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Harnamsingh Indarsingh Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1952CriLJ870
AppellantHarnamsingh Indarsingh
RespondentState of Madhya Pradesh and anr.
Excerpt:
.....are that the applicant was not given an opportunity to show cause against his dismissal after the inspector-general of police had come to the conclusion that he ought to be dismissed and that before dismissing the applicant it was incumbent upon the government to consult the public service commission but there was a failure to do so. we may point out that this question is also pertinent for dealing with the argument of the learned counsel based on the ground that there was a failure on the part of the government to consult the public services commission before ordering the applicant's dismissal. no doubt under the government of india act, 1915, the persons belonging to the subordinate ranks enjoyed the same protection as those belonging to higher ranks as is clear from the decision of..........of india act is execluded by section 243 of the act in so far as the members of the subordinate ranks of police forces are concerned. no doubt under the government of india act, 1915, the persons belonging to the subordinate ranks enjoyed the same protection as those belonging to higher ranks as is clear from the decision of the privy council in r.t. rangachari v. secretart of state . the difference between the position as prevailing prior to 1935 and that thereafter has been clearly brought out in north west frontier province v. suraj narain anand . in that case suraj narain, who was a sub-inspector of police, was dismissed from service by the d.i.g., of police on the 25th april 1928, even though he had been appointed by the i.g. of police. the d.i.g., passed the order of dismissal.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The applicant was a Circle-Inspector of Police but was dismissed by the Inspector-General of Police on the 29th April ]949. The applicant preferred an appeal from the order of the Inspector-General of Police before the Provincial Government which was dismissed on the 24th September 1949. He preferred a memorial to the Government on the 6th November 1949, which was likewise rejected on the 27th February 1950. Finally he made an application to the Government for the grant of compassionate allowance. This. application was rejected on the 6th December 1950. The applicant has, therefore, come up to this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

2. It is urged by way of preliminary objection by the learned Additional Government Pleader that the dismissal of the applicant having taken place before the Constitution and the order relating to his dismissal having attained finality before the commencement of the Constitution, the powers conferred on this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in favour of the applicant. On behalf of the applicant it is said that his dismissal was ordered in contravention of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935; that the order of dismissal was a nullity that it must therefore be treated as a scrap of paper and that, but for that order, the applicant would have still continued to be in service and so he was entitled to move this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. We do not think it necessary to decide. these points because the grounds on which the dismissal of the applicant is challenged are not sustainable.

3. The grounds on which the dismissal is challenged are that the applicant was not given an opportunity to show cause against his dismissal after the Inspector-General of Police had come to the conclusion that he ought to be dismissed and that before dismissing the applicant it was incumbent upon the Government to consult the Public Service Commission but there was a failure to do so.

4. The procedure to be followed in departmental enquiries before ordering a dismissal or removal from service of a member of the subordinate ranks of the police forces is to be found in the Police Regulations framed under the Police Act of 1861. It is however contended that the applicant being an Inspector does not belong to the subordinate ranks of the police forces and as such he is not only governed by the Civil Service Classification Rules but that the provisions of Section 240 of the Government of India Act, 1935, apply to him. The question therefore arises whether an Inspector of Police is a member of the subordinate ranks of the police forces. We may point out that this Question is also pertinent for dealing with the argument of the learned Counsel based on the ground that there was a failure on the part of the Government to consult the Public Services Commission before ordering the applicant's dismissal. We would therefore deal with this question at the outset.

5. According to the learned Counsel for the applicant, an Inspector of Police was not intended to be included in the subordinate ranks of the police forces because that is what was said by Mr. R.A. Butler, the then Under Secretary of State for India, during the debates which took place in the Parliament when the Government of India Bill, which was ultimately passed into the Government of India Act 1935, was under consideration.

6. Whether or not it is permissible to refer to a statement made daring a debate in Parliament, we are clear that any statement made in any debate is not conclusive regarding the meaning to be attached to a word or a phrase used in Parliamentary enactments. In this case, there is something more than the statement of Mr. Butler from which we can deduce the moaning of the expression 'subordinate ranks of the police forces'. There was no definition of this expression in the Police Act of 1861 as it stood on the date on which the Government of India Act, 1935, was passed. Section 293 of that Act however makes the following provision concerning the Adaptation of existing Indian Laws:

His Majesty may by Order in Council to be made at any time after the passing of this Act provide that, as from such date as may be specified in the Order, any law in force in British India or in any part of British India shall, until repealed or amended by a competent Legislature or other competent authority, have effect subject to such adaptations and modifications as appear to His Majesty to be necessary or expedient for bringing the provisions of that law into accord with the provisions of this Act and, in particular, into accord with the provisions thereof which reconstitute under different names governments and authorities in India and prescribe the distribution of legislative and executive powers between the Federation and the Provinces.

By virtue of this provision Adaptation Order, 1937, was made by an Order in Council by His Majesty. It came into force on the same date on which the Government of India Act came into force, that is, on the 1st April 1937. Among other things, this Order adapted and modified the Police Act by providing the following in Section 1 of that Act:

References to the subordinate ranks of a police force shall be construed as references to members of that force below the rank of Deputy Superintendent.

Thus, after adaptations, the expression 'subordinate ranks of the police forces' occurring in the Police Act will have to be interpreted as meaning, officers below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, that is, including Inspectors of Police. Since the Adaptation Order and the Government of India Act came into force on the same date, the meaning to be given to that expression as used in the Government of India Act would be the same as the one given in the Police Act.

7. The learned Counsel for the applicant, however, says that that would not be correct because the expression used in an Act of Parliament cannot be interpreted by reference to some other Act. In this case, however, we have Section 243 of the Government of India Act, 1935, which is as follows:

Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Chapter, the conditions of service of the subordinate ranks of the various police forces in India shall be such as may be determined by or under the Acts relating to those forces respectively.

Because of this provision and those of Section 293 it will have to be said, that the Police Act as adapted was in the contemplation of the Parliament when It passed the Government of India Act of 1935 and therefore the expression used by Parliament must be deemed to have the same meaning as the one given to it in the Police Act.

8. In this view it is clear that Section 240 of the Government of India Act is execluded by Section 243 of the Act in so far as the members of the subordinate ranks of police forces are concerned. No doubt under the Government of India Act, 1915, the persons belonging to the subordinate ranks enjoyed the same protection as those belonging to higher ranks as is clear from the decision of the Privy Council in R.T. Rangachari v. Secretart of State . The difference between the position as prevailing prior to 1935 and that thereafter has been clearly brought out in North West Frontier Province v. Suraj Narain Anand . In that case Suraj Narain, who was a Sub-Inspector of Police, was dismissed from service by the D.I.G., of Police on the 25th April 1928, even though he had been appointed by the I.G. of Police. The D.I.G., passed the order of dismissal because an amendment made on the 24th January 1934 to Regulation No. 17-1, substituted 'D.I.G., of Police' for 'Inspector-General of Police.' Their Lordships, referring to 'Rangachari's case' held that the amendment was invalid and inoperative on the ground that the mandatory statutory restriction, placed by Sub-section (1) of Section 96-B of the Government of India Act could not be affected by any rules. It was then argued before their Lordships that before the dismissal of Suraj Narain the Government of India Act of 1935 came into force and that by virtue of Section 243 thereof the protection formerly conferred by Section 96-B and under the Act of 1335 by Section 240 was unavailable to Suraj Narayan. It was also stated before their Lordships that the Government had amended the Police Regulations after the Constitution Act of 1935 came into force enabling a D.I.G., to dismiss a Sub-Inspector of Police prior to the dismissal of Suraj Narain and so his dismissal was valid. In the first judgment delivered by their Lordships they accepted the contention and allowed the appeal of the Province which had challenged the correctness of the decision of the High Court affirmed by the Federal Count. Thereafter, Suraj Narain showed that the amended regulation in fact came into force after his dismissal. Their Lordships then delivered another judgment in which they came to the opposite conclusion, observing:

the rule in question would none the less be inoperative, since the Government of India Act, 1935, under which the rule would have been valid against him, did not come into force until 1st April 1937 and could not then retrospectively affect the respondent's position.

9. Under Police Regulation No. 223, the power to remove or dismiss from service, an Inspector of Police is vested in the Inspector-General of Police, It is, however, not necessary for the Inspector-General to make an enquiry against the Inspector himself but he can delegate that power to a Deputy Inspector-General of Police. Accordingly here, the Inspector-General of Police ordered an enquiry to be held by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police. The latter held an enquiry and during that enquiry afforded every facility to the applicant to defend himself. At the conclusion of the enquiry the D.I.G., made a report to the Inspector-General of Police and recommended the dismissal of the applicant. It was argued that under the Police Regulations it was not appropriate for the D.I.G., to recommend to the Inspector-General of Police as to the action to be taken against the applicant. Whether that is so or not, the fact that he did suggest the dismissal of the applicant does not in our opinion vitiate the enquiry.

10. After receipt of the report, the Inspector-General of Police sent the following memorandum to the District Superintendent of Police, Betul:

I am herewith sending a copy of the findings of the D.I.G., of Police of the Departmental enquiry against, Circle Inspector Harnamsing, under suspension. He should be asked to show cause why he should not be dismissed from services. If he has any statement to submit, it should be obtained before the 15th of March 1949.

In our opinion the memorandum clearly shows that the Inspector-General of Police did satisfy the requirements of Regulation 228-A of the Police Regulations which runs as follows:

After the enquiry against a person has been completed and after the officer or authority empowered to punish has arrived at provisional conclusions in regard to the penalty to be imposed, the accused person shall, if the penalty proposed is dismissal, removal or reduction, be supplied with a copy of the report of the enquiring authority and be called upon to show cause, within a reasonable time not ordinarily exceeding one month, against the particular penalty proposed to be inflicted. Any representation submitted in this behalf by the accused person shall be taken into consideration before final orders are passed.

11. The learned Counsel for the applicant, however argued that the order dated the 29th April 1949 of the Inspector-General of Police shows clearly that he formed a definite conclusion regarding the guilt of the applicant only after he heard him. In our opinion, that is not a proper way of interpreting (the order of the Inspector-General of Police. Unquestionably, he has dealt with the case thoroughly and exhaustively in his order and also considered the arguments advanced before him by the applicant. This he did in order to show that he had fully considered every point for and against the applicant. He could have expressly recorded his opinion regarding the guilt of the applicant before issuing the memorandum to which we have just referred, out merely because he did not do so and deferred recording his reasons for the conclusion regarding the applicant's guilt till the consideration of the representation of the applicant made in pursuance of the memorandum, it does not follow that he had not reached the conclusion regarding the applicant's guilt before he issued the memorandum. There is thus nothing in the first point.

12. As regards the second point, we would refer to the provisions of Section 266(4) of the Government of India Act, 1935, which is in the following terms:

Nothing in this section shall require a Public Service Commission to be consulted as respects the manner in which appointments and posts are to be allocated as between communities or in the case of the subordinate ranks of police forces, as respects any of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of Sub-section (3) of this section.

Reading these provisions along with Clause (c) of Sub-section (3) of Section 266, it is clear that consultation with the Public Service Commission was not necessary before taking any action against a member of the subordinate ranks of the police forces of the Province. We have already given our reasons for holding that a person of the rank of an Inspector of Police belongs to the subordinate ranks of the police forces, and as such it was not necessary to consult the Public Services Commission before ordering his dismissal. Thus this point also fails.

13 Upon this view, the application must fail. Accordingly, we dismiss it with costs.


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