SUMANLAL P SHUKLA Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Sumanlal P Shukla
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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(1.)His Lordship after noting that the State Govt. has agreed to promote the petitioner as prayed for further observed In light of the above statement therefore the only question which subsists is whether the petitioner is entitled to interest on the amount which has been withheld at the rate of 15% at which he has claimed by amending the relief clause of the present petition on 1/10/1982.
(2.)The Supreme Court in KRISHNA PRASAD SINHA V. STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS. (1982) 2 SCC 497 was concerned with the State Governments inordinate delay in complying with the High Courts directions for payment of arrears of salary subsistence allowance and pension due for the period during which the Government servant was out of service pursuant to the order of dismissal which was ultimately quashed and set aside and as to what should be appropriate direction in such a situation. The Court while directing the payment to be made on account of salary etc. observed as under: "Though the order for payment in favour of the petitioner was made about four years and it is surprising that the payment due to the petitioner in respect of salary and subsistance allowance has not yet been made by the State Government. The salary due is for almost four years and the subsistance allowance is also payable for a further period of five years and it is difficult to understand how the State Government could so callous as not to make this payment to the petitioner even though he was entitled to the same under the order made by the High Court. We would therefore direct the State Government to make payment of the amount of salary and subsistance allowance as per the order of the High Court peremptorily within three weeks from today together with interest thereon at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of the judgment of the High Court.
(3.)It is in view of this settled legal position that I have to consider whether the petitioner is entitled to payment of interest and if so at what rate. It should be recalled that the Division Bench of this Court comprising of J. B. Mehta and T. U. Mehta JJ. had issued a writ of mandamus by its order of 6-5-1976 declaring the petitioner to be considered in Class I service of the Bombay Education Service Administration Branch as on 1-11-1956 if he was not so notionally promoted by the State Government within reasonable time of the issu- ance of the writ and to revise the seniority and grant notional promotions accordingly and to pay the difference of salary etc. as may be due and payable to him in light of the various posts to which he would be notionally promoted and posted The Division Bench had granted time upto 31/07/1976 to both the State Governments to carry out the writ of mandamus. In other words both the State Governments were granted time of more than two months. It is pertinent to recall the observation which the Division Bench had made while opening its judgment in Letters Patent Appeal No. 164174. The observation reads as under:
"If ever there was a complete justification for issuing a writ of mandamus the said justification is furnished by the facts of this case which supplied an outstand- ing illustration showing how a legitimate grievance of a Government servant can be successfully kept at bay and lost in the nightmare of secretariat intricacies entanglement of red-tape methods and obduracy of bureaucratic steel-frame."
It should be again emphasised that this observation was made in the order of the Division Bench dated 6/7-5-1976 since the Petitioner was required to move this Court by Special Civil Application even though be got a decree in his favour in First Appeal No. 380 of 1967 which was made on 5/08/1972 The Petitioner has been carrying on this litigation from the year 1964 when he filed the suit in the City Civil Court at Ahmedabad since his representation and remonstrance which he was making before the State Government right from November 1956 were ignored Even when some concession was made by the State Government in July 1976 the petitioners claim according to that concession for arrears of salary etc. was not satisfied. In other words the State Government did not make payment of the arrears of salary etc. inspite of partially conceding the claim of the petitioner for notional promotions. The Maharashtra Government was at worse fault. It merely placed the petitioner in Class I service with effect from 1-11-1956 with- out working out even the notional promotions for the period during which the Petitioner was in service of the erstwhile State of Bombay i. e. between 1-11-56 and 30-4-60. The Petitioner was therefore requ- ired to move again this Court by the present petition in August 1979 The petition is sought to be resisted and it was only when this Court by its interim direction required the State of Gujarat to make payment according to its resolution that the payment was made. Inspite of repe- ated representations made during the pendency of the present petition the claim of the petitioner was not satisfied wholly at a time. The concessions which have been made are lurking concessions from time to time and even when by the two resolutions of March 82 and September 1982 the petitioners claim was substantially accepted he was denied the benefit of notional promotions to the higher post of Secretary Secondary School Certificate Examination Board to which he was entitled since his juniors were promoted in 1967. Ultimately the wisdom has prevailed on the State Government when the statement has been made of this behalf by Mr. Jadeja as recorded in this order. It is in this set of facts that the question of admissibility of-the claim of interest arises.
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