Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Jyoti Singh, J., refused to entertain a writ petition filed by a member of All India Services holding that the remedy lies with Central Administrative Tribunal.

Petitioner qualified the Civil Services Examination in the year 1986 and was allocated Indian Police Service (IPS) and assigned Haryana Cadre.

Petitioner assailed the empanelment dated 18-02-2019 made by UPSC and the subsequent appointment of respondent 4 as DGP, State of Haryana vide appointment order dated 18-02-2019.

Appointment of respondent 4 was initially challenged by the petitioner in the Supreme Court which was disposed of with the order that petitioner may approach the jurisdictional High Court.

UPSC Counsel raised an objection to maintainability and submitted that this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition.

He contended that, IPS is an All India Service, and thus petitioner is amenable to the jurisdiction of Central Administrative Tribunal.

Senior counsel for the petitioner further submitted that the present petition had been filed in terms of the liberty granted by the Supreme Court and thus it is not open to respondents to raise any objection to its maintainability.

Decision

Petitioner is a member of an All India Service, which is covered under Section 14(1)(b)(i) of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985

Section 14(1)(b)(i) of the Act provides that, save as otherwise expressly provided in the Act, the Central Administrative Tribunal shall exercise on and from the appointed day, all the jurisdiction, power and authority exercisable immediately before that day, by all Courts in relation to all service matters concerning a member of any All India Service.

Section 3(q) of the Act defines ‘Service Matters’ as all matters relating to conditions of a service and includes matters with respect to tenure, confirmation, seniority, promotion etc.

Constitution Bench of Supreme Court observed in the case of L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India, (1997) 3 SCC 261, that the Tribunals created pursuant to Article 323-A or under Article 323-B of the Constitution of India are competent to hear matters entrusted to them and will continue to act as only Courts of ‘first instance’ in respect of the areas of law for which they have been constituted.

Insofar as the jurisdiction of the High Courts is concerned, Supreme Court further observed that the jurisdiction conferred upon the High Courts under Articles 226/227 and upon the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, is a part of the inviolable basic structure of the Constitution.

While this jurisdiction cannot be ousted, other Courts and Tribunals may perform a supplemental role in discharging the powers conferred on the High Courts and the Supreme Court.

Thus, in view of the above stated Supreme Court decision, High Court cannot entertain the present petition and remedy of the petitioner lies only before the CAT. [Prabhat Ranjan Deo v. UPSC, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 738 , decided on 13-07-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

In the wake of the news reports appeared in a section of media that “GoI shifts all service matters of employees of J&K and Ladakh UTs to Chandigarh CAT”, it is clarified that neither the petitioner nor the lawyer need to go to Chandigarh for filling petition or appearing before the tribunal related to service matters of employees. The term Chandigarh circuit is being misinterpreted to mean that the petitioner/lawyer would have to go to Chandigarh, which is not so. All service matters of Central Government and UT employees of J&K and Ladakh will be heard and disposed off in CAT bench in J&K itself.

It is reiterated that earlier also, the CAT bench used to hold its sittings in Jammu & Kashmir to dispose off service matters related to Central Government employees of J&K. The only difference now is that it will also be disposing off matters related to UT employees and therefore will have more frequent sittings in UT of J&K.

The registration of cases can also be done locally either online or in the secretariat office of CAT to be set up locally after the UT Government provides appropriate facility. Disposal of cases through CAT in UT of J&K will ensure fare and objective delivery of justice.


Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

[Press Release dt. 01-05-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Sanjeev Kumar, J., dismissed a writ petition whereby the petitioner sought directions against respondents for granting him the benefit of Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Revised) Pay Rules, 1973 (the 1973 Rules) with effect from the date of his first appointment in the year with consequential benefits of subsequent pay revisions.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the petitioner was entitled to the benefits under the 1973 Rules.

The Court observed that the petitioner did not raise any objection when he was regularized initially. Further, the petitioner did not raise any objection with regard to the timely pay scale revisions which were given to him and it was only after the High Court decided a petition filed by some other aggrieved persons who were somewhat similarly situated as the petitioner, that the petitioner raised his voice. The Court observed that the petitioner was nothing but a fence sitter who was waiting for the outcome of an ongoing litigation. The Court referred to the Supreme Court judgment in the case of State of U.P. v. Arvind Kumar Srivastava, (2015) 1 SCC 347, wherein It was held that when a specific group of employees are given a benefit by the Court it shall apply to all the persons similarly situated to the litigants, however, there is an exception if the similarly situated persons are liable for laches and delays as well as acquiescence.

The Court held that the petitioner remained silent for a good amount of time and woke up after long delay only because of the reason that his counterparts who had approached the Court earlier in time succeeded in their efforts. Hence the petitioner cannot claim the benefit conferred upon the employees who were similarly situated to him and who had successfully won the litigation. Resultantly, the writ petition was dismissed by the Court. [Mangat Ram v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 712, order dated 05-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Amit Sthalekar, J. ordered the petitioner (wife of a retired government servant) to vacate the government quarter occupied by her unathorisedly even after retirement of her husband who was a government servant.

The petitioner was unauthorisedly occupying the government quarter in question which was allotted to her husband when he was in government service. The husband of the petitioner had retired from government service twelve years ago but still the petitioner continued to occupy the quarters. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the respondents be restrained from compelling the petitioner from vacating the said quarters in view of the order of the State Women Commission.

The High Court was of the opinion that the submission of the counsel for the petitioner was misconceived. The Court held that the State Women Commission had absolutely no jurisdiction to interfere in the service matters of an employee which are governed by statutory rules. Petitioner’s husband had retired from service twelve years ago; the petitioner continued to occupy the said quarters in wholly illegal and unauthorized manner. Accordingly, the petitioner was ordered to vacate the government quarter within fifteen days. [Asha Rai v. Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran BLW, 2018 SCC OnLine All 435, dated 20-04-2018]

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of S.Ravindra Bhat and AK Chawla, JJ., dismissed a writ petition challenging the Roster Point System adopted by the University of Delhi. The system was challenged on grounds of arbitrariness and deprivation of SC, ST and OBC categories in fair representation in the various cadres of the colleges of the University as well as in the various levels of posts.

The respondents questioned the maintainability of the proceedings, contending that an identical petition had been filed before and rejected by the Court. The respondents claimed that the said petition was dismissed on grounds that the petitioners lacked standing. The petitioners claimed that the said ruling ought not to unduly restrict the Court from exercising it’s jurisdiction. The Court however, relied on L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India, (1997) 3 SCC 267 : AIR 1997 SC 1125, stating that all service matters are to be initiated first before the Administrative Tribunal by parties competent to do so. The judgment is also decisive in that the Administrative Tribunals are empowered to adjudge on the validity of policies and statutes as far as they pertain to service matters. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed. [O.K. Yadav v. University of Delhi,2018 SCC OnLine Del 7662, decided on 08.03.2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Forum of SC and ST legislators and Parliamentarians- a non legal entity filed a PIL before the Delhi High Court alleging that that E-8 Level officers of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) are illegally not being considered for promotion. The Court said that in case some persons are not being considered for promotion, then only such persons have locus standi to approach the Courts with their grievance.

Further it stated that someone else can’t approach the Court on their behalf especially, in service matters. For this, the Court relied on Bholanath Mukherjee v. Ramakrishna Mission Vivevkananda Centenary College, (2011) 5 SCC 464 in which the Supreme Court had held that in service matters a Public Interest Litigation petition does not lie.

Observing that the petitioner was a non-legal person, the Court held that it being only a non-legal person did not have any personal interest, and the personal interest would be of individuals who are employees of respondent. Accordingly, the writ petition was dismissed for lack of locus standi. [Forum of SC and ST legislators and Parliamentarians v. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 7217, decided on 27.02.2017]