K.L. Bapna, J.
1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
2. The petition has been very clumsily drafted and mentions several grievances and discontentments suffered by the petitioner from time to time. He traced his history of service from 5-12-1942 and stated how he was not given promotion from time to time by the former Jaipur State and subsequently, by the Government of Rajasthan, But this is more of a history rather than any grievance which the petitioner can bring to this court.
The immediate cause for the bringing of the petition was said to be the result of certain departmental proceedings, taken against him, but even those proceedings were taken and decided sometime in 1951.
3. The facts relating to this departmental enquiry were that he was charged with insubordination and wilful absence from duty and was suspended pending enquiry by order of the Government dated the 10/14th May, 1951. As a result of this enquiry, the Government held that the charges had been proved but proposed to take a lenient view in the matter and directed a censure to be administered for the conduct of the petitioner by order of the 18/19th October. 1851.
On the same date, an order was passed that the petitioner be reinstated with immediate effect and the period from the date of his suspension to the date of his reinstatement was to be treated as leave without pay. The grievance of the petitioner is that this order while reinstating fee petitioner purported to take out of account the period of suspension for the purposes of his future increments and the result was that he was put to a lower stage in the time scale of his salary and while he used to get his usual annual increment on the 15th July, this was postponed to 24th of December every year.
4. The document produced by the petitioner shows that his scale of pay is Rs. 200/10-280-EE-15-400 and he was getting on 23-10-1951 a salary of Rs. 210/-.
5. The prayer of the petitioner is firstly, in respect of his grievance of not being selected in a higher post by the Selection Board appointed for integration of services. The decision of the Selection Board was notified some time on 27-1-1951 and no reason has been shown why the petitioner could not come to court earlier and that part of the prayer is rejected on account of the delay in coming to this court without going into the merits thereof.
6. The second part of the prayer is that it may be declared that his increments in salary and promotions due are not affected 'by orders as a, result of the departmental enquiry.
The contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that as the period from 14-5-1851 to 18th or 19th of October, 1931 was to be treated as leave without pay, he was reduced to a lower stage in the time scale and this amounted to reduction in rank as contemplated by Article 311 of the Constitution. The further argument is that no opportunity was allowed to him to show cause against this reduction in rank.
Reliance is placed on an un-reported easeof Orissa High Court a note whereof is printed in Raghunath Sabota v. The State AIR 1935 N. U. C. (Orissa) 3978 (A). The decision is not reported, but if the case purports to decide that reduction to a lower stage in time scale involves reduction in rank, we would submit that that decision does not appeal to us and we do not propose to follow it.
7. The punishments which can be inflicted as a result of the departmental enquiry are mentioned in Rule 15 of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules 1950. These are:
(ii) Withholding of increments or promotion, including the stoppage at an efficiency bar,
(iii) Reduction to a lower post or time scale or to a lower stage in the time scale, or in the case of pension to an amount lower than that due under the rules.
(iv) Recovery from pay of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused no Government by negligence or breach of law, rules or order;
(vi) Removal from the civil service which does not disqualify for future employment in-duding compulsory retirement before the age of superannuation; and
(vii) Dismissal from the civil service which ordinarily disqualifies from future employment.
8. The Constitution does not provide any safeguard with respect to every one of these modes of punishment but only in respect of dismissal or removal or reduction in rank under Article 311, Clause (2) of the Constitution. We are not concerned with the dismissal or removal part of that Article, but only as to the interpretation of reduction in rank.
What we are inclined to think is that this must be a reduction in rank in present, and not any loss of prospects of future advantage. Withholding of increment or of promotion or stoppage at the efficiency bar or reduction to a lower stage in time scale are all instances of loss of prospects of earning more than what the employee may be earning at the time.
The reduction to a lower post or on a lower emoluments by way of punishment would amount to reduction in rank as contemplated in Article 311 of the Constitution. In the present case, the petitioner was suspended from service pending certain departmental enquiry. The Government purported to take a lenient view and reinstated the petitioner.
Under the rules the Government has to decide whether the period of suspension shall be treated as a period spent on duty or otherwise. The Government decided that it shall not be treated as on duty and preferred to account for the period of suspension as leave without pay. This in our opinion does not amount to reduction in rank, as contemplated in Article 311 of the Constitution.
9. This petition has got no force and is accordingly dismissed with costs.