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T. RAMACHANDRAN versus UNION OF INDIA

High Court of Madras

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T. Ramachandran v. Union of India - W.P.NO.15120 of 2000 and 15121 to 15123 and 15385/2000 [2002] RD-TN 297 (26 April 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED: 26/04/2002

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. MISRA

W.P.NO.15120 of 2000 and 15121 to 15123 and 15385/2000 AND

WMP.NOS.21981,21983,21985,21987,22397,

29992, 29993, 29994, 29949, 22397 of 2000

and 55 & 56 of 2002

T. Ramachandran .. Petitioner in WP.15120/2000 M. Babaiah .. Petitioner in WP.15121/2000 E.S. Sadagopa Ramanujam .. Petitioner in WP.15122/2000 R. Rajagopalaswamy .. Petitioner in WP.15123/2000 M.K. Ramamoorthy .. Petitioner in WP.15385/2000 Vs.

1. Union of India,

rep. by the Secretary to

Government of India,

Ministry of Home Affairs,

New Delhi.

2. The Secretary to

Government of Tamil Nadu,

Home Department,

Fort St. George,

Chennai 600 009.

3. The Director General of Police,

Mylapore,

Chennai 600 004. .. Respondents in all the Wps 4. S. Murugan,

Superintendent of Police,

Civil Supply C.I.D.

Chennai 600 010. .. Respondent No.4 in WP.15121/2000 5. C. Sridhar

Superintendent of Police,

CBCID, Chennai 600 002.. Respondent No.4 in WP.15122/2000 Petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issuance of Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus as stated therein. For Petitioner : Mr.K. Subramaniam

Senior Counsel for

Mr.L. Kishore

For Respondent-1 : Mr.V.T. Gopalan

Additional Solicitor General

assisted by

Mr.J. Madanagopalan SCGSC

Respondent-2 : Mr.N.R. Chandran

Advocate General assisted by Mr.S.P. Prabakaran, Spl.G.P. :JUDGMENT



These different writ petitions filed by different incumbents in Tamil Nadu State Police Service raise common questions of fact and law and are being disposed of by this common judgment.

2. Petitioners are aspirants for being promoted to Indian Police Service (hereinafter referred to as I.P.S). I.P.S. is one of the All India Services as per the definition contained in Section 2 of The All India Service Act,1951. Section 3 of the aforesaid Act authorises the Central Government to frame rules for regulation of recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to an All India Service. In exercise of powers conferred by Section 3(4) of the aforesaid Act, the Indian Police Service (Recruitment) Rules, 1954 have been made by the Central Government. Presently Rule 4 contemplates two methods of recruitment to I.P.S., by a competitive examination and secondly by promotion of substantive members of State Police Service. Rule 9 authorises the Central Government to make regulation relating to recruitment by promotion and accordingly Indian Police Service ( appointment by promotion) Regulations, 1955 have been made. Regulation 5(3) s down the Committee shall not consider the cases of the members of the State Police Service who have attained the age of 54 years on the first day of January of the year in which the Committee meets for the purpose of including the names of the suitable officers.

3. Initially as per the Regulation, such upper age has been fixed at 52 when the age of retirement of officers belonging to I.P.S. was fixed at 55. Subsequently when such retirement age was raised to 58, an amendment was made to the Regulation fixing the upper age limit at 54. Presently the age of retirement of I.P.S. Officers having been increased to 60, the petitioners representation were made to the Central Government for amending the Regulations to fix the upper age limit at 56 and such representation having been rejected, the petitioners have filed applications before the Central Administrative Tribunal at Chennai. The Central Administrative Tribunal refused to entertain the matter by passing the following order :-

. . . All the applicants before us with a grievance that the Government of India has not revised the age from 54 to 56 to be eligible for consideration in the State Police Officers to Indian Police Service. According to the applicants counsel, once the retirement age is enhanced to 60 years automatically the age of consideration for promotion has to be increased. Otherwise it will affect Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. We do not think that we have got jurisdiction over this issue and it is entirely for the Central Government to decide and enhancement of age limit cannot be considered to be a service matter which comes under our jurisdiction. Unless a rule is made for a particular service, we do not think that we have got jurisdiction and to give a direction. We have no jurisdiction on that ground and these Diary Numbers are accordingly dismissed. . . .

4. Thereafter the petitions have filed the present writ petitions praying for the following relief :-

. . . call for the entire records relating to the proceedings of the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, the 1st respondent herein as communicated by the Director General of Police, Chennai 600 004 in Memorandum Rc.No.95660/GB 1(2)/99 dated 2.9.1999 and quash the same and to direct the 1st respondent to fix the upper age limit as 56 years for consideration of the cases of the petitioner, the State Police Service Officer for promotion to Indian Police Service . . .

5. The petitioners have contended that since the accepted practice was to raise the upper age limit for being considered for promotion to I.P.S. as and when the retirement age of I.P.S. officers had been raised, the petitioners have a legitimate expectation that the upper age limit would be increased from 54 to 56. It is also contended that the Central Government has arbitrarily rejected the representation refusing to increase the age from 54 to 56 and such decision being arbitrary and irrational, is violative of principles contained in Article 14 of the Constitution.

6. Counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the respondents refuting the contentions raised in the writ petitions and give some justification for not increasing the upper age limit from 54 to 56. In the course of hearing, the learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Central Government has also submitted that the prayer made by the petitioners relate to service conditions as such, the Central Administrative Tribunal has jurisdiction to deal with the matter and the petition in the High Court is not maintainable.

7. Learned Advocate General appearing for the State has submitted that all the petitioners are by norm crossed the age of 56 or about to cross the age of 56 and as such the writ petitions themselves have become infructuous.

8. Lengthy and learned arguments have been advanced on the question relating to jurisdiction, however, since the petitioners have already approached the Central Administrative Tribunal and such applications had been rejected by the Tribunal holding that it had no jurisdiction which is not challenged by the petitioners, I am not entering into the question relating to jurisdiction.

9. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners first submitted that in view of the accepted practice of raising the upper age limit whenever there had been increase in the retirement age of I.P.S officers, there is a legitimate expectation for the officials of the Subordinate Police Service that the age would be increased, now that the retirement age of I.P.S. officers is increased from 58 to 60. Learned counsel has placed reliance upon several decisions of the Supreme Court to highlight the doctrine of legitimate expectation as considered in those cases.

10. I am afraid those cases of Doctrine of legitimate expectation would be of no help to the present petitioners. The question as to what would be the upper age limit for being considered for promotion is essentially the matter of policy which may change over a period of time and no person can legitimately expect for the change of policy even if such expectation is based on previous instances. The question of applying principle of legitimate expectation to the present facts and circumstances does not arise at all for any serious consideration.

11. Learned counsel for the petitioners has also contended that the representation made by the petitioner / Association has been arbitrarily rejected and the decision not to change the upper age being irrational, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. This submission is extrinsically attractive but bereft of any intrinsic substance. It is of course true that by raising the age of consideration, possibly the persons having more experience would become eligible for consideration, but one cannot lose sight of the fact that the person who is to be promoted to I.P.S from the State service should have a reasonable length of service to serve in higher service. Otherwise if the period to serve after being promoted is less, such a person would be like a bird of passage lacking any genuine interest. Fixing the upper age limit is a matter of discretion of the Government and cannot be the subject matter of the litigation in a court of law. The Courts of law are not expected to substitute their own way of thinking in the matter of policy decision of a Government. It is of course true that where the decision of the Government even in a matter relating to policies is arbitrary or irrational, the Court may set right such arbitrary or irrational decision of the Government. However, it can never be said that by not acceding to the request of the concerned police official to raise the upper age limit from 54 to 56, the Central Government has arrived at an arbitrary or irrational decision.

12. For the aforesaid reasons, I do not find any merit in the writ petitions and they are dismissed. There is no order as to costs. Consequently, all the WMPs are closed.

26-04-2002

Index: Yes

Internet : Yes

dpk

To

1. Union of India,

rep. by the Secretary to

Government of India,

Ministry of Home Affairs,

New Delhi.

2. The Secretary to

Government of Tamil Nadu,

Home Department,

Fort St. George,

Chennai 600 009.

3. The Director General of Police,

Mylapore,

Chennai 600 004.

P.K. MISRA, J.


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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