment. The appellant also submits that both learned Single Judge and Division Bench having found the appointment of respondent - 1 illegal, the appointment made by the Governing Body in pursuance of judgment of the learned Single Judge ought to have been maintained. It is submitted that the learned Division Bench has issued various directions which encroach on the right of the Governing Body to exercise its jurisdiction of the appointing authority of the Warden of the Hostel of the College.

The Learned counsel appearing for respondent – 3 submits that Daulat Ram College is affiliated to the University of Delhi and 95% grants is funded from University Grants Commission and only 5% of the funds is to be paid by the Society-Trust. The letter dated 19.02.1987 was written by the University Grants Commission in response to the letter of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi and said letter was ratified by the Executive Council of the University in its meeting dated 25.04.1987 that it is the Principal, who is the appointing authority of the Warden of the Hostel of the College. The Principal, being the administrative head of the College, is entitled to make appointment. It is also submitted that Staff Council also has no role in the appointment of Warden which is in the domain of the Principal of the College.

“it is felt that each hostel should have a warden who should be responsible for all hostel administration in the college and he/she should be appointed by the Principal from amongst senior teachers in the college.” (Para 21)


There were two issues in this case. First, whether the principle of the college can appoint the warden or the Governing Body to appoint the warden for the college. Second, what is the procedure to be adopted for the appointment of warden of the college.


The University has filed counter-affidavit in the writ petition before the High Court where it has categorically taken the stand that the University Act, Statutes and Ordinance do not provide for appointment of the Warden of the Hostel College and it is a private matter concerning the respective college. In the Letter Patent Appeal affidavit was called for and the affidavit by Prof. T.K. Das, Registrar, and University of Delhi was filed.

The appointment of Warden of the hostel maintained by the College constituent/affiliated to the University of Delhi is purely an administrative affair of the College and the University has no role to play in this behalf. It is respectfully submitted that the appointment of an existing teaching staff in an honorary capacity as Warden of a college is not specifically provided for under any of the provisions of the University of Delhi Act, 1922 Statutes, and Ordinances. However all the Colleges, which have their own Hostel and, are affiliated or constituent of University of Delhi, follow the practice of inviting application from interested teachers of their respective College by putting up notice by the Principal of said College, willing to take up the appointment.

The Governing Body, thus, has general supervision of the College. Even in the Colleges and Institutions which are maintained by the University, it is provided in Ordinance XX that the Governing Body which is constituted by the Executive Council is empowered to appoint the administrative staff of the College. Similarly, the Governing Body of the affiliated Colleges is empowered to appoint administrative staff of the College. The Ordinance does not empower the Principal to make any appointment of the Warden of the Hostel nor any other statutory provision has been referred which empowers the Principal to appoint Warden.

It is the Governing Body of the College which has the authority to appoint Warden of the College Hostel. However, the Principal being Executive head of the entire College and being in position to know the members of the staff as per prevailing practice the applications are to be invited through the Principal of the College and after receipt of the applications the applications along with recommendation of the Principal may be placed before the Governing Body which is to take decision regarding appointment of the Warden.

The appeal is allowed.



Shantha Gopika R

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