Decided on October 17,1968


Referred Judgements :-



- (1.)THE writ petition before me is by one Shrikishan, who was an employee in the power-house of the Rajasthan State Electricity Board, hereinafter to be referred as the Board, and by the same he questions his retirement ordered by the respondents in pursuance of the Rajasthan Services (Amendment) Rules, 1967, with effect from 1 July 1967. The case set up by the petitioner was briefly this.
(2.)PETITIONER was born on 1 July 1910 and he Joined the Government service in the year 1927 on being appointed as wireman at the State power-house in the former State of Kishangarh. With the formation of Rajasthan the petitioner became the employee of the State of Rajasthan. He was a head lineman II with effect from 1 April 1950. Sometime in 1957, the Rajasthan State Electricity Board was constituted in pursuance of the relevant provisions of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948, hereinafter to be referred as the Act. Petitioner claims that after the formation of the Board, the State Government had issued statutory directions under Section 78a of the Act; in accordance therewith he eventually became an employee of the Board. He proceeds to say that the Board had not fixed any superannuation age for its employees including the petitioner. According to the petitioner, sometime in the year 1963, the Board prepared the draft standing orders for laying down the conditions of service of its employees and submitted them before the certifying officer in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Orders Act, 1946. Petitioner maintains that in the draft standing orders the Board had provided for the age of superannuation of its employees and it was proposed to be at 55 years. The union of the workers, who received the notice about the certification of the draft standing orders, opposed the certification of the standing orders as proposed by the Board, and on the other hand, suggested that the age of superannuation should be 60 and not 55, as proposed by the Board. Petitioner claims that the certification officer, in the circumstances disclosed before him, did not certify the order about the age of superannuation and the draft standing orders subject to the modification regarding age were certified by him. In these circumstances, according to the petitioner, there existed no standing order governing the question of superannuation and the petitioner contends that he could not have been retired merely on account of his reaching the age of 55 years. As regards the Rajasthan Service Rules that were sought to be applied to the petitioner on account of the amendment regarding the age of superannuation which was reduced from 58 to 55, the petitioner's case, in short, is that he is not at all governed by the Rajasthan Service Rules as he was no longer an employee of the State Government but an employee of the Board.
(3.)THE writ petition has been opposed by the respondents. The reply of the Board is that the services of the petitioner like other employees in the power-houses of the State were provisionally placed at the disposal of the Board and in the circumstances the petitioner was only on deputation and never came to be absorbed in the service of the Board. Consequently, according to the respondents the Rajasthan Service Rules continued to apply to the petitioner and when the Rajasthan Service Rules were amended sometime in June 1967 so far as the age of superannuation of the State employees was concerned, the petitioner came to be reverted by virtue of the notification issued by the State Government and then he stood retired from 1 July 1967. In other words, the reply of the Board is that the petitioner was a State employee, as he was before his services were placed at the disposal of the Board and could rightly be retired on reaching the age of 55 years in terms of the Rajasthan Service Rules as amended in June 1967. It was farther submitted that even after the transfer of the power-houses by the State Government to the Board the State Government continued to exercise disciplinary control over the employees whose services were placed at the disposal of the Board. Learned counsel for the Board also took the plea that it was a disputed question of fact whether the petitioner was or was not a State employee to be governed by the Rajasthan Service Rules and this Court should not deal with each a question in the exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. Learned counsel had also put in a separate application wherein he had taken this plan that on account of there being a serious dispute on the material fact whether the petitioner was or was not an employee of the State, the writ petition should be rejected on the preliminary ground.

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