Alladi Kuppuswami, C.J.
1. The petitioner was appointed on 19-7-1974 as a temporary Supervisor in the Primary Land Mortgage Bank, Sircilla, now known as the Sircilla Co-operative Agricultural Development Bank Ltd. Earlier when he was occupying the post of a Supervisor in the Land Mortgage Bank, Jagtial his services were terminated in 1973 on the ground that he had misappropriated a sum of Rs. 31/-. It is the case of the petitioner that no enquiry was conducted and his services were terminated in violation of the principles of natural justice. After the said termination, he joined the Sircilla Bank as a temporary Supervisor. The Manager of the Central Agricultural Development Bank informed the employer through his letter dated 12-9-1974 that the petitioner was involved in misappropriation of funds of a sister institution and directed the first respondent viz., the Sircilla Bank to dispense with his services. Thereafter, a number of letters were written by the Deputy Registrar, Agricultural Development Bank, Warangal, during the period from 13-12-1974 to 3-9-1975 directing the Bank to terminate the services of the petitioner failing which it was threatened that the salary paid to the petitioner would be surcharged on the persons responsible. Ultimately a resolution was passed by the Managing Committee of the first respondent-Bank on 26-11-1976 that his services should be terminated. Giving effect to this resolution the Chairman passed an order dated 27-11-1976 terminating the services of the petitioner from 27-11-1976. Challenging the said order, the petitioner filed this writ petition.
2. A preliminary objection was raised that a writ is not maintainable to quash the order of a co-operative society. When the matter came up before Raghuvir, J., he directed the writ petition to be posted before a Division Bench.
3. Sri Gururaja Rao, the learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that the decisions holding that a writ petition is not maintainable against a co-operative society including that of a Division Bench of this Court in W. P. No. 818/75 dated 29-7-1977 (Reported in 1978 Lab IC 528 (Andh Pra) require reconsideration in view of the recent trend of decisions of the Supreme Court. We consider it, however, unnecessary to go into this question as we are of the view that in effect what is being challenged in this writ petition is the direction given by the Deputy Registrar, Agricultural Development Bank, who is the second respondent herein. It is clear even from the order of the Chairman dated 27-11-1974 that the Deputy Registrar through his letters dated 13-12-1974, 17-5-1975, 19-6-1975 etc., was directing the Bank to terminate the services of the petitioner and was also threatening to levy surcharge if his directions were not carried out. These letters are specifically referred to in impugned order. On a reading of the order as a whole, we are satisfied that the order of termination is a direct consequence of the directions given by the Deputy Registrar in his letters. Hence the writ petition is in substance, one challenging the directions given by the Deputy Registrar. In these circumstances, we are of the view that the writ petition is maintainable.
4. Reference may be made in this connection to a decision of the Supreme Court in Nayagarh Co-operative Central Bank v. Narayan, : AIR1977SC112 where the learned Judges of the Supreme Court, while pointing out that they were inclined to the view that writ petition is not maintainable against a co-operative society, observed that in that case the petitioner was asking for relief not really against the co-operative society but in regard to the order passed by the Registrar who disapproved the appointment of respondent No. 1 as Secretary of the Bank and thereafter the President of the Bank issued an order terminating the services of the Secretary.
5. Sri Krishna Murty tried to persuade us that the impugned order was not made merely because the Deputy Registrar had directed the Bank to terminate the petitioner's services. He submitted that there was another reason for terminating the services viz., that the petitioner's appointment was irregular as it had been made without the prior approval of the President, Central land Mortgage Bank as required by Special bye-law No. 8. The termination of the services on the ground that he was also involved in misappropriation of funds of a sister institution was only a statement of fact which they were made aware of through a letter addressed by the Branch Manager of the A. P. C. C. A. D. Bank, Warangal. We are not inclined to agree with this interpretation of the impugned order. There can be no doubt that the main reason for passing the order of termination was the direction of the Deputy Registrar contained in the various letters referred to earlier and the threat of the Deputy Registrar that the employer should be surcharged for this irregular appointment.
6. Having regard to the conclusion that the order of termination was for the reason that the petitioner had been involved in misappropriation of funds earlier of a sister institution, it cannot be denied that the termination for such misconduct can be effected only after giving notice and an opportunity to the petitioner to state his objections. Admittedly no such opportunity was given. Assuming that the reason for termination was that, his prior appointment was irregular and contrary to the bye-law, even in such a case we are of the view that the petitioner should have been given an opportunity to show cause why his services should not be dispensed with.
7. We therefore, allow this writ petition and set aside the order of termination. This will not preclude the authorities, if they are so advised, to take appropriate proceedings against the petitioner after giving notice to the petitioner and a reasonable opportunity to meet any case sought to be made out. In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.
8. Sri Krishna Murty makes an oral application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. We see no substantial question of law of general importance which requires to be considered by the Supreme Court involved in this writ petition. The oral application is rejected.
9. Petition allowed.