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Divisional Manager and ors. Vs. Shri Sharif Ahmad Nagrami - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService;Constitution
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Appeal No. 5 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1968All422; (1969)IILLJ470All
ActsLife Insurance Corporation (Staff) Regulations - Regulation 40; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantDivisional Manager and ors.
RespondentShri Sharif Ahmad Nagrami
Appellant AdvocateJagdish Swarup and ;S.D. Agarwal, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateNaithani, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....- article 226 of constitution of india - once the order of an original authority is taken in appeal - appellate authority which is located beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the high court - order of he latter authority which is the operative order after the appeal is deposed off - high court cannot issue a writ against the appellate authority for want of territorial jurisdiction. - - that is why the explanation has been added to regulation 40 clearly providing that conviction for the purposes of that regulation shall be conviction by the lowest court. and are of the opinion that the case of nagrami clearly fell under regulation 40 and that the order of his dismissal could not be set aside on the ground that it resulted in the violation of the statutory provision of..........made on behalf of the corporation that inasmuch as the executive committee which dismissed the appeal of nagrami was located outside the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of this court under article 226 of the constitution of india, no writ could be issued to it and even though the order of dismissal was passed by the divisional manager who was functioning within the jurisdiction of this court. the court could not grant any relief to nagrami.4. in this appeal which has been filed by the corporation mr. s. d. agarwal has made two submissions before us: firstly, that the learned single judge has misread the provisions of regulation 40 and, secondly, that in view of the circumstance that this court had no jurisdiction to quash the order of the executive committee, the writ petition.....
Judgment:

Jagdish Sahai, J.

1. This special appeal is directed against the judgment of Oak, J. (as he then was) dated 9-10-1961, allowing writ petition No. 3164 of 1958 filed by the respondent, Sri Sharif Ahmad Nagrami (hereinafter referred to as Nagrami).

2. Nagrami was in the service of the New India Insurance Company Limited, Bombay, as an Inspector, After the enforcement of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956, the business of the aforesaid company was taken over by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation). The petitioner thereafter came in the employment of the Corporation. He was prosecuted before a Magistrate Ist Class for offences punishable under Section 406 I.P.C. The Magistrate convicted him underSection 406, I. P. C. and sentenced him to pay a fine of Rs. 500 in default to suffer imprisonment for one year. On 26-2-1957 the Divisional Manager dismissed Nagrami from service. On 5-3-1957 Nag-rami informed the Corporation of his acquittal and on 21-3-1957 he made an application for the withdrawal of the dismissal order. On 2-8-1957 the Branch Manager informed Nagrami that the order of dismissal could not be withdrawn. On 14-10-1957 Nagrami filed an appeal before the Executive Committee, Life Insurance Corporation Bombay (hereinafter referred to as the Executive Committee). On 28-5-1958 the Executive Committee dismissed the appeal and by means of a letter dated 23-6-1958 the Divisional Manager informed Nagrami that his appeal had been dismissed on 28-5-1958. The petitioner then filed writ petition no. 3164 of 1958 in this Court on 28-10-1958.

3. Oak, J. allowed the writ petition on the ground that Nagrami could not be dismissed under Regulation 40 of the (Staff) Regulations of the Corporation because on the date when the order of his dismissal was passed, he was not under an order of conviction. The learned Single Judge held that, that being the position, there was violation of statutory regulation and for that reason the order of dismissal was liable to be quashed. Oak, J. repelled the plea made on behalf of the Corporation that inasmuch as the Executive Committee which dismissed the appeal of Nagrami was located outside the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, no writ could be issued to it and even though the order of dismissal was passed by the Divisional Manager who was functioning within the jurisdiction of this Court. The court could not grant any relief to Nagrami.

4. In this appeal which has been filed by the Corporation Mr. S. D. Agarwal has made two submissions before us: firstly, that the learned single Judge has misread the provisions of Regulation 40 and, secondly, that in view of the circumstance that this Court had no jurisdiction to quash the order of the Executive Committee, the writ petition was liable to be dismissed.

5. We proceed to consider the submission seriatim. Regulation 40 reads :--

'40(1) An employee who is arrested for debt or on a criminal charge shall be liable to be placed under suspension from the date of bis arrest and shall be allowed the payments admissible to an employee under suspension under Clause (4) of Regulation 41 until the termination of the proceedings against him, when an adjustment of his pay and allowances shall be made according to the circumstances of the case and in the light of the decisionas to whether his absence is to be accounted for as a period of duty or leave, the full pay and allowance being given only in the event of the employee being acquitted of all blame and treated as on duty during the period of his absence. 'An employee who is committed to prison for debt or is convicted of a criminal offence shall be liable to dismissal.'

(2) All such cases shall be reported to the Executive Committee as soon as practicable.

Explanation :-- In this regulation the expression 'termination of proceedings' shall mean the decision of the lowest court which first finally disposes of the case. 'Similarly committal or conviction shall mean committal or conviction' by the lowest court which first disposes of the case and it shall be open to the Corporation to dismiss an employee who is committed to prison or who is convicted of ft criminal charge as from the date of the order of the lowest court which finally dealt with the case.'

(Underlined (hereinto ' ') by us)

6. It has been contended by Mr. S. D. Agarwal that the learned single Judge ignored the explanation. It is true that the explanation has not been noticed by Oak, J. in his judgment. He has, white dealing with Regulation 40, observed as follows :--

'It is true that the petitioner was Initially convicted by a Magistrate on 29-9-56. But he was acquitted in appeal on 12-2-57. It is significant that the order of acquittal was passed in appeal before the petitioner was dismissed from service (26-2-57). In view of the petitioner's acquittal on 12-2-57, it was impossible to say that he had been convicted on 29-9-56. On 26-2-57 it was impossible to dismiss the petitioner from service under Regulation No. 40 on the simple footing that he had been convicted of a criminal offence. The true position was that the petitioner's conviction had been set aside in appeal.'

7. In support of this observation Mr, Naithani, who has appeared for Nagrami has placed reliance upon the following decisions of this Court under Clause (a) to the proviso to Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India :--

1. R.S. Das v. Divisional Superintendent, Allahabad, AIR 1960 All 538,

2. The Divisional Superintendent, Northern Rly., Allahabad v. Ram Saran Das, AIR 1961 All 336,

3. Kunwar Bahadur v. Union of India, 1967 All LJ 486 (FB).

8. We have carefully perused the provisions of Regulation 40, those of Article 311(2) proviso (a) as also the authorities mentioned above. In our opinion, the authorities have no application to the case before us which is governed by Regulation 40 and not by Article 311(2) proviso (a). There is no provision similar to the explanation to Regulation 40 in Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India. The explanation makes it absolutely clear that whether or not a person has been convicted for the purposes of Regulation 40 would be determined on the basis of the order of conviction passed by the lowest court. The explanation does not provide that for the determination of the question whether or not a person has been convicted, the order of the last court to which appeal or revision might have been taken would be considered.

There appears to be sound public policy behind the explanation to Regulation 40. A servant of the Corporation has to deal with money and it is of absolute importance that his integrity should be abpve board. People, whose integrity is open to the least suspicion, have not been considered fit by the Regulation to be allowed to continue in the service of the Corporation. That is why the explanation has been added to Regulation 40 clearly providing that conviction for the purposes of that regulation shall be conviction by the lowest court. The circumstance that Nagrami was acquitted by the appellate Court is of no consequence in view of the explanation to Regulation 40. Under these circumstances with great respect, we disagree with Oak, J. and are of the opinion that the case of Nagrami clearly fell under Regulation 40 and that the order of his dismissal could not be set aside on the ground that It resulted in the violation of the statutory provision of Regulation 40. We have already pointed out earlier that the learned single Judge ignored from consideration the explanation to Regulation 40 in arriving at his conclusion.

9. The second submission of Mr. S. D. Agarwal, in our opinion, must also be upheld. The factual position is that the learned Single Judge has no jurisdiction to quash the order dated 28-5-1958 passed by the Executive Committee dismissing the appeal pf Nagrami The Fifteenth amendment to the Constitution by wbich the powers of High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution have been extended had not been passed until 1963 with the result that Oak, J. had to deal with the case on the basis of the provisions of Article 226 as they stood on 9-10-1961 the date on which Oak. J. decided the writ petition giving rise to this special appeal. At that time admittedly he had no jurisdiction to issue a writ against the Executive Committee which was located at Bombay, and to quash its order dated 28-5-1958. It is true that the Divisional Manager's office was located within the territorial iurisdiction of this Court and- this court could nuash his order dated 26-2-1957. But that wouldhave been an inlructuous writ as the appellate order dated 28-5-1958 would not be affected by that writ and would stand undisturbed.

10. Clearly the quashing of the order dated 26-2-1957 would not result in the quashing of the order dated 28-5-1958 or in making the latter order invalid or lifeless. The effective force of the order dated 28-5-1958 cannot in any manner either be destroyed or curtailed by the writ issued by Oak, J. Under these circumstances, it appears to us that the writ issued by Oak, J. is an infructuous writ. It is well settled that a court does not issue an infructuous writ. The present position is that the Executive Committee is not bound by the decision of Oak, J. dated 9-10-1961 nor its order stands quashed.

11. But quite apart from it as a pure question of law we are extremely doubtful whether this Court could issue a writ to quash the order dated 26-2-1957 without quashing the order dated 28-5-1958. Whether or not the order dated 26-2-1957. has merged in the order dated 28-5-1958, the factual and legal position is that the order dated 28-5-1958 is fully effective and its effectiveness cannot be destroyed in any indirect manner. It is well settled that what a court cannot do directly, it cannot do indirectly. If this Court could not quash the order dated 28-5-1958 on the ground that the authority passing that order was located beyond its jurisdiction, it cannot in effect quash it by ignoring it and quashing the order dated 26-2-1957. The view that we are taking finds support from Collector of Customs, Calcutta v. East India Commercial Co. Ltd. Calcutta, AIR 1963 SC 1124. There the learned Judges of the Supreme Court while dealing with a similar matter observed :--

'In all these three cases after the appellate authority has disposed of the appeal, the operative order is the order of the appellate authority whether it has reversed the original order or modified it or confirmed it. In law, the appellate order of confirmation is quite as efficacious as an operative order as an appellate order of reversal or modification. Therefore, if the appellate authority is beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court it seems difficult to hold even in a case where the appellate authority has confirmed the order of the original authority that the High Court can issue a writ to the original authority which may even have the effect of setting aside the order of the original authority when it cannot issue a writ to the appellate authority which has confirmed the order of the original authority. In effect, by issuing a writ to the original authority setting aside its order, the High Courtwould be interfering with the order of the appellate authority which had confirmed the order of the original authority even though it has no territorial jurisdiction to issue any writ to the appellate authority. We therefore feel that on principle when once an order of an original authority is taken in appeal to the appellate authority which is located beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court, it is the order of the latter authority which is the operative order after the appeal is disposed of and as the High Court cannot issue a writ against the appellate authority for want of territorial jurisdiction it would not be open to it to issue a writ to the original authority which may be within its territorial jurisdiction once the appeal is disposed of, though it may be that the appellate authority has merely confirmed the order of the original authority and dismissed the appeal.'

We are bound by this decision. The result, therefore, is that even the second submission of Mr. S. D. Agarwal must be upheld.

12. In view of what we have saidabove, we allow this special appeal, setaside the judgment of Oak, J. dated 9-10-1961 and dismiss Civil Miscellaneous WritPetition No. 3164 of 1958. But we directthe parties to bear their own costs. Theinterim order dated 3-8-1962 is discharged.


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