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G.K. Tandon Vs. Chief Commissioner, State of Ajmer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService;Constitution
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Appln. No. 226 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1958Raj245
ActsConstitution of India - Article 311
AppellantG.K. Tandon
RespondentChief Commissioner, State of Ajmer
Appellant AdvocateParty in person
Respondent Advocate R.A. Gupta, Deputy Govt. Adv. and; B.C. Chatterjee, Asst. Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases Referred and Chand Narain v. State of Rajasthan Civil Writ Petin. No.
Excerpt:
- - whenever, therefore, they wish to promote somebody, they see some good points in the employee, or even if they are doubtful, they would like to try him on the supposition that he would justify the selection. a person in authority would not, therefore, like to revert a man simply in order to injurehim out of spite, but would probably come across something about or in connection with the employee which would, in the opinion of theofficer, make the employee not suitable for being continued in that post......of administrative convenience or as a result of the applicant being found unsuitable for the higher post is arbitrary and difficult to follow.the real foundation for interference under article 311 of the constitution is to be found in that article. he must be a person holding a civil post. if a person holds a particular post and is taken to a higher post, he cannot be said to hold the higher post. the reversion, therefore, from a higher post to a lower post, whatever may be the reason, does not afford the safeguard which is provided under article 311 of the constitution.what difference would it make, if the reversion is made without mention of any reason whatsoever and the mention of reasons purporting to show that the employee was not found suitable for the higher post or that he.....
Judgment:

K.L. Bapna, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

2. The case of the petitioner, Mr. G. K. Tandon, is that he was a permanent employee in the former State of Ajmer. He was employed in the office of the District Judge, Ajmer, in the grade Rs. 80-5-120-8-200-10/2-220 by an order of the Judicial Commissioner, dated 2-3-1951.

A post of Personal Assistant in the Civil Secretariat of Ajmer came to be created, and this was offered by the Govt. of Ajmer to the petitioner on 29-5-1952. The document (Annexure C, to the petition) containing the offer is somewhat important, and its relevant portion may be stated here:

'Shri G. K. Tandon has been selected for appointment as Personal Assistant-cum-steno in the scale of Rs. 160-10-330 plus usual dearness allowance as admissible to other Government servants of his category from time to time. The appointment is purely temporary and until further orders. If he accepts the post on the above terms, he may please be relieved of his duties in your Department and directed to report himself for duty to the undersigned immediately.'

It appears that Mr. G. K. Tandon accepted these terms, and he was relieved of his post in the Court of District Judge, and came to be appointed as Personal Assistant to the Hon'ble Revenue Minister of Ajmer. On 12-8-1953, an order was passed by the Government of Ajmer that:

''It has been decided that the services of Shri Gopi Krishna Tandon may be replaced at your disposal as they will be no longer required here. He will accordingly be relieved of his duties here with effect from 13-8-1953 and directed to report himself for duty to you.'

This letter was addressed by the Chief Secretary to the Judicial Commissioner under whose control the office of the District Judge then was. On relief from the Secretariat, Mr. G. K. Tandon was again appointed in the Court of District Judge in his old grade. The present petition is directed against this order of 12-8-1953.

It is contended that although this order does not speak of the reasons why he was reverted, it was subsequently discovered by him on 23-3-1955, when an extract from the confidential report of the Revenue Minister entered in his Service Book was intimated to him. This extract is to the effect that:

'He was transferred because he overheard confidential talks.'

The petitioner tried to have his order of reversion of 12-8-1953, set aside by various representations to the Government, but they were rejected, and, therefore, he came to file the presentpetition under Article 226- of the Constitution on 17-8-1956.

His prayer is that the order of reversion dated 12-8-1953, be quashed. Certain other reliefs are claimed on the ground that if he had not been so reverted, he would have received-various benefits which-- should also be allowed to him.

3. The petition has been argued by the petitioner Mr. G. K. Tandon himself, and he relied upon various authorities in which it has been held that even a temporary servant cannot be reduced in rank without an opportunity/ being allowed to him to show cause against such reduction in view of Article 311 of the Constitution.

Some of these cases relate to the removal from service of the temporary employees, while others make a distinction between cases in which the reversion is, done purely on administrative grounds, and those cases in which certain charges are made against the employee, and the reversion is on the basis of such charges being proved against the employee.

It is not necessary to discuss all these authorities, but mention, may be made of the following:

Mohinder Singh v. State of Pepsu, AIR 1955. Pepsu 106 (A); Kishanlal Laxmilal v. State of M. B. (S) AIR 1956 Madh B 100 (B); Ganesh. Balkrishna Deshmukh v. State of M. B., AIR 1956 Madh B 172 (C); Sangam Lal Duhe v. Director of Education, U. P., AIR 1957 All 70 (D); State of Tripura v. Mohini Mohan, AIR 1957 Tri. 22 (E). As, however, pointed out in Union of India v. Parshotan Lal, AIR 1956 Punj 207 (F), the distinction between orders of reversion which are passed as a matter of administrative convenience or as a result of the applicant being found unsuitable for the higher post is arbitrary and difficult to follow.

The real foundation for interference under Article 311 of the Constitution is to be found in that article. He must be a person holding a civil post. If a person holds a particular post and is taken to a higher post, he cannot be said to hold the higher post. The reversion, therefore, from a higher post to a lower post, whatever may be the reason, does not afford the safeguard which is provided under Article 311 of the Constitution.

What difference would it make, if the reversion is made without mention of any reason whatsoever and the mention of reasons purporting to show that the employee was not found suitable for the higher post or that he was not considered to be fit for being continued in that post.

In all cases of reversion, there is bound to be some reason for that act. Responsible officers who have the power to appoint and promote can only be expected to act reasonably and not capriciously. Whenever, therefore, they wish to promote somebody, they see some good points in the employee, or even if they are doubtful, they would like to try him on the supposition that he would justify the selection.

A person in authority would not, therefore, like to revert a man simply in order to injurehim out of spite, but would probably come across something about or in connection with the employee which would, in the opinion of theofficer, make the employee not suitable for being continued in that post.

It should not make any difference whether he keeps back the reasons and only passes an order of reversion or also mentions the reasonfor the reversion. The mention of reasons would only be a surplusage. In the present case, however, the Government of Ajmer did not mention the reason as to why he was being reverted to his original post.

As is apparent from a document, Ex. N, the adverse entry in the Service Book of the petitioner seems to have been made between 22-2-1955 and 1-3-1955. What appears to have taken place is that the petitioner either did not know the reasons of his reversion or pretended not to know it, and proceeded to submit representations, one of which is Ex. E, dated 23-1-1955, claiming promotion to higher posts when some of his juniors had been so promoted.

This led to some enquiry as to why he had been reverted, and the Revenue Minister who seems to have continued till then, proceeded to write in the Service Book that he was transferred because he had overheard confidential talks. The petitioner's explanation is that he had never done so intentionally, but may have come to hear the talk on the telephone, because there were three extensions of the main telephone, and anybody who may have chance to lift the telephone at a tune when some conversation was going on between somebody and the Minister could overhear it. We are not concerned with the explanation or the remarks made by the Revenue Minister.

The remarks may be right or wrong. The only point for consideration in the present case is whether his reversion to his substantive post from which he was temporarily taken to a higher post amounted to a reduction in rank from the office which he had been holding. As stated above, the office which he held was his post in the court of District Judge in the grade Rs. 80-220, and the post of Personal Assistant which he was holding was only temporarily given to him under the terms of the letter of 29-5-1952.

Our view finds support in two cases decided by this Court, viz., Chiranjilal v. Union of India, AIR 1957 Raj 81 (G), and Chand Narain v. State of Rajasthan Civil Writ Petin. No. 24 of 1956, D/- 21-1-1957 (Raj), (H).

4. There is no force in this petition. It is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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