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G.R. Luthra Vs. the Administrator of Delhi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 326 of 1972
Judge
Reported inILR1973Delhi591; 1973RLR139
ActsConstitution of India - Article 133(1)
AppellantG.R. Luthra
RespondentThe Administrator of Delhi and ors.
Advocates: R.L. Aggarwal,; R.K. Makhija,; S.N. Chopra,;
Cases ReferredAhmedabad Mfg. & Calico Ptg. Ltd. v. Ramtahel Ramanand and
Excerpt:
.....rules, 1963, which, as amended, are applicable to the state of haryana as well. we found that the word 'cadre' has all along been construed as including within its fold permanent as well as temporary posts. in doing so, we applied the well settled principles of interpretation, which had found favor with the supreme court in state of madras v. 2 to 4 equally and was, thereforee, of equal importance to them as well. and of equal importance to the other party as well as its out come may affect him equally. the matter, though of private nature and of great importance in a special case may call for a certificate of fitness, if it is likely to arise between the parties in future as well as is likely to affect other similar cases, when authoritative pronouncement from the supreme court now..........in accordance with rule 6(3) of the delhi higher judicial service rules, 1960, wherein occurs the word 'cadre'. this word is not defined in the said rules; nor is it defined in the punjab superior judicial service rules, 1963, which, as amended, are applicable to the state of haryana as well. in order to interpret the word 'cadre', we examined fundamental rules in force from january 1, 1922 together with various government decisions and orders given in december 1936, which have remained in the field since then. we also referred to the punjab civil service rules, which are also in the same terms. we found that the word 'cadre' has all along been construed as including within its fold permanent as well as temporary posts. we also noticed that the term 'cadre' was interpreted by the punjab.....
Judgment:

P.N. Khanna, J.

(1) The only question involved in this case was whether a person holding the post of an Additional District and Sessions Judge in temporary or substantive capacity, was a member of the cadre of the higher judicial service of District & Sessions Judges. According to the petitioner, such a person becomes a member of that cadre only on confirmation. It was on this ground that he claimed seniority over respondents Nos. 2 to 4. The respondents contested this claim.

(2) The seniority has to be determined in accordance with Rule 6(3) of the Delhi Higher Judicial Service Rules, 1960, wherein occurs the word 'cadre'. This word is not defined in the said Rules; nor is it defined in the Punjab Superior Judicial Service Rules, 1963, which, as amended, are applicable to the State of Haryana as well. In order to interpret the word 'cadre', we examined Fundamental Rules in force from January 1, 1922 together with various Government decisions and orders given in December 1936, which have remained in the field since then. We also referred to the Punjab Civil Service Rules, which are also in the same terms. We found that the word 'cadre' has all along been construed as including within its fold permanent as well as temporary posts. We also noticed that the term 'cadre' was interpreted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court as including both permanent and temporary posts (see Jag Raj v. State of Punjab 1969 (3) Slr 622, and Lajpat Rai Mago v. Governor of Haryana and others, ). We had, thereforee, rejected the contention raised on behalf of the petitioner that the word 'Cadre' includes permanent posts only. In doing so, we applied the well settled principles of interpretation, which had found favor with the Supreme Court in State of Madras v. Gannon Dunkerley Company Limited, : [1959]1SCR379 that the legislature must be taken to have intended that words of legal import, which acquire a definite and precise sense, should be understood in that sense. The application of the principle settled by the Supreme Court in interpreting the word 'cadre', by our adhering to and adopting the precise connotation, it has come to possess, thereforee, cannot be said to raise a substantial question of law (see Sir Chunilal v. Mehta and Sons Limited, v. Century Spinning and Manufacturing Co. Limited, : AIR1962SC1314 ) .

(3) Mr. R. L. Aggarwal contended that this case involved matters of great public and private importance. The question involved was about the fixation of seniority of candidates appointed at the initial constitution of Delhi Higher Judicial Service, which took place on May 17, 1971. There would not arise another occasion for 'initial constitution' of the service. The question, thereforee, is confined to the case of the petitioner alone and cannot be said to be a question of general or public importance. Mr. R. L. Aggarwal then urged that the question raised was of great private importance, as the petitioner's future service career depended upon the final outcome of this case. But, as has always been held, it should be a question of private importance to both parties to the litigation (see Banarsi Pershad v. Kashi Krishan Narain (1900) 28 is ll, B. Raja Rajeswara Setha v. Tiruneela Kantam Setvui Air 1923 Mad 232, Batala Engineering Co. Limited v. Custodian of Evacuee Property Air 1951 Pun 412, and the Indian Trade and General Insurance Company Limited v. Raj Mal Pahar Chand and another, ).

(4) Mr. Aggarwal contended that the decision in this case would affect respondents Nos. 2 to 4 equally and was, thereforee, of equal importance to them as well. But, the petitioner in any case can say that the matter is of great importance to him; and of equal importance to the other party as well as its out come may affect him equally. If this contention of Mr. Aggarwal was accepted and carried to its logical conclusion, then certificate of fitness might have to be granted in almost every case. The Supreme Court, while considering clause (c) of Article 133(1) in Ahmedabad Mfg. & Calico Ptg. Ltd. v. Ramtahel Ramanand and others, : (1972)IILLJ165SC , observed :

'THISclause though couched in general terms is intended to apply to special cases in which the question raised is of such great public or private importance as deserves appropriately to be authoritatively settled by the Supreme Court.'

In the absence of any of the elements referred to in the above passage, the matter even of great importance would not be such, as could be certified as fit for appeal to the Supreme Court under clause (c) of Article 133(1).

(5) The intention of having such an authoritative settlement from the Supreme Court appears to be, to have a pronouncement, which can serve as a guide in similar controversies in future. The matter, though of private nature and of great importance in a special case may call for a certificate of fitness, if it is likely to arise between the parties in future as well as is likely to affect other similar cases, when authoritative pronouncement from the Supreme Court now obtained may serve as a guide or authority.

(6) The controversy in this case, judged by these tests, fails to come up to that standard. The initial constitution of the service, as already noticed, has taken place. The controversy, thereforee, will not arise in future between the parties, nor is there any likelihood of any similar case giving rise to such controversy. It cannot, thereforee, be said to be a matter of great private importance, as deserves appropriately to be authoritatively settled by the Supreme Court.

(7) In these circumstances, we do not find any merit in this petition and the same is dismissed, but without any order as to costs.


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