Decided on July 01,1986

R.S.Manhas Appellant
District Development Commissioner Respondents


SETHI, J. - (1.) A preliminary objection has been raised by Mr. Sharma regarding maintainability of the writ petition on the ground that suspension not being a punishment is not justiciable by this Court. Elaborating his argument Mr. Sharma submits that as suspension is merely an initial step for holding regular inquiry no civil servant can make any complaint regarding such an action of the employer, in the instant case the state As suspension is temporary privation of office or privilege, the petitioner cannot approach the court under Article 226 of Constitution of India and challenge its validity.
(2.) THE rights and liabilities of the civil servants are admittedly distinct than she rights and liabilities of an ordinary...employer and employee. The rights of the civil servants. In this country are guaranteed by the constitution, civil rules and She service conditions. Such rights are not the benevolent act of the State but is the result of long drawn struggle of the employees starting from the British Rules demanding and achieving the security of service and other benefits. The general law of Master and Servant earlier conventionally recorded as part of the law relating to the civil servants as well, does not hold good in a democratic set up. Civil servants in a democratic set up cannot be equivated with slaves. The society has traversed through different stages ultimately granting certain rights and privileges and imposing certain liabilities upon public servants. The position of a civil servant cannot be said to be complete subordination of the superiors even under the general law. The modern view of relationship of master and servant is that one of inter -dependant rather than of subordination. The element of subordination is, of course, in existence for organisational and disciplinary purposes only and not for any other purpose. The proper approach in a progressing polity is that neither the master nor the servant can do without the other and that such inter -dependence is essential for the progress of the society of which the civil servants are admittedly the back -bone Out of such relation of inter -dependence, reciprocal, loyalties, dunes and obligations have to be determined. In any democratic set up the Minister and the political party which they represent, are essentially birds of passage, they come and go according to the will of the people. What remains permanently attached to the institution of the administration and the machinery of the Government is the public servant. Unless such machinery is in a reasonably good working order und not influences or lured, pressurised or tempted for extraneous considerations, the administration will go to back and ruin. The rights and liabilities of the public servants are governed by he constitution which make special provisions as is contemplated by Art. 16, 309, 310, 311 etc., governing the public servants. The constitution also empowers the state to frame rules governing the service conditions of the civil servants which are always subject to judicial review by the court and if found in contravention of the constitutional guarantees have been and are likely to be struck down. The constitution has made the provisions for civil servants fully realising the long drawn movement of the civil servants and the importance of the aforesaid provisions for the edifice, the constitution contemplates for this democratic country It however does not mean that the civil servants are immune from disciplinary action and not liable to answer to their superiors and the state. Such an attitude if allowed to exist may result in choas in the -society and disintegration of the administration of the country.
(3.) LAW relating to government servants as noted earlier has its root and sources in the constitution, certain acts of the legislature, the service rules and the pronouncements of High Courts and the Supreme Court. The law his therefore assured of equality of opportunity aid fair competition in matters of public employments (Art 16 regulation of condition of service by different acts and rules framed having the statutory force [sic] protection against arbitrary actions of the executive. Such rights cannot be exhaustive but only are indicative and the court has the power, in the given facts of the case, to protect the rights of the civil servants against the excesses committed by the execution. The condition of service in a democratic set up cannot be left to the caprice of authorities and have to be regulated by statute and the statutory rules. Suspension means debaring usually, for a time, from any privilege, from the execution of an office or from the enjoyment of an income according to the ordinary dictionary meaning. It is a temporary privation of office or a privilege. However by reason of mere suspension the person concerned does not loose his office nor does he suffer any degradation but he ceases to exercise the powers and to discharge the duties of the office for the time being. Though his rank remains the same, yet he cannot draw his salary during the period of suspension. The powers, functions and privileges of a civil servant during suspension remain is abeyance and he continues to be subject to the same discipline and penalties and to the same authorities as any other civil servant. Suspension under the present set up attaches a stigma to the concerned public servant and cannot be treated as a normal routine order with respect to a civil servant which allegedly do not affect his rights. A suspended civil servant looses the respect and dignity which he enjoys before such an order is passed. Suspension may not amount to punishment within the meaning of Art. 311 of the constitution of India, or within the meaning of the punishments prescribed under any rules governing service conditions of the civil servants, even than it carries a stigma with respect to the concerned civil servant and definitely lowers him in the estimation of the society, his friends, relations and colleagues It is true that the principle as enumerated in AIR 1949 Nagpur 118 to the effect that "when a man is suspended, he is in our opinion reduced in rack" is no more good law in view of numerous judgments of different High Courts wherein the said decision has been dissented from It is also not acceptable that suspension, as a matter of general rule is not justiciable by the courts of law. The construction, the statute and the statutory rules which govern the service conditions have to be kept in mind while adjudicating the order of suspension, We do not agree with the objection raised that in no case suspension was justiciable.;

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