HOME‎ > ‎

SERVICE LAWS

apex court set aside the high court judgment and upheld the circular is not unconstitutional= a Division Bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir at Jammu in S.W.P No. 1470 of 1994. By the impugned judgment, while declaring Circular No.40 of 1985, dated 29th July, 1985, which accorded monetary incentives to in-service employees of the Food Corporation of India (for short "the FCI") for acquiring higher qualifications, as discriminatory, the High Court has directed 1 that if any benefit under the said Circular has been given to any employee, it shall be withdrawn.=

posted 14 Jan 2012, 01:09 by murali mohan Mandagaddi

                                                                REPORTABLE 

                    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                     CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                    CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7268 OF 2002


 FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA & ORS.                       --      APPELLANTS


                                         VERSUS



 BHARTIYA KHADYA NIGAM KARMCHARI                        --    RESPONDENTS

 SANGH & ANR.


                                      WITH


                    CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6878 OF 2003





                                  JUDGMENT





D.K. JAIN, J.:




1. Challenge in these appeals is to the judgment dated 23rd  May, 2002, 


  rendered   by   a   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   of   Jammu   and 


  Kashmir   at   Jammu   in   S.W.P   No.   1470   of   1994.   By   the   impugned  


  judgment,   while   declaring   Circular   No.40   of   1985,   dated   29th  July, 


  1985, which accorded  monetary  incentives to in-service employees 


  of  the  Food  Corporation  of  India  (for  short  "the  FCI")  for  acquiring 


  higher qualifications, as discriminatory, the High Court has directed 





                                                                                   1

.
   that   if   any   benefit   under   the   said   Circular   has   been   given   to   any 


   employee, it shall be withdrawn.




2. Since both the appeals, one by the FCI and the other by the Bhartiya 


   Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh (for short "the Karamchari Sangh"), 


   arise out of the same judgment, the  same are being disposed of by 


   this   common   judgment.     We   may   however,   note   that   the   FCI   is 


   aggrieved   by   the   impugned   judgment   as   a   whole,   whereas   the 


   Karamchari Sangh impugns the direction relating to the denial of the 


   incentives to other employees, possessing same qualifications.




3. The material facts, giving rise to the appeal are as follows:-




      The FCI was set up with the objective of safeguarding the interest 


of the farmers, distribution of food grains throughout the country and to 


maintain a satisfactory level of food grain stocks to ensure national food 


security.   The   Food   Corporation   of   India   Act,   1964,   became   effective 


w.e.f. 17th December 1964. Section 45 of the said Act empowers the FCI 


to   make   regulations   for   regulating   the   appointment,   conditions   of 


service and scales of pay of its officers and employees. Resultantly, the 


Food   Corporation   of   India   (Staff)   Regulations,   1971,   were   made   and 


came into effect from the year 1971.





                                                                                          2

.
4. With a view to ensure a desired degree of efficiency and mobility in  


  the   administration   and   management   of   its   affairs,   the   FCI,   vide 


  Circular   No.40   of   1985,   dated   29th  July,   1985,   introduced   a   scheme 


  providing   for   incentives   to   its   employees   on   acquiring   additional 


  qualifications during their service in the FCI. The Circular provided 


  for   grant   of   two   increments   to   employees   in   their   respective   pay 


  scales on acquiring such professional degrees and diplomas as were 


  mentioned in the Circular. Subsequently, another Circular No. 72 of 


  1986, dated 14th  November, 1986, was issued, extending the benefit 


  of   one   special   increment   to   in-service   employees   who   acquire   one 


  year diploma course in any professional subject as mentioned in the 


  Circular. 




5. The  afore-mentioned  Circulars  were complimented  by  Circular  No. 


  58   of   1987,   dated   24th  August,   1987,   which   clarified   that   the 


  increments shall only be in the form of a personal pay to an official till 


  his promotion to the next higher grade, which shall be subsequently 


  absorbed in the basic pay at the time of pay fixation for the promoted 


  post. 




6. The Circular of 1985 was challenged by one Shri. V.K. Tandon, vide 


  S.W.P.   No.   1146   of   1986,   on   the   ground   that   it   resulted   in 





                                                                                     3

.
   discrimination   between   in-service   employees   acquiring   additional 


   qualification and the persons recruited by the FCI already possessing 


   the prescribed additional qualification. The High Court of Jammu and 


   Kashmir,   vide   order,   dated,   13th  October,   1992,   while   allowing   the 


   intervention   application   of   the   Karamchari   Sangh,   allowed   the 


   petition   and   directed   that   the   writ   petitioner   be   granted   two 


   additional increments under the said Circular. Letters Patent Appeal 


   against   the   said   judgment   came   to   be   dismissed   on   the   ground   of 


   delay. Nonetheless, the Zonal Office of the FCI, vide letter dated 19th 


   May,   1994,   notified   that   the   aforesaid   judgment   was   a   judgment  in  


   personam. 




7. Probably,   the   said   clarification   prompted   the   Karamchari   Sangh   to 


   file the writ petition (W.P. No.1470 of  1994)  in which the impugned 


   judgment   has   been   delivered.   As   aforestated,   the   High   Court   has 


   held that, the said Circular is discriminatory and violative of Article 


   14 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (for short "the Constitution") and 


   has directed the FCI not to give effect to the Circular and to withdraw 


   any   incentives,   if   already   given   to   the   employees   in   furtherance   of 


   the   said   Circular.   Hence,   the   appeal   by   the   FCI.   The   nub   of   the 


   grievance   of   the   Karamchari   Sangh   in   their   appeal   (C.A. 





                                                                                        4

.
  No.6878/2003)   is   that   having   held   the   said   Circular   to   be 


  discriminatory, the High Court ought to have directed grant of similar 


  incentives to other employees as well. 




8. Mr. Ajit Pudussery, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the FCI, 


  vehemently   urged   that   the   said   Circular   was   constitutionally   valid 


  and in consonance with the established  principles of law,  inasmuch 


  as the employees already working in the FCI, with lower professional  


  qualifications   as   compared   to   those   who   already   had   higher 


  qualification   at   the   time   of   initial   recruitment   are   a   class   by  


  themselves   and   therefore,   there   was   no   question   of   any 


  discrimination between the two differently placed set of employees. 


  It   was   submitted   that   the   objective   sought   to   be   achieved   by 


  providing   incentive   to   the   already   recruited   employees   with   lower 


  qualifications was to motivate them to   acquire higher qualifications 


  in   various   fields  while   in   service,   which   would   not   only   benefit   the  


  employee   concerned   but   also   the   FCI   in   the   long   run.   It   was   thus, 


  stressed   that   the   classification   adopted   by   the   FCI   had   a   rational 


  nexus   with   the   objective   sought   to   be   achieved   and   therefore,   was 


  not discriminatory, offending Article 14 of the Constitution. In support 


  of the proposition that the beneficiaries of the said incentive being a 





                                                                                          5

.
    class   by   themselves;   there   being   no   parity   between   grant   of 


    incentives   to   in-service   employees,   who   acquire   the   prescribed 


    qualifications and denial of the same to the employees recruited with  


    higher   qualification;   the   Circular   does   not   result   in   discrimination, 


    the learned counsel placed reliance on the decisions of this Court in 


    State  of  M.P.   and  Anr.  Vs.  Shakri  Khan1;  United  Bank   of   India  Vs. 


    Meenakshi Sundaram and Ors.2, and H.P. Gupta and Anr. Vs. Union  


    of India and Ors3. 




9. Per Contra,  Mr. Ashok Mathur, learned Counsel appearing on behalf 


    of   the   respondents,   argued   that   the   said   Circular   was   clearly 


    discriminatory,   inasmuch   as   the   incentive   under   the   said   Circular 


    was   denied   to   one   set   of   employees   and   granted   to   another   set   of 


    employees, governed by the same service conditions and possessing 


    such   prescribed   additional   qualifications.   Commending   us   to   the 


    decisions of this Court in Food Corporation of India & Ors. Vs. Ashis  


    Kumar Ganguly & Ors.4 and B. Manmad Reddy & Ors. Vs. Chandra  


    Prakash Reddy & Ors.5,  learned counsel urged that, irrespective of 


    the educational qualifications, all employees in a particular grade got 





1 (1996) 8 SCC 648

2 (1998) 2 SCC 609

3 (2002) 10 SCC 658

4 (2009) 7 SCC 734

5 (2010) 3 SCC 314





                                                                                          6

.
    integrated   into   one   class   and   therefore,   there   could   be   no 


    discrimination amongst them in the matter of grant of incentives.  




10.     The short question that falls for consideration is, whether grant of 


    incentives only to the in-service employees of the FCI, who acquire  


    professional qualifications after entering in service and denial of the 


    same to those who had acquired the same professional qualifications 


    before   entering   the   service   is   invalid   in   law,   being   violative   of  


    Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution? 




11.     It is trite law that Article 14 of the Constitution, which enshrines the  


    principle of equality, is of wide import. It guarantees equality before  


    the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. It 


    implies  right  to  equal  treatment  in  similar  circumstances,   except  in 


    cases where the two persons form a separate and distinct class and 


    such   classification   is   a   reasonable   one   based   on   intelligible 


    differentia having nexus with the object sought to be achieved. (See:  


    State of West Bengal Vs. Anwar Ali Sarkar6 and John Vallamattom &  


    Anr. Vs. Union of India7). 




12.     Before   examining   the   issue   at   hand   on   the   touchstone   of   the  


    aforesaid   principle   envisaged   in   Article   14   of   the   Constitution,   it 

6 (1952) SCR 284 

7 (2003) 6 SCC 611





                                                                                        7

.
would   be   apposite   to   refer   to   the   relevant   portions   of   the   Circular 


dated 29th July, 1985. These read as follows: 




   "The Food Corporation of India, since its inception, has been 

   pursuing   the   policy   of   Management   Development   by 

   providing   suitable   training   facilities   both   within   the 

   Corporation as well as by nominating its employees to short-

   term         professional         courses,         work-shops,         seminars, 

   conferences   etc.   organized   by   leading   management 

   institutions in India and abroad.


   2.   These   efforts   can   get   an   uplift   and   possibly   be 

   supplemented   to   a   great   extent   by   the   involvement   of   its 

   employees   in   acquiring   professional   management 

   qualifications on their own. In order, therefore, to fill the basic 

   gaps   to   acquire   knowledge,   the   matter   has   been   under 

   consideration   for   introducing   suitable   incentive   scheme   for 

   motivating   the   employees   of   the   Corporation   to   encourage 

   them   to   acquire   professional   qualifications   for   rapid   career 

   advancement and enabling the Corporation to build a reserve 

   of qualified professionals from within to back up key positions 

   and to improve the overall performance and efficiency of the 

   organization.   This   will   further   create   an   atmosphere   of 

   "professionalism" in the working of the Corporation. With this 

   end   in   view   it   has   been   decided   with   the   approval   of   the 

   Board   of   Directors   to   introduce   the   following   incentive 

   scheme with effect from 1st April, 1984.


   3.      The following courses of study have been approved for 

   grant of the two increments as indicated in subsequent pages.


           (A)    .........           .........      .........           .........


           (B)    High   professional   qualifications   viz.   MBA, 

                  ACA,   AMIE,   LLB,   BL,   ACS   etc.   All   the 

                  above courses (Diplomas/Degrees) should 

                  be at least of two years duration.


   4.      The following are the details of the scheme for grant of 

   incentive:-




                                                                                        8

.
ELIGIBILITY:


All   regular   employees   of   the   Corporation   would   be   eligible 

for   benefit   under   the   Scheme   subject   to   the   following   terms 

and conditions:-


(i) The   scheme   would   apply   to   all   regular   employees   of   the 

          Corporation   except   deputationists/those   employed 

          on contract basis/ casual or on tenure basis.


(ii)        Employees   covered   under   (i)   above   should   have 

          acquired   or   may   acquire   higher   professional 

          qualifications                  from                 recognised 

          institutions/Universities   during   the   course   of   their 

          service   in   the   FCI   with   prior   permission   from   the 

          competent   authority   of   the   Corporation.   The 

          acquisition   of   said   qualification   should   be   useful   to 

          the Corporation in its operations.


(iii)     .........           .........      .........           .........

(iv)      .........           .........      .........           .........

(v)       .........           .........      .........           .........

(vi)      .........           .........      .........           .........

(vii)     .........           .........      .........           .........

(viii)    .........           .........      .........           .........


(ix)      In   cases   where   the   employees,   who   join   the   higher 

          post   under   direct   recruitment   and   where   for   such 

          higher   post   the   prescribed   minimum   qualification   is 

          the   same   as   acquired   by   the   employee   while   in   the 

          lower post, the incentive already granted to him/her 

          in the lower post would not be allowed to continue on  

          his/her appointment to the higher post.


INCENTIVE ADMISSIBLE:


Employees   fulfilling   the   eligibility   conditions   referred   to 

above   would   only   be   entitled   to   the   benefits   under   the 

scheme.  The incentives offered under this Scheme would be 

in the form of two special increments as `personal pay', to be 





                                                                                  9

.
       merged   in   pay   at   the   time   of   promotion   to   the   next   higher 

       grade.     This   incentive   would   be   admissible   only   on   written 

       orders by the competent authority on merit of each case.  The 

       incentive   in   the   form   of   two   increments   would   be   granted 

       starting   from   first   day   of   the   following   month   when   the 

       employee  concerned   has  been   declared  to  have  passed   the 

       listed   Courses   or   the   date   of   enforcement   of   this   scheme 

       whichever is later.


       ENTITLEMENT :


       In   order   to   overcome   the   administrative   difficulties   and 

       financial   implications   in   implementation   of   the   Scheme   with 

       retrospective   effect   covering   all   the   cases   of   eligible 

       employees   who   might   have   acquired   such   higher 

       management  or professional qualifications prescribed in this 

       Scheme   once   or   more   than   once   in   the   past   and   might   be 

       holding higher post on promotion or direct recruitment within 

       the   Corporation,   the   employees   would   be   entitled   to   the 

       incentive   under   this   scheme   with   effect   from   1.4.1984   only. 

       Eligible   employees   would   be   entitled   to   draw   incentive 

       increments at the rates applicable to their present pay scales. 

       Arrears of incentive increments shall be payable.


       In   the   case   of   past   cases,   eligible   employees   should   apply 

       within six months from the date of the Scheme is circulated.  In 

       case   of   employees   who   may   acquire   any   of   the   above 

       qualifications   hereafter,   they   may   apply   as   and   when   they 

       acquire   the   higher   qualifications   in   the   prescribed   Proforma 

       enclosed.


       .........           .........      .........           ........."




13.    It is manifest from a bare reading of the above-mentioned portions 


  of   Circular   that   the   fundamental   objective   of   the   Circular   is   to 


  provide an incentive to the in-service employees in order to motivate 


  and encourage them to acquire professional qualifications in various 





                                                                                           1

.
  courses, spelt out in the Circular, for their career progression and at 


  the   same   time   enable   the   FCI   to   build   a   reserve   of   qualified 


  professionals from within the organisation to back up key positions. 


  Evidently,   the   incentive   will   not   only   improve   their   overall 


  performance and efficiency in the organisation, but also, in the final 


  analysis   would   strengthen   the   management   with   the   advent   of   an 


  atmosphere of professionalism in the FCI.




14.    Our attention was also drawn to Circular No. 27 of 2000, dated 11th 


  September,   2000,   empowering   the   competent   authorities   to   grant 


  higher   start/advance   increments   to   newly   recruited   employees   at 


  par with the pay drawn in their previous employment before joining 


  the FCI. It is therefore, plain that the provision to grant extra benefit 


  to   a   new   recruit   possessing   higher   qualifications   was   already   in 


  existence.    It is also pertinent to note that the said Circular and the 


  benefit   which   is   sought   to   be   given   under   any   of   the   Circulars, 


  referred   to   above,   is   not   assailed   by   the   respondents.     Their   only 


  grievance   is   that   there   is   no   justification   in   depriving   the   persons, 


  who   already   possess   the   higher   qualifications   from   the   benefit   of 


  extra incentives, which are being granted to the in-house employees. 





                                                                                         1

.
15.    We   are   of   the   opinion   that   bearing   in   mind   the   aforesaid   fact 


  situation and the objective sought to be achieved by issuance of the 


  said  Circular,  there  is substantial  merit  in the  stand  of the FCI.  The  


  classification adopted by the FCI is between an employee obtaining 


  a   higher   qualification   after   joining   service   and   an   employee   who 


  already   possessed   such   qualification   before   joining   the   service.   As 


  aforesaid,   the   main   purpose   of   this   classification   is   to   grant   an 


  incentive to the employees already in service in the FCI to motivate 


  them to acquire higher qualifications for their own benefit as well as 


  of   their   employer  viz.  the   FCI.     We   are   convinced   that   the 


  classification sought to be made by the FCI between the two sets of 


  employees bears a just and rational nexus to the object sought to be 


  achieved by introducing the said incentive scheme. Judged from this 


  point of view, in our opinion,  grant of  the incentive in relation to the  


  in-service employees, in no way amounts to discrimination between 


  the   in-service   employees   and   the   employees   recruited   with   higher 


  qualification,   offending   either   Articles   14   or   16   of   the   Constitution, 


  particularly  when the incentive is in the form of a special increment 


  as `personal pay' to be merged in pay at the time of promotion to the  


  next   higher   grade   and   thus,   having   no   bearing   on   the  inter-se 


  seniority and/or to the future promotion to the next higher grade.





                                                                                        1

.
16.    The   decisions   of   this   Court   in  B.   Manmad   Reddy   &   Ors.  Vs. 


  Chandra   Prakash   Reddy   &   Ors.  (supra)  and  Food   Corporation   of  


  India   &   Ors.  Vs.  Ashis   Kumar   Ganguly   &   Ors.  (supra),   on   which 


  reliance was placed by learned counsel for respondents are clearly 


  distinguishable on facts inasmuch as these decisions deal with cases 


  relating   to   employees   being   classified   into   separate   categories   for 


  the purpose of promotion on the basis of the source from which they  


  were   drawn   and   increments   being   given   only   to   the   Central 


  Government   employees   on   being   absorbed   into   the   corporation 


  respectively, which is not the case here. However, it is important to  


  note   that   in   both   these   cases,   it   was   observed   that   the  doctrine   of 


  equal pay for equal work is not an abstract doctrine. Article 14 of the 


  Constitution   permits   reasonable   classification   based   on   qualities   or 


  characteristics of persons recruited and grouped together, as against 


  those who are left out. Courts should interfere with the administrative 


  decisions   pertaining   to   pay   fixation   and   pay   parity   only   when   they 


  find such a decision to be unreasonable, unjust and prejudicial to a  


  section of employees and taken in ignorance of material and relevant  


  factors. 





                                                                                          1

.
17.    At this juncture, it would be profitable to refer  to the decision of 


   this Court in H.P. Gupta and Anr. (supra), which is on all fours to the 


   fact   situation   in   the   present   appeal.   In   the   said   case,   grant   of   two 


   advance increments to Telecom Officers who acquired Engineering 


   degree while in service and not to those who possessed such degree  


   at the time of joining the service was held to be constitutionally valid. 


   Dealing with a similar controversy, the Court observed as follows: 




              "The  object of giving two advance increments to 

              those   officials   who   did   not   possess   degree   in 

              Engineering before joining the service, is only to 

              encourage them to get such a degree so that they 

              could improve themselves while in service. When 

              that  object  is satisfied,  the contentions  that  there 

              should   be   equality   in   the   matter   of   payment   of 

              salary   or   other   emoluments   or   that   there   should 

              be   parity   in   the   matter   of   giving   increments, 

              cannot   be   accepted.   It   is   true   that   in   such   a 

              situation,   certain   anomalies   may  arise   in  specific 

              cases when the official who has acquired degree 

              in   Engineering   subsequent   to   joining   of   service 

              may get higher salary though junior to those who 

              possessed   the   qualification   of   degree   in 

              Engineering   even   at   the   time   of   joining   the 

              service.   There   cannot   be   perfect   equality   in   any 

              matter   on   an   absolute   scientific   basis   and   there 

              may   be   certain   inequities   here   and   there.   If   the 

              classification   is   correct   and   serves   a   particular 

              purpose,   the   same   is   not   to   be   judicially 

              interfered with."



  We   deferentially   concur   with   the   observations   in   the   afore-extracted  


passage.




                                                                                            1

.
18.    For   the   view   we   have   taken   above,   we   deem   it   unnecessary 


  to   deal   with   the   contentions   urged   on   behalf   of   the 


  parties   in   C.A.   No.   6878   of   2003,   praying   for   extension   of   the   said 


  incentive to the employees recruited with higher qualifications.  



19.    In   view   of   the   foregoing   discussion,   the   decision   of   the   High 



  Court,   holding   the   said   Circular   to   be   discriminatory   and   in  



  violation   of   Articles   14   and   16   of   the   Constitution   cannot   be 



  sustained.  Consequently,       C.A. No. 7268 of 2002, filed by the  



  FCI   is   allowed   and   C.A.   No.6878   of   2003   preferred   by   the 



  Karamchari   Sangh   is   dismissed.     However,   in   the   facts   and 



  circumstances of the case, we leave the parties to bear their own 



  costs throughout.


                                                  ...........................................

                                                          (D.K. JAIN, J.) 




                                                         ............................................

                                                         (ANIL R. DAVE, J.)

 NEW DELHI;

 JANUARY 13, 2012.


 RS





                                                                                          1

retaining the person after 50 years of age in service ="56(c) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (a) or clause (b), the appointing authority may, at any time by notice to any Government servant (whether permanent or temporary), without assigning any reason, require him to retire after he attains the age of fifty years or such Government servant may by notice to the appointing authority voluntarily retire at any time after attaining the age of forty five years or after he has completed qualifying service of twenty years".

posted 14 Jan 2012, 00:42 by murali mohan Mandagaddi   [ updated 14 Jan 2012, 00:43 ]

   
                                                                       "REPORTABLE"


                       IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                         CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


         SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) Nos. 13896-13897 of 2008




Om Prakash Asati                                                         .... Petitioner




                                            Versus


State of U.P. & Ors.                                                     .... Respondents




                                     J U D G M E N T




JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR, J.


1.      The petitioner herein, having qualified the B.E. examination, came to 


be   appointed   as   Assistant   Engineer,   in   the   Local   Self   Engineering 


Department of the State of Uttar Pradesh, on 3.3.1974.  The Uttar Pradesh 


Water   Supply   and   Sewerage   Act   was   enacted   in   1975.     The   aforesaid 


enactment   resulted   in   the   creation   of   the   Uttar   Pradesh   Jal   Nigam 


(hereinafter   referred   to   as,   the   Jal   Nigam).     In   1976   the   services   of   the 


petitioner came to be allocated to the Jal Nigam, where the petitioner was 


absorbed against the post of Assistant Engineer, on regular basis.   While 


in the employment of the Jal Nigam, the petitioner came to be promoted to 


the post of Executive Engineer, on 1.6.1996.  

.
                                                                                               2



2.      It is  the claim of the petitioner,  that on the  eve of his attaining  the 


age   of   50   years   in   January   2001,   his   claim   for   retention   in   service   was  


placed  before  a Screening  Committee.    The Screening  Committee  found 


the  petitioner  fit to continue  in service.   It is therefore,  that  the petitioner 


remained in the employment of the Jal Nigam beyond the age of 50 years.  


The instant stance adopted by the petitioner is seriously contested at the 


hands of the respondents.   It is the assertion of the respondents, that the 


Screening   Committee   did   not   evaluate   the   claim   of   the   petitioner   for  


extension in service beyond the age of the 50 years, on account of the fact  


that   a   departmental   inquiry   was   pending   against   him.     The   position 


adopted  by  the   respondents  in   our   considered   view  is  wholly   unjustified. 


Even after the culmination of the departmental proceedings, the petitioner 


was   permitted   to   continue   in   service.     It   is   therefore   apparent,   that   the 


petitioner   satisfied   the   standards   adopted   by   the   Jal   Nigam,   for 


continuation   in   service   beyond   the   age   of   50   years,   and   as   such,   his 


continuation   thereafter   must   be   deemed   to   have   been   with   the   implied 


approval of his employer, the Jal Nigam.    


3.      By   orders   dated   1.9.2005,   several   employees   of   the   Jal   Nigam, 


including   the   petitioner,   were   prematurely   retired   from   service.     The 


aforesaid  order  (pertaining  to the petitioner)  is available  on  the record  of 


this case as Annexure P1.    A perusal thereof reveals, that the retirement  


of the  petitioner  had  been  ordered,  in exercise  of powers  emerging  from 

.
                                                                                              3



the   amended   provisions   of   Fundamental   Rule   56(c)   of   the   Financial 


Handbook,   Volume   II   (Parts   II   to   IV).     The   instant   provision   is   being 


extracted hereunder :


                "56(c)  Notwithstanding   anything   contained   in   clause   (a)   or 

        clause (b), the appointing authority may, at any time by notice to any 

        Government   servant   (whether   permanent   or   temporary),   without 

        assigning any reason, require him to retire after he attains the age of 

        fifty   years   or   such   Government   servant   may   by   notice   to   the 

        appointing  authority voluntarily retire  at any time  after attaining  the 

        age of forty five years or after he has completed qualifying service of 

        twenty years".


4.      It is the case of the petitioner, that the Screening Committee which 


evaluated   the   case   of   the   petitioner   for   continuation   in   service,   had 


adopted   a   criterion   for   screening   the   claim   of   the   employees   of   the   Jal 


Nigam.    Under  the said criterion,  marks were  awarded  to the employees 


falling in the zone of consideration.  The afore stated criterion provided for 


deduction   of   one   mark   for   every   adverse   entry,   as   well   as,   for   every 


punishment   awarded   during   the   course   of   employment.     Marks   were 


awarded keeping in mind the employees annual assessment.  It is also the  


contention   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioner,   that   the   criterion 


framed   by   the   Screening   Committee   also   postulated,   that   an   employee 


who  had been awarded a punishment of recovery,  as also, an employee 


who   had   deposited   any   amount   towards   recovery,   as   a   result   of   some 


fault/mistake committed by him in the discharge of his duties, would be a 


valid   ground   for   the   employee   to   be   prematurely   retired.     It   is   also   the 

.
                                                                                          4



contention   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioner,   that   based   on   the 


criterion adopted by the Jal Nigam, an employee belonging to the general 


category would be entitled to continue in service only if he was awarded 9 


or more marks.  For an employee belonging to the reserved categories, the 


Jal Nigam had prescribed a minimum of 6 marks for retention in service.  


5.     The   first   and   foremost   contention   advanced   at   the   hands   of   the 


learned counsel for the petitioner was, that the criterion adopted by the Jal 


Nigam was illegal and unacceptable in law, as the same was in complete 


derogation  of Fundamental  Rule 56(c).    It was  therefore  prayed,  that  the 


impugned order be set aside on account of the fact, that while passing the  


same the respondents had taken the decision on the petitioners suitability 


by applying a criterion which was wholly illegal and unsustainable in law.  


In  order  to  substantiate  his  contention,   learned  counsel   for  the   petitioner 


invited our attention to a decision rendered by a Division Bench of the High 


Court   of   judicature   at   Allahabad   (Lucknow   Bench)   in   Mahesh   Chandra 


Agrawal  vs.  State of U.P. and Ors. (Writ Petition No.1888 (S/B) of 2005,  


decided on 27.3.2006), as well as, on another judgment rendered by the 


same Division Bench in Naresh Kumar Aggarwal  vs.      State of U.P. and 


Ors. (Writ Petition No.1955 (S/B) of 2005, decided on 19.7.2006).  Relying 


on   the   aforesaid   two   judgments,   it   was   the   contention   of   the   learned 


counsel   for   the   petitioner,   that   the   criterion   relied   upon   to   pass   the 


impugned   order   against   the   petitioner   (in   the   instant   case)   had   been 

.
                                                                                              5



considered by the Division Bench which decided the aforesaid two cases,  


and the same had been set aside as being unsustainable in law.  It is also 


brought   to   our   notice   by   the   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioner,   that   the 


orders   dated   27.3.2006   and   19.7.2006   passed   by   the   High   Court   of 


judicature at Allahabad (Lucknow Bench) were assailed before this Court, 


but the petitions for special leave to appeal, were dismissed.  It is therefore 


the   contention   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioner,   that   the 


determination   rendered   by   the   High   Court   of   judicature   at   Allahabad 


(Lucknow Bench) on the issue of validity of the criterion adopted by the Jal 


Nigam in prematurely retiring its employees under Fundamental Rule 56(c) 


had   attained   finality.     Based   on   the   aforesaid   assertions,   it   is   the 


submission   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioner,   that   the   impugned 


order   of   premature   retirement,   passed   in   the   instant   case   against   the 


petitioner on 1.6.1996, was also liable to be set aside.


6.      Insofar   as   the   first   contention   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the 


petitioner   is  concerned,   it   would   be   relevant   to   notice,   that   the   petitioner 


assailed   the   impugned   order   dated   1.9.2005   before   the   High   Court   of 


judicature at Allahabad by filing Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petition No.64396 


of 2005.    The aforesaid  writ  petition  came  to be dismissed  by a Division 


Bench of the High Court on 3.5.2006.  Dissatisfied with the impugned order 


dated   3.5.2006,   the   petitioner   preferred   Civil   Miscellaneous   Review 


Application   No.144184   of   2006.     The   said   Review   Application   was   also 

.
                                                                                          6



dismissed   on   29.2.2008.     The   orders   dated   3.5.2006   and   29.9.2008 


rendered by the High Court of judicature at Allahabad besides the order of 


premature retirement dated 1.9.2005, have been assailed by the petitioner 


through this petition.


7.     In order  to repudiate  the  first contention  advanced  at the hands  of 


the learned counsel for the petitioner, learned counsel for the respondents 


vehemently contended, that the petitioner is not entitled to raise the instant 


issue before this Court on account of the fact, that the criterion adopted by 


the   Screening   Committee   which   had   led  to  the  passing   of  the  impugned 


order   of   premature   retirement   dated   1.9.2005,   had   not   been   assailed   by 


the   petitioner   before   the   High   Court.     It   is   also   contended,   that   the 


evaluation   of   the   record   of   the   petitioner   independently   of   the   criterion 


adopted   by   the   Screening   Committee   would   also   establish,   that   the   Jal 


Nigam   was   fully   justified   in   passing   the   impugned   order   of   premature  


retirement dated 1.9.2005.


8.     We have given our thoughtful consideration to the first contention at 


the hands of the learned counsel for the petitioner.  In our considered view 


in   the   judgments   rendered   by   the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   of 


judicature at Allahabad (Lucknow Bench) in Writ Petition No.1888 (S/B) of 


2005 and Writ Petition No.1955 (S/B) of 2005 it was held, that the criterion  


adopted   by   the   Screening   Committee   for   prematurely   retiring   the 


employees of the Jal Nigam was illegal and not in consonance with law.  A 

.
                                                                                            7



plea of the nature canvassed at the hands of the learned counsel for the 


respondents (as has been noticed in the foregoing paragraph), is no longer 


available   to   the   respondents   to   defeat   the   claim   of   the   petitioner.     The 


validity of the criterion adopted by the Jal Nigam for prematurely retiring its 


employees   is   a   pure   question   of   law.     The   same   having   attained   finality 


against   the   respondents,   is   liable   to   be   respectfully   adhered   to.     We 


therefore, hereby,  deprecate the action of the respondents in canvassing 


the   instant   proposition.     Once   a   challenge   raised   at   the   hands   of   the  


respondents  to the judgments relied upon by the learned counsel for the 


petitioner   remained   futile   before   this   Court,   the   same   should   have   been 


accepted without any further protestation.  We, therefore, hereby reject the 


contention   advanced   at   the   hands   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the 


respondents that the criterion adopted by the Jal Nigam was enforceable 


against the petitioner herein.


9.     The   question   which   still   arises   for   consideration   is,   whether   the 


setting  aside  of the criterion  adopted  by the Screening  Committee  would 


ipso facto result in the negation of the impugned order dated 1.9.2005 (by 


which the petitioner was prematurely retired from service)?   According to 


the learned  counsel for the respondents,  even if the criterion adopted by 


the   Screening   Committee   (for   the   sake   of   arguments),   is   accepted   as 


invalid in law,  the impugned order of premature retirement dated 1.9.2005  


will  have  to be independently  examined  in the light  of the material  taken 

.
                                                                                               8



into consideration by the Screening Committee.   According to the learned 


counsel   for   the   respondents   the   impugned   order   dated   1.9.2005,   if   so 


evaluated, would stand the scrutiny of law.


10.     During   the   course   of   consideration   of   the   present   controversy,   we 


had   the   occasion   of   going   through   the   judgments   rendered   by   the   High 


Court of judicature at Allahabad (Lucknow Bench) in Writ Petition No.1888 


(S/B)   of   2005,   and   in   Writ   Petition   No.1955   (S/B)   of   2005.     In   both   the 


aforesaid   decisions,   after   the   High   Court   accepted   the   contention   of   the 


respective   petitioner   therein,   and   set   aside   the   criterion   adopted   by   the 


Selection Committee, the Court shorn of the parameters laid down  in the 


said criterion, independently evaluated the veracity of the impugned orders 


of premature retirement.  This exercise was sought to be carried out on the 


basis of the record taken into consideration by the Screening Committee in 


arriving   at   the   conclusion   that   the   petitioner   deserved   to   be   retired 


prematurely.  The High Court therefore examined at its own, whether there 


were   sufficient   reasons   for   passing   the   impugned   orders   of   premature 


retirement against the concerned petitioners.  We are of the view, that the 


course adopted by the High Court in both the aforesaid cases, was just an 


appropriate.     We,   therefore,   hereby   uphold   the   instant   contention   at   the 


hands of the learned counsel for the respondents, that the impugned order 


dated 1.9.2005 passed by the Jal Nigam, prematurely retiring the petitioner 


from   its   employment,   cannot   be   set   aside   merely   because   the   criterion 

.
                                                                                           9



adopted   by   the   Jal   Nigam   has   been   set   aside.       The   veracity   of   the 


impugned order will have to be examined independently of the criterion so 


as to determine, whether or not the impugned order is sustainable on the 


basis of the record taken into consideration by the Screening Committee.


11.    It   is   the   aforesaid   determination   at   our   hands,   that   prompted   the 


learned counsel for the petitioner to raise the second contention, namely, 


that   the   material   taken   into   consideration   for   prematurely   retiring   the 


petitioner did not justify the passing of the impugned order dated 1.9.2005. 


Insofar as the instant contention is concerned, learned counsel for the rival 


parties   invited   out   attention   to   Annexure   R/4   (appended   to   the   counter 


affidavit filed on behalf of the Jal Nigam), i.e. a compilation of the service 


profile   of   the   petitioner.     A   perusal   thereof   reveals,   that   the   entries 


recorded in the Confidential Reports of the petitioner for the preceding 10 


years were outlined therein.  The entries taken into consideration were for 


the   years   1994-1995   to   2003-2004.     Shorn   of   further   details   it   would   be 


relevant to mention, that out of the aforesaid entries the work and conduct 


of   the   petitioner   for   the   years   1997-1998,   1998-1999,   1999-2000   and 


2002-2003   were   recorded   as   "satisfactory".     Entries   for   the   year   1996-


1997,   2000-2001,   2001-2002   and   2003-2004   were   recorded   as   "good". 


For   the   remaining   two   entries,   the   one   for   the   year   1994-1995   was 


recorded as "very good" and for a part of the year of 1995-1996 the work of 


the  petitioner  was  assessed  as "excellent".    It  is therefore  apparent  from 

.
                                                                                           1



the Annual Confidential Report of the petitioner, that over the last decade, 


preceding   the  impugned   order  dated   1.9.2005,   there  has  been   a  regular 


and   consistent   deterioration   from   "excellent"   and   "very   good"   to 


"satisfactory".   In fact in as many as 4 of the preceding 7 years, the work 


and   conduct   of   the   petitioner   was   evaluated   as   "satisfactory".     The 


compilation Annexure R/4 also outlines the various orders of punishment 


inflected   on   the   petitioner.     The   orders   of   punishment   taken   into 


consideration   were   dated   18.4.2002,   23.11.2004   and   4.1.2005.     The 


petitioner   was   punished   3   times   in   the   preceding   4   years.     Details   in 


respect of the orders of punishment were mentioned in the counter affidavit 


filed on behalf of the respondents.   Its summary was also made available 


for   our   consideration.     The   said   summary,   pertaining   to   the   orders   of 


punishment, is being extracted hereunder:


       "That the case of the petitioner was also screened and the petitioner 

       has earned  only 5.59 marks out of 30 marks which shows  that his 

       performance during last 10 years was not satisfactory.  Besides this, 

       vide Office Order dated 18.4.2002 in respect of irregularities inviting 

       in tenders it has been found that the petitioner has not compared the 

       rate   offered   by   the   contractor   with   Schedule   G   and   H   which   is   a 

       gross negligence, hence he should be given a warning to be more 

       cautious in future (Annexure R/1).


       That again vide office order dated 23.11.2004 it has been found that 

       respondent   while   posted   as   Executive   Engineer   at   Lalitpur   did   not 

       reside at Lalitpur and used to come from Jhansi which is against the 

       Rules.  Further it has been found that there has been delay in work, 

       excess   payment,   financial   irregularity   and   mis-utilization   of   funds 

       because   the   petitioner   could   not   had   administrative   control   while 

       discharging his responsibilities which is proved, hence a warning to 

.
                                                                                           1



       this effect has been issued to the petitioner and it is directed that the 

       order be kept in his personal file and character roll (Annexure R/2).


       That again vide Officer Order dated 04.01.2005 after completion of 

       an   enquiry   against   the   respondent   and   relevant   documents   it   has 

       been found that all the charges against him is proved regarding the 

       incident   at   Kanpur   while   he   was   working   as   Project   Manager   in 

       Ganga Pollution Control Unit in which 6 labourers have died and the 

       Corporation   had   to   pay   compensation   in   respect   of   their   death. 

       Hence  he  has  been  awarded  censor  entry  and  his two  increments 

       were withheld.   It was further directed that the said order be kept in 

       his character roll and personal file (Annexure R/3)".


From   the   above   it   is   apparent,   that   the   claim   of   the   petitioner   was 


considered by the Screening Committee on the basis of the annual entries 


in   his   service   record   and   the   punishments   suffered   by   him   during   the 


recent past. 


12.    We   have   given   our   thoughtful   consideration   to   the   material   taken 


into   consideration   by   the   Screening   Committee   before   passing   the 


impugned order dated 1.9.2005.   Besides the gradual deterioration in his 


career-graph   noticeable   from   the   last   7   years   of   his   service   (before   the 


impugned order was passed), wherein 4 annual reports assessed the work 


and   conduct   of   the   petitioner   as   "average".     It   is   also   apparent   that 


punishment   orders   were   passed   against   the   petitioner   on   3   occasions 


within   the   last   4   years.     These   punishments   were   ordered   because   of 


negligence   and   irregularity   in   granting   tenders;   delay   in   work,   excess 


payment,   financial   irregularity   and   mis-utilization   of   funds,   lack   of 


administrative   control;   and   death   of   6   labourers   because   of   lack   of 

.
                                                                                            1



supervision by the petitioner which resulted in huge financial loss by way of 


compensation   which   had   to   be   paid   to   the   families   of   the   deceased 


labourers.   Based on the aforesaid, it would not be incorrect to conclude, 


that   there   was   a   gradual   deterioration   in   the   overall   performance   of   the 


petitioner.   In the aforesaid view of the matter, it is not possible for us to  


find fault with the impugned order of premature retirement dated 1.9.2005. 


We   are   therefore   satisfied,   that   the   service   record   of   the   petitioner   was 


objectively   evaluated.     Thus   viewed,   the   passing   of   the   impugned   order 


cannot   be   described   as   arbitrary   or   unfair   in   any   manner.     The 


deliberations adopted by the Jal Nigam while passing the impugned order 


dated 1.9.2005 are, therefore, not liable to be interfered with.  


13.    For the reasons recorded hereinabove we are of the view, that the 


impugned   orders   dated   27.3.2006   and   19.7.2006   passed   by   the   High 


Court, upholding the order dated 1.9.2005, were fully justified and call for 


no interference.




14.    Dismissed.  


                                                       ..................................J.

                                                       (Asok Kumar Ganguly)





                                                       ..................................J.

                                                       (Jagdish Singh Khehar)


New Delhi;

January 13, 2012.

.
1

whetherhe Coal Mines Provident Fund Commissioner is a "public 4 officer" within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the aforesaid Code and in the absence of notice under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the suit was maintainable?

posted 13 Jan 2012, 23:12 by murali mohan Mandagaddi

                                          REPORTABLE




             IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA



                 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



             CIVIL APPEAL NO.41     OF 2012

        (Arising out of SLP(C) No.5827 of 2011)





COAL MINES P.F. COMMR. THR. 

BOARD OF TRUSTEE                         ... APPELLANT  



          Vs.



RAMESH CHANDRA JHA                       ... RESPONDENT





                     J U D G M E N T





ALTAMAS KABIR, J.




1.    Leave granted.





2.    The   appellant   herein   is   the   Coal   Mines 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   through   the   Board   of 



Trustees,   constituted   under   Section   3   of   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   and   Miscellaneous   Provisions 

.
                                               2





Act,   CMPF   Organisation,   Dhanbad.     The   Respondent 



was   appointed   as   a   Lower   Division   Clerk   on   16th 



January,   1967,   by   the   Chief   Commissioner   in   the 



service         of         the         Coal         Mines         Provident         Fund 



Organisation,   hereinafter   referred   to   as   `CMPFO'. 



In   connection   with   the   forcible   occupation   of   a 



Type   III   quarter,   a   departmental   proceeding   was 



commenced  against  the  Respondent  and  on  16th  March, 



1979,   on   being   found   guilty   of   the   charge   framed 



against   him,   the   Respondent   was   removed   from 



service.  





3.    Challenging   his   removal   from   service,   the 



Respondent   filed   Title   Suit   No.78   of   1979   in   the 



Court   of   Munsif   at   Dhanbad.     Simultaneously,   the 



Respondent   also   filed   an   appeal   before   the 



Appellate   Authority   under   Regulation   37   of   the 



Staff Regulations, which was dismissed on 4th March, 



1980.

.
                               3





4.    Meanwhile,   in   the   suit,   the   learned   Munsif, 



Dhanbad   (Jharkhand)   framed   a   preliminary   issue   in 



Suit No.78 of 1979 as to whether in the absence of 



notice   under   Section   80   of   the   Code   of   Civil 



Procedure,   the   suit   was   maintainable?   Aggrieved   by 



the said order, the Respondent filed Civil Revision 



No.341 of 1980(R) in the Ranchi Bench of the Patna 



High Court, which held that since the Appellant was 



not   a   "public   officer"   as   defined   in   the   Code   of 



Civil   Procedure,   no   notice   under   Section   80   was 



required to be served upon him before the suit was 



filed.   By its order dated 7th  September, 1981, the 



Ranchi Bench of the Patna High Court set aside the 



findings of the learned Munsif and held the suit to 



be maintainable. The Appellant, thereafter, brought 



the   matter   to   this   Court   and   in   Civil   Appeal 



No.1932   of   1982   this   Court   by   its   judgment   dated 



31st  January,   1990,   reversed   the   finding   of   the 



Appellate   Authority   upon   holding   that   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   is   a   "public 

.
                               4





officer" within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the 



aforesaid   Code.     It   was,   therefore,   settled   upto 



this   Court   that   the   Appellant   herein   was   a   public 



officer   and   that   notice   under   Section   80   was 



required   to   be   given   to   him   before   the   suit   was 



filed by the Respondent.   





5.    On account of the above decision of this Court, 



on  15th  February,  2002,  the  Respondent  withdrew  his 



Title   Suit   No.78   of   1979   and   filed   a   fresh   suit 



being   Title   Suit   No.102   of   1990   after   serving 



notice   upon   the   Appellant   under   Section   80   CPC. 



The   Appellant   contested   the   suit   which   was   decreed 



in favour of the Respondent on 15th  February, 2002, 



by   the   Second   Munsif,   Dhanbad,   declaring   the 



removal   of   the   Respondent   from   service   to   be 



arbitrary   and   in   violation   of   the   principles   of 



natural   justice   and   the   provisions   of   Article   311 



of   the   Constitution.     Holding   the   same   not   to   be 



binding   on   the   Respondent/Plaintiff,   the   Munsif 

.
                                5





declared  that  the  Respondent  would  be  deemed  to  be 



in   continuous   service   in   the   CMPF   Organisation 



under the Appellant, together with all benefits and 



privileges.   





6.    Aggrieved   by   the   order   of   the   learned   Munsif 



decreeing   the   Respondent's   Title   Suit   No.102   of 



1990, the Appellant preferred Title Appeal No.29 of 



2002 before the Court of XIIIth Additional District 



Judge,   Dhanbad.   In   the   said   Appeal,   the   Respondent 



herein   raised   the   question   as   to   whether   the   suit 



of   the   Respondent   was   bad   for   non-joinder   of   the 



Union   of   India   which   was   a   necessary   party   in   the 



suit?   Accepting   the   contention   of   the   Appellant, 



the  First  Appellate  Court  held  that  since  the  Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   was   a   public 



officer   under   the   Union   of   India   so   as   to   attract 



the   provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   and   Section 



79 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the suit was bad 



for   non-joinder   of   the   Union   of   India   which   was   a 

.
                               6





necessary   party.     The   XIIIth   Additional   District 



Judge, Dhanbad, accordingly, set aside the order of 



the learned Munsif, Second Court, Dhanbad, in Title 



Suit No.102 of 1990 by its judgment and order dated 



16th February, 2005.





7.    Aggrieved   by   the   order   of   the   First   Appellate 



Authority,   the   Respondent   filed   Second   Appeal 



No.134   of   2005   before   the   Jharkhand   High   Court   at 



Ranchi.  Four years later, on 15th June, 2009, since 



the   Respondent   had   not   delivered   vacant   possession 



of   the   quarters   in   his   possession,   the   Estate 



Officer,   by   his   order   dated   15th  June,   2009,   gave 



the   Respondent   15   days'   time   to   vacate   the   suit 



premises   along   with   other   members   of   his   family. 



The   Respondent,   however,   did   not   vacate   the 



quarters as directed, whereupon the Appellant filed 



I.A. No.1871 of 2009 in the Second Appeal No.134 of 



2005 pending before the High Court, for a direction 



upon the Respondent to vacate the quarters occupied 

.
                                            7





by   him.   On   24th       August,   2009,   the   Respondent, 



through   his   counsel,   gave   an   undertaking   to   vacate 



the   quarters   by   30th  November,   2009.     In   addition, 



the Estate Officer passed an order in the execution 



proceedings   on   28th  August,   2009,   for   eviction   of 



the Respondent from the quarters in question.     On 



his  failure  to  honour  the  undertaking  given  by  him 



to   vacate   the   suit   premises,   the   High   Court   took 



strong         exception         to         the         violation         of         the 



undertaking   given   by   the   Respondent   and   initiated 



fresh   contempt   proceedings   against   him   and   ordered 



the   Superintendent   of   Police,   Dhanbad,   to   get   the 



quarters vacated and to hand over vacant possession 



of   the   same   to   the   competent   authority   of   the 



CMPFO,   Dhanbad   within   48   hours   of   the   receipt   of 



the order.     On 19th  February, 2010, the High Court 



heard   the   contempt   case   when   it   was   informed   that 



the   Respondent   had   vacated   the   quarters   and   had 



handed   over   the   keys   to   the   concerned   authorities 



on 17th February, 2010.  

.
                               8





8.    It is necessary to indicate at this stage that 



Second  Appeal  No.134  of  2006,  which  had  been  filed 



by   the   Respondent,   was   admitted   on   the   substantial 



question   of   law   as   to   whether   the   Lower   Appellate 



Court   had   committed   a   serious   error   in   dismissing 



the   Respondent/Plaintiff's   suit   on   the   ground   of 



non-joinder of the Union of India thereby upsetting 



the  judgment  and  decree  of  the  Trial  Court  without 



deciding  the  question  as  to  whether  the  Coal  Mines 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   is   a   public   officer 



under   the   Union   of   India   so   as   to   attract   the 



provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of   the   Code   of 



Civil Procedure.





9.    Appearing   in   support   of   the   Appeal,   Mr.   J.P. 



Singh, learned Senior Advocate, urged that the High 



Court   had   not   properly   answered   the   aforesaid 



question   ignoring   the   fact   that   earlier   this   Court 



had   in   Civil   Appeal   No.1932   of   1982   between   the 



same   parties,   categorically   decided   that   the   Coal 

.
                                   9





Mines         Provident         Fund         Commissioner,         though 



functioning   as   the   Chairman   of   the   Board   of 



Trustees   constituted   under   paragraph   3   of   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Act,   is   a   public   officer   and 



was, therefore, required to be made a party in the 



proceedings   under   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of   the   Code 



of   Civil   Procedure,   which,  inter   alia,  provides   as 



follows :-  



     "Order 27 Rule 5A - To be joined as a party in 

     suit   against   a   public   officer.   -  Where   a   suit 

     is   instituted   against   a   public   officer  for 

     damages   or   other   relief  in   respect   of   any   act 

     alleged   to   have   been   done   by   him   in   his 

     official   capacity,   the   Government   shall   be 

     joined as a party to the suit."

 



     Mr. J.P. Singh urged that since this Court had 



already   decided   the   issue,   there   was   no   further 



need   for   the   High   Court   to   go   into   the   question 



once   again   and   decide   the   same   in   a   manner   which 



was   contrary   to   the   law   declared   by   this   Court. 



Mr.   Singh   submitted   that   this   was   in   blatant 



violation   of   the   principles   of   hierarchy   of   Courts 

.
                                10





and also the binding nature of the judgments of the 



Supreme   Court   in   terms   of   Article   141   of   the 



Constitution   of   India.     Learned   counsel   submitted 



that   this   was   a   fit   case   where   the   order   of   the 



High   Court   was   liable   to   be   set   aside   since   the 



provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of   the   Code   of 



Civil   Procedure   were   squarely   attracted   to   the 



facts of the case.





10.    The   Respondent,   who   appeared   in-person,   urged 



that   notwithstanding   the   earlier   decision   of   this 



Court   in   which   the   Coal   Mines   Provident   Fund 



Commissioner  had  been  held  to  be  a  public  officer, 



such a stand was contrary to the other decisions of 



this   Court   in   (1)  R.P.F.   Commissioner  Vs.  Shiv 



Kumar   Joshi     [AIR   2000   SC   331]   and   (2)      Steel 



Authority   of   India   Ltd.   &   Ors.  Vs.  National   Union 



Waterfront   Workers   and   Ors.        [2001   (7)   SCC   1], 



wherein   it   had   been   held   that   the   Regional 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   under   the   Employees 

.
                                11





Provident Fund Act and the Employees Provident Fund 



Scheme,   1952,   is   not   a   public   officer,   though   it 



discharges   statutory   functions   for   running   the 



Scheme.       It   was   also   observed   that   the   Board   of 



Trustees had not in any way been delegated with the 



sovereign   powers   of   the   State   even   if   it   is   held 



that   administrative   charges   were   payable   by   the 



Central   Government.   The   Respondent   urged   that   the 



finding   of   the   lower   Appellate   Court   holding   the 



suit   to   be   bad   for   non-joinder   of   the   Union   of 



India   as   a   party   in   the   Appeal,   was   patently 



erroneous,   contrary   to   law   and   unsustainable. 



Consequently,   the   order   of   the   learned   lower 



Appellate  Court  was  set  aside  and  the  judgment  and 



decree   of   the   Trial   Court   in   Title   Suit   No.102   of 



1990 was restored.  





11.    Challenging   the   order   of   the   learned   Single 



Judge   of   the   Jharkhand   High   Court,   the   Appellant 



herein   filed   Second   Appeal   No.134   of   2005,   which 

.
                                 12





was ultimately allowed and the finding of the lower 



Appellate   Court   that   the   suit   was   bad   for   non-



joinder   of   the   Union   of   India   as   a   party   was   held  



to be erroneous and was liable to be set aside.  





12.    As   indicated   hereinbefore,   it   is   the   said 



judgment   and   order   of   the   High   Court   of   Jharkhand 



which   is   the   subject   matter   of   the   present   Civil 



Appeal. 





13.    Having   considered   the   submissions   made   on 



behalf   of   the   Appellant   and   the   Respondent 



appearing   in-person,   we   are   of   the   view   that   the 



judgment   and   order   of   the   High   Court   does   not 



require   any   interference,   particularly   when   the 



issue   raised   in   this   Appeal   has   already   been 



decided   by   this   Court   in   Civil   Appeal   No.1932   of 



1982,   wherein   it   was   categorically   held   that   the 



Coal Mines Provident Fund Commissioner is a "public 



servant" within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the 



Code   of   Civil   Procedure.     It   cannot   be   forgotten 

.
                                           13





that  the  First  Suit  filed  by  the  Respondent,  being 



Title   Suit   No.78   of   1979,   was   withdrawn   on   the 



ground   that   it   had   been   held   that   a   notice   under 



Section 80 of the Code was necessary since the Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   was   a   public 



servant and, thereafter, a second suit, being Title 



Suit   No.102   of   1990,   was   filed   by   the   Respondent 



upon   due   notice   to   the   Coal   Mines   Provident   Fund 



Commissioner.     In   view   of   the   aforesaid   finding 



regarding   the   status   of   the   Coal   Mines   Provident 



Fund   Commissioner,   the   First   Appellate   Court   erred 



in reversing the finding of the Trial Court on this 



score. It was not open to the First Appellate Court 



to   re-open   the   question   which   had   been   decided   by 



this  Court,  at  least  on  the  same  submissions  which 



had   been   made   earlier   that   though   the   officer 



concerned         was         an         employee         of         the         Central 



Government,   he   no   longer   enjoyed   the   said   status 



when   he   was   discharging   the   functions   of   the 

.
                                  14





Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Coal Mines 



Provident Fund Scheme.





14.    We,   therefore,   have   no   hesitation   in   holding 



that   in   view   of   the   fact   that   the   Coal   Mines 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   has   been   held   by   this 



Court   to   be   a   public   officer,   it   was   necessary   to 



join   the   Union   of   India   as   a   party   in   the   suit   in 



view   of   the   provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of 



the  Code  of  Civil  Procedure.    We,  accordingly,  see 



no  reason  to  interfere  with  the  judgment  and  order 



appealed   against   and   the   Appeal   filed   by   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   is   dismissed, 



though without any order as to costs.





                                         ............................................................J.

                                (ALTAMAS KABIR)





                                         ............................................................J.

                                        (SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR)





New Delhi                     .........................................................J.

Dated: 04.01.2012            (J. CHELAMESWAR)     

sec.80 c.p.c. notice. and non-joinder of necessary party union of india , as the provident fund commissioner is a public office= the Coal Mines Provident Fund Commissioner is a "public 4 officer" within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the aforesaid Code. It was, therefore, settled upto this Court that the Appellant herein was a public officer and that notice under Section 80 was required to be given to him before the suit was filed by the Respondent.

posted 6 Jan 2012, 23:24 by murali mohan Mandagaddi

                                          REPORTABLE




             IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA



                 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



             CIVIL APPEAL NO.41     OF 2012

        (Arising out of SLP(C) No.5827 of 2011)





COAL MINES P.F. COMMR. THR. 

BOARD OF TRUSTEE                         ... APPELLANT  



          Vs.



RAMESH CHANDRA JHA                       ... RESPONDENT





                     J U D G M E N T





ALTAMAS KABIR, J.




1.    Leave granted.





2.    The   appellant   herein   is   the   Coal   Mines 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   through   the   Board   of 



Trustees,   constituted   under   Section   3   of   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   and   Miscellaneous   Provisions 

.
                                               2





Act,   CMPF   Organisation,   Dhanbad.     The   Respondent 



was   appointed   as   a   Lower   Division   Clerk   on   16th 



January,   1967,   by   the   Chief   Commissioner   in   the 



service         of         the         Coal         Mines         Provident         Fund 



Organisation,   hereinafter   referred   to   as   `CMPFO'. 



In   connection   with   the   forcible   occupation   of   a 



Type   III   quarter,   a   departmental   proceeding   was 



commenced  against  the  Respondent  and  on  16th  March, 



1979,   on   being   found   guilty   of   the   charge   framed 



against   him,   the   Respondent   was   removed   from 



service.  





3.    Challenging   his   removal   from   service,   the 



Respondent   filed   Title   Suit   No.78   of   1979   in   the 



Court   of   Munsif   at   Dhanbad.     Simultaneously,   the 



Respondent   also   filed   an   appeal   before   the 



Appellate   Authority   under   Regulation   37   of   the 



Staff Regulations, which was dismissed on 4th March, 



1980.

.
                               3





4.    Meanwhile,   in   the   suit,   the   learned   Munsif, 



Dhanbad   (Jharkhand)   framed   a   preliminary   issue   in 



Suit No.78 of 1979 as to whether in the absence of 



notice   under   Section   80   of   the   Code   of   Civil 



Procedure,   the   suit   was   maintainable?   Aggrieved   by 



the said order, the Respondent filed Civil Revision 



No.341 of 1980(R) in the Ranchi Bench of the Patna 



High Court, which held that since the Appellant was 



not   a   "public   officer"   as   defined   in   the   Code   of 



Civil   Procedure,   no   notice   under   Section   80   was 



required to be served upon him before the suit was 



filed.   By its order dated 7th  September, 1981, the 



Ranchi Bench of the Patna High Court set aside the 



findings of the learned Munsif and held the suit to 



be maintainable. The Appellant, thereafter, brought 



the   matter   to   this   Court   and   in   Civil   Appeal 



No.1932   of   1982   this   Court   by   its   judgment   dated 



31st  January,   1990,   reversed   the   finding   of   the 



Appellate   Authority   upon   holding   that   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   is   a   "public 

.
                               4





officer" within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the 



aforesaid   Code.     It   was,   therefore,   settled   upto 



this   Court   that   the   Appellant   herein   was   a   public 



officer   and   that   notice   under   Section   80   was 



required   to   be   given   to   him   before   the   suit   was 



filed by the Respondent.   





5.    On account of the above decision of this Court, 



on  15th  February,  2002,  the  Respondent  withdrew  his 



Title   Suit   No.78   of   1979   and   filed   a   fresh   suit 



being   Title   Suit   No.102   of   1990   after   serving 



notice   upon   the   Appellant   under   Section   80   CPC. 



The   Appellant   contested   the   suit   which   was   decreed 



in favour of the Respondent on 15th  February, 2002, 



by   the   Second   Munsif,   Dhanbad,   declaring   the 



removal   of   the   Respondent   from   service   to   be 



arbitrary   and   in   violation   of   the   principles   of 



natural   justice   and   the   provisions   of   Article   311 



of   the   Constitution.     Holding   the   same   not   to   be 



binding   on   the   Respondent/Plaintiff,   the   Munsif 

.
                                5





declared  that  the  Respondent  would  be  deemed  to  be 



in   continuous   service   in   the   CMPF   Organisation 



under the Appellant, together with all benefits and 



privileges.   





6.    Aggrieved   by   the   order   of   the   learned   Munsif 



decreeing   the   Respondent's   Title   Suit   No.102   of 



1990, the Appellant preferred Title Appeal No.29 of 



2002 before the Court of XIIIth Additional District 



Judge,   Dhanbad.   In   the   said   Appeal,   the   Respondent 



herein   raised   the   question   as   to   whether   the   suit 



of   the   Respondent   was   bad   for   non-joinder   of   the 



Union   of   India   which   was   a   necessary   party   in   the 



suit?   Accepting   the   contention   of   the   Appellant, 



the  First  Appellate  Court  held  that  since  the  Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   was   a   public 



officer   under   the   Union   of   India   so   as   to   attract 



the   provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   and   Section 



79 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the suit was bad 



for   non-joinder   of   the   Union   of   India   which   was   a 

.
                               6





necessary   party.     The   XIIIth   Additional   District 



Judge, Dhanbad, accordingly, set aside the order of 



the learned Munsif, Second Court, Dhanbad, in Title 



Suit No.102 of 1990 by its judgment and order dated 



16th February, 2005.





7.    Aggrieved   by   the   order   of   the   First   Appellate 



Authority,   the   Respondent   filed   Second   Appeal 



No.134   of   2005   before   the   Jharkhand   High   Court   at 



Ranchi.  Four years later, on 15th June, 2009, since 



the   Respondent   had   not   delivered   vacant   possession 



of   the   quarters   in   his   possession,   the   Estate 



Officer,   by   his   order   dated   15th  June,   2009,   gave 



the   Respondent   15   days'   time   to   vacate   the   suit 



premises   along   with   other   members   of   his   family. 



The   Respondent,   however,   did   not   vacate   the 



quarters as directed, whereupon the Appellant filed 



I.A. No.1871 of 2009 in the Second Appeal No.134 of 



2005 pending before the High Court, for a direction 



upon the Respondent to vacate the quarters occupied 

.
                                            7





by   him.   On   24th       August,   2009,   the   Respondent, 



through   his   counsel,   gave   an   undertaking   to   vacate 



the   quarters   by   30th  November,   2009.     In   addition, 



the Estate Officer passed an order in the execution 



proceedings   on   28th  August,   2009,   for   eviction   of 



the Respondent from the quarters in question.     On 



his  failure  to  honour  the  undertaking  given  by  him 



to   vacate   the   suit   premises,   the   High   Court   took 



strong         exception         to         the         violation         of         the 



undertaking   given   by   the   Respondent   and   initiated 



fresh   contempt   proceedings   against   him   and   ordered 



the   Superintendent   of   Police,   Dhanbad,   to   get   the 



quarters vacated and to hand over vacant possession 



of   the   same   to   the   competent   authority   of   the 



CMPFO,   Dhanbad   within   48   hours   of   the   receipt   of 



the order.     On 19th  February, 2010, the High Court 



heard   the   contempt   case   when   it   was   informed   that 



the   Respondent   had   vacated   the   quarters   and   had 



handed   over   the   keys   to   the   concerned   authorities 



on 17th February, 2010.  

.
                               8





8.    It is necessary to indicate at this stage that 



Second  Appeal  No.134  of  2006,  which  had  been  filed 



by   the   Respondent,   was   admitted   on   the   substantial 



question   of   law   as   to   whether   the   Lower   Appellate 



Court   had   committed   a   serious   error   in   dismissing 



the   Respondent/Plaintiff's   suit   on   the   ground   of 



non-joinder of the Union of India thereby upsetting 



the  judgment  and  decree  of  the  Trial  Court  without 



deciding  the  question  as  to  whether  the  Coal  Mines 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   is   a   public   officer 



under   the   Union   of   India   so   as   to   attract   the 



provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of   the   Code   of 



Civil Procedure.





9.    Appearing   in   support   of   the   Appeal,   Mr.   J.P. 



Singh, learned Senior Advocate, urged that the High 



Court   had   not   properly   answered   the   aforesaid 



question   ignoring   the   fact   that   earlier   this   Court 



had   in   Civil   Appeal   No.1932   of   1982   between   the 



same   parties,   categorically   decided   that   the   Coal 

.
                                   9





Mines         Provident         Fund         Commissioner,         though 



functioning   as   the   Chairman   of   the   Board   of 



Trustees   constituted   under   paragraph   3   of   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Act,   is   a   public   officer   and 



was, therefore, required to be made a party in the 



proceedings   under   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of   the   Code 



of   Civil   Procedure,   which,  inter   alia,  provides   as 



follows :-  



     "Order 27 Rule 5A - To be joined as a party in 

     suit   against   a   public   officer.   -  Where   a   suit 

     is   instituted   against   a   public   officer  for 

     damages   or   other   relief  in   respect   of   any   act 

     alleged   to   have   been   done   by   him   in   his 

     official   capacity,   the   Government   shall   be 

     joined as a party to the suit."

 



     Mr. J.P. Singh urged that since this Court had 



already   decided   the   issue,   there   was   no   further 



need   for   the   High   Court   to   go   into   the   question 



once   again   and   decide   the   same   in   a   manner   which 



was   contrary   to   the   law   declared   by   this   Court. 



Mr.   Singh   submitted   that   this   was   in   blatant 



violation   of   the   principles   of   hierarchy   of   Courts 

.
                                10





and also the binding nature of the judgments of the 



Supreme   Court   in   terms   of   Article   141   of   the 



Constitution   of   India.     Learned   counsel   submitted 



that   this   was   a   fit   case   where   the   order   of   the 



High   Court   was   liable   to   be   set   aside   since   the 



provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of   the   Code   of 



Civil   Procedure   were   squarely   attracted   to   the 



facts of the case.





10.    The   Respondent,   who   appeared   in-person,   urged 



that   notwithstanding   the   earlier   decision   of   this 



Court   in   which   the   Coal   Mines   Provident   Fund 



Commissioner  had  been  held  to  be  a  public  officer, 



such a stand was contrary to the other decisions of 



this   Court   in   (1)  R.P.F.   Commissioner  Vs.  Shiv 



Kumar   Joshi     [AIR   2000   SC   331]   and   (2)      Steel 



Authority   of   India   Ltd.   &   Ors.  Vs.  National   Union 



Waterfront   Workers   and   Ors.        [2001   (7)   SCC   1], 



wherein   it   had   been   held   that   the   Regional 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   under   the   Employees 

.
                                11





Provident Fund Act and the Employees Provident Fund 



Scheme,   1952,   is   not   a   public   officer,   though   it 



discharges   statutory   functions   for   running   the 



Scheme.       It   was   also   observed   that   the   Board   of 



Trustees had not in any way been delegated with the 



sovereign   powers   of   the   State   even   if   it   is   held 



that   administrative   charges   were   payable   by   the 



Central   Government.   The   Respondent   urged   that   the 



finding   of   the   lower   Appellate   Court   holding   the 



suit   to   be   bad   for   non-joinder   of   the   Union   of 



India   as   a   party   in   the   Appeal,   was   patently 



erroneous,   contrary   to   law   and   unsustainable. 



Consequently,   the   order   of   the   learned   lower 



Appellate  Court  was  set  aside  and  the  judgment  and 



decree   of   the   Trial   Court   in   Title   Suit   No.102   of 



1990 was restored.  





11.    Challenging   the   order   of   the   learned   Single 



Judge   of   the   Jharkhand   High   Court,   the   Appellant 



herein   filed   Second   Appeal   No.134   of   2005,   which 

.
                                 12





was ultimately allowed and the finding of the lower 



Appellate   Court   that   the   suit   was   bad   for   non-



joinder   of   the   Union   of   India   as   a   party   was   held  



to be erroneous and was liable to be set aside.  





12.    As   indicated   hereinbefore,   it   is   the   said 



judgment   and   order   of   the   High   Court   of   Jharkhand 



which   is   the   subject   matter   of   the   present   Civil 



Appeal. 





13.    Having   considered   the   submissions   made   on 



behalf   of   the   Appellant   and   the   Respondent 



appearing   in-person,   we   are   of   the   view   that   the 



judgment   and   order   of   the   High   Court   does   not 



require   any   interference,   particularly   when   the 



issue   raised   in   this   Appeal   has   already   been 



decided   by   this   Court   in   Civil   Appeal   No.1932   of 



1982,   wherein   it   was   categorically   held   that   the 



Coal Mines Provident Fund Commissioner is a "public 



servant" within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the 



Code   of   Civil   Procedure.     It   cannot   be   forgotten 

.
                                           13





that  the  First  Suit  filed  by  the  Respondent,  being 



Title   Suit   No.78   of   1979,   was   withdrawn   on   the 



ground   that   it   had   been   held   that   a   notice   under 



Section 80 of the Code was necessary since the Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   was   a   public 



servant and, thereafter, a second suit, being Title 



Suit   No.102   of   1990,   was   filed   by   the   Respondent 



upon   due   notice   to   the   Coal   Mines   Provident   Fund 



Commissioner.     In   view   of   the   aforesaid   finding 



regarding   the   status   of   the   Coal   Mines   Provident 



Fund   Commissioner,   the   First   Appellate   Court   erred 



in reversing the finding of the Trial Court on this 



score. It was not open to the First Appellate Court 



to   re-open   the   question   which   had   been   decided   by 



this  Court,  at  least  on  the  same  submissions  which 



had   been   made   earlier   that   though   the   officer 



concerned         was         an         employee         of         the         Central 



Government,   he   no   longer   enjoyed   the   said   status 



when   he   was   discharging   the   functions   of   the 

.
                                  14





Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Coal Mines 



Provident Fund Scheme.





14.    We,   therefore,   have   no   hesitation   in   holding 



that   in   view   of   the   fact   that   the   Coal   Mines 



Provident   Fund   Commissioner   has   been   held   by   this 



Court   to   be   a   public   officer,   it   was   necessary   to 



join   the   Union   of   India   as   a   party   in   the   suit   in 



view   of   the   provisions   of   Order   XXVII   Rule   5A   of 



the  Code  of  Civil  Procedure.    We,  accordingly,  see 



no  reason  to  interfere  with  the  judgment  and  order 



appealed   against   and   the   Appeal   filed   by   the   Coal 



Mines   Provident   Fund   Commissioner   is   dismissed, 



though without any order as to costs.





                                         ............................................................J.

                                (ALTAMAS KABIR)





                                         ............................................................J.

                                        (SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR)





New Delhi                     .........................................................J.

Dated: 04.01.2012            (J. CHELAMESWAR)     

mass copying in departmental examination - no displinary action - only fresh exams order to be conducted for promotion - govt. decision not to be interference

posted 5 Nov 2011, 05:58 by murali mohan Mandagaddi   [ updated 5 Nov 2011, 06:01 ]

                                                            REPORTABLE


                IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                  CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION




            CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9058              OF 2011

            [Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No. 6629 of 2010]




Chief General Manager, 

Calcutta Telephones District, 

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited & Ors.          ...Appellants




                               VERSUS


 Surendra Nath Pandey & Ors.                  ...Respondents 





                          J U D G M E N T





SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, J.


1.    Leave granted.



2.     This appeal is directed against the final judgment and 


      order of the High Court of Judicature at Kolkata dated 



      1st  September,   2009,   in   F.M.A.   No.   807   of   2009.   The 



      Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   in   the   impugned 



      order   dismissed   the   appeal   of   the   appellants   thereby 



      affirming the order passed by the Learned Single Judge 



      in   W.P.   No.   18313   of   2004,   directing   the   appellants 




                                                                 1

.
      herein,   to   inform   the   respondents   about   the   marks 



      obtained by them  in the  examination  in question  and 



      grant   promotion   to   the   respondents   pursuant   to   the 



      result of the departmental examination.





3.    The respondents are employees of the appellants, i.e., 



      Department   of   Telecommunication   within   the 



      Department of Post & Telegraph, Government of India, 



      now   renamed   Bharat   Sanchar   Nigam   Limited.   They 



      appeared   in   an   examination   for   being   promoted   to 



      Junior   Accounts   Officers.   Junior   Accounts   Officers 



      Service   Postal   Wing   (Group   C)   Recruitment   Rules, 



      1977 regulate recruitment and conditions of service for 



      this   post.   The   rules   provided   for   a   two   stage 



      departmental   examination   for   appointment   to   this 



      post.





4.    The   appellants   conducted   the   aforementioned 


      departmental   examination   on   20th  February,   1999, 



      21st  February,   1999   &   22nd  February,   1999   for 



      appointing Junior Accounts Officers in the Department 





                                                              2

.
      of   Telecommunication   under   the   Ministry   of 



      Communication. The respondents appeared in the said 



      examination;   however,   when   the   result   consisting   of 



      lists   featuring   names   of   both   successful   and 



      unsuccessful   candidates   was   displayed,   their   names 



      did not appear in either of the lists.





5.    The   respondents   in   order   to   know   their   result 



      deposited   Rs.   25/-   each   for   being   apprised   of   the 



      marks   secured   by   them   along   with   a   representation 



      before   the   appropriate   authority.   The   respondent's 



      request was in accordance with Rule 13 of the (Rules 



      Relating to Departmental Examination, Part I General) 



      of   Post   &   Telegraph   Manual,   Volume   IV.     Rule   13 



      states:



         "Communication   of   Marks:   (a)   After   the   result  

         of   an   examination   has   been   announced,   the  

         marks   obtained   in  such paper   by a candidate  

         maybe communicated to him, and to him alone,  

         on   application,   and   on   payment   of   a   fee   of  

         Re.1/- per examination per candidate.....

         (d)   Application   for   supply   of   marks   should   be  

         given priority at all stages."  




Thereafter,   the   Assistant   General   Manager,   Recruitment   & 



Establishment,   Calcutta   Telephones   wrote   a   letter   to   the 




                                                                          3

.
Assistant   Director   General   (Departmental   Examination), 



New   Delhi   on   9th  February,   2000   requesting   disclosure   of 



marks obtained by the respondents in the said examination. 





6.    The   respondents'   request   for   being   intimated   of   the 



      marks   secured   was   not   acceded   to,   nor   did   the 



      authorities reply to the representation. 





7.    Thereafter, the respondents filed O.A. No. 629 of 2000 


      before   the   Central   Administrative   Tribunal   seeking 



      disclosure of marks and disposal of the representation 



      by   the   respondents.   Vide   its   order   dated   26th  July, 



      2000   the   tribunal   directed   the   appellants   to   publish 



      the   result   of   the   said   examination,   dispose   off   the 



      representation and allow the respondents to appear in 



      the examination next year.





8.    The   Chief   General   Manager,   Calcutta   Telephones 



      complying   with   the   order   of   the   tribunal   disposed   of 



      the   respondent's   representation   by   means   of   a 



      speaking   order.   It   was   stated   therein,   that   the 





                                                                 4

.
      respondent's candidature was cancelled on account of 



      some   irregular   practices  having  been  noticed   on   their 



      part.   It   was   further   stated   that   on   account   of 



      cancellation   of   candidature,   it   was   not   permissible   to 



      communicate   the   marks   obtained   by   the   respondents 



      in   the   said   examination   contemplating   disciplinary 



      proceedings for adopting unfair means.





9.    Challenging   the   abovementioned   order   passed   by   the 



      Chief   General   Manager,   Calcutta   Telephones,   the 



      respondents   filed   W.P.   No.   18313   of   2004   in   the 



      Calcutta   High   Court.   The   writ   petition   was   allowed, 



      quashing   the   order   of   cancellation   of   candidature   of 



      the   respondents.   The   learned   Single   Judge   held   that 



      the   appellants   had   failed   to   establish   their   claim 



      wherein   the   respondents   were   accused   of   mass 



      copying and were, therefore, obliged to intimate to the 



      respondents,   the   marks   secured   by   them   in   the 



      examination.   The   learned   counsel   for   the   appellants 



      had   alleged   before   the   learned   Single   Judge   that   the 



      syllabus   for   the   examination   prescribed   the   books 





                                                                 5

.
allowed   to   be   used   by   the   candidates   for   answering 



questions   however;   the   respondents   had   used   guide 



books for answering questions in the examination. Use 



of   guide   books   was   not   permissible.   The   Learned 



Single   Judge   observed   that,   the   allegation   was 



unfounded   since   the   supervising   officers   in   the 



examination hall did not prevent the respondents from 



using   the   guide   books.     Moreover,   no   disciplinary 



action   was   initiated   against   the   respondents.   On   the 



other   hand,   the   respondents   were   awarded   ad   hoc 



promotion   to   the   post   of   Junior   Accounts   Officer;   an 



unmarred   vigilance   report   is   a   pre-requisite   for   the 



same.   The   reports   submitted   by   the   vigilance   wing 



stated   that   the   examination   was   conducted   in   a   fair 



and   peaceful   manner.   The   appellants   were,   therefore, 



directed   to   inform   the   respondents   of   the   marks 



obtained by them and to consider them for promotion 



if   successful   in   the   examination.   They   were   also   held 



entitled   to   the   financial   benefits   that   would   have 



accrued to them since the date of adhoc promotion.





                                                            6

.
10.    The appellants aggrieved by the order and judgment of 


       the   learned   Single   Judge,   filed   appeal   before   the 



       Division   Bench   of   the   Calcutta   High   Court   vide   FMA 



       No.   807   of   2009.     The   Division   Bench   dismissed   the 



       appeal   by  affirming  the   decision  of   the   learned   Single 



       Judge.   The   Division   Bench   has   observed   that   the 



       appellants'   contention   of   there   being   no   scope   for 



       disciplinary action  against the erring employees could 



       not be accepted, especially since the respondents had 



       been   granted   ad-hoc   promotion.   The   Division   Bench 



       stated  that  it is well  settled  that  promotion  wipes out 



       all past alleged misconduct.  It was also observed that 



       the   respondent's   decision   not   to   appear   in   the 



       examination   in   the   subsequent   year   could   not   act   as 



       an estoppel for challenging the action of the appellants. 



       Hence, the present appeal.





11.    We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. 





12.    Ms. Pinki Anand, learned senior counsel appearing for 


       the appellants submitted that both the learned Single 





                                                                 7

.
Judge   as   well   as   the   Division   Bench   have   erred   in 



coming   to   the   conclusion   that   the   decision   for 



cancellation of the examination was in breach of rules 



of   natural   justice.   She   submits   that   this   is   a   case   of 



mass-copying;   therefore,   the   question   of   giving 



opportunity of hearing to each individual candidate did 



not   arise.   Rule   18   is   applicable   in   the   case   of 



individual candidate who is found to have used unfair 



means. In this case, mass-copying was discovered only 



because   the   answers   given   to   some   of   the   questions 



were   identical.   Subsequently,   it   was   discovered   that 



answers   to   questions   in   Paper   X   given   by   66 



candidates   was   so   much   similar   as   to   indicate 



suspected   mass-copying.   Consequently,   a   three 



member   committee   was   constituted   to   examine   the 



issues. Upon examination of the relevant material, the 



committee   concluded   that   it   was   a   case   of   mass-



copying. On the  basis of their  report, the  candidature 



of 66 candidates including the respondents herein was 



cancelled.   Learned   senior   counsel   further   submitted 



that the candidates had copied the answers from guide 





                                                                8

.
           book   which   was   not   permissible.   They   were   only 



           entitled to make the use of the books which was on the 



           list of the prescribed books. It is further submitted that 



           undoubtedly   the   candidates   had   been   given   ad-hoc 



           promotion.   However,   for   regular   promotion,   it   was 



           necessary for the candidates to pass the departmental 



           examination. She further submits that CAT in its order 



           dated   26th  July,   2000   had   directed   the   appellants   to 



           allow   the   respondents   and   all   other   candidates   to 



           appear   in   the   examination,   if   they   were   otherwise 



           eligible or if they wish to appear.   Taking advantage of 



           this   direction,   42   candidates,   who   were   similarly 



           situated   as   the   respondents,   appeared   in   the 



           subsequent examination.  They were duly given regular 



           promotion.   However, the respondents did not avail of 



           the chance.     Therefore, they can not claim promotion 



           on   regular   basis.     In   support   of   her   submissions, 



           learned senior counsel relied on the judgments in the 



           case   of  The   Board   of   High   School   &  Intermediate  


           Education   U.P.   Vs.  Bagleshwar   Prasad1,  Union  





1 (1962 3 SCR 767)




                                                                     9

.
             Public Service Commission  Vs.  Ja
                                                            gannath Mishra 2
                                                                                  , 


             Madhyamic   Shiksha   Mandal,   M.P.  Vs.  Abilash  


             Shiks
                       ha   Prasar   Samiti 3
                                               ,    Chairman   J   &   K   State  


             Board   Education  Vs.   Feyaz   Ahmed   Malik   &   Ors. 4
                                                                                  , 


             and  Chairman,   All   India   Railway   Recruitment  


             Board Vs.  K. Shyam Kumar & Ors. 5
                                                               





      13.    Mr.   Bidyut   Kumar   Mukherjee,   learned   senior   counsel 


             appearing   for   the   respondents   submits   that   the   SLP 



             does   not   involve   any   substantial   question   of   law.   The 



             learned Single Judge as well as the Division Bench has 



             only redressed the injustice that had been done to the 



             respondents. Learned senior counsel submits that this 



             plea of mass-copying is an afterthought; initially when 



             the   respondents   had   approached   the   CAT,   the 



             appellants   did   not   take   any   plea   with   regard   to   the 



             cancellation   of   the   whole   examination.   The 



             respondents   only   came   to   know   about   it   when   they 



             received   the   speaking   order.   Learned   senior   counsel 




2 2009 (9) SCC 237

3 (1998 (9) SCC 236,

4 (2000 (3) SCC 59)

5 (2010 (6) SCC 614).




                                                                         10

.
further   submitted   that   during   the   proceeding   before 



the   learned   Single   Judge,   the   appellants   did   not 



produce   the   original   record,   therefore,   the   question 



would  arise  as to  `how'  and  `who'  cancelled the  result 



of   the   entire   examination.   It   is   submitted   by   Mr. 



Mukherjee   that   the   report   of   the   three   member 



departmental   committee   was   available   with   the 



department   on   3rd  January,   2000.   The   same   was   not 



brought to the  notice  of the CAT when it delivered its 



order   on   26th  July,   2000.   It   is   further   submitted   that 



there is no provision under the rules for constituting a 



three   member   committee.   In   any   event,   the 



proceedings   before   the   committee   are   shrouded   in 



mystery. None  of the  candidates  was asked to  appear 



before   the   committee,   even   the   examiners   and/or   the 



supervising   staff   were   not   called   for   questioning.   By 



his letter dated 14th  October, 1999,           DGM (Admn.) 



Calcutta   Telephones   forwarded   the   report   of   DE 



(Vigilance)/CTD to ADG (DE), New Delhi. In this report, 



it was stated that the examination was conducted in a 



fair and peaceful manner on all the three dates as per 





                                                              11

.
the   report   of   the   Officers   of   the   Vigilance   Wing. 



Making   a   reference   to   the   rules   relating   to   the 



departmental examination, Part III of the rules relates 



to   instructions   for   the   supervising   officers.   Rule   4C 



requires   that   the   supervising   officer   should   make 



certain   announcements   before   the   commencement   of 



the   examination.   These   are   that:   candidates   should 



make   sure   that   they   have   no   unauthorized   books   or 



paper with them; they should carefully read and follow 



the   instructions   on   the   cover   of   the   answer   book   as 



also   on   the   question   paper   and   they   will   be   expelled 



from the examination hall for resorting to unfair means 



and   subjected   to   departmental   proceedings.   Rule   4E 



provides that supervision must be effective and active. 



It is not sufficient for them to be merely present in the  



examination hall. Referring to Rule 26, learned senior 



counsel submits that on conclusion of the examination 



after the last paper, the supervising officer is required 



to   give   a   very   comprehensive   certificate   in   the   form 



prescribed   in   the   aforesaid   rules.   According   to   the 



learned senior counsel, once the certificate was issued 





                                                             12

.
by   the   supervising   staff,   a   presumption   would   arise 



that   the   candidates   had   not   used   any   books   of 



reference   except   those   authorised   for   answering 



papers. Learned senior counsel further submitted that 



action   against   the   departmental   candidates   is   to   be 



taken   under   Rule   18  contained   in  Part   I  of   the  Rules 



relating to departmental examination. Under this rule, 



there   is   no   provision   for   cancellation   of   the   report. 



Under   Rule   14   of   Part   IV,   disciplinary   proceedings 



have   to   be   initiated   against   the   candidate   for   using 



unfair  means. None  of the  candidates were proceeded 



against, departmentally. It is submitted that the result 



could   be   cancelled   only   after   the   candidate   is   found 



guilty.   This   can   only   be   on   the   basis   of   a   finding   of 



unfair   means   given   by   a   properly   constituted 



committee.   Without   completing   the   proceeding   under 



the   aforesaid   rules,   42   candidates   were   permitted   to 



take the examination on the basis of the order passed 



by the CAT on 26th  July, 2000. Those  candidates had 



been   given   regular   promotion   on   the   basis   of   the 



subsequent   examination.   The   respondents   have   been 





                                                                 13

.
denied   the   promotions   as   they   have   not   appeared   in 



the   examination.   According   to   the   learned   senior 



counsel,   the   action   of   the   respondents   in   not 



permitting   the   respondents   promotion   on   a   regular 



basis   is   violative   of   Articles   14   and   16   of   the 



Constitution.   It   is   emphasised   by   Mr.Mukherjee   that 



all the respondents have been given ad-hoc promotion 



and   are   continuing   on   the   promoted   post.   Since   the 



ad-hoc promotion can be given only with the clearance 



from   the   vigilance   department,   according   to   the 



learned senior counsel, the respondents are entitled to 



be   regularized   on   the   post   on   which   they   have   been 



promoted   on   ad-hoc   basis   on   numerous   occasions. 



Finally, it is submitted by Mr.Mukherjee that, in fact, 



there is no conclusive proof that the respondents have 



indulged   in   mass   copying   from   the   guide   book   which 



had   not   even   been   published   at   the   time   of   the 



examination.  It is pointed out that the guide book was 



published in December, 1999 whereas the examination 



had  been held on  18th, 19th  & 20th  of February, 1999. 



According to the  learned senior  counsel the  judgment 





                                                           14

.
       of the Division Bench correctly recorded the conclusion 



       that   since   the   respondents   have   been   given   ad-hoc 



       promotion   in   the   next   higher   rank,   any   past   alleged 



       misconduct is wiped out. 





14.    In   reply,   Ms.   Pinki   Anand,   learned   senior   counsel 



       reiterated that  rule 18 has no application  in the facts 



       and   circumstances  of this   case. There  is  no  provision 



       under the rules specifically dealing with cases of mass-



       copying.   The   rule   only   deals   with   the   cases   of 



       individual use of unfair means. Learned senior counsel 



       further   submitted   that   the   respondents   have   not 



       pleaded either in the OA or in reply to the writ petition 



       in   the   High   Court   that   the   cancellation   of   the 



       examination was in breach of rules of natural justice. 



       Even the submissions with regard to breach of rules of 



       natural   justice   are   made   for   the   first   time   in   this 



       Court. 





15.    We   have   considered   the   submissions   made   by   the 



       learned   counsel   for   the   parties   at   length.   The 





                                                                   15

.
       undisputed   facts   are   that   all   the   respondents   had 



       participated   in   the   departmental   examination.   The 



       respondents   were   permitted   the   use   of   books 



       specifically prescribed for the purpose of answering the 



       question   paper.  The  books   that   are  prescribed  do   not 



       include   the   guide   book   which   was   used   by   all   the 



       candidates.   Upon   completion   of   the   examination,   the 



       supervisor   undoubtedly   gave   a   report   that   the 



       examination   has   been   held   peacefully   and   in   a   fair 



       manner. 





16.    On this basis, Mr. Mukherjee has submitted that this 



       would lead to a presumption that no unfair means had 



       been   used.   We   are   unable   to   accept   such   a 



       submission.   The   report   at   best   indicates   that   the 



       examination   was   not   disrupted   by   any   untoward 



       incident.   It has been rightly pointed out by Ms. Pinki  



       Anand  that  the  use of unfair means was not  detected 



       in   the   examination   centre.     It   was   detected   by   the 



       examiner   of   the   answer   books   of   Paper   X.   It   was 



       noticed   that   the   answers   written   by   66   candidates   at 





                                                                  16

.
the  centre   at   which   the   respondents   along   with  other 



candidates had taken the examination were so similar 



as   to   indicate   that   this   case   is   a   suspected   mass 



copying. The examiner, therefore, did not evaluate the 



answer   books   of   the   candidates   allegedly   involved   in 



mass-copying.   With   a   view   to   look   into   the 



observations   of   the   examiner,   it   was   decided   by   the 



Adviser   (Finance),   DOT   that   the   answer   books   of   the 



candidates   suspected   to   have   indulged   in   mass-



copying be gone through by three high ranking officers 



of   the   department.   Therefore   a   three   member 



committee was constituted to submit its report on the 



following points : 



(a)     Whether   the   observation   of   the   examiner   is 



        correct   that   the   answers   written   by   the 



        candidates tally word for word with those given in 



        the key and therefore full marks would have to be 



        awarded   to   all   these   candidates   suspected   to 



        have indulged in mass-copying;



b)      Whether   the   observation   of   the   examiner 



        regarding   suspected   mass-copying   is   reasonably 





                                                          17

.
               substantiated   on   the   basis   of   the   review   of   the 



               answer-books; and



       c)      In   case   the   inference   of   mass-copying   is   not 



               reasonably   established,   the   committee   should 



               also   suggest   guidelines,   if   any,   considered 



               necessary for evaluating these answer-books.





17.    The   aforesaid   committee   examined   all   the   66   answer 



       books   through   evaluated   answer   books   which   were 



       supplied   for   comparison   and   review.   The   Committee 



       observed as follows:



       1.         The   observation   of   the   examiner   is   correct. 



                  This is an established case of mass copying. 



       2.         The mass copying was made easy because the 



                  paper   was   set   from   one   guide   book   only   and 



                  all answers were available in the same book.



       3.         Co-incidentally   guide   book   is   written   by   the 



                  officer stationed at Calcutta so it is presumed 



                  that this guide book might be readily available 



                  with candidates.





                                                                     18

.
             4.         Though guide is not authorised as a reference 



                        book   it   seems   that   the   centre   supervisor   has 



                        not   taken   proper   care   and   because   of   his 



                        negligence   the   guide   book   might   be   available 



                        in the examination hall.  





      18.    We   are   of   the   considered   opinion   that   the   procedure 


             adopted by the appellants can not be said to be unfair 



             or   arbitrary.     It   was   a   reasonable   and   fair   procedure 



             adopted in the peculiar  circumstances of the  case.   It 



             can   not   be   said   to   be   in   breach   of   rules   of   Natural 



             Justice.   It must be remembered that rules of Natural 



             Justice are not  embodied rules.   They can not  be put 



             in   a   strait-jacket.     The   purpose   of   rules   of   Natural 



             Justice   is   to   ensure   that   the   order   causing   civil 



             consequences  is  not  passed  arbitrarily.    It  is  not   that 



             in   every   case   there   must   be   an   opportunity   of   oral 



             hearing. We may notice here the observations made by 



             this   Court   in   the   case   of  Bihar   School   Education  


             Board  Vs.  Su
                                   bhas   Chandra   Sinha 6
                                                                     ,   wherein   a 


             similar   plea   with   regard   to   breach   of   rules   of   Natural 


6 (1970 (1) SCC 648)




                                                                            19

.
       Justice   was   examined.   In   this   case,   the   appellant 



       board had cancelled the examination upon detection of 



       mass copying without affording the affected candidates 



       the   right   to   be   heard.   This   Court   rejected   the   plea   of 



       breach of rules of Natural Justice, as follows:-



       "This is not a case of any particular  individual  who is  

       being   charged   with   adoption   of   unfair   means   but   of  

       the   conduct   of   all   the   examinees   or   at   least   a   vast  

       majority   of   them   at   a   particular   centre.   If   it   is   not   a  

       question   of   charging   any   one  individually   with   unfair  

       means  but to  condemn  the  examination  as  ineffective  

       for   the   purpose   it   was   held.   Must   the   Board   give   an  

       opportunity   to   all   the   candidates   to   represent   their  

       cases?   We   think   not.   It   was   not   necessary   for   the  

       Board   to   give   an   opportunity   to   the   candidates   if   the  

       examinations   as   a   whole   were   being   cancelled.   The  

       Board had not charged any one with  unfair means so  

       that he could claim to defend himself. The examination  

       was   vitiated   by   adoption   of   unfair   means   on   a   mass  

       scale.   In   these   circumstances   it   would   be   wrong   to  

       insist that the Board must hold a detailed inquiry into  

       the matter and examine each individual case to satisfy  

       itself  which  of the  candidates  had  not adopted  unfair  

       means. The examination as a whole had to go."

                                               (emphasis supplied)





19.    In the present case, there is not even a denial that the 



       answers   have   been   taken   from   the   guidebook.     Mass 



       copying is accepted on the plea that it was permissible  



       to   take   books   into   the   examination.     This   plea   was 



       rejected   by   the   Expert   Committee,   as   the   candidates 



       were   only   allowed   to   use   the   books   prescribed   in   the 




                                                                                  20

.
                syllabus.   The  guidebook  used by the   candidates  was 



                not permitted to be taken into the examination centre. 



                Given   the   fact   situation   in   the   present   case,   the 



                appellant   constituted   a   three   members   Committee   of 



                high ranking officers to enquire into the matter.  Since 



                there   is   no   provision   under   the   rules   with   regard   to 



                mass   copying,   the   appellants   were   fully   justified   in 



                constituting a Committee to enquire into the matter. 





        20.     We may also make a reference here to the observations 


                made   by   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Union   of   India   & 


                Ors.  Vs. An
                                 and Kumar Pandey & Ors. 7
                                                                         In this case, 


                the   Railway   Recruitment   Board,   Patna   invited 



                applications   for   selection   and   recruitment   of   various 



                posts   of   Non-technical   Popular   categories   in   the 



                Eastern Railway.  The selection was to be made on the 



                basis of a written examination followed by a viva-voce 



                test.   A   large   number   of   candidates   appeared   in   the 



                written test from various centres in the city of Katihar. 



                The   respondents   in   the   appeal   had   appeared   in   the 



                written examination and duly qualified.  They had also 


7 1994(5) SCC 663




                                                                              21

.
qualified   in   the   viva-voce   test   and   their   names   were 



included   in   the   panel   of   selected   candidates,   which 



was   published.     On   a   complaint   of   mass   copying   at 



Centre No. 115, the Railway Authorities conducted an 



enquiry   and   found   the   complaint   to   be   correct.     The 



Railway   Authorities   decided   to   subject   the   35 



candidates,   who   had   qualified   the   written   test   from 



Centre No. 115, to a fresh examination.   The CAT set 



aside this decision of the Railway Authorities as being 



violative of rules of Natural Justice.  It was held that a 



panel of selected candidates having been prepared and 



published,   the   same   could   not   be   cancelled   without 



assigning   any   reason   and   without   affording 



opportunity to the empanelled candidates.   On appeal 



by the Union of India, this Court set aside the decision 



of   the   Tribunal.     It   was   held   that   the   Tribunal   was 



wholly   unjustified   in   interfering   the   order   of   the 



appellants,   calling   on   the   respondents   to   sit   in   the 



written   examination   again.     In   Paragraph   9   of   the 



aforesaid judgment, it is observed as follows:-



"This   Court   has   repeatedly   held   that   the   rules   of  

natural   justice   cannot   be   put   in   a   strait-jacket.  





                                                               22

.
       Applicability   of   these   rules   depends   upon   the   facts  

       and   circumstances   relating   to   each   particular   given  

       situation. Out of the total  candidates who appeared in  

       the   written   test   at   the   Centre   concerned   only   35  

       candidates   qualified   the   test.   In   that   situation   the  

       action   of   the   railway   authorities   in   directing   the   35  

       candidates   of   Centre   No.   115   to   appear   in   a   fresh  

       written   examination   virtually   amounts   to   cancelling  

       the   result   of   the   said   centre.   Although   it   would   have  

       been fair to call upon all the candidates who appeared  

       from   Centre   No.   115   to   take   the   written   examination  

       again  but in  the  facts  and  circumstances  of this  case  

       no   fault   can   be   found   with   the   action   of   the   railway  

       authorities   in   calling   upon   only   35   (empanelled  

       candidates)   to   take   the   examination   afresh.   The  

       purpose   of   a   competitive   examination   is   to   select   the  

       most   suitable   candidates   for   appointment   to   public  

       services.   It   is   entirely   different   than   an   examination  

       held by a college or university to award degrees to the  

       candidates   appearing   at   the   examination.   Even   if   a  

       candidate  is selected he may still be not appointed for  

       a   justifiable   reason.   In   the   present   case   the   railway  

       authorities have rightly refused to make appointments  

       on the basis of the written examination wherein unfair  

       means were adopted by the candidates. No candidate  

       had   been   debarred   or   disqualified   from   taking   the  

       exam. To make sure that the deserving candidates are  

       selected   the   respondents   have   been   asked   to   go  

       through the process of written examination once again.  

       We   are   of   the   view   that   there   is   no   violation   of   the  

       rules of natural justice in any manner in the facts and  

       circumstances of this case."





21.    As  noticed earlier, in  the  present  case, the  appellants 



       had adopted a very reasonable and a fair approach.  A 



       bonafide enquiry into the fact situation was conducted 



       by   a   Committee   of   high   ranking   officers   of   the  



       department.     In   our   opinion,   the   High   Court   was 




                                                                               23

.
                wholly   unjustified   in   interfering   with   the   decision 



                taken by the appellants in the peculiar circumstances 



                of the case.  It is settled beyond cavil that the decisions  



                taken   by   the   competent   authority   could   be   corrected 



                provided   it   is   established   that   the   decision   is   so 



                perverse that no sensible person, who had applied his 



                mind to the question to be decided could have arrived 



                at it.  The aforesaid principle is based on the ground of 



                irrationality   and   is   known   as   Wednesbury   Principle. 



                The   Court   can   interfere   with   a   decision,   if   it   is   so 



                absurd that no reasonable authority could have taken 



                such   a   decision.     In   our   opinion,   the   procedure 



                adopted   by   the   appellants   can   not   be   said   to   be 



                suffering          from         any         such         irrationality         or 



                unreasonableness, which would have enabled the High 



                Court to interfere with the decision.





        22.     It is perhaps keeping in mind the aforesaid principles 


                that this Court in the case of B. Ramanjini & Ors. Vs. 


                St
                      ate of A.P .  & Ors. 8, indicated that a decision taken 


                by   the   competent   authority   on   the   basis   of   relevant 


8 2002(5) SCC 533




                                                                                    24

.
       material ought not  to be lightly interfered with by the 



       Court   in   exercise   of   its   power   of   judicial   review.     In 



       Paragraph   8   of   the   aforesaid   judgment,   this   Court 



       observed as follows:



       "Further, even if it was not a case of mass copying or 

       leakage   of   question   papers   or   such   other 

       circumstance,   it   is   clear   that   in   the   conduct   of   the 

       examination, a fair procedure has to be adopted. Fair  

       procedure   would   mean   that   the   candidates   taking 

       part   in   the   examination   must   be   capable   of 

       competing with each other by fair means. One cannot 

       have   an   advantage   either   by   copying   or   by   having   a 

       foreknowledge of the question paper or otherwise. In 

       such   matters   wide   latitude   should   be   shown   to   the 

       Government   and   the   courts   should   not   unduly 

       interfere   with   the   action   taken   by   the   Government 

       which   is   in   possession   of   the   necessary   information 

       and   takes   action   upon   the   same.   The   courts   ought 

       not   to   take   the   action   lightly   and   interfere   with   the 

       same   particularly   when   there   was   some   material   for 

       the Government to act one way or the other."

                                            (emphasis supplied)





23.    In view of these observations, we are of the considered 



       opinion   that   the   High   Court   ought   not   to   have 



       interfered   with   the   decision   taken   by   the   appellants 



       requiring   the   candidates,   who   appeared   in   the 



       cancelled examination,  to  reappear  in  the   subsequent 



       examination, in order to qualify for regular promotion.





                                                                           25

.
24.    We   also   do   not   find   any   merit   in   the   submissions   of 



       Mr.Mukherjee that all cases of unfair means have to be 



       examined on the basis of Rule 18 of Part I of the rules. 



       The   aforesaid   rule   deals   with   the   situation   where   a 



       candidate   is   found   or   discovered   to   be   using   unfair  



       means   in   the   examination   itself.   It   is   only   in   these 



       circumstances that the candidate  has to be subjected 



       to   disciplinary   proceeding   which   has   to   be   conducted 



       on the basis of the report submitted under Rule 14(4). 



       Since   this   is   a   case   of   mass-   copying,   which   was 



       discovered only at the time of the review of the answer 



       books,   Rule   18   would   have   no   relevance.   Rule   14 



       would   not,   in   any   manner,   improve   the   case   of   the 



       respondents   as   it   merely   enables   the   disciplinary 



       authority to impose major penalty on a candidate who 



       is found to have used unfair means. Merely because no 



       disciplinary   proceedings   have   been   initiated   against 



       the respondents, it would not be a justification to hold 



       that   the   cancellation   of   the   result   is   in   any   manner, 



       impermissible.





                                                                     26

.
25.    We are also of the considered opinion that the Division 


       Bench was not justified in holding that merely because 



       the respondents had been given ad-hoc promotion, the 



       previous   alleged   misconduct   stands   wiped   out.   The 



       respondents   were   given   equal   opportunity   to   compete 



       in   the   examination   subsequent   to   the   cancellation   of 



       their   examination   result.   It   is   a   matter   of   record   that 



       42   candidates   who   were   similarly   placed   took 



       advantage of the order passed by the CAT on 26th July, 



       2000   and   appeared   in   the   subsequent   examination. 



       They have been promoted in accordance with the rule 



       to   the   next   higher   post.   The   respondents,   however, 



       chose   not   to   appear   in   the   examination.   They   cannot 



       at  this  stage  be permitted  to complain  that  they have 



       been treated unfairly.





26.    In   view   of   the   above,   we   are   of   the   opinion,   that   the  



       judgment of the learned Single Judge and the Division 



       Bench   impugned   herein   are   not   sustainable. 



       Consequently, the appeal is allowed and the judgments 





                                                                         27

.
          of   the   learned   Single   Judge   as   well   as   the   Division 



          Bench are hereby set aside.                                



                                               ...................................J.

                                                               [Altamas Kabir]




                                              ...................................J.

                                                   [Surinder Singh Nijjar]




                                              ...................................J.

                                                     [Gyan Sudha Misra]


New Delhi;

November 03, 2011.                                       





                                                                      28

no court should give directions against the law for consideration of promotion=We, therefore, find that although the respondent no.1 was eligible for consideration for promotion to the post of

posted 20 Oct 2011, 07:21 by murali mohan Mandagaddi

                                                     Non-Reportable


              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA



                CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


               CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3692 OF 2006


Union of India & Ors.                                        ...     Appellants



                                  Versus



B.S. Darjee & Anr.                                         ... Respondents





                          J U D G M E N T


A. K. PATNAIK, J.




      This   is   an   appeal  against   the  order   dated  26.08.2004 



of   the   Division   Bench   of   the   Madras   High   Court   in   Writ 



Petition No. 7929 of 2000 (for short `the impugned order').




2.    The facts very briefly are that the respondent no.1 was 



working   as   Constable   (General   Duty)   under   the   Central 



Industrial Security Force (for short `the CISF').   In 1993, he  



was considered for promotion to the rank of Lance Naik and 



was   empanelled   for   such   promotion.     Before   he   was 



appointed   as   Lance   Naik,   however,   he   was   awarded   the 



punishment of withholding of one increment for a period of 

.
                                     2




one   year   and   as   per   circulars   of   the   Department   of 



Personnel   and   Training,   Government   of   India,   his 



empanelment for  promotion  to the rank of Lance Naik had 



to   be   cancelled   on   account   of   the   punishment.     In   1994, 



respondent no.1 was again considered for promotion and he 



was   found   fit,   but   before   his   actual   promotion   he   was 



awarded punishment of withholding of one increment for a 



period  of  one  year   and   his  promotion   was   again  cancelled. 



In   1995,   he   was   again   considered   and   empanelled   for 



promotion to the post of Lance Naik, but before he could be 



appointed, he was awarded the punishment of censure and 



his   empanelment   for   promotion   was   cancelled.     In   1996-



1997,   he   was   again   considered   for   promotion   but   he   was 



not found fit by the Departmental Promotion Committee (for 



short `the DPC').  




3.      The rank of Lance Naik in CISF was rationalized and  



Lance   Naiks   also   became   Constables   with   effect   from 



10.10.1997,   but   in   the   seniority   list,   Constables   who   were 



junior to respondent no.1 in service but had been promoted 



as Lance Naiks were placed above the respondent no.1 as he 



had   not   been   promoted   to   the   rank   of   Lance   Naik.     From 

.
                                      3




1998 onwards, Constables who had completed ten years of 



service   in   the   rank   of   Constables   including   the   service 



rendered   by   them   in   the   rank   of   Lance   Naik   prior   to 



10.10.1997  were eligible  for   promotion  to  the  post  of Head 



Constables.     Under   the   relevant   circulars,   however,   such 



Constables were to be considered only if they came into the 



zone   of   consideration   as   per   the   seniority   list   and   as   the 



respondent No.1 did not come into the zone of consideration 



for   promotion   to   the   post   of   Head   Constable   in   the   years 



1998,   1999   and   2000,   he   was   not   considered   for   such 



promotion.  




4.    Aggrieved,   the   respondent   no.1   filed   Writ   Petition   No. 



7929   of   2000   before   the   High   Court   and   contended   that 



though   as   a   Constable   he   had   put   in   ten   years   of   service 



and was eligible for consideration for promotion, he has not 



been   considered   for   promotion   since   1998.     By   the 



impugned   order,   the   High   Court   held   that   the   respondent 



no.1  was considered by the  DPC  for  promotion  in  the   year 



1997  and   was   not  found   fit  for   promotion,  but  he  has   not  



been considered for promotion in the years 1998, 1999 and 



2000.   The High Court further held in the impugned order 

.
                                    4




that in the counter affidavit it was indicated that as per the 



messages   received   from   the   Head   Quarters,   only   Lance 



Naiks   had   been   considered   for   promotion,   but   such 



consideration was not proper as under the rules, Constables 



on completion of ten years of service were also eligible and 



there   was   no   justification   to   ignore   the   case   of   the 



respondent   no.1   for   promotion   to   the   post   of   Head 



Constable  in   the   years   1998,  1999  and   2000.   Accordingly, 



the   High   Court,   by   the   impugned   order,   directed   the 



appellants   to   consider   the   case   of   respondent   no.1   for 



promotion from 1998 onwards. 




5.    We have heard Mr. A.S. Chandhiok, learned Additional 



Solicitor General appearing for the appellants.   No one has, 



however, appeared for the respondents despite notice.  




6.    We   find   that   under   the   relevant   rules   and   circulars 



issued   by   the   Directorate   General,   CISF,   Constables   who 



have completed ten years of service in the rank of Constable  



including   the   service   rendered   in   the   rank   of   Lance   Naik 



prior to 10.10.1997, were eligible for promotion to the post  



of   Head   Constable   and   also   came   within   the   zone   of 

.
                                      5




consideration, could only be considered for promotion to the 



post  of Head Constable.   The  case of  the  appellants  in  the  



counter   affidavit   filed   before   the   High   Court   was   that   the 



respondent   no.1,   though   eligible,   did   not   come   within   the 



zone   of   consideration   for   promotion   to   the   post   of   Head 



Constable in the years 1998, 1999 and 2000.   The relevant  



portion   of   the   counter   affidavit   filed   on   behalf   of   the  



appellants before the High Court is extracted hereinbelow:




        "The   DPC   held   in   the   years   1998,   1999   and 

        2000 for promotion to the rank of HC/GD had 

        considered the cases of L/Naiks upto PSL No. 

        9197, 9286 and 11704 respectively.  Since the 

        petitioner is not holding the rank of L/Naik, he 

        could   not   come   under   the   zone   of 

        consideration   for   promotion   to   the   rank   of 

        HC/GD   on   the   basis   of   his   seniority   in   the 

        rank of Constable so far."




The aforesaid averments made in the counter affidavit filed 



on   behalf   of   the   appellants   before   the   High   Court   are 



supported   by   circulars   dated   21.01.1998,   07.01.1999   and 



08.01.2000,   copies   of   which   are   annexed   to   the   Special 



Leave Petition as Annexures P5, P6 and P7. 




7.    We, therefore, find that  although  the respondent no.1 



was   eligible   for   consideration   for   promotion   to   the   post   of 

.
                                      6




Head   Constable   having   completed   ten   years   of   service   as 



Constable, he could not be considered for promotion in the 



years 1998, 1999 and 2000 on account of his lower position 



in the seniority list of Constables and Lance Naiks, who had 



been   rationalized   as   Constables,   were   considered   for 



promotion because they had been placed above respondent 



no.1 in the seniority list.  The High Court has by impugned 



order   directed   consideration   of   the   respondent   no.1   for 



promotion   to   the   post   of   Head   Constable   during   the   years 



1998, 1999 and 2000 because it took the view that not only  



Lance Naiks but also Constables who have put in ten years 



service   were   eligible   to   be   considered   for   promotion   to   the 



post   of   Head   Constable.     The   High   Court   has   failed   to 



appreciate   that,   for   consideration   for   promotion,   a 



Constable   must   not   only   be   eligible,   but   also   must   come 



within   the   zone   of   consideration   and   as   per   the   circulars 



dated   21.01.1998,   07.01.1999   and   08.01.2000   (Annexures 



P5, P6 and P7 to the Special Leave Petition), the respondent  



no.1,   though   eligible,   did   not   come   within   the   zone   of 



consideration for promotion to the post of Head Constable. 



The   High   Court   was,   therefore,   not   right   in   issuing   a 

.
                                         7




direction   in   the   impugned   order   to   the   appellants   to 



consider respondent no.1 for promotion in the post of Head 



Constable   for   the   years   1998,   1999   and   2000.     (We   may 



mention here that the respondent no.1 has been considered, 



in   the   meanwhile,   and   has   been   promoted   as   Head 



Constable in the year 2000).




8.     We   accordingly   allow   this   appeal   and   set   aside   the 



impugned order of the High Court with no order as to costs. 





                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (P. Sathasivam)




                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (A. K. Patnaik)

New Delhi,

October 20, 2011.   

when a constable pointed the gun against the superior, awarding sentence to stand till raising and dismissal order from service is not strikingly extreme disproportionate = In Union of India vs. R.K. Sharma (AIR 2001 SC 3053), this Court has taken the view that the punishment should not be merely disproportionate but should be strikingly disproportionate to warrant interference by the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution and it was only in an extreme case, where on the face of it there is

posted 20 Oct 2011, 06:52 by murali mohan Mandagaddi

                                                          Reportable


              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA



               CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


               CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2177 OF 2006


The Commandant, 22 Battalion,

CRPF Srinagar, C/o 56/APO & Ors.                ...     Appellants



                                 Versus



Surinder Kumar                                            ... Respondent





                         J U D G M E N T


A. K. PATNAIK, J.



      This is an appeal against the order dated 12.02.2004 of 



the Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 



L.P.A. No.600-A 1999 (for short `the impugned order').




2.    The   facts   very   briefly   are   that   the   respondent   was 



working as a Constable in the Central Reserve Police Force (for 



short   `the   CRPF').     A   complaint   was   lodged   against   the 



respondent.     It   was   alleged   in   the   complaint   that   he   was 



detailed   with   vehicle   no.25   to   carry   patrolling   party   on 



Chandel   Palel   Road   but   he   left   the   vehicle   unattended   and 



absented   himself   without   permission   of   his   superior   officer 

.
                                     2




and reported on his own after 20 minutes.  It was also alleged 



in   the   complaint   that   while   he   was   on   duty,   he   consumed 



illicit   alcohol   and   in   an   inebriated   state   of   mind   misbehaved 



with  his superior  officer H.N. Singh, snatched his AK-47 rifle 



and   pointed   the   barrel   of   the   rifle   to   him   and   on   the 



intervention   of   Lachhi   Ram,   Assistant   Commandant,   the 



barrel   of   the   rifle   was   pointed   upward   and   an   untoward 



incident was avoided.   A copy of the complaint was served on 



the respondent and a disciplinary enquiry was conducted and 



the Assistant Commandant-cum-Magistrate First Class in his 



order dated 10.06.1993 found the respondent guilty of charges 



and convicted him and sentenced him to imprisonment till the 



rising of the Court.  By a separate order dated 10.06.1993, the  



Commandant also dismissed the respondent from service.




3.    Aggrieved,   the   respondent   challenged   the   order   dated 



10.06.1993   passed   by   the   Assistant   Commandant-cum-



Magistrate First Class as well as the order of dismissal dated 



10.06.1993   passed   by   the   Commandant   in   Writ   Petition 



No.555   of   1994   before   the   High   Court.     The   Learned   Single  



Judge   dismissed   the   writ   petition   on   09.11.1998.     The 



respondent challenged the order of the learned Single Judge in 

.
                                      3




L.P.A.   No.   600-A   1999   and   by   the   impugned   order,   the 



Division   Bench   held   that   the   punishment   of   dismissal   of   the 



respondent was disproportionate in as much as his conviction 



was   till   the   rising   of   the   court   for   having   committed   a   less 



heinous offence.   By the impugned order, the Division Bench 



of   the   High   Court   directed   the   appellants   to   reconsider   the 



nature   and   quantum   of   punishment   awarded   to   the 



respondent and accordingly grant him consequential benefits.




4.    Mr.   Ashok   Bhan,   learned   counsel   for   the   appellants, 



submitted   that   the   respondent   was   punished   with 



imprisonment for  one day by the judgment dated 10.06.1993 



of   the   Assistant   Commandant-cum-Magistrate   First   Class   for 



having   committed  a  less  heinous  offence  under  Section  10(n) 



of   the   Central   Reserve   Police   Force   Act,   1949   (for   short   `the 



Act').  He submitted that Section 12(1) of the Act provides that 



every person sentenced under the Act to imprisonment may be 



dismissed   from   the   CRPF   and   in   exercise   of   this   power   the 



Commandant   22   Battalion,   CRPF,   dismissed   the   respondent 



from   service   by   order   dated   10.06.1993.     He   submitted   that  



the   findings   in   the   judgment   of   the   Assistant   Commandant-



cum-Magistrate   in   the   order   under   Section   10(n)   of   the   Act 

.
                                      4




would show that the respondent was guilty of grave charges of 



indiscipline   and   therefore   the   Division   Bench   of   the   High 



Court   was   not   right   in   coming   to   the   conclusion   in   the  



impugned order that the punishment of dismissal from service 



was disproportionate.




5.    Mr.   J.P.   Dhanda,   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the 



respondent,   on   the   other   hand,  submitted   that  Section   10   of 



the   Act   is   titled   `Less   heinous   offences'   and   it   is   under 



Section   10(n)   that   the   respondent   has   been   punished   for 



imprisonment till the rising of the court.  He argued that for a 



less heinous offence and for an imprisonment till rising of the  



Court,   the   respondent   could   not   have   been   dismissed   from 



service.  He submitted that in Union of India vs. Parma Nanda 



(AIR   1989   SC   1185),   this   Court   has   held   that   even   in   cases  



where   an   enquiry   is   dispensed   with   under   the   proviso   (b)   to  



Article   311(2)   of   the   Constitution   if   the   penalty   impugned   is 



apparently unreasonable or uncalled for, having regard to the 



nature of the criminal charge, the Administrative Tribunal may 



step in to render substantial justice and may remit the matter 



to   the   competent   authority   for   reconsideration   or   itself 



substitute   one   of   the   penalties.     He   submitted   that   the   High 

.
                                       5




Court has relied upon the decision in Union of India vs. Parma  



Nanda (supra) and has set aside the order of dismissal without  



going   into   the   merits   of   the   findings   of   the   Assistant 



Commandant-cum   Magistrate   on   the   charges   against   the 



respondent.




6.    We   have   considered   the   submissions   of   the   learned 



counsel   for   the   parties   and   we   find   that   the   respondent   has  



been   imprisoned   by   the   judgment   of   the   Assistant 



Commandant-cum   Magistrate   under   Section   10(n)   of   the   Act 



and has been dismissed from service by a separate order of the 



Commandant, 22 Battalion, CRPF passed under Section 12(1) 



of  the  Act.    Sections   10(n)  and   12(1)  of  the  Act  are  extracted  



hereinbelow:



      "10.  Less heinous  offences:- Every member of the 

      Force who



               (n)   is   guilty   of   any   act   or   omission 

               which, though not specified in this Act, 

               is   prejudicial   to   good   order   and 

               discipline; or



      shall   be   punishable   with   imprisonment   for   a   term 

      which   may   extend   to   one   year,   or   with   the   fine 

      which   may   extend   to   three   months'   pay,   or   with 

      both.



      12.     Place   of   imprisonment   and   liability   to 

      dismissal   on   imprisonment.-(1)   Every   person 

.
                                      6




      sentenced   under   this   Act   to   imprisonment   may   be 

      dismissed from the Force, and shall further be liable 

      to forfeiture of pay, allowance and any other moneys 

      due to him as well as of any medals and decorations  

      received by him."



It will be clear from Section 10(n) of the Act that a member of 



the   CRPF   who   is   guilty   of   any   act   or   omission   which   is 



prejudicial   to   good   order   and   discipline   is   punishable   with  



imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with 



fine   which   may   extend   to   three   months'   pay,   or   with   both. 



Section 12(1) of the Act provides that every person sentenced 



under   this   Act   to   imprisonment   may   be   dismissed   from   the 



CRPF.     The   word   "may"   in   Section   12(1)   of   the   Act   confers   a 



discretion   on   the   competent   authority   whether   or   not   to 



dismiss   a   member   of   the   CRPF   from   service   pursuant   to   a 



sentence of imprisonment under the Act and while exercising 



the   discretion,   the   competent   authority   has   to   consider 



various relevant factors including the nature of the offence for 



which he has been sentenced to imprisonment. 




7.    In   the   present   case,   the   acts   of   indiscipline   of   the 



respondent which have been established beyond doubt by the 



Assistant   Commandant-cum-Magistrate   are   that   the 



respondent left his party without permission while on duty in 

.
                                      7




the operational area for 20 minutes and returned on his own  



and he got enraged when H.N. Singh, Assistant Commandant, 



decided   to   take   him   for   medical   examination   when   he   found 



him to be in a state of intoxication and he snatched the AK-47 



rifle of H.N. Singh and pointed the barrel towards him and due 



to the intervention of Lachhi Ram, Assistant Commandant, an 



untoward   incident   was   avoided.     These   acts   of   indiscipline 



were obviously prejudicial to the good order and discipline and 



when   committed   by   a   member   of   a   disciplined   force   like   the  



CRPF were serious enough to warrant dismissal from service.  




8.      The Division Bench of the High Court has taken a view 



in   the   impugned   order   that   as   the   respondent   has   been 



punished for imprisonment for a less heinous offence and only 



till   the   rising   of   the   court,   the   punishment   of   dismissal   was 



disproportionate.  The Division Bench of the High Court failed 



to   appreciate   that   for   less   heinous   offences   enumerated   in 



Section 10 of the Act, a person was liable for punishment with 



imprisonment and under Section 12(1) of the Act every person 



sentenced   under   the   Act   to   imprisonment   was   liable   to   be 



dismissed   from   the   CRPF.     In   other   words,   the   legislative 



intent was that once a member of the CRPF was sentenced for 

.
                                       8




imprisonment under  the  Act, he  was also  liable for  dismissal 



from   service.     The   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court,   in   our  



considered   opinion,   should   have   looked   into   the   acts   of 



indiscipline   proved   against   the   respondent   for   which   he   has  



been   sentenced   to   imprisonment   and   then   decided   whether 



the   dismissal   of   the   respondent   from   service   was 



disproportionate   to   the   gravity   of   acts   of   indiscipline.     As   we  



have   already   held,   the   acts   of   indiscipline   for   which   the 



respondent had been sentenced for imprisonment were serious 



and   grave   for   a   disciplined   force.     Therefore,   the   competent 



authority   was   right   in   imposing   the   punishment   of   dismissal 



from service.




9.    Moreover,   it   appears   from   the   impugned   order   that   the 



High   Court   has   in   exercise   of   power   of   judicial   review 



interfered   with   the   punishment   of   dismissal   on   the   ground 



that it was disproportionate.  In Union of India vs. R.K. Sharma 



(AIR   2001   SC   3053),   this   Court   has   taken   the   view   that   the 



punishment should not be merely disproportionate but should 



be   strikingly   disproportionate   to   warrant   interference   by   the 



High   Court   under   Article   226   of   the   Constitution   and   it   was 



only   in   an   extreme   case,   where   on   the   face   of   it   there   is 

.
                                         9




perversity   or   irrationality   that   there   can   be   judicial   review 



under   Articles   226   or   227   or   under   Article   32   of   the 



Constitution.    Since   this   is  not   one   of  those  cases  where  the 



punishment   of   dismissal   was   strikingly   disproportionate   or 



where on the face of it there was perversity or irrationality, the 



Division Bench of the High Court ought not to have interfered  



with the order of dismissal from service.




10.    We,   accordingly,   allow   this   appeal   and   set   aside   the 



impugned order of the Division Bench of the High Court.   No 



costs.




                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (P. Sathasivam)




                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (A. K. Patnaik)

New Delhi,

October 20, 2011.   

The facts very briefly are that the respondent no.1 worked as a Branch Manager of the appellant-Bank at Sirsaganj Branch. He was served with a charge-sheet dated 22.12.1999 alleging various acts of misconduct as the Branch Manager of Sirsaganj Branch. = This Court has held in State of Andhra Pradesh and Others v. Sree Rama Rao (AIR 1963 SC 1723):

posted 14 Oct 2011, 07:17 by murali mohan Mandagaddi   [ updated 14 Oct 2011, 07:17 ]

   
                                                       Reportable


              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA



               CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


              CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2930 OF 2009




State Bank of India                                ...    Appellant



                                Versus



Ram Lal Bhaskar & Anr.                               ... Respondents





                         J U D G M E N T


A. K. PATNAIK, J.





      This   is   an   appeal  against   the  order   dated  12.04.2006 



of  the  Division   Bench  of  the   Allahabad  High  Court  in  Civil  



Miscellaneous Writ Petition No. 8415 of 2003. 



2.    The   facts   very   briefly   are   that   the   respondent   no.1 



worked   as   a   Branch   Manager   of   the   appellant-Bank   at 



Sirsaganj Branch.  He was served with a charge-sheet dated 



22.12.1999   alleging   various   acts   of   misconduct   as   the 



Branch   Manager   of   Sirsaganj   Branch.   Thereafter,   an 



enquiry was conducted and the enquiry officer submitted a 

.
                                       2




report   dated   28.09.2000   holding   that   four   out   of   the   six 



charges   were   proved   against   the   respondent   no.1.     The 



charges   No.1,   2,   4   and   6   which   were   proved   against   the 



respondent no.1 in the enquiry are as follows:



"Sl.No.                               CHARGES

1.         He   authorized   opening   of   a   Savings   Bank   Account 

           No.18776   on   31st  March   1999   in   the   name   of 

           "Trailokya Bauddha  Mahasanga  Sahayake  Gane" a 

           religious   body   at   he   Sirsaganj   Branch   without 

           completing   the   formalities   connected   with   opening 

           of new accounts of such societies.



2.         He   debited   Savings   Bank   Account   No.18776   of 

           "Trailokya   Bauddha   Mahasanga   Sahayaka   Gane" 

           with Rs.one lac on 04.08.1999 on forged signatures 

           of   the   depositor   and   credited   the   amount   to   his 

           Savings   Bank   Account   No.101/18360   at   the 

           Branch.     The   debit   and   credit   vouchers   have   been 

           passed by him.



4.         Zonal   Office   vide   S.L.   No.P&C/483   dated 

           08.12.1998 advised the Branch regarding posting of 

           Field   Officer/Manager   (Agri)   at   the   Branch   and 

           handing   over   the   relative   charge   to   the   concerned 

           persons.          He   intentionally   did   not   make 

           arrangements   for   handing   over   the   charge   of   Field 

           Officer/Manager   (Agri)   to   the   concerned   officers 

           despite Zonal instructions.

            

           Further,   the   loan   applications   received   at   the 

           Branch   were   sanctioned   by   him   without   the 

           recommendations of Field Officer/Manager (Agri).



6.         He   claimed   false   T.A.   Bill   viz.   Rs.150/-for   going   to 

           various   villages   on   15.05.1999   as   included   in   his 

           monthly   Bill   for   Rs.1,275/-   for   the   month   of   May 

           1999 and at the  same time, also claimed Rs.275/- 

           as   TA   Bill   for   15.05.1999   for   visiting   Zonal   Office, 

.
                                         3




          Agra thus he lodged false Bill for his official work."

                                                                                        



  A copy of the enquiry report was served on the respondent 



no.1  and  the  respondent  no.1 was  given an  opportunity  to 



submit   his   representation   against   the   findings   of   the 



enquiry   officer.     The   appointing   authority   then   considered 



the   enquiry   report   and   the   records   of   the   enquiry   and   the 



submissions made by the respondent no.1 and imposed the  



penalty of dismissal from service by order dated 15.05.2001.  



The respondent no.1 filed an appeal against the order of the  



appointing authority, but the appellate authority dismissed 



the appeal by order dated 09.03.2002.  The respondent no.1 



filed   a   Review   Petition,   but   the   reviewing   committee   also 



dismissed the Review Petition by order dated 20.12.2002. 



3.    Aggrieved,          the         respondent         no.1         filed         Civil 



Miscellaneous Writ Petition No. 8415 of 2003 and the High 



Court,   after   hearing   the   learned   counsel   for   the   parties, 



allowed the Writ Petition and quashed the order of dismissal 



passed   by   the   appointing   authority   as   well   as   the   order 



passed   by   the   appellate   authority   and,   as   the   respondent 



no.1 had already retired from service, directed the appellant 

.
                                      4




to release his arrears of salary as well as the post retirement 



benefits.  



4.    Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there 



were   charges   of   grave   misconduct   against   the   respondent 



no.1   and   four   of   the   six   charges   had   been   proved   in   the  



enquiry.     He   submitted   that   the   findings   of   the   enquiry 



officer   on   the   four   charges   proved   against   the   respondent 



no.1 were based on relevant material and these findings had 



also   been   confirmed   by   the   appellate   and   reviewing 



authorities.     He   submitted   that   contrary   to   the   settled 



position   of   law   that   the   High   Court,   while   exercising   its 



powers   of   judicial   review   under   Article   226   of   the 



Constitution,   should   not   interfere   with   the   finding   in   the 



departmental   enquiry   so   long   as   it   is   based   on   some 



evidence   in   the   impugned   order,   the   High   Court   has 



interfered with findings in the enquiry and has held that the 



respondent   no.1   was   not   guilty   of   the   charges.     By   the 



impugned order, the High Court has also quashed the order 



of dismissal and has directed release of the arrears of salary  



and post retirement benefits of the respondent no.1. 

.
                                      5




5.    Learned counsel for the respondent no.1, on the other 



hand, supported the impugned order of the High Court and 



submitted that there is no  infirmity in the impugned order 



of   the   High   Court.     He   further   submitted   that   in   any   case 



the respondent no.1 had retired from service on 31.01.2000, 



and   though   the   charge-sheet   was   served   on   him   on 



22.12.1999 when he was still in service, the enquiry report 



was  served on  him  by letter   dated 28.09.2000  and  he  was  



dismissed   from   service   on   15.05.2001   after   he   had   retired 



from service.   He submitted that after the retirement of the 



respondent   no.1,   the   appellant   had   no   jurisdiction   to 



continue with the enquiry against the respondent no.1.   In 



support   of   this   contention,   he   cited   the   decision   of   this 



Court   in  UCO   Bank   and   Another   v.   Rajinder   Lal   Capoor 



[(2007) 6 SCC 694].



6.    We   have   perused   the   decision   of   this   Court   in  UCO  



Bank and Another v. Rajinder Lal Capoor (supra) and we find 



that   in   the   facts   of   that   case   the   delinquent   officer   had  



already superannuated on 01.11.1996 and the charge-sheet 



was   issued   after   his   superannuation   on   13.11.1998   and 



this   Court   held   that   the   delinquent   officer   having   been 

.
                                        6




allowed   to   superannuate,   the   charge-sheet,   the   enquiry 



report and   the  orders  of  the  disciplinary  authority  and   the 



appellate   authority   must   be   held   to   be   illegal   and   without 



jurisdiction.   In the  facts of the  present  case, on   the  other 



hand,   we   find   that   the   charge-sheet   was   issued   on 



22.12.1999   when   the   respondent   no.1   was   in   service   and 



there were clear provisions in Rule 19(3) of the State Bank 



of   India   Officers'   Service   Rules,   1992,   that   in   case 



disciplinary proceedings under the relevant rules of service 



have been initiated against an officer before he ceased to be  



in the Bank's service by the operation of, or by virtue of, any  



of   the   rules   or   the   provisions   of   the   rules,   the   disciplinary  



proceedings may, at the discretion of the Managing Director, 



be continued and concluded by the authority by which the 



proceedings were initiated in the manner provided for in the 



rules as if the officer continues to be in service, so however, 



that he shall be deemed to be in service only for the purpose  



of the continuance and conclusion of such proceedings.  We 



may mention here that a similar provision was also relied on 



behalf  of  UCO  Bank  in  UCO   Bank  and   Another   v.  Rajinder  



Lal   Capoor  (supra)  in  regulation   20(3)(iii)   of   the   UCO   Bank 

.
                                      7




Officers Employees Service Rules, 1979, but this Court held 



that   the   aforesaid   regulation   could   be   invoked   only   when 



the disciplinary proceedings had been initiated prior to the 



delinquent   officer   ceased   to   be   in   service.     Thus,   the 



aforesaid decision of this Court in UCO Bank and Another v.  



Rajinder Lal Capoor (supra) does not support the respondent 



no.1 and there is no merit in the contention of the counsel 



for   the   respondent   no.1   that   the   enquiry   and   the   order   of 



dismissal were illegal and without jurisdiction.  



7.    Coming now to the contention of the appellant, we find 



that   the  enquiry officer  has  found that   charges no.  1, 2, 4 



and 6 had been proved against the respondent no.1.   While 



arriving at these findings on the four charges proved against 



the   respondent   no.1,   the   enquiry   officer   has   considered   a 



number   of   documents   marked   as   exhibits   and   has   also 



considered   the   documents   produced   on   behalf   of   the 



respondent   no.1   and   marked   as   exhibits.     The   findings   of  



the   enquiry   officer   were   based   on   evidence   and   the 



appointing   authority   had   agreed   with   the   findings   of   the 



enquiry   officer.     This   Court   has   held   in  State   of   Andhra  



Pradesh and Others v. Sree Rama Rao  (AIR 1963 SC 1723):

.
                                       8




         "The   High   Court   is   not   constituted   in   a 

         proceeding   under   Article   226   of   the 

         Constitution   a   Court   of   appeal   over   the 

         decision   of   the   authorities   holding   a 

         departmental enquiry against a public servant: 

         it   is   concerned   to   determine   whether   the 

         enquiry   is   held   by   an   authority   competent   in 

         that   behalf,   and   according   to   the   procedure 

         prescribed   in   that   behalf,   and   whether   the 

         rules of natural justice are not violated.  Where 

         there   is   some   evidence,   which   the   authority 

         entrusted   with   the   duty   to   hold   the   enquiry 

         has   accepted   and   which   evidence   may 

         reasonably   support   the   conclusion   that   the 

         delinquent   officer   is   guilty   of   the   charge,   it   is 

         not the function of the High Court in a petition 

         for   a   writ   under   Article   226   to   review   the 

         evidence   and   to   arrive   at   an   independent 

         finding on the evidence."



8.    Thus,   in   a   proceeding   under   Article   226   of   the 



Constitution,   the   High   Court   does   not   sit   as   an   appellate 



authority over the findings of the disciplinary authority and 



so   long   as   the   findings   of   the   disciplinary   authority   are 



supported   by   some   evidence   the   High   Court   does   not   re-



appreciate   the   evidence   and   come   to   a   different   and 



independent   finding   on   the   evidence.     This   position   of   law 



has been reiterated in several decisions by this Court which 



we need not refer to, and yet by the impugned judgment the 



High   Court   has   re-appreciated   the   evidence   and   arrived   at 



the   conclusion   that   the   findings   recorded   by   the   enquiry 

.
                                         9




officer are not substantiated by any material on record and  



the   allegations   leveled   against   the   respondent   no.1   do   not 



constitute   any   misconduct   and   that   the   respondent   no.1 



was not guilty of any misconduct.  



9.     We, therefore, set aside the impugned order of the High 



Court and allow the appeal with no order as to costs.  





                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (R. V. Raveendran)





                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (A. K. Patnaik)





                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (H. L. Gokhale)




New Delhi,

October 13, 2011.   

caste certificate – blessings in disguise = we find that the appellant belongs to `Koli’ tribe and it was in Kumari Madhuri Patil & Anr. v. Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development & Ors. (supra) that it was held that `Mahadeo Koli’ and `Koli’ were not one or the same tribe and that `Koli’ tribe is not a Scheduled Tribe and the decision of this Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil & Anr. v. Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development & Ors. (supra) has been relied upon by the High Court in the impugned judgment in this case to hold that the appellant did not belong to `Mahadeo Koli’ tribe. Before the decision of this Court in Kumari Madhuri Patil & Anr. v. Additional Commissioner, Tribal Development & Ors. (supra), the appellant had been appointed in the service of NABARD on 28.02.1992 and since 1992 for long nineteen years, he has been in service. Invoking our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution, we order that the initial appointment of the appellant in the service of NABARD will not be disturbed, but the appellant will not be granted any

posted 14 Oct 2011, 06:54 by murali mohan Mandagaddi   [ updated 14 Oct 2011, 06:54 ]

                                                            Reportable


               IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA



                CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


               CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7857 OF 2004


Raiwad Manojkumar Nivruttirao                       ...     Appellant



                                  Versus



State of Maharashtra & Anr.                                 ... Respondents





                           J U D G M E N T


A. K. PATNAIK, J.



        This is an appeal against the order dated 05.082003 of 



the Bombay High Court in Writ Petition No.2146 of 2003.




  2.      The   facts   very   briefly   are   that   on   07.06.1990   the 



          Tehsildar   and   Executive   Magistrate   issued   a   caste 



          certificate to the appellant certifying that he belongs 



          to   `Koli   Mahadeo',   which   was   recognized   as   a 



          Scheduled   Tribe   in   the   State   of   Maharashtra.   On 



          28.02.1992,   the   appellant   was   selected   and 



          appointed   to   a   vacancy   of   Clerk   Grade-II   in   the 



          National   Bank   of   Agricultural   and   Rural 

.
                                  2




      Development   (NABARD)   in   a   vacancy   reserved   for 



      Scheduled  Tribe.  The   General  Manager   of   NABARD 



      referred   the   claim   of   the   appellant   as   Scheduled 



      Tribe   for   verification   and   scrutiny.     The   Vigilance 



      Cell   submitted   its   report   on   19.09.2000.     The 



      Scrutiny   Committee   then   called   the   appellant   for 



      interview and when the appellant did not appear on 



      several   dates   fixed   for   the   interview,   it   finally 



      submitted   its   order   on   27.01.2003   that   the 



      appellant   did   not   belong   to   `Koli   Mahadeo', 



      Scheduled Tribe.  




3.    Aggrieved   by   the   findings   of   the   Caste   Scrutiny 


      Committee, the appellant filed Writ Petition No.2146 



      of   2003   in   the   High   Court   challenging   the   order   of 



      the   Caste   Scrutiny   Committee.     By   the   impugned 



      order   dated   05.08.2003,   the   High   Court   dismissed 



      the Writ Petition.   In the impugned order, the High 



      Court   held   that   the   Caste   Scrutiny   Committee   had 



      found from the documents on record that the father 



      of   the   appellant   belonged   to   caste   `Koli'   and   `Koli' 



      and  `Koli  Mahadeo' are different tribes as has been 

.
                                  3




      decided   by   this   Court   in  Kumari   Madhuri   Patil   &  



      Anr. v. Additional  Commissioner, Tribal Development  



      &   Ors.   [AIR   1995   SC   94].     The   High   Court   also 



      found   that   despite   several   notices   issued   to   the 



      appellant,   he   did   not   appear   before   the   Caste 



      Scrutiny  Committee to  attend the  hearing and that 



      the appellant had failed to discharge the burden to 



      prove by producing cogent and reliable evidence that 



      he   belonged   to   the   `Koli   Mahadeo'   tribe   and   not   to 



      `Koli' tribe.  




4.    Learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   made   efforts   to 



      persuade   us   to   set   aside   the   findings   of   the   High 



      Court   and   the   Caste   Scrutiny   Committee,   but   on 



      perusal   of   the   order   of   the   Caste   Scrutiny 



      Committee and the High Court, we are not inclined 



      to do so as we find that there is no infirmity in the 



      order of either the Caste Scrutiny Committee or the 



      High Court.




5.    Learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   next   submitted 


      that   the   appellant   had   been   in   service   since   1992, 

.
                                   4




      almost   for   nineteen   years   and   if   the   appellant   is 



      removed from service on the basis of the order of the 



      Caste   Scrutiny   Committee,   he   will   suffer   immense 



      hardship.     He   cited   the   decision   in  Raju   Ramsing  



      Vasave   v.   Mahesh   Deorao   Bhivapurkar   &   Ors. 



      [(2008)   9   SCC   54]   in   which   this   Court   invoking   its 



      jurisdiction   under   Article   142   of   the   Constitution, 



      directed   that   the   appointment   of   the   respondent 



      no.1   in   that   case,   who   had   put   in   a   long   years   of 



      service, should not be disturbed even though he was 



      found not to be belong to the Scheduled Tribe.   He 



      submitted that a similar relief may be granted to the 



      appellant under Article 142 of the Constitution.




6.    We find on reading of the judgment of this Court in 



      Raju      Ramsing   Vasave             v.   Mahesh   Deorao  



      Bhivapurkar & Ors. (supra) that the respondent no.1 



      in   that   case   claimed   to   be   a   member   of   the 



      Scheduled   Tribe,   namely,   the   `Halba'   tribe.     The 



      caste   of   his   father   in   school   record   was   shown   as 



      `Koshti',   whereas   the   caste   of   his   Uncle   and   his 



      Cousins   were   shown   as   `Halba'.     After   his   MBBS 

.
                             5




course,   he   was   appointed   as   a   Field   Officer   in   the 



Maharashtra   Pollution   Control   Board   against   a 



vacancy   meant   for   Scheduled   Tribe   subject   to 



validity   certificate.     He   filed   a   writ   petition   in   the 



Bombay   High   Court   and   the   Bombay   High   Court 



allowed   the   writ   petition   in   1988.     The   Division 



Bench   of   the   Bombay   High   Court   in   its   judgment 



dated   11.08.1988   held   that   the   respondent   no.1 



should   be   declared   as   belonging   to   `Halba'   tribe   as 



his   other   relatives   have   been   declared   as   such. 



Thereafter,   a   co-employee   of   respondent   no.1 



questioned the caste certificate granted in favour of 



the   respondent   no.1   and   this   Court   held   that   the 



respondent no.1 did not belong to `Halba' tribe and 



was   not   a   Scheduled   Tribe.     In   Para   49   of   the 



judgment,   however,   this   Court   held   invoking   the 



jurisdiction   under   Article   142   of   the   Constitution 



that   it   would   not   be   proper   to   disturb   the   very 



appointment   of   the   respondent   no.1   in   that   case, 



but observed that he shall not be eligible for grant of 



any benefit as a member of Scheduled Tribe.

.
                                   6




7.    In   the   facts   of   the   present   case,   we   find   that   the 


      appellant belongs to `Koli' tribe and it was in Kumari  



      Madhuri   Patil   &   Anr.   v.   Additional   Commissioner,  



      Tribal   Development   &   Ors.   (supra)   that   it   was   held 



      that   `Mahadeo   Koli'   and   `Koli'   were   not   one   or   the 



      same   tribe   and   that   `Koli'   tribe   is   not   a   Scheduled 



      Tribe   and   the   decision   of   this   Court   in  Kumari  



      Madhuri   Patil   &   Anr.   v.   Additional   Commissioner,  



      Tribal   Development   &   Ors.   (supra)   has   been   relied 



      upon by the High Court in the impugned judgment 



      in this case to hold that the appellant did not belong 



      to   `Mahadeo  Koli'  tribe.   Before  the  decision  of  this 



      Court   in  Kumari   Madhuri   Patil   &   Anr.   v.   Additional  



      Commissioner,   Tribal   Development   &   Ors.   (supra), 



      the   appellant   had   been   appointed   in   the   service   of 



      NABARD   on   28.02.1992   and   since   1992     for   long 



      nineteen years, he has been in service.  Invoking our  



      jurisdiction   under   Article   142   of   the   Constitution, 



      we   order   that   the   initial   appointment   of   the 



      appellant   in   the   service   of   NABARD   will   not   be 



      disturbed, but the appellant will not be granted any 

.
                                         7




           benefit   as   a   member   of   the   Scheduled   Tribe 



           including   any   promotional   benefit   and   promotional 



           benefit, if any, granted to the appellant as a member 



           of the Scheduled Tribe shall be cancelled.  We make 



           it clear that the relief extended is not intended to be 



           precedent   and   shall   not   be   relied   upon   to   grant 



           similar relief.




   8.      The   appeal   is   partly   allowed   with   no   order   as   to 



           costs.                



The application for impleadment is dismissed.





                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (R. V. Raveendran)




                                                      .............................J.

                                                           (A. K. Patnaik)

New Delhi,

October 13, 2011.   

apex court gave directions to the education societies =The appellant is an educational society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The issue in these five appeals is with respect to the decision of the appellant to shift the secondary and higher secondary courses of education conducted in its school and intermediate college, affiliated to the Board of High School and Intermediate Education of Uttar Pradesh (`U.P. State Board’ for short), to the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education course (`ICSE course’ for short) by seeking affiliation with the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, New Delhi (`Council’ for short). Civil Appeal Nos.5249-5250 of 2008 and 5251-5252 of 2008 arise out of Writ Petition Nos.119 and 120 (S/S) of 2005 which were filed by a few teachers seeking salary as a consequence of the above order dated 17.11.2004.

posted 13 Oct 2011, 09:40 by murali mohan Mandagaddi   [ updated 13 Oct 2011, 09:41 ]

                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                   CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                    Civil Appeal No. 5244 OF 2008

                                           With

                         Civil Appeal No. 5245 of 2008

                                           With

                         Civil Appeal No. 5246 of 2008

                                           With

                         Civil Appeal No. 5247 of 2008

                                           With

                         Civil Appeal No. 5248 of 2008

                                           With

                Civil Appeal Nos. 5249-5250 of 2008

                                           With

                Civil Appeal Nos. 5251-5252 of 2008


Colvin School Society                                       ... Appellant


                                           Versus


Anil Kumar Sharma & Ors.                                  ...Respondents


                                           With

               Contempt Petition (C) No. 170 of 2005


Dr. B.P. S Chauhan & Ors.                                   ... Petitioners

                                           Versus


Dr. Sanjay Singh, Manager of the

Committee of Management of Colvin

Talqukdars' Inter College and Ors.                        ....Respondents



                                J U D G M E N T


H.L. Gokhale J.
       
             Civil Appeal Nos. 5247, 5244, 5248, 5245, 5246 of 2008 arise out 


of a common order and judgment dated 17.11.2004 passed by a Division Bench 

.
                                                  2


of the Allahabad High Court at Lucknow on five Writ Petitions bearing Nos. 6415 


(S/S) of 2002, 2759 (PIL) of 2003, 2049 (M/S) of 2003, 4704 (S/S) of 2003 and  


7179 (M/B) of 2002.   The appellant  is an educational society  registered  under 


the   Societies   Registration   Act,   1860.     The   issue   in   these   five   appeals   is   with 


respect   to   the   decision   of   the   appellant   to   shift   the   secondary   and   higher 


secondary courses of education conducted in its school and intermediate college, 


affiliated   to   the   Board   of   High   School   and   Intermediate   Education   of   Uttar 


Pradesh   (`U.P.   State   Board'   for   short),   to   the   Indian   Certificate   for   Secondary  


Education  course (`ICSE course' for short) by seeking affiliation with the Council 


for the Indian School Certificate Examination, New Delhi (`Council' for short).



2.               Civil Appeal Nos.5249-5250 of 2008 and 5251-5252 of 2008 arise 


out of Writ Petition Nos.119 and 120 (S/S) of 2005 which were filed by a few  


teachers seeking salary as a consequence of the above order dated 17.11.2004. 


A   learned   Single   Judge   of   Lucknow   Bench   of   the   Allahabad   High   Court   had 


passed a common interim order dated 7.1.2005, on those two writ petitions in 


favour of the teachers, and the appellant had filed Special Appeal Nos. 59 and 60 


of 2005 from those interim orders.   A Division Bench of the High Court hearing 


those two Special Appeals had left the interim orders undisturbed by its common 


order dated 8.2.2005.  These interim orders as well as the orders on the Special  


Appeals   have   been   challenged   by   the   appellant   in   Appeal   Nos.5249-5250   and 


5251-5252 of 2008. 

.
                                                3


3.                The Contempt Petition  (C) No.170/2005 has been filed by a few 


teachers alleging a breach of the interim order passed by this Court in these Civil 


Appeals.



Short facts leading to all these matters are this wise:-



4.              The appellant  is running a school and an intermediate  college  by  


name Colvin Taluqdar's Inter College in the City of Lucknow, U.P..   The college 


was established in the year 1889, and as the name of the college indicates, as  


per   the   social   circumstances   existing   in   those   days,   erstwhile   Zamindars   and 


Taluqdars had a great sway in the management of this college. After the U.P.  


Intermediate Education Act, 1921 came to be passed to regulate the secondary 


education in the State, the school and Inter-college got affiliated with the U.P. 


State Board constituted under the said Act.   The students from this school and 


college have been appearing for the X and XII standard examination, also known  


as the Secondary School Certificate and the Higher Secondary School Certificate  


Examination conducted by this Board. Presently the college and the school run 


by the appellant are situated on a piece of land admeasuring about 89 acres (in  


the   prime   area   of   the   city   of   Lucknow)   which   has   been   leased   out   to   the 


appellant society by the Government of U.P. in 1964 on a nominal yearly rent of 


a few hundred rupees.   The college and the school initially imparted education 


from classes VI to XII, but later on, a primary section was also added in 1967-


68.   The   Government   of   U.P.   sanctioned   a   recurring   grant   of   Rs.   25,000/-   for 


maintenance to the college in the year 1952, and it was increased from time to 


time.  The College received the grants till 1993-94.

.
                                                  4


5.               It is the case of the appellant, that the strata of the society from 


which  the students were  attending  this school and intermediate  college  slowly 


started   preferring   the   schools   affiliated   to   the   ICSE   Course.     The   number   of 


students went on dwindling, and therefore the appellant decided to switch over 


to   the   ICSE   course   run   by   the   Council.   The   management   sought   the   No 


Objection from the State of U.P. for this switch over, and the Joint Secretary of 


the   Education   Department   of   the   State   of   U.P.   informed   the   appellant   by   his  


letter   dated   26.4.1980   that   the   State   Government   had   no   objection   to   the 


appellant-college getting affiliated to the course run by the Council subject to the 


following two conditions:-



                "(1)     An   officer   of   the   Education   Department  
               nominated by the State Government will be included in  
               the   Managing   Committee   by   the   Institution   as   the  
               representative of the State Government.


               (2)       10% of the seats will be kept reserved for the  
               wards   of   the   officers   of   the   State   Government   and  
               admission to other students against such seats will only  
               be possible in case of said students (wards) not being  
               available."


It   is   the   case   of   the   appellant   that   consequently   the   ICSE   Board,   New   Delhi,  


granted   them   certificate   of   affiliation   on   25.11.1980   as   a   result   of   which   the 


appellant-college started imparting education in two wings, viz. a wing attached 


to the ICSE Board, and another with the U.P. State Board.



6.               As the time passed further, the management of the appellant noted 


that the strength of the students taking the course run by the U.P. State Board  


was going  down  rapidly.    Whereas,  in  1995-96 the  students  enrolled  with  the 

.
                                                 5


U.P. State Board were in the range of 1800-1900, by the academic year 2000-01  


the number of such students went down to just about 700.  It also noticed that it 


was   becoming   uneconomical   to   run   the   U.P.   State   Board   Section.   The 


management,  therefore,  thought that it  would  be advisable  to  close  down  the  


U.P. State Board Section.  



7.              The   appellant   accordingly   wrote   to   the   authorities   of   U.P.   State 


Board  on 18.1.2002 that it  had resolved  that its affiliation  with the U.P.  State 


Board   under   Section   7(a)   of   the   U.P.   Intermediate   Education   Act,   1921   be 


surrendered at the end of the academic year 2001-02.  The management of the 


appellant wrote a letter to the authorities concerned on 18.8.2002, wherein they 


stated  that they will continue  to  run the IX and  XI standard  classes for  those 


students who will be appearing for the U.P. State Board examination later, but 


would like to close down the classes of VI to VIII with immediate effect.   After  


sending this letter, the appellant stopped giving admissions for classes VI to VIII. 



8.              In the meanwhile, the District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) wrote to 


the  appellant  on   19.7.2002   that  classes  VI  to  VIII  will  have   to  be  run  by   the 


management   for   the   U.P.   State   Board   Examination.     In   the   letter   dated 


19.7.2002 he specifically stated as follows:-



                "The N.O.C. issued by the State Govt. for its affiliation  
                to ICSE, New Delhi contains a provision under which  
                the   college   would   continue   to   conduct   class   of   6,7,  
                and 8. The Govt. has directed the institution to allow 
                the   students   to   appear   for   the   examination   of   U.P. 

                Board   of   High   School   and   Intermediate   Education 

                alongwith   examinations   of   ICSE.     Under   the 

.
                                                 6


                  circumstances,   it   is   indispensable   to   conduct   the 

                  classes of 6, 7 and 8 by this Institution."


This  was  followed  by  another  letter  dated  7.8.2002,  directing  the appellant  to 


continue the admissions failing which an appropriate action will have to be taken  


against the appellant.



9. (i)    This   led   the   committee   of   management   of   the   appellant   to   file   Writ 


Petition   No.   6415/2002,   wherein   they   challenged   the   communications   dated 


19.7.2002 and 7.8.2002.  In that matter a Single Judge of the High Court passed 


an   interim   order   dated   14.11.2002,   wherein   he   recorded   that   the   counsel 


appearing   for   the   opposite   parties   had   made   a   statement   on   the   basis   of 


instructions,   that   he   had   no   objection   against   the   appellant   giving   up   the  


affiliation with the U.P. State Board.  Accordingly, operation of the letters dated 


19.7.2002 and 7.8.2002 was stayed. 



(ii)      Thereafter   the   college   management   published   a   notice   in   a   Lucknow 


Newspaper Dainik Hindustan on 31.11.2002 for the information of the public at 


large that the classes affiliated with the U.P. State Board were going to be closed 


down.   A few teachers and the Parent-Teachers Association filed a PIL bearing 


No.2759/2003   to   challenge   this   notice,   and   seek   the   appointment   of   an 


authorized controller to run the institution.  



(iii)     One   more   Writ   Petition   bearing   No.   2049/2003   was   filed   by   some   14 


teachers to issue a direction that classes VI to VIII should be directed to be run 


for the U.P. State Board Examination.  

.
                                                7


(iv)    Some junior teachers came to be relieved by the college management by 


order dated 30.7.2003, which led to the filing of one more Writ Petition bearing 


W.P.No.4704/2003 to challenge the said decision and to seek salaries.  



(v)     Thereafter,  a PIL bearing Writ  Petition  No. 7179/2002 was filed  praying 


that   the   Government   should   take   over   the   management   of   the   school,   and 


should not renew the lease of the land given to the institution.



10.            All these five writ petitions came to be heard together by a Division 


Bench.   The principle submission of the appellant was that the objection of the  


respondents to the switch-over to the ICSE course was unjustified and untenable  


in law.  The respondents on the other hand contended that the permission of the 


U.P.  State  Board  for  closing  down  the  U.P.  State course  was  necessary  under  


Regulation  No.10 of the U.P. Intermediate  Education  Act,  1921.   The petitions 


were decided by a Division Bench of the High Court by its judgment and order 


dated 17.11.2004.  The operative para 63 thereof reads as under:-



               "63.    In   view   of   the   conclusion   reached   above,   all  
               the five writ petitions are finally disposed of as under:


               1.      The order dated 30.7.2003 (annexure-1 to 11)  
               by   which   the   services   of   the   petitioners   of   writ  
               petition   No.4704   of   2003   were   dispensed   with,   are  
               quashed with a direction to the College/Management  
               to ensure payment of salary etc. to these teachers as  
               if   the   orders   dated   30.7.2003   were   never   in  
               existence.


               2.      The   opposite   parties   are   directed   to   ensure  
               that   so   long   as   the   UP   Board   Wing   of   the   College  
               continues   to   be   recognized   one,   education   to   the  
               students  from classes  VI to XII  is imparted,  as  was  
               being done prior to the filing of these writ petitions.

.
                                                 8


               3.      The   Board   of   High   School   and   Intermediate  
               Education is hereby directed to take an early decision  
               and   to   communicate   the   decision   so   taken   to   the  
               College,   within   a   period   of  two   months   from   today,  
               under Regulation 10 of Chapter VII of the Regulation  
               on   the   notice/letter   dated   14/18.1.2002   of   the  
               management proposing to close down UP Board Wing  
               of the College.


               4.      In   the   event   of   permission   for   closing   down  
               the   UP   Board   Wing   is   refused   by   the   Board,   the  
               Director   of   Secondary   Education   will   take   action  
               under   sub-section   (3)   of   Section   16-D   of   the   Act,  
               either   for   withdrawing   the   recognition   or   for  
               appointment  of  Authorized  Controller   and  the  Board  
               or   the   Government,   as   the   case   may   be,   will   take  
               suitable action according to law as early as possible,  
               keeping in view the next ensuing academic session.


               5.      In case the Board refuses to closing down of  
               the   institution   under   Regulation   10   of   Chapter   VII,  
               the   Govt.   of   UP   will   take   necessary   steps   within   a  
               period of two months from the date of decision of the  
               Board, for bringing the teachers and the staff of UP  
               Board Wing within the purview of the Act of 1971 and  
               will also take steps within the same period to take the  
               College   in   the   list   of   Colleges   receiving   grant-in-aid  
               and   this   arrangement   shall   continue   so   long   as   the  
               recognition of the UP Board Wing continues.


               6.      The   Director   of  Secondary   Education   and   the  
               Government of UP are commanded to ensure in due  
               course that the affairs of the UP Board Wing of the  
               College run in accordance with the Approved Scheme  
               of   Administration   consistent   with   the   principles  
               enumerated in Third Schedule of the Act of 1921.


               7.      The   Government   of   UP   is   further   directed   to  
               ensure   that   classes   VI,   VII   and   VIII   which   were  
               running   earlier,   run   further   unless   closing   down   of  
               those   classes   is   permitted   by   it   or   by   the   authority  
               competent to do so."



11.            The   appellant-committee   of   management   felt   aggrieved   by   this 


order   and,  therefore,  filed  Civil   Appeal   Nos.  5244,  5245,   5246,   5247,   5248  of 

.
                                                  9


2008  to   challenge   the   said   common   order.     When   the   Special   Leave   Petitions 


leading   to   these   appeals   first   came   up   for   consideration   on   17.12.2004,   this 


Court issued notice and passed an order of status-quo in the following terms:-



                "Status-quo in regard to the services of the teachers  
                shall continue till further orders in terms of direction  
                contained   in   paragraph   63(1),   subject   to   the  
                condition that the teachers would teach the course as  
                directed by the petitioner-management.


                Other directions of the High Court are stayed."



12.             Thereafter, when these Special Leave Petitions came up for further 


consideration   on   14.3.2005,   a   grievance   was   made   by   the   appellant-


management that some of the teachers were misusing the order passed by this 


Court,   and   were   disturbing   the   conduct   of   the   classes.     This   allegation   was 


denied   by   the   counsel   for   the   teachers.     Thereupon,   this   Court   passed   the  


following order:-



                "On   behalf   of   the   petitioner-Management,   with  
                reference to the order dated 17th December, 2004, it  
                is submitted that the teachers have been directed to  
                teach ISCE course but, instead of so doing, they are  
                disturbing the conduct of classes and continue to sit  
                outside   the   room   of  the   principal   and  others.     It   is  
                seriously   disputed   by   learned   counsel   representing  
                teachers.   By order dated 17th  December, 2004, the  
                order  of  status-quo in   regard  to the services   of the  
                teachers   was   continued   in   terms   of   directions  
                contained  in  para  63(1)  of the impugned judgment,  
                subject   to   the   condition   that   the   teachers   would  
                teach   their   courses   as   directed   by   the   petitioner-
                management.     If   the   teachers,   in   violation   of   that  
                order, decline to teach the courses as directed by the  
                Management, they would do so at their own peril.  

.
                                                  10


                          It   has   been   submitted   on   behalf   of   the  
                 teachers   that   without   any   reservation,   they   are  
                 prepared to teach ISCE course.   In order to obviate  
                 any   dispute   at   a   later   stage,   let   the   Management  
                 supply   to  the  advocate   on   record   appearing   for   the  
                 teachers   the   details   of   the   course   required   to   be  
                 taught by the teachers and the time table."



13. (i)          Subsequently, all these five Special Leave Petitions were admitted 


and   converted   into   Civil   Appeals.     The   interim   order   was   directed   to   continue  


until further orders.  Later, the appellant took out I.A. No.8/2010 to point out the  


indiscipline on the part of some of the teachers, and sought modification of the 


order dated 17.12.2004.  This Court declined to modify that order.  However, by 


its order dated 5.7.2010 it granted liberty to the appellant-management to take 


disciplinary action against those teachers, if there was any violation as per the 


statute applicable to them.   The consequence of all these orders has been that 


the   interim   stay   granted   by   a   Single   Judge   of   the   High   Court   on   14.11.2002  


against the operation of the letters dated 19.7.2002 and 7.8.2002 is continuing 


to   operate,   since   all   the   directions   in   paragraphs   63(2)   to   63(7)   in   the   final 


judgment have been stayed by this Court.  However, it must be noted that this 


Court has passed the above order subject to the rider that the status-quo with 


respect   to   the   teachers   will   continue   till   further   orders.     It   means   that   the 


teachers will continue in this college subject to the condition that they will have 


to teach the course as directed by the appellant-management.  Thereafter, there 


has been a grievance that some of the teachers were creating disturbances and  


the   management   has   been   granted   liberty   to   take   disciplinary   actions,   if 


necessary.  

.
                                                11


(ii)     One   more   consequence   of   these   proceedings   has   been   that   some 


teachers have contended that the college management is not implementing the 


interim order dated 17.12.2004 passed by this Court since they were not being 


given the regular work and were kept in the reserve pool.  They filed a Contempt  


Petition (C) bearing No.170/2005 which has been directed to be heard with the 


Civil Appeals.  



(iii)    Since all these matters raise questions which are inter connected,  all of 


them are heard and are being disposed of together.   C.A Nos. 5249-5250 and 


5251-5252 of 2008 are also heard and are being decided together with them.



14.               The   question   which   arises   in   this   matter   is   as   to   whether   the 


appellant was entitled to close down the U.P. State Board Section in the manner 


in   which   it   did,   and   if   not   what   should   be   the   order,   and   whether   the  


consequential order of the High Court was justified.



15.             The   principle   submission   of   the   appellant   has   been   that   the 


Government's earlier letter dated 30.11.1991 granted an implied permission to all 


those   managements   which   did   not   seek   any   grant   but   wanted   a   switch-over. 


The appellant  particularly relied  on sub-paragraph  (d) thereof.   It is submitted  


that so long as the management is not seeking any grant from the Government,  


the recognition with the Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (i.e U.P. State Board) will  


automatically get cancelled in view of paragraph (d).   The moment, the college 


obtained   the   affiliation   either   from   the   Central   Board   of   Secondary   Education,  


New Delhi or the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, nothing 

.
                                              12


further is required to be done. The two letters from the DIOS directing running  


of   the  classes  VI  to  VIII  were   contrary   to  this  direction  issued  by  the  Deputy 


Secretary, U.P. Government and have to be set-aside. 



16.            As against this, the submission of the State of U.P. has been that a 


huge portion of land in the prime area of Lucknow city has been leased out to 


this institution  on a nominal rent.    It was for running the classes for the U.P.  


State  Board  Examination.    The Government did  not have  any objection  to  the  


switch over to the ICSE Board provided, however, the classes for the U.P. State 


Board Examination were also to run simultaneously.  The benefits of having the 


prime land in the city cannot be confined only to the elite section of the society  


who would prefer go to the ICSE Board where the fees were not regulated by 


the Government.  It cannot be left to the sweet will of the college management 


to deny its facilities to the other sections of the society who will join the classes 


for the U.P. State Board Examination with regulated fees.  It will also affect the 


teachers who were teaching the course for the U.P. State Board Examination. 



17.            Shri Rakesh Dwivedi,  Senior  Advocate  appeared  for the  appellant 


society.   Shri Shirish Kumar Misra, learned Advocate appeared for the State of 


U.P and Shri P.S. Narshima, Senior Advocate appeared for the teachers.  



18.            There has been some controversy as to whether the Government's 


NOC   dated   26.4.1980   permitting   the   affiliation   to   ICSE   Board   contained   a  


condition  that the  appellant  should  continue  to conduct  classes of VI, VII and 


VIII with the State U.P. Board.  There has also been a controversy as to whether 

.
                                                 13


the   State  and  the  teachers   would   be  bound  by  the  alleged  concession   by  the 


counsel for the State as recorded in the interim order of a single Judge of the  


High Court dated 14.11.2002 in Writ Petition No. 6415/2002.   There is also an 


allegation  against   the  management  of  the   appellant  society  that  its  Institution  


did not have any approved scheme of administration as required by the law, and 


the   appointment   of   a   manager   to   run   the   institution   was   devoid   of   any   legal 


authority.  In our view it will be desirable to deal with the main question raised in  


this group of appeals rather than to get bogged down into these details.



19.             It was submitted on behalf of the appellants that the respondents 


have not objected to the appellant starting classes which are to be affiliated to  


the ICSE course.   What the State is insisting upon, is that alongwith the ICSE 


classes the appellant  ought to run the classes for the U.P. State Board course 


also.   It was therefore, submitted on behalf of the appellant that the appellant 


was required to take this decision basically because they found that the parents  


of the students had a preference for the ICSE course.  ICSE board is also listed  


as an examining body under the Delhi Education Act, 1973, and as such the U.P. 


State Board had no objection.  What is important is imparting good education to 


the  students and  there  was nothing  wrong  in  accepting  the  aspirations  of  the 


parents and the students to shift to the ICSE board.



20.             In   view   of   the   Government's   NOC   dated   26.4.1980,   the 


management   had   shifted   classes   I   to   V   initially   to   the   ICSE   board,   and 


subsequently   the   higher   classes.     The   appellant   was   not   receiving   any   grants  


from the Government from 1993 onwards.   The teachers had to adjust to this 

.
                                               14


change.   The learned counsel for the appellant informed us that out of twenty 


two teachers whose services were required to be terminated, eleven had retired, 


and one teacher had joined another college as a principal, and ten teachers who  


were   taking   the   U.P.   State   Board   course   remained   with   the   institution.     The 


appellant's college has not been running the U.P. Board classes since the interim 


order dated 14.11.2002 granted by the High Court which has been continued in 


view of the stay granted by this Court.



21.              Shri   Rakesh   Dwivedi   learned   Senior   Counsel   appearing   for   the 


appellant submitted that the recognition and affiliation with the board is basically 


for the purpose of the examination conducted by the board, and affiliation to the 


board is completely voluntary.  The board cannot compel the college to continue  


to be affiliated  with it.   The appellants had relied  upon the Government order  


dated   30.11.1991   and   particularly   para   (d)   thereof,   to   submit   that   once   an 


affiliation with ICSE was obtained, the recognition with the U.P. State Board will  


get cancelled automatically.



22.              The   subject   of   this   communication   of   the   Deputy   Secretary 


(Education)   of   Government   of   U.P.   dated   30.11.1991   was   granting   of   No 


Objection Certificates to educational institutions in the State for their affiliation to 


ICSE   New   Delhi/Central   Board   of   Secondary   Education,   New   Delhi.     The 


conditions in this behalf laid down in paragraph 4 thereof were as follows:-



         "It has been decided of late that while giving No Objection Certificate  
       to   educational   institutions,   the   No   Objection   Certificate   should   be  
       issued   under   following   conditions   according   to   present   procedure  
       under general conditions.

.
                                                15


               (a)Renewal   of   the   registered   society   of   the   college   will   be  
               done from time to time.


               (b)   There   will   be   member   nominated   by   the   Education  
               Director in the Managing Committee of the College.


               (c)  Atleast 10 percent  seats will  be reserved for meritorious  
               children belonging to schedule caste/schedule tribes and fees  
               more than the prescribed fees for various classes will not be  
               charged   from   them   by   schools   conducted   by   Madhyamik  
               Shiksha Parishad U.P./Basic Shiksha Parishad.


               (d) No grant will be demanded from the State Government by  
               the institution and if the college is already recognized by the  
               Madhyamik   Shiksha   Parishad   but   if   the   college   obtains   an  
               affiliation   from   the   Central   Board   of   Secondary   Education,  
               New Delhi,  Council for Indian School Certificate Examination,  
               New Delhi, the recognition  of the Parishad and the grant of  
               State Government will automatically get cancelled.


               (e)   The   teaching   and   non-teaching   employees   of   the  
               institution will not be paid salary and allowances less than the  
               pay-scale   and   allowances   paid   to   employees   of   government  
               aide education institutions.


               (f)   Service   Rules   of   the   employees   to   employees   of   non-
               government and aided High Secondary Schools.


               (g)   Institutions   will   follow   the   orders   as   are   issued   by   the  
               State Government from time to time.


               (h)     The record of the School/College will be maintained in  
               prescribed forms and registers."



23.            This   submission   of   the   appellant   was   countered   on  behalf   of   the 


State by pointing out that these guidelines of 30.11.1991 will have to be looked  


into in their totality.  Before granting any such disaffiliation, the board is required  


to consider the interest of the students and the teachers.  That apart, regulation  


10   framed   under   the   U.P.   Intermediate   Education   Act,   1921,   required   such 


application to be furnished one year in advance alongwith reasons for closure of 


the institution.   The board may permit the closure subject to some appropriate  

.
                                                  16


conditions, and transfer of records of the institution to some other institution as 


the authority may deem fit.  This regulation 10 reads as follows:-



          "10. No institution which is recognized by the Board as High School  
          or   Intermediate   College   shall   be   closed   down   without   prior  
          permission of the Board and unless a written notice by registered  
          post   is   given   to   the   Secretary   of   the   Board   with   a   copy   to   the  
          Director   at  least one  year  prior   to  the proposed  date  of  closure,  
          setting   forth   the   reasons   for   the   closure   of   the   institution.     The  
          Board   may   permit   the   closure   of   the   institution   subject   to   such  
          conditions   and  transfer  of   records   of  the  institution   to  any   other  
          institution or authority as it may deem fit." 



24.             Shri Dwivedi, submitted that this regulation speaks about closure of 


the institution, and not shifting of the institution to the course run by some other 


board.    Shri Misra, learned  counsel for the State on the other hand submitted 


that this shifting in fact amounts to closure of the institution as far as U.P. State  


Board   is   concerned,   and   therefore,   the   regulation   will   have   to   be   construed 


appropriately.  Shri Narsimha, learned senior counsel appearing for the teachers  


supported  the submissions on behalf of the State Government.   He contended 


that the teachers who were taking the course of State Board cannot suddenly be 


asked to take the course of ICSE Board.



25.             Shri Dwivedi,  then submitted  that the right to run an educational 


institution   has   been   considered   as   an   occupation   within   the   meaning   of   the 


expression under Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution (see para 20 of T.M.A Pai 


Foundation and ors. Vs. State of Karnakata and Ors.  reported in   [2002 


(8) SCC 481].  He drew our attention to paragraph 66 of this judgment which is 


to the following effect:-

.
                                                 17


                          "66.  In   the   case   of   private   unaided   educational  
        institutions,   the   authority   granting   recognition   or   affiliation   can  
        certainly   lay   down   conditions   for   the   grant   of   recognition   or  
        affiliation;   these   conditions   must   pertain   broadly   to   academic   and  
        educational matters and welfare of students and teachers - but how  
        the   private   unaided   institutions   are   to   run   is   a   matter   of  
        administration   to   be   taken   care   of   by   the   management   of   those  
        institutions."


He submitted that the authority granting recognition or affiliation can lay down  


conditions   which   are   relevant   for   academic   or   educational   purpose   but   not 


beyond that. 



26.              The above quoted paragraph 66 of T.M.A. Pai Foundation which 


has been  relied  upon by  Shri Dwivedi  however,  permits  the authority  granting 


recognition  or affiliation  to lay down  conditions  for  the grant  of recognition  or 


affiliation,   and   they   are   expected   to   be   for   the   welfare   of   the   students   and 


teachers.  Shri Dwivedi, relied upon the judgment of a Constitution Bench of this 


Court in Pathumma and Ors. Vs. State of Kerela and Ors. reported in 1978 


(2) SCC 1, to submit that this particular Regulation No.10 must not be read as an  


obstructive   one   or   else   it   would   become   excessive   and   would   go   beyond   the 


requirements of the interest of general public. In paragraph 14 of this judgment 


this Court had observed:-



           "14. Another test which has been laid down by this Court is  

       that   restrictions   must   not   be   arbitrary   or   of   an   excessive  

       nature so as  to go beyond the requirement  of the interest  of  

       the  general   public.   In  the  case  of  Chintaman   Rao  v.  State  of  

       Madhya Pradesh* this Court observed as follows:

                     "The   phrase   `reasonable   restriction'   connotes   that  

                 the   limitation   imposed   on   a   person   in   enjoyment   of  

                 the   right   should   not   be   arbitrary   or   of   an   excessive  

                 nature, beyond what is required in the interests of the  

                 public.   The   word   `reasonable'   implies   intelligent   care  

.
                                                18


                and deliberation, that is, the choice of a course which  

                reason   dictates.   Legislation   which   arbitrarily   or  

                excessively invades the right cannot be said to contain  

                the   quality   of   reasonableness   and   unless   it   strikes   a  

                proper   balance   between   the   freedom   guaranteed   in  

                Article   19(1)(g)   and   the   social   control   permitted   by  

                clause (6) of Article 19, it must be held to be wanting  

                in that quality."

       What   is   required   is   that   the   Legislature   takes   intelligent   care  

       and   deliberation   in   choosing   a   course   which   is   dictated   by  

       reason   and   good   conscience   so   as   to   strike   a   just   balance  

       between the freedom contained in Article 19(1) and the social  

       control permitted by clauses (5) and (6) of Article 19." 

                                                                 * (AIR 1951 SC 118)

 



27.             We quite see that the shifting of an institution from the course of 


one board to another course is not closing down of an institution as such, but at  


the same time in the context of an affiliation with the State Board it comes to a 


closing  down  of  the  institution.    All that  Regulation  No.10  requires  is  that  the 


concerned High School or Intermediate College has to give a written notice one 


year in advance setting forth the reasons for the closure of the institution. The 


board   may   examine   them   and   permit   the   closure   subject   to   appropriate  


conditions and transfer of records of the institution to another institution as the 


occasion   may   require.     This   is   because   the   record   of   the   students   who   were 


attending  the  institution  earlier  is required  to  be  preserved.    It is  also implicit 


that the interest of the teachers is also to be taken into consideration, and they  


are required to be adjusted appropriately.  In our view, this provision is by way 


of a regulation and cannot be read in any way as an arbitrary restriction.    



28.             We may as well note in this connection that in paragraph 7 of the 


Additional   Affidavit   of   Shri   Mayankeshwar   Sharan   Singh,   Manager   of   the 

.
                                                   19


appellant's   college   affirmed   on   1.8.2010   in   C.A   No.   5427/2008   it   is   stated   as 


follows:-



         "That the  college  at this stage is ready  to start a High  School &  
       Intermediate   Wing   in   the   college   which   would   be   affiliated   to   the  
       Board of High School and Intermediate Examination, Allahabad.   In  
       this High School & Intermediate Wing Classes from 6 to 12 would be  
       re-started in some section of the college building, which is at present  
       available with the Petitioner College.   For this purpose a section of  
       existing building would be ear marked for conducting Classes from 6  
       to 12 under the U.P. Intermediate Education Act."



29.              We have noted the submissions of the counsel for the parties.  As a 


matter   of   fact,   the   State   of   U.P.   or   the   U.P.   State   Board   did   not   have   any  


objection  as  such   to  the  starting   of  the  ICSE   course   by  the   appellant  society. 


What they were insisting was that the course run by the U.P. State Board also 


should   be   run   simultaneously.     With   respect   to   these   submissions   of   the 


respondents it was pointed out by the appellant that the parents were expressing 


their preference for the ICSE course, the number of students opting for the State 


board   course   in   the   appellant's   school   and   college   was   dwindling,   and   the 


appellant was finding it uneconomical to run both the courses, since from 1993 it 


was   not   receiving   any   grants   from   the   State   Government.     In   any   case   the  


appellant   had   expressed   willingness   to   continue   the   services   of   the   teachers,  


who were teaching  the State Board's Course, and it appears that some of the 


teachers   who   were   earlier   teaching   in   the   State   Board   Syllabus   have   been 


continued in the appellant institution for ICSE Course.  It is also to be noted that  


though for over seven years the course of the U.P. State Board is not being run 


by the appellant institution, it has offered to restart the course once again.   In  

.
                                               20


view of this scenario in the facts of the present case, it would be rather academic  


to go into the controversy which is raised before us.  All these proceedings can  


be disposed of by giving appropriate directions to the U.P. State Board and the 


appellants.  



30.              In view of what is stated above we pass the following order:-



        (i)      The directions  contained  in paragraph  63 (2), (3), (5) and (6) of 


the judgment and order of the High Court dated 17.11.2004 are modified, and 


the U.P. State Board is directed to take a decision within two months from the 


receipt of this order on appellant's letter dated 18.1.2002 with respect to their 


decision   to   close   down   the   U.P.   State   Board   Wing.     The   Board   will   however 


consider whether appellant's original request is now altered in view of paragraph 


7 of  their  affidavit  dated  1.8.2010 in  Civil  Appeal No.5747/2008 to  restart  the 


High School and Intermediate  wing  in some appropriate  section  of the college 


building for conducting classes from VI to XII under the U.P. State Board.



        (ii)     If  such  a decision  to  restart  the  State  Board's  course  is taken,  it 


shall be started  from the academic  year 2012-13.   The State Government  will 


issue   necessary   grants   to   this   section,   and   the   above-mentioned   ten   teachers  


earlier   teaching   the   State   Board's   Course   and   continuing   to   remain   with   the  


appellant society, may be shifted to the classes taking State Board's Course.



        (iii)    The direction  in paragraph 63 (1) is confined to the ten teachers 


presently remaining with the appellant, though the appellant society shall  at the 

.
                                                 21


earliest settle in accordance with law, if not settled so far, all the dues of other  


teachers who have left the institution, in the meanwhile.



        (iv)     The direction contained in paragraph 63 (4) is no longer required.



        (v)      The direction contained in paragraph  63 (7) is modified, and it is 


directed   that   if   the   U.P.   Board   accepts   that   running   of   the   U.P.   State   Board 


course is no longer feasible, then, it will be open to the U.P. State Board to issue 


a  direction not to restart that course anymore.



31.              This order disposes of all the Civil Appeals as well as the Contempt  


Petition.  There will be no order as to costs.



                                                           ........................................J. 

                                                           (  R.V. Raveendran )




                                                                             

                                                           .........................................J. 

                                                           ( H.L. Gokhale  )


New Delhi


Dated: October 11, 2011

1-10 of 86