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Bhishm Prasad Vs. State of Jharkhand and Ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtJharkhand High Court
Decided On
AppellantBhishm Prasad
RespondentState of Jharkhand and Ors.
.....  …     petitioner        versus    1. the state of jharkhand 2. jharkhand vidhan sabha, through its secretary, ranchi. 3. the secretary, jharkhand vidhan sabha, ranchi.4.   the   under   secretary,   department   of   establishment,  jharkhand  vidhan sabha, ranchi.5.   mr.   prem   shankar   premi,   s/o­not   known   to   the   petitioner,  presently posted as the sound operator, jharkhand vidhan sabha,  po­dhurwa ps­jagarnathpur, ranchi, jharkhand 6. mr. ajay kumar, s/o­not known to the petitioner, presently posted  as the sahayak awadhayak, jharkhand vidhan sabha, po­dhurwa  ps­jagarnathpur, ranchi, jharkhand ...      …    respondents   ­­­­­ coram.....

  IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI         W. P. (S) No. 5114 of 2007 With     I.A. No. 7293 of 2016 ­­­­­   Bhishm Prasad, S/o­Sri Sakal Deo Singh, Resident of­B/2033/Sector  II, Post Office­Dhurwa, Police Station­Jagarnathpur, District­Ranchi.  …                 …     Petitioner        Versus    1. The State of Jharkhand 2. Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha, through its Secretary, Ranchi. 3. The Secretary, Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha, Ranchi.

4.   The   Under   Secretary,   Department   of   Establishment,  Jharkhand  Vidhan Sabha, Ranchi.

5.   Mr.   Prem   Shankar   Premi,   S/o­not   known   to   the   petitioner,  presently posted as the Sound Operator, Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha,  PO­Dhurwa PS­Jagarnathpur, Ranchi, Jharkhand 6. Mr. Ajay Kumar, S/o­not known to the petitioner, presently posted  as the Sahayak Awadhayak, Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha, PO­Dhurwa  PS­Jagarnathpur, Ranchi, Jharkhand ...      …    Respondents   ­­­­­ CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SHREE CHANDRASHEKHAR ­­­­­    For the Petitioner : Mr. Prem Pujari Roy, Adv.  For Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha : Mr. Vinod Kumar Sahu, Adv.            Mr. Aditya Raman, Adv. ­­­­­ 12/28.10.2016  I.A. No. 7293 of 2016  This application has been filed for withdrawing prayers  at clauses 1(i), 1(ii) & 1(iii).

2. The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the  petitioner now confines his prayer only to the challenge to order  contained in Memo dated 07.10.2014.

3. The   learned   counsel   for   respondent   no.2   raises   no  objection.  4. I.A.   No.   7293   of   2016   stands   allowed.   Now,   the   writ  petition is confined to prayer at clause 1(iv). 2 W. P. (S) No. 5114 of 2007 Heard.

2. Mr. Prem Pujari Roy, the learned counsel for the petitioner,  submits that impugned order dated 07.10.2014 whereunder promotion  granted to the petitioner to the post of Routine Clerk from the post of  Library   Attendant   has   been   withdrawn/cancelled,   discloses   a   reason  which  is  completely   arbitrary and cannot  be  sanctioned in  law. It  is  contended that once  the petitioner was found eligible for promotion  and   promoted   to   the   post   of   Routine   Clerk,   the   same   cannot   be  withdrawn.  3. Per   contra,   Mr.   Vinod   Kumar   Sahu,   the   learned   counsel  appearing   for   the   Jharkhand   Vidhan   Sabha   referring   to   various  paragraphs   in   counter­affidavit   dated   18.10.2016,   submits   that   the  petitioner   is   guilty   of   inappropriate   conduct   inasmuch   as   he,   after  tendering   letter   dated   24.09.2013,   continued   to   insist   on   grant   of  promotion and other benefits since, 2006, for which he is not entitled.  It is contended that the petitioner, who is bound by his undertaking in  application dated 24.09.2013, has suppressed material facts from the  Court and therefore, he is not entitled for discretionary relief from the  Court.  4. Briefly   stated,   the   petitioner,   who   was   appointed   in  Grade­IV   with   effect   from   13.10.1998,   was   promoted   to  the   post   of  Library   Attendant   vide   letter  dated   08.10.2005.   In   pursuance   of   the  notice   for   Limited   Departmental   Examination   for   promotion   on   a  Grade­III   post   with   higher   pay­scale,   the   petitioner   appeared   in   the  3 examination   on   28.05.2006,   of   which   the   result   was   published   on  05.06.2006. The initial grievance of the petitioner was that though he  had qualified for a Grade­III post he was directed to join on the post of  Security Guard, which allegedly for justifiable reasons he declined to  join. The petitioner approached this Court in W.P.(S) No. 515 of 2007,  which   was   disposed   of   with   a   direction   to   the   Secretary,   Jharkhand  Vidhan Sabha to take a decision on the representation of the petitioner,  within   3   months.     However,   when   no   decision   was   taken   by   the  respondent­authority,   compelled, the  petitioner  filed Contempt    Case  (Civil) No. 611 of 2007. During the pendency of the aforesaid contempt  case,   order   dated  17.08.2007  was  passed  declining  the  claim  of   the  petitioner for promotion to higher scale in Grade­III. Subsequently, vide  order   dated   09.01.2014   the   respondents   notified   promotion   to   the  petitioner   to   the   post   of   Routine   Clerk,   which   was   granted   through  order   dated   03.06.2014.   As   noticed   above,   vide   impugned   order  dated 07.10.2014, order dated 03.06.2014 was cancelled. This is the  order which is now under challenge in the instant writ petition.  5. The   respondent   nos.   2   to   4   have   filed   response   to   the  amended   writ   petition,   whereunder   they   have   admitted   that   the  petitioner who secured 40 marks, qualified in the Limited Departmental  Examination   and   his   name   appeared  at   serial   no.5.   It   is   stated   that  persons   who   have   secured   40,   42   and   43   marks   respectively,   were  promoted   to   the   post   of   Security   Guard   in   the   pay­scale   of  Rs.3050­4590, however, the petitioner who was also promoted to the  post of Security Guard declined to join the said post. Subsequently, on  4 24.09.2013   the   petitioner   submitted   an   application   to   the   Hon'ble  Speaker, Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha and undertook to withdraw the writ  petition.     Vide   order   dated   09.01.2014   and   03.06.2014,   he   was  promoted   to   the   post   of   Routine   Clerk   in   the     pay­scale   of  Rs.5200­20200/­,   Grade   Pay­Rs.2400/­   with   allowances   admissible  from the date of charge however, he did not withdraw the writ petition  and   consequently,   a   show­cause   notice   was   issued   to   him   on  19.05.2014, to which the petitioner did not respond.   It is stated that  after   the   petitioner   joined   the   post   of   Routine   Clerk,   he   submitted  another   application   on   09.09.2014   reiterating   his   earlier   stand   for  promotion   from   01.06.2006.   In   the   aforesaid   background,   by   the  impugned order dated   07.10.2014 promotion to the post of Routine  Clerk was withdrawn.        6. The above narration of facts unerringly discloses that order  dated 03.06.2014, whereby the petitioner was promoted to the post of  Routine Clerk, has been withdrawn/cancelled only on the ground that  the petitioner inspite of undertaking to withdraw the writ petition did  not withdraw the same and instead raised a claim for promotion with  effect   from   01.06.2006.   A   perusal   of   the     impugned   order  dated 07.10.2014 indicates that the respondent­authority construed the  aforesaid act of the petitioner as an act of indiscipline. In my opinion,  raising   a   claim   for   promotion   or   other   service   benefits,   would   not  amount to inappropriate conduct much less an act of indiscipline.  The  alleged   undertaking   given   by   the   petitioner   in   his   application  dated 24.09.2013 would not stop the petitioner from claiming right to  5 promotion which, he thinks, is legally due to him. On the contrary, the  respondents are not justified in denying the benefit of promotion to the  petitioner, for which he was found eligible and promoted vide order  dated 09.01.2014. The plea taken by the respondent nos. 2 to 4 that on  the request of the petitioner he has been granted promotion to the post  of   Routine   Clerk   is   completely   mis­conceived.   Promotions   are   not  granted on mere asking.  The previous order of promotion to the post  of   Routine   Clerk   was   not   an   order   extending   some   favour   to   the  petitioner.   In   the   present   proceeding,   the   respondents   have   not  disclosed how the petitioner is not entitled for promotion to the post of  Routine   Clerk   in   the   pay­scale   of   Rs.   5200­20200/­,   Grade  Pay­Rs.2400/­.   The   reasons   assigned   in   order   dated   07.10.2014   for  withdrawing/cancelling the promotion granted to the petitioner to the  post of Routine Clerk are wholly unjustified and, in fact, stand taken in  various   paragraphs   of   counter­affidavit   is   inappropriate.   The  respondents   have   acted   arbitrarily   in   withdrawing   the   promotion  granted to the petitioner to the post of Routine Clerk.

7. In some what a similar circumstance, while dealing with a  contention   that   an   appointee   who   has   given   an   undertaking   not   to  claim promotion as of right on the basis of the promotion granted as  stop­gap   arrangement,   in   “Secretary­cum­Chief   Engineer,  Chandigarh  Vs. Hari Om Sharma & Ors.”, reported in (1998) 5 SCC 87, the Hon'ble  Supreme Court has observed thus,  8.  “Learned counsel for the appellant attempted   to contend that when the respondent was promoted in   6 stop­gap   arrangement   as   Junior   Engineer   I,   he   had   given an undertaking to the appellant that on the basis   of   stop­gap   arrangement,   he   would   not   claim   promotion as of right nor would he claim any benefit   pertaining to that post. The argument, to say the least,   is   preposterous.   Apart   from   the   fact   that   the   Government in its capacity as a model employer cannot   be   permitted   to   raise   such   an   argument,   the   undertaking which is said to constitute an agreement   between   the   parties   cannot   be   enforced   at   law.   The   respondent being an employee of the appellant had to   break  his   period   of  stagnation  although,  as  we  have   found earlier, he was the only person amongst the non­ diploma­holders available for promotion to the post of   Junior   Engineer   I   and   was,   therefore,   likely   to   be   considered   for   promotion   in   his   own   right.   An   agreement that if a person is promoted to the higher   post or put to officiate on that post or, as in the instant   case, a stop­gap arrangement is made to place him on   the higher post, he would not claim higher salary or   other attendant benefits would be contrary to law and   also   against   public   policy.   It   would,   therefore,   be   unenforceable in view of Section 23 of the Contract Act,   1872.”   8. In view of the discussions hereinabove, I am of the opinion  that   impugned   order   dated   07.10.2014   is   unsustainable   and  accordingly,   it   is   quashed.   Order   dated   03.06.2014   is   restored.   The  petitioner shall join the post of Routine Clerk, and he shall be paid his  current salary and arears of salary, if any, except for just exceptions.  9. The writ petition stands allowed, in the aforesaid terms.            (Shree Chandrashekhar, J.) R.K./Pankaj/A.F.R.     

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