Decided on April 08,1993

Ram Sewak Pathak Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



- (1.)THE petitioner who is a matriculate, was recruited as a storeman (technical) on 15.11.1962 and promoted as Storekeeper Grade -I in the year 1977. He was further promoted as Store Supervisor Grade -I in 1987. It is submitted that the petitioner was promoted on account of his three successive ACRs having extra -ordinary good and excellent outstanding. Vide his notice dated 2.1,1992, respondent No. 3 directed the petitioner that he shall retire from service on the forenoon of the day following the date of expiring of three months notice period computed from the date following the date of Service of notice upon him. The notice was issued under cl. (J) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules read in conjunction with sub -rule (1) (b) of Rule 48 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, i972 (hereinafter referred to as the 1972 Rules). It is alleged that the petitioner cannot be retired under cl. (j) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules as he is neither in Class I nor class II. His case was never allegedly considered objectively by the committee which is not bona fide being not based on any relevant material. It is further alleged that the order has been passed arbitrarily as no public interest is shown to be achieved by passing of such an order. As his ACRs were all good the petitioner could not be retired prematurely. The order impugned is stated to be illegal, unconstitutional, arbitrary and against the principles of natural justice. Rule 48 of the 1972 Rules is allegedly not applicable in the case of the petitioner, It has been prayed that the order of retirement of the petitioner issued by respondent No. 3 be quashed and he be allowed to remain in service of the respondents.
(2.)IN the objections filed on behalf of the respondents it has been admitted that the petitioner was appointed and promoted as claimed on his turn. No out of turn promotion was accorded to the petitioner. The assessment of performance of the petitioner has been varying from year to year and on the whole it has not been very good, during the last 5 years. His behaviour and discipline was found very poor by his superior for which he has been warned a number of times in writing. Review of GRF.F personnel, as the petitioner is, on their attaining the age of 55 years or on the completion of 30 years service, whichever is earlier, is required to be carried cut by the Review Committee as per the provisions obtained in Govt. of India Ministry of Home Affairs. OM No, 250113/I/77 -Estt (A) dated 5.1.1978. While considering the review case of the petitioner, the review committee has not approved his retention in GREF service on the completion of 30 years of service in consequence; of which the appointing authority served three months notice upon him for his retirement on completion of the notice period in public interest in exercise of the powers conferred by Cl. (j) of Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules read in conjunction with sub -rule(l) (b) of Rule 48 of the 1972 Rules.
(3.)I have heard learned counsel for the parties who have submitted that this petition be disposed of at this stage by issuing appropriate directions.
It is now well settled that a Government servant, generally holds the office at the pleasure of the State which is, however, regulated by the rules framed and the judgments pronounced. It is true that perspective security of tenure is a valuable right in favour of the. Govt. servant but it cannot be denied that the State has the power to frame rules for compulsory retirement of a Govt. official before the date of superannuation. The power, scope and object of the executive to retire a person prematurely was thoroughly examined by a Division Bench of this Court in Letters Patent Appeal No. 29/87 entitled State v. Rajinder Singh Rana decided on 1,8.1988 (Srinagar Bench) wherein it was held that: i) An order of prematurely retiring a person can be passed only if the conditions prescribed in the relevant statute or service rules are fulfilled; ii) The order to retire must be passed only by the appropriate authority after forming a requisite opinion based relevant material; iii) Such an opinion should be formed in public interest which should not he personal, political or motivated by other extraneous considerations. iv) Order of compulsory retirement can be challenged oily on the ground that either the requisite opinion was not formed or that the order was passed arbitrarily or on collateral grounds; v) The opinion of the competent authority, if found based upon objective satisfaction, cannot be substituted by the opinion of the court and the court will not see the sufficiency or otherwise of the material available with the authority at the time of passing of the order of premature retirement; vi) While exercising the judicial powers, the court has merely to see whether a rational mind would conceivably be satisfied that the compulsory retirement of the officer concerned was necessary in the public interest. vii) If the adverse entries are relied upon pertaining only to performance of an employee and not to his integrity, those must be relevant and not stale."

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