G.L. Chopra, J. -
(1.) THIS is a petition under. Art. 226 of the Constitution of India, and it arises out of the following facts:
(2.) S . Mohindar Singh, the petitioner, was appointed Sub -Inspector of Police in the erstwhile Patiala State on 2 -7 -1985 Bk. He was promoted to the rank of an Inspector on 7 -1 -1945 Ad., as he was then the seniormost Sub -Inspector in the State. On 18 -1 -1949, by an order issued by the Home Department (Notification No. 109), the petitioner was appointed as an officiating Assistant Superintendent of Police. The notification was duly published in the Pepsu Government Gazette dated 23 -1 -1949. The petitioner continued to hold that office till the order in question reducing him to the rank of an Inspector was made by the Adviser to the Pepsu Government. The circumstances that gave rise to the petitioner's reversion are these Shri P.S. Rau, the Adviser, was on his tour to Kandaghat, where the petitioner was posted, in the month of May 1953. The Deputy Commissioner, Kandaghat, then preferred certain complaints against the petitioner to the Adviser.
The complaints related to two cases which were sent by the Deputy Commissioner to the petitioner for registration. In each of these cases, a public servant was accused of having received illegal gratification. The petitioner did not register the cases, nor did he arrest the persons accused when they appeared before him. The Adviser sent for the petitioner, informed him of the Deputy Commissioner's complaint and asked for his explanation. Not satisfied with the explanation, the Adviser there and then ordered the reversion of the petitioner to the rank of an Inspector. The order, after a reference in detail to the complaint of the Deputy Commissioner and the explanation offered by the petitioner, concludes as follows:
In my opinion, this conduct of the A.S.P. shows that he is utterly irresponsible and even when facts are stated to him he does not realise that he has done anything wrong or improper. On the contrary, he maintains that he had done nothing wrong. It is very doubtful whether an officer of this mentality should continue to officiate as an A.S.P. It is, therefore, ordered that he should be reverted to his substantive post as Inspector at once.
The order, copy of which has been placed on record by the learned A.A.G., does not bear any date. It reached the Inspector General of Police on 12 -5 -1953, and he thereupon directed necessary orders to be issued immediately. The order was communicated to the petitioner on the following day and was published in the Pepsu Government Gazette on 23 -5 -1953. The petitioner approached the Inspector General of Police to supply him a copy of the said order so as to enable him to submit a representation, but the request was turned down. The petitioner then submitted a representation to the Government through proper channel that is the Inspector General of Police. This, he did on 10 -6 -1953.
The Inspector General of Police did not consider it fit to forward the representation to the Government with his remarks, but himself rejected it on 27 -1 -1954. The petitioner was informed of the Inspector General of Police's order on 30 -1 -1954. On 8 -4 -1954, the petitioner by means of an application requested the Inspector General of Police to allow him an interview with the Hon'ble Chief Minister for the purpose of representing his case and submitting his grievances. This request of his was also denied by the Inspector General of Police, vide his order dated 26 -4 -1954. The order was communicated to the petitioner on 28 -4 -1954. The present petition was then presented on 6 -5 -1954.
The order reverting the petitioner to his substantive post is challenged on the following grounds:
(1) The order having been made by way of penalty is hit by the provisions of Art. 311 (2), even though the petitioner was holding an officiating post;
(2) Before the order could be made, Pepsu Public Service Commission should have been consulted as required by Art. 320(3) (c) of the Constitution;
(3) Before the order in question reducing the petitioner to a lower rank could be made an inquiry under the Pepsu Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1952, should have been instituted; and
(4) The Adviser was not competent to make the order in question.
Before dealing with these points, it is necessary to dispose of the various preliminary objections raised by Mr. R.N. Verma, Learned Counsel for the respondents. The objections are -
(a) that in his petition, the petitioner misrepresented some of the material facts and intentionally concealed some such other facts;
(b) that the petition was inordinately delayed and no explanation for the same was offered;
(c) that the petitioner made no attempt to approach the Government for the relief sought for in the petition; and
(d) that the petitioner should have brought a regular suit for the relief claimed.
It is consequently urged that the petition deserves to be rejected on all or any of these grounds.
(3.) AFTER hearing the Learned Counsel at some length I do not find force in any of these, objections. As regards the first, counsel has not been able to point out a single fact which may be regarded as material to the decision of this petition and which has been misrepresented or concealed. The sole point for decision is whether the petitioner was holding the post in a substantive or officiating capacity, and as to whether the order of reduction was made on administrative* grounds or by way of penalty. The petitioner did not claim himself to be holding the post substantively, but admitted that he was posted as an officiating hand.
The contention that the petitioner did not produce a copy of the order in question is simply frivolous. As already observed, the petitioner had applied for a copy of the Adviser's order but the same was refused. He cannot be penalised for an omission for which the respondents themselves are responsible. The order that was communicated to him was that of the Inspector General of Police and that he produced with the petition. Reliance in support of the objection is placed on the following observations that I made in - 'Baldev Singh v. Govt., of Patiala',, AIR 1954 Pepsu 98 (A):
Proceedings on a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution by their very nature are of a summary character. A person who applies for a writ of high prerogative and seeks to avail himself of the exceptional remedy, is under an obligation to come to Court with clean hands and to make fully possible disclosure of all relevant and material facts within his knowledge. The Constitution provides a special and speedy remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights and 'for any other purpose'. The very nature of the remedy enjoins that those who seek it must approach the Court in perfectly good faith, and place before it all the facts which have a direct bearing on the point in dispute and which the Court ought to know to arrive at a correct decision. Otherwise the Court may be misled to pass orders the consequences of which may be far -reaching and irreparable. What facts are material in a particular case would necessarily depend upon the nature of the order, direction or writ sought.
The facts in this case were, however, altogether different. There, the petitioner wrongly stated in the petition that lie was holding the post, from which he was reduced, substantively. Perusal of the various orders that were in the knowledge of the petitioner and some of which were duly published in the State Gazette, revealed and left no doubt that the petitioner was posted in an officiating capacity and that he never held the post substantively.;