S D MATHUR Vs. MUNICIPAL BOARD AGRA
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
MUNICIPAL BOARD, AGRA
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Mehrotra, J. -
(1.) The petitioner was appointed as the Executive Officer of Agra Municipal Board on probation for one year in the year 1940 and was duly confirmed in 1941. The petitioner has qualified for diploma in Public and Social Administration with practical training in Local Self-Government in the Oxford University in the" year 1939. The scale of pay at the time of his appointment was Rs. 500-25-650-50-750 but as a result of the recommendation of the Pay Commission appointed by the Government, the scale was changed to Rs. 500-50-1000. Since 1953 he had been drawing a salary of Rs. 1000/-. On 31-3-1954, an order was passed by the Administrator discharging the applicant from service of the Board on the ground of financial stringency. On 31-3-1954 a notice was given to the applicant by the Administrator, Municipal Board, Agra terminating his services on the ground that the expenditure on the establishment of the Municipal Board, Agra was very heavy and the finances of the Board did not justify any further retention of high paid Executive Officer, particularly in the present set up and also when the Board has got a Secretary. With a view to effect economy in the expenditure, it was necessary to discharge the present incumbent of the post of the Executive Officer. Three months' pay in lieu of notice as required by Rule 6 of the Rules regulating the appointment, punishment, dismissal and discharge of Executive Officers of Municipal Boards was given to the applicant. No opportunity was given to the applicant to explain his position. After the service of the notice dated 31-3-1954. the applicant filed a writ petition challenging the validity of that order which was numbered 317 of 1954 and on 1-12-1954 it was rejected on the ground that a departmental appeal filed by the petitioner was pending before the State Government. The appeal filed, before the State Government by the applicant was rejected and the result was communicated to the applicant by a letter dated 29-3-1955 from the Deputy Secretary to Government of Uttar Pradesh. Thereafter the present petition under Article 226 of the Constitution was filed for a writ or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the order dated 31-3-1954 terminating the services of the applicant as the Executive Officer of the Municipal Board, Agra.
(2.) In the affidavit, filed in support of the petition, apart from the facts which I have already mentioned, it has also been stated that the Secretary has, after the termination of the applicant's services, been appointed to act as the Executive Officer of the Board in the same scale of pay as was applicable to the petitioner and another Secretary has been appointed in addition to the Executive Officer. In the affidavit, facts have also been set out to show that there was no financial stringency in the Board as disclosed from the budget.
(3.) A counter-affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Municipal Board, Agra. It is admitted in the counter-affidavit that on the termination of the petitioner's services on 31-3-1954, the Secretary of the Board was appointed by the Administrator to officiate as the Executive Officer. This arrangement was subsequently sanctioned by the State Government. It is, however, denied that a Secretary was also appointed in addition to the Executive Officer. According to the counter-affidavit, the post of Secretary was kept in abeyance from 1-4-1954 to 31-3-1955 and it was only with effect from 1-4-1955 that the post of Secretary has been revived temporarily for one year with the sanction of the Government. The budget figures given by the applicant in his affidavit have been denied & facts have been given in the counter-affidavit to show that there was in fact financial stringency in the Board and the services of the applicant had to be terminated as a measure of economy.;
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