ARUN KUMAR GUPTA Vs. STATE OF JHARKHAND
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-84
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 27,2020

ARUN KUMAR GUPTA Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF JHARKHAND Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

KARAM SINGH VS. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND [LAWS(UTN)-2021-5-1] [REFERRED TO]
PURUSHOTTAM BHATT VS. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [LAWS(MPH)-2022-4-12] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

DEEPAK GUPTA,J. - (1.)These writ petitions have been filed by two erstwhile judicial officers who were members of the judicial service in the State of Jharkhand and are directed against the orders whereby they have been compulsorily retired. In respect of the two writ petitions which are the subject matter of this judgment, this Court passed the following order on 06.09.2018:
"Writ Petition Nos. 190/2018 and 391/2018 shall remain pending. The High Court of Jharkhand may like to reconsider the matter in the light of the entirety of the materials that have been placed before us at the hearing by the Registrar General of the Jharkhand High Court and also by the learned counsel for the High Court. We make it clear that the High Court is free to decide the matter as may be considered appropriate and that we have expressed no opinion on merits at this stage. The High Court of Jharkhand would be free to support its conclusions in terms of the present order with adequate reasons. The decision of the High Court in accordance with this order be laid before us at the end of two months from today. List the matters after two months."

Pursuant to the aforesaid order, the matters were placed before the Screening Committee of the High Court of Jharkhand and the Screening Committee on 11.10.2018 again found sufficient reasons and approved the earlier action taken to compulsorily retire these officers. The resolution of the Screening Committee was placed before the Standing Committee of the Jharkhand High Court, which approved the resolution of the screening committee on 25.10.2018.

(2.)Challenge is laid in both these writ petitions to the orders of compulsory retirement and especially to the reasons assigned or the material ignored by the Screening Committee. The orders of compulsory retirement have been passed in terms of the Rule 74(b)(ii) of the Jharkhand Service Code, 2001 which reads as follows:
"(ii) The appointing authority concerned may after giving a Government servant atleast three month's previous notice in writing, or an equal amount to three month's pay and allowance in lieu of such notice, require him in public interest to retire from the service on the date on which such a Government servant completes thirty years of qualifying service or attains fifty years of age or on any date thereafter to be specified in the notice"

The aforesaid rule is pari materia to Rule 56(j) of the Fundamental Rules.

(3.)The main contentions raised on behalf of the petitioners are that their retirement is not in the pubic interest: their entire service record especially the contemporaneous record has not been taken into consideration and also that the petitioners have been granted various promotions which would have the effect of washing off their previous adverse entries, if any.
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