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Ramanand Sadanand Gairola Vs. Union of India (Uoi) Through Secy., Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 630 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1969All370
ActsAll India Services Act, 1951 - Sections 3; Indian Forest Service (Recruitment) Rules, 1966 - Rule 1, 4, 4(1) and 5(2); Indian Forest Service (Initial Recruitment) Regulations, 1966 - Regulations 3, 4 and 5; Constitution of India - Articles 16, 226, 309 and 320(3)
AppellantRamanand Sadanand Gairola
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi) Through Secy., Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.C. Khare, Adv.;K.N. Singh, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateH.N. Seth, Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
(i) service - selection procedure - section 3 of all india services act, 1951 and rule 4 of indian forest services (recruitment) rules, 1966 - petitioner not selected for service - no reason for rejection assigned - petitioner alleged that rule 4 is void and in violation of article 14 of constitution of india - petitioner prays for writ of certiorari - rule 4 does not require any regulation to be framed with regard to suitability of candidate - there can be no regulation adjudging suitability - held, writ not allowed. (ii) constitution - rule of natural justice - article 16 of constitution of india - inspector general of forest and chief conservator of forest both member of selection board - both of them also candidate for selection - averment that rule of natural justice has been..........the u. p. cadre of the indian forest service 27 posts would be held by persons promoted from the state forest service and 52 by persons who are directly recruited.5. a special selection board was constituted to recommend persons for appointment in the indian forest service cadre of uttar pradesh. this board consisted of the inspector general of forests government of india, who belongs to the gujarat forest service, the chief conservator of forests, uttar pradesh and another officer. the board recommended the names of some persons to the union public service commission and of these, respondents nos. 6 to 41 as also some others have been selected in the indian forest service cadre for the uttar pradesh by the union public service commission. the petitioner is not one of the persons.....
Judgment:

Jagdish Sahai, J.

1. Ramanand Gairola, the petitioner (hereinafter referred to as the petitioner) is a member of the U. P. Forest Service and holds a gazetted post. He was originally recruited in the Subordinate Forest Service of this State in 1934. In 1946 he was taken in the U. P. Forest Service in the war services quota. It is alleged that at present, he is a confirmed Assistant Conservator of Forests in this State. He has averred that he was selected for the post of Conservator of Forests by a Committee appointed for that purpose and held that post till 3rd of February, 1967.

2. In 1951 the All India Services Act was passed by the Central Legislature. In the Act, as passed, there was provision for only two All India Services, that is, the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service. The Act was amended in 1963 and three more All India Services were created, that is, the Indian Service of Engineers, the Indian Forest Service and the Indian Medical and Health Service. By means of a notification dated 1st September, 1966, published in the Gazette of India dated 17th of September, 1966, the Indian Forest Service (Cadre) Rules, 1966 were published.

3. Rule 3 of the aforesaid Rules (hereinafter referred to as the Rules) provides that :--

'There shall be constituted for each of the States a Committee consisting of the Chairman of the Commission or where the Chairman is unable to attend, any other member of the Commission representing it and the following other members.....'

By means of a notification dated 31st of October, 1966, the strength and composition of the various States Cadres were fixed. For our State (Uttar Pra-desh) Senior Posts in the cadre were fixed at 76. Of these 48 posts were of Deputy Conservator of Forests, 9 of Conservator of Forests, 1 of Conservator of Forests, Working Plan Circle, one of Chief Conservator of Forests, 1 each of Forest Extension Officer, Chief Wild Life Warden and Timber Supply Officer, 2 of the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Foresters, Training Division, two of the Silvicul-turist, one of the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Forest Resources Survey Division and 7 of the Working Plan Officer. Six senior posts were reserved for employment in the Central Government, Thus the total strength of the U. P. Cadre was fixed at 82.

4. The Rules also provide that in the U. P. Cadre of the Indian Forest Service 27 posts would be held by persons promoted from the State Forest Service and 52 by persons who are directly recruited.

5. A Special Selection Board was constituted to recommend persons for appointment in the Indian Forest Service Cadre of Uttar Pradesh. This Board consisted of the Inspector General of Forests Government of India, who belongs to the Gujarat Forest Service, the Chief Conservator of Forests, Uttar Pradesh and another Officer. The Board recommended the names of some persons to the Union Public Service Commission and of these, respondents nos. 6 to 41 as also some others have been selected in the Indian Forest Service Cadre for the Uttar Pradesh by the Union Public Service Commission. The petitioner is not one of the persons selected.

6. He has, therefore, prayed that a writ of certiorari be issued quashing all the proceedings held before the said Selection Board for the U. P. Cadre of the U. P. Forest Service as also the list prepared by the Union Public Service Commission and the notification dated 3rd February, 1967. There is also a prayer for the issue of a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents to take the petitioner in the Indian Forest Service and another that the operation of the order of the Central Government dated 9th February, 1967, in so far as it relates to the petitioner and the implementation of the Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs Notification No. 8-10-66-A-15(IV) dated 3-2-1967 and other similar notifications be stayed till the petitioner is included in the Indian Forest Service. In the end, it has been prayed that a writ of mandamus be issued commanding the respondents not to in any manner interfere, with the petitioner's functioning as a Conservator of Forests.

7. We have heard Mr. S. C. Khare for the petitioner, Shri H. N. Seth for the Union of India and Shri K. N. Singh for the State of Uttar Pradesh.

8. Mr, Khare has made the following eight submissions before us:--

1. Inasmuch as no Regulations were framed for the determination of the question of the suitability of the persons to be selected in the Indian Forest Service the entire proceedings before the Selection Board as also before the Public Service Commission are void and the Government Notification appointing the respondentsNos. 6 to 41 and other persons in the Indian Forest Service is also void.

2. That inasmuch as the Selection Board consisted of the Inspector General of Forests as also the Chief Conservator of Forests U. P., who were themselves desirous of entry in the Indian Forest Service, the provisions of Article 16 of the Constitution of India as also the principles of natural justice have been infringed.

3. That inasmuch as the Selection Board has not assigned the reasons for rejecting the petitioner and others and recommending the cases of respondents Nos. 6 to 41 as also others, who were appointed, the entire proceedings beginning from those before the Selection Board and ending with the Government Notification are invalid.

4. Rule 4 of the Rules is beyond the scope of Section 3 of the All India Ser-vices Act.

5. Rule 4 is void as it was framed after consultation With the Union Public Service Commission.

6. The rules are void because they were not put on the table of the Parliament.

7. Rule 4 and Regulations are hit by Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

8. The petitioner did not have an opportunity of representing his case before the Selection Board with the result that the principles of natural justice have been infringed.

9. We proceed to consider the submissions seriatim. Rule 4 of the Rules deals with the method of recruitment to service and reads:--

'4(1). As soon as may be after the commencement of these rules, the Central Government may recruit to the Service any person from amongst the members of the State Forest Service, adjudged suitable, in accordance with such regulations as the Central Government may make in consultation with the State Government and the Commission. . . .'

Mr. Khare submits that inasmuch as no Regulations have been framed for judging the suitability of candidates the selection is void. He relies upon the words 'adjudged suitable in accordance with such regulations as the Central Government may make.' It is argued that the meaning of these words is that there must be in existence regulations framed by the Central Government for adjudging the suitability of candidates. Learned counsel contends that this is a condition precedent, but has not been able to suggest what would a regulation for adjudging suitability contain and in what respects the existing rules or regulations are wanting. There are in existence Regulations and Rules. The existing Regulations provide for the recruitment to the service for constitution of the Selection Board,for preparation of a list of suitable Officers and for appointment to the Service. Rule 4 does not require any regulation to be framed with regard to the suitability of candidates.

10. The law can provide only minimum qualifications. It may also provide tests for determining suitability. But whether or not a particular person is suitable can be determined only by the assessment of his merit made by the selecting or the appointing authority. It is a mental process, though the appointing or selecting authority has to keep in mindl certain objective factors. In our opinion, it is only the arrangement of the words in the Rule which has enabled Mr. Khare to make this argument. By just changing the placement of words of Rule 4, without adding any words to it, the correct meanings of the provision would become clear. The provision should be read as below:--

'As soon as may be after the commencement of these Rules the Central Government may recruit to the service in accordance with such regulations as the Central Government may in consultation with the State Government and the Commission any person from amongst the members of the State Forest Service, adjudged suitable.'

It is the recruitment which has to be in accordance with the Regulations. No Regulations are required under the rule for adjudging the suitability of candidates. The use of the word 'such' shows that it refers to Regulations which are to be framed by the Central Government in consultation with the State Government, and the Public Service Commission. There can be no Regulations for adjudging suitability. We find, therefore, no substance in the first submission of the learned counsel.

11. Regulation 5 reads :--

(1) The Board shall prepare, in the order of preference, a list of such officers of State Forest Service who satisfy the conditions specified in regulation 4 and who are adjudged by the Board suitable for appointment to the post in the senior and junior scales of the Service.

(2) The list prepared in accordance with sub-regulation (1) shall then be referred to the Commission for advice, by the Central Government along with -

(a) the records of all officers of State Forest Service included in the list;

(b) the records of all other eligible officers of the State Forest Service who are not adjudged suitable for inclusion in the list, together with the reasons as recorded by the Board for their non-inclusion in the list; and

(c) the observations, if any, of the Ministry of Home Affairs on the recommendations of the Board.

(3) On receipt of the list, along with the other documents received from the Central Government, the Commission shall forward its recommendations to that Government.'

Mr. Khare contends that it is the requirement of sub-regulation (2) that the Selection Board shall assign reasons for non-inclusion of persons in the approved list. There is no rule or Regulation requiring the recording of the reasons either for inclusion or for the non-inclusion of candidates in the approved list The entire argument of Mr. Khare is based on the words 'that the reasons as recorded by the Board for their non-inclusion in the list,' occurring in Regulation 5(2). The Regulation does not say that reasons must be recorded. All that it provides for is that if reasons are recorded by the Board for non-inclusion of persons the same shall be submitted to the Public Service Commission and to the Government. The use of the words 'as recorded' indicates that recording of reasons is not necessary but if reasons are in fact recorded the same have to be submitted to the Public Service Commission and to the Government. We, therefore, do not find any merits in the third submission of the learned counsel also.

12. Learned counsel contends that inasmuch as the Inspector General of Forests and the Chief Conservator of Forests, U. P. were candidates for entry in the Indian Forest Service, they should not have been put on the Selection Board and since they sat in the Selection Board not only principles of natural justice have been infringed but there has also been a clear breach of Article 16 of the Constitution of India. In the counter-affidavit it has been stated that at the time when the matter relating to the selection of the Inspector General of Forests came up for consideration he withdrew from the Selection Board and so did the Chief Conservator of Forests when his turn came. This fact has not been controverted in the rejoinder-affidavit.

That being the position, the Inspector General of Forests and the Chief Conservator of Forests have not been judges of their own cause and there has been no discrimination in the recruitment to the service within the meaning of Article 16 of the Constitution of India. Besides, it is well settled that in a case of necessity the principles of natural justice do not apply and if a statute or the rules makes a person a judge of his own cause, that would not vitiate his decision or selection: see Serjeant v. Dale, (1877) 2 QBD 553 and Laxmi Chand Agarwal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1962 All 117. In this case, however, that principle need not be invoked in view of the circumstance that the Inspector General of Forests and the Chief Conservator of Forests did not par-ticipate in the proceedings of the Selection Board at the time when their cases were considered.

13. Surely there could not be better persons to sit in a Board appointed to select members of the Indian Forest Service than the Inspector General of Forests, who is at the apex of the Forest Department of the country and the Chief Conservator of Forests who is the head of the Forest Department in the State. We, therefore, find no merits in the second submission of the learned counsel also.

14. Section 3 of the All India Services Act reads:--

'The Central Government may, after consultation with the Governments of the States concerned including the State of Jammu and Kashmir make rules for the regulation of recruitment, and the conditions of service of persons appointed, to an All India Service.

(2) All rules made under this section shall be laid for not less than fourteen days before Parliament as soon as possible after they are made, and shall be subject to such modification, whether by way of repeal or amendment, as Parliament may make on a motion made during the session in which they are so laid.'

Mr. Khare contends that inasmuch as the regulations were not laid at the table of the Parliament they are not valid. It has been stated in paragraph 8 of the counter-affidavit sworn by Sri M. R. Bharadwaj that the Regulations were placed at the table of the Lok Sabha on 2-11-1966 and that of the Rajya Sabha on 8-11-1966. The contention that the Regulations were not so placed, is therefore, not correct. We would also like to point out that Section 3 does not require that the Regulations should be placed before the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha but only the rules. There is no complaint that the Rules were not so placed. We do not, therefore, find any merits in the fourth submission of the learned counsel as well.

Mr. Khare also contended that the Rules framed are beyond the scope of Section 3 of the All India Services Act because some of the Rules do not deal with the Regulations of recruitment and conditions of service. We have carefully perused the Rules and the Regulations and we find no Rule which is beyond the scope of section 3 of the All India Services Act nor has Mr. Khare been able to point out any such Rule or Regulation to us.

15. It was next contended by Mr. Khare that inasmuch as the Rules have been framed in consultation with the Public Service Commission, though such a consultation was not required by the All India Services Act, the rules are in-valid. The union as also the State Public Service Commissions have been created by Article 315 of the Constitution of India. Article 320 provides that:

'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.'

16. Article 320(3)(b) provides that the Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission, as the case may be, shall be consulted 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 and transfers. That being the Constitutional position, we find no illegality in the rule-making authority consulting the Public Service Commission while making rules for appointment to the Indian Forest Service, which is one of the Civil services in our country.

17. In any case, the Public Service Commission was only consulted and did not itself frame the Rules. The Rules were framed by the Central Government. If the Central Government only consulted the Public Service Commission but itself framed the Rules, the Rules would not become invalid for that reason. Merely because section 3 of the All India Services Act requires the Central Government to consult the State Governments, while framing Rules for recruitment to Alt India Services, it does not follow that the Public Service Commission cannot be consulted. The consultation with the Public Service Commission was not made under the provisions of the All India Services Act but under Article 320 of the Constitution. We have already said above that even if It be assumed that consultation with the Public Service Commission was not necessary merely because the Public Service Commission was consulted it would not render the Rules void.

18. Mr. Khare contends that Inasmuch as the State Boards were composed of different persons, with the result that the personnels of the Selection Boards varied from State to State a uniform, standard to judge the suitability of the candidates could not and was not adopted. We find no merits in this submission. The Inspector General of Forests was a member of the Selection Boards of every State. Consequently it cannot be said that the entire personnel was different. Because recruitment was to be made from the members of the State Forest Services in the various States, it was only natural and proper that the Selection Boards should have consisted of local persons who knew the Officers in their State Forest Service.

19. Mr. Khare has next contended that inasmuch as Rule 5(2)(b) uses the word 'adjudged suitable for inclusion' the powers exercised by the Selection Board were quasi-judicial and for that reason every candidate should have been heard before he was rejected. In our opinion, the word 'adjudged' does not indicate that any judicial process was involved. All that the expression 'adjudged suitable for inclusion' means is 'found worthy of selection.' Admittedly and clearly the record of all the Officers including the petitioner was before the Selection Board. The Selection Board perused those records. Mr. Khare has contended that the entire proceedings were concluded within six hours and for that reason the selection proceedings were a farce. There is no material before us on the basis of which we can say that the cases of the candidates were not considered properly on merits.

Mr. H. N. Seth, learned counsel for the Union of India wanted to file before us today, a supplementary affidavit in which it was stated that the Selection Board met on two days working for six and half hours on one day and three and half hours on the other day. It was also stated in this affidavit that extracts of the Character Rolls and Service Records of all the candidates had been made available to the members of the Selection Board a week or ten days before they met. We have not accepted this affidavit because an objection was taken on behalf of the petitioners to its acceptance at this stage. Clearly, the burden of proving that the cases of all the candidates were not properly considered was on the petitioner. It was his duty to have presented the material on the basis of which such a finding could be recorded. No such material has been made available. It is a normal practice with all the Selection Boards that papers relating to the candidates are sent to the members of the Board in advance and the burden was on the petitioner to prove that this normal procedure was not followed in the instant case.

20. The last submission of the learned counsel is that under the Indian Forest Service Rules a member of the State Forest Service cannot hold in a substantive capacity the post of Conservator of Forests or a post superior to it. The petitioner contends that there was no such bar in the Rules relating to the State Forest Service before the Indian Forest Service was created. The submission of the learned counsel is that inasmuch as the petitioner was occupying the post of the Conservator of Forests, though in an officiating capacity, he should not have been reverted to his substantive post.

21. Admittedly, the substantive post of the petitioner was that of a DeputyConservator of Forests (or Assistant Conservator of Forests). He has not been reverted or reduced from that post All that has been done is that he is not allowed to continue as Conservator of Forests because the Rules do not permit such a continuance. Under these circumstances, the petitioner has not been reduced in rank and he has no cause of complaint.

22. No other submission has been made before us.

23. For the reasons mentioned above we dismiss this writ petition. In the circumstances of the case there is no order as to costs.


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