07 May 1970
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 2221 of 1966






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/05/1970


CITATION:  1970 AIR 1832            1971 SCR  (1) 586  1969 SCC  (2) 217

ACT: Constitution  of India, 1950, Art. 226-High Court’s  powers- Certiorari. Patna  University.  Act.3 of 1962-Appointment of  Professor- Master’s  degree  a necessary  qualification-Whether  degree must be in same subject in respect of which appointment made Vice-Chancellor advertising post after obtaining approval of Chancellor--Whether  must again obtain approval  if  revised advertisement  to be issued-Public Service  Commission  when may  be asked to reconsider its recommendation.  Minutes  of Syndicate   meeting-Effect  of   correction--Correction   of minutes  relating to earlier resolution does not  result  in fresh resolution.

HEADNOTE: The Vice-Chancellor of Patna University after obtaining  the approval  of the Chancellor for filling up the  vacancy  for the  post  of  Professor  of  Political  Science  by  direct recruitment,  got  the  post advertised  through  the  Bihar Public  Service Commission.  The Public  Service  Commission issued an advertisement in which the required  qualification was "first or second class Master’s degree in the  subject." Since   the   relevant  University  statute  had   no   such requirement  the Vice-Chancellor got published  through  the Commission another advertisement in Which the  qualification mentioned  was  "first or second class  Master’s  degree  in Political  Science or in an allied subject." The  Commission recommended  the  name of respondent No. 1  for  appointment after  consulting two experts, only one of whom was  Present atathe interview, the other having sent his opinion by post. The  Syndicate  of the University at its meeting of  May  7, 1963   considered  the  Commission’s  recommendation.    The minutes  of  the meeting as originally recorded  stated  the resolution said to have been passed by a majority of 9 to  8 in  the following terms : "Not to proceed with the  question of  making  this appointment".  Construing  the  Syndicate’s decision  to  mean  that the said  candidate  had  not  been approved  for appointment the Vice-Chacellor  requested  the Public Service, Commision to reconsider its  recommendation. This  the Commission refused to do.  At the next meeting  of the Syndicate on July 3, 1963, 16 out of the 17 members  who



had  attended  the  previous  meeting  were  present.   They authorised the correction of the minutes of the last meeting to read "not to accept the recommendation of the Commission" in  place of the words "not to proceed with the question  of making  his  appointment".   Thereafter  by  resolution   it appointed  respondent  No. 1 to the Post in  question.   The appellant  made  a representation to the Chancellor  of  the University  challenging  the  appointment.   The  Chancellor purporting to act under s.9(4) of the Patna University Act 3 of  1962  annulled  the Syndicate’s  resolution  making  the appointment on the following grounds : (i) that the  revised advertisement  was unauthorised inasmuch as it- was  against the  statute and sought to amend it. as also because it  was issued  without the prior aprroval of the  Chancellor;  (ii) that  since  only  one of the experts  associated  with  the selection  was present at the interviews s.26(2) of the  Act was  violated:  (iii) that the Vice-Chancellor’s  action  in referring the. matter for reconsideration by the  Commission was  without  the  authority of the syndicate  and  was  not warranted under s 26(4) (iv)                             587 that  under a prior resolution of the syndicate  a  decision taken  at its meeting could not be revised for a  period  of six  months  therefrom; therefore its resolution of  May  7, 1963   not  accepting  the  recommendation   regarding   the respondent could not be substituted by its resolution  dated July  3, 1963 by which he was appointed.  Respondent  No.  1 challenged  the Chancellor’s order in High Court which  held it to be invalid.  In appeal by certificate, HELD  :  (i) In a writ petition for  certiorari  a  superior court would not interfere on the mere ground of an error  of fact or even of law, but it: the error of law is apparent on the,  record’or  consists of a misconstruction of a  law  on which  assumption  of jurisdiction is made  which  otherwise does not exist. a certiorari can issue.  In the instant case the Chancellor on the four grounds on which he annulled  the Syndicate’s  resolution  appropriated      to  himself   the jurisdiction  to  interfere which he did not have  under  s. 9(4)  of  the  Act.  The High Court rightly  held  that  the Chancellor’s assumption of jurisdiction was based on a wrong interpretation of the statute and that there was an apparent error of law on the record. [592 D-E] (ii)Under  s.  85 of the Patna ’University Act,  1962  until statutes.  Ordinances, Regulations and Rules were made under the  Act, Regulations made under the Bihar State  University Act 14, 1960 were to continue to be in force.  That  statute did  not say that the Master’s degree which a candidate  for the post of Professor was required to possess had to be  ’in the  subject’ for which the candidate would  be  appointed.. Therefore  in  issuing the revised advertisement  the  Vice- Chancellor  did not purport to modify or alter  the  statute relating to the qualifications but on the contrary clarified the  correct position.  The Chancellor could not on a  wrong interpretation   of  the  statute  hold  that  the   revised advertisement  was a modification of the statute. [592  G-H; 593 G-H] The  Vice-Chancellor  had  obtained  the  approval  of   the Chancellor  forfilling up the vacancy by direct  recruitment and  also  for the advertisement in terms  of  the  statute. Once such an approval had been obtained no further  approval was  necessary  for the various  consequential  steps  which would’  have to be taken to bring about the appointment  and fill up the vacancy including revision of the  advertisement for  bringing  it  into conformity with  the  statute.   The Chancellor  was therefore wrong in holding that the  revised



advertisement required his approval. [594 D-G] (iii)Section  26(2) (iii) of the Act does not say  that  the experts  required to be ’associated’ with the selection  had to be present at the interviews.  No such reference could be drawn from the provision that they would not have the  right to vote.  The Chancellor was therefore in error when he held that  the recommendation of the Commission was  invalid  be- cause  one of the experts consulted was not present  at  the interviews. [595 A-F] (iv)It  is  only when the Syndicate declines to  accept  the recommendation  of  the  Commission  that  the  question  of sending back the matter for reconsideration arises under  S. 26(4).  There can be no question of sending back the  matter when  the  Syndicate either accepts  the  recommendation  or decides  not to proceed with making the appointment.   There was ample material on record to show that on May 7, 1963 the Syndicate  in fact decided not to accept  the.  commission’s recommendation.   At  its subsequent meeting  the  Syndicate corrected  the minutes to this effect.  The  Vice-Chancellor had  rightly  understood the Syndicate’s  decision  and  for reconsideration. [595 H-596 E] 588 When  a  decision is taken at a meeting and is  minuted  and such  minutes are signed by the Chairman they  become  prima facie  evidence  of what took place at the  meeting.   After such  signature the minutes cannot be altered.   But  before the  minutes are signed they can be altered if found  to  be inaccurate or not in accord with what was actually  decided. If ,,that were not so it would result in great hardship  and inconvenience  for however inaccurate they are, they  cannot be  altered  to  bring them in conformity  with  the  actual decision.   This was precisely what was done at the  meeting of july 3, 1963 [597 A-D] The  view  of  the Chancellor that  the  alteration  of  the minutes on July 3, 1963 constituted a revision or rescission of  the earlier decision or that such revision or  recession could  not  be  made  before the expiry  of  six  months  as provided   by  the  rule  passed  by  the   Syndicate.   was unsustainable. [597 G-H]

JUDGMENT: CIVIL  APPELLATE  JURISDICTION.: CiVil Appeal  No.  2221  of 1966. Appeal  from the judgment and decree dated March 8, 1965  of the  Patna  High Court in Misc.  Judicial Case No.  1554  of 1964. B. P. Jha, for the appellant. Bishan  Narain, S. S. Jauhar, K. K. Sinha and  Manish  Kumar Sinha, for respondent No. 1. Sarjoo Prasad, R. N. Sinha and U. P. Singh, for  respondents Nos. 3 to 5. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Shelat, J. This appeal, by certificate, is directed against, the judgment of the High Court of Patna dated March 8, 1965, whereby  it  set aside the order of the  Chancellor  of  the University of Patna dated September 26, 1964 passed under S. 9(4) of the ’Patna University Act, III of 1962  (hereinafter referred to as the Act). On  the retirement of one Dr. Muhar as the  University  Pro- fessor of Political Science a permanent vacancy occurred  in that  post.   The Vice-Chancellor of the  University,  after obtaining the approval of the Chancellor for filling up  the vacancy  by  direct  recruitment, got  the  post  advertised



through the Bihar Public Service Commission.  In his  letter requesting  the  approval, the ’Vice-Chancellor  had  stated that  he did not propose to lay down any  qualifications  in addition to those prescribed under the. relevant  University Statute.  The advertisement, as published by the Commission, announced the necessary qualifications as under:               "First or second class Master’s degree in  the               subject   of  an  Indian  University   or   an               equivalent   qualification   of   a    foreign               university . . . . ." 5 8 9 A  little later, the Vice-Chancellor got  published  through the  Commission another advertisement amending  the  earlier advertisement.    The  revised  advertisement   stated   the required qualifications. as under :               "First  or  second class  Master’s  degree  in               Political Science or in an allied subject like               History  or Economics of an Indian  University               or  an equivalent qualification of  a  foreign               university-." As required by the Act, the State Public Service  Commission had  to recommend name or names of the candidates  for  them appointment.   For this purpose two experts in the  subject, Dr. M. P. Sharma of the Saugar University and Dr.  Bhaskaran of the Madras University, were to assist the Commission.  At the interviews of the candidates taken by, the Commission on March  4, 1963 Dr. Sharma was present, but the other  expert could   not  attend.   His  views,  therefore,  had  to   be communicated  to  the Commission by  post.   The  Commission recommended  respondent I herein as the  candidate  suitable for the post. On May 7, 1963, the Syndicate of the University which had by that  time been constituted under the Act, held its  meeting to consider the Commission’s recommendation.  The minutes of the  meetings,  as drawn up, stated the resolution  said  to have  been passed by a majority of 9 to 8 in  the  following terms "Not   to   proceed  with  the  question  of   making   this appointment." As appearing from subsequent events, it would seem that  the said   minutes  were  not  correctly  drafted.   The   Vice- Chancellor also appears to have understood that the decision taken  at  the  said  meeting  was  that  the   Commission’s recommendation  was not acceptable to the Syndicate and  not that  the Syndicate was not to proceed with the question  of making  the appointment.  Accordingly, at his instance,  the Registrar  of the University, by his letter dated  June  11, 1963,  informed  the  Commission  that  the  Syndicate   had resolved not to accept its recommendation and he had, there- fore, to request the Commission to reconsider its  aforesaid recommendation under s. 26(4) of the Act.  On June 22, 1963, the Commission wrote back to say that it found no reason  to reconsider its earlier recommendation.  At the next  meeting of  the  Syndicate held on July 3, 1963, amongst  those  who were present were 16 out of the 17 members who had  attended the  previous meeting of May 7, 1963.  When the  minutes  of the  previous  meeting were placed for confirmation  it  was found  that the minutes as drafted, namely, "not to  proceed with  the  question  of making  this  appointment"  did  not represent the resolution which was 590 actually  passed.  Those words were, therefore,  scored  out and  instead the words "not to accept the recommendation  of the Commissioner were substituted so as to bring the minutes in   conformity   with  the  resolution   actually   passed.



Thereafter   the   meeting   considered   the   Commission’s recommendation  and  appointed respondent 1 to the  post  of University Professor for Political Science by a majority  of 10 to 3 with four abstentions.  That the Vice Chancellor  to let  him have his comments on the points raised  minutes  as drafted  did not incorporate the resolution actually  passed on  May 7, 1963 is indicated by the fact that in his  repre- sentation  to  the  Chancellor even  the  appellant  himself stated that the Syndicate on May 7, 1963 had decided not  to accept  the Commission’s recommendation.  The appellant  did not  state  in that representation that  the  Syndicate  had resolved not to proceed with the making of the  appointment. Another  circumstance indicating that the said minutes  were not   correctly  drafted  was  that  while  the   items   of confirmation  came up before the Syndicate on July 3,  1963, which,  as  aforesaid,  was attended by 16  out  of  the  17 members  who had participated in the previous meeting,  none of  those 16 members appears to have protested  against  the change in the language of the minutes on the ground that the resolution  then  passed was that the  Syndicate  would  not proceed  with  the  appointment, or that  the  resolution  a actually   passed-was  not  one  refusing  to   accept   the Commission’s recommendation of respondent 1. Against the resolution dated July 3, 1963 appointing respon- dent  1, the appellant and Dr. L. P. Sinha, the Head of  the Department of Political Science, made representations to the Chancellor.  Thereupon the Chancellor first called upon  the Vice Chancellor to let him have ’ his comments on the points raised  in the said representations.  On July 15, 1963,  the Vice-Chancellor  furnished  his  comments.   Thereafter  the Chancellor issued show cause notice to the appellant and the Vice-Chancellor  and after receiving their replies  as  also the  report of the Legal Affairs Committee appointed by  the Syndicate passed the impugned order under S. 9(4) of the Act annulling  the  Syndicate’s resolution of July  3,  1963  by which the appointment of respondent I was made. Shortly  stated the grounds on which the impugned order  was passed were, :               (1)(a)  that  the  revised   advertisement,               which  substituted the words "in the  subject"               by  the words "in Political Science or in  any               allied subject Eke History and Economics", had               the effect of amending the University  Statute               laying  down the qualifications for the  post,               that  such an amendment could only be made  by               framing  a new statute under ss. 30 and 31  of               the Act and not               591               unilaterally by the Vice-Chancellor, and  that               therefore,   the  revised  advertisement   was               invalid;               (b)that   the  words  in   the   University               Statute, namely, that the University Professor               "shall   possess  a  first  or  second   class               Master’s  degree" meant a Master’s degree  "in               the   subject";  consequently,  the   original               advertisement  was  in  conformity  with   the               University    Statute    relating    to    the               qualifications, and therefore, the revised ad-               vertisement by substituting the words "in  the               subject" by the words "in political Science or               in any allied subject" etc. had the effect  of               amending the Statute and was unauthorised;                (c)  that the revised advertisement was  also               bad,  in that, the Vice-Chancellor  could  not



             alter  the original advertisement  without  the               previous  approval of the Chancellor under  s.               57 of the Act;.               (2)that  s. 26(2) of the  Act  contemplates               that the Public Service Commission should take               the  assistance of two experts  before  making               its recommendation, that the section  required               that the experts should be present at the time               when the Commission took the interviews of the               candidates,   that  the  interviews,  in   the               absence  of one of the two experts,  were  not               valid,  that therefore, a recomendation  based               on such invalid interviews and following  such               recommendation  the  appointment made  by  the               Syndicate were both invalid;               (3)that  on  a recommendation made  by  the               Commission,  the Syndicate had three  options,               (a)  to  accept  it and proceed  to  make  the               appointment,  (b) to reject it and  refer  the               matter to the Commission for  reconsideration,               and  (c)  to give up the idea  of  making  the               appointment  at all; that it was only  in  the               case of (b.) that the matter could be referred               back  to the Commission under s. 26 (4).   The               Vice-Chancellor’s  action  in  referring   the               matter  for reconsideration by the  Commission               was without the authority of the Syndicate and               was not warranted under s. 26(4) :               (4)that  under  a prior resolution  of  the               Syndicate dated November 13, 1952, a  decision               taken at the meeting could not be revised  for               a   period   of   six   months   there   from.               Consequently, the decision taken by the Syndi-               cate  at  its meeting on May 7,  1963  not  to               proceed  with  the appointment  could  not  be               revised by the Syndicate before the expiry  of               six   months,   and   that   therefore,    the               Syndicate’s  resolution  of July 3,  1963  was               invalid. 592 In  the  writ petition filed by respondent against  the  im- pugned  order of the Chancellor the High Court  quashed  the said  order and issued a certiorari on the ground  that  the order in question was passed on an erroneous  interpretation of  the  relevant provisions of the Act and  the  University Statute. In  challenging  the correctness and validity  of  the  High Court’s order, counsel for the appellant contended before us that  the  High  Court  had no  jurisdiction  to  issue  the certiorari  as  the  impugned  order  did  not  involve  any question of either the assumption of excessive  jurisdiction or  a refusal to exercise jurisdiction or any illegality  in procedure  or  any  breach  of  the  principles  of  natural justice.   The High Court, he argued, could not in  exercise of  its  prerogative jurisdiction under Art.  226  interfere with  or  set aside the impugned order on the  ground  of  a mistake  even if such a mistake was one of law, that  is  to say,  in  the  Chancellor’s  interpretation  either  of  the University Statute or any of the provisions of the Act.   It is  true that in a writ petition for certiorari  a  superior court would not interfere on the mere ground of an error  of fact or even of law, but if the error of law is apparent  on the  record,  or consists of a misconstruction of a  law  on which  assumption  of Jurisdiction is made  which  otherwise does  not  exist,  a certiorari can  issue.   The  question,



therefore,  is  : whether in the instant case that  was  the position  ? The question, in other words, would  be  whether the Chancellor, on the four grounds on which he annulled the Syndicate’s   resolution,   appropriated  to   himself   the jurisdiction  to  interfere which he did hot have  under  S. 9(4) of the Act.  Under  s.  58  of  the  Act,  until  Statutes,  Ordinances, Regulations  and Rules were made under the Act,  Regulations made  under the Bihar State Universities Act, XIV  of  1960, which  were In force immediately before the commencement  of the present Act, were to continue to be in force and were to be deemed to be Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations and  Rules made  under the corresponding provisions of this  Act.   Ch. XII of the Statutes made under the earlier Act and which was in  force  immediately before the commencement of  the  Act, was, therefore, to continue in force and was deemed to  have been  made under the present Act.  Under that  Statute,  the qualifications  for the post of a University Professor  were inter  alia "a first or a second class Mastees degree of  an Indian  University  or  an  equivalent  qualification  of  a foreign  University".  The Statute, it will be noticed,  did not  lay  down that the Master’s degree had to  be  "in  the subject"  for  which  the  candidate  would.  be  appointed. Apparently, the question whether the concerned candidate was proficient  in  the  subject for which  he  had-applied  for appointment   was  left  for  decision  by  the   appointing authority.  Under Ch.  XIV of the Statute, whenever an 593 appointment had to be made the Vice-Chancellor had the power with  the approval of the Chancellor to decide  whether  the post  should  be  filled  up  by  promotion  or  by   direct recruitment. There  is no dispute that the Vice-Chancellor  had  obtained such  approval  and the post was to be filled up  by  direct recruitment.    As  required  ’by  s.  26(1)  of  the   Act, appointments  of teachers and professors of  the  University could only be made on the recommendations made by the  State Public Service Commission.  Accordingly, the Vice-Chancellor sent  to the Commission a requisition for advertisement  for the post.  In that requisition he set out, without any words of, limitation or additional qualifications, Ch.  XII of the Statutes  which  laid  down  the  qualifications.   In   the advertisement issued ’by the Commission, however, that  body introduced  the  words "in the subject"  announcing  thereby that  the  candidate must possess a first  or  second  class Master’s  degree  in Political Science.   The  insertion  of those  words  of limitation clearly was  not  in  conformity either with, the requisition sent by the Vice-Chancellor  or with  Ch.   XII  of  the Statute  s  and  actually  debarred candidates  with first or second class Master’s  degrees  in subjects  other than Political Science.  Such a  restriction was not consistent with the Statute in Ch.  XII laying  down the qualifications. It  was obviously to correct this error on the part  of  the Corn  mission  that the Vice-Chancellor caused  the  revised advertisement  to be, issued by the Commission in  which  it was clarified that candidates not only with first or  second class  M.  A’. degrees in Political Science but  those  with such  degrees  in  allied  subjects  such  as  History   and Economics could also apply.  The record shows that this fact was  explained to the Chancellor by the Vice Chancellor  and the  then Chancellor had at that time raised  no  objection. As  appears  from the Vice-Chancellor’s reply  to  the  show cause notice issued by the Chancellor, this very interpreta- tion  of the Statute had been given in the past on a  number



of occasions and several appointments had been made  without any  objection from anybody.  The revised advertisement  was thus  made  to clarify the position that under  the  Statute laying down the qualifications for the post it was not as if an  eligible  candidate could be the one who held  the  M.A. degree in Political Science only.  Since the post was for  a professorship    in   Political   Science,    the    revised advertisement  stated that candidates with first  or  second class M.A. degree in Political Science as also in an  allied subject  could apply.  In doing so the  Vice-Chancellor  did not  purport  to  modify or alter the  Statute  relating  to qualifications as was the view of the Chancellor, but on the contrary, clarified the correct position and gave a  correct interpretation to the Statute in question.  The  Chancellor, therefore, could not, an a wrong 13Sup.  Cl/70-9. 594 interpretation  of  the  Statute,  held  that  the   revised advertisement  was a modification of that Statute,  that  it was,  therefore,  invalid, and that therefore,  he  had  the jurisdiction  to nullify the Syndicate’s resolution of  July 3, 1963 under S. 9(4) of the Act.  Sec. 9(4) authorises  the Chancellor  to nullify the Syndicate’s  resolution  provided only  if the Syndicate’s proceedings were not in  conformity with the Act or the Statute. Under  S.  57 of the Act, which deals with  transitory  pro- visions, the Vice-Chancellor had, for a period of six months from  the date of the commencement of the Act, the power  to discharge  all the function of the University  for  carrying out  the  purposes  of the Act and to  exercise  powers  and perform  the  duties  of any officer  or  authority  of  the University. subject, of course, to the previous approval  of the  Chancellor.   This provision was made to carry  on  the university and its functions till the other authorities such as  the Senate, the Syndicate and the Academic Council  were duly  constituted under the new Act.  The appointment  of  a University Professor in place of Dr. Muhar was obviously one of  the functions of the University, which, subject  to  the Chancellor’s  approval,  had to be performed  by  the  Vice- Chancellor.   Admittedly, the Vice-Chancellor  had  obtained such   approval  for  filling  up  the  vacancy  by   direct recruitment and also for the adver-tisement in terms of  the Statute laving down the qualifications for the post.   Once, therefore,  such an approval had been obtained,  no  further approval  would be necessary for the  various  consequential steps  which  would  have to be taken  to  bring  about  the appointment  and  fill  in the  vacancy.   Furthermore,  the revision  in the advertisement became necessary because  the advertisement given by the Commission was not in  conformity with the University Statute and the requisition made by  the Vice-Chancellor  for  which  he  had  already  obtained  the Chancellor’s   approval.   In  other  words,  he   had   the advertisement  revised so as to bring it in accord with  his requisition  which was sanctioned by the  Chancellor.   That could  only be done by removing the limitation  under  which contrary to the Statute only candidates with M.A. degrees in Political  Science could apply.  The Chancellor,  therefore, was  in  error  in holding that  the  revised  advertisement required  his  approval  and that in  the  absence  of  such approval   it   was  invalid  or   that   the   Commission’s recommendation  and the appointment by the  Syndicate  based thereon were bad in law on that account. The  second  ground on which the Chancellor’  nullified  the appointment was, in our view, equally unsustainable.   Under s.  26(2), the Commission had to have the assistance of  two



experts  in the subject for which an appointment was  to  be made.  Cl. (iii)of  that sub-section provides that  such experts "shall be asso-- 595 ciated" with the Commission, whose duty it shall be to give, expert advice to the Commission but who shall have no  right to vote.  The Chancellor, in our opinion, read more in  this sub-section  than  what it contains or requires.   The  sub- section  merely  requires  that the  two  experts  shall  be "associated"   with  the  Commission  before  it  mad&   its recommendation.   It does not say that such association  can only be by their presence at the time of the interviews.  If that  were so, it was- easy for the Legislature  to  provide that the expert or experts shall remain present at the  time of the interviews.  The benefit of expert advice can be  had both  by  the experts remaining present at the time  of  the interviews  and  also by their advice  communicated  to  the Commission  by post or otherwise.  There is nothing  in  cl. (iii)  suggesting  that only the first method  was  the  one which was intended.  On the contrary, the deliberate use  of the word "associated" indicates that the Legislature thought that such advice could made available by both,. the methods. The Legislature appears to have left the method of obtaining such  advice  to the Commission for it is possible  that  by making their presence at the interviews compulsory, the Com- mission  might  in  conceivable cases lose  the  benefit  of really competent experts residing at distant places, not  to say of those outside the country.  The, denial of the  right to vote to the experts has nothing to, do with their  having to be present or not.  What is sought by the clause, is that even if the experts happen to be. present they cannot affect the  decision  of  the Commission  which  is  the  exclusive decision    of   that   body.    The   Chancellor    clearly misinterpreted  cl. (iii) of s. 26(2) when he  thought  that the  denial  of  the right to vote to  the  experts  therein indicated that they were required to be present at the  time of the interviews.  Admittedly, the Commission, as  required by  cl.  (iii), had the benefit of the advice  of  both  the experts.  The experts were, therefore, "associated" with the Commission and consequently the requirements of that  clause were fulfilled, despite one of them not being present at the time  of the interviews.  The Chancellor was, therefore,  in error when he held that the recommendation of the Commission was invalid, and therefore, the appointment based on it  was also. invalid. Grounds 3 and 4 of the Chancellor involve a common  question and may conveniently be dealt with together.  It is true, as the Chancellor said, that on the recommendation made by  the Commission  the Syndicate could adopt any one of  the  three courses, viz., to accept it, or to decline to accept it  and refer   back  the  recommendation  to  the  Commission   for reconsideration,   or  not  to  proceed  with   making   the appointment.   It  is equally true, that it is only  in  the case  of  the second course ’that the matter could  be  sent back  for reconsideration under s. 26(4), for, obviously  in the case of the syndicate accepting the recommendation or 596 refusing to proceed to make the appointment, the question of sending  back the matter for reconsideration does not  arise at all.  The point for consideration, therefore, is :  which particular course did the Syndicate adopt at the meeting  of May  7, 1963 ? There is abundant material on record to  show that  on  May 7, 1963 the Syndicate in fact decided  not  to accept the Commission’s recommendation.  But the minutes, as drafted-and  placed for confirmation before the  meeting  of



July 3, 1963, were not only not in accord with that decision but  through mistake or inadvertence had recorded  something quite  different.  This was found out when the minutes  were placed  before  the meeting for  confirmation.   They  were, therefore,  corrected by scoring out the  incorrect  portion and substituting it by words incorporating the decision that the    Syndicate   did   not   accept    the    Commission’s recommendation.   As already stated, this position is  borne out  by  the  fact that though there were  present  in  that meeting  as many as 16 members who had participated  in  the previous meeting none of them protested to the alteration in the  minutes nor, did any one of them say that the  decision taken  on May 7, 1963 was not one of refusal to  accept  the Commission’s recommendation.  Therefore, if the  Syndicate’s decision  was not to accept the Commission’s  recommendation it  Lad  to  refer under S. 26(4) the  matter  back  to  the Commission, the words of sub-s. (4) of s. 26 in that  regard being mandatory.  1. seems that the Vice-Chancellor had also understood that the Syndicate’s decision of May 7, 1963  was not  to  accept the Commission’s recommendation and  it  was because  he had so understood that he got the  Registrar  on June 11, 1963 to refer the matter back to the Commission. The  question  then is whether the minutes, as  drafted  and placed before the meeting on July 3, 1963, could be  altered as was done on that day.  The alteration clearly was not  of a  minor or a clerical error but constituted  a  substantial change.   Minutes  of a meeting are  recorded  to  safeguard against future disputes as to what had taken place  thereat. They are a record of the fact that a meeting was held and of the  decision  taken thereat.  Usually they are  written  up after the termination of the meeting, often from rough notes taken by the person who is to draft them and then are placed before  the  ’next meeting for what is  generally  known  as "confirmation", though they are placed for verification  and not  for confirmation.  Indeed, there is no question of  any confirmation  at  the  next meeting of  a  decision  already taken,  for,  a  decision once taken does  not  require  any confirmation.   Accordingly, when minutes of a  meeting  are placed  before the next meeting the only thing that  can  be done  is  to see whether the decision taken at  the  earlier meeting has been properly recorded or not.  The accuracy  of the  minutes  and  not  the validity  of  the  decision  is, therefore,  before  the meeting.  Once a  decision  is  duly taken it 5 9 7 can  only  be changed by a substantive  resolution  properly adopted  for such a change.  When, therefore, a decision  is taken  and  is minuted and such minutes are  signed  by  the Chairman they become prima facie evidence of what took place at  the  meeting.  In the case of  company  meetings,  every meeting  of  directors  or  managers  in  respect  of  whose proceedings minutes have been so made is deemed to have been properly held and convened and all proceedings had there  to have  been  duly  had and  all  appointments  of  directors, managers  or liquidators are deemed to be valid  unless  the contrary  is proved. (cf.  Halsbury’s Laws of  England,  3rd ed.,  vol.  6, p. 318).  This is the position  when  minutes have been signed by the Chairman.  After such signature they cannot  be altered.  But before the minutes are signed  they can  be altered if found to be inaccurate or not  in  accord with what was actually decided.  If that were not to be  so, it  would result in great hardship and  inconvenience,  for, however,  inaccurate  they are, they cannot  be  altered  to bring  them  in conformity with the  actual  decision.  [cf. Talbot,  W.F., Company Meetings, (1951 ed.), p.  82].   This



was  precisely what was done at the meeting of July 3,  1963 and no objection to the course adopted then by the  Chairman and  the  Syndicate could be validly taken  particularly  as none  present  then  had  raised  any  protest  against  the alteration.   The  decision relied on by Mr. Jha  in  In  re Botherham  Alum and Chemical Company(1) is altogether  on  a different question and cannot be of any assistance. Since  the Vice-Chancellor was, right in  his  understanding that what had been decided at the meeting of May 7, 1963 was not to accept the Commission’s recommendation and since such refusal  to  accept  meant under s. 26(4)  that  the  matter should  be sent back to the Commission  for  recommendation, his  action in asking the Commission to  reconsider  clearly fell under s. 26(4) and could not be said to be  unwarranted as  the,  Chancellor  ruled.  Since that  was  actually  the decision of the Syndicate, the Vice-Chancellor was bound  to follow it up by writing to the Commission to reconsider  its recommendation.  It is somewhat difficult to appreciate  the Chancellor’s  observation that action was unwarranted as  it was  without the Syndicate’s sanction.  Once  the  Syndicate had taken the decision of not accepting the  recommendation, it was obligatory under s. 26(4) to refer back the matter to the Commission.  The action taken by the Vice-Chancellor was consequential  and  required  no  further  sanction  of  the Syndicate.   Equally  unsustainable  was  the  view  of  the Chancellor  that  the alteration in the minutes on  July  3, 1963  constituted a revision or a recession of  the  earlier decision  or  that such revision or remission could  not  be made-  before  the expiry of six months as provided  by  the rule passed by the Syndicate in 1952.  In our view 598 the  revised advertisement, the remission of the  matter  to the Commission, the recommendation of respondent by the Com- mission  and the proceedings of the Syndicate’s  meeting  of July  3,  1963 including the revision of the  draft  minutes were  all in accordance with the provisions of the  Act  and the University Statutes and therefore the Chancellor had  no jurisdiction under s. 9(4) of the Act to annul the  decision of the, Syndicate or the proceedings of the meeting of  July 3, 1963. In  the  result,  the High Court was right  in  holding  the annulling   ,order   of  the  Chancellor   to   be   without jurisdiction  as  it was passed ,on a  wrong  assumption  of jurisdiction made on a misinterpretation ,of the Act and the University   Statute.   The  High  Court   accordingly   was justified  on that ground as also on the ground  that  there was  an  apparent error of law on the record  to  quash  the impugned  order of the Chancellor.  The  appeal,  therefore, fails and is dismissed.  Each party will bear his own costs. G. C.                         Appeal dismissed. 599