Decided on December 11,1970

Laisram Tombi Singh Appellant
L. Gopal Singh And Another Respondents


R.S. Bindra, J.C. - (1.) This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution by L. Tombi Singh praying that the order dated 24 -7 -1968 by which the Superintendent of Police, Manipur, respondent No. 1 herein, terminated his services as Chowkidar of village Khangabok should be quashed by a writ of certiorari.
(2.) According to the allegations made by the petitioner, his father L. Tomal Singh was the Chowkidar of Khangabok until the middle of 1967 when he (Tomal Singh) was taken ill and he happened to officiate as Chowkidar vice his father. Even after the death of Tomal Singh in September, 1967, the petitioner, it is pleaded, continued to officiate as Chowkidar until 20th of May, 1968. By a public notice dated 2 -3 -1968 the officer in charge of the Police Station, Thoubal, called upon the residents of the village Khangabok to elect a new Chowkidar and he fixed 20th of March 1968 as the date for the purpose. As a result of the election held, the petitioner was appointed Chowkidar with effect from 21 -5 -1968 by the Superintendent of Police. Almost about two months thereafter, to be precise on 24 -7 -1968, the Superintendent of Police passed an order terminating the services of the petitioner with effect from 1 -8 -1968. It was for the reason, as stated in the writ petition, that the dismissal of the petitioner from his earlier post of a Police constable in Manipur was upheld in the Writ Petition To. 3 of 1961 filed by him in the Court of the Judicial Commissioner. The order dated 24 -7 -1968, it is claimed, is illegal, without jurisdiction and in violation of the constitutional provisions.
(3.) The respondents, who are the Superintendent of Police, Manipur, and the Union of India, denied in the counter affidavit filed on their behalf that the removal of the petitioner as Chowkidar violates any provision of the Constitution or it suffers from any other legal infirmity. It was however admitted that the petitioner officiated as Chowkidar before the election was held consequent on the death of his father, the previous Chowkidar, and that on the basis of that election the petitioner was appointed as the new Chowkidar, though, it was added, he had scored second position in the election. The petitioner, according to respondents, had secured 404 votes as against 526 secured by one N. Tombi Singh. Despite his second position in the poll, it was alleged, the petitioner was appointed temporarily as Chowkidar as he "was likely to serve better than Shri N. Tombi Singh." However, the respondents stated further, subsequently it was learnt that the petitioner was a dismissed constable and on that account his services were terminated and vice him N. Tombi Singh, who had secured the highest votes in the poll, was appointed as Chowkidar. It was alleged that the office" of Chowkidar is a part time job carrying remuneration of Rs. 15/ - per mensem and that the incumbent of the office is not a Government servant. It was alleged further that though it is a long standing practice that Chowkidars are appointed by the Superintendent of Police on the basis of elections by the residents of the villages concerned, but there are no prescribed rules governing such appointments. In Para. 7 of the counter affidavit the respondents stated that a village Chowkidar usually renders assistance to the Police in maintaining law and order within his jurisdiction under the direct control and supervision of the Police Department and that since the petitioner was found to be a dismissed Police constable it was considered undesirable to retain him in office. It was further stated that at the time of his appointment as Chowkidar, the petitioner had suppressed the fact about his dismissal as Police Constable.;

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