Where a contributor dies while in the service of the
Commission or a Higher Educational Institution, theSecretary of the Commission shall, subject to the
Mageswaran v University Grants Commission and Others
CA(Srioavan, J.)285
provision of section 94, pay the full amount lying tothe credit of his account in the Provident Fund,together with the accumulated interest thereon, tothe nominee or nominees nominated under sub sec-tion 2(A) or in the absence of a valid nomination, tothe person or persons lawfully entitled to suchamount.”
Thus, it could be seen that the petitioner can receive ProvidentFund contributions of her late husband only if. she has been nomi-nated in terms of section 93 (2A) (a) of the said Act.
Learned President’s Counsel submits that the documentmarked P2 dated 31.01.1995 was a valid nomination made to theUniversity of Jaffna and amounts to a substantial compliance of sec-tion 93 (2 A) (a) of the said Act. A perusal of P2 shows that it is a dec-laration to be made by all employees of the University of Jaffna in the1st month of each financial year. By this document the declarantundertakes to inform the Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna anychange in the declarent’s status or living condition. This document,in my view cannot be considered as a nomination made in terms ofsection 93 (2A)(a)-of Universities (Amendment) Act, No. 1 of 1995.The document P2 is a private and an internal communicationbetween the petitioner’s husband and the University of Jaffna.
A writ of mandamus only commands the person or body towhom it is directed to perform a public duty imposed by law. In otherwords, a writ of mandamus would lie where a statute requires certainaction in defined circumstances and despite the existence of suchcircumstances, the required action has not been performed. LordGoddand CJ. said in Ft. v National Joint Council for DentalTechnician ex-parte Neate <1> “the bodies to which in modern times,the remedies of these prerogative writs have been applied, havebeen all statutory bodies on whom Parliament has conferred statu-tory powers and duties which, when exercised may lead to the detri-ment of subjects who may have to submit to their jurisdiction.” Thus,existence of legal right and statutory duty are essential conditions forthe issue of mandamus. The 1st respondent is unable to perform thestatutory duty cast upon it in the absence of a valid nomination asprovided by law which is a condition precedent to the exercise of thejurisdiction. Where an act or thing required by the statue is a condi-
Sri Lanka Law Reports
[2003} 2 Sri L.R
tion precedent to the jurisdiction, compliance cannot be dispensedwith and, if it be impossible, the jurisdiction fails. It would not be com-petent to a Court to dispense with what the legislature has made theindispensable foundation of the first respondent’s jurisdiction. Thepetitioner has failed to show that a legal duty is owed to herself bythe first respondent.
In the circumstances, I do not see any basis upon which a writof mandamus can be issued on the 1 st respondent. Accordingly, theapplication is dismissed, however in all the circumstances withoutcosts.
Application dismissed