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D. Rajiah Raj and ors. Vs. Union of India (Uoi) and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal Nos. 157, 158 and 343 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1974SC457; 1973LabIC84; (1973)1SCC61
AppellantD. Rajiah Raj and ors.
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi) and ors.
Excerpt:
.....the government of india dated 24 december 1965 and 14 june 1966 do not hold good. 2436-2439 of 1969 dated 23 august 1972 :[1973]1scr945 that the central government will find out whether the relaxation of rules as well as the retrospective regularisation is permissible and further whether the same constituted any change of conditions of service. the contention of the appellants that the services of andhra officers were temporary, stop-gap and fortuitous services will have to be determined by the central government by hearing both the andhra officers as well as the hyderabad officers. 13. for these reasons, the contentions of the appellants fail. the central government will now proceed in these matters in the light of the observations made in this judgment as well as in the earlier..........government will proceed with the integration of services of telangana area officers and andhra state officers and determine the principles governing the equation of posts and prepare gradation lists after giving opportunities to the persons affected to make their representations.8. it may be stated here that the decision of the government of india dated 22/24 december 1966 which has been quashed in civil appeals nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 was to the effect that the services of some of the officers in the andhra state were regularised with retrospective effect. this court has in the judgment in civil appeals nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 d/- 23-8-1972 : : [1973]1scr945 said that the central government will have to decide whether the regularisation of promotions of andhra engineers as well as.....
Judgment:

A.N. Ray, J.

1. These three appeals are by certificate from the common Judgment dated 23 February, 1968 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

2. Civil Appeal No. 157 of 1969 arises out of writ petition No. 799 of 1967, Civil Appeal No. 158 of 1969 arises out of writ petition No. 833 of 1967 and Civil Appeal No. 343 of 1969 arises out of writ Petition No. 896 of 1967 filed by the Hyderabad Officers in the High Court.

3. The Hyderabad Officers are those who were in the Telangana area of the former Hyderabad State. On the formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh on 1 November, 1956 the Hyderabad officers continued to serve the State of Andhra Pradesh.

4. In Civil Appeal No. 157 of 1969 the Hyderabad officers asked for an order directing the respondent to treat the post of Sub-Engineer of the former State of Hyderabad as equivalent to the post of Assistant Engineer of Andhra and to integrate the services of Sub-Engineers of Telangana region and Assistant Engineers of Andhra region according to the agreed principles at the Chief Secretaries' Conference held in the months of April and May, 1956 prior to the reorganisation of the State. The Hyderabad officers also asked for an order that the action taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in regularising with retrospective effect and in relaxation of the normal rules the temporary appointments made in the former Andhra State to the post of Assistant Engineers and by Promotion from the next lower category of officers had the effect of altering the service conditions of the Andhra officers to the detriment of the Hyderabad officers. The Hyderabad officers consequently prayed for an order directing the respondent to adhere to the Government of India decisions dated 24 December 1965 and 14 June 1966 concerning the retrospective regularisation of Andhra officers. The Hyderabad officers also asked for reversal of the Government of India decision dated 22/24 December, 1966.

5. In Civil Appeal No. 158 of 1969 the Hyderabad officers asked for an order directing the respondent to treat the post of Executive Engineer of the former Hyderabad State as equivalent to the post of Executive Engineer (Special Grade) of Andhra region, and to treat the post of Divisional Engineer as equivalent to the post of Executive Engineer (Ordinary Grade) of Andhra region and Integrate the service by adhering to the agreed principles at the Chief Secretaries' Conference. The Hyderabad officers asked for similar orders as In Civil Appeal No. 157 of 1969 with regard to the Government of India orders dated 24 December 1965, 14 June 1966 and 22/24 December 1966.

6. In Civil Appeal No. 343 of 1969 the Hyderabad officers asked for orders directing the respondent to treat the post of Assistant Engineer of Telangana region as a class by itself superior to the post of Andhra Engineers and the post of Sub-Engineers, Sub-Divisional officers of Hyderabad State as equivalent to the post of Assistant Engineers of Andhra and to integrate the service of the personnel by adhering to the agreed principles at the Chief Secretaries' Conference. The Hyderabad officers in this appeal also asked for reliefs similar to the other appeals with regard to the Government of India decisions dated 24 December 1965, 14 June 1966 and 22/24 December, 1966.

7. This Court had to deal with Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 arising out of the common Judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court forming subject-matter of these three appeals. The subject-matter of all these three appeals relates to the equation of posts and integration of service of officers of the Public Works Department in the State of Andhra Pradesh consequent upon the reorganisation of the States in the year 1956. This Court on 23 August, 1972 decided Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 : : [1973]1SCR945 and upheld the order of the High Court quashing the decision of the Central Government dated 22/24 December 1966. This Court in the said Judgment said that the Central Government will proceed with the integration of services of Telangana area officers and Andhra State officers and determine the principles governing the equation of posts and prepare gradation lists after giving opportunities to the persons affected to make their representations.

8. It may be stated here that the decision of the Government of India dated 22/24 December 1966 which has been quashed in Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 was to the effect that the services of some of the officers in the Andhra State were regularised with retrospective effect. This Court has in the Judgment in Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 D/- 23-8-1972 : : [1973]1SCR945 said that the Central Government will have to decide whether the regularisation of promotions of Andhra Engineers as well as relaxation of rules and retrospective regularisation is permissible. The Hyderabad officers contended in the High Court that the temporary services of Andhra officers were stop-gap or fortuitous arrangements. The High Court accepted the contention of the Hyderabad officers. This Court has set aside the observation of the High Court that the temporary services of the Andhra officers were stop-gap or fortuitous arrangement

9. The Central Government under Section 115 of the States Reorganisation. Act is to determine the principles governing equation of posts and prepare common gradation lists by Integration of services. The Central 'Government has to ensure fair and equitable treatment to all persons in the matter of integration of services and preparation of gradation lists. The Central Government is to give opportunities to the parties affected to make their representations.

10. In these appeals counsel on behalf of the Hyderabad officers contended that though this Court quashed the decision of the Government of India dated 22/24 December 1966 the previous decisions of the Government of India dated 24 December 1965 and 14 June 1966 were left intact. It was said on behalf of the Hyderabad officers that the Government of India under Section 115(5) of the States Reorganisation Act had no power to review its decision. This Court did not accept that contention in Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969. The Government has power to review its own decision under the Act The Government will now proceed to cause the integration of services of officers in the Telangana area and officers of the Andhra State in the light of the observations made in the Judgment in Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969. The previous decisions of the Government of India dated 24 December 1965 and 14 June 1966 do not hold good. The Central Government will proceed afresh in accordance with law in the matter of integration of services, equation of posts and preparation of common gradation lists.

11. The Hyderabad officers contended that equation of posts as determined by the State Government and accepted by the Central Government on 24 December 1965 is legal. The Hyderabad officers contended that the post of Executive Engineer of Hyderabad should have been equated with the post of Executive Engineer (Special Grade) of Andhra State and the post of Divisional Engineer of Hyderabad State should have been equated with the post of Executive Engineer (Ordinary Grade) of Andhra. Again, it was contended that Class I Executive Engineers from Hyderabad should have been placed enbloc above Sub-Engineers, Sub-Divisional Officers of Hyderabad and Assistant Engineers of Andhra by equating the post of Sub-Engineer and Sub-Divisional Officer of Hyderabad to the post of Assistant Engineer of Andhra. This Court cannot go into these questions as the equation of posts is within the province of the Central Government under the States Reorganisation Act.

12. The contention of the appellants in these three appeals that the Central Government was not competent to review its earlier decisions dated 24 December 1965 and 14 June 1966 fails. The other contention of the appellants that it is not open to the Central Government to consider as to whether the services of Andhra officers could be regularised and whether there could be retrospective regularisation also fails. This Court has already pointed out in the Judgment in Civil Appeals Nos. 2436-2439 of 1969 dated 23 August 1972 : : [1973]1SCR945 that the Central Government will find out whether the relaxation of rules as well as the retrospective regularisation is permissible and further whether the same constituted any change of conditions of service. The contention of the appellants that the services of Andhra officers were temporary, stop-gap and fortuitous services will have to be determined by the Central Government by hearing both the Andhra officers as well as the Hyderabad officers. The Central Government will have to determine the rival contentions of the Andhra officers and the Telangana officers and arrive at its decision.

13. For these reasons, the contentions of the appellants fail. The Central Government will now proceed in these matters in the light of the observations made in this Judgment as well as in the earlier Judgment dated 23 August. 1972 in : [1973]1SCR945 . The appeals are dismissed. Parties will pay and bear their own costs both in the High Court as well as in this Court.


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