1. This is plaintiff's appeal from the decree dismissing his suit for declaration.
2. The plaintiff was a temporary employee in the Food Department. He alleged that he was promoted in the year 1047 on a permanent basis, but the Courts below have found against him on this point. This finding was not disputed before me.
3. The Plaintiffs services were terminated by the State Government by a month's notice on 15th February 1950. His case was that the action taken against him was in contravention of Article 311(2) of the Constitution of India and accordingly the order terminating his services was liable to be declared illegal.
4. The case of the State Government was that the plaintiff's work in the year 1948-49 was unsatisfactory and there were also indications of his dishonesty. He was, therefore, given a warning on 9th December 1949 but as his work did not come up to the mark, he was properly served with a notice terminating his service. It was also alleged that this step was taken as a measure of economy.
5. The Court below negatived the contention of plaintiff's inefficiency and dishonesty and further held that the State Government had failed to prove that the action was taken against him as a measure of economy. It, however, sustained the dismissal of the suit on the ground that the action was of a punitive nature & was not, therefore, covered by Article 311(2) of the Constitution.
6. Para 4, part 1, Circular I, Chapter C, of the Manual of Food Administration is as under:
'All appointments arc purely temporary will in the first instance be for a period of 6 months and liable to termination at one month's notice'.
Prima facie the action of the State Government is covered by this proviso which is not of a penal nature. It was, however, contended that the State Government had made only a formal show of using this provision but in reality, the plaintiff was discharged from service by way of penalty. In this view, it was contended that the order terminating his service was liable to be declared as illegal.
7. The contention of the plaintiff that the action was mala fide is not proved. The plaintiff only stated in the witness-box that his superior officer, Ansari (D. W. 1) was displeased with him and that was the reason for terminating his service. Ansari denied these allegations. However, even if there be some truth in the plaintiff's contention, it does not indicate necessarily that the Government intended to punish him under colour of taking an ordinary action. In Shyamlal v. State of U. P., AIR 1954 SG 309 (A), an imputation was made against the employee, which he was called upon to explain but that by itself was not held to change the character of the action taken against him. It is always open to Government to inform its own mind, even by way of any enquiry, as to the nature of the action that may be taken against its servant. Therefore, even on the ground that Government suspected his honesty or efficiency but ultimately decided not to punish him, it would be free to terminate his service in exercise of its contractual or statutory power. Such action does not attach any stigma to him and does not also bar his future prospects of taking another employment. The termination of the plaintiff's service was rightly held not to fall within Article 311(2) of the Constitution.
8. The result is that the appeal is dismissed with costs.