Somnath Ayyar, J.
1. The challenge in these two writ petitions is to a circular issued by the Conservator of Forests. Belgaum Circle, on 19 March 1964 by which he directed that in respect of all departmental buildings in the occupation of employees in the Forest Department in his circle, rent should be recovered in accordance with the Mysore Civil Service Rules, 1958, from 1 April 1958. That circular also directed that the rent to be so recovered should be 10 per cent of the pay in all except those whose pay is Rs. 50 and below, a month.
2. The petitioner in Writ Petition No. 777 of 1964 are range forest officers and the petitioner in Writ Petition No. 780 of 1964 is a forester. Their contention is that although they were in occupation of a building belonging to the Forest Department, they are not liable to pay any rent.
3. It is pointed out to us by Sri Datar appearing for the petitioners that under note 3 to rule 850 of the Bombay Civil Services Rules made by the Governor of Bombay under Sub-section (2)(b) of S. 241 of the Government of India Act, 1935, the Government servants enumerated in appendix LV are entitled to rent-free accommodation and that the forest rangers and foresters are within that enumeration. We have perused those rules and we find it to be so. Similarly, it is seen from Para. 236 of the Bombay Forest Manual, Vol. I, that the forest officers who are enumerated in that appendix are granted rent-free quarters.
4. Sri Datar's argument was that the right to rent free accommodation is part of the emoluments of a forester and a forest ranger. But it is really not necessary to express any opinion on that matter.
5. It is, however, clear from rule 75 of the Mysore Civil Services Rules that Government has the power to make rules or issue orders laying down the principles governing the allotment of residential accommodation to offices serving under its administrative control. Rule 75 is in Part II and so is applicable even to the two petitioners before us although they were originally in the service of the State of Bombay and arrived in the new State of Mysore under the States Reorganization Act. This rule provides that the rules in appendix IV to the Mysore Civil Services Rules govern the occupation of Government buildings. We have perused the numerous provisions in that appendix and it it seen from them that there is nothing in that appendix which specifies the rent which could be recovered from a Government servant to whom a residential house belonging to the Government has been made available for his occupation.
6. But as Sri Datar has pointed out that by a Government circular dated 27 February 1961, it was provided that all Government servants except those to whom rent-free quarters were made available under the special sanction of the Government, shall pay rent for residential houses belonging to Government and in their occupation at a particular rate. But that provision was abrogated with retrospective effect by a Government order made on 4 December 1963.
7. It is in this situation that the Conservator of Forests thought that the Government servants in the Forest Department became liable to pay rent at a rate higher than that prescribed by Para. 2(T) of the earlier Government circular. He was of the view that that higher rate of rent became payable under the Mysore Civil Services Rules.
8. Appendix LV to the Mysore Civil Services Rules on which the Conservator of Forests depended, does not support that postulate. If Para. 2(T) of the earlier Government circular was retrospectively cancelled and if as we have stated there is no provision regulating the tariffs for the payment of rent for occupation of governmental buildings, it was not within the competence of Conservator of Forests to direct the recovery of any rent from the petitioners so long as the tariffs in regard to the rents in respect of such buildings are not determined, under the Mysore Civil Services Rules. The demand for the payment of rent is thus clearly unsupportable.
9. We therefore set aside the impugned circular by which the Conservator of Forests directed the payment of rent against which the petitioners complain.
10. No costs.