S.S. Dhavan, J.
1. This is a special appeal against an order of Jagdish Sahai, J., rejecting the appellant's writ petition directed against the decision of the Government refusing him full pay or allowances for the period when he was under suspension. The facts leading to the filing of that petition were these:
2. It appears that the appellant was prosecuted for a criminal offence and convicted. On appeal the High Court set aside the conviction. In the concluding portion of the Judgment the Court observed:. There is an element of reasonable -doubt regarding the guilt of the present accused, and the benefit of that doubt must foe extended to him. Under the circumstances I allow the appeal, set aside the conviction and sentence of the appellant.
After his acquittal the appellant was reinstated in service but was not given full pay and allowances for his period of suspension. The Assistant Inspector-General of Police sanctioned pay on the basis that the petitioner would be deemed on leave for four months, on half-pay for 24 months and on extraordinary leave without pay for the remaining period. The appellant was dissatisfied with this decision and made a representation to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police which was rejected. He then filed a petition under Article 226 in this Court. The petition was rejected by the learned Judge on the ground that the authority concerned had full jurisdiction to make the impugned decision. He also observed that the petitioner was not entitled as of right under the rules to receive the full pay for the period of suspension. Accordingly, he rejected the petition. Against this order the appellant has come up in special appeal.
3. We are of the opinion that the order of the learned Judge was right. Rule 54 of the Fundamental Rules governs the case of the petitioner and deals with Government servants who are reinstated after having been previously dismissed, removed or suspended. Clause (2) of this rule gives the competent authority the power to decide whether the Government servant has been fully exonerated or, in a case of suspension, whether it was wholly unjustified. If the finding on this question is in favour of the Government official, he becomes entitled to the full pay which he would have received had he not been dismissed, removed or suspended as the case may be. In all other cases the competent authority has full discretion in deciding what amount of pay and allowances the official shall receive after reinstatement.
4. The sole question in the appellant's case is whether he can claim to have been rally exonerated in the criminal proceedings. The competent authority, after a perusal of the judgment of the High Court, held that he had not been. The learned Judge, in his judgment rejecting the writ petition, held that no reason had been given by the petitioner to enable him to hold that the order of the competent authority was wrong. In our view, that authority was justified in coming to the conclusion that the order of acquittal does not have the effect of exonerating the appellant as it merely gives him a benefit of doubt.
5. The appeal fails and is rejected.