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Dattatraya Dinkar and ors. Vs. State Bank of India and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Petn. No. 453 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1969MP114; 1969MPLJ166
ActsState Bank of India (Sub-accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules - Rule 18(1)
AppellantDattatraya Dinkar and ors.
RespondentState Bank of India and ors.
Appellant AdvocateM.N. Phadke, ;R.K. Tankha and ;P.C. Pathak, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateP. Mehta and ;V.S. Dixit, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredMulchand v. Mukund
Excerpt:
- - 453 of 1967 also prays that a notice issued to him by the state bank of india on 14th july 1967 asking him to make good a cash shortage of rupees 2000/- be quashed. 18 (1) every employee who is appointed as a head cashier shall execute an agreement for service in the form prescribed by the bank and shall be bound by the terms of his agreement whereunder he will inter alia be required to subscribe to an accountant styled 'head cashiers' security account constituted by the bank for the purpose of forming a reserve to meet losses which may arise by reason of any act or omission or negligence on the part of head cashiers and persons for whom they are responsible in cases where other means of recovery of such losses have failed or are not available. .19 ) which the head cashier and/or.....dixit, c.j.1. this order will also govern the disposal of misc. petition no. 326 of 1967.2. these are two applications tinder articles 226 and 227 of the constitution by persons employed as head cashiers in the various branches in the state of madhya pradesh of the state bank of india challenging the validity of rule 18 (1) of the state bank of india (sub-account ants and head cashiers) service rules (hereinafter referred to as the service rules) and of certain clauses of an agreement which each of the petitioners was required to execute in terms of rule 18 (1) for indemnifying the state bank of india against any loss or damages caused by his own acts or omissions or by the acts or omissions on the part of the cash department staff employed under him. the petitioners pray that rule 18 (1).....
Judgment:

Dixit, C.J.

1. This order will also govern the disposal of Misc. Petition No. 326 of 1967.

2. These are two applications tinder Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution by persons employed as Head Cashiers in the various Branches in the State of Madhya Pradesh of the State Bank of India challenging the validity of Rule 18 (1) of the State Bank of India (Sub-Account ants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules (hereinafter referred to as the Service Rules) and of certain clauses of an agreement which each of the petitioners was required to execute in terms of Rule 18 (1) for indemnifying the State Bank of India against any loss or damages caused by his own acts or omissions or by the acts or omissions on the part of the Cash Department Staff employed under him. The petitioners pray that Rule 18 (1) and the impugned clauses of the agreement be declared invalid and inoperative and the respondents be restrained from enforcing them. The third petitioner Tribhangamarari Pal in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 also prays that a notice issued to him by the State Bank of India on 14th July 1967 asking him to make good a cash shortage of Rupees 2000/- be quashed.

3. In order to appreciate the circumstances in which these petitions have been filed and the arguments advanced on behalf of the parties, it is first necessary to refer to the relevant provisions of the State Bank of India Act, 1955, and of the Service Rules and to the material clauses of the agreement executed by each of the petitioners in terms of Rule 18 (1). The preamble to the State Bank of India Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) sets out its objects which are: the extension of banking facilities on a large scale, more particularly in the rural and semi-urban areas, and diverse other public purposes and transfer to the State Bank of India the undertaking of the Imperial Bank of India. Section 3(1) establishes the State Bank of India. It says that 'A Bank to be called the State Bank of India shall be constituted to carry on the business of banking and other business in accordance with the provisions of this Act and for the purpose of taking over the undertaking of the Imperial Bank'. Section 3(2) makes the State Bank of India a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal.

Section 7 deals with transfer of service of existing officers and employees of the Imperial Bank to the State Bank. The first sub-section of this section is in the following terms:

'Every officer or other employee of the Imperial Bank (excepting the managing director, the deputy managing director and other directors) in the employment of the Imperial Bank immediately before the appointed day, shall, on and from the appointed day, become an officer or other employee, as the case may be, of the State Bank, and shall hold his office or service therein by the same tenure, at the same remuneration and upon the same terms and conditions and with the same rights and privileges as to pension, gratuity and other matters as he would have held the same on the appointed day if the undertaking of the Imperial Bank had not vested in the State Bank, and shall continue to do so unless and until his employment in the State Bank is terminated or until his remuneration, terms or conditions are duly altered by the State Bank'.

By Section 17(1) the general superintendence and direction of the affairs of the State Bank is entrusted to the Central Board which may exercise all powers and do all such acts and things as may be exercised or done by the State Bank and are not by the Act expressly directed or required to be done by the State Bank in general meeting. Section 18 inter alia prescribes that in the discharge of its functions the State Bank shall be guided by such directions in matters of policy involving public interest as the Central Government may, in consultation with the Governor of the Reserve Bank and the Chairman of the State Bank, give to it The composition of the Central Board has been given in Section 19, Section 43 gives to the State Bank the power to appoint officers and other employees. It runs thus:

'The State Bank may appoint such number of officers, advisers and employees as it considers necessary or desirable for the efficient performance of its functions, and determine the terms and conditions of their appointment and service.'

Section 49 gives to the Central Government the power to make rules. It is as follows:

'49. Power of Central Government to make rules.

(1) The Central Government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for-

(a) the procedure for the payment of compensation under this Act;

(b) the determination of persons to whom the said compensation shall be payable in all cases, including cases where shares in the Imperial Bank have been held by more than one person, or where they have been transferred before the appointed day but the transfer has not been registered or where the shareholder is dead.' Section 50 is concerned with the power of the Central Board to make regulations. It is in the following terms:

'50. Power of Central Board to make regulations.

(1) The Central Board may, after consultation with the Reserve Bank and with the previous sanction of the Central Government make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder, to provide for all matters for which provision is expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for -

(a) ** ** **

to ** ** **

(u) ** ** **

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the first regulations shall be made by the Reserve Bank with the previous sanction of the Central Government, and thereupon shall be deemed to be the regulations made by the Central Board under this section and shall have force accordingly until they are amended or repealed.'

4. The State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules were brought into force with effect from 1st January 1959. They apply to all Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers in the service of the State Bank of India on 1st January 1959 and to all Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers appointed thereafter. Of the Service Rules the material provision is Rule 18 (1). It runs thus:

'18 (1) Every employee who is appointed as a Head Cashier shall execute an agreement for service in the form prescribed by the Bank and shall be bound by the terms of his agreement whereunder he will inter alia be required to subscribe to an accountant styled 'Head Cashiers' Security Account constituted by the Bank for the purpose of forming a reserve to meet losses which may arise by reason of any act or omission or negligence on the part of Head Cashiers and persons for whom they are responsible in cases where other means of recovery of such losses have failed or are not available.' The form of the agreement which a Head Cashier is required to execute in terms of Rule 18 (1) has been reproduced in Annexure 'A' in the paper book (page 23) of Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967. The material clauses of this agreement are Clauses 3, 4, 7 and 10. They are as follows:

'3. (a) All appointments to the staff under the control of the Head Cashier shall be made by the Bank on the recommendation of the Head Cashier. The Bank shall have the right in its absolute discretion to reject any such recommendation and to call upon the Head Cashier to make a fresh nomination until a candidate or candidates suitable in the opinion of the Bank for such post or posts has/have been nominated by the Head Cashier. The powers of dismissal of such staff shall vest solely in the Bank.

(b) The Head Cashier shall with the approval of agent or in his absence the accountant of the said branch of the Bank appoint or nominate but at his own risk and responsibility a fit person to carry out the duties of Head Cashier of the said branch of the Bank during his absence from office at the said branch of the Bank whether such absence shall be of a temporary nature due to his illness or any other cause whatsoever.

(c) The Head Cashier may with the approval of the agent or in his absence the accountant of the said branch of the Bank appoint at his own risk and responsibility an employee in the staff of the cash department of the said branch of the Bank who shall assist him during the tenure of his office as such Head Cashier as his deputy in the discharge of the duties of the Head Cashier while he himself is on duty and to act for him as his substitute during his absence for any cause whatsoever.

(d) Any person so appointed or nominated by the Head Cashier under Sub-clauses (b) and (c) of this clause shall be and shall to all intents and for all purposes be deemed to be a member of the staff of the cash department of the said branch of the Bank appointed by the Bank on the recommendation of the Head Cashier as aforesaid.

4 (a) The Head Cashier agrees that he shall be responsible for the intromissions of and for all losses, damages, costs, charges and expenses which may be caused to the Bank or which the Bank may sustain or incur by reason of or arising from or in consequence of any act, omission or negligence of himself and/or any person who has been or may hereafter be appointed by the Bank on his recommendation or appointed or nominated by him as aforesaid under Clause 3 hereof.

(b) The Head Cashier shall be responsible for the correctness and genuineness of all hundies, cheques, securities, vouchers, deeds, documents, instruments, writings and signatures written in any language or character other than the English language and character (not in the possession of the said branch of the Bank at the said. . .day of. . .19 ) which the Head Cashier and/or any person appointed by the Bank on his recommendation or appointed or nominated by him as aforesaid shall at any time during the course of his employment as Head Cashier accept or deal with or which shall come (or shall have come) into his hands and/or the hands of such person and shall have been accepted or dealt with as correct and genuine and whatever might have been the reason or the circumstances for or under which the same shall have been so accepted or dealt with as correct and genuine the Head Cashier undertakes unconditionally to make good to the Bank all and any losses, damages, costs, charges and expenses whatsoever which may be sustained or incurred by the Bank in consequence of any such hundies, cheques, securities, vouchers, deeds, documents, instruments, writings or signatures being or being found to be forged instruments or signatures or being otherwise, ineffective, inoperative, invalid or correct(sic.)

** ** **

7. The Head Cashier shall from time to time pay to the Bank for credit the Head Cashier's Security Account the amount of his subscription thereto ascertained according to the scale set out in the Schedule hereto such amount to he paid by deduction by the Bank from the salary payable to the Head Cashier.

Provided however that the liability of the Head Cashier to the Bank under the terms of this Agreement or otherwise shall in no way be lessened or affected by reason of his subscribing to the Head Cashier's security Account and the Bank shall not in any way be bound to resort to such Account for the purpose of making good any losses for which the Head Cashier is or may be responsible, the object of such Account being to provide a reserve fund to which resort may be made by the Bank in cases where other means of recovery fail or are not available.

** ** **

10. This Agreement shall be read and construed as if the liabilities and responsibilities undertaken by the Head Cashier in respect of his duties as Head Cashier of the. . . .Branch of the Bank apply in respect of his duties as Head Cashier of any other branch of the Bank to which he may be transferred as from the date on which he assumed charge of his duties as Head Cashier at the Branch to which he is transferred and the words 'the said branch of the Bank' wherever occurring in these presents shall be construed accordingly.'

5. The grievance of the petitioners is that though under Clause 3 (a) of theagreement all appointments to the staff under the control of the Head Cashier are required to be made by the Bank on the recommendation of the Head Cashier, yet in actual practice no such recommendation is ever obtained from any Head Cashier; that the Head Cashier is not a member of the Selection Board and has no voice whatsoever in the matter of inviting applications or interviewing the applicants and has no opportunity whatsoever of verifying the antecedents of any person intended to be appointed; and that when a candidate is selected by the Selection Board for appointment, the Head Cashier is required to give his consent to the appointment of the selected candidate by a letter addressed to the Agent in the following form:

'Dear Sir,

With reference to Clauses 3 and 4 of my agreement for service dated the..... with the Bank, I hereby place on record that I consent to the appointment of.... as. .. .at this Branch and I declare myself responsible to the Bank for the acts, omissions and defaults of the said..

I also place on record that I consent to the retention by the Bank of any security furnished by... .for the due discharge of his duties as..... .at this Branch'.

The petitioners further say that when a Head Cashier is transferred from one Branch to another, he is required to execute another 'consent letter' agreeing to the retention in the Cash Department Staff at the Branch to which he is transferred of all its present employees. The form of that 'consent letter' (Annexure B, paper-book page 27 in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1968), according to the petitioners, is as follows:

'Dear Sir,

With reference to Clause 3 of my Agreement for service dated the. . .with the Bank, I, .... at present . . . Head Cashier at ... Branch in accepting the appointment of ... of the Bank hereby place on record that I consent to the retention on the cash department staff at the Branch of all its present employees number .... and who are named below'.

6. The petitioners complain that they are required to give the 'consent letter' under duress and threats of disciplinary action. On this point the first petitioner Dattatraya in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 has averred that when he was transferred from Ujjain Branch to Indore and assumed office at the Indore Branch on 28th October 1966 he was asked to give a consent letter for the retention of all the cashiers at the Indore Branch without being given any opportunity for verifying the antecedents and character of some 25 cashiers working at the Indore Branch; that on 11th May 1967 one of the cashiers, namely, Maheshwarkar reported a shortage of Rs. 15,900/- to the petitioner; that he reported the matter to the Agent and Zonal Secretary of the State Bank of India Supervising Officials' Association, Indore, for action being taken against Maheshwarkar but none was taken and that, on the other hand, he was served by the Agent with 8 notice to make good the loss of Rupees 15,900/-.

7. The second petitioner Ramkumar Sharma in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 has averred that when he was working as Head Cashier at Khairagrah Branch he reported to the Agent that one Rajimwale cashier was not co-operating with him, was disobedient and could not be relied upon; that instead of taking any action against the said cashier, he, that is the petitioner Ramkumar Sharma, himself was transferred to the Jabalpur City Branch. The said petitioner further says that at the Jabalpur City Branch he found that the cashiers working under him had not furnished cash securities at all and that their day to day working was faulty; he was, therefore, reluctant to consent to their retention but still in order to avoid any disciplinary action being taken against him, he ultimately consented to their retention; that he had reported to the Head-Office about the working of Rajimwale and of the cashiers at the Jabalpur City Branch and their not having furnished any cash securities at all; that he was informed that the question of withdrawing his consent to Rajimwale's retention did not arise as he himself had been transferred to Jabalpur and that no reply was ever given to him in regard to his complaint about the cashiers at the Jabalpur City Branch.

The further statement of the said petitioner is that when ultimately he waa constrained to withdraw the consent letter that he had given in respect of the cashiers at the Jabalpur City Branch, he was repeatedly asked by the Agent, Jabalpur City Branch, to revise his stand in regard to the cashiers; that when he refused to do so, he was forced to go on leave; that thereafter he was called to the Head Office and persuaded to cancel the letter which he had written withdrawing his consent to the retention of the staff which he did on the assurance that he would be transferred to Surajpur; and that later on he was transferred to the Surajpur Branch where he received a letter from the Deputy Secretary and Treasurer of the Bank expressing disapproval of the Bank of the action taken by him in withdrawing his consent in regard to the retention of the cashiers at the Jabalpur City Branch. The letter which the said petitioner received from the Deputy Secretary and Treasurer of the Bank stated that a copy of that letter had been placed in his service file.

8. The third petitioner Tribhengamarari Pal in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 says that when he was transferred from Tumsar Branch to Durg Branch, he made enquiries about the six cashiers working there; that he learnt that four of them were involved in a short remittance of Rs. 460/- during his predecessor's time; that these cashiers had refused to make good the loss and his predecessor had to bear it entirely; that when he asked the six cashiers to give an assurance 'of the shortages which may occur in future in course of the transactions dealt with by them', the four cashiers who were involved in the short remittance of Rs. 460/- during his predecessor's time refused to give any assurance; that thereupon he reported the matter to the Agent that it would not be possible for him to give his consent to the retention of these four cashiers; that no reply was sent to this communication about his inability to give consent in regard to these four cashiers; that in the meantime on 13th July 1967 Rs. 2000/- were stolen from the counter of one of the cashiers in regard to whom he had refused to give any consent; but still on 14th July 1967 the Agent of the Durg Branch served him with a notice asking him to make good the loss of Rs. 2000/- and that on 5th August 1967 the Agent addressed him a letter requiring him to give his consent for the retention of the aforesaid cashiers.

The said petitioner further states that he again addressed a letter to the Agentdetailing the 'various activities' of the four cashiers, and expressing his reluctance to give consent for their retention; and that now he has been asked by the Agent under instructions from the Head Office to 'submit further detailed and convincing reasons for refusal to give consent in respect of the said cashiers,'

9. Shri Phadke, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners, put forward the case of the applicants thus. He argued that the State Bank of India was a body corporate as was evident from Section 3 of the Act; it was also a public authority. In this connection learned counsel referred us to the various provisions of the Act indicating the public purpose which the Bank was meant to serve, the control exercised by the Government over the Bank and the public duties which the Bank was required to discharge. It was contended that the Bank being a Corporation and a public authority had the power to frame bye-laws to carry out its purposes including regulations of the terms and conditions of service of its employees and that the State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules issued by the Central Board were bye-laws made by the Bank in exercise of its powers under Section 43 or Section 50 of the Act; they were not any rules made by the Central Government under Section 49 and that being so they could be challenged on the ground that they were unreasonable.

Learned counsel proceeded to say that Rule 18 (1) requiring every employee appointed as Head Cashier to execute an agreement for service in the prescribed form which is a part of Rule 18 (1), and Clauses 3, 4, 7 and 10 of the agreement were plainly unreasonable; that on no principle or logic a person appointed as Head Cashier could be called upon to subscribe to a 'security account' or accept responsibility for loss or damage caused to the Bank by acts or omissions of the cashiers working under him, especially when under Clauses 3 (a) and 10 of the agreement a Head Cashier had no voice at all in the appointment or retention of any cashier at the Branch where he is posted; and that Rule 18 (1) and the aforesaid Clauses of the agreement, especially Clauses 3 (a), 4 and 10, being unreasonable were invalid.

Learned counsel for the petitioners took us through paragraphs 12 to 18 of the petition in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 and submitted that as narrated in the said paragraphs the manner in which the three petitioners were asked to give 'consent letters' for the retention of the cashiers at the Branch where they had been transferred abundantly indicated that the Head Cashier had no option whatsoever in the matter of appointment or retention of cashiers working under him and that he was compelled to consent to the appointment or retention of the cashiers or himself face disciplinary action. It was also urged that the agreement did not authorize the Bank to obtain consent letter from a Head Cashier for the retention of the cashiers at the Branch where he is transferred. On this argument learned counsel asked us to strike down Rule 18 (1) of the Service Rules and Clauses 3, 4 and 10 of the agreement and to restrain the respondents from enforcing them. Reference was made to the decisions in V. Ramiah v. State Bank of India, Madras, AIR 1964 Mad 335 and K. M. Mukherjee v. Secy. State Bank of India, AIR 1968 Cal 59 to show that a writ or suitable direction could be issued against the State Bank of India under Article 226 of the Constitution for giving to the petitioners the reliefs claimed by them.

10. In reply, Shri Mehta, learned counsel appearing for the respondent State Bank of India did not dispute that the Bank was a body corporate. He, however, submitted that the State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules were not statutory rules and did not have any statutory effect; they were not rules made by the Central Government under S, 49 or regulations made by the Central Board under Section 50 of the Act; that the power conferred by Section 49 to make rules or to make regulations under Section 50 did not at all touch the subject of service conditions and terms of the employees of the Bank; the Rules could not be treated even as rules made under Section 43 for that section only empowered the State Bank to appoint its officers, advisers and employees and to determine the terms and conditions of their appointment and service; the power to fix the terms and conditions of service meant the fixation of terms and conditions by entering into service agreements and not by making statutory rules. According to the learned counsel, the rules only embodied the contractual terms and conditions of service of the employees of the State Bank and did not have the effect of statutory rules, and that being so, Rule 18 could not be declared to be ultra vires and illegal.

In order to emphasize the contractual character of the Rules learned counsel referred us to Appendix I of the Rules containing the form of a declaration made by a person entering the service of the Bank saying that he has received from the Bank a copy of the Rules and having read and understood them he thereby subscribes and agrees to be bound by the Rules. It was further argued that the Act did not give any power to the State Bank of India to make bye-laws and consequently the Rules could not be regarded as bye-laws framed by the Bank and that even if the Rules were treated as bye-laws, there was nothing unreasonable in Rule 18 or in any of the clauses of the agreement executed by a Head Cashier in terms of the rule. It was said that it was common practice with all Banks to require the Head Cashier to furnish security or execute bonds of indemnity and that thia was a reasonable requirement as the Head Cashier handles large amounts. Referring to Clauses 3, 4 and 10 of the agreement learned counsel for the Bank said that the Bank cannot and does not make any appointment of cashier or retain any cashier at any Branch unless the Head Cashier consents and that though in the agreement there is no specific clause requiring the Head Cashier to give consent for the retention of cashiers at the Branch where he is transferred, the necessary implication of Clause 10 read with Clause 3 is that a cashier cannot be retained at a Branch unless the Head Cashier consents to his retention by writing a consent letter.

11. In answer to the complaints of the three petitioners in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 that they were compelled to consent to the retention of cashiers at the Branches where they had been transferred, learned counsel referred us to paragraphs 14 to 23 of the return filed on behalf of the respondents refuting their allegations. Learned counsel said that the petitioners were only seeking to have certain terms of the agreement executed by them declared invalid and that for this purpose or for restraining the respondent-Bank from enforcing any of the terms of the agreement no writ or direction could be issued under Article 226.

Learned counsel cited before us several decisions in which it has been held that under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution directions cannot be given for enforcing or preventing a breach of rights and obligations contractual in character. He also placed reliance on AIR 1964 Mad 335 (supra) to support his contention that the State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules were not statutory rules but only terms and conditions of employment.

12. On the arguments presented by learned counsel for the parties the controversy centres round the question whether the 'Rules' are statutory rules or bye-laws or only a set of terms and conditions of a contract of employment. It is not the case of either party that the 'Rules' are ultra vires the powers of the State Bank of India. Whereas the petitioners contend that the Rules are bye-laws, the opponents stand is that the 'Rules' only embody the conditions and terms regulating the employment of Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers by the Bank. Under Section 49 the Central Government has no doubt the power to make rules in consultation with the Reserve Bank to carry out the purposes of the Act. But the 'Rules' in the question have not been made by the Central Government and the power conferred by Section 49 does not embrace the service conditions and terms of the Bank's employees. The purpose of the Act is the constitution of the State Bank of India to transfer to it the undertaking of the Imperial Bank of India for the extension of banking facilities on a large scale, more particularly in the rural and semi urban areas and for diverse other public purposes. So also the specific power to make regulations conferred on the Central Board by Section 50 of the Act does not touch the power to regulate the service conditions and terms of the employees.

The fact that under Section 50 regulations can be made only after consultation with the Reserve Bank and with the previous sanction of the Central Government and the requirement that the regulations must not be inconsistent with the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder show that the regulations that may be made under Section 50 are not meant to cover terms and conditions of service. Sub-section (2) of Section 50 enumerates the particular matters in regard to which the Central Board can make regulations. In the enumeration given in Sub-section (2) there is no mention whatsoever of the determination of the terms and conditions of service of the Bank's employees. It is no doubt true that Sub-section (2) cannot control the general words used in Sub-section (1). But, as we have stated earlier, Sub-section (1) itself shows that it does not confer on the Central Board the power to make regulations in regard to the subject of terms and conditions of service cf the Bank's employees.

13. The contention that the 'Rules' are nothing but certain conditions of a service contract of a Head Cashier or a Sub-Accountant is difficult of acceptance. A perusal of the State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules is sufficient to show that they are not stipulations of a contract governing the employment of a person joining the service of the State Bank. The 'Rules' provide for appointments in general, probationary period, conditions and circumstances in which service can be terminated. Provident and Pension Funds, fidelity guarantees, records of service, seniority and promotion, conduct and discipline, scales of salaries of the Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers, leave, medical attendance, house-allowance etc. In Chapter 14 of the 'Rules' provision has been made for a change in the rules and a right of appeal has been provided to an employee or a group of employees aggrieved by the change.

The fact that an employee entering the service of the Bank is required to subscribe to the declaration in form A appended to the 'Rules' does not at all lead to the conclusion that the 'Rules' are merely a set of terms and conditions governing the employment. Indeed, if the 'Rules' were only terms and conditions of a contract concluded between the employee and the Bank regulating the employment, then there was no necessity for providing by Rule 82 of the 'Rules' that every employee to whom the 'Rules' apply shall subscribe to the declaration in form A. In that case, the employee executing the agreement would necessarily be supposed to have knowledge of the terms and conditions of the agreement executed by him. It may be noted here that if bye-laws are made by a Corporation, then the bye-laws do not bind persons other than members unless it is shown that they are brought to the knowledge of the person sought to be bound by them. The signing of a declaration by an employee entering the service of the Bank saying that he has read the 'Rules' and agrees to be bound by them is, therefore, in no way decisive of the fact that the 'Rules' are merely terms of a service contract.

14. It seems to us unnecessary to decide in this case whether the 'Rules' are statutory rules or bye-laws, for if the 'Rules' are statutory rules then they cannot be declared to be invalid on account of unreasonableness. It is well settled that in the case of rules, all that the Court can do is to see whether the authority making a rule has the power to make the rule. If the 'Rules' are bye-laws, then, as will be shown presently, there is nothing unreasonable in Rule 18 (1) or the impugned clauses of the agreement executed in terms of Rule 18 (1). If it be, however, necessary for us to decide whether the 'Rules' are bye-laws, then we are inclined to think that there is considerable force in the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioners that the 'Rules' are bye-laws. The State Bank of India is a Corporation and every Corporation has the power to make bye-laws relative to the purposes for which it is constituted. In this connection it would be pertinent to refer to the statement in paragraphs 77, 78 and 79 of Halsbury's Laws of England 3rd Edition, Volume 9, pages 40-41.

The statement of law contained in the said paragraph runs thus:

'77. Byelaws. All regulations made by a corporation and intended to bind not only itself and its officers and servants, but members of the public who come within the sphere of their operation, may properly be called 'byelaws', whether they are valid or invalid in point of law; but the term may also be applied to regulations binding only on the Corporation, its officers and servants.

78. Extent of power. Every corporation has the power to make bye-laws relative to the purposes for which it is constituted. Such byelaws, however, do not bind persons other than members, unless they are made under statutory authority, or unless it is shown that they have been brought to the knowledge of the person sought to be bound by them, and that he has agreed to be so bound. Power to make byelaws binding upon persons using an undertaking conducted by the corporation has in some cases been conferred by statute.

79. Exercise of power. The power to make byelaws, either by the body at large or by a select part is incident to every corporation......' The statement in paragraph 79, namely that 'the power to make byelaws, either by the body at large or by a select part, is 'incident to every corporation' (underlining (here in ' ') is ours), clearly implies that every corporation has inherent power to make byelaws with reference to its internal government, management of its affairs, right and duties existing between the members inter se and its officers and ser-varts. No doubt, in some cases, power to make bye-laws is expressly conferred on a Corporation. But even if there is no express conferment of power to make bye-laws, the Corporation has, as one of its legal incidents, power to make bye-laws for regulating its own actions and concerns and rights and duties among members themselves and for regulating the employment of its officers and servants.

15. There is however, a clear distinction between statutory rules and bye-laws. The Supreme Court has observed in T.B. Ibrahim v. R. T. A. Tanjore, 1953 SCR 290 at p. 298 : (AIR 1953 SC 79 at p. 82) that bye-laws and rules made under a rule-making power conferred by a statute do not stand on the same footing, as rules made under a statute are part and parcel of the statute itself. The distinction has also been pointed out by this Court in the case of Dukhuram v. Co-operative Agricultural Association, Kawardha, 1960 MPLJ 433 : (AIR 1960 Madh Pra 273) thus:

'Bye-laws made under a power conferred by a statute are not parts of the statute. A statute is a sort of Constitution Act conferring on the body or authority the power to make bye-laws in respect of certain matters. There arecertain essentials for the validity of a bye-law. It must be intra vires the authority who makes it, not repugnant to the law of the country, certain in its terms, and positive and reasonable: see Halsbury's Laws of England, 3rd Edn. Vol. IX, pp. 42-43, and Municipal Committee, Khurai v. Firm Kaluram Hiralal, ILR (1943) Nag 740 : (AIR 1944 Nag 73) The rules framed under an Act stand on an altogether different footing. They are parts of the Act and when they are made and published, they have effect as if enacted in the Act. They are governed by the same principles of constructions as are applicable to the statute itself. A statutory rule cannot be challenged on the ground that it is unreasonable whereas a bye-law is open to challenge on the ground that it is unreasonable. No doubt, when a statute enabling bye-laws ana rules to be made is repealed, the rules as well as the bye-laws fall with the Act. But the bye-laws cease when the statute is repealed not because they are parts of the Act, but because the authority of the corporation or association to make bye-laws is revoked by the repeal of the Act. Merely because the bye-laws and the rules cease to be operative when the Act is repealed, it does not follow that a bye-law is, like a rule made under the Act, a part of it.'

The distinction between statutory rules and bye-laws has also been pointed out by Chagla C. J. in Mulchand v. Mukund, AIR 1952 Bom 296. In that case he observed:

'There is a clear distinction between statutory rules and bye-laws. Bye-laws are usually framed by corporations under their inherent powers' in order to carry out the purposes of the Corporation or they are framed by public authorities set up by Parliament, and as it is left to the corporations or the public authorities to frame those by-laws and carry out their purposes, the Courts have retained certain amount of control over the by-laws by considering their reasonableness. But statutory rules stand on an entirely different footing. Parliament or Legislature, instead of incorporating the rules into the statute itself, ordinarily authorises Government to carry out the details of the policy laid down by the Legislature by framing the rules under the statute, and once the rules are framed, they are incorporated in the statute itself and become part of the statute, and the rules must be governed by the same principles as the statute itself. And, therefore, although a bye-law may be challenged on the ground that it is unreasonable, a statutory rule cannot be so challenged.'

(Underlining (here in ' ') is ours). If, therefore, as we think, the State Bank of India has, as one of its legal incidents, the power to make bye-laws regulating the employment of its officers and servants, then the 'Rules' which actually deal with service matters relating to Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers are plainly bye-laws. It is, however, not correct to say that the Act does not confer any power on the Bank to frame these bye-laws. Section 43 of the Act provides that the Bank may appoint such number of officers, advisers and employees as it considers necessary or desirable and may determine the conditions of their appointment and service. Now, the 'determination' of the terms and conditions of service of the employees may be by service agreements or otherwise. The word determine' does not imply that the fixation of the terms and conditions of Service of the employees must be and can only be by a service agreement.

The words 'to determine' mean 'to regulate', 'to prescribe imperatively'. It may not be possible to construe the word 'determine' as conferring on the Bank the power to make rules regulating the terms and conditions of service of its employees, officers and advisers. But even though Section 43 does not confer in the usual form the power to make bye-laws, still having regard to the position that the Bank is a Corporation has, as one of its legal incidents, the power to make bye-laws, tbere seems no reason why the word 'determine' should not be taken as conferring on the Bank the power to make bye-laws determining the terms and conditions of the appointment and service of its officers, advisers and employees.

16. The decision in AIR 1964 Mad 335 (supra) relied upon by learned counsel for the State Bank of India no doubt supports his contention that the State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules are not statutory rules; that the said 'Rules' may be the terms and conditions among others which govern the employees of the State Bank; but they do not as statutory rules have the force of law. In that case a learned Single Judge of the Madras High Court expressed the view that Section 43 of the Act did not empower the Bank to make rules and proceeded to observe:

'The section only empowers the State Bank to appoint its officers, advisers and employees, their number depending upon the necessity or desirability for the efficient performance of Bank's functions. The further power of the State Bank under the section which is related and incidental to the power to make appointments, is the power to determine the terms and conditions of the appointment and service. There is nothing to prevent the State Bank of India from fixing such terms and conditions and changing the same from time to time at its discretion. The power under Section 43 arables the Bank no more than to fix the terms and conditions of service by entering into service agreement or otherwise in relation to the officers, advisers and employees appointed by it. There can, therefore, be nothing statutory about or in the determination of the terms and conditions of the service. Such determination of the terms and conditions does not have the effect of making the rules have the force of law. It is under this section the State Bank is enabled to enter into service agreements with its employees.'

In that case the question whether the 'Rules' are bye-laws made by the State Bank of India was not raised and considered. The decision cannot, therefore, be regarded as an authority for the proposition that the 'Rules' are not bye-laws made, by the Bank. Indeed, the observation of the learned Single Judge, namely, 'the power under Section 43 enables the Bank no more than to fix the terms and conditions of service by entering into service agreements or otherwise in relation to the officers, advisers and employees appointed by it,' does not rule out the possibility of the terms and conditions of service being fixed otherwise than by a service agreement. If, as the learned Single Judge thought, rules cannot be framed under Section 43 regulating the terms and conditions of service of the Bank's employees, then the 'otherwise' mode contemplated by him can only mean the method of fixing the terms and conditions of service by making bye-laws in that behalf. The decision of the Madras High Court can, therefore, be regarded as supporting the view we have taken that under Section 43 of the Act bye-laws can be made for regulating the terms and conditions of service of the Bank's employees, officers and advisers. If the 'Rules' are bye-laws, then they can be challenged on the ground that they are unreasonable.

17. The petitioners' contention that Rule 18 (1) is unreasonable and therefore invalid cannot be acceded to. That rule requires the person appointed as a Head Cashier to execute an agreement for service in the prescribed form whereunder he is inter alia required to subscribe to an account styled as 'Head Cashiers' Security Account' constituted by the Bank. This 'Security Account' is for the purpose of forming a reserve to meet losses which may arise by reason of any act or omission or negligence on the part of Head Cashiers and persons for whom they are responsible. Under the rule, the responsibility of the Head Cashiers for meeting losses is only in cases where other means of recovery have failed or are not available. When a person is required to handle large amounts in the discharge of his duties, it stands to reason that he should be asked to furnish security for meeting such losses as may arise because of any act or omission on his part or on the part of persons working under him. The taking of a security bond or a fidelity bond or a guarantee from Head Cashiers, Cashiers and Accountants is very common in commercial concerns, and Banks and in Government Departments also.

Rule 18 (1) does no more than provide that a person appointed as Head Cashier shall execute an agreement in the prescribed form and under that agreement will also subscribe to the account mentioned therein for the purpose of forming a reserve to meet losses arising by reason of his act or omission or negligence or of persons for whom he is responsible. The security account constituted by the Bank under the said rule is nothing but a form of insurance, and the clauses of the agreement executed by the person appointed as a Head Cashier accepting liability for loss in the event of other means of recovery of the loss failing or not available are only in the nature of a fidelity bond or guarantee. Having regard to the duties and responsibilities of a person appointed as Head Cashier, it cannot be said that it is unreasonable to require the Head Cashier to execute an agreement in terms of Rule 18 (1) for the purposes mentioned therein. In any case, a person who wishes to be appointed as a Head Cashier and who is aware of Rule 18 (1) cannot, after having been appointed as a Head Cashier and after having executed an agreement, complain that Rule 18 (1) is unreasonable and, therefore, invalid. There is no compulsion on the part of an employee or a person to accept the appointment of a Head Cashier; if he accepts the appointment, then he must comply with Rule 18 (1), the provisions of which are reasonable.

18. Turning to the attack of the petitioners on the validity of Clauses 3, 4, 7 and 10 of the agreement executed in terms of Rule 18 (1) on the ground that they are unreasonable, it really proceeds on the assumption that by virtue of Clauses 3 (a) and 10 a Head Cashier is held responsible under Clause 4 for losses, damages etc., caused to the Bank by any member of the staff under the control of the Head Cashier even though the member is appointed or retained at a Branch against the recommendation and wishes of the Head Cashier. There is no warrant in the language of Clauses 3 (a) and 10 for such an assumption. Clause 3 (a) expressly lays down that all appointments to the staff under the control of the Head Cashier shall be made by the Bank on the recommendation of the Head Cashier.

If, therefore, the Head Cashier does not recommend the appointment of any person on the staff, then the Bank cannot appoint him. The clause no doubt gives the Bank a right to reject any recommendation made by the Head Cashier. But then after rejecting the recommendation the Bank is required to call upon the Head Cashier to make a fresh nomination until a candidate suitable in the opinion of the Bank is nominated by the Head Cashier. This process ensures that the person who is ultimately appointed on the staff under the control of the Head Cashier is one acceptable both to the Head Cashier as well as the Bank. Sub-clauses (b) and (c) of Clause 3 of the agreement deal with appointment of a fit person to carry out the duties of a Head Cashier during his absence or of a person to assist the Head Cashier as his deputy in the discharge of his duties. The appointments under Sub-clauses (b) and (c) are by the Head Cashier himself at his own risk and responsibility though they are made with the approval of the Agent or, in the absence of the Agent, of the Accountant. Sub-clause (d) only deems a person appointed by the Head Cashier under Sub-clauses (b) and (c) as a member of the staff of the Cash Department. It is plain that under none of the four sub-clauses of Clause 3 of the agreement is any person appointed on the staff of the cash department without the consent of the Head Cashier.

19. Now, Clause 4 of the agreement makes the Head Cashier responsible for all losses, damages etc., which may be caused to the Bank by reason of or arising from or in consequence of any act, omission or negligence of himself and/or any person who has been appointed or nominated by the Bank on his recommendation under Clause 3. If a person is appointed or nominated on the staff of the cash department at any Branch of the Bank on the recommendation of the Head Cashier, then there can be nothing unreasonable in imposing on the Head Cashier liability for the faithful discharge of his duties by the person appointed or nominated and insure the Bank against any losses that may be caused by any act, omission or negligence of such a person.

20. Clause 7 of the agreement prescribes the scale according to which a Head Cashier is required to subscribe to the 'Head Cashiers' Security Account'. The payment which a Head Cashier is required to make according to the prescribed scale really does not impose on him any unreasonable burden. The purpose of the security account, as the proviso to Clause 7 clarifies, is only to provide a reserve fund for meeting losses and the Bank can resort to this reserve fund where other means of recovery fail or are not available. Under Clause 7 the Head Cashier's responsibility under the general law for any losses is in no way lessened or affected by reason of his subscribing to the 'Head Cashiers' Security Account' and the Head Cashier is not made responsible for making good the loss in the first instance whenever any loss or damage is caused by any member of the cash department working under him. As Rule 18 (1) and the proviso to Clause 7 of the agreement lay down, a Head Cashier is made responsible for making good the loss in cases where other means of recovery of the loss have failed or are not available. In our opinion, it cannot be said of any of the provisions contained in Clause 7 of the agreement that it is unreasonable.

21. Coming to the last impugned clause of the agreement, namely Clause 10, that in effect provides that when a Head Cashier appointed at a Branch is transferred to any other Branch, then the liabilities and responsibilities imposed on him under the agreement shall continue in respect of his duties as Head Cashier of the Branch of the Bank to which he is transferred as from the date on which he assumes charge of his duties as Head Cashier at the Branch to which he is transferred. This clause does not no doubt expressly provide for the retention of any member of the staff of the cash department at the Branch with the consent of the Head Cashier transferred to the Branch when he assumes charge of his duties as Head Cashier; but the necessary implication of this clause read with Clause 3 (a) is that no member of the staff of the cash department already working at a Branch can be retained in that capacity unless the Head Cashier transferred to that Branch agrees to his retention after assuming charge of his new duties.

The words 'all appointments' occurring in Clause 3 (a) mean not only initial appointments to the staff under the control of the Head Cashier but also cover the continuance in appointment at a Branch of the members of the staff under the control of the Head Cashier when a Head Cashier is appointed at that Branch. On this construction of the words 'all appointments' it follows that no member of the staff under the control of the Head Cashier can be retained at a Branch unless the Head Cashier appointed at that Branch or transferred to that Branch consents to his retention. The basis of the Head Cashier's liability under the fidelity-guarantee stipulations contained in Clauses 3, 4 and 10 for the faithful discharge of their duties by the members of the staff under his control is the consent of the Head Cashier to the appointment at a Branch, whether as initial appointment or as in continuance of an original appointment already made, of the members of the staff at that Branch.

It would cut at the very root of this basis if the Bank appoints a member of the staff under the control of the Head Cashier or continues him in an appointment under his control, if the Head Cashier is not prepared to guarantee the fidelity of the member of the staff and ensure against the risk of infidelity. In that event, there would be no contract of 'fidelity guarantee' imposing on the Head Cashier any liability or responsibility for loss or damage caused to the Bank by any act or omission or negligence of any person on the staff under his control. That being the position, it cannot be held that the Bank follows an unreasonable course in asking a Head Cashier transferred to a Branch to give a letter of consent for the retention of the members of the staff that would be under his control at the Branch to which he is transferred, after satisfying himself about the honesty, conduct and antecedents of the members intended to be retained. Of course, the Bank cannot compel a Head Cashier for the retention of any particular member of the staff if the Head Cashier is not prepared to guarantee his fidelity and ensure the Bank against the risk of infidelity.

If such a compulsion is established, then that would only vitiate the contract of 'fidelity guarantee' and the Bank cannot hold the Head Cashier responsible for any loss caused to the Bank by reason of any act or omission or negligence on the part of a member of the staff whose fidelity is not guaranteed by the Head Cashier. On the wording of Clauses 3, 4, 7 and 10 of the agreement and the construction put by us on those clauses, none of those clauses can ba struck down as invalid on the ground of unreasonableness.

22. It seems to us that the real grievance of the petitioners is about the working of Clauses 3 (a) and 10 of the agreement by the Bank. Their complaint is that in actual practice appointments of cashiers on the staff under the control of the Head Cashier are not made by the Bank on his recommendation and that when a Head Cashier is transferred to a Branch he is compelled to agree to the retention of the staff already working at the Branch on the pain of disciplinary action. On this point the petitioners in Misc. Petition No. 326 of 1967 have not narrated any incidents of the alleged manner of the wording of Clauses 3 (a) and 10 of the agreement by the Bank. The three petitioners in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 have, however, attempted to support the allegations with reference to their own cases. In the return filed by the Bank it has been denied that appointments to the staff under the control of the Head Cashier are made without his recommendation or that the Head Cashier is forced to give a 'consent letter' for the retention of the staff at the Branch to which he is transferred.

23. In regard to the first petitioner Dattatraya in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 it has been averred in the return that he was given full opportunity of verifying the antecedents and character of some 25 cashiers working at the Indore Branch when he was transferred there from Ujjain; that action against Maheshwarkar and another cashier was taken when a shortage of Rs. 15,900/- was found. It has been admitted that the Bank did serve a notice on Dattatraya to make good the loss of Rs. 15,900/-. Shri Mehta, learned counsel for the Bank, however, stated before us that this notice was only for intimating to the petitioner Dattatraya that he would be liable to make good the loss in case other means of recovery of the loss fail or are not available. It is not known whether the Bank made any attempt to recover the amount of Rs. 15,900/- from the defaulting cashiers and failed to recover any amount from them. If the Bank issued the notice that it did to Dattatraya without making any attempt to recover from the cashiers found responsible for the loss of Rs. 15,900/-, then we must say that the notice was premature. Rule 18 (1) makes a Head Cashier responsible for any loss where other means of recovery of the loss have failed or are not available. The stage for issuing a notice to the Head Cashier for making good any loss on account of an act or omission on the part of a cashier working under him can arise only when the loss cannot be recovered from the defaulting cashier.

24. In regard to the allegations made by the second petitioner Ramkumar Sharma in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967 it has been said in the return that the question of withdrawing his consent to Rajimwale's retention did not arise when he himself was transferred from the Khairagrah to the Jabalpur Branch; that the withdrawal of his consent by the said petitioner for the retention of the staff at the Jabalpur Branch was unjustified and unwarranted and without any adequate reasons. It has been admitted that when Ramkumar Sharma expressed his reluctance to reconsider his stand in regard to withdrawal of his consent to the retention of the staff at the Jabalpur Branch, the Bank considered the question of disciplinary action against him; Ramkumar then went on leave voluntarily and was not forced to take leave. It has also been admitted that he was called at the head-office of the Bank for discussing the matter of his refusal to give consent to the retention of the staff at the Jabalpur Branch and added that as a result of the discussion Ramkumar 'unequivocally agreed to faithfully abide by the terms of the service Agreement and to hold himself responsible for the acts of the cashiers working under his control at any Branch where he might be posted thereafter' and that he also then consented to the retention of the staff at the Jabalpur Branch. The Bank does not deny that thereafter a letter was addressed by the Deputy Secretary and Treasurer of the Bank expressing disapproval of the action taken by him in withdrawing his consent in regard to the retention of the cashiers at the Jabalpur City Branch; and that in that letter it was mentioned that a copy of it would be placed in his service-file.

25. The allegations made by Ramkumar Sharma and the replies thereto by the Bank no doubt at first sight give the impression that the Bank exercised some sort of pressure on Ramkumar in agreeing to the retention of some cashiers at Jabalpur. But on closer examination it is clear to us that the Bank was justified in making repeated efforts to persuade Ramkumar to agree to the retention of the staff at the Jabalpur Branch when the allegations made by him with regard to the working of the staff were vague and not specific. Clauses 3 and 10 of the agreement presuppose that the Head Cashier acts bona fide in withholding his consent to the appointment or retention of any member of the staff under his control. The impression of the Bank having 'pressurized' Ramkumar in ultimately agreeing to the retention of the staff at Jabalpur would have been avoided if the Bank had not considered taking disciplinary action against him before ascertaining Ramkumar's final stand in the matter and before the efforts which were made subsequently for persuading him.

26. As regards the allegations made by the third petitioner Tribhangamarari Pal in Misc. Petition No. 453 of 1967, the Bank does not deny them. But it has been said in the return that the four cashiers in regard to whom the said petitioner refused to give consent for their retention did agree to give an assurance 'that it was not their intention not to make good any shortage occurring as a result of their mistake or negligence', still Pal refused to give his consent in regard to their retention. The theft of Rs. 2000/- from the counter of Rath, a cashier, has been admitted, and it has been added that he had been prosecuted and 'cleared by the Court of the responsibility for the said theft' and the question of departmental proceedings against him is under consideration. Learned counsel for the Bank admitted before us that the notice issued to Pal for making good the loss of Rs. 2000/- was not justified when Pal had not consented to the retention of Rath as a cashier. The allegations of Tribhangamarari Pal and the Bank's reply to them do not at all show any slackness on the part of the Bank in taking action against Rath or that the Bank exercised pressure on Pal to agree to the retention of the four cashiers in regard to whose retention he had withheld his consent.

As stated by Pal himself, the Bank has asked him to give 'further detailed and convincing reasons for refusal to give consent in respect of the said cashiers.' This is as it should be, for while the Bank cannot force a Head Cashier to agree to the appointment or retention of any member of the staff under his control, the Head Cashier cannot at the same time arbitrarily and unreasonably and without any good reason withhold his consent Rule 18 (1) and the agreement executed in terms of Rule 18 (1) must be so worked out by the parties as to promote smooth working of the Bank and not to create a deadlock therein. Both the Bank and the Head Cashiers are expected to act in a bona fide manner in the working out of Clauses 3 (a) and 10 of the agreement. The Bank cannot force on a Head Cashier any member of the staff if the Head Cashier had good reasons to doubt his fidelity. The Head Cashiers also cannot withhold their consent to the appointment or retention of any member of the staff at their whim or caprice and without there being adequate reasons for withholding their consent. They must appreciate that when they withhold their consent for the appointment or retention of any member of the staff at a Branch for no reasons at all or for inadequate reasons, they are being unfair to the member concerned. They must also realise that Clauses 3 (a) and 10 of the agreement cannot be utilized for pushing forward their own nominees or proteges at the cost of other employees.

27. For these reasons, our conclusion is that the relief claimed by the petitioners, namely, that Rule 18 (1) of the State Bank of India (Sub-Accountants and Head Cashiers) Service Rules and Clauses 3, 4, 7 and 10 of the agreement be declared invalid and inoperative cannot be granted. In this view of the matter, it is not necessary to consider the question whether a direction can be issued to the State Bank of India under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution in a matter such as the present one.

28. The result is that both these petitions are dismissed with costs. Counsel'sfee in each case is fixed at Rs. 150/-.The outstanding amount of the securitydeposit after deduction of costs shall berefunded to the petitioners in each case.


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