Posted On by &filed under High Court, Patna High Court.


Patna High Court
Devesh Kumar Singh vs State Of Bihar And Ors. on 1 September, 2000
Equivalent citations: 2001 (49) BLJR 373, 2001 (88) FLR 1092, (2002) IVLLJ 627 Pat
Author: R M Prasad
Bench: R M Prasad


JUDGMENT

Radha Mohan Prasad, J.

1. In this writ petition, petitioner prays for issuance of an appropriate writ, order or direction to the respondents to give him the benefit of continuity and seniority in service with consequential benefit of annual increment and first time-bound promotion from the date of his first joining as his services were terminated and the validity of which was challenged by him in this Court in C.W.J.C. No. 8373 of 1988 which was finally allowed and the impugned order of termination was quashed vide judgment and order dated April 27, 1995 contained in Annexure 1 and further prayer is for direction to the respondents to pay all his arrears till date with interest.

2. In short, the relevant facts are that pursuant to the order of appointment dated August 1, 1988 made by the Managing Director of Madhepura-Supaul Central Co-operative Bank Ltd., hereinafter referred to as the Bank’, petitioner joined on the post of Assistant-cum-Cashier in the Bank on August 2, 1988. However, within 16 days of his joining the District Magistrate-cum-Administrator of the Bank (Respondent No. 2) issued termination order on August 18, 1988, the validity of which was challenged by the petitioner along with few others who were also served with similar order of termination in the aforementioned writ case. This Court vide judgment and order contained in Annexure 1 quashed the said order of termination and directed that the management must within a period of seven days from the date of receipt/production of a copy of the judgment allow the writ petitioners to work in terms of appointment letters dated August 1, 1988 issued to them. However, the Court simply clarified that the writ petitioners are not entitled to be paid any salary for the period from August 18, 1988 till the date of reinstatement, but, however, they will be paid their salary for the period they worked during August 2, 1988 and August 17, 1988. The respondents filed appeal bearing LPA No. 464 of 1995 against the said judgment of the learned single Judge which was dismissed by the Division Bench vide order dated December 12, 1995, contained in Annexure 2. It appears that meanwhile, the respondents also filed Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court of India against the aforesaid judgment of the learned Judge and on May 10, 1995 the Supreme Court extended the time granted by the High Court for ten days for taking writ petitioners into service and observed that in the meantime, they might approach the High Court by way of Letters Patent Appeal.

3. It appears that the said order of termination was passed in view of the order issued by the Registrar imposing ban in making such appointments. The Division Bench in the said judgment held that the Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Bihar has no authority to put complete ban on the appointments in the Bank under Rule 33 of the Bihar Co-operative Societies Rules, and further that the appointment of the petitioners was validly made. Accordingly, the judgment of the learned single Judge allowing the writ application though on a different ground was upheld. Thereafter, the respondent-Bank again filed Civil Appeal No. 9875 of 1996 in the Supreme Court which was dismissed vide order dated August 5, 1998, contained in Annexure 3, and directed the respondent-Bank to comply with the orders of the Division Bench by reinstating the writ petitioners within a period of one month from the date of receipt of the order by the learned counsel appearing for the respondents. It was, however, made clear that the writ petitioners shall not be entitled to back wages. Whereafter, an order of reinstatement was issued and pursuant to it the petitioner joined the same post on November 18, 1998. However, when continuity and seniority in service and other consequential benefits of annual increments and time bound promotion pursuant to the initial order of appointment were denied, the petitioner filed several representations and gave legal notice also. The respondents did not take any action on the said representation which compelled him to file the present writ petition.

4. Notice of this writ petition was served on the counsel appearing for the respondents. When this writ petition was heard on August 16, 2000, the matter was adjourned on the request of the learned counsel for the respondents to enable him to take instruction and file power along with counter-affidavit on behalf of the respondent-Bank and its officials, so that the matter may be finally disposed of in the next week. On August 21, 2000 again on the prayer made by the learned counsel for the Bank as a last indulgence the matter was adjourned for the next week. It was made clear that if no instruction is sent by the respondent-Bank, the matter will be disposed of on the basis of the materials available on record. Despite the said indulgence, no counter-affidavit has been filed on behalf of the respondent Bank. However, on August 28, 2000 Vakalatnama was filed on behalf of the Managing Director of the respondent-Bank and the matter was finally heard and the order was reserved.

5. It has been submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the respondents have acted most arbitrarily in not granting benefit of continuity and seniority in service with consequential benefit of annual increment and first time-bound promotion from the date of his first joining as a consequence of quashing of the order of termination by this Court vide judgment and order, contained in Annexure 1, which stands affirmed by the Apex Court. It is submitted that the petitioner has been unnecessarily mala fide harassed and compelled to file the present writ petition for such consequential relief. As such according to the learned counsel for the petitioner it is a fit case for at least awarding heavy cost.

6. Mr. Thakur, learned counsel appearing for Respondent Nos. 2 and 3, however, submitted that this Court after quashing the order of termination of services of the petitioner simply directed the management to allow him to work in terms of the initial appointment letter and further that he will not be entitled to be paid any salary for the period from August 18, 1988 till the date of reinstatement pursuant to the judgment of this Court, and that they will be paid their salary for the period they worked during August 2, 1988 to August 17, 1988, which the management of the respondent has already complied. It is submitted that in the said judgment there is no specific direction with respect to grant of benefit of continuity and seniority in service with consequential benefit of annual increment and first time bound promotion from the date of first joining of the petitioner in service. As such, the respondents have not granted the said relief to the petitioner till date. Moreover, according to him no occasion has either arisen for grant of the said benefit.

7. This Court fails to appreciate the said submission of the learned counsel for the respondent-Bank. In the case of Bhawani Sahai v. Naqui Imam, AIR 1956 Patna 257, on differences of opinion of two Hon’ble Judges, RAMASWAMI, J. while answering the question referred to His Lordship being 3rd Hon’ble Judge also considered the effect of the quashing of the order of removal of the petitioner in the said case from service, and held that after quashing of the order of removal the name of the petitioner would stand automatically restored. It was held that “If the order by the District Judge April 22, 1954, is quashed, it must follow as a matter of law that all consequential actions in pursuance of that illegal order must stand vacated. The effect of the writ of the certiorari would therefore, be that the name of the petitioner would stand automatically restored to its previous position in the register of copyists”.

8. In the instant case, the Court quashed the order of termination of services of the petitioner. It is true that with respect to the salary the Court directed that he will not be entitled for it for the period August 18, 1988 till the date of reinstatement and that he will be paid his salary for the period he worked during August 2, 1988 and August 17, 1988 but except that the Court did not put any rider in the matter relating to other consequential action to be taken after quashing of the order of termination. This Court did not deny the consequential benefit arising out of the quashing of the order of termination and restoring the petitioner back in service to work in terms of the initial appointment letter dated August 1, 1988. The action of the respondents in the present case, thus, cannot be held to be bona fide inasmuch as they have been unnecessarily mala fide dragging the claim of the petitioner for consequential benefits of continuity and seniority in service, annual increment and first time-bound promotion from the date of his first joining in service pursuant to the aforementioned appointment letter issued on 1st August, 1988.

9. This writ petition is, thus, allowed and
the respondents are directed to give the petitioner
all consequential benefits, such as, continuity and
seniority in service, annual increment and first
time bound promotion pursuant to his first joining
vide the appointment letter dated August 1, 1988
within one week of the receipt/production of a
copy of this order.


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