1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI W.P.(S) No. 1464 of 2006 Pawan Kumar, Son of late Janardan Kumar, resident of Suresh Colony, Hazaribagh, P.O. Hazaribagh, P.S. Sadar, District-Hazaribagh. ….. ….. Petitioner Versus 1. The Chairman, Mines Board, Hazaribagh.
2. The Deputy Commissioner, Hazaribagh.
3. The Additional Collector-cum-Secretary, Mines Board, Hazaribagh.
4. Secretary, Urban Development Department, State of Jharkhand, Project Building, P.O. & P.S. Dhurwa, Dist-Ranchi. ….. …. Respondents --------- CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE PRAMATH PATNAIK ---------- For the Petitioner : Mr. Manoj Tandon, Adv. For the Respondent nos.1 & 3 : Mr. Prashant Pallav, Adv. For the Respondent-State : Mr. Abhijeet Kumar Singh, J.C. to G.P.V. CAV on:28th April, 2016 Pronounced on 09/09 /2016 Per Pramath Patnaik, J.:
1. In the instant writ application, the petitioner has inter alia prayed for quashing the order dated 03.04.2005 (Annexure-13) issued by the respondent no.2, pertaining to termination of the services of the petitioner in pursuance to resolution of meeting dated 28.01.2005 of the Mines Board, and for direction to the respondents to allow the petitioner to continue on his post of In-charge Executive Engineer w.e.f. 03.04.2005 in view of the stay order dated 17.02.2004 passed by this Court in W.P.(S) No.867 of 2004, which is stated to be pending, and for quashing of the letter dated 12.04.2005 (Annexure-14) wherein it has been wrongly mentioned that the petitioner was appointed on 02.11.1991 at the post of Assistant Engineer on daily wages and also for direction to the respondents to make payment of salary of the petitioner.
2. The facts, as disclosed in the writ application, in a nutshell are that initially the petitioner was working since 1991 as a Daily Wages Assistant Engineer, which was subsequently regularized with effect from 05.10.1993 on the post of Junior Engineer against a sanctioned and vacant post of Junior Engineer by the respondent no.1 by memo dated 05.10.1993, as evident from Annexure-1 to the writ application. When the post of Assistant Engineer fell vacant, petitioner started working on the post of Assistant Engineer and thereafter, was regularized on the substantive post of Assistant Engineer 2 w.e.f. 01.01.2000. Due to seniority the petitioner was given the charge of In charge Executive Engineer w.e.f. 30.11.2001. The respondent no.2 vide memo dated 10.04.2002 directed the petitioner to continue on the post of In- charge Executive Engineer at Hazaribagh Mines Board as evident from Annexure-5 to the writ application. Thereafter, the petitioner continued to work on the post of In-charge Executive Engineer but in the absentee statement prepared by the respondents, the petitioner has been shown as Daily Wages Assistant Engineer since October, 1996 to February 2001 even though the services of the petitioner was regularized as per Annexure-1. During his incumbency as In-charge Executive Engineer, the petitioner complained about several irregularities in Hazaribagh Mines Board for which an audit was conducted and the said audit report substantial amount was recommended to be recovered from other officials of Hazaribagh Mines by way of surcharge. Being aggrieved by the audit report another person namely, Ram Kumar Singh who was posted as In-charge Executive Engineer, Hazaribagh Mines Board in place of petitioner, which was challenged by the petitioner being W.P.(S) No.867 of 2004 and vide order dated 17.02.2004 the posting order of the said Ram Kumar Singh was stayed and the said writ petition is stated to be pending before this Court. Due to non-payment of salary to the petitioner, the petitioner filed writ petition vide W.P.(S) No.4059 of 2004 for payment of unpaid salary as Assistant Engineer and vide order dated 30.08.2004 passed by this Court the respondents were directed to release the salary as per Annexure-11 to the writ petition. But, despite the aforesaid order the petitioner was not paid the salary whereas other regular recruittee as referred from enquiry report dated 13.03.2005 conducted by the committee headed by the Deputy Development Commissioner payment have been made to them. Thereafter, the services of the petitioner was terminated by the office order dated 03.04.2005 vide Annexure-13 to the writ petition. Vide order dated 12.04.2005, it is mentioned that in the Board’s meeting dated 28.01.2005 the decision of termination of services of the petitioner was taken as per the Hazaribagh Mines Board Act, 1936 and the Hazaribagh Mines Board Rules, the Board was not in existence w.e.f. March, 2003. Being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the impugned orders, left with no efficacious and alternative remedy, 3 the petitioner has approached this under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for redressal of his grievance.
3. Supplementary affidavit dated 23.01.2008 indicates that the Chairman, Mines Board, Hazaribagh gave a direction on 10.05.2006 for making an enquiry about the dismissal order of the petitioner and one of the members of the Mines Board, Hazaribagh namely Sri Sanjay Upadhyay conducted a detailed enquiry ad submitted his report on 21.06.2006 to the Chairman, Mines Board, Hazaribagh as evident from Annexure-16 to the supplementary affidavit. From perusal of the enquiry report dated 21.06.2006, it has been found that the decision/resolution dated 28.01.2005 by the Mines Board, Hazaribagh for termination of the services of the petitioner as contained in letter dated 12.04.2005 and 03.04.2005 issued by the Secretary, Mines Board, Hazaribagh is outrightly wrong and in fact his service has not been terminated. It is further stated that the then Secretary had terminated the services of the employee and on 10.01.2005 who were absent as contained in Parishisth-Kha in which the name of the petitioner was not there but in the subsequent meeting dated 28.01.2005, a decision was taken for terminating the services of the employee, who were absent for years together in that list, and the name of the petitioner was included because of some conspiracy.
4. Controverting the averments made in the writ application, a counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of respondent nos.1 and 3. It has been submitted that the memo dated 05.10.1993 was issued under the signature of the Chairman of Hazaribagh Mines Board regularizing the petitioners on the post of Junior Engineer. But the said letter was issued by the then Chairman but it was never done by the Mines Board as required under the Mines Board Act. The power for appointments under the Hazaribagh Mines Board is contemplated under Section 11 of the Hazaribagh Mines Board Act, 1936. Section 11 mandates that the Board may determine and appoint in the establishment and fix the salary or remuneration of the member.
5. During pendency of the writ application, I.A. No.3900 of 2015 has been filed, wherein it has been submitted that during pendency of the writ application, the Cabinet has approved the proposal of Urban Development Department for absorption of 56 employees including the petitioner.
6. A counter affidavit to the said interlocutory application has been filed, wherein it has been stated that after receiving the file from the Cabinet, the 4 Urban Development & Housing Department has found some irregularities in the proposal of absorption of Hazaribagh Mines Board employees.
7. After hearing learned counsel for the respective parties at length and on perusal of the documents on record, the matter deserves to be considered afresh in view of the fact that Hazaribagh Mines Board has been merged under the State of Jharkhand and State of Jharkhand, Urban Development Department is to take decision regarding absorption of the employees including the petitioner.
8. In view of the facts stated hereinabove, proposal of absorption of employees of Hazaribagh Mines Board, which has already been approved by the Cabinet vide its decision dated 15.04.2015, it would be in the fitness of things to set at naught the impugned orders dated 03.04.2005 (Annexure-13) pertaining to termination of services and the letter dated 12.04.2005 (Annexure-14) so that the case of the petitioners can be decided afresh. Therefore, the impugned orders under Annexures-13 and 14 are quashed and set aside and the matter is remitted to the respondents to take expeditious decision in view of the decision of the Cabinet dated 15.04.2015 for absorption of the petitioner.
9. With the aforesaid direction, the writ petition stands allowed. (Pramath Patnaik, J.) Saket/-