A.N. Surti, J.
1. The question which I am required to consider in the present petition is, whether a person who holds a civil post under the Railway Administration can be removed by any authority subordinate to the appointing authority.
2. In order to appreciate the grievance of the petitioner, a few relevant facts may be stated.
3. The petitioner was born at Beawar on August 31, 1922, and was holding the post of a watch and ward overseer (now designated as Head Rakshak). He was holding the post of Sub Inspector Security (Grade II) and was sent for training for the said post.
4. The Chief Security Officer by his order dated March 3, 1958 promoted the petitioner as Sub Inspector Security (Grade II), Railway Protection Force and was posted at Surendranagar. The Chief Security Officer also confirmed the Petitioner in the said post with effect from September 1, 1960 by an order dated November 8, 1960. He was also promoted Sub Inspector (Grade I) with effect from April 6, 1955 that is the date of promotion by an order dated August 11, 1967 passed on behalf of the Chief Security Officer, Churchgate, Bombay. Suffice it to state that right from March, 1958 the Chief Security Officer was passing various orders in favour of the petitioner to hold the aforesaid various posts and at various places.
5. By the impugned order Annexure T dated December 18, 1975 the Security Officer, Western Railway, Ajmer, who is also shown as the appointing authority was of the opinion that it was in the public interest to pass the impugned order whereby he gave a notice to the petitioner that on his completing 30 years service on August 30, 1974, the petitioner should retire from service from fore-noon of March 18, 1976, or from the date of expiry of three months computed from the date of service of this notice on him, whichever was later. It may be emphasised that the impugned order Annexure 'I' dated December 18, 1975 in clearest terms provides that the Security Officer was appointing authority.
6. On the aforesaid facts, a strong grievance was made by Mr. Syed that having regard to Article 311(1) of the Constitution of India. In substance, Mr. Syed urged before me, that the Security Officer never appointed the petitioner as Sub-Inspector, Security, Grade II or Sub-Inspector, Grade I. Mr. Syed urged that all throughout his career, right from March 14, 1958, the petitioner was holding the post of Sub Inspector, Security, Grade II and Sub Inspector, Security, Grade I as ordered and appointed by Chief Security Officer. Under the circumstances, Mr. Syed urged that the Security Officer is an officer subordinate to the appointing authority and that is why the impugned order Annexure 'I' to the main petition suffers from the vice of flagrant violation of Article 311(1) of the Constitution.
7. In the affidavit-in-reply filed on behalf of the Railway Administration, Mr. Pandit, the learned advocate for the Railway Administration invited my attention to the contents of paragraph 7 which are in the following terms:
Regarding para 10, I say that the petitioner was compulsorily retired from service on 23-3-1976 b.n. under this office order issued vide No. SOAE/90/3/1 dated 18-12-1975 in terms of Chief Security Officer, Churchgate's confidential letter No. SFE/90/3/1/1 dated 10-12-75.
It may be significantly noticed that even in the affidavit-in-reply the said letter of the Chief Security Officer was not produced by the Railway Administration.
8. But Mr. Pandit at the time of the hearing of the petition produced before me a letter dated December 10, 1975 which had been addressed even by the Deputy Chief Security Officer to Security Officer wherein it stated as follows:
The committee, having scrutinised the confidential Rolls and Service Records of Shri Gulab Singh, SIPF, consider that he is not fit to be retained in service beyond 30 years of service.
It may be emphasised that even the said letter dated December 19, 1975 which is produced by Mr. Pandit is not duly signed by the Chief Security Officer, but is signed by Deputy Chief Security Officer, obviously an officer subordinate to Chief Security Officer. But apart from the contents of the letter dated December 10, 1975 the impugned order Annexure 'I' to the main petition dated December 18, 1975 clearly provides that the Security Officer, Ajmer was of the opinion that it is in the public interest to pass the impugned order. Under the circumstances, can it be said by any stretch of imagination that the Chief Security Officer who is the appointing authority has ever applied his mind of was ever of the opinion that the services of the petitioner should come to an end by his retirement as mentioned in the impugned order Annexure 'I'? Mr. Panit also invited my attention to the officer order passed by the Chief Security Officer on September 17, 1974, whereby the Chief Security Officer empowered the Deputy Chief Security Officer, Security Officers and the Assistant Security Officers to appoint persons as members of the force or as Sub Inspectors, or as Sub Inspectors, Assistant Sub Inspectors, Head Rakshks, Senior Rakshaks and Rakshks, but even that order hardly assists the Railway Administration for the simple reason that the petitioner, in the instant case, was Sub Inspector on March 15, 1958 and long 14 or 15 years are over after the appointment of the petitioner as Sub-Inspector, Security, Grade II, Railway Protection Force and it is only after a lapse of 14 years that the Chief Security has empowered his subordinates to appoint the aforesaid persons as the members of the protection force of the Railway Administration.
9. In view of what has been stated above, what is the material before me to come to the conclusion, that in the instant case, the Chief Security Officer, who is the appointing authority has applied his mind and that he formed an opinion for the purpose of retiring the petitioner from his services as mentioned in the impugned order Annexure 'I' to the main petition. In view of the aforesaid facts, I am convinced that by passing the impugned order, the Railway Administration has made a flagrant violation of Article 311(1) of the Constitution. The railway administration was not at all justified in passing the impugned order notwithstanding the provisions contained in Article 311(1) of the Constitution.
As a result of the aforesaid discussion, I must necessarily accept the petition filed by the railway employee, and accordingly, I must set aside and quash the impugned order Annexure 'I' to the main petition.
10. But, Mr. Syed wants to be over safe for his client. In course of the hearing Mr. Syed brought to my notice that he did not press the other contentions as the petitioner was likely to succeed on the aforesaid point.
That brings us to the consideration as to what reliefs, the petitioner is entitled to get as a result of the success in the petition. The petitioner, in view of my aforesaid conclusion, is certainly entitled to a declaration that he should be treated in continuous service of the Railway Administration from the date of the impugned order, and accordingly, he should be given all back wages with all past and future benefits. Accordingly the petitioner will be deemed to be in service as if the order or retirement is not passed. The petitioner will be entitled to get all back wages and all services emoluments and all the benefits of seniority, pay etc. permissible under the Rules. In the result, the petition is allowed, and the rule is made absolute, with costs.