1. This is a petition under Articles 226/311 of the Constitution. It has been made with the following allegations: The petitioner was appointed in July 1946 as an engineer in the erstwhile Bilas-pur State on a salary of Rs. 350/- p. m. and was confirmed in that capacity on 15-3-1947 when his pay was increased to Rs. 400/- p. m. On 15-8-1948, Bilaspur State was merged into the Indian Dominion. The petitioner's designation was altered to Divisional Engineer and he was permitted to draw the salary he was then receiving. From March 1949 to April, 1950, petitioner worked as Divisional Engineer of Bilaspur State.
On 25-5-1950, the petitioner received orders posting him as S. D. O., Paonta. The petitioner protested to the Chief Commissioner, Bilaspur, and also sent a representation to the States Ministry at Delhi, against being appointed to a lower post. On 21-8-1950, petitioner was informed that his services were to be terminated. He was also placed under sus-pension. By order dated 17-10-1950, the Chief Commissioner terminated the services of the petitioner.
2. The petitioner's contention is that he was a permanent member of the Bilaspur Civil Service and on the merger of the Bilaspur State with the Indian Dominion, he was entitled to continue in service under the same terms as before merger. His ease is that the State of Himachal Pradesh was not empowered to terminate his service as he was a permanent employee. It was further alleged that no charge-sheet was framed against him and no opportunity was given to him to show cause against his reduction and subsequent dismissal. The prayer made in this petition is that a writ be issued to the respondents declaring that the dismissal of the petitioner from service was illegal, 'ultra vires' and inoperative and further the respondents be directed to retain the petitioner in service, on the same terms, as formerly.
3. The petition is contested on law as well as on facts. One of the preliminary objections taken to the petition is that the petitioner has an equally convenient, efficient and effectual remedy by suit. The facts are in dispute and, therefore, it is contended that this Court cannot turn itself into a Court of original jurisdiction and proceed to enquire into the various issues which arise from the pleadings of the parties.
4. At to-day's hearing, I called upon the learned counsel for the petitioner to show how the writ petition was maintainable, under the circumstances. Learned counsel (Mr. Manmohan Nath) argued that a suit would mean considerable expense and delay, whereas a writ petition could be disposed of expeditiously. He cited -- 'Rakhal Das v. S. P. Ghose', AIR 1952 Cal 171(A), where it was held: 'The writs of mandamus, certiorari and prohibition, and for the matter of that, all high prerogative writs, are ordinarily not issued, where there exists an alternative remedy, equally efficient and adequate.
But there is no inflexible rule that such writs cannot be issued, where the Court thinks it just and convenient to do so. The fact that it ordi-narily does not do so is a question, not of want of jurisdiction but of expediency.
Whether the alternative remedy is equally efficacious or adequate is a 'question of fact to be decided in each case.'
5. Even this ruling supports the preliminary objection that high prerogative writs are ordinarily not issued, where an alternative remedy equally efficient and adequate exists.
6. As I have pointed out above, the facts, alleged in the petition, have not been admitted by the respondents. Learned counsel for the respondents invited my attentiqn to the following rulings:
(a) Indian Sugar Mills Association v. Secy. toGovt., Uttar Pradesh, Labour Department', AIR1951 All 1 (B), where a Full Bench of that HighCourt observed as follows:
'Article 228 of the Constitution is not intended toprovide an alternative method of redress to the normal process of a decision, in an action brought in the usual Courts, established by law. The powers under this Article should be sparingly used and only in those clear cases, where the rights of a person have been seriously infringed and he has no other adequate and specific remedy available to him.' (b) 'Naubat Rai v. Union of India', AIR 1953 Punj 137 (C), where a Divisiop Bench of that High Court pointed out that:
'The High Court cannot turn itself into a Courtof original jurisdiction and proceed to enquireinto the various issues which arise on the pleadings of the parties. Therefore, when the factsare disputed, it would not exercise its jurisdiction.' (c) 'Barkat Rai v. Union of India', AIR 1954Punj 117 (D), where, following--'AIR 1953 Punj137 (C)', another Division Bench of the same HighCourt observed that:
'Where in a petition for a writ under Article 226 thefacts themselves are in dispute, the High Courtwill not issue any writ or order.' (d) 'Ranvijai Singh v. Divisional Forest Officer', AIR 1953 Him-P 33 (E), where my learned predecessor observed that:
'Wherever there is a wrong there is a remedy, but it cannot always be remedy by invocation of the extraordinary jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. There must be exceptional reasons for asking for the exercise of that extraordinary jurisdiction, for otherwise the ordinary legal remedy by a suit, under the general law, would be rendered wronglly nugatory.' (e) 'A. C. Gilbert v. Registrar High Court of Judicature, Allahabad', AIR 1953 All 678 (F), where a Division Bench of that High Court held that: 'Moreover, essentially the purpose for which a 'mandamus' exists is to ensure that justice is done in all cases, where there is a specific legal right, and no specific legal remedy exists. For the enforcement of such rights, it is issued as a rule only in those cases where there is no legal remedy of an equally convenient, beneficial and effectual nature. Hence, no application for the issue of a writ of mandamus is maintainable if adequate relief is obtainable by the applicant by any other process of law.'
7. In the present case, I am unable to see thatthere is any exceptional reason for ousting the jurisdiction of the ordinary Courts of the land and todeal with this matter under the writ jurisdiction ofthis Court. The result is that, without expressingany opinion on the merits of the case, I reject thewrit petition, and leave the petitioner to seek hisremedy, if so advised, by way of suit. Since thewrit petition has been rejected on a preliminaryobjection and without going into the merits of thecase, I leave the parties to bear their respectivecosts.