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Lalji v. State Of U.P. & Ohters - WRIT - A No. - 42673 of 1993  RD-AH 16077 (27 September 2007)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Civil Misc. Writ Petition no. 42673 of 1993
State of U.P. And others.
HON. SHISHIR KUMAR, J.
By means of the present writ petition the petitioner has approached this Court for quashing the order dated 28.8.1993 passed by respondent no.3. Further prayer is to issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to permit the petitioner to work on the post and pay scale of machine-man since the date the junior persons to the petitioner have been promoted. The petitioner was selected for the post of machine-man but as there was no vacancy, therefore, the petitioner was given appointment on the post of impositor. Now the petitioner claims that he is entitled to be promoted on the post of Machine-man. The petitioner filed a writ petition before this Court as Writ Petition no. 8167 of 1991which was allowed and the respondents were directed to pass the order of promotion in favour of the petitioner. An order impugned dated 28.8.1993 has been passed to the effect that the petitioner cannot be promoted as he has not been found fit. The petitioner submits that as the petitioner was initially selected for the post of machine-man, therefore, he is entitled to be promoted on the said post as the post of impositor is lower and certain junior persons to the petitioners have been given promotion.
A counter affidavit has been filed and it has been stated that the channels of promotion on the post of impositor and for the post of machine-man are different and if a person has been appointed on the post of impositor, he will be promoted to the post of Assistant Compositor and after that Gali Proof Pressman. In such a situation, the respondents submit that if the petitioner is promoted on the post of machine-man, then the persons working in the cadre of machine-man will be affected.
Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the contention of the respondents to this effect is not correct as Annexure-1 to the counter affidavit shows that one Dasu Ram who was working as impositor had been promoted on the post of machine-man by the order dated 9.7.1980 and on the vacancy caused for the post of impositor, the petitioner was given appointment though the petitioner was selected directly for the post of machine-man. In view of the aforesaid fact learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the contention of the respondents in the counter affidavit is not correct and this has been made only to mislead the Court.
I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel. From the record it is clear that though the petitioner was selected for the post of machine-man but he was not given appointment on the said post. He was given appointment on the post of impositor which is admittedly lower to the post of machine-man. Annexure-1 to the counter affidavit also shows that a person who was working on the post of Impositor has been promoted to the post of Machine-man. Further important thing in the present case is that this Court had passed an order on 6.5.1993 directing the respondents to pass an order of promotion in favour of the petitioner in case he is not otherwise disqualified for promotion. On the aforesaid order the petitioner submitted an application on 30.6.1993. The respondents on the basis of the judgement passed by this Court has considered the claim of the petitioner and has passed an order on28.8.1993 rejecting the claim of the petitioner and has only mentioned that the petitioner was not found fit for promotion to the post of machine-man.
From the perusal of the aforesaid order dated 28.8.1993, it appears that respondent no.3 has passed an order without assigning any reason. No reason has been recorded. It is well settled now that administrative authority while deciding the claim of an aggrieved person has to record reasons. If no reason has been recorded, it will be presumed that the order impugned is an order of non -application of mind
It is well settled in law that an order having civil consequences, even though passed by an Administrative Authority, must contain reasons so as to enable the aggrieved party to challenge the reasoning of Administrative Authority. In the absence of reasons, no foundation can be laid down by the petitioner and only argument remains is that the order is based upon non application of mind. In my view, if the reasoning of an order passed against the aggrieved person is not communicated and only a communication regarding decision has been communicated it cannot be assailed by the respondents that the grievances of a person has been decided. In my view, it is no order in the eye of law and it has no legs to stand.
In case of S.N. Mukherjee Vs. Union of India reported in A.I.R. 1984 the Apex Court has already held as follows:-
"In view of the expanding horizon of the principles of natural justice, the requirement to record reason an be regarded as one of the principles of natural justice which govern exercise of power by administrative authorities. The rules of natural justice are not embodied rules. The extent of their application depends upon the particular statutory framework where under jurisdiction has been conferred on the administrative authority. With regard to the exercise of a particular power by an administrative authority including exercise of judicial or quasi-judicial functions the legislature, while conferring the said power, may feel that it would not be in the larger public interest that the reasons for the order passed by the administrative authority be recorded in the order and be communicated to the aggrieved party and it may dispense with such a requirement. It may do so by making an express provision to that effect. Such an exclusion can also arise by necessary implication from the nature of the subject matter, the scheme and the provisions of the enactment. The public interest under lying such a provision would outweigh the salutary purpose served by the requirement to record the reasons. The said requirement cannot, therefore, be insisted upon in such a case. Therefore except in cases where the requirement has been disposed with expressly or by necessary implications, an administrative authority exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions is required to record the reasons for its decision.
The recording of reasons by an administrative authority serves a salutary purpose, namely, it excludes chances of arbitrariness and assures a degree of fairness in the process of decision-making. The said purpose would apply equally to all decisions and its application cannot be confined to decisions which are subject to appeal, revision or judicial review. Therefore, the requirement that reasons be recorded should govern the decisions of an administrative authority exercising quasi-judicial functions irrespective of the fact whether the decision is subject to appeal, revision or judicial review. It is however not required that the reasons should be as elaborate as in the decision of a Court of law. The extent and nature of the reasons would depend on particular facts and circumstances. What is necessary is that the reasons are clear and explicitly so as to indicate that the authority has been due consideration to the points in controversy. The need for recording of reasons is greater in a case where the order is passed at the original stage. The appellate or revisional authority, if it affirms such an order, need not give separate reasons if the appellate or revisional authority agrees with the reasons contained in the order under challenge.
In the case of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Vs. K.S.Gandhi and others reported in 1991 (2) SCC, 716 the Apex Court has held as under:-
The reasons are harbinger between the mind of the maker of the order to the controversy in question and the decision or conclusion arrived at. They also exclude the chances to reach arbitrary, whimsical or capricious decision or conclusion. The reasons assure an Inbuilt support to the conclusion/decision reached. When an order affects the right of a citizen or a person, irrespective of the fact whether it is a quasi-judicial or administrative order, and unless the rule expressly or by necessary implication excludes recording of reasons, it is implicit that the principles of natural justice or fair play require recording of germane and precise relevant reasons as a part of fair procedure. In an administrative decision, its order/decision itself may not contain reasons. It may not be the requirement of the rules, but a the least, the record should disclose reasons. It may not be like a judgement. The extent and nature of the reasons would depend on particular facts and circumstances. What is necessary is that the reasons are clear and explicitly so as to indicate that the authority has given due consideration to the points in controversy. The need for recording of reasons is greater in a case where the order is passed at the original stage. The appellate or revisional authority, of it affirms such an order, need not give separate reasons. If the appellate or revisional authority disagrees, the reasons must be contained in the order under challenge. The recording of reasons is also an assurance that the authority concerned consciously applied its mind to the facts on record. It also aids the appellate or revisional authority or the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 or the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 136 to see whether the authority concerned acted fairly and justly to mete out justice to the aggrieved person.
In the case of M/s Mahabir Prasad Santosh Kumar Vs. State of U.P. & others reported in AIR 1970, SC, 1302, the Apex Court has held as under:-
"The High Court in rejecting the petition filed by the appellants has observed that the District Magistrate in considering the explanation of the appellants had "considered all the materials" and also that "the State Government in considering the appeal had considered all the materials". We have, however, nothing on the record to show what materials if any were considered by the District Magistrate and the State Government. The High Court has also observed that Clause 7 of the Sugar Dealers' Licensing Order does not require "the State Government to pass a reasoned order. All that is required is to give an aggrieved person an opportunity of being heard." We are of the view that the High court erred in so holding. The appellants have a right not only to have an opportunity to make a representation, but they are entitled to have their representation considered by an Authority unconcerned with the dispute and to be given information which would show the decision was reached on the merits and not on considerations of policy or expency. This is a clear implication of the nature of the jurisdiction exercised by the appellate authority; it is not required to be expressly mentioned in the statute. There is nothing on the record which shows that the representation made by the appellants was even considered. The fact that Clause 7 of the Sugar Dealers' Licensing Order to which the High Court has referred does not "require the State Government to pass a reasoned order" is wholly irrelevant. The nature of the proceeding requires that the State Government must given adequate reasons which disclose that an attempt was made to reach a conclusion according to law and justice."
In view of the aforesaid fact the order dated 28.8.1993, Annexure 1- to the writ petition is hereby quashed and the matter is remanded back to respondent no.3 to pass appropriate orders according to law and in view of the observations made above within a period of three months from the date of production of a certified copy of this order before him.
With these observations the writ petition is disposed of.
No order is passed as to costs.
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