Somnath Ayyar, J.
1. When there was re-organization of States, and the new State of Mysore came into being, the petitioner who was an employee in the former State of Bombay became an employee of the new State of Mysore. When the Government of the new State of Mysore prepared a provisional inter-State seniority list on 13 November, 1957, his name was not included in the cadre of the secretariat stenographers. But on representation made by the petitioner to the State Government, his name was included in the revised provisional inter-State seniority list prepared on 13 September, 1962, by which he was assigned the fifth rank.
2. The sequel to the preparation of the provisional inter-State seniority list was the preparation of the final inter-State seniority list by the Central Government which was prepared on 30 April, 1965, and published on 6 May, 1965. That list did not contain the name of the petitioner in the cadre of the secretariat stenographers. In this writ-petition in which the petitioner challenges the final inter State seniority list prepared in the way, he asks us to issue a mandamus that promotions and reversions should not be made on the basis of that list. There is also a prayer for the issue of another mandamus to the Central Government to prepare a proper inter-State seniority list which should include his name and assign to him the proper rank.
3. Some considerable argument was expended over the question whether for the selection of the list in which the allottee's name should be included for the integration which is referred to in S. 115(5) of the States Reorganization Act, the basis of such selection should be the post held by the allottee on 31 October, 1956, in the State from which he was allotted to the new State of Mysore, or whether it is the post held by him immediately after his allotment in the new State of Mysore. While the Central Government Pleader and the State Government contended that the material post is the post held in the allotting State and not the post held in the State to which he was allotted, it was equally strenuously contended by Sri Narasimhamurthi appearing for the petitioner that since the integration must reflect the services in the new State, the post which should regulate the integration is the post held in the new State and not in the old.
4. But it is unnecessary for us to express any opinion on this controversial question which does present some difficulty. This case may be decided on another and shorter ground.
5. Now although the provisional inter-State seniority list prepared by the State Government on 13 November, 1957 did not include the petitioners' name among the secretariat stenographers, that inclusion, as already observed, was made when a revised list was prepared on 13 September, 1962. By that list the petitioner was able to secure a sufficient high rank such as the fifth rank among the secretariat stenographers.
6. By the announcement which was made by the State Government in the context of the preparation of the final inter-State seniority list by the Central Government, representations were invited by persons who felt aggrieved by the provisional list which the State Government had prepared.
7. The complaint made on behalf of the petitioner by Sri Narasimhamurthi with respect to the exclusion of the petitioner from the final inter-State seniority list prepared by the Central Government was that the decision that the petitioner should be so excluded was not preceded by an opportunity afforded to the petitioner to make a representation with respect to the question whether he should be so excluded or no.
8. No such opportunity was afforded to him in that way is the assertion made in his affidavit by the petitioner, and the truth of that statement in his affidavit is not repudiated in the counter-affidavit produced on behalf of the Central Government.
9. It is now clear from the elucidation made by the Supreme Court in Union of India v. P. K. Roy : (1970)ILLJ633SC that the extent and application of the doctrine of natural justice cannot be imprisoned within the strait jacket of a rigid formula and that the application of the doctrine depends upon the nature and the jurisdiction conferred on the concerned authority, upon the character of the rights of the person affected, the scheme and policy of the statute and other relevant circumstances disclosed in the particular case.
10. The further enunciation made in that case makes it clear that if in a given case it is possible to say that the person concerned was entitled to an opportunity to make a representation with regard to a matter of which the Central Government rendered a decision, and that decision was made without affording that opportunity, the decision is liable to be set aside.
11. Now when the second provisional inter-State seniority list was prepared by the State Government, the petitioner's name was included in the list of secretariat stenographers. It is possible that the view taken by the Central Government that his inclusion in that list was not proper rested on the representations which must have been made to the Central Government by those who contended that such inclusion should not be made and when the provisional list was forwarded to the Central Government by the State Government, objections were invited from persons who 'felt aggrieved' against the provisional list.
12. Whatever may be the position with respect to a case in which the rank assigned by the State Government in the provisional list prepared by it is altered by the Central Government without any further opportunity being afforded to the person who was assigned a lower rank than the rank assigned to him by the provisional list, it is, in our opinion, clear that when the Central Government decides to adjudicate upon as serious a question as whether the person who was included in the list and who was assigned a rank with which he felt completed satisfied, should not be removed from the list in which he was so included, he is entitled to make representation against such exclusion and so if that opportunity is not afforded but nevertheless he is excluded from the list, such exclusion would transgress the rules of natural justice as explained in Roy case : (1970)ILLJ633SC (vide supra).
13. We, therefore, set aside the decision of the Central Government by which the petitioner's name was excluded from the impugned final inter State seniority list and we make a direction that the question as to whether the petitioner should be excluded from that list should be decided by the Central Government after affording the petitioner an opportunity to make representation with respect to that matter.
14. We make a further direction that the petitioner should make representations with respect to that matter within one month from this date and that the Central Government should render its decision on this matter within four months from this date.
15. Sri Narasimhamurthi says that the revised provisional list which was prepared by the State Government now stands restored and that during the pendency of this writ petition on the basis of the final inter-State seniority list which excluded his name he was reverted. So he asks us to say that the petitioner is at liberty to ask the State Government to restore to him the post of the superintendent form which he was so reverted. Sri Narasimhamurthi also says that with respect to the repatriation of the petitioner to the Food Department which has been made in consequence of the final inter-State seniority list, the petitioner should be allowed an opportunity to question the correctness of the repatriation so made. It is needless to observe that the petitioner could make his representations with respect to those matters to the State Government, and it is for the State Government to make a decision thereon. No costs.