M.P. Thakkar, J.
1. Upon a question of considerable importance (whether a parallel departmental proceeding should be conducted against an employee during the pendency of a criminal proceeding) being raised before our brother P.D. Desai, J. he admitted the petition and granted interim stay after hearing the other side (O.N.G.C). If the interim stay was not granted, the petition would have been rendered infruetuous. Indeed it would have amounted to dismissal of the petition for there was no purpose or point in closing the doors of the stable after the horse had fled. If the departmental proceedings were completed before the decision in the criminal case, there was no question of staying the departmental proceedings. The entire petition which was admitted would have been rendered infruetuous. Under the circumstances, the order granting stay is unexceptionable for no other order could have been passed. We do riot propose to examine or pronounce on the question of competence of an appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent, as the appeal is liable to be dismissed on merits.
2. Learned Counsel for the appellant contends that the learned single Judge had no jurisdiction in the matter having regard to Rule 2(9B) Clauses (b) & (c) of the High Court Appellate Side Rules, 1960, which read as under:
2. Matters to be disposed of by a single Judge-Save as otherwise expressly provided by any law in force or by these rules, a single Judge may dispose of the following matters:
(9B). Applications under Article 226 of the Constitution of India except those where vires of any provision cif a-Statute or a Statutory Rule are challenged and except those relating to the Acts specified below:
(b) The Industrial Disputes Act (India Act XIV of 1940
(c) Other Labour Legislations.
In our opinion, the petition giving rise to the present appeal cannot be said to be one 'relating' to the Industrial Disputes Act or a Labour Legislation. The prayer is in respect of the stay of disciplinary proceedings initiated under the Oil & Natural Gas Commission Regulations: (1) because a parallel departmental proceeding is likely to cause prejudice to the defence in the criminal case where tac accused has the right to keep his mouth shut and not to reveal his defence (2) he can obtain a verdict from a Court presided over by a Judicial Officer who is adept in appreciation and assessment of evidence objective manner instead of a decision from a disciplinary authority constituted by his employer who does not possess these advantages; (3) complications may arise if, the same evidence is believed by one and disbelieved by the other and contradictory verdicts rendered by them. These are not matters which relate to Industrial Disputes Act or any other Labour Legislation.
3. We are, therefore, unable to uphold the contention that the learned single Judge bad no jurisdiction and that the learned Single Judge ought not to have granted interim relief maintaining status quo during the pendency of the petition.
4. The appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed.