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Satish Chandra Das Vs. Secretary of State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1927Cal311,101Ind.Cas.581
AppellantSatish Chandra Das
RespondentSecretary of State
Cases ReferredGould v. Stuart
Excerpt:
- .....provisions of the act and of the rules made thereunder every person, in the civil service of the crown of india, holds office during his majesty's pleasure but no person in that service may be dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. sub-section (2) provides that the secretary of state may make rules for regulating the classification of the civil service in india, the methods of their recruitment, their conditions of service, pay and allowances and discipline and. conduct. then sub-section (4) provides:for removal of doubts it is declared that all rules or other provisions in operation at the time of the passing of government of india act, 1919, whether made by the secretary of state in council or by any other authority relating to the civil service of.....
Judgment:

Buckland, J.

1. This matter comes before ma for trial of one issue. The suit was instituted by the plaintiff who was an officer in the Bengal Police Service for damages for wrongful dismissal. It is unnecessary to deal with the various allegations in the plaint at this stage. The defence was taken that the plaint disclosed no cause of action but the plaintiff relied on certain regulations, an aspect of the matter with which I dealt when I directed that an issue should be tried. The issue of which I directed a trial is as follows:

Does the plaint disclose any cause of action by reason of any regulation having the force of law and providing for the ground or manner in which the plaintiff could be dismissed.

2. Under Section 96(b) of the Government of India Act, 1915, it is provided that subject to the provisions of the Act and of the rules made thereunder every person, in the Civil Service of the Crown of India, holds office during His Majesty's pleasure but no person in that service may be dismissed by any authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. Sub-section (2) provides that the Secretary of State may make rules for regulating the classification of the Civil Service in India, the methods of their recruitment, their conditions of service, pay and allowances and discipline and. conduct. Then Sub-section (4) provides:

For removal of doubts it is declared that all rules or other provisions in operation at the time of the passing of Government of India Act, 1919, whether made by the Secretary of State in Council or by any other authority relating to the Civil Service of the Crown in India were duly made in accordance With the powers in that behalf and are confirmed etc

3. Under these provisions a rule, Numbered 14, published in the Gazette of India on the 21st June 1924, and appearing in the Bengal Police Gazette on the 4th July 1924, was, at the period with which the suit is concerned, in force, as is conceded on behalf of the Crown. that rule which is the only rule or regulation to which learned Counsel for the plaintiff has drawn my attention provides:

Without prejudice to the provisions of the Public Servants Enquiries Act, 1850, in all cases in which the dismissal, removal or reduction of any officer is ordered, the order shall, except when it is based on facts or conclusions established at a judicial trial, or when the officer concerned has absconded with the accusation hanging over him, be preceded by a properly recorded departmental enquiry. At such an enquiry a definite charge in writing shall hg framed in respect of each offence and explained to the accused, the evidence in support of it and any evidence which he may adduce in his defence shall be recorded in his presence, and his defence shall be taken down in writing. Each of the charges framed shall be discussed and a finding shall be recorded on each charge.

4. It appears to me on the authority of Gould v. Stuart [1896] A.C. 575 that, as in that case, these provisions, which are manifestly intended for the protection and benefit of the officer, are inconsistent with importing into the contract of service the term that the Crown may put an end to it at pleasure, which is the language used in the case cited. Stated in other words what it comes to is that before a police officer may be dismissed, the procedure laid down by Rule 14 must be followed. In so far as the plaintiff alleges that such regulation was not complied with, the plaint discloses a cause of action. I am not now concerned with any other questions that arise in this suit and so far as the opinion which I have expressed requires questions of fact to be determined, they will have to be decided at the hearing of the suit.

5. As the plaintiff has succeeded substantially on this issue, I think he i8 entitled to the costs of this hearing, but no costs are to be recovered under this order until the determination of the suit, in which event the plaintiff, if he succeeds, will be entitled to add them to any costs which may then be awarded to him. If, on the other hand, he fails in the suit, these costs will be set off against any costs which he may be ordered to pay. The costs of the settlement of issues will be costs in the cause.


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