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The All India State Bank of India Supervisory Staff Federation Represented by Its General Secretary, R.N. Gobele, State Bank of India Buildings and anr. Vs. State Bank of India by Its Chairman Central Board of Directors - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectBanking
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1976)1MLJ305
AppellantThe All India State Bank of India Supervisory Staff Federation Represented by Its General Secretary,
RespondentState Bank of India by Its Chairman Central Board of Directors
Excerpt:
- orderg. ramanujam, j.1. this writ petition has been filed by the all india state bank of india supervisory staff federation for the issue of a writ of manadamus directing the state bank of india to implement fort with certain draft rules which are said to have been agreed to between the petitioner federation and the state bank of india.2. according to the petitioner the staff of the state bank of india had been classified into two classes : (1) officers--supervising staff; and (2) the rest popularly known as award staff. while the former category is generally governed by their individual contract of service with the bank, the working conditions of the latter category are governed by the sastri award, desai award and subsequent agreements arrived at between the management of the state bank.....
Judgment:
ORDER

G. Ramanujam, J.

1. This writ petition has been filed by the All India State Bank of India Supervisory staff Federation for the issue of a writ of manadamus directing the State Bank of India to implement fort with certain draft rules which are said to have been agreed to between the petitioner Federation and the State Bank of India.

2. According to the petitioner the staff of the State Bank of India had been classified into two classes : (1) officers--supervising staff; and (2) the rest popularly known as award staff. While the former category is generally governed by their individual contract of service with the Bank, the working conditions of the latter category are governed by the Sastri Award, Desai Award and subsequent agreements arrived at between the management of the State Bank and the award staff.

3. To govern the service conditions of the former category, certain rules had been framed by the State Bank of India in the year 1955 in pursuance of Section 43 of the State Bank of India Act, 1955, hereinafter called the Act. Chapter VI therein contains Rules 32 to 52 dealing with conduct of disciplinary proceedings. According to the petitioner the rules in Chapter VI of the said rules are not as elaborate as the provisions contained in the Sastri Award, Desai Award and other subsequent agreements applicable to the award staff in the matter of disciplinary enquiries. It appears that the petitioner Federation has been clamouring for revision of Chapter VI of the State Bank of India (Officers and Assistants) Service Rules, hereinafter referred to as the rules, framed under Section 43 of the Act so as to bring it in line with the Sastri Award, Desai Award and other agreements applicable to the award staff in the matter of disciplinary enquiry. It has also been stated by the petitioner that the said Chapter VI of the Service Rules is not also in conformity with the rules pertaining to Government servants framed under Article 311 of the Constitution of India while the corresponding rules of all Nationalised Banks are in conformity with such rules framed under Article 311. The Federation is therefore said to have started negotiating with the management of the State Bank of India and as a result of the said negotiation the management of the State Bank had framed a new set of draft rules to replace Chapter VI, incorporating most of the suggestions of the petitioner Federation in or about the beginning of July, 1971. But somehow, the draft rules have not been approved by the Central Board of Directors as required. The petitioner has, therefore, approached this Court for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the State Bank of India to implement forth with the said draft rules or to apply forthwith the provisions of Paragraph 521 of the Sastri Award above referred to the members of the Federation who belonged to the former of the two categories of staff set out above.

4. In my view, the petitioner Federation has misconceived its remedy. Admittedly the Sastri Award relating to the second category cannot automatically be applied to the former category. As it is, there is a set of rules dealing with disciplinary matters, which are applicable to the members of the Federation who belong to the former category. It is true, the petitioner has been agitating for the revision of those rules to bring them in line with the relevant provisions of the Sastri Award or the rules framed under Article 311 of the Constitution in relation to Government servants. It is not for this Court at this stage to pronounce generally, by a declaration as if it were, on the inadequacy of the existing rules or on the necessity for an elaborate set of rules relating to disciplinary proceedings so far as the members of the petitioner Federation are concerned. The petitioner's main contention is that the rules in Chapter VI of the said Service Rules are quite insufficient to stand the test as to the requirement of the rules of natural justice and that, therefore, those rules should be varied or modified so as to be in accord with the elaborate rules set out in the Sastri Award or those framed under Article 311 in relation to Government servants.

5. The rule-making power conferred under Section 43 of the Act is vested in a particular authority and this Court cannot undertake the function of framing the rules contemplated under Section 43 or to direct that authority to frame a particular set of rules. If the rules as framed under Section 43 by the State Bank of India are found to be inadequate in a particular case and in a particular situation, the affected party can always come to this Court on the ground that the rules are unreasonable or unrealistic or that the principles of natural justice have been violated in his case and the Court will not hesitate to grant relief if that ground is established. The mere possibility of the rules being inadequate in a particular situation will not enable the Court to invalidate the same or to suggest that the rules have to be modified in a particular manner. What in effect the petitioner wants in this case is to specifically enforce the draft rules said to have been framed as a result of an agreement between the management and the Federation. It is virtually seeking specific performance from this Court of an agreement, it is said to have entered into with the management. I am of. the view that it is not possible for this Court to enforce the so called agreement which resulted in the framing of the draft rules. But this order of mine should not be understood as approving the validity of the said rules or to mean that any order passed by the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding relating to the members of the former category following the procedure contained in Chapter VI of the said rules cannot be challenged before this Court on the ground that it has violated the basic principles of natural justice.

6. With these observations, the writ petition is dismissed.


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