1. This is an appeal brought by the Punjab State against a concurrent judgment and decree of the Senior Subordinate Judge of Ferozepore, decreeing the plaintiff's suit for Rs. 615/-being arrears of wages.
2. The plaintiff was employed as an Assistant Camp Commandant in the Refugee Camp at Maktsar and his wage was Rs. 176/- a month.
3. On the 30th January 1949 the plaintiff was suspended as he was suspected of having stolen warm blankets, but the police enquiry which was ordered ended in favour of the plaintiff. On the 13th May 1949 he was dismissed with effect from the date of suspension, but it appears that he came to know of this dismissal on the 20th May 1949.
4. The Courts below have held that he is entitled to a full wage for the period of suspension and that a suit for the recovery of arrears of wages can be brought against the State, and this matter is now finally settled by a judgment of the Supreme Court in -- 'The State of Bihar v. Abdul Majid', AIR 1954 SC 245 (A), and this defence is no longer available to the State.
5. But Mr. Suri has raised another point and that is that the learned Senior Subordinate Judge has misdirected himself in regard to the applicability of the rules which do not apply to the facts of this case at all. The plaintiff was suspended and there is no doubt that under the powers vested in the Punjab Government they have a right to suspend its servants, and if a servant can be suspended, it has been held that that amounts to the suspension of contract as a whole with the result that the servant cannot insist on working or claim wages for the period of suspension.
6. In -- 'Wallwork v. Fielding', (1922) 2 KB 66 (B), a Borough policeman brought an action for the recovery of his pay during the period of suspension and it was pleaded by the defendants that the plaintiff had been properly suspended and was not entitled to pay, and it was held that the. Borough could suspend the policeman and in such a case 'the contract is suspended with regard to its performance by both sides, not only by one', and therefore there can be no claim for arrears of pay. This rule was accepted by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in -- 'Secy. of State v. Surendra Nath', AIR 193S Cal 759 (C), where it was held that if there is a power to suspend the effect of suspension is to suspend the contract of service as a whole with the result that a servant cannot claim his pay for the period of suspension, and -- 'Wall-work's case (B)' was relied upon.
7. Mr. Roop Chand submits that the question in this form was never taken in either of the Courts below. It may be that the cases now relied upon were not placed before the Courts below, but the point was before the Courts although not in such a clear form. Besides it is a question of law as to what is the effect of suspension in regard to arrears of wages, and, in my opinion, a suspension suspends the contract of service and a servant is not entitled to claim wages for the period of suspension as a matter of right.
8. Mr. Roop Chand has relied upon a rule in the Civil Service Rules applicable to the Punjab that a servant under suspension is entitled to be paid at a certain rate, but in my opinion that is not an enforceable right and that is the sole responsibility of the Executive Government and if the respondent feels that he can persuade the Executive Government to pay him anything he can take such political action as he is capable of taking.
9. The plaintiff submits that he is entitled to at least a month's wage in lieu of notice, but as he was under suspension and his contract was suspended, I do not think he is entitled to any such wage.
10. I would therefore allow this appeal, set aside the decree of the Courts below and dismiss the plaintiff's suit, but in the circumstances of the case the parties will bear their own costs throughout.