Somnath Ayyar, J.
1. An order made by Government on 6 June, 1964 repatriating the petitioner to the Secretariat from the Department of Civil Supplies, is the subject-matter of challenge in this writ petition.
2. The first occasion on which the petitioner was appointed as a second division clerk in the Secretariat was on 8 September, 1953, and by an order made on 12 March, 1958 he was appointed as an assistant inspector of Civil Supplies in the grade Rs. 75 rising to Rs. 180. The Government Pleader says that this was not an appointment but amounted to a deputation and it is just now not necessary to advert to that controversy.
3. On 17 May, 1961 the petitioner's name was included in the provisional inter-State seniority list in the Department of Civil Supplies.
4. Thereafter, the petitioner was promoted as an assistant from the post of a second division clerk in the Secretariat, and in consequence of correspondence between the Controller of Civil Supplies and Government, a communication was addressed on 29/31 January, 1964 by the Chief Secretary to the Controller by which the Controller was informed that the petitioner should, if he does not revert to the Secretariat immediately, forgo his promotion as an assistant. The copy of this communication was forwarded to the petitioner for his acceptance, by the concerned Assistant Director of Industries and Commerce. On 3 March, 1964 the petitioner expressed his choice to remain in the Civil Supplies Department and to forego his promotion as an assistant in the Secretariat. This choice was communicated by the Controller to Government on 30 March, 1964.
5. One should have thought that this was the end of the matter. But on 4/6 June, 1964 a letter was addressed by Government to the Controller that the choice of the petitioner to remain in the Department of Civil Supplies did not affect the power of Government to repatriate the petitioner to the Secretariat, and so his repatriation was ordered.
6. Many submissions have been made before us both by Sri Datar appearing for the petitioner who calls in question this order of repatriation and by the Government Pleader who supports it. One of the submissions made to us related to the question whether the appointment of the petitioner in the Department of Civil Supplies in 1958 was in the nature of a deputation which preserved for the petitioner his lien in the Secretariat. Sri Datar asserted that notwithstanding the petitioner himself referring to the transfer of the service of the petitioner from the Secretariat to the Department of Civil Supplies as in the nature of a deputation, there was no such deputation in fact and in truth. His submission was that if really there was any such deputation, the petitioner would have been paid his deputation allowance and that no such allowance was ever paid. He also asked attention to the order made on 12 March, 1958 in the course of which it was stated that the petitioner was 'appointed.' That order does not allude to any deputation. Dependence was also placed for the petitioner upon note 4 appearing underneath rule 20(f) which, contains provisions in regard to preservation of lien in the case of a Government servant volunteering to serve in another department.
7. We think that it is unnecessary for us to investigate the validity of the two postulates placed before us by each side. Whether the petitioner went on deputation or whether there was an antecedent absorption of the petitioner in the Department of Civil Supplies is a question which, having regard to subsequent events, ceases to have any relevance or importance. The important landmark in the official career of the petitioner was the option made available to him by Government on 31 January, 1964 to remain in the Department of Civil Supplies on his relinquishing his right to promotion in the Secretariat. Once that option was made available to the petitioner and the petitioner opted to remain in the Department of Civil Supplies foregoing his promotion as an assistant in the Secretariat, the matter became concluded and there was a permanent transfer of the petitioner to the Civil Supplies Department which brought about a removal of any antecedent lien which he might have had in the Secretariat. It is this event which happened in 1964 which dispenses with the necessity of investigating the exact nature of the appointment which was made in 1957. It would be enough to point out that on and from 3 March, 1964 when the petitioner chose to exercise his right to remain in the Civil Supplies Department on depriving himself of the promotion which was made in the Secretariat, the petitioner became a permanent employee in the Civil Supplies Department. It was no longer possible for Government in that situation to exercise the power of repatriation. It is on this short ground that this writ petition succeeds and on which we set aside the impugned order of repatriation.
8. No costs.