MONORANJAN TARAN Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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A.K. Sen, J. -
(1.)This appeal under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent is at the instance of the Petitioner in a writ petition and is directed -against the judgment and order dated April 28,1972, passed by P.K. Banerjee J. in C.R. 729(W) of 1968. By the judgment and order under appeal the learned Judge in the trial Court dismissed the writ petition and overruled the Appellant's challenge to the validity of an order of reversion from the rank of an Inspector to that of a Sub -Inspector of Police.
(2.)Facts are not in dispute. The Appellant joined the Police force in the lower rank of a constable. By gradual promotion he held the substantive rank of a Sub -Inspector of Police when in 1960 his name was empanelled in a range approved list of Sub -Inspectors who are considered fit for promotion as Inspectors. On the basis of such empanelment it is not in dispute that the Appellant was promoted to act as an Inspector in the Third Armed Police Battalion by an order dated October 3, 1963, passed by the Inspector -General of Police, West Bengal. It is also not in dispute that subsequently the authorities thought it necessary to constitute a unified panel of Sub -Inspectors fit for promotion to the rank of Inspectors that is irrespective of ranges. In the panel so framed the Appellant's name was also empanelled, position allotted to him being serial No. 109. While the Appellant was so acting as an Inspector by virtue of the promotion referred to hereinbefore, he was reverted to his substantive rank of Sub -Inspector by an order dated October 7, 1964, passed by the Additional Inspector -General of Police. It is not in dispute that he was so reverted on a report by his superior authorities that he proved himself unsuitable for the post of an Inspector in any branch. The order as communicated to the Appellant by the Commandant of Reserve Force First Battalion merely referred to the order of the Additional Inspector -General of Police and went on to say "Inspector Monoranjan Taran is reverted to his substantive rank of Sub -Inspector with effect from 6.11.64". The Appellant made several representations against such a reversion but without any success. Our attention, however, has been drawn to two Police notifications issued in the year 1967 in respect of such reversion of the Appellant, viz. one at the instance of the Additional Inspector -General and the other at the instance of the Inspector -General of Police. Both these notifications which are annexs. 'I' and 'J' to the writ petition go to show that the Appellant was reverted "as he had been found unsuitable to officiate as an Inspector of Police". In the writ petition the Appellant disputed the validity of such reversion on two grounds. Firstly, it was contended that the Appellant having been appointed by the Inspector -General of Police he could not have been reverted by an order of the Additional Inspector General of Police who is an officer subordinate to the Inspector General of Police. Secondly, it was contended that the impugned order of reversion amounts to punishment imposed without affording the Appellant any opportunity to show cause and as such, the order is violative of Article 311 of the Constitution.
(3.)On perusal of the judgment appealed against it appears to us that the Appellant pressed the second point only before the learned Judge in the trial Court at the time of hearing and not the first one. But the learned Judge overruled the said plea. The learned Judge took the view that reversion on the ground of unsuitability of a person who had been promoted to officiate on trial cannot amount to punishment. Accordingly, the learned Judge dismissed the writ petition and discharged the Rule. Being aggrieved, the Appellant has now preferred the present appeal before us.
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