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SARAVANAN versus THE CHIEF ENGINEER/PERSONNEL

High Court of Madras

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Saravanan v. The Chief Engineer/Personnel - Writ Appeal No.1316 of 2005 [2005] RD-TN 473 (15 July 2005)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

Dated: 15/07/2005

Coram

THE HON'BLE MR. MARKANDEY KATJU, THE CHIEF JUSTICE and

THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE F.M.IBRAHIM KALIFULLA Writ Appeal No.1316 of 2005

Saravanan .. Appellant -Vs-

1. The Chief Engineer/Personnel

Administrative Branch,

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board,

N.P.K. Maligai,

6th floor, Chennai-2.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

K.E.B.C. Kancheepuram

Electricity Department,

Kancheepuram. .. Respondents Writ Appeal filed under clause 15 of the Letters Patent against the order dated 20.1.2005 passed in Writ Petition No.2715 of 1998. For appellant : Mr. D.Hariparanthaman

For Respondent : ---

:JUDGMENT



(Judgment of the Court was delivered by

The Honourable The Chief Justice)

This writ appeal has been filed against the impugned order of the learned single Judge dated 20.1.2005 passed in Writ Petition No.2715 of 1998.

2. Heard the learned counsel for the appellant and perused the record.

3. It appears that the petitioner/appellant who is a diploma holder and belongs to a Backward Community was wrongly selected under the reserved quota for Scheduled Caste candidates and appointed on 31.12.1 997 as a Technical Assistant - Electrical in the service of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. Thirteen days after his appointment it was discovered that he does not belong to Scheduled Caste at all and was wrongly selected against the Scheduled Caste quota. Hence his service was terminated by the order dated 13.01.1998.

4. Aggrieved, he filed a writ petition in this Court. A counter affidavit was filed stating that he was only provisionally selected against Scheduled Caste quota. The petitioner admittedly belonged to the Other Backward Community Category. The cut off marks for the O.B.C. category was 83.3500, whereas the petitioner secured only 72.3485 marks, which was more than the cut-off marks for Scheduled Caste candidates. He was selected by mistake treating him as a Scheduled Caste candidate, but when the mistake was detected his appointment was cancelled. Hence, there was no violation of the rules or of natural justice.

5. Learned counsel for the appellant has relied on the decisions of the Supreme Court in Central Airmen Selection Board and another vs. Surender Kumar Das, (2003) 1 SCC 152, and has urged that since no misrepresentation was made by the petitioner for getting appointment the principle of promissory estoppel will apply. We have carefully perused the said decision, and find that it is clearly distinguishable. In that case misrepresentation was made by the petitioner for getting appointment. However, in paragraph - 8 of that decision the Supreme Court clearly said that it was not deciding the question as to what would be the legal position if there was no misrepresentation.

6. In our opinion, even if there was no misrepresentation by the petitioner the termination order will be valid since the appointment was clearly made by a mistake, and the termination order was passed within 13 days of the appointment.

7. In R.B. Sewak Ram Maternity Hospital Vs. Smt. Veeran Devi, (2004) 10 SCC 548 the respondent's service was terminated on the ground that her initial appointment was improper although she had put in 12 years of service after the initial appointment. The Supreme Court upheld the termination order even though the respondent had continued in service for about 12 years.

8. In Devendra Singh Vs. State of U.P., 1991 (63) FLR 227 the petitioner was wrongly appointed under the OBC quota although he did not belong to the OBC category. The Allahabad High Court held the termination of service as valid. We agree with the view taken by the Allahabad High Court.

9. Similarly, where the petitioner was appointed by oversight although he was over-age when appointed, the subsequent termination of his service is valid, vide Nandlal Prasad Vs. State of U.P., 1991(63) FLR All (Summary of Cases Item No.76 at page 30). We agree with this view also.

10. In the present case, the petitioner/appellant had continued in service only for 13 days. Hence, the termination order was clearly valid. If the initial appointment was made by mistake, in our opinion, this mistake could be rectified.

11. There is no question of promissory estoppel in this case since the petitioner's appointment was clearly illegal as he was not a Scheduled Caste candidate. A mistake can certainly be rectified.

12. In view of the above, we find no merit in this appeal, and it is dismissed accordingly. No costs.

Vu/sm

To

1. The Chief Engineer/Personnel

Administrative Branch,

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board,

N.P.K. Maligai,

6th floor, Chennai-2.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

K.E.B.C. Kancheepuram

Electricity Department,

Kancheepuram.




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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