Narayana Pai, C.J.
1. When the petitioner was serving as a Sub-Inspector of Police a departmental enquiry was instituted against him for a certain act of misconduct. He was also placed under suspension. Before the conclusion of the enquiry, the order of suspension was revoked and he was posted as an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police. The enquiry proceeded and resulted in the imposition of penalty of the petitioner being reduced to the rank of a Head Constable. The petitioner challenged the said order of punishment in W.P. 952 of 1962. By an order dated 25th March, 1963, the said writ petition was allowed by this Court and the punishment imposed upon the petitioner was set aside.
2. Thereupon, the following order was made in favour of the petitioner by the Superintendent of Police, Bangalore North :
'In view of the High Court orders, H.C. 10 D. Srinivasa Iyer of Central Police Station, is restored to his original rank of Assistant Sub-Inspector with immediate effect'.
3. The petitioner has now filed this writ petitioner contending that on the setting aside of the order of punishment by this Court, he was entitled to be reinstated as a Sub-Inspector of Police with effect from the original date of suspension and praying that such an order of restoration be made in his favour together with a direction to extend to him all the benefits flowing therefrom including those of promotion and higher pay.
4. In the affidavit in support of the writ petition it has also been stated that in 1963, about seven persons who were juniors to him were promoted as Sub-Inspectors of Police with the complaint that his case for promotion was not considered at all.
5. The petitioner was actually promoted as Sub-Inspector of Police on December 10, 1966.
6. The Writ Petition was filed on 27th July, 1967. The petitioner has since retired from service on 31st October, 1970.
7. The only substantial point for consideration is whether the petitioner is right in his contention that on the setting aside of the order of punishment by this Court, he was entitled to be put back for the position of Sub-Inspector of Police.
8. If the petitioner was holding a substantive position of the Sub-Inspector of Police or held a lien thereon though occupying another position and the punishment was by way of reduction from the rank of Sub-Inspector to that of Head Constable, then obviously, he would be right in claiming a reinstatement back as Sub-Inspector. But the answer made by the State Government to this claim is that such was not the correct factual position. According to the affidavit of one Elisha. Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mysore, Bangalore, the petitioner was occupying the position of Sub-Inspector of Police at the commencement of the departmental enquiry only as a result of provisional promotion by way of stop-gap arrangement. It is further stated that his being posted as an Assistant Sub-Inspector during the pendency of the enquiry was a result of ordinary administrative arrangement and not in any manner connected with the departmental enquiry, nor was it by way of punishment. It is therefore contended that the actual position which the petitioner was occupying at the time the order of punishment came to be made was that of the Assistant Sub-Inspector and that therefore the Department acted rightly in putting him back to the said position.
9. The petitioner has not controverted the said statements of fact made in the affidavit of Elisha. If the said statement is accepted, it is difficult to see how the petitioner can contend that he lost the position of Sub-Inspector as a direct consequence of the order of punishment. It is undoubted that it is not obligatory on the disciplinary authority to suspend a person even though a departmental enquiry has been instituted against him. It is equally clear that if there is no suspension and the Government servant continues to work, the pendency of enquiry need not prevent his being either promoted, reverted or transferred in accordance with the exigencies of administration. When so much is clear, the factual position reduces itself to this, viz., that at the time he was punished he was actually holding the position of Assistant Sub-Inspector and that the punishment by way of reduction in rank was one from the rank of Sub-Inspector to that of Head Constable. It is pointed out that the position of Assistant Sub-Inspector was held by him on an officiating basis. But that does not make any difference to the case because he went from the said position to that of Head Constable by way of punishment and not by way of innocuous administrative order.
10. It appears to us therefore that the reinstatement of the petitioner to the position of Assistant Sub-Inspector after the order of this Court in W.P. No. 952 of 1962 is unassailable.
11. Regarding the other averments of his claim for promotion being overlooked the explanation contained in the affidavit of Elisha is that his case was actually considered and that he was not found fit for promotion at that time. Hence the promotion of his juniors will not furnish him a grievance, because promotion is not a matter of right, and the only substantive right is that the petitioner's case for promotion at the time he was due for promotion is considered.
12. During the pendency of this writ petition, the petitioner was reverted. But we do not find anything in the affidavit or in the interlocutory application made for stay of that reversion or in the prayer claiming any further relief in that regard.
13. The writ petition is dismissed.