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Union of India (Uoi) Vs. Pratap Rai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 103 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1968Raj44; (1968)ILLJ489Raj
ActsRailways Establishment Code, 1959 - Rules 134, 2216 and 2217; Payment of Wages Act, 1936 - Sections 9 and 15
AppellantUnion of India (Uoi)
RespondentPratap Rai
Appellant Advocate Lakhpat Rai, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Lekh Raj Mehta, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- - his transfer to jamsar in bikaner division was ordered on 15-7-61, before he could join at jamsar he fell ill on 18-7-61 and remained under the treat-ment of the railway doctor till 24-7-61. on that date he sent a letter to the railway authorities intimating that since the treatment of the railway doctor had not done him any good he had no option but to take treatment from a private doctor. 7. the 'competent authority' is denned in the railway establishment code volume ii -in rule 2003 as well as in rule 2202. there are two appendices giving a list of competent authorities under various rules -appendix 32 and appendix 37. the expression 'competent authority' occurs in a number of rules, for purposes of those rules the competent authority is the one indicated in these appendices......kinds of leave --leave on full average salary, leave on half average salary and extraordinary leave, extraordinary leave is leave without salary, rule 2126 of the indian railway establishment code, volume ii, which relates to extraordinary leave, runs as follows:--'extraordinary leave -- (a) extraordinary leave may be granted in special circumstances (1) when no other leave is by rule admissible, or (2) when, other leave being admissible, the railway servant concerned applies in writing for the grant of extraordinary leave. such leave is not debited against the leave account. no leave-salary is admissible during such leave (b) the authority which has the power to sanction leave may grant extraordinary leave as in clause (a) in combination with, or in continuation of, any leave that.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Jagat Narayan, J.

1. This is a revision application by the Union of India against an appellate decree of the District Judge, Bika-ner, allowing wages to the respondent for the period 25-7-61 to 21-3-62. The application has been contested on behalf of the respondent.

2. The respondent was posted as goods clerk at Sarai Rohilla Railway Station, Northern Railway. His transfer to Jamsar in Bikaner Division was ordered on 15-7-61, Before he could join at Jamsar he fell ill on 18-7-61 and remained under the treat-ment of the railway doctor till 24-7-61. On that date he sent a letter to the railway authorities intimating that since the treatment of the railway doctor had not done him any good he had no option but to take treatment from a private doctor. He reported back on duty on 17-3-62. He accordingly joined duty at Jamsar on 24-3-62. The Divisional Personnel Officer granted him leave without pay from 25-7-61 to 21-3-62. As no wages for this period were paid to him he filed a claim under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act.

3. The Payment of Wages Authority dismissed his claim. The respondent preferred an appeal to the District Judge and the appellate authority has allowed it. Against this order the present revision application has been filed on the ground that the order of the Divisional Personnel Officer granting leave without pay to the respondent was an order of a competent authority within the meaning of Section 7(2)(h) of the Payment of Wages Act and the Payment of Wages Authority had no jurisdiction to go behind it.

4. Under Rule 134 of the Railway Estab-lishment Code, Volume I, 1959 Edition, the appointing authority for class III staff is the General Manager or such lower| authority to whom he may delegate the power, According to item No. 3 of Schedule C of the Northern Railway Schedule of Powers on Establishment Matters, corrected upto 1-11-65, power to appoint class III staff has been delegated to the Divisional Personnel Officer. It has been delegated to other officers also. In column 4 it is mentioned that the powers have been delegated to the Divisional Superintendents and in column 5 which is headed 'Extent to which powers have been redelegated to other subordinate officers' it is shown that the power of appointment has been delegated to the Divisional Personnel Officer also.

The contention on behalf of the respondent is that, the use of the word 'rede-legated' shows that the Divisional Superintendent has delegated the power to the Divisional Personnel Officer. The note in the beginning of the hand-book goes to show that the delegation of powers to the officers mentioned in column 5 has also been made by the General Manager himself. It is therefore not correct that the power to the Divisional Personnel Officer has been delegated by the Divisional Superintendent.

5. Under Rule 2217 the authority com-petent to make an appointment to a post under the rules in force at present is competent to grant leave. The Divisional Per-sonnel Officer was therefore competent to grant leave to the respondent. He was equally competent to refuse leave to him.

6. Serial No. 11 of Schedule C refers to the power to grant leave to class III staff. In column 3 the authority for the delegation is mentioned as item 3(2) of Appendix 37. Railway Establishment Code, Volume II.

There is no item in Appendix 37 dealing with grant of leave to class III staff. The authority shown against serial No. 11 is therefore not correct. In serial No. 11 also it is mentioned that the Divisional Personnel Officer is empowered to grant leave toclass III staff.

7. The 'competent authority' is denned in the Railway Establishment Code Volume II -- in Rule 2003 as well as in Rule 2202. There are two appendices giving a list of competent authorities under various rules -- appendix 32 and appendix 37. The expression 'competent authority' occurs in a number of rules, For purposes of those rules the competent authority is the one indicated in these appendices. In Rule 2217 however the expression 'competent authority' does not occur. Further in Rule 2283 (e) it is made clear that other delegation of powers can also be made besides those specified in appendices 32 and 37.

8. I accordingly hold that the delegation of power by the General Manager to the Divisional Personnel Officer under the specified Schedule of Powers on Establishment Matters is in accordance with the rules.

9. There are three kinds of leave --leave on full average salary, leave on half average salary and extraordinary leave, Extraordinary leave is leave without salary, Rule 2126 of the Indian Railway Establishment Code, Volume II, which relates to extraordinary leave, runs as follows:--

'Extraordinary leave -- (a) Extraordinary leave may be granted in special circumstances (1) when no other leave is by rule admissible, or (2) when, other leave being admissible, the railway servant concerned applies in writing for the grant of extraordinary leave. Such leave is not debited against the leave account. No leave-salary is admissible during such leave

(b) The authority which has the power to sanction leave may grant extraordinary leave as in Clause (a) in combination with, or in continuation of, any leave that is admissible, and may commute retrospectively periods of absence without leave into extraordinary leave.'

10. In the present case other leave was admittedly admissible to the respondent. The respondent himself did not apply for the grant of extraordinary leave. Leave without pay was however granted to him. The order of the Divisional Personnel Officer in fact is an order refusing to grant leave and commuting the period of absence without leave into extraordinary leave to avoid break in service. The order granting leave without salary passed by the Divisional Personnel Officer is therefore not one without jurisdiction.

11. There was thus an order of a competent authority authorising deduction. The Payment of Wages Authority cannot go behind it.

12. I accordingly allow the revisionapplication and dismiss the claim of the respondent. In the circumstances of the caseI leave the parties to bear their own costsof these proceedings throughout.


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