(1) This is a petition by Balwant Singh Gill under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying that the order reducing him from the rank of Inspector, Co-operative Societies, to that of Sub-Inspector, Co-operative Societies, be declared invalid and ineffective.
(2) It appears that the petitioner was recruited as Sub-Inspector, Co-operative Societies, in the United Punjab in May, 1926, and was confirmed as such on 20-5-1927. He was promoted as Officiating Inspector in 1947. It is alleged by the petitioner that in April, 1951, some difference arose between him and the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Punjab, as a result of which he was reverted to the post of Sub-Inspector, on 12-9-1951.
The petitioner made representations against this reversion and on 31-5-1956, the Registrar, Co-operative Societies, informed him that his recording to the petitioner, he filed another representation to the Secretary to Government Punjab, Co-operative Department. On 7/16-2-1959 the Under Secretary to Government Punjab, Co-operative Department, informed the Registrar, Co-operative Societies, that the Government had considered the representation filed by the petitioner and had decided that he should be given a chance of promotion as Inspector, Co-operative Societies. It was also mentioned that the petitioner should be told that 'if he did not keep up that standard', he would be reverted again'.
Thereafter, the petitioner sent a memorial to the Government mentioning therein that by his promotion to the rank of an Inspector, he had not been reinstated in his old rank, but had been given a fresh appointment, which had not give any relief to him in the matter of pay pension etc. While this representation was still pending, he retired from service on 16-3-1960. Meanwhile, on 30-11-1959 the Registrar, Co-operative Societies, had informed him that this memorial had been withheld because he had not attached certain documents with the same. According to the petitioner, he sent all the required documents to the Registrar, who however, wrote to him on 14-5-1960 that since the memorial had not been completed by the petitioner by attaching the relevant documents within one month of the date on which he was informed of the reasons for withholding the memorial, the same being time-barred had been consigned to the record room. This led to the present writ petition which was filed on 5-12-1960.
(3) The main ground given in the petition for setting aside the impugned order was that no enquiry or show-cause notice was ever given to the petitioner before reducing him from the rank of Inspector, Co-operative Societies, to that of Sub-Inspector, Co-operative Societies. There is however, no merit in this ground because, the petitioner was still an officiating Inspector and his substantive rank was that of Sub-Inspector. Under these circumstances, it cannot be said that when he was reverted to his substantive, rank, his reduction in rank amounted to a punishment, which would have entitled him to a show-cause notice.
(4) Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the reversion of his client from the officiating post of an Inspector to his substantive post of a Sub-Inspector, itself, amounted to a punishment because it would result in loss of his seniority. For this, he placed his reliance on a decision of the Supreme Court in Madhav Laxman v. State of Mysore, AIR 1962 SC 8.
(5) In the first place, this point was not taken in the writ petition. Secondly, the authority relied upon by the petitioner is clearly distinguishable from the facts of the present case, because in that ruling a departmental enquiry was held against the petitioner for misconduct, as a result of which he was reverted to his original rank for a period of three years.
(6) As a result, this petition fails and is dismissed. In the circumstances of this case however, I will make no order as to costs.