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TEJ RAJ RAMDEV versus STATE & ANR.

High Court of Rajasthan

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TEJ RAJ RAMDEV v STATE & ANR. - CW Case No. 1911 of 2000 [2007] RD-RJ 709 (5 February 2007)

S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.1911/2000

Tejraj Ramdev v.

State of Rajasthan & Ors. 5th February, 2007

DATE OF ORDER ::

HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE GOVIND MATHUR

Mr. Mukesh Rajpurohit, for the petitioner.

Mr. RPS Choudhary, Additional Advocate General. ....

The Divisional Forest Officer, Jodhpur, while exercising powers under Rule 53(1) of the Rajasthan

Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as "the Rules of 1996"), by an order dated 30.5.2000 compulsorily retired the petitioner from service in public interest. Challenge to that is given in this petition for writ on following grounds:-

(1)the Divisional Forest Officer being not the appointing authority of the petitioner travelled beyond the jurisdiction vested with him while placing the petitioner under compulsory retirement;

(2)even if, the Divisional Forest Officer be treated as an appointing authority of the petitioner, then too, the order impugned is bad being passed by the appointing authority without application of mind; and

(3)there was no material to form an opinion that further retention of the petitioner in service shall not be in public interest.

A reply to the writ petition has been filed on behalf of the respondents stating therein that the

Divisional Forest Officer has been authorised to act as an appointing authority and, therefore, he rightly exercised the powers under Rule 53(1) of the Rules of 1996. It is also stated that the petitioner was compulsorily retired after getting his entire service record scrutinised by a competent screening committee consisting of Chief Conservator of Forest-cum-

Director, Department of Forest, Jodhpur; Conservator

Forest Arid Zone, Jodhpur; and the Divisional Forest

Officer, Jodhpur. The committee, according to the respondents looked into the entire service record of the petitioner and then formed a definite opinion to the effect that further retention of the petitioner in service shall not be in public interest. The relevant portion of the reply filed on behalf of the respondents reads as under:-

"The record which has been considered by the internal screening committee as well as review committee include the entries in the confidential records/character rolles, both favourable and adverse in the annual performance apparisal reports (APARs) for the five years from 1993-94 to 1997-98. The petitioner has adverse remarks as unsatisfactory in the year 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96 and has two remarks as satisfactory in the year 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Moreover, the petitioner's integrity was withheld in the year 1993-94 and 1995-96.

Further more in the year 1994-95 the reporting officer has given remarks in his

ACR that he is no fit for service. The internal screening committee as well as review committee has considered entire service record of the petitioner and particularly five years' service record just preceeding the order of compulsory retirement which has been passed on 30.5.2000. After considering the service record of the petitioner the Government has made an opinion that the petitioner's integrity is doubtful, therefore, he does not deserve to be continued in service and it is in the public interest that he should be retired compulsorily. Accordingly, the appointing authority has retired the petitioner from service in public interest vide his order dt.30.5.2000."

Under the directions of the Court the respondents shown the minutes and recommendations of the screening committee as well as the opinion of the appointing authority to place the petitioner under retirement.

Heard counsel for the parties.

Counsel for the petitioner during the course of hearing after perusing the notification authorising

Divisional Forest Officer to act as an appointing authority for the post of Assistant Forester, the post held by the petitioner, does not pressed into service the first ground, however, it is urged by him that the order impugned was passed under the recommendations of

Governor and there was no application of mind by the appointing authority.

I do not find any force in the contention so raised. It is true that the order impugned refers about the recommendation of the Governor to place the petitioner under compulsory retirement but from perusal of the minutes of the screening committee I am satisfied that as a matter of fact it was only the appointing authority that formed the opinion to place the petitioner under compulsory retirement on basis of the recommendations made by the screening committee.

It is pertinent to note that the Divisional Forest

Officer was also a member of the screening committee.

I also do not find any force in third contention of counsel for the petitioner that no material was available with the appointing authority to form an opinion that further retention of the petitioner was not in public interest. From perusal of the record it reveals that the screening committee while considering service record of the petitioner taken into consideration three penalties imposed upon him and also the adverse remarks entered in the ACRs of the petitioner for the years 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96. The screening committee while forming opinion to place the petitioner under compulsory retirement also taken into consideration the fact about the doubtful integrity of the petitioner. The screening committee on examining of the entire record made a recommendation for placing the petitioner under compulsory retirement and the appointing authority on the basis of that formed a definite opinion as required under Rule 53(1) of the Rules of 1996 to place the petitioner under compulsory retirement. Such objective opinion does not warrant any interference of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of

India.

In view of whatever discussed above, this petition for writ is having no merit and the same, therefore, is dismissed.

( GOVIND MATHUR ),J. kkm/ps.


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