O.P. Garg, J. (Vice Chairman)
1. For appointment on contractual basis on the post of Professor, Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, an advertisement was issued by the Chandigarh Administration in February, 1996 (Annexure R-5/5). The applicant who is MBBS and MD Microbiology applied for the said post. He was offered appointment by letter dated 8.5.1996, Annexure A-1.
The appointment was on contractual basis on a consolidated salary of Rs. 11,500 plus House Rent Allowance of Rs. 1000 per month for a period of one year extendable on such terms and conditions as may be specified. Pursuant to the said offer, the applicant joined the said post on 23.5.1996. His term of contractual appointment had been extended initially on year to year basis and subsequently on six months’ basis for the period upto 22nd May, 2002. Since thereafter, there has been no extension of the contractual appointment of the applicant. The post was naturally to be filled by regular appointment through Union Public Service Commission (for short, ‘the Commission’). An advertisement was issued by the Commission on 10.10.1998 (Annexure A-8). For being a candidate, besides educational qualifications, he was supposed to have experience of ‘Twelve Years’ standing in the profession, out of which atleast four years’ experience should be in the concerned speciality as Reader or equivalent in a Medical College/ teaching institution”. Dr. R.M. Joshi was one of the candidates/Respondent No. 5 – Dr. Jagdish Chander who is Reader in the same Department also applied for the post. The applicant had not annexed the relevant documents with regard to his experience with his application but was called for interview on provisional basis. The candidature of respondent No. 5 was rejected and, therefore, he was not called for interview. He filed O.A. No. 776-CH of 1999 before this Tribunal. Pursuant to the directions of this Tribunal, the Commission interviewed the respondent No. 5 on provisional basis. At the time of the interview on 31.8.1999, the applicant was required to produce a proof of his standing and experience. He was further required to produce a proof of being a Govt. servant so that the question of relaxation in his age could be considered. It appears that the applicant could not produce the relevant documents before the Commission within the specified time and consequently his candidature was rejected, which was challenged by the applicant by filing O.A. No. 333-CH of 2000 before this Tribunal. The said O.A. was decided by a Division Bench of this Tribunal on 27.2.2001 (Annexure R-5/14) with a direction to the Commission to re-examine the case of the applicant afresh in view of the observations made in the body of the judgment with regard to his eligibility for the said post with reference to the cut off date i.e. 29th of October 1998 on the basis of certificates already submitted by him to the Commission. The Commission considered the question of eligibility of the applicant again in the light of the directions of this Tribunal in O.A. 333-CH of 2000 but found him ineligible (vide Annexure R-5/10 dated 24.5.2001) on the ground that he does not possess the experience specified in the advertisement dated 10.10.1998. The applicant challenged the decision of the Commission by filing O.A. 468-CH of 2001. Dr. Jagdish Chander-respondent No. 5 was also impleaded in that O.A. as one of the respondents in compliance with the order of the Hon’ble High Court in CWP No. 14883 of 2001. It appears a P.I.L. petition was also filed before the Hon’ble High Court challenging the continuance of the applicant on the post of Professor in the Department of Microbiology as he did not fulfil the requisite qualifications for appointment even on contract basis as Professor. The Hon’ble High Court directed that a Special Bench be constituted to expedite hearing and disposal of O.A. 468-CH of 2001. A Division Bench of this Tribunal heard and dismissed the said O.A. on 4,6.2002 (Annexure R-5/1) holding that the applicant does not have the requisite experience of 12 years standing in the profession nor docs he have 4 years experience as Associate Professor/Reader in the concerned speciality. The applicant filed a review application No. 91/2002 which was dismissed on 24.7.2002 (Annexure R-5/11). The applicant went before the High Court by filing CWP No. 14378 of 2002 which too was dismissed on 6.9.2002 (Annexure R-5/12).
2. The applicant is again before this Tribunal with a simple prayer that since he has been continuing on the post of Professor Microbiology for the last six years on contract basis which has been extended from time to time without break, the respondents be restrained from terminating his services as he is to be substituted or replaced only by a duly selected regular incumbent through the Commission.
3. The official respondents No. 1 to 4 have filed a joint written statement while private respondent No. 5 – Dr. Jagdish Chander has filed a separate written statement. In substance, the assertion of the respondents is that the applicant is not qualified for appointment even on contractual basis and that he had secured the appointment by concealing certain material facts without due selection. It is also asserted that since the applicant was appointed only on contractual basis he has no right to compel the respondents to continue him on the post after the expiry of the extended period on 22.5.2002. The applicant has filed a replication.
4. Heard Mr. R.K. Sharma, learned Counsel for the applicant, Mr. Sandip Suri for official respondents 1 to 4 and Mr. R.S. Bains for respondent No. 5, at considerable length.
5. The learned Counsel for the applicant vehemently argued that the applicant has acquired a legal right to be continued in service on the basis of the letter of appointment (Annexure A-1) and that the respondents have acted illegally in not extending the term of his appointment beyond 22.5.2002. It was further pointed out that even though the appointment of the applicant was on contractual basis, the terms and conditions contained in the letter of appointment are wholly arbitrary, unreasonable, oppressive and one-sided and, therefore, acting upon the said terms and conditions, the respondents arc not entitled to dispense with the services of the applicant. What the learned Counsel for the applicant contended was that the contractual appointment was exploitative in nature and in view of the various decisions of the Apex Court, High Courts and this Tribunal, un-reasonable conditions in the order of appointment are to be totally ignored and that the applicant has to be continued in service till he is replaced or substituted by a duly selected incumbent through the Commission in accordance with law. In support of his contention, learned Counsel for the applicant placed reliance on series of decisions viz. The Manager, Govt. Branch Press and Anr. v. D.B. Bellippa, AIR 1979 SC 429=1979 SLJ 233 (SC); West Bengal State Electricity Board v. Desh Bandhu Ghose, AIR 1985 SC 772= 1985( 1) SLJ 318 (SC); Central Inland Water Transport Corporation v. Broja Nath Gunguly and Anr., 1986(3) SCC 156=1986(2) SLJ 320 (SC); Delhi Transport Corporation v. DTC Mazdoor Congress and Ors., AIR 1991 SC 1001=1991(1) SLJ 56 (SC); Sahib Singh v. U.T. Chandigarh and Ors., Writ Petition Nos. 1551 to 1594 of 1984 decided by the Apex Court on 13.8.1984; IAS Inter College, Khurja and Ors. v. State of West Bengal and Ors., 996(2) SC Service Law Journal, 203; Rattan Lal and Ors. v. State of Haryana and Ors., 1985(4) SCALE 43=1985(2) SLJ 437 (SC); Veena Rani v. State of Haryana, CWP No. 6276/1994 decided on 6.7.1994 (P&H); Dr. Subedar Singh Arya and Ors. v. State of Haryana, CWP No. 3037/1994 decided on 12.5.1994 (P&H); Girdh Singh Gulia v. State of Haryana, 1996(3) SCT 412 (P&H); Rajnibala v, State of Haryana. 1996(1) SLR 271 (P&H); Anil Kumar and Ors. v. State of Haryana, CWP No. 3411/1997 decided on 11.3.1997 (P&H); Polu Ram and Anr. v. State of Haryana, 1998(4) RS J 152 (P&H); U.T. Chandigarh v. CAT and Ors., CWP 18225/CAT/1998 decided on 22.1.2001 (P&H); Neena Gupta v. State of J&K, 2002(4) SCT 174 (J&K); Dr. (Mrs.)Sangeeta Narang and Ors. v. Delhi Administration, AIR 1988(1) CAT 556 (PB); Ajay Kumar Sharma and 14 Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., O.A. No. 475-CH/1991 decided by this Tribunal on 17.5.1995 (Annexure A-10); Dr. Satinderjit Kaur v. Union of India, O.A. No. 394-CH of 1994 decided by this Bench on 16.3.1998 (Annex.A-11); Meenakshi Walia v. U.T. Chandigarh and Ors., O.A. No. 1106-CH of 1996 decided on 17.5.1999 by this Bench; Mohini Devi Sharma v. Union Territory and Ors., O.A. No. 963-CH of 1999 decided on 9.5.2002 by this Bench; Anupma Bhardwaj and Ors. v. U.T. Chandigarh and Ors., O.A. No. 159-CH/2001 decided on 11.10.2002. On the strength of the above decisions, it is asserted that the applicant has acquired a right to continue as a Professor, Microbiology till such time a regular incumbent duly selected through the Commission replaces him.
6. The learned Counsel for the respondents has repelled the above submissions and defended the action of the respondents in not extending the period of contractual appointment of the applicant. It was emphatically argued that the services of part-time, contractual ad hoc or for that matter of temporary employees are liable to be terminated in accordance with the terms and conditions of appointment and termination of such employees is inherent in nature as they do not have any right to the post. Reliance was placed by the learned Counsel for the respondents on the decision of the Apex Court in the case of State of U.P. v. K.K. Shukla, 1991(1) SCT 760; State of Punjab v. Surinder Kumar, JT 1991(6) SC 540. Full Bench decision of Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case of S.K. Verma v. State of Punjab and Ors.. 1979(2) SLR 164=1979 SLJ 477 (P&H), Harjot Komal Singh v. State of Punjab, 1997(1) RSJ 95; Kiran Bala and Ors. v. State of Punjab, CWP No. 7361 of 1996 decided on 22.5.1996 (P&H) and Anil Kumar and Ors. v. State of Haryana and Ors., 2000(3) ATJ 150.
7. There are thus two1 distinct streams of decisions – one relied upon by the learned Counsel for the applicant and the other by the learned Counsel for the respondents. The gamut of the decisions on which reliance has been placed on behalf of the applicant is that public employment cannot resort to the theory of ‘hire and fire’; public employment is accepted irrespective of onerous, arbitrary and un-reasonable conditions which are incorporated in the orders of appointment. It has been emphasised in the said decisions that the employer is always in a dominating position qua the person who seeks employment. One who applies for being appointed on temporary or ad hoc basis or even on regular basis is not in a position to enter into a bargain with the prospective employer about the terms and conditions of employment. He can never be in a position to dictate the terms to be incorporated in the order of appointment. It is always the will of the employer which prevails. The public employer who is governed by the constitutional provisions, cannot incorporate such conditions in the order of appointment which are unconstitutional, arbitrary or unreasonable; the employee who is at the receiving end, can hardly complain of arbitrariness in the terms and conditions of employment; any challenge on the part of the employe to the terms and conditions of employment, at this stage, would cost his or her job. In substance it was held that the bargaining power of the employer is so overwhelming that an employee is left with no option but to accept the terms and conditions as dictated by the employer. It was further held in the decisions aforesaid that the conditions limiting the tenure of an employee for a specific period when the need is permanent, would not only be violative of the concept of public policy but would also be violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The employee who has been offered employment on contractual basis is not debarred from challenging the inequitable, oppressive and unjustified conditions even though by force of circumstances, he had accepted such conditions of employment. The power of the Government to make part-time, contractual, ad hoc and temporary appointments for a fixed term and on a fixed remuneration has been upheld but subject to the rider that the persons appointed for a specific term have a right to continue till such time a regular arrangement to fill up the post is made in accordance with the statutory rules. It has further been laid down that it would be against the concept of good governance if the persons appointed on contractual basis are replaced by other incumbents appointed on contractual basis on the same terms and conditions. It is on the strength of these conclusions flowing from the decisions aforesaid that the learned Counsel for the applicant made a fervent appeal to issue a direction to the respondents that the applicant be allowed to continue in service, which can be dispensed with only on the appointment of a duly selected candidate by the Commission.
8, Contrary to the above, there are decisions relied upon by the learned Counsel for the respondents in which it has been held that it is inherent right of the employer to dispense with the services of an ad hoc, temporary, part-time or contract appointee in terms of the conditions governing the employment. In the case of Sunil Kumar v. State of Haryana, 1994(2) SCT 604 (P&H), it has been held that even if some junior has been retained while terminating the services of a senior, it would not make much difference in view of the law laid down by the Apex Court in the case of K.K. Shukla (supra). The two sets of the views came to be considered by the Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case of Gurcharan Singh v. State of Punjab, 1997(1) SCT 562. It was held that as a matter of fact, there was no conflict between two sets of cases. After taking into consideration the different decisions, the Hon’ble Court came to the following conclusions:
"(i) A person who has been appointed on ad hoc or temporary basis without any selection does not acquire any right whatsoever to hold the post or to be continued in service and his service can be terminated without any notice. The Court will not protect the appointment of such ad hoc appointee because that would amount to perpetuation of illegality committed by the Appointing Authority in making backdoor appointment. (ii) However, where a person is appointed on ad hoc or temporary basis after due consideration of the competing claims of other similarly situated persons, the employer is not vested with an absolute right to terminate the service of the person on the basis of arbitrary, irrational and unconscionable conditions of employment incorporated in the letter of appointment and if the Court finds that the termination of service is not supported by reasons or the action taken by the employer is otherwise arbitrary, the same will be liable to be interference by the Court; (iii) Service of an ad hoc appointee falling in category (ii) above cannot be terminated till the availability of regularly selected persons except where the Government decides not to continue the post or the work or performance of such ad hoc appointee is found to be unsatisfactory or where it becomes necessary to terminate the service of ad hoc appointee as a measure of disciplinary action." In the case of Gurcharan Singh (supra), it was found that the petitioner was not entitled to be continued in service as he had not been selected by taking into consideration the comparative merit of other eligible persons and that his induction in service was nothing but a back-door entry into service.
9. We have given our thoughtful consideration to the matter and find that in those cases where contractual appointment has been made after considering the case of all eligible persons who were sponsored by the Employment Exchange or had applied pursuant to the advertisement made for the purpose, and comparative merit of the eligible persons had been considered before making the appointments, in that event such appointments would be protected as being consistent with the doctrine of equality and principles laid down by the Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana v. Piara Singh, 1992(4) SCC 118=1992(3) SLJ 34 (SC). While rendering decision in the cases relied upon by the learned Counsel for the applicant, the main consideration which weighed with the Court was that while giving appointments after due consideration of the competing claims of the other eligible persons, the Appointing Authority was not entitled to incorporate arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional conditions of service by using its dominating position vis-a-vis an aggrieved employee and such conditions could not be used for dispensing with his service even though the post against which he had been appointed continued to exist.
10. The appointment of the applicant on contractual basis would get protection of this Tribunal only if it is found that he was eligible for the post and had been appointed after taking into consideration the competing claims of the other eligible persons. We have, therefore, to advert to the facts which led to the contractual appointment of the applicant on the post of Professor, Microbiology. An advertisement inviting applications appointment on contractual basis was published on 11.2.1996 in the Tribune and Indian Express (Annexure R-5/5). Besides academic qualifications, it provided that the candidate should have “Twelve years experience in the profession out of which atleast four years experience should be in the concerned speciality as Associate Professor/Reader in a Medical College/teaching institution after the requisite Post Graduate degree qualification.” The last date for submission of applications was 11.3.1996. On the closing date, the applicant had only three years and 11 months experience in the pro-fession meaning thereby that he did not fulfil the requisite/essential experience and was, therefore, not eligible to apply for the post. Learned Counsel for the applicant, however, pointed out that at the relevant time, the applicant was already working as Professor and Head of Department of Microbiology in the institution which was recognised by the Medical Council of India and since he was already working as a Professor, it was not necessary for him to have the requisite experience as was mentioned in the advertisement. This stand taken by the applicant is wide off the mark for the simple reason that no exception had been made in the advertisement that a person who is working on the post of a Professor was not required to have ‘twelve years’ stand-ing in the profession. In the absence of any such exception made in the advertisement, the applicant was not eligible to apply for the contractual appointment. It falls beyond comprehension as to under what circumstances the candidature of the applicant for appointment on contractual basis was accepted. Not only this, it has also come on record and is virtually admitted by the applicant that no process of selection had taken place, and he was not even interviewed. How the appointment letter (Annexure A-1) came to be issued to the applicant, is a fact which remains hidden in the penumbral zone far away from judicial scrutiny. The fact remains that the merit and standing of the applicant were not adjudged with the comparative merit and standing of the other eligible candi-dates. In any case, the appointment of the applicant who was not eligible for the post, is highly redolent of doubt and suspicion. Undoubtedly, the applicant has some/how managed to stage a back-door entry by procuring contractual appointment despite the fact he was ineligible as he did not have ‘twelve years’ standing in the profession”. This conclusion is further fortified by the fact that the applicant who had applied for regular appointment pursuant to the advertisement made by the Commission on 10.10.1998 (Annexure A-8) was ultimately held to be ineligible. In that advertisement also, ‘twelve years’ standing in the profession was required out of which atleast 4-years experience was to be in the concerned speciality as Reader or equivalent in a Medical College/teaching institution. The applicant was provisionally interviewed but ultimately he was found ineligible by the Commission for the post as he fell short of twelve years’ standing in the profession. As said above, the order of the Commission was challenged by the applicant by filing O.A. 333-CH of 2000. The matter was referred back by this Tribunal to the Commission for reconsideration of the various certificates submitted by the applicant with reference to the cut off date. After giving a fresh look to the matter, the Commission reiterated that the applicant was not eligible as he did not possess the requisite experience specified in the advertisement. Dissatisfied, the applicant again challenged the order of the Commission by filing O.A. 468-CH of 2001. This O.A. was also dismissed on 4.6.2002 holding that the applicant was not having twelve years’ standing in the profession on the cut off date and that the decision taken by the Commission cannot be faulted. The review application filed by the applicant was also dismissed. He went before the Hon’ble High Court by filing a writ petition which too was dismissed. In the rejoinder filed by the applicant he has bragged that since the decision, that he is not eligible, taken by the Commission, this Tribunal and the High Court is erroneous, he would approach the Supreme Court for the redressal of his grievance. This assertion of the applicant does not deter us in accepting the categorical finding that the applicant was ineligible for appointment either on contractual basis or on regular basis. We understand that the applicant has not approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court and no order contrary to the view taken about the ineligibility of the applicant has been taken. It stands finally determined that even in the year 1998 the applicant did not have ‘twelve years’ standing in the profession.”
11. Sequel to this, is a submission made by the learned Counsel for the respondents, particularly by private respondent No. 5 – Shri Jagdish Chander, which we cannot omit to take note that the applicant has suppressed certain material facts and information which he was required to narrate in the Attestation Form which he had submitted before the Commission. The applicant, at one point of time, was working in Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla as Assistant Professor in Microbiology. By order dated 26.8.1988 (Annexure R-5/6), he was removed from service by invoking the proviso (b) to Article 311 (2) of the Constitution of India on account of his continued absence. In the Attestation Form (Annexure R-5/7) submitted to the Commission, the applicant did not mention the fact that he had been removed from service by the H.P. Government inspite of the fact that there was a loud and stern warning on the top of the Attestation Form that suppression of any factual information would be a disqualification and if false information has been furnished or there has been suppression of any factual information, it would entail in disqualification and termination of service, if appointed. At the lime of contractual appointment, the applicant appears to have suppressed the material fact that he was removed from service by the Himachal Pradesh Govt. It is true that removal from service does not disqualify a person from seeking further employment under the Government but the fact remains that the applicant, in all fairness, was required to disclose and furnish the said fact so that while considering the competing claims of other eligible persons, it could be taken into consideration by the Competent Authority.
12. In view of the above facts, there can be no escape from the conclusion that the applicant was not eligible for being appointed as Professor, Microbiology even on contractual basis. He did not have the requisite standing in the profession. His appointment on contractual basis was nothing but a back-door entry in the respondent-Medical College & Hospital. Therefore, in view of the conclusion (i) in Gurcharan Singh’s case (supra) quoted above at page 10 of this judgment, the applicant is not entitled to seek protection of this Tribunal. He has not acquired any right whatsoever to hold the post. Even otherwise, various decisions on which the learned Counsel for the applicant has placed reliance pertain to unemployed youth as School teachers, lecturers in colleges or as junior doctors. In none of the decisions, the contract appointee who approached the Court, was ineligible for regular appointment. All of them had the basic qualification for appointment even on regular basis. Their appointments were protected and they were allowed to continue till such time they were replaced by regular appointees as their names had been sponsored by the Employment Exchange or they had applied pursuant to the advertisement and there has been due consideration in an objective manner of competing claims of all other eligible persons. Their selection was held to be consistent with the doctrine of equality as the comparative merit of the eligible persons was taken into consideration. Their cases were obviously covered by conclusions (ii) and (iii) arrived at by the Hon’ble High Court in Gurcharan Singh’s case (supra). Therefore, the cases on which the learned Counsel for the appli-cant has placed reliance are clearly distinguishable and as such the applicant cannot claim parity in the matter of protection of his contractual appointment.
13. There is yet another aspect of the matter. The applicant cannot equate himself with other bulk of the employees who under the force of circumstances were compelled to accept the jobs on unreasonable terms and conditions incorporated in the letter of appointment. The applicant, as admitted by him, had been working as a Professor in the Institution which is said to have been recognised by the Medical Council of India. He thus cannot be categorised in the group of unemployed youth. The applicant is a person who otherwise is highly qualified and well equipped. He visited abroad in connection with employment and stayed there for years together. He cannot be expected to have committed a mistake of agreeing to the alleged unreasonable terms and conditions contained in the appointment letter (Annexure A-1). He had accepted the terms and conditions of the appointment letter with his eyes wide open. Not only this, after accepting the appointment, he continued to work for a long period of about six years. Now it does not lie in his mouth to challenge the terms and conditions governing his appointment after he has reaped the fruits of employment for such a long period. As a matter of fact, the pleas of the applicant that terms & conditions governing his contractual appointment were exploitative in nature and that he had no bargaining capacity as against the dominating will of the employer are all subterfuge. Such a pica does not behove of a person who is holding the post of Professor & Head of Department. On the one hand, the applicant is seeking extension of his contractual appointment till such time he is replaced by a duly selected person and, on the other hand, he is challenging the very terms and conditions of the same appointment as being unreasonable, oppressive and unconscionable. The applicant cannot be allowed to blow hot and cold in the same breath. He cannot play loose and fast with the Court.
14. A contractual appointment, in its very nature, comes to an end the moment the period specified elapses. The Apex Court, in the case of Director, Institute of Management & Development U.P. v. Smt. Pushpa Srivastava, 1992(3) SCT 742=1993(1) SLJ 124 (SC) has taken the view that on the expiry of the contract period, right to remain on the post comes to an end. Mr. Sandip Suri, appearing on behalf of the official respondents placed reliance on Nandgunj Sihori Sugal Co. Ltd. Rae Bareli v. Badri Nath Dixit, AIR 1991 SC 1525 to support his submission that the remedy in the case of termination of a contract of employment is to sue for damages as the contract of employment cannot ordinarily be enforced by or against an employer. We have our doubts whether the above observation would apply to the case of public employment where the old theory of ‘laissez faire’ is not applicable. Nevertheless, it is an established proposition of law which flows from various decisions cited by the learned Counsel for the respondents that if the contractual engagement is sought to be terminated in terms of the conditions of employment, the order of termination cannot be said to be bad in law. From the decision of the Full Bench in S.K. Verma’s case, it follows that services of the ad hoc employees can be terminated in accordance with the terms and conditions of appointment. In Surinder Kumar’s case, the Apex Court in appeal by the State Govt. of Punjab, taking note of the fact that it was not suggested that the employee had accepted the terms set out in their appointment letter under any mistake observed” we, therefore, do not find any reason as to why the specific term on which appointments were made, could not be enforced”. In K.K. Shukla’s case (supra), the Apex Court took the view that a temporary Govt. servant had no right to hold the post and his services can be terminated by giving him one month’s notice, without assigning any reason either under the terms of contract providing for such termination or under the statutory rules relating to the terms and conditions of a temporary Govt. servant. If a temporary employee has not right to continue on the post and his services can be terminated in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment, we do not find as to why the services of a contractual employee cannot be terminated as per the terms and conditions of his employment.
15. In the result, we find that the applicant has no right on the post of Professor, Microbiology. He was appointed on contractual basis initially for a period of one year subject to further extensions. Of late, extensions were granted on six months’ basis and ultimately after 22.5.2002, no extension has been granted. This Tribunal will not protect the appointment of such contract appointee because that would amount “to perpetuation of illegality committed by the Appointing Authority in making the backdoor appointment” of a person who was not eligible even for consideration. The judicial process cannot be utilised for the purpose as otherwise it would become other mode of recruitment de hors the prescribed essential qualifications. For the reasons stated above, the official respondents have an unfettered right to dispense with the services of the applicant by not extending the term of the contractual appointment. The applicant does not have any right to compel the respondents to extend the period of his contractual appointment. He is, therefore, not entitled to get the desired relief.
16. The O.A. turns out to be devoid of merit and it is accordingly dismissed, with no order as to costs. The interim order shall stand discharged.