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T.G. Shivacharana Singh and ors. Vs. the State of Mysore - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1965SC280; [1967(15)FLR224]; (1967)IILLJ246SC
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 14, 16(1), 309 and 311(2); Mysore Civil Services Rules, 1958 - Rules 95 and 285
AppellantT.G. Shivacharana Singh and ors.
RespondentThe State of Mysore
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredSouthern Railway v. Rangachari
Excerpt:
.....article 16(1) of the constitution. perfectly clear that so far as the question of compulsory retirement is concerned, it must be taken to be concluded by several decisions of this court. (1954)iillj139sc and it has observed that the law in relation to the validity of the rules permitting compulsory premature retirement of government servants must be held to be well-settled by those decisions and need not be reopened. we are, therefore, satisfied that the point which mr. venkataranga iyengar wants to raise before us in the present petition is clearly concluded by the decisions of this court and cannot be allowed to be reopened. 184-195 of 1963 fail and are dismissed......words, ordinary retirement by superannuation occurs after attaining 55 years or completing 30 years' service, while premature retirement can be forced on the government servant if he has either completed 25 years of service, or has attained 50 years of age. in the case? of premature compulsory retirement, the government servant is entitled to pension as indicated in note 1 to rule 285.5. mr. venkataranga iyengar contends that this rule is invalid, because it contravenes. article 14 as well as article 16(1) of the constitution. in our opinion, this contention can no longer be entertained; because it is concluded by as long series of decisions of this court. recently, a special bench of this court had occasion to consider the validity of rules 148(3) and 149 (3) contained in the.....
Judgment:

P.B. Gajendragadkar, C.J.

1. This is a group of 12 petitions filed under Article 32 of the Constitution, seeking to challenge the validity of note 1 to Rule 285 of the Mysore Civil Services Rules 1958 (hereinafter called the 'Rules') framed by the Governor of Mysore in exercise of his powers under the proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution. Though the facts in all these petitions are not exactly the same, the points raised by them are common, and so, we would mention he facts in W. P. No. 194 of 1963 and deal with that petition on the merits. Our decision in that petition will naturally govern the other writ petitions in this group. The petitioner, who was born on the 17th May, 1914, joined service in the Police Department of the former State of Mysore on the 28th November, 1934. In 1939 he was promoted as Sub-Inspector of Police and in 1948, he became a Police Inspector. On the 31st July, 1961 he was served with a notice issued by the Government of Mysore informing him that Government considered it was necessary in the public interest to retire him from service under note 1 to Rule 285 of the Rules and notice was accordingly given to him intimating to him that he will be retired as from the 15th November, 1961. The petitioner contends that under Rule 95(a) he was entitled to remain in service until he completed 55 years of age which means that he would have retired in normal course on the 17th May, 1969. Since the notice served on him by the Government of Mysore under the impugned note to Rule 285 prematurely retires him he contends that the said order as to premature retirement is invalid, because it purports to have been passed in exercise of the powers conferred on the Government under note 1 to Rule 285 and this latter note is constitutionally invalid. It appears that after the notice was served on the petitioner, he made a representation to the Government through proper channel. In this representation he urged that the action which the Government intended to take against him was unjust and illegal and he pleaded that he had a very good record of service and did not deserve to have his service curtailed by nearly 8 years by asking him to retire prematurely as from the 15th November 1961. The Government, however, was not impressed by the plea made by the petitioner and on the 14th November, 1961, a final order was passed terminating the petitioner's service from 15-11-1961. That, in brief, is the background of the present petition.

2. Rule 95 (a) of the Rules undoubtedly provides that the date of superannuation of a Government servant, is the date on which he attains the age of 55 years; and it authorises the Government to retain the government servant in services even after the date of superannuation, if the said servant is physically fit and if the continuance of the said government servant in service is found to be on public grounds. In such a case, the grounds of public interest had to be mentioned in the order and the servant may be continued until he attains the age of 60 years.

3. Rule 285 deals with retiring pension and it provides that a retiring pension is granted to a Government servant who is permitted to retire after completing qualifying service for 30 years or such less time as may, for any special class of Government servants, be prescribed. Note 1 to this Rule provides inter alia, that Government may, in special cases, require any government servant to retire any time after he has completed 25 years' qualifying service or on attaining 50 years of age, if such retirement is considered necessary in the public interest, provided that the appropriate authority shall give in this behalf a notice in writing to the Government servant at least three months before the date on which he is required to retire. The note further provides that a government servant who retires or is retired, only in the manner indicated above, shall be granted a retiring pension not: exceeding such proportion of average emoluments and subject to such maximum limit as are specified in Chapter XIX.

4. It would thus be clear that though the normal age of retirement under Rule 95(a) is 55 years, under Rule 285 it is competent to the Government to retire compulsorily a government servant prematurely if it is thought that such premature retirement is 'necessary in the public interest. This power can, however, be exercised only in cases where the government servant has completed 25 years qualifying service or has attained 50 years of age. In other words, ordinary retirement by superannuation occurs after attaining 55 years or completing 30 years' service, while premature retirement can be forced on the government servant if he has either completed 25 years of service, or has attained 50 years of age. In the case? of premature compulsory retirement, the government servant is entitled to pension as indicated in note 1 to Rule 285.

5. Mr. Venkataranga Iyengar contends that this Rule is invalid, because it contravenes. Article 14 as well as Article 16(1) of the Constitution. In our opinion, this contention can no longer be entertained; because it is concluded by as long series of decisions of this Court. Recently, a Special Bench of this Court had occasion to consider the validity of Rules 148(3) and 149 (3) contained in the Indian Railway Establishment Code in Moti Ram Deka v. General Manager, North East Frontier Railway, : Civil Appeals Nos. 711 to 713 of 1962; 714 of 1962 and 837 to 889 of 1963 D/- 5-12-1963: : (1964)IILLJ467SC . Indealingwith the problem raised in that case, this Court has made it: perfectly clear that so far as the question of compulsory retirement is concerned, it must be taken to be concluded by several decisions of this Court. This Court then examined the relevant decisions on this point beginning with the case of Shyam Lal v. State of U. P. : (1954)IILLJ139SC and it has observed that the law in relation to the validity of the Rules permitting compulsory premature retirement of government servants must be held to be well-settled by those decisions and need not be reopened. The only exception the majority judgment made in that behalf was that it may be necessary to consider whether such a rule of compulsory retirement would be valid if having fixed a proper age of superannuation, it permits a permanent servant to be retired at a very early stage of his career. This consideration does not arise in the present case, because, as we have already seen, note 1 to Rule 285 requires that the government servant against whom an order of compulsory retirement is proposed to be passed must have completed either 25 years of active service or attained 50 years of age. We are, therefore, satisfied that the point which Mr. Venkataranga Iyengar wants to raise before us in the present petition is clearly concluded by the decisions of this Court and cannot be allowed to be reopened.

6. Mr. Venkataranga Iyengar, however, attempted to argue that there are certain observations made by this Court in the case of General Manager, Southern Railway v. Rangachari, : (1970)IILLJ289SC which support his contention. In that case, this Court was called upon to consider the validity of certain railway circulars and that needed an examination about the scope and effect of the provisions of the different clauses of Article 16, read with Article 14 of the Constitution, the question of compulsory retirement did not fall to be considered in that case. Dealing with the scope and effect of Article 16(1), it was observed that the narrow construction of the expression 'matters relating to employment' occurring in Article 16(1) could not be accepted, because it would lead to anomalous results. In that connection, it was pointed out that it would not be open to the State to prescribe different scales of salary for the same or similar posts, different terms of leaves or superannuation for the same or similar posts. It is on these observations that reliance is placed by Mr. Venkataranga Iyengar. It is obvious that these observations have no relevance to the point with which we are concerned in the present petition. We are not dealing with different rules of compulsory retirement at all, the impugned note applies to all government servants and as such, is not open to a challenge under Article 14 or Article 16(1). Therefore, we do not think Mr. Venkataranga Iyengar is justified in contending that these observations support his argument.

7. It is true that in his petition, the petitioner has made certain allegations against the Home Minister Mr. Channabasappa and has suggested that the order terminating his services prematurely is due to his whims and fancies, and he has characterised the said order as both arbitrary and illegal. According to the petitioner, his past record is free from blemish and the Government was not, therefore, justified in coming to the conclusion that it was in the public interest to retire him, compulsorily. The allegations made by the petitioner in that behalf are very vague and unsatisfactory, and so, it would be idle to contend that if the impugned note is valid, the] order terminating the services of the petitioner can still be challenged on the ground that it is not justified on the merits or is illegal or arbitrary. Whether or not the petitioner's retirement was in the public interest, is a matter for the State Government to consider, and as to the plea that the order is arbitrary and illegal, it is impossible to hold on the material placed by the petitioner before us that the said order suffers from the vice of mala fides.

8. The result is, all the petitions Nos. 184-195 of 1963 fail and are dismissed. There would be no order as to costs.


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