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Dr. Sushila Saha Vs. State of Jharkhand and Ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtJharkhand High Court
Decided On
AppellantDr. Sushila Saha
RespondentState of Jharkhand and Ors.
.....versus 1.  the state of jharkhand 2.  registrar, ranchi university, ranchi 3.  vice chancellor, ranchi university, ranchi 4.  principal, karam chand bhagat college, bero, po & ps bero, dist.  ranchi 5. education secretary, govt. of jharkhand, ranchi 6.  joint secretary, human resource department, government of  jharkhand, ranchi ...      respondents   ­­­­­­­        coram : hon'ble mr. justice shree chandrashekhar     ­­­­­­    for the petitioner             : mr. n. k. pasari, advocate for the respondent­state            : mr. shamim akhtar, ga iii for the respondent nos. 2 to 4   : mr. a. k. mehta, advocate.....

1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI       W.P.(S) No. 1719 of 2004   ­­­­­­­ Dr.   Sushila   Saha,   wife   of   Sri   Rajendra   Prasad,   resident   of  Rameshwaram, Bariatu Road, PO & PS Bariatu, Dist. Ranchi …     Petitioner                                    Versus 1.  The State of Jharkhand 2.  Registrar, Ranchi University, Ranchi 3.  Vice Chancellor, Ranchi University, Ranchi 4.  Principal, Karam Chand Bhagat College, Bero, PO & PS Bero, Dist.  Ranchi 5. Education Secretary, Govt. of Jharkhand, Ranchi 6.  Joint Secretary, Human Resource Department, Government of  Jharkhand, Ranchi ...      Respondents   ­­­­­­­        CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SHREE CHANDRASHEKHAR     ­­­­­­    For the Petitioner             : Mr. N. K. Pasari, Advocate For the Respondent­State            : Mr. Shamim Akhtar, GA III For the Respondent Nos. 2 to 4   : Mr. A. K. Mehta, Advocate                Mr. Nikhil Kumar Mehta, Advocate   ­­­­­­­  19/18.11.2016 Aggrieved of rejection of her claim for arrears of salary  for the period between September, 1995 to July 2008, the petitioner  seeks   quashing   of   order   contained   in   communication   dated  19.07.2003.

2. Heard.  3. The   petitioner   was   appointed   as   Lecturer   in   Karam  Chand Bhagat College, Bero on 18.07.1985.   After about 10 years,  the   State   government   terminated   service   of   teaching   and  non­teaching employees in various constituent colleges, challenging  which   C.W.J.C.   No.   4021   of   1995   was   filed   by   Bihar   Rajya  Mahavidyalaya   Shikshak   Evam   Shikshkettar   Karmchari   Kalyan  Mahasangh.     On   21.06.1995,   the   High   Court   passed   an   order   of  “status­quo”, however, the petitioner was terminated from service on  04.09.1995.   The aforesaid writ petition was allowed and the order  of  the  State  government  was quashed  on  31.01.1997.   Petitioner's  name   was   found   in   the   provisional   list   approved   by   the   State  government vide letter dated 18.12.1989, against the recommended  post.     The   Three   Men   Screening   Committee   also   found   petitioner  2 validly appointed and Syndicate of the University in compliance of  order passed in C.W.J.C. No. 4021 of 1995 recommended that the  petitioner   shall   be   reinstated   from   the   date   of   termination.  Accordingly,   Notification   dated   04.10.1998   was   issued   for   her  reinstatement   in   service,   however,   she   was   held   not   entitled   for  arrears of salary and the period of absence from duty was treated as  extraordinary leave without pay.   The petitioner, claiming salary for  the period between 04.09.1995 to 04.10.1998, approached this Court  in W.P.(S) No. 3722 of 2001.   The writ petition was disposed of on  16.08.2001,   directing   the   Vice­Chancellor,   Ranchi   University   to  determine her claim and pass a reasoned order.   When, inspite of  several representations order passed in W.P.(S) No. 3722 of 2001 was  not complied, the petitioner filed Contempt Case (Civil) No. 503 of  2002. Thereafter, the petitioner's claim for payment of back­wages for  the   period   between   04.09.1995   to   04.10.1998   was   rejected   vide  order dated 19.07.2003.

4. Mr. N. K. Pasari, the learned counsel for the petitioner  submits   that   on   account   of   illegal   action   of   the   University   the  petitioner  was prevented from  discharging her  duty  as Lecturer  in  Karam Chand Bhagat College, Bero and while so, she is entitled for  payment of full salary and consequential benefits for the said period.  It is contended that the impugned order dated 19.07.2003 manifests  apparent   non­application   of   mind   inasmuch   as,   Notification   dated  04.10.1998 was challenged by the petitioner in W.P.(S)  No. 3722 of  2001 in which a direction was issued to the Vice­Chancellor to decide  petitioner's claim still, claim of the petitioner has been declined only  on   the   ground   that   vide   Notification   dated   04.10.1998   her  reinstatement in service was on the condition that she is not entitled  for back­wages.   5. Per contra, Mr. A. K. Mehta, the learned counsel for the  respondent­Ranchi   University,   reiterating   the   stand   taken   in   the  counter­affidavit, submits that the  petitioner, who did not perform  her   duty   in   the   college   from   04.09.1995   till   her   reinstatement   in  3 service, cannot claim salary for the said period. It is contended that  reinstatement  in   service   does  not   automatically  follow  payment  of  full back­wages in every case rather, in numerous cases Courts have  declined to grant back­wages and present is a case of such nature.

6. No   doubt,   payment   of   full   back­wages   and   other  consequential benefits are not automatic on reinstatement in service.  In   cases   where   order   of   termination   from   service   has   been   held  illegal, depending on the facts and circumstances in each individual  case, Courts have granted back­wages to varying extent.  Decisions of  Supreme Court indicate that payment of full back­wages, once order  of   termination   is   quashed,   is   not   the  normal  rule.    In  “U.P   State   Brassware Corporation Ltd.& Anr. v. Uday Narain Pandey”, reported in  (2006) 1 SCC 479, the Supreme Court has observed as under;  “27.   In Hindustan Tin Works (P) Ltd. v Employees this   Court   merely   held   that   the   relief   of   reinstatement   with   continuity   of   service  can   be   granted   where   termination   of   service   is   found   to   be   invalid.     It,   therefore,   does   not   lay   down a law in absolute terms to the effect that the right to   claim back wages must necessarily follow an order declaring   that the termination of service is invalid in law.”

7. However, facts of this case are little different from the  cases   pertaining   to   simple   termination   of   service.   The   State  government   terminated   service   of   all   teaching   and   non­teaching  employees working in  the constituent colleges in  the  State, is one  aspect of the matter.  What is note­worthy in the present case, is the  order of “status­quo” passed on 21.06.1995 in C.W.J.C. No. 4021 of  1995.   Nonetheless,   petitioner's   service   was   terminated   on  04.09.1995,   that   is,   about   two   and   half   months   after   the   Court's  order.  Not only that, Notification dated 04.10.1998 records that the  Syndicate of Ranchi University in its meeting held on 25/26.09.1998  found that petitioner's service was terminated “in utter defiance of  the status­quo granted by the Hon'ble High Court on 21.06.1995 in  C.W.J.C.   No.   4021   of   1995”.     Notification   dated   04.10.1998   was  under   challenge   in   W.P.(S)   No.   3722   of   2001.     Still,   vide  communication dated 19.07.2003 the petitioner has been informed  4 that   her   claim   for   payment   of   salary   for   the   period   between  04.09.1995 to 04.10.1998 has been rejected on the ground that she  was   reinstated   in   service   subject   to   the   condition   that   she   is   not  entitled   for   back­wages.   Apparently,   denial   of   back­wages   for   the  period   between   04.09.1995   to   04.10.1998   is   illegal.   Once   the  University   accepts   that   petitioner   was   illegally   terminated   from  service   in   breach   of   status­quo   order   dated   21.06.1995   passed   in  C.W.J.C. No. 4021 of 1995, the petitioner must be held entitled for  grant of full back­wages and other consequential benefits. It needs to  be   recorded   that   C.W.J.C   No.   4021   of   1995   was   allowed   vide  judgment dated 31.01.1997, which affirms that the order of the State  government itself was illegal.   8. The   learned   counsel   for   the   respondent­University  submits that the petitioner at the time of her reinstatement in service  did   not   raise   objection   and   she   accepted   order   contained   in  Notification  dated 04.10.1998 without demur.   In my opinion, the  petitioner   is   not   bound   by   the   said   order.     In   view   of   final   order  passed in C.W.J.C. No. 4021 of 1995, the petitioner was not required  to raise any objection independently.  She had approached this Court  and a direction was issued to consider her claim. 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 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   5 stagnation  although,  as  we  have  found  earlier,  he was  the   only person  amongst the non­diploma­holders 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.”    9. As a consequence of the aforesaid discussions, it is found  that the petitioner is entitled for full salary and other consequential  benefits   for   the   period   between   04.09.1995   to   04.10.1998   and  adjustment of the aforesaid period as extra­ordinary leave without  pay in Notification dated 04.10.1998 is held illegal.   The impugned  order   dated   19.07.2003   is   quashed.     The   writ   petition   stands  allowed, however, only to the aforesaid extent.  10. I.A.   No.   7436   of   2016  seeking   amendment   for  challenging   Notification   dated   04.10.1998   renders   infructuous.  I.A. Nos. 1454 of 2010 and 3327 of 2014 stand disposed of in view of  the order passed in the writ petition.        (Shree Chandrashekhar, J.)      Amit/A.F.R

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