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Delhi Transport Corporation Vs. Surendra Kumar Etc. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLetter Patent Appeal No. 6 of 1976
Judge
Reported inILR1978Delhi785; 1978RLR537
ActsDelhi Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 - Sections 12; Delhi Road Transport Authority (Conditions of Appointment and Service) Regulations, 1952; Delhi Road Transport Laws (Amendment) Act, 1971 - Sections 7
AppellantDelhi Transport Corporation
RespondentSurendra Kumar Etc.
Advocates: Anand Prakash,; Jagat Arora,; D.S. Sareen,;
Excerpt:
civil - disciplinary action - section 12 of delhi road transport corporation act, 1950, delhi road transport authority (conditions of appointment and service) regulations, 1952 and section 7 of delhi road transport laws (amendment) act, 1971 - disciplinary action initiated against petitioners - petitioners contended disciplinary proceedings not valid as proceedings ordered by unauthorised officers - inquiry officer had no authority to act as he was not appointed by competent authority - facts revealed resolution dated 18.11.1971 authorised general manager and other officers to continue to exercise administrative and financial powers which they were exercising prior to setting up of corporation - power to initiate disciplinary action came within ambit of expression 'continued exercise of.....yogeshwar dayal, j.(1) letters patent appeals nos. 6 of 1976 to 13 of 1976 have been filed on behalf of the delhi transport corporation against the judgment of a learned single judge of this court dated 6th november, 1975 passed in civil writs nos: 1179/74, 1144/74, 1200/74, 1150/74, 1536/74, 1123/74, 1199/74 and 762/74 respectively, whereby the learned single judge accepted the writ petitions and quashed the disciplinary proceedings against the petitioners impugned in the aforesaid writ petitions.(2) by the same judgment, the learned single judge also disposed of the other two writ petitions, namely, 1092 of 1974 and 1458 of 1974. lpa 21 of 1976 has been filed by bhim singh against the- dismissal of his writ petition no. 1092 of 1974 and lpa 23 of 1976 has been filed by jagannath prasad.....
Judgment:

Yogeshwar Dayal, J.

(1) Letters Patent Appeals Nos. 6 of 1976 to 13 of 1976 have been filed on behalf of the Delhi Transport Corporation against the judgment of a learned single Judge of this Court dated 6th November, 1975 passed in Civil Writs Nos: 1179/74, 1144/74, 1200/74, 1150/74, 1536/74, 1123/74, 1199/74 and 762/74 respectively, whereby the learned single Judge accepted the writ petitions and quashed the disciplinary proceedings against the petitioners impugned in the aforesaid writ petitions.

(2) By the same judgment, the learned single Judge also disposed of the other two writ petitions, namely, 1092 of 1974 and 1458 of 1974. Lpa 21 of 1976 has been filed by Bhim Singh against the- dismissal of his writ petition No. 1092 of 1974 and Lpa 23 of 1976 has been filed by Jagannath Prasad against the dismissal of his writ petition No. 1458 of 1974.

(3) This judgment will dispose of the aforesaid ten Letters Patent Appeals.

(4) It seems that disciplinary action was initiated against the petitioners in the aforesaid writ petitions on various dates and they were charge-sheeted for various misconducts in the discharge of their duties. There were two sets of cases before the learned single Judge. In eight of these cases, the disciplinary action was initiated prior to 2nd March, 1974 and even charge-sheet was served on the petitioners before that date while in the remaining two cases, disciplinary proceedings were initiated as well as charge-sheets were served after 2nd March, 1974. This aspect may be tabulated vis-a-vis the appeals as under :

Appeal Name of the C.W. No. Date of Dale of By whom No. respondent Suspension charge- charge- & the suspending sheet sheeted authority Lpa 6/76. Surendra Kumar 1179'74 22.11.73 3.1.74 Traffic Agm (T) Vig. Supvr.(S) E.O. Lpa 7/76 Ishwar Dutt 1144/74 2.2.74. 5.2.74 Traffic Agm (T) Vig. Suptd. (C). Lpa 8/76 Jagdish Chander 1200/74 J4.2.74 27.2.74 Asstt. Traffic Agm (T) Via. Supdt.E.O.(A). Lpa 9/16 Jagdish Kumar 1150/74 25.3.73 26.4.73 Traffic Agm (T) Vig. Supdt. (S). Lpa 10/76 Mohabat Ali 1536/74 13.6.73 9.7.73 Traffic Agm (T) Vig. Supdt. (N) Lpa 11/76 Harbhajan Singh 1123/74 23.6.73 4.'/.73 Traffic Supdt. Agm (T) Vg. E.O. (S) Lpa 12/76 Vinod Kumar 1199/74 9.8.73 29.8.73 --do-- Agm (T) Vig. Lpa 1.1/76 Devagir 762/74 1.2.74 11.2.74 Traffic Supdt. Agm (T)Vig. (N) Lpa 29/76 Bhim Singh 1092/74 8.4.74 29.4.74 E.O.(Central) Agm (T)Vig. Lpa 23/76 Jaganath Prasad 1458/74 18.3.74 20.3.7.4 E.O, (South)

(5) Before the learned single Judge, the writ petitioners had contended that disciplinary proceedings against them had been ordered or commenced by persons/officers not authorised and even the inquiry had been conducted by the Inquiry Officer who had no authority to act as such inasmuch as he was appointed by an authority/officer not competent to appoint the Inquiry Officer. It was further contended before the learned single Judge that there was no legal evidence led before the Inquiry Officer on the basis of which he could give the finding. All the writ petitioners had been served with notices to show cause as to why they should not be dismissed/removed from service or their services be not terminated. They had challenged the issue of the said notices as they contended that the impugned notices are consequent to unauthorised disciplinary action taken against them. In consequence, it was prayed by them before the learned single Judge that the Inquiry proceedings and the disciplinary action be quashed along with the notices of the proposed punishment sought to be inflicted on them.

(6) So far as Letters Patent Appeals No. 6 to 13 arising out of the aforesaid petitions are concerned, the learned single Judge, after going through the historical background of the employment of the writ petitioners and the various resolutions passed by various authorities from time to time, took the view that by reason of resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973, with effect from April 25, 1973 onwards, the General Manager of the Transport Corporation was to exercise only such powers as were delegated to him by resolution No. 271 and none else. The learned single Judge further took the view that all powers exercised by any other officer were taken away with immediate effect as officers who were exercising delegated powers of the General Manager of the Delhi Road Transport Undertaking of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, by virtue of Transport Corporation Resolution of November 18, 1971, were divested of all powers.

(7) The learned single Judge further held that in between April 25, 1973 and March 2, 1974, it is only the Transport Corporation or the General Manager who could initiate and take disciplinary action and no one else. thereforee, the learned single Judge quashed the proceedings against the petitioners, Surendra Kumar, Ishwar Dutt, Jagdish Chander, Jagdish Kumar, Mohabat Ali, Harbhajan Singh, Vinod Kumar and Devagir, who were petitioners in C. Ws. 1179/74, 1144/74, 1200174, 1150174, 1536174, 1123174, 1199174 and 762174 respectively and against which the aforesaid LPAs. 6 to 13 of 1976 have been filed on behalf of the Delhi Transport Corporation.

(8) The learned single Judge, however, dismissed the writ petitions filed by Bhim Singh and Jagan Nath Prasad as stated above as the learned single Judge took the view that since disciplinary proceedings against them were initiated on 8-4-1974 and 18-3-1974 and they were charge-sheeted on 29-4-1974 and 20-3-1974 respectively and as by the date the proceedings were initiated against them, the authority who initiated proceedings or those who served the charge-sheets were authorised in view of the resolution of the Corporation dated 2nd March, 1974.

(9) For appreciating the submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellant, Delhi Transport Corporation & the other counsel for the parties, it is necessary to deal with the historical background of the various statutes and the authorities created there under as well as various resolutions passed by them from time to time.

(10) To start with, the Delhi Road Transport Authority (hereinafter referred to as 'the D.R.T.A.') was established by Delhi Road Transport Authority Act, 1950 (No. Xiii of 1950), hereinafter referred to as 'the D.R.T. Act'. Section 52 of the D.R.T. Act gave power to the Central Government to make rules to give effect to the provisions of the D.R.T. Act. Section 53 gave power to the D.R.T.A. to frame regulations with the previous sanction of the Central Government for the administration of the affairs of the D.R.T.A. and for carrying out its functions under the D.R.T. Act.

(11) In pursuance of Section 53(2)(c) of the D.R.T. Act, the D.R.T.A. framed various regulations including the Regulations called 'the D.R.T.A. (Conditions of Appointment & Service Regulations), 1952, hereinafter referred to as 'the Regulations'. These regulations came into force with effect from 1st September, 1952 and applied to all officers and servants of the D.R.T.A. except the General Manager and the Chief Accounts Officer. Under Regulation No. 6, in respect of Class Iii and Class Iv employees of the D.R.T.A. the appointing authority was the General Manager. Regulation 15 deals with the 'conduct, discipline and appeal'. The 'conduct' was dealt with under regulation 15(1) ; 'discipline' under regulation 15(2) ; 'appeal' under regulation 15(3) and 'suspension' under regulation 15(4). Regulation 15(2) in its clause (a) provided for various penalties which may be imposed for misconduct 'or for a good and sufficient reason' upon an employee of the D.R.T.A. Clause (b) of Regulation 15(2) provided that the disciplinary action mentioned in clause (a) can be taken by the General Manager or such other officer as may be authorised by him in this behalf, subject to such order or instructions as may be issued by the D.R.T.A. from time to time. The disciplinary action referred to in clause (b) refers to the penalties which may be imposed finally as contemplated by regulation 15 (2) (a).

(12) Clause (c) of Regulation 15(2) gives the procedure for inquiry where any of the penalties mentioned in sub-regulation (2) (ii) to (viii) can be imposed for misconduct or for a good and sufficient reason.

(13) Clause (d) to regulation 15(2) gives the procedure in case of misconduct likely to lead to imposition of penalty of censure or reprimand, including reprimand and warning.

(14) Later on, the D.R.T.A., in view of its powers to issue standing orders and in view of the wording of regulation 15(2) (b) issued Standing Orders dated 19-3-1953 governing the powers of the General Manager. The effect of this Standing Order was that the powers of the General Manager given to him under the aforesaid Regulations were taken away, but the powers were conferred on the General Manager by the Standing Orders themselves; vis-a-vis the powers relating to 'conduct, discipline and suspension', i.e. they were again conferred by the Standing Orders, and as per item No. 6 of the 'Schedule of the Powers of the General Manager' attached to the aforesaid Standing Orders, the powers of the General Manager in relation to 'conduct, discipline and suspension' were stated to be as laid down in the Regulations. Thus, while the D.R.T.A. was in existence either under Regulation 15(2) (b) or the aforesaid Standing Orders read with the 'Schedule of the Powers of the General Manager' attached to it, the General Manager had full power as laid down in the Regulations and could delegate them also.

(15) Thereafter, in 1957, public road transport in Delhi was taken over by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi under the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Municipal Corporation Act'). Section 516(1)(a) repealed the D.R.T. Act. The transport services were being run under Chapter Xiv of the Municipal Corporation Act. By virtue of the provisions of Section 516(2) any appointment, notification, order, scheme, rule etc. issued under the D.R.T. Act and in force immediately before the establishment of the Delhi Municipal Corporation, in so far as it was not inconsistent with the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act were to continue in force and were to be deemed to have been made or issued under the provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act unless and until it was superseded. By virtue of Section 3(51) of the General Clauses Act, 1897, wherein 'rule' has been defined to mean a rule made in exercise of power conferred by enactment and shall include a regulation made as a rule under any enactment read with the provisions of Section 516(2)(a) of the Municipal Corporation Act, the regulations framed under the D.R.T. Act also continued.

(16) Under sections 64(1)(b) read with section 92(l)(b) of the Municipal Corporation Act, the General Manager (Transport) became the appointing authority in respect to posts carrying a minimum monthly salary (exclusive of allowances) of less than three hundred rupees with respect to the employees of the Delhi Transport Undertaking. Section 95(1) provided for the liability of the municipal employees to various punishments including the punishment of dismissal or removal by such authority as may be prescribed by the Regulations, but there was a rider to this liability given by the first proviso to Section 95(1). The rider was that every municipal officer or other municipal employee could not be reduced in rank, compulsorily retired, removed or dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. By virtue of Section 516(2)(a), all the employees of the D.R.T.A. became employees of the Delhi Municipal Corporation,

(17) Section 504(1) of the Municipal Corporation Act is a provision in this Act for purposes of construction of references under this Act. By Section 504(1)(a)(ii) any reference in the Municipal Corporation Act to the Commissioner in relation to any matter pertaining to Delhi Transport Undertaking refers to the General Manager (Transport) in relation to any matter pertaining to Delhi Transport Undertaking.

(18) Section 491 of the Municipal Corporation Act provides that the Commissioner may by order direct that any power conferred or any duty imposed on him by or under the Municipal Corporation Act may be exercised and performed also by any municipal officer or other municipal employee specified in the order. The order may be subject to certain circumstances and conditions which may be mentioned in the order.

(19) thereforee, reading Section 504(1)(a)(ii) with Section 491, the General Manager could delegate his powers under the Municipal Corporation Act to another municipal officer or any other municipal employee.

(20) On 9-3-1967, Shri K. L. Rathee, General Manager (Transport) issued an office order No. 32 in exercise of powers conferred on him by Section 491 read with Section 504(1)(a)(ii) of the Municipal Corporation Act directing that the powers vested in him under Sections 64 and 95 in column 3 of the Schedule attached to the office order may be exercised by the officers mentioned in column 2 in relation to employees mentioned in column 4. The relevant items Nos. 1 and 4 of the Schedule are as under:

Schedule SI.No. Disciplinary authority Scope of powers Jurisdiction 1. Additional General Full powers vested in All officers and employees Manager, General Manager under of the Undertaking. various Sections of the D.M.C. Act. 1957. 2. (a) Traffic Manager Full powers as laid down All Class Iii & Iv (ADMN.) in Regulation 15 of the employees working in (b) Traffic Manager D.R.T.A. (Conditions of the Traffic Department, (Operation) (c) Assistant General Manager (TG) Appointment & Service) Regulations, 1952. The powers of suspension Depots and Training School. (d) Astt. General Manager restricted up to a period of one year, (TO) Assistant Traffic Manager. (e) All Tr.Ss. including Full powers as laid down All Class Iii & Iv T.S. Headquarters in Regulation 15 of the employees working in and All A.T.Ss. D.R.T.A. (Conditions of the Traffic Department, appointment & Service) Depots and Regulations, 1952 excluding Training School. removal and dissmissal from service and reduction to a lower post or time scale but including suspension up to a period of 3 months.

(21) The effect of Seriall No. 4 in the aforesaid schedule is that the General Manager (Transport) delegated full powers as laid down in Regulation 15 of the Regulations to five officers in respect of Class Iii and Class Iv employees working, inter alia, in the Traffic Department. The further effect of the aforesaid schedule was that all Traffic Superintendents and all Assistant Traffic Superintendents were also given full powers as laid down in Regulation 15 except the power to remove and dismiss from service or reduction to a lower post or time-scale but including suspension up to a period of three months. The next effect of this delegation, as is mentioned in the aforesaid order, was that so far as Traffic Superintendents and Assistant Traffic Superintendents were concerned, they could take all the actions against the employees as contemplated by Regulation 15 except for passing final orders with respect to removal and dismissal or reduction in rank by way of reduction to a lower post or time scale. They could in any case initiate the disciplinary proceedings under Regulation 15(2)(b) in respect of any of the penalties mentioned in Regulation 15 (2) (a).

(22) On 1st April, 1971, Shri Rajinder Singh, General Manager (Transport) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi issued an office order No. 19 under section 491 read with section 504(1)(a)(ii) of the Municipal Corporation Act directing that the powers of placing employees under suspension vested in him under Sections 64 and 92 of the Municipal Corporation Act read with para 15(IA)(i)(ii) and 15(IB) of the Regulations shall be exercised by officers of the Delhi Transport Undertaking mentioned in column Ii of the Schedule attached thereto as per the scope of powers mentioned in column 3. The effect of this resolution was that the Assistant General Manager got the power to suspend all Class Iii and Class Iv employees of Depots and Zones, and the Traffic Superintendents/Depot Managers and Traffic Superintendents (Vigilance) also got the same powers of suspending all Class Iii and Class Iv employees working under them.

(23) By Section 7 of the Delhi Road Transport Laws (Amendment) Act, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Amending Act') the Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 (66 of 1957) in relation to the Road Transport Services in the Union territory of Delhi was to be subject to the amendments specified in the Second Schedule with the Amending Act and the references therein to 'this Act' were to be construed as references to the 'Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 (64 of 1950)'.

(24) The Amending Act, by Section 1(2) was to be deemed to have come into force on the 3rd day of November, 1971. In view of the Amending Act and Section 3 of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 (64 of 1950), (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') a new Corporation named as Delhi Road Transport Corporation for the Union territory of Delhi was established with effect from 3rd November, 1971.

(25) Section 4(e) and (f) of the Amending Act, inter alia, provided as under:

'4.Vesting of assets etc. In the new Corporation on the establishment, under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 (64 of 1950) of a new Corporation,

(A)................... (b) ................... (c) ................... (d) ...................

(E)all rules, regulations, appointments, notifications, bye-laws, schemes, orders, standing orders and forms relating to transport services whether made under the Delhi Road Transport Authority Act, 1950 (13 of 1950) or under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act (66 of 1957) and in force immediately before such; establishment, shall, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, continue to be in force and be deemed to be regulations made by the new Corporation under section 45 of the Road Transport Corporations Act (64 of 1950) unless and until they are superseded by regulations made under that section;

(F)notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any contract to the contrary, every officer and other employee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi appointed or deemed to be appointed for the purpose of the Delhi Transport Undertaking shall be transferred to, and become an officer or other employee of, the new Corporation with such designation as the new Corporation may determine and shall hold such office by the same tenure, on the same remuneration and on the same terms and conditions of service and with the same right to pension, gratuity and other matters as he would have held the same if the new Corporation had not been established and shall continue to do so unless and until such employment, tenure, remuneration and terms and. conditions of service are duly altered or terminated by the new Corporation: PROVIDED that the tenure, remuneration and other terms and conditions of service of any such officer or other employee shall not be altered to his disadvantage without the approval of the Central Government: Provided further that any service rendered, or deemed to have been rendered, in relation to road transport service, under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, by any such officer or other employee before the establishment of the new Corporation shall be deemed to be service rendered under the new Corporation.'

(26) The effect of Section 4(e) and (f) of the Amending Act, inter alia, was that every employee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi appointed or deemed to be appointed for purposes of Delhi Transport Undertaking stood transferred as an employee of the new Corporation and was to hold office by the same tenure on the same remuneration and on the same terms and conditions of service as' he would have held if the new Corporation had not been established and was to continue to hold said office unless and until his terms and conditions of service were duly altered or terminated by the new Corporation.

(27) Another effect of Section 4(e) was that all orders, rules and regulations relating to Transport services, whether made under D.R.T. Act or under the Municipal Corporation Act and in force immediately before the establishment of the new Corporation, were to continue to be in force and were to be deemed to be Regulations made by the new Corporation under Section 45 of the Act unless and until they were superseded by Regulations made under section 45 of the Act. thereforee, the Regulations framed under D.R.T. Act and the orders issued by the General Manager Transport dated 9th March, 1967 including the office order No. 32 dated 9th March, 1967 mentioned earlier also continued to be in force.

(28) Section 45 of the Act confers powers on the Corporation created under the Act to make Regulations with the previous sanction of the State Government for administration of the affairs of the Corporation.

(29) Section 12 of the Act provides for power to appoint committees and delegate functions. It is advantageous to reproduce Section 12 of the Act which reads as under :

'POWERto appoint committees and delegate functions :-

ACorporation may, from time to time, by resolution passed a meeting-

(A)appoint committees of its members for performing such functions as may be specified in the resolution;

(B)delegate to any such committee or to the Chairman or -Vice-Chairman subject to such conditions and limitations, if any, as may be specified in the resolution,, such of its powers and duties as it may think fit;

(C)authorise the Chief Executive Officer or General Manager or any other officer of the Corporation subject to such conditions and limitations, if any, as may be specified in the resolution, to exercise such powers and perform such duties as it may deem necessary for the efficient day-to-day administration of its business.'

(30) Section 12(b) of the Act in relation to the Union territory of Delhi, has been amended by Section 7(a) and Schedule I of the Amending Act. The effect of the amendment in relation to Union territory of Delhi is that the words 'Chairman' or 'Vice-Chairman' have been substituted by the words 'Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager, the Deputy General Manager or the Chief Accounts Officer of the Corporation'. The power under -section 12 is of the Corporation established under the Amending Act read with Section 3 of the Act.

(31) On 18-11-1971, the new Corporation, namely, Delhi Transport Corporation in its meeting held on 18-11-1971, passed the following resolution No. 4 :

'RESOLVEDthat as proposed by G.M. in, his letter No. GM/4/71 dated 16-11-1971 the Delhi Transport Corporation hereby authorised under Section 12 of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950, read with Delhi Road Transport Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 1971, the General Manager and other Officers of the Delhi Transport Corporation who were) delegated with powers under the D.M.C. Act, 1957 to continue to exercise such administrative and financial powers which they had been exercising prior to the setting up of the Delhi Transport Corporation. The Officers will exercise their powers subject to the general control, supervision, and review of the General Manager'.

(32) We shall deal with this resolution at a greater length while dealing with the submissions of the learned counsel for the parties, but it is material to mention that the expression used in this resolution is 'hereby authorised under Section 12' of the Act read with the Amending Act.

(33) On 16-2-1972, the Deputy Gen,eral Manager submitted a proposal in the light of resolution No. 4 dated 18-11-1971 whereupon the new Corporation passed resolution No. 65 dated 24-2-1972, as under :

'RESOLVEDthat in exercise of powers vested in the Delhi Transport Corporation under Section 12 of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 read with Section 7(a) of the Delhi Road Transport Law (Amendment) Act, 1971, the Corporation delegates the General Manager with such powers as were exercised by him prior to the setting up of the Delhi Transport Corporation. Further resolved that these powers, may be deemed to have been delegated to the General Manager with effect from 3-11-1971 i.e. the date on which the Corporation, was set up'.

(34) On 25-4-1973, the new Corporation passed yet another resolution No. 271. This resolution dated 25-4-1973 is accompanied by 'Schedule of Powers of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and the General Manager'. The relevant extract of the body of the resolution is reproduced as un,der :

'THEscheme of powers to be delegated to the Chairman and the General Manager as circulated vide C.M.'s note No. GM/29273 dated 13/17-4-1973 was considered and it was resolved that the delegation of powers as contained in the aforesaid schedule be approved subject to the following :-

(1)(a) wherever a reference has been made in the said schedule that the powers would be exercised subject to following certain procedures and/or regulations and where there is no laid down procedure, the powers would be exercised subject to following procedures or regulations in vogue in the Governmen,t of India; and (b) Wherever the exercise of power involves financial implications, the same shall be exercised in consultation with the Chief Accounts Officer or with his concurrence as the case may be.

ITwas further resolved that the powers that are being exercised at present by the G.M. as delegated to him under various orders, statutes etc. in so far as they are in- consistent with the powers delegated under the Resolution, and powers being exercised by various officers as delegated to them by the G.M., shall stand superseded with immediate effect'.

(35) The relevant extract of the Schedule attached to the aforesaid resolution is item No. 19 of the said Schedule, which is as under :

PAGE19 of the Judgment in L.P.A. 6 of 1976.

SCHEDULEof powers of the Chairman, Vice Chairman and General Manager Scope Of Powers

SI.No. Nature of powers Chairman Vice Chairman General Manager 19. Taking disciplinary Subject to the Subject to following Subject to following action including following the the Service the Service dismissal, Service Regulations, Regulations, full Regulations, full termination, full powers powers in respect powere in respect & suspension in respect of of all officers/employyees of all employecs/ against the offi- all officers/em- working officers working cers and empio - ployees work- on posts of which in posts of which yees. ing on posts of he is appointing he is the appoint- which he is the authority, but in ing authority. appointing au- respect of officers/ thority but in employees holding other cases post carrying a where officers' scale of pay maxi- employees hol- mum of which ding post carry- exceeds Rs. 1250.00 ing a scale of but is less than Rs. pay maximum 1600.00 the powers of which ex- will be restricted ceeds Rs. 1600.00 to impose minor the powers will punishments and be restricted to suspension. impose minor punishments and suspension.

IT is this resolution, of 25-4-1973 read with the resolution No. 4 of 18th November, 1971 which has created all the controversy and will be dealt with at greater length a little later.

(36) Thereafter, the new Corporation was submitted another proposal by the General Manager, which is contained in the Agenda Note dated 21st January, 1974 along with the schedule showing the proposed powers to be authorised to Depot Managers, Traffic Superintendents, Assistant Engineers and Assistant Traffic Superintendents. This Agenda Note along with the schedule attached thereto came up for consideration before the meeting of the Corporation on 2nd March, 1974 and the new Corporation vide its resolution No. 319 considered the 'Agenda Note' dated 21st January, 1974 and resolved to approve the same subject to slight modifications which are not relevant for the present case.

(37) The 'Agenda Note' dated 21st January, 1974, along with item No. 19 of the Schedule showing the powers which were authorised to be exercised by Traffic Superintendents and Assistant Traffic Superintendents besides others, by virtue of resolution No. 319 dated 2-3-1974, arc as under :

'DELHI Transport Corporation

(AGOVERNMENT Of India UNDERTAKING)

I.P.ESTATE : New Delhi :

NO.GM/351/1974 Dated : 21st January, 1974.

Agendanote :

SUBJECT: Delegation, of powers to Depot Managers.

INorder to ensure proper functioning of the Depots and fix specific responsibility 'it is' contemplated to make the' Depots function, as independent costing and operational units. At present, the responsibility is highly diversified and specific responsibility cann,ot be placed on the Depot Managers for operation or income. With a view to make the Depot Managers more cost conscious, it is contemplated to provide each depot with a separate budget which would include all administrative, maintenance and operational expenditure, depreciation on capital assets and income of the depot. The Depot Managers will be expected to operate within this budget and show positive results.

Anecessary precondition for implementation, of such a proposal is adequate delegation of powers to the Depot Managers. At present the Depot Managers hardly exercised any worthwhile powers and even small matters have to be referred by them to the Head Office. For example, if the Depot Manager has to incur an expenditure of say, Rs. 50.00 for toeing an accidented vehicle, he has to obtain the sanction of the head office for this expenditure. Such a state of affairs can hardly be conducive to efficient functioning of the Depots. The need for adequate delegation of powers to the Depot Managers can hardly be over emphasised.

Acareful study of the powers that may be delegated to the Depot Managers has been made and the appended schedule has been prepared in consultation with the Additional General Manager. The schedule contains both administrative and financial powers. The General Manager will, from time to time, restrict or regulate the exercise of these powers if it is necessary to do so in the interest of the Corporation.

THEBoard is requested to approve the proposed delegation of powers.

SD/-.

S.K. Sharma, General Manager.'

LPA6 of 1976.

Scheduleshowing The Proposed Powers To Be Authorised To Depot Manager, Traffic Superintendents, Assistant Engineer & Assistant Traffic SUPERINTENDENT.

Item Nature of powers Depot. Manager Asstt. Engineer./Tr. Remarks No. Superintendent/A.T.S. 19. Taking disciplinary Subject to follow- Subject to following action including dis- ing Service Re- Service Regulations, missal, termination gulations, full full powers in respect and suspension agai- powers in respect of all employees wor- nst the employees. of all employees king on the posts of working on the which he is the appoi- posts of which nting authority ex- he or officers cluding removal & subordinate to dismissal. him are the ap- pointing autho- rity.

(38) The learned single Judge before whom the disciplinary proceedings were challenged took the view that the 'only question substantial is to find out the effect of the Resolution No. 271 dated April 25, 1973 on the exercise of powers by officers other than the General Manager of She Transport Corporation'. After posing the question, the learned single Judge answered it as under :

'IN my opinion Resolution No. 271 dated April 25, 1973, though not very happily worded, admits of only one interpretation. The import of the resolution is, specially in the context of the historical background noticed by me earlier, that April 25, 1973 onwards the General Manager of the Transport Corporation was to exercise only such powers as were delegated to him by Resolution No. 271 and none else. Further, all powers exercised by any other officer were taken away with immediate effect and officers who were exercising delegated powers of the General Manager of the Delhi Road Transport Undertaking of the M.C.D. by virtue of Transport Corporation's resolution of November, 16, 1971 were divested of all powers. It is unfortunate that the authorisation contemplated by Section 12(c) of the Road Transport Corporation Act was made as late as on March 2, 1974. Be it as it may in between April 25, 1973 and March 2, 1974 it is only the Transport Corportion or the General Manager who could initiate and take disciplinary action and no one else'.

(39) Dr. Anand Prakash and Mr. S. N. Bhandari, who appeared on behalf of the Corporation in some of the appeals, have challenged this conclusion of the learned single Judge and submitted that resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973, passed by the new Corporation have not been properly interpreted and have contended that looking at the historical background of the legislations and the resolutions passed by the Municipal Corporation, this result does not follow.

(40) The learned counsel for the appellant have also urged the pleas of acquiescence, waiver and conduct of the writ petitioners from disentitling them from the relief claimed by them. In the alternative, learned counsel for the Transport Corporation have also tried to urge the plea of ratification by the General Manager in respect of proceedings held by the Inquiry Officer as well as of the charge- sheet served on the writ petitioners either by the Traffic Supervisors or Traffic Superintendents or Assistant Traffic Superintendents.

(41) For understanding the true scope and effect of resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973, passed by the new Corporation, it is necessary to examine what was the state of powers exercised by Municipal Officers before the new Corporation came to be established and before the employees stood transferred to the new Corporation.

(42) As noticed earlier, while dealing with the historical background of the various relevant legislations as well as the various office orders, the Regulations were framed by the D.R.T.A. by virtue of regulation 6, the General Manager of the D.R.T.A. was the appoint- ing authority of Class Iii and Class Iv employees. By virtue of Regulation 15(2)(b), disciplinary action could be taken by the General Manager or such other officer as may be authorised by him.

(43) Later on, by standing orders dated 19-3-1953, the powers as given in the Regulations were conferred on the General Manager by D.R.T.A. While the D.R.T.A. was in existence, the General Manager did not exercise his power of delegation either under regulation 15(2)(b) or by virtue Of the standing orders.

(44) After the repeal of D.R.T. Act by Section 516(1) (a) of the Municipal Corporation Act and by virtue of clause (a) of Section 516(2) any rule framed under the D.R.T. Act which was in force before the establishment of the Delhi Municipal Corporation, in so far as it was not inconsistent with the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, continued in force and was deemed to have been made under the Municipal Corporation Act.

(45) In view of the definition of 'rule' in the General Clauses Act, as noticed earlier, the Regulations continued in force. They were in no way inconsistent with the Municipal Corporation Act. Under section 64 read with section 92(l)(b) of the Municipal Corporation Act, the General Manager was the appointing authority. So was he under regulation 6. Under regulation 15(2) (b) read with the standing orders issued by the D.R.T.A. dated 19-3-1953, the General Manager could delegate his powers of discilpinary action to such other officer as may be authorised by him. Similarly, under section 491 read with the provisions of section 504(l)(a)(ii) of the Municipal Corporation Act the General Manager could delegate any of his powers under the Municipal Corporation Act to any other Municipal Officer or Municipal employee specified by him in his order. Under section 95 of the Municipal Corporation Act, the employee of the Delhi Municipal Corporation could be imposed various punishments as specified in sub-section (1). The only condition to suffering that liability/punishment was that the employee could not be reduced in rank, compulsorily retired, removed or dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. No orders were passed, as noticed earlier, by the General Manager, while D.R.T.A. was in existence, delegating powers to any other employee to take disciplinary action. Since the powers conferred on the General Manager by virtue of Section 491 of the Municipal Corporation Act were wider, there is no inconsistency in the provisions of the Regulations so as to cease to be in force on coming into force of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, Once, Regulations continue to be in force by virtue of Section 516(2)(a) they are deemed to have been made under the Municipal Corporation Act.

(46) In any case, the proceedings for disciplinary action are initiated under regulation 15(2)(c). This regulation was not in any way inconsistent with the Municipal Corporation Act, nor did it in any way infringe the provisos to Section 95 of the Municipal Corporation Act.

(47) The two 'office orders' which were passed by the General Manager (Transport), which are relevant for our present purposes, were office orders Nos. 32 dated 9-3-1967 and office order No. 19 dated 1-4-1971. The effect of the earlier 'office orders' was that the General Manager delegated his powers under regulation 15 to five officers mentioned earlier. It also delegated full powers to the Traffic Superintendents as well as Assistant Traffic Superintendents under regulation 15, short of order of dismissal, removal or reduction to a lower post or time-scale. The other effect of officer order No. 19 dated 1-4-1971 was that the Assistant General Managers were delegated the powers of suspension. So, this was the state of affair when the New Corporation was established.

(48) In view of Section 4(e) of the Amending Act, the Regulations as well as the aforeaid office order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967 and 19 dated 1-4-1971 continued to be in force and so did the Regulations. The erstwhile employees, like the writ petitioners, of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi became the employees of the new Corporation.

(49) When the new Corporation came into being, it passed the aforesaid resolution No. 4 dated 18th November 1971. This resolution was passed in the light of the letter of the General Manager dated 16-11-1971. The relevant paragraph 1 of this letter reads as under:

'1.Under Section 12 of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950, the Corporation is empowered to delegete such of its powers and duties and further authorise the General Manager to exercise such power and perform such duties as it may deem necessary for the efficient day to day administration of its business. The day to day work of the Corporation is continuing to be attended by the General Manager and other officers in accordance with the powers delegated in them under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957. Action has been initiated to formulate detailed proposals for delegation/authorisation under the aforementioned provisions of Law. The pattern obtaining in this behalf in other Corporations like Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation etc. is also being .kept in view. Since it may take some time to finalise the proposals, it considered appropriation may adopt a resolution authorising the General Manager and other officers to exercising such administrative and financial powers which they were exercising, prior to the new Act/Ordinance coming into force.'

(50) Though this letter refers to Section 12 of the Act, it is not very happily worded. However, the resolution which was passed was also under section 12 and it talks of authorisation of the General Manager and other officers of the new Corporation. Section 12 of the Act deals with three types of what may be called 'delegations'. Under clause (a) it can appoint committees of its members only for performing such functions as may be specified by the Corporation in its resolution. Under clause (b) it can delegate to the aforesaid committee of its members or to six officers mentioned therein such of its powers and duties as it thinks fit. Under this clause, the delegation can only be to its committee of members or to the six officers mentioned therein. Then, there is clause (c). Under this clause, the Corporation can authorise any officer of the Corporation to exercise such powers and perform such duties as 'it may deem necessary for the efficient day-today administration of its business'. The present- is not a case to go into the finer distinction between the delegation under clause (b) and authorisation under clause (c) for the simple reason that resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971 talks of authorisation. The Corporation while passing this resolution apparently exercised its power under clause (c) of Section 12 of the Act because it is only under clause (c) that it can authorise any other officer apart from the six officers mentioned in clause (b) to whom the powers can be delegated. The only limitation in clause (c) for authorisation was that the powers or the duties should be such 'as it may deem necessary for the efficient day-to-day administration of its business'. It is in this light that resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971 has to be read. Reading in this light the purport of the resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971 was that the Corporation under its own authority having overall powers of running the Corporation authorised the General Manager and other officers of the Corporation. What they were authorised is mentioned in the later part of the resolution. The later part of the resolution particularises the authorisation by staling that the authorisation is of such powers as were delegated to them under Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 and they were to continue to exercise such administrative and financial powers which they had been exercising prior to the setting up of the Delhi Transport Corporation i.e. the new Corporation. The description of the powers which were authorised by this resolution was 'such powers which they were already exercising'. The effect of this resolution was that the powers which the officers of the Delhi Municipal Corporation who had now become officers of the new Corporation and which powers they were exercising by way of delegation under the Municipal Corporation Act, were now exercising them as an 'authorisation' by the new Corporation and not by virtue of more delegation which was just delegation of powers by the General Manager (Transport) and which power had continued under section 4(e) of the Amending Act. The powers which the other officers now enjoyed, though they were the same which they enjoyed earlier by way of delegation, yet now they were exercising them by virtue of 'authorisation' under section 12 (c) of the Act. The effect of this would be 'authorisation by the Corporation' itself.

(51) But, for understanding the scope and extent of the resolution one has to go by the wordings of the resolution and to see whether 'the other officers could be authorised under section 12 of the Act or not'. As opposed to Section 12(b) of the Act where the delegation can only be to committee of its members or the. six officers named therein, under Section 12(c) of the Act the authorisation can be to any other officer of the Corporation but the authorisation has to be restricted for the 'efficient day-to-day administrate of its business'

(52) The question of maintaining discipline among the employees and of taking disciplinary action, if necessary, from time to time comes within the ambit of the expression 'efficient day-to-day administration of business' of the Corporation. thereforee, the resolution dated 18th November, 1971, cannot be said to be ultra virus of the powers of the Corporation conferred on it by Section 12(c) of the Act,

(53) Under the Municipal Corporation Act, the General Manager (Transport) in relation to Delhi Transport Undertaking was the Chief Executive Head like the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation. So far as he was concerned, the powers had been conferred on him by the Act and/or by the Regulations. No powers had been delegated to him and. thereforee, came the necessity of the proposal dated 16-2-1972 by the Deputy General Manager suggesting delegation to the General Manager under section 12(b) of the Act. The relevant part of the proposal of the Deputy General Manager dated 16-2-1972 contained in paragraph 2 is as under :

'CONSIDERINGthe Resolution No. 4 dated 18th November. 1971 referred to above, as worded, it is apparent that the scope of powers authorised to be exercised by the General Manager was restricted to those powers which were delegated to him under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957. Under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, the General Manager was not delegated with any powers but he was vested with powers and under Section 491 read with Section 504(l)(a)(ii) of the D.M.C. Act, 1957, it was open to the General Manager to delegate powers vested in him to the subordinate officers subject to the conditions that he may specify. In view of this, the result of Resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971 passed by the Corporation is that since the General Manager was not delegated with powers under the D.M.C. Act, in other words, he has not been authorised to exercise any powers by the Delhi Transport Corporation. This also boils to the conclusion that whilst officers subordinate to the General Manager have been authorised to exercise powers, the General Manager himself on date has no such powers which he could exercise'. This resulted in the passing of resolution No. 65 dated 24-2-1972 reproduced earlier. Here also, though the delegation could be under section 12(b), yet the subject-matter of delegation is described by reference to the powers the General Manager exercised prior to the setting up of the new Corporation. The effect of this resolution No. 65 of 24-2-1972 would again be like the effect of resolution No. 4 of 18th November, 1971. The effect will thus be that the powers which the General Manager would now exercise would not be by virtue of Section 4(e) of the Amending Act but by virtue of the Act as well as the delegation of powers conferred under section 12(b) of the Act on him by the new Corporation'.

(54) Then, we come to resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973 read with item No. 19 of the Schedule attached thereto. The relevant part of the resolution which requires consideration, for facility of reference, may by reproduced again :

'ITwas further provided that the powers that are being exercised at present by the G.M. as delegated to him under various orders; statutes etc. in so far as .they are inconsistent with the powers delegated under this Resolution, and powers being exercised by various officers as delegated to them by the G.M. shall stand superseded with immediate effect'.

(55) For understanding this part of the resolution, this part may be conveniently divided into two parts as under :

(I)....... .resolved that the powers that are being exercised at present by the G.M. as delegated to him under various orders, statutes etc. in so far as they are inconsistent with the powers delegated under this Resolution shall stand superseded with immediate effect.

(II)....... resolved that the powers being exercised by various officers as delegated to them by the G.M. shall stand superseded with immediate effect.

thereforee, resolution by its own force supersedes various orders as well as statutes which delegated any power to the General Manager which were inconsistent with the schedule attached thereto. It will be noticed that the schedule relates merely to the powers of the Chairman, Vice Chairman and the General Manager. The schedule does not deal with the scope of powers of various other officers. The effect of the resolution, so far as the other officers are concerned, is that the powers that are delegated by the General Manager stand superseded. It does not mean the supersession of any powers of the various officers which they are authorised to exercise by the Corporation or which have been authorised by the Corporation under section 12(c) of the Act. Since the other erstwhile officers of the Municipal Corporation who were taken over by the new Corporation were authorised by the Corporation itself by its resolution No. 4 dated 16th November. 1971, that authorisation was in no way affected by resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973. The only effect of the resolution dated 25th April, 1973 vis-a-vis 'various officers were concerned was that if any powers had been delegated to them by the General Manager only they were superseded with immediate effect'. It did not affect, as stated earlier, the authorisation by the Corporation itself by its resolution No. 4 dated 18th Nov. 1971.

55-A.Resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973 dealt with multifarious matters. In some matters, service regulations had made no provision and in those matters where power had been vested in the authorities mentioned in the schedule attached to the resolution, those authorities alone could exercise those powers and none else.

(56) Where service regulations conferred certain powers these service regulations were left intact as the Corporation itself could not change them. Under section 45, the Corporation could frame the regulations only with the sanction of the State Government and the -Corporation itself was not competent to change those regulations.

(57) The orders of delegation, if any, made by the General Manager could be taken away by resolution of the Corporation but the subsequent authority of the General Manager to authorise other officers under the regulation itself still subsists under the schedule attached to this resolution at item No. 19 extracted above. The General Manager has 'subject to following service regulations full powers in respect of employees/officers working on posts of which he was the appointing authority'. All that the schedule read with the resolution shows is that if any powers were delegated to the General Manager like the one conferred on him by the standing orders of the D. R. T. A. dated 19-3-1953 are superseded and yet the same powers which were given by the aforesaid standing orders were conferred afresh by the Corporation on the General Manager.

(58) So far as 'various officers' were concerned, the powers, if any, delegated to them by the General Manager only were taken away. Had the resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971 not been passed authorising the officers of the Delhi Transport Corporation in terms of the said resolution, it could be that the office order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967 or office order No. 19 dated 1-4-1971 would have ceased to have effect. In view of the resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971, they continue to be in force by way of authorisation by the Corporation to such officers under section 12(c) of the Act and are not affected by resolution No. 271 dated 25th April, 1973.

(59) Thereafter, the Corporation again by its resolution dated 2nd March, 1974 in pursuance of the Agenda Note dated 21-1-1974 read with the schedule attached thereto by virtue of its powers under section 12(c) of the Act. authorised inter alias the Traffic Superintendents and Assistant Traffic Superintendents to take certain disciplinary actions as specified in item No. 19 of the schedule.

(60) In all the cases disposed of by the learned single Judge, the orders of suspension were passed by the Assistant General Manager (T). He had the power of suspension in view of Office Order No. 19 dated 1-4-1971. In view of Office Order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967, the Traffic Superintendent had full powers as laid down in regulation No. 15 excluding removal and dismissal etc. Under regulation 15(b) read with regulation 15(c) and the Office Order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967, the Traffic Superintendent could initiate inquiry by serving a charge-sheet and also hold the Inquiry. This is all that was done by the Traffic Superintendent. The show-cause notices were not issued by the Traffic Superintendent. They were issued by the General Manager who in any case had the power to issue show-cause notices. The Traffic Superintendent could not pass the order of removal or dismissal from service and even the show-cause notices were not issued by them. The show-cause notices to show-cause as to why the writ petitioners may not be removed from service were issued by the General Manager.

(61) In the case of Jagdish Kumar (C.W. 1150174-LPA 9176) the facts were similar to L.P.A. 6.76 except to this extent that the show- cause notice after inquiry as to why the writ petitioner may not be removed from service was issued by the Deputy General Manager dated 18-9-1973 but the order of removal was passed by the General Manager dated 6-4-1974 and even that order was passed by the authorities under the Industrial Disputes Act approving the action of the Management by order dated 12-8-1974 and thereafter the writ was filed on 29-8-1974.

(62) In order to meet the situation, Mr. D. N. Vohra and Mr. G. K. Sharma, counsel for :he writ petitioners, made the following submissions :-

(1)the Regulations are no longer in force as the Municipal Corporation Act did not save them under section 516(2) (a) .Section 516(2) (a) merely saved Rules and not the Regulations. It was submitted that whereas Regulations were framed under section 53(2) D.R.T. Act, the Rules were framed under section 52. The Rules were made by the Central Government whereas the Regulations were made by the D.R.T.A.;

(2)the Regulations also did not continue in force as they were inconsistent with the Municipal Corporation Act. It was submitted that they were inconsistent with Section 95 of the Municipal Corporation Act;

(3)officer order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967 is ultra virus of the provisions of section 95 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act ;

(4)if the Regulations are not saved by Section 516(2) (a) of the Municipal Corporation Act, then the office order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967 and office order No. 19 dated 1-4-1971 are not valid ;

(5)if the Regulations are not saved, then the Executive Instructions issued by the D.R.T.A. on 5-8-1955 still held the field in view of Section 516(2)(a) of the Municipal Corporation Act. The disciplinary proceedings are violalive of rule 1 of the Executive Instructions ;

(6)the resolution No. 4 of 18th Nov., 1971 is illegal because it is not in consonance with Section 4(e) of the Amending Act or Section 12 of the Act ;

(7)the resolution of 18th Nov., 1971 is illegal as it is based upon office order No. 32 of 1967 which is not saved by Section 4(e) of the Amending Act as it is inconsistent with section 12 of the Act ;

(8)the Resolution of the Corporation dated 18th Nov., 1971 merely authorises continued exercise of administrative and financial powers. The resolution dated 18th Nov.,. 1971 did not authorise the taking of disciplinary action.

(63) Some of these submissions overlap and are in some way or the other connected with each other. Submissions Nos. 1 to 5 are inter-connected. thereforee, they will be dealt with together.

(64) I have already noticed earlier the provisions of Section 516 (2) (a) of the Municipal Corporation Act. It saved the operation, inter alia, of any rule made under the Delhi Road Transport Authority Act, 1950. By vritue of Section 3(51) of the General Clauses Act, 1897, 'rule' shall include a Regulation made as a rule under any enactment. thereforee, the operation of the Regulations was saved.

(65) The Regulations, again, are in no way inconsistent with the Municipal Corporation Act. They are also not inconsistent with Section 95 of the Municipal Corporation Act. The relevant part of Section 95 of the Municipal Corporation Act reads as under : 95. '(1) Every municipal officer or other municipal employee shall be liable to have his increments or promotion withheld or to be censured, reduced in rank, compulsorily retired, removed or dismissed for any breach of any departmental regulations or of discipline or for carelessness, unfitness, neglect of duty or other misconduct by such authority as may be prescribed by regulations :

PROVIDED that no such officer or other employee as aforesaid shall be reduced in rank, compulsorily retire, removed or dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which provided further that the Corporation may by regulations provide that municipal employees belonging to such classes or categories as may be specified in the regulations shall be liable also to be fined by such authority as may be specified therein'.

(66) It was submitted by the learned counsel that Regulation 15(b) of the Regulations is ultra virus of or inconsistent with Section 95(1) and, thereforee, it was not saved by section 516(2)(a) of the Municipal Corporaion Act. The rider to taking disciplinary action under section 95(1) of the Municipal Corporation Act is given by its first proviso. The guarantee given by the said proviso is that no employee shall be reduced in rank, compulsorily retired, removed or dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. The guarantee is only against giving finally the punishments mentioned in the proviso, by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.

(67) Under Regulation 6, the appointing authority of employees of Class Iii and Class Iv was the General Manager. So was he under the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, under section 491 of the Municipal Corporation Act read with the adaptation clause. The General Manager could delegate any of his powers. The provisions of Section 491 in regard to delegation of disciplinary powers are, in no way, different from the provisions of Regulation 15(2) (b) of the Regulations. If any order of delegation has been passed by the General Manager under rule 15(2) (b), that order to the extent it was vocative of the first proviso to Section 491 of the Municipal Corporation Act, could be said to have been hit by the provisions of Section 95 (1) so far as the imposition of penalties finally, as contemplated by the proviso, are concerned.

(68) No such order was in any case passed or brought to our notice as having been passed by the General Manager under regulation 15- (2) (b) before passing of the Municipal Corporation Act. Since the provisions of Regulation 15(1) (b) are similar to the provisions of Section 491 of the Municipal Corporation Act, it cannot be said that the provisions of regulation 15(2) (b) are inconsistent with section 95(1) of the Municipal Corporation Act. thereforee, the regulation including regulation 15(2) (b) continued to be in force as they were not inconsistent with the Municipal Corporation Act.

(69) Clearly, under section 491 itself, the General Manager could delegate his powers. The delegation as given in office order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967 read with the schedule attached to it is in no way inconsistent

(70) With Section 95(1) or its proviso. The delegation made to the Traffic Superientendents and Assistant Traffic Superintendents has been specifically restricted to full powers under regulation 15 excluding the power of removal, dismissal and/or reduction to a lower post. Under regulation 15(2) (a) there is no punishment of compulsory retirement mentioned and, thereforee, the exception made in the schedule attached to the office order dated 9-3-1967 is fully consistent with the provisions of section 95 of the Municipal Corporation Act. There is thus no merit in the first three submissions.

(71) Since we have held that the Regulations were saved, the submission Nos. 4 and 5 do not arise.

(72) Even otherwise, the Executive Instructions on procedure regarding disciplinary action dated 5th August, 1955 issued by the D.R.T.A. were also in no way violated. Paras 1 and 3 of the Executive Instructions were relied upon by the learned counsel for purposes of argument. It will be noticed that these paras contemplate the serving of definite charges by the competent officer. Once the powers have been validly delegated under Office Order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967, paras I and 3 of the Executive Instructions were fully complied with as the charge-sheet was issued by Traffic Superintendent and/or the authority duly empowered under the aforesaid office order.

(73) Submission Nos. 6 to 8 are also inter-connected and will now be dealt with together.

(74) We have already noticed the terms of the resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971 passed by the Corporation under the Act. It will be seen that by this resolution, the Corporation authorised certain officers under section 12 of the Act though the wordings of the letter of the General Manager dated 16th Nov. 1971 talked about delegation. As noticed earlier, the resolution talked about 'authorisation'. This could be done under section 12(c) of the Act. thereforee, as noticed earlier, it is consistent with Section 12 of the Act. The argument that it is inconsistent with Section 4(e) of the Amending Act is not understandable. Section 4(e) of the Amending Act merely continued the earlier Rules and Regulations and others etc. In view of Section 4(e) the office order No. 32 dated 9-3-1967 continued and resolution No. 4 of 18th November, 1971 could be passed by the Corporation under section 12(c) of the Act. By force of resolution No. 4 dated 18th November, 1971, the officers and employees were empowered by the Corporation under its own authority under section 12(e) of the Act.

(75) It is true that the resolution dated 18th November, 1971 authorised the General Manager and other officers of the Corporation to continue to exercise administrative and financial powers which they had been exercising prior to the setting up of the Corporation. The power to initiate disciplinary action clearly came within the ambit of the expression 'continued exercise of administrative powers' in the said resolution. There is thus no merit in submission Nos. 6 to 8.

(76) In the view of the aforesaid discussion, it must be held that the initiation of inquiry and the service of charge-sheet and the holding of the inquiry in pursuance thereof were all done by duly authorised officers and there is nothing invalid in their action.

(77) Admittedly, the show-cause notice was issued by the General Manager who was in any case authorised to do so. Since the part of disciplinary action before the issue of show-cause notice was taken by the duly authorised officers, there is no merit in the submission of the writ petitioners and we are unable to agree with the Teamed single Judge that the proceedings before issue of show-cause notices in relation to writ petitioners in Civil Writ Nos. 1179, 1144, 1200, 1150, 1536, 1123, 1199 and 762 of 1974 were in any way illegal or taken by unauthorised officers.

(78) We are thus constrained to reverse the finding of the learned single Judge that before the issuence of show-cause notices, the proceedings were in any way illegal or unauthorised.

(79) So far as the finding of the learned single Judge in relation to Civil Writs 1092/74 and 1458/74 is concerned, we are in complete agreement with him.

(80) In view of our findings above, we need not go into the submissions of Dr. Anand Prakash; learned counsel for the appellants in some of the appeals, as to acquiesence, waiver and conduct of the petitioners and/or ratification by the General Manager in respect of proceedings held by the Inquriy Officer.

(81) The result is that L.P. As. 6 to 13 of 1976 are accepted and accordingly Civil Writs 1179174, 1144;74, 1200174, 1150174, 1536174, 1123!74, 1199.174, 762174 and L.P. As. 21 and 23 of 1976 are dismissed.

PARTIESare left to bear their own costs.

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