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P. Subbarao and ors. Vs. Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission, Hyderabad - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService;Constitution
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. Nos. 421 and 498 of 1959 and 157 of 1960
Judge
Reported inAIR1961AP378
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 226 and 320; Madras Public Service Commission Procedure Rules, 1955 - Rules 8, 14 and 15
AppellantP. Subbarao and ors.
RespondentAndhra Pradesh Public Service Commission, Hyderabad
Appellant AdvocateP.A. Chowdary and ;T. Lakshmiah, Advs.
Respondent Advocate3rd Govt. Pleader
Excerpt:
(i) service - validity of order - articles 226 and 320 of constitution of india and rules 8, 14 and 15 of madras public service commission, rules of procedure, 1955 - commission declared presence of certain malpractices in result of examination based on inquiry under rules 14 and 15 - petitioner challenged impugned order under article 320 - court found commission created for specific purpose had implied power to do all acts for execution of its function - rules formed to check whether examinations are conducted genuinely - order of commission is not violative of article 320. (ii) initiating proceedings - rules 14 and 15 made by madras state public service commission - rules do not restrict power of commission to restrict proceedings - in order to have recourse to either of these rules.....chandra reddy, c.j.1. these writ petitions raise common questions of law and also present similar facts and could, therefore, be conveniently disposed of in one judgment.2. the petitioners seek the removal of the proceedings of the andhra pradesh public service commission hereinafter referred to as the commission, cancelling the results published of the examinations held in the year 1957 in the subjects which will be referred to presently. we will set out the facts in w.p. 421 of 1959 for an appraisal of the contentions involved in these petitions.3. the petitioner at the relevant time was working as a clerk in the office of the deputy commercial tax officer, tenali. he joined service to 1943 in the composite state of madras and worked in the civil supplies department upto 1952 when the.....
Judgment:

Chandra Reddy, C.J.

1. These writ petitions raise common questions of law and also present similar facts and could, therefore, be conveniently disposed of in one judgment.

2. The petitioners seek the removal of the proceedings of the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission hereinafter referred to as the Commission, cancelling the results published of the examinations held in the year 1957 in the subjects which will be referred to presently. We will set out the facts in W.P. 421 of 1959 for an appraisal of the contentions involved in these petitions.

3. The petitioner at the relevant time was working as a clerk in the office of the Deputy Commercial Tax Officer, Tenali. He joined service to 1943 in the composite State of Madras and worked in the Civil Supplies Department upto 1952 when the Department was abolished and he was retrenched. Subsequently he was absorbed in the Commercial Tax Department after the formation of the Andhra State.

4. Under the rules then prevailing, a clerk in the Commercial Taxes Department, in order to be promoted as an Assistant Commercial Tax Officer, should be below forty years of age, should put in eight years of service in the Department and should also pass examinations in the subjects prescribed therefor. As the petitioner had joined that department just a year before he has to apply to the Government for exemption from the rules regarding the minimum period of service and this request was granted.

In December, 1957 he appeared for the departmental tests in (a) The Commercial taxes test (b) Account test Part I and (c) Commercial Book-keeping, held by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission. The results of the ahove three tests were published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette dated 20th January 1958, 6th February, 1958 and 6th March 1958. According to the results published, the petitioner was declared successful in all the three tests.

5. After the publication of the results, the Commission, the first respondent in W. P. Nos. 498 of 1959 and W. P. No. 157 of 1960 and respondent in W. P. No. 421 of 1959, received reports that the examinees at the Guntur Centre indulged in mal-practices, such as copying and getting written answers from outside the examination hall, to a large extent. Thereupon, the respondent requested the Chief Examiner to submit a report alter verification of the scripts of the examinees at that centre. Accordingly the Chief Examiner scrutinised the various answer papers and found that they all tallied. He sent the report to the Commission embodying his remarks found on the comparison ot answer papers.

6. On being satisfied that there was a prima facie case on further investigation, the Commission issued two notices in regard to subjects (a) and (b) mentioned ahove to the petitioner to show cause why action should not be taken against him. The first notice is dated 5-8-1958 and is in the following terms :

'Sri P. Subha Rao, Register No. 1828 is hereby informed that there are reasons to believe that he had copied or had outside assistance in answering questions II, III, IV, V, VI and VII as the answers are similar. Though the examination is with books, it is well nigh impossible to produce identical answers especially to the practical questions. Thus copying is very much pronounced in the answers to question No. VII.

He is, therefore, directed to show cause why his result which has already been published as passed should not be cancelled and why he should not be debarred from appearing for the Commission's examination and selections for a period of three years .....'

The notice as regards the Commercial Taxes Departmental Test is in similar terms and was issued on 5-9-1959. Some more details are given in this notice hut it is not necessary for us to recite them in this enquiry.

7. The petitioner submitted his explanation in respect of both the subjects on 17-9-1958. After stating that he had put in seventeen years of unblemished service and having earned the good-will of all his Superior officers he was unlikely to be guilty of misconduct, he said that he never copied nor obtained outside assistance aud that the allegation that he answered question No, 5 twice could not be construed that he had answered the question for the second time after the receipt of the specimen answers from outside.

He further stated that his answering question No. 5 twice might bo correct as he might not have been aware of answering it in the first instance and that the answer might have been copied by the other candidate. He contended that the assumption, namely, his answering the same question for the second time evidently after receiving outside assistance as stated in the memorandum was not correct. With reference to the second notice, he stated thus :

' ..... I submit that as already submitted in paragraph 2 above, I did not copy the answer from any candidate nor have I received any outside assistance to answer question No. 7, nor I was aware of others copying.'

In conclusion, the petitioner said :

'I submit that it is unjust and against the principle of equity and natural justice io deprive me of the benefit, to recollect what I had exactly fared in the examination with all the minute details -- the details for which I am asked to explain --and thus surprisingly blame me with a bad reflection in my official career after nearly ten months. Hence, I humbly pray that the allegations levelled against me may be withdrawn,'

8. The respondent considered this explanation to be unsatisfactory and unconvincing. Consequently, it directed the cancellation of the results published on the dates recited above and the petitioner was debarred from appearing for the Commission's examination for a period of one year from 14-12-1957. It is this order that is in question in W. P. No. 421 of 1959.

9. Sri Chowdary, learned counsel for the petitioner, assails these proceedings on two main grounds. The first contention is that the Public Service Commission had no jurisdiction to cancel the results already published. It is pressed upon us that the Constitution has conferred only certain powers and duties on the Commission and the cancellation of results of examinations is not comprehended in them.

10. For an appraisal of this submission, it !s necessary to look at the relevant statutory provisions. Article 320 of the Constitution enumerates the functions of the Union and State Public Service Commissions. This article, in so far as it is relevant for the present enquiry, reads :

'It shall be the duty of the Union and the State Public Service Commissions to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the Union and the services of the State respectively

(2) xxxxx

(3) The Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission, as the case may be, shall be consulted --

*****

*****

(b) on the principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts and in making promotions and transfers from one service to another and on the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers;

(c) on all disciplinary matters affecting a person serving under the Government of India or the Government of a State in a Civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters;

*****

*****

and it shall be the duty of a Public Service Commission to advise on any matter so referred to them and on any other matter which the President, or, as the case may be, the Governor of the State, may refer to them;

We shall now turn to Rule 8 of the Madras Public Service Commission Rules of Procedure promulgated by the Government of Madras, which came into force on 1st January, 1955. That rule enacts :

'When any examination is to be held to test the proficiency of classes of Government Servants in the subjects prescribed for departmental examinations, the Commission shall --

(i) advise in regard to the prescribing of --

(a) the conditions of admission to the examination,

(b) the syllabus of the examination, and

(c) the percentage of marks to be obtained

for passing the examination; (ii) making all arrangements for the actual conduct of the examination; and

(iii) publish the results in the Fort St. George Gazette.

11. Pursuance to these statutory provisions, rules were made for regulating the conduct of examinations of which we may extract here Rules 14 and 15, which have a material bearing on the present enquiry.

Rule 14 : 'Any candidate who does not behave properly towards the Chief and Assistant Superintendents of the examination or is found to have had recourse to malpractice of any land will have his examination invalidated. Such a candidate irrespective of whether he is a Government servant or non-Government servant is liable to be debarred from appearing again for the examinations permanently or for such term of years as the Commission may think fit. The same penalty will be imposed on any candidate who personally or by letter attempts to canvass or bring influence or bear on any examiner or a member of the Commission or its staff in connection with the examination or on whose behalf such attempt is made by any relative, friend, patron, official or other person: The finding of the Commission as to the guilt of the candidate shall be final.

Rule 15 : If for any reason the Commission is not satisfied as to the trustworthiness of a candidate's results, the candidate will be required to undergo a re-examination in one or more of the subjects of the examination for which he appeared and his success or failure will be determined on the result of such re-examination. The finding of the Commission as to the guilt of the candidate shall be final.'

12. On the basis of the language of Article 320 of the Constitution, the argument advanced is that the Public Service Commission is empowered or is under a duty only to conduct examination and the holding of enquiries into misconduct of examinees after the examinations are over is an extra-constitutional activity, which is forbidden by law. It is maintained by the learned counsel that powers vested in the Commission could be supplemented only by law made by appropriate authority and without such statutory authority, it is not competent for the Commission to do anything beyond what is contemplated by Article 320.

13. This proposition is sought to be substantiated by a decision of the Calcutta High Court in Mira Chatterjee v. Public Service Commission, : AIR1958Cal345 . The learned counsel contended that the rules regulating the holding of examinations framed by the Governor some of which have already been extracted, are ultra vires, as they are not traceable to any provision of the Constitution from which the power of the Commission to conduct examination was derived.

14. We are not inclined to accede to the theories propounded by the learned counsel. It is true that Article 320 speaks only of the conduct of examinations and does not specifically confer any power to hold enquiries into the malpractices or misconduct of the examinees or to punish such delinquents. But this is not decisive of the matter. Corporate body which is created for a specific purpose should have the power to do all such acts as arc necessary to carry into execution the subjects for which it is created.

Such power is impliedly granted by the very enactment. Unless such ancillary or incidental powers are implied, it is difficult for a statutory body to give effect to the purpose for which the enactment was made. It follows that the power or duty to do everything in furtherance of the object of the enactment is implied in the statute itself. Now turning to : AIR1958Cal345 , we feel that that decision is not in point.

There the State Public Service Commission appointed a Selection Committee to test the suitability of candidates as teachers in aided schools. The question arose whether it was within the competence of the Service Commission to appoint such a committee and to require such candidates to appear before it. It was answered in the negative by Mukherji, J. in the opinion that this was an extra-constitutional aspiration as it is not one of the functions allotted to the Commission under Article 320.

It should be noted that selecting teachers to aided schools cannot he described as being ancillary to the performance of any of the duties imposed or to the exercise of powers conferred upon it by that Article. That is not comparable to the power or duty to preserve the right standards of examination and hence that ruling does not furnish any analogy here. It is the primary duty of the body that conducts the examinations to maintain the purity and strict standards of the examinations.

It is also expected to device every method to put an end to malpractices and to prevent one or other of the examinees obtaining an unfair advantage by resorting to mal-practices. It cannot be disputed that the rules which have been framed and which have already been adverted to have only been conceived in the interests of the integrity of standards of the examinations.

15. Tin's doctrine is embodied in the following passage in Maxwell's Interpretation oT Statutes, Tenth Edition, at page 361 :

'Where an Act confers a jurisdiction, it impliecily also grants the power of doing all such acts, or employing such means, as are essentially necessary to its execution.'

Two of the examples given therein are illustrative of the point. The first example is given under. Thus .

'An Act which empowered justices to require persons to take an oath as special constables, and gave them jurisdiction to inquire into an offence, impliedly empowered them to apprehend the persons who unlawfully failed fo attend before them for those purposes. Otherwise, the jurisdiction could not he effectually exercised.'

The other example is contained in the following passage at page 362 :

'An Act which authorises the making of bye-laws, impliedly authorises the annexation of a reasonable pecuniary penalty for their infringement, recoverable (in the absence of other provision) by action or distress.'

16. For these reasons, we are of opinion that the duty of the Commission is not confined to the holding of examinations as urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner. The duty to take action against examinees who violate the statutory rules concerning the purity of examinations is inherent in the very duty that is imposed on the Commission and it is futile to contend that its duty does not extend beyond conducting examinations. Further, the very concept of publication of result involves the investigation into misconduct concerning examinations, Publication of results involves the thought that it should be a correct publication and excludes the possibility of results obtained by fraud being given effect to.

17. The learned counsel then urged that this principle is inapplicable where power is conferred on an authority and not where a duty is imposed. In the case of duties, such an implication is unwarranted and they are strictly confined to the limits of the duties defined by the statute and the Authority cannot travel beyond them for any purpose, proceeds the argument. We are not impressed with this argument.

18. The purpose underlying the principle enunciated above, namely, to enable the statutory body to exercise the powers derived from the statute applies with full vigour to duties. It is as important to discharge duties effectively as to exercise the powers. Such powers or duties are inherent in the Statute if they are essential to carry into effect the object of the Act. Otherwise, the purpose of the statute will be defeated.

19. If it is the duty of the Commission to conduct examinations to judge the capacity of persons desirous of entering public service, it is equally its duty to maintain the integrity of the standards of such examination. To preserve the purity thereof, it should be in a position to amerce those who violate it. We feel that Article 320 was cast in that mould to emphasise the compulsory exercise of the power to hold the examination and to indicate that it was not left to the discretion of that body to hold them or not. In our judgment, a power like the one exercised by the Commission here falls within the contemplation of Article 320. By adopting this construction, we are not in any way enlarging the area of jurisdiction of the Commission. To hold it otherwise would be to take too narrow a view of that Article.

20. We are therefore not persuaded that there is any lack of jurisdiction in the Commission to initiate the proceedings now impugned before us. We are also not convinced that there is substance in the contention that the relevant rules are made without any authority. They are also traceable to Article 320 of the Constitution.

21. There is another difficulty which the petitioner has to get over before he could obtain relief in this writ petition. Admittedly, every one of the candidates was supplied with the rules relating to these examinations of which Rules 14 and 15 have been recited above. They clearly recite that any candidate, who is guilty of mal-practices will be visited with consequences catalogued in those rules. Having appeared for the examinations agreeing to those conditions, it is not open to the petitioner to question the legality of the conditions under which such examinations were held. This proposition is established by the judgment of the Bombay High Court in Nanik Dharamdas Vazirani v. Maharaja Sayajirao University. Baroda, (S) : AIR1957Bom246 .

22. It was next urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner that in any event, the penalties contemplated by Rules 14 and 15 could be inflicted only when the mal-practices were discovered in the course of examinations. We do not think that there is any warrant for reading those words into either Rule 14 or 15. Rules 14 and 15 are couched in general language and are not limited to the detection of the mal-practices while they were being committed.

We are impelled to the view that the guilty candidates can be visited with the consequences envisaged in either of the two rules, whatever may be the stage at which the mal-practices are detected. We arc also of the opinion that Rule 14 or Rule 15 does not restrict the power of the Commission to initiate proceedings against the examinees found guilty of misconduct before the publication of results. All that is necessary in order to have recourse to either of these two rules is that the person concerned should be adjudged guilty of malpractices.

23. It was next urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner that Rule 14 docs not empower the Commission to cancel the results already published but empowers only to debar the concerned candidate from appearing again for the examinations either permanently or for such term of years as the Commission may think fit. We are not inclined to assent to this proposition. In our judgment, the denotation of the clause 'Any candidate who does not behave properly towards the Chief and Assistant Superintendent of the examination or is found to have had recourse to malpractice of any kind will have his examination invalidated', is that the results of the examination will he nullified. Under this rule, the power to cancel the results and to debar a candidate is conferred on the Commission.

24. Shri Chowdary argues that if Rule 14 enables the Commission to inflict both the penalties. Rule 15 would be otiose because the latter rule empowers the Commission to cancel the result. According to him, the framing of two separate rules also emphasises the idea that the earlier one bears on the situation where the culprit is caught red-handed and the latter where the misdeeds came to light after the examinations. We do not think that the existence of these two rules side by side presents much difficulty. It is capable of easy solution.

While Rule 14 is attracted towards specific cases of candidates being found guilty of malpractices, Rule 15 applies to cases where the Commission has reason to believe that a candidate's results are not trustworthy. They contemplate two different situations. Rule 14 governs the case of an examinee who is detected to have resorted to malpractices, whereas Rule 15 applies to cases where the delinquency is not established but the Commission is not satisfied with the reliability of the results. The penalty to be imposed under this rule is not of a serious nature. The candidate is only required to sit for examination again in one or more subjects in regard to which results doubts are entertained by the Commission. For these reasons, we negative the contention founded on Article 320 of the Constitution,

25. The next point raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the power exercised by the Commission in the instant case is not in keeping with the dictates of natural justice. It is maintained by Sri Chowdary that the material made use of by the Commission was not available to his client, that the notices issued to him indicate that the Commission had already made up its mind and that lastly the orders in question do not show that the mind of the Commission was applied to individual cases of examinees who were said to have indulged in malpractices.

The argument pressed upon us by the learned counsel is that the Commission while holding an enquiry of this description, acts as a quasi-judicial functionary and as such it should adopt the procedure followed by quasi-judicial tribunals such as, not recording evidence behind the back of the person concerned, supplying him with material that is gathered and which is intended to be used against him as also the source from which it has collected and providing him with an adequate opportunity to present his case. It is complained that a fair opportunity was not afforded to the petitioner to defend himself by not giving him a copy of the report of the Chief Examiner which was absolutely essential for him to present his case before the Commission.

26. The learned counsel cited before us rulings of English courts to substantiate these principles. These rulings contain familiar propositions bearing on the rules of natural justice. They all lay-down, inter alia, the principle that before a man is condemned he should be given a reasonable opportunity to state his case, thus giving effect to the maxim 'Audi Alterum Partem'. It is needless to advert to all of them except to a recent judgment of the Privy Council in Ceylon University v. Fernando, 1960-1 WLR 223. This pronouncement of the Privy Council after an elaborate review of the cases bearing on the subject stated the law in clear terms, if we may say so with respect. The observations of Their Lordships as to what constitute 'principles of natural justice' contained at page 231 of the report are apposite in this context.

'Their Lordships do not propose to review these authorities at length, but would observe that the question whether the requirements of natural justice have been met by the procedure adopted in any given case must depend to a great extent on the facts and circumstances of the case in point.' As Tucker, L. J., said in Russet v. Duke of Norfolk, (1949) 65 TLR 225 (231) :

'There are in my view no words which are of universal application to every kind of inquiry and every kind of domestic tribunal. The requirements of natural justice must depend on the circum-stances of the case, the nature of the inquiry, the rules under which the tribunal is acting, the subject-matter that is being dealt with, and so forth'. In the earlier case of General Medical Council v. Spademan, 1943 AC 627 at p. 638, Lord Atkin expressed a similar view in these words : 'Some analogy exists, no doubt, between the various procedures of this and other not strictly judicial bodies, but I cannot think that the procedure which may be very just in deciding whether to close a school or an insanitary house is necessarily right in deciding a charge of infamous conduct against a professional man. I would, therefore, demur to any suggestion that the words of Lord Loreburn, L. C., in Board of Education v. Rice, 1911 AC 179 at p. 182, afford a complete guide to the General Medical Council in the exercise of their duties.'

27. Their Lordships proceeded to state that Lord Loreburn's dictum in 1911 AC 179 still afforded as good a general definition as any of the nature of and limits upon the requirements of natural justice in this kind of case. They then adverted to the following passage in the speech of Viscount Haldane, L. C., in Local Government Hoard v. Arlidge, 1915 AC 120 at pp. 132-33:

'I agree with the view expressed in an analogous case by noble and learned friend Lord Loreburn. In ]911 AC 179 at p. 182, he laid down that, in disposing of a question which was the subject of an appeal to it, the Board of Education was under a duty to act in good faith, and to listen fairly to both sides, inasmuch as that was a duty which lay on every one who decided anything. But he went on to say that he did not think it was bound to treat such a question as though it were a trial. The Board had no power to administer an oath and need not examine witnesses. It could, he thought, obtain information in any way it thought best, always giving a fair opportunity to those who were parties in the controversy to correct or contradict any relevant statement prejudicial to their view'.

28. These passages do not warrant the proposition that material cannot be gathered behind the back of the person concerned and that the source of information should be revealed to him. All that is necessary is that he should be given an opportunity to correct or contradict any statement that is prejudicial to him.

29. Their Lordships next extracted with approval the remarks of Harman J., in Byrne v. Kinematograph Renters Society Ltd. 1958-2 All ER 579, Harman J., observed :

'What then are the requirements of natural justice in a case of this kind? First, I think that the person accused should know the nature of the accusation made; Secondly, that he should be given an opportunity to state his case; and thirdly, of course, that the tribunal should act in good faith. I do not myself think that there really is anything more'.

30. This passage sums up the position as to the minimum of the basic requirements of natural justice. It is also clear that besides the three things stated above there is no other role of natural justice which has to be satisfied. Thus, 1960-1-WLR 223 does not render any assistance to the petitioner. On the other hand, that contains answers to the arguments advanced on behalf of the petitioners.

31. As already remarked, no useful purpose is served by referring to other cases cited by him because they do not throw any further light than the Ceylon University's case 1960-1 WLR 223. Each of the cases proceeded on its peculiar facts and considered whether there was any contravention of principles of natural justice. There is no rule enunciated there which is of universal application. They do not afford better guidance than 1960-1 WLR 223. Further remarked by Lord Hamilton, later on Lord Sumner in the King v. Local Govt. Board Arlidge 1914-1 KB 160, the phrase 'contrary to rules of natural justice' is an expression sadly lacking in precision.

32. As laid down by the Supreme Court in a number of cases, the question whether rules of natural justice have been transgressed in a given case should be decided in the light of statutory rules and provisions under which the statutory body functions. In New Prakash Transport Co. Ltd., v. New Suwarna Transport Co. Ltd., : [1957]1SCR98 , it was remarked by Sinha J. (as he then was) as follows:

'We have to examine those several precedents relied upon by the High Court to see how far its conclusions are supported by authority. But before we do that, it has got to be observed that the question whether rules of natural justice have been observed in a particular case must itself be judged in the light of the constitution of the statutory body which has to function in accordance with the rules laid down by the Legislature and in that sense the rules themselves must vary'.

His Lordship observed that in that case there was a sufficient compliance with the rules of natural justice, if the relevant contents of the police report, which formed to some extent the basis of the order impugned, were read out by the tribunal deciding the matter. It was also remarked that this question could not be determined with reference to preconceived notions or a priori considerations and that it should be judged in the light of the relevant rules.

33. This doctrine has been re-affirmed in the subsequent cases of the Supreme Court and it is not necessary to refer to all of them. It is sufficient if reference is made to Fedco Ltd. v. Bilgrami, : [1960]2SCR408 .

34. Bearing these principles in mind, if we examine the present case, there can be little doubt that there is no violation of the rules of natural justice. The petitioner was supplied with the gist of the report of the Chief Examiner. The particulars of the charge levelled against him are contained in the notices issued to him. It is not as if the report of the Chief Examiner was essential for the purpose of enabling the petitioner to defend himself. That apart, the action taken against the petitioner is not based on the report of the Chief Examiner.

It is founded upon the evidence furnished by the answer papers themselves. It is not disputed that the scripts were practically identical in language. In fact, we have ourselves compared the scripts and we find that the answers are similar and most of the answers word for word are the Same. We are not convinced that there has been any denial of fair opportunity to the petitioner to explain his conduct. What constituted his malpractice or misconduct so far as the petitioner is concerned was specifically set out in the notices issued to him and nothing further was required to help him to place his case adequately before the authorities concerned.

35. What is a 'reasonable opportunity' in such a situation was considered by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Khem Chand v. Union of India : (1959)ILLJ167SC . After reviewing the case law on the topic and discussing at some length, Das C. J. summarised it thus :

'..... reasonable opportunity envisaged by the provision under consideration includes --

(a) an opportunity to deny his guilt and establish his innocence, which he can only do if he is told what the charges levelled against him are and the allegations on which such charges are based;

(b) an opportunity to defend himself by cross-examination of the witnesses produced against him and by examining himself or any other witnesses in support of his defence; and finally

(c) an opportunity to make his representations as to why the proposed punishment should not be inflicted on him, which he can only do if the competent authority, after the enquiry is over and after applying his mind to the gravity or otherwise of the charges proved against the Government servant tentatively proposes to inflict one of three punishments and communicates the same to the Government servant'.

36. There can be no denial of the fact that the petitioner was afforded every opportunity to deny his guilt in this case and to make representations as to why action should not be taken against him within the ambit of rules fa) to (c) set out above. There is no question of an opportunity to defend himself like cross-examining witnesses being given because this is not a case in which witnesses were examined. The basis of the proceedings against the petitioner was his answer papers which contain inherent evidence of the petitioner being guilty of misconduct,

In this connection, it cannot be overlooked that the purpose of the Commission in calling for a report from the Chief Examiner was to satisfy itself whether there was any prima facie case or not against the petitioner, and that was a preliminary to the enquiry. The scripts in question amply made out the case against him that he either copied the answers from the other examinees or that he had the outside assistance.

In fact, the learned counsel for the petitioner is unable to say as to how a copy of the report of the Chief Examiner would aid the petitioner in meeting the charges levelled against him. In our opinion, neither the non-disclosure of the authority of the report nor the omission to furnish the petitioner with a copy of the whole of the report has in any way prejudiced the petitioner in the conduct of his defence and this could not be regarded as constituting an infringement of the rules of natural justice. For these reasons, we reject this contention also.

37. The only contentions that survive are (i) that the Commission had already made up its mind about the guilt of the delinquent and to award penalty and that the issue of notice was an empty formality; and (ii) that it had not applied its mind Jo the case of each of the examinees.

38. We do not think that these arguments are tenable. A perusal of the notices and the final rder now impeached clearly shows that these two points are devoid of substance. On a comparison of the scripts, the Commission reached the conclusion that there are reasons to believe that the petitioner was guilty of misdeeds indicated therein and had required him to explain the circumstances appearing against him.

We find it difficult to conceive of a better mode of achieving the result, namely, of affording him an opportunity to meet the case against him. The fact that the notices contained a reference to the mal-practices he is said to have committed does not in any way indicate that the Commission had pre-fudged the matter. We are, therefore, unable to agree with the counsel for the petitioner on this aspect of the matter.

39. The Other submission is equally fallacious. There is no scope for the complaint that the case of each of the examinees has not been considered Separately. The notices in question do not bear out this contention. They set out the grounds for the belief that the petitioner was guilty of sharp practices. His case is not coupled with any of the other examinees. The order now assailed is also a pointer to the conclusion that the Commission had applied its mind to each of the examinees individually, and had not dealt with them collectively. Thus, there is very little force in this argument also.

40. It follows that the order of the Commission in question cannot be successfully inpeached by the petitioner. The petition is, therefore, dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150.

41. W. P. No. 157/60. This case is of the same kind as W. P. No. 421 of 1059 and the principles enunciated above govern this case also. In the result this petition is also dismissed with costs Advocate's fee Rs. 100.

42. W. P. No. 498/59. This case stands on a different footing. In this case, the petitioner asked for copies of his answer papers and also a diagram of the hall in which the examination was held. The first respondent neither complied with this request nor sent a reply. In this position, we must hold that the petitioner was denied an opportunity to explain his conduct. Whether that would have materially helped him in framing his explanation or not, is not for us to consider at this stage. Suffice it to observe that in this case the rules of natural justice were violated in that the petitioner was not furnished with the papers he required. For these reasons, we must quash the order of the first respondent cancelling the petitioner's results,

43. The first respondent is at liberty to proceed with the matter from the stage of supplying the petitioner with copies of his answer papers OF permitting him to look into them, if he so desired, in the presence of a responsible officer. The petitioner will get his costs from the Government. Advocate's fee Rs. 50.


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