MANIK RANJAN SENGUPTA Vs. GENERAL MANAGER, NORTHEAST FRONTIER RAILWAY, MALIGAON
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
MANIK RANJAN SENGUPTA
GENERAL MANAGER, NORTHEAST FRONTIER RAILWAY, MALIGAON
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(1.) By this application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India the petitioner Manik Ranjan Sengupta a Senior Clerk under L. F. (Steam)/NGC, who has been removed from service with immediate effect, has challenged the order No. E/261/SEC (74) Pt. III. dated May 20th, 1974, passed by the General Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway (Annexure A to the petition), as illegal, void and not sustainable in law. The impugned order may he quoted:
"Whereas Shri Manik Ranjan Sengupta, Sr. Clerk under LF (Steam)/NGC participated in an illegal strike on and from 8th May, 1974 and instigated other staff to participate in the strike and also indulged in intimidation and threats of physical violence on other workers who wanted to continue the work thereby disrupting the normal working of the railway and the transportation of goods essential for the life of the community which acts on his part involving partcipation in an illegal strike and intimidation of loyal workers amount to gross misconduct meriting removal from service.
2. Whereas in the interest of the Railway Administration and in the interest of the smooth running of the train services and the transportation of goods essential for the life of the community the retention of Shri Manik Ranjan Sengupta, Sr. Clerk under L. F. (Steam)/NGC in service is considered undesirable.
3. Whereas it is considered that the circumstances of the case are such that it is not reasonably practicable to hold an enquiry in the manner provided for in the Railway Servant's (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968.
4. Now. therefore, in terms of Rule 14 (ii) of the Railway Servant's (Discipline and Appeal) Rules. 1968 the undersigned hereby removes Shri Manik Ranjan Sengupta, Sr. Clerk under L. F. (Steam)/NGC from service with immediate effect. Sd. M. R. Reddy, GENERAL MANAGER."
(2.) The petitioner's case briefly is that the petitioner was initially appointed as Engine Cleaner on 31-7-53 in the Mechanical Department of the North Eastern Railway and was promoted as Second Fireman in 1955. On the bifurcation of the North Eastern Railway and establishment of Northeast Frontier Railway, hereinafter described as N. F. Railway with Headquarters at Pandu on 15-1-58 the petitioner's services were placed under the N. F. Railway. In 1963 the petitioner was promoted as First Fireman and the said post was designated as Driver's Assistant (Diesel) in 1966. The petitioner became medically unfit on 25-3-67 and he was absorbed as Clerk and' posted under Loco Foreman (Steam), N. F. Railway, New Gauhati, on 17-11-67 and the petitioner was holding the post of a Junior Clerk in the office of the Loco Foreman, N. F. Railway. New Gauhati at the relevant time. The petitioner was elected, as Organising Secretary of the N. F. Railway Mazdoor Union, hereinafter described as 'Union', in 1968, Branch Secretary in 1970, Vice-President in 1971, Central Council Member in 1972 of the Pandu Branch, and Vice-President in 1973 of the New Gauhati Branch of the Union and at the relevant time he was holding the said office of the Union, The said Union is registered under the Indian Trade Unions Act and recognised by the Administration of N. F. Railway under Appendix of the Indian Railways Establishment Code Volume 1 (now Railway Establishment Manual Chapter XXXVI). The Union is also affiliated to the All India Railwaymen's Federation, hereinafter described as A. I.R. F., which is also recognised by the Government of India and the Railway Board for the purposes of negotiation and settlement of industrial disputes between the management and workmen of Indian Railways including N. F. Railway. The A. I. R. F. and the Union along with other Trade Unions affiliated to the A. I. R. F. submitted demands to the Government of India and the Zonal Railways commonly known as Charter of Demands. Having failed to persuade the Government of India and the Railway Administration to concede their demands and the negotiations for settlement having failed the Union along with other Unions numbering about 100 (one hundred) gave notice under Section 22 of the Industrial Disputes Act, on 23rd April, 1974 for a strike commencing on 8th May, 1974, the Railway being a Public utility service. The strike commenced from 8th May. 1974 and the same was called off on 28th May, 1974 at 6 A. M. After the calling off of the strike the petitioner reported for duty on 28th May, 1974 to the Loco Foreman, N.F. Railway, New Gauhati and was informed by him that he had been removed from service with effect from 20-5-74. On 22-6-74 the petitioner received the impugned order of removal dated 20-5-74. It has been stated that the said letter was sent by registered post and from the postal seal and the date mentioned on the cover clearly show that the said order was sought to be communicated to the petitioner only on 19-6-74 and the petitioner received it on 22-6-74.
(3.) The respondents have filed an affidavit-in-opposition which has been sworn by Shri M. R. Reddy, the General Manager, who has passed the impugned order of removal. It has been stated in the respondent's affidavit-in-opposition briefly as under:;
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