(1) The petitioner was enlisted as a Constable in Delhi in what is termed as Delhi Additional Police on 2-10-1932. He was absorbed in the regular Delhi Police Force on 1-4-1933 and confirmed as Constable (Selection Grade) on 1.5.1936. At present he has been holding a permanent post of Inspector (clerical) since 11.8.1971. About a year after his entering the Delhi Police Force he was posted as Reader to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, City Kotwali, Delhi on 6.9.1933. It appears from the certificate dated 17.2.1934 (copy of which is annexure 'A' to the petition) that he was working as an English Clerk of the D.S.P. City. The petitioner avers that he was invariably employed on duties entirely of clerical in nature. The duties on which he was so employed are mentioned in the History of Services pertaining to him (copy of which is annexure 'B' to the petition). Some time in the year 1950, the office of the Inspector General of Police, Delhi Administration (second respondent) called upon such of the employees of the Delhi Police Force who were deployed on clerical duties either to opt for executive or clerical duties. Since the petitioner was employed on clerical duties and was performing the same he opted for clerical duties giving up his claim for executive duties in the Delhi Police Force. A copy of the declaration, which has been submitted in this connection, is Annexure 'C' to the petition. He had stated therein that he was already employed on clerical duties and would have no claim in the executive. Despite the above an order was issued on 12.6.1968, retiring the petitioner on superannuation pension with effect from8.10.1971 on attaining the age of 58 years. The petitioner completed 58 years on 3.10.1971, subsequent to the filing of the present Writ Petition on 20.9.1971.
(2) The short question for consideration is whether the petitioner is by virtue of F.R. 56 (c) entitled to be retained in Service till he attains the age of 60 years. The argument of Mr. S.S. Chadha, learned counsel for the respondents, was that in construing F.R.56 (c) the definition of 'Ministerial servant' under F.R. 9 (17) should be borne in mind.
(3) Shri Chadha contends that the petitioner's duties were not entirely ministerial prior to 31.3.1938, but this contention does not derive any support from the language of F.R. 56 (c) itself. The said provision was construed by P.N. Khanna, J. in Lala Ram v. Union of India (1969) Delhi L T 622 wherein it was pointed out that the only requirement of the said provision was that the person concerned should have entered Government service on or before 31.3.1938, but not that he should be a ministerial servant on or before that date. A. similar view was also taken by Jagjit Singh, J. in Jagan Nath Sharma v. (Union of India 1969 S.L.R. 551, wherein stress was laid upon entering Government Service before 31.3.1938 and holding ministerial post at that time entitling the petitioner to the benefit of remaining in Service till he attained the age of 60 years. A Division Bench of this Court consisting of S. K. Kanpur & M. R. A. Ansari, J. held in Shiv Kumar v. General Manager, Northern Railway & Am. 1970 S.L.R. 9 that the benefit of retiring on completion of 60 years (under the Indian Railway Establishment, Code Rule 2046 corresponding to F. R. 56) would be available only to those employees who held ministerial post on attaining the age of 58 years. The above-said view was followed by T.V.R. Tatachari. J. in Sartaj Behari Lal Mathur v. Union of India, C. W. 1174 of 1969 decided on 4.3.1971, for the purpose of holding that if a Government servant had ceased to be a ministerial Government servant on the date on which he attains the age of 58 years he could not be retained in service beyond the age of 58 years.
(4) In the present case there can be no real controversy about the petitioner having been declared to be a ministerial servant and his having worked in that capacity at the time of his retirement. It is sufficient in this connection to refer to the letter dated 28.5.1971 (No. F.5 (I971)/70-Home (p)) issued by the Delhi Administration through its Under Secretary, Shri R.L. Khanna to the Inspector General of Police, Delhi stating that all the officials working on the strength of the clerical cadre automatically came under the category of Ministerial Government servants as defined in F.R 9 (17) and that no further orders in this regard were required from the Administration to retain such officials of Delhi Police up to the age of 60 years in service. A copy of the said letter is Annexure 'G' to the Writ Petition. Despite the said communication the office of the Inspector General of Police informed the Superintendent of Police, Ctd (S. B ) Delhi that Delhi Administration had decided that only those Police officials, who were appointed to the clerical post prior to 1.4.1938, were eligible to be retained in service up to the age of 60 years and hence the application of the present petitioner could not be considered for retention in service up to the age of 60 years (Annexure 'H' is a copy of the said letter). This is based on a total miss-appreciation not only of the legal position, but also of the above- said letter dated 28.5.; 971 of Shri R.L. Khanna.
(5) It has been specifically admitted in the affidavit of Shri L.S. Bisht, Inspector General of Police, Delhi filed in opposition to the present writ Petition that the petitioner by his declaration dated 26-6-1950 had stated that he wished to be employed on clerical duties in the office, that he would have no claim to serve on the executive side and that during the reorganisation, which was made, he was absorbed in the clerical establishment in February, 1952. It has also been admitted that he was posted as Reader to the D. S. P. City Kotwali on 6.9.1933. It was only claimed that the posting of the petitioner on clerical duties was not material since he had been appointed on the executive side and his services could be utilised on any job according to the provisions of the Punjab Police Rules 1.5. which provides that the Police Officers were legally empowered for Police duty any where within the province. The contention put forward by Shri L.S. Bisht in his affidavit that the petitioner, who was subject to the Punjab Police Rules, was liable to be put on executive duties and was not a Ministerial servant, is opposed to the letter dated 28-5-1971 of Shri R. L. Khanna. The said letter was specifically relied upon in paragraph 12 of the Writ petition and the facts stated therein, inclusive of the Delhi Administration having been consulted by the Inspector General of Police on this very question and the issuance of the above-said letter were positively admitted in the return. I can find no force whatever in the further contention which has been put forward in this affidavit that the petitioner was not declared a Ministerial servant by the above-said letter of Shri Khanna. The class of servants, including the petitioner, have not been specifically stated to be ministerial servants by the above-said letter of the Delhi Administration (Shri R.L. Khanna, Under Secretary, Home), no further orders, in this regard, were said to be necessary. Mr. Chadha was unable to show how the petitioner was not a Ministe.Qal servant entitled to the benefit of F.R. 56 (c). The impugned order dated 12-6-1968 and the subsequent letter dated 10-9-1971 retiring the petitioner with effect from 3-10-1971 are set aside and it is hereby declared that the petitioner is entitled to continue in service till the age of 60 years i.e. until 3-10-1973. Asa necessary consequence a direction is issued that the petitioner will be reinstated with arrears of salary from the date on which he was retired. The writ petition is accepted accordingly. The petitioner will also be entitled to the costs of this application. Counsel fee Rs 200.00