1. The Government of Rajasthan appointed a Standing Selection Committee consisting of the IG of Rajasthan the Home Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan under their Integration Department Order No F. 3(14) Intg/5, dated 28-4-52 to make selections and substantive fixation as also to determine seniority of Inspectors of Polite. For this purpose the Committee met on 6-8-1952. Shri Hiralal Dungarpuria was officiating as Prosecuting Inspector from 22-4-1951 and reverted us Prosecuting Sub Inspector on 15-5-52 He was not promoted again prior to the meeting of Integration Committee viz. 6-8-1952. Shri Hiralal Dungarpuria was therefore, not interviewed till then (6-8-52) in order to be considered for Integration as an Inspector. He was integrated as Sub inspector with effect from 15-8-52 and assigned seniority at serial No. 87. Since then, he had been making representations for his correct integration among Inspectors of Police on various grounds.
2. On scrutinizing the representation of Shri Hiralal Dungarpuria by the Standing Integration Committee, it has been found that hit name was on the approved list before 19-5-52, the date on which he was reverted. He was inadvertently reverted and was not promoted again in order to provide one Shri Pratap Singh Hiran, who was then carrying on the current duties of Prosecuting Inspector at Dungarpur, inspite of the fact that Shri Pratap Singh was junior to Shri Hiralal. More over, other Sub Inspectors who were I junior to Shri Dungarpuria were promoted to the rank of Inspectors the reversion of Shri Hiralal was as such found irregular & the Committee considered him suitable for the post of Inspector of Police for which selection he was eligible also as the Government agreed with the recommendations of the Committee and Shri Hiralal Dungarpura's record was examined in detail. According to the procedure adopted for categorisation in the Cadre of Inspectors, it was found that he is entitled to be placed in 'A' Category of Inspectors a9 he bad secured 71 marks the Government in agreeing with the recommendations of the Standing Integration Committee ordered vide their Order No. F.1/1 (ii) HE-Gr. 1/61 dated 22 12 62 that the individual in question may be integrated in 'A' Category and his seniority be determined on the basis of length of Service as Inspector in that Category.
4. In view of the recommendations of the Integration Committee & in pursuance of Government Order No. F. 1/1(ii) HE/Gr-1/81 dated 22-12-62 Shri Hiralal Dungarpuria is confirmed as Inspector of Police with effect from 1-8 52 and his name is deleted from Serial No. 87 of Sub Inspectors (Udaipur Range) and he is assigned seniority at Serial 10 'A' in the Interlaced Seniority List of Inspectors as under:
Name Date of appoint- No. in Seniority Listment as Inspector of 'A' Group Inspectorsof Rajasthan Police.___________________________________________________________________________1 2 3___________________________________________________________________________Shri Hira Lal 22.4.51 S. No. 26 A in the Integratedlist issued vide No. F 11/2896dated 29 8 52 in between ShriNawal Kishore (5- No. 26) whosedate of appointment as Inspectoris 23-11-49 and Shri Balu Singh(S. No. 27) whose date ofappointment) as Inspector is14-12-1951.b. In the interlaced Seniority Listissued vide No D. Intg. (12) 66/1349dated 8-12-1957 his name. is insertedat S. No. 10 'A' above Shri KanhiyaLal S. No. 11V & below Shri NawalkishoreSerial (10).Sd/- Goverdhan
Inspector General of Police,
3. The above order shows that the petitioner was inadvertently reverted from the post of Prosecuting Inspector and this was done in order to provide for one Sbri Pratap Singh Hiran who was carrying on the current duties of the Prosecuting Inspector at Dungarpur though Sbri Partap Singh Hiran was junior to Hiralal. It was also found that many Sub Inspectors who were junior to the petitioner had been promoted to the cadre of Inspectors the above order further shows that the petitioner was confirmed as Inspector of Police with effect from 1.8.52 and in the seniority list of Inspectors his name was placed at Serial No. 10 'A'. Follow up action was sought to be taken by the State Government and by their order dated 30-6-64 the petitioner wan fixed at Rs. 230/- per month with effect from 20-6-59 by giving him 8 advance increments. In other words, though the petitioner was given the increments he was not paid the arrears the petitioner therefore, filed a civil suit for the recovery of an amount of Rs. 5015/- against the Government in the Court of the Civil Judge, Udaipur the learned Civil Judge passed a decree in favour of the petitioner for an amount Rs. 5015/- on 19-12 66. An appeal was filed against the aforesaid decree in the court of the, District Judge, Udaipur, but later on the Government got that appeal dismissed as withdrawn. This, was presumably for the reason that the Government were, satisfied about the petitioner's claim for at rears of salary. On 14-8-67 on the recommendations of a Departmental Promotion Committee, the Government appointed the petitioner to the Rajasthan Police Service the petitioner was appointed as Deputy Superintendent of Police with effect from 1-1-67. Not getting the full relief he made a representation on 11-4-68. This representation was forwarded by the Deputy Inspector General of Police under whom the petitioner was working to the Government on 19-4-68 Not getting any response the petitioner gave a notice of a suit under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure on 15-1-69. This too was of ho effect.
4. It is in these circumstances that the petitioner has filed the present writ petition.
5. The petitioner contends that he should have been fixed in the Rajasthan Police Service in the light of his correct seniority as Inspector of Police which was assigned to him from the year 1952. His main grievance to that persons junior to him as Inspectors of Police were appointed to the Rajasthan. Police Service against 1954-55 quotes and, he too should have been appointed against 1954-55 quota. At any rate, according to the petitioner the Government were bound to consider his case for promotion at the time 'the cases of he juniors were so considered and when they were appointed. At the time of judgments the petitioner referred to the cases of Shri Ramchander and Shri Kanj Beharilal who had filed writ petitions No. 1770 of 1969 and No. 2037 of 1970 which were decided by me only yesterday. Ramchander and Kunj Beharilal, according to the petitioner, were junior to him and as their cases are now ordered to be dealt with afresh the petitioner too should be given a similar treatment the petitions has placed on record a Government order dated 19-8-72 which was the subject matter of consideration in the writ petitions of Servashri Ramchander and Kunjbeharilal.
6. The writ petition has been opposed by the State. It is denied that the petitioner was not properly dealt with or that his fixation was erroneous. Two contentions have been raised by the respondents the first is that the writ petition has been filed after an inordinate delay of almost 7 years and, in the second place, it is contended that the Integration Committee had not properly assessed the merits of the petitioner and in particular attention was invited to the order of 1963 and it is pointed out that whereas the petitioner was a non Matriculate the Integration Committee had given him 13 marks considering him to be a Matriculate then it was submitted that for professional ability he had been wrongly awarded 20 marks.
7. Learned Counsel for the petitioner enters a strong caveat against the last mentioned contention. He submits that it is not open to the respondents to argue before this Court that the order passed by them was wrong and should be ignored. As regards the question of delay, learned Counsel for the petitioner points out that the petitioner had been making representations and it was on such representations that his case was re-examined and an order was passed in the year 1963 giving him the relief, but the respondents did not take the consequential action and, therefore, the petitioner had to bring a suit for arrears of pay and the Court had done him justice thereafter, according to learned Counsel the petitioner had been making representations. He refers to the representation dated H-4 68 and subsequent to that the notice under Section 80 C.P.C. that was given on 15-1-69, the writ petition was filed on 19-4-70.therefore maintains the learned Counsel there is no inordinate delay and & writ petition should not be throw out on that ground.
Ex. 3 is the order dated 59 67 which I may read:
GOVERNMENT OF RAJASTHAN
(HOME 'E' DEPARTMENT)
No. F 1/1 (11) HE. Gr. 1/61-Est I JAIPUR,Dated the 5th Sept., 1967.To
The Inspector General of Police,
Sub : Representation of Shri Hira Lal Dungarpuria or grant of arrears of pay for the period 19-5-1952 to 24-6-59
Ref : Your letter No. PHQ A/E9t-II/From/46/65/2558, dated the 30th November, 1964
Consequent on the re-integration of Shri Meera Lal Dungar puria under Inspector General of Police Order No. Phq A/Estt.-II/ From/SI//46/55/247, dated the 29-1-63. his pay was fixed at Rs. 24/ with effect from 25-6-1959, under Rule 32 otthe R.S.R. in the scale of Inspectors of Police under this Department letter of even number dated the 26-10-1964.
He further represented that he may also be granted arrears of salary in the usual scale of Inspector for the period ion 19-5-1952 to 24-5-1959.
The case was therefore, reconsidered by the Government and it was that in this case the non-consideration of an Ad hoc Police Inspector (on which basis he was then holding the post) was a non-compliance with the Integration Rules.
I am therefore, directed to convey sanction of the Governor to the creation of a supernumerary post of Inspector of Police in the prescribed pay scale from time to time with effect from 1-8-1952 to 24-6-1959 and to the appointment of Shri Heera Lal there to in accordance with Finance Department (.Expenditure-Rules) order No. F. 1 (101) FD (Exp-Rules /66, dated the 17ih July, 1967.
This department order of even numbers dated 26 10-1964 shall stand superseded.
This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Department vide their I.D. No. 2918/PA/FC/67, dated the 21st August, 1967.
Sd/- (D.N. Upadhya)
Asstt. Secretary to the Government.
This order shows that for doing justice to the petitioner the Governor sanctioned the creation of a supernumerary post of an Inspector in the prescribed pay scale with effect from 1-8-52 to 24-6-59. It is to be noticed that from 1959the petitioner had been appointed as an Inspector there is again an order Ex. 4 which shows that the petitioner has also been appointed as Deputy Superintendent of Police on substantive basis with effect from 1-1-67. Further his name was above that of Shri Ramchandra whose writ petition had been deeded yesterday. Out of curiosity I went into the proceedings of the Integration Committee which consisted of the Inspector General of Police and the Home Secretary of the State there could be no justification from either side regarding the marking that was done, but having seen this on mature consideration I was cot persuaded to ignore this order the respondents cannot be heard to say that the Government order was erroneous or wrong. If it was so then what prevented the Government from amending the same. This only reveals a sorry state of affairs how things roll on behind the screens, Be that as it may the authority itself cannot be permitted to attack its own order as invalid while defending a writ petition of a civil servant the case reported as State of Assam v. Raghava Rajgopalachari 1972 SLR 44 settles this matter the Supreme Court in repelling a similar contention, as is raised in the present case, observed:
The learned Counsel for the State sought to argue before us that the date '16th March 1954' occurring in the order dated January 28, 1964, was mentioned due to mistake and the proper date which should have been mentioned was the date of superannuation, namely, June 30, 1953. He says that the order dated July 23 continuing the services of the petitioner after the date of superannuation was bad in view of the ruling of this court in State of Assam v. Padma Ram Borth AIR 1965 S.C. 73. But we are unable to appreciate how he is entitled co raise the point the writ was brought to challenge this order. No such petition, even if it be competent, was filed by the State itself. The respondent to a writ petition cannot be allowed to attack its own order as a respondent.
The respondents, therefore, cannot be allowed to challenge their own order as respondents while resisting a writ petition. Learned Additional Government Advocate submitted, as already observed, that the writ petition was filed after an inordinate delay and therefore, the same could not be entertained. He emphasised that in the suit filed by the petitioner an amount of Rs. 5000/- & odd was claimed and chat was decreed and eventually paid to the petitioner. Now, if the present writ petition is allowed it will mean that the State may be requited to pay arrears or salary to the petitioner for a much longer period then was covered by the suit. In other words, this Court will be passing a decree for a money claim which would by barred by time in orderly civil court and this should not be done. Learned Additional Government Advocate in particular placed strong reliance on a recent decision of the Supreme Court reported as P.S. Sadasivaswamy v. State of Tamil Nadu AIR 1974 SC 2271 in which the Supreme one Court observed that where a Government service slept over the promotions of his juniors over his head for fourteen years and then approach the High Court with writ petition challenging the relaxation of relevant rules in favour of the juniors the writ petition was liable to be dismissed in limine. The Supreme Court further observed that such an aggrieved person should approach the Court at least within six month or at the most a year of promotion of his juniors. The Supreme Court, however, further added that it is not mat there is any period of limitation for the Courts to exercise their powers under Article 226, no is it that there can never be a case where the Courts cannot laterfere an a matter after the puasaji of a certain length of time, but it would be a sound and wise exercise of discretion for the Courts to refuse to exercise their extraordinary powers under Article 226 of the Constitution in the case of persons who do not approach it expeditiously for relief and who stand by and allow things to happen and then approach the Court to put forward stale claims and try to unsettle settled matters.
8. Learned Counsel for the the petitioner, on the other hand invited attention to another case which was decided after the case cited by the learned Additional Government Advocate. It is reported as Joginder Math v. Union of India 1974 SLWR 793 in which the Supreme Court observed that the question is one of. discretion for the Court to be exercised from case to case there is no lower limit and there is no upper limit the principle that was laid down in Tiiokcnaad Motichand and Ors. v. H. B. Munshi and Anr. (1969) (2) S.C.R. 824 as per Hidayatutlaih C.J. being that the action of courts cannot harm innocent parties it their rights emerge by reason of delay on the part of the person moving the court was to be followed. In this case what happened was that there was a seniority list issued on 2.8.71. The writ petition for challenging the same was tiled in September, 1973 i.e. more than two years after the issuing of the list. In between a revised a seniority list was issued on June 2, 1973, but that list was not challenged the Supreme Court held that as in between no right was created do any party the disturbing of which would unsettle the long standing settled matters, there was no delay. Wane I was dictating' the judgment learned Counsel for the petitioner referred me to yet another case of the Supreme Court reported as S.N. Karkhanis v. Union of India AIR 1974 SC 2802. This is of the Constitutional Bench. In that case on 3.1.60 a letter was issued by the Government conveying that the decision taken by the Government was final. The writ petition was tiled after over 10 years of the issuing oh this letter. An objection was sought to be taken that there was an inordinate delay in the petitioner's presenting the writ petition. The Supreme Court held that in the subsequent letters the Government and made certain admissions and, therefore, the delay was explained. I may notice that one of the learned Jude deciding Joginuer Nath's case was common to the Bench which decided P.S. Sadasivaiwamy's case Even in P.S. Sadasivasiwamy's case the court observed that there was no period of limitation for the courts to exercise there powers under Article 224 not was it that there can never be a case where the courts cannot interfere in a matter after the passage of a certain length of time and it would be a sound and wise exercise of discretion for the courts to refuse to exercise their extraordinary powers under Article 226 in the case of persons who do not approach it expeditiously for relief and who stand by and allow things to happen and the approach the court, it is always a matter of discretion with the court when to encertain a writ petition which was not promptly tiled. Several considerations have to be applied, one is whether there is any explanation for one delay and whether that explanation is convincing and the other is whether on account of the delay the rights have become vested in other parties who will be deprived of such rights if the matter is entertained & decided inspite of the delay occasioned in the meantime.
9. Now in the present case, in the first instance, there was the order dated 29-1-63 and then mere was the order Ex. 3 dated 5-9-67 extracted in the earlier part of the judgment. This order goes to who that the petition had created a supernumerary post from 1.8.52 & then ordered the petitioner's appointment on such post. It is thus obvious that the matters did not rest finally on the passing of the order by the inspector General of Police on 29-1-63. It is also not denied that of 11-4-68 the petitioner had made a representation for giving aim the relieis following from the under passed in 1963 and that passed in 1967, Then he gave a notice to the Government making a demand for justice that too did not bring any result. It in this context the petitioner field the writ petition and it cannot be said that he had wasted too long. Apart from this the order Ex. 4 shows that according to the revised seniority he was above Shri Ram Cnandra whose writ petition had been allowed yesterday, it win, there the, not be in consonance with justice it while the case of Shri Ramchandra is reexamined, the petitioner's case is not so re-examined against the 1951-55 quota. The petitioner has retired from service during the pendency of the writ petition and now if at all he is consulted to be suitable vis-a vis his juniors appointed against 1951-55 quota then n it wilt be only a matter of giving him monetary benefits, it any, and there could be no question of his being promoted to a higher post at this juncture. The argument of the learned Additional Government Advocate that I will be realy awarding the petitioner a decree which could not be awarded by a civil court on account of the bar of limitation is indeed quite attractive, but this is not what is being really ordered the petitioner's case is that of correct fixation the cadre and that will depend on his being found suitable for the post vis-a-vis his juniors appointed against 1951-55 quota or quota of later years. The question regarding monetary relief, if any, is a contingent and which can arise ply if the petitioner is found to be suitable, I am afraid, a civil court cannot issue a direction to the Government for examining the suitability of a, person against the quota of a panic liar year and this could be done only by this Court under Article 225 of the Constitution. It therefore, follows that for a relief of this kind a litigant can only approach this Court and not a civil court by a suit. The contingency of giving monetary benefits will arise only on the deter-mination of the person's suitability for appointment in a particular year in Comp ration with his juniors who had been so appointed therefore. I over-rule the contention of the learned Additional Government Advocate.
10. Inthe result, I am convinced that a direction as was issued in Shri Ramchandra's case should be issued in the present case as well.
11. I, therefore allow the writ petition and direct the Stats to consider the claim of the petitioner for his promotion to the Rajasthan Police Service against 1954-55 quota or the quota of subsequent years when his juniors were so promoted and then if he is found suitable, the Government shall give him all be monetary benefits arising from it according to law, the Departmental Promotion Committee shall be convened within a period of six months.
12. The parties are left to bear their Own costs.