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Ram Vishnu Verma v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 3105 of 2004  RD-AH 15153 (1 September 2006)
Court No. 48
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 3105 of 2004
Ram Vishnu Verma ..................................................... Petitioner
State of Uttar Pradesh
& others ................................................. Respondents
Hon'ble Ashok Bhushan,J.
Heard counsel for the petitioner, Sri S. S. Upadhyay and Sri M. R. Jaiswal standing counsel appearing for the respondents. Counter and rejoinder affidavits have been exchanged. With the consent of counsel for the parties the writ petition is being finally decided.
By this writ petition the petitioner has prayed for quashing the order dated 31.12.2003 compulsory retiring the petitioner. The petitioner was appointed as Lekhpal on 12.3.1969 and was confirmed on 1.4.1971. The petitioner was promoted as Revenue Inspector on 24.2.1969 and the petitioner was compulsory retired on 31.12.2003 which order has been challenged in this writ petition.
Learned counsel for the petitioner challenging the order of compulsory retirement raised following submissions :-
1.The compulsory retirement of the petitioner was discriminatory in view of the fact that along with the petitioner fifteen other employees were compulsorily retired on the same date i.e. 31.12.2003 and with regard to thirteen employees the State Government itself has passed an order re-instating them in service by order dated 27.12.2004 on the basis of the report of the Commissioner dated 3.3.2004, he submits that there was no distinguishing feature in the petitioner's case with those thirteen employees who are re-instated hence the action with regard to the petitioner is discriminatory and arbitrary.
2.Learned counsel for the petitioner next submits that there was no material with the Screening Committee to form an objective opinion of compulsory retirement. Referring to special censure entry dated 31.7.2002 learned counsel for the petitioner submits that responsibility was found of Lekhpal in deleting the name of an alive tenure holder and submitting his heirs whereas the petitioner's role was only found lacking in taking care. With regard to counting of cable connections the petitioner's counsel submits that the said was a technical job for which the petitioner was not fully suited and there was no collusion with the cable operator.
3.Learned counsel for the petitioner in support of his submission further submitted that the Screening Committee was not properly constituted. He has placed reliance on the judgment of this Court passed in writ petition No. 7789 of 2004 decided on 18.11.2005 Naresh Chandra Sharma Versus State of U.P. & others .
Learned counsel for the petitioner further placed reliance on the judgment of the apex Court reported in 1998 ( 7) S.C.C. 310 M.S. Bindra Versus Union of India and 0thers ; 2005 (9) S.C.C. 748 Pritam Singh Versus Union of India and other and A.I.R. 1995 S.C. 111 Ram Chandra Raju Versus State of Orissa.
The learned standing counsel in reply to the submission of counsel for the petitioner contended that there was sufficient material for compulsory retiring the petitioner, he submitted that the Screening Committee has properly considered the case of the petitioner and recommended for retirement. In the supplementary counter affidavit the materials which have been relied upon, have been brought on record. Th adverse material against the petitioner relied by the Screening Committee has been mentioned i.e. the adverse entry dated 5.12.1996 and adverse remark for the year 1994-95, censure entries dated 31.7.2002 and 21..10.2002. The report of the Screening Committee has also been brought on the record. In view of the earlier order dated 28.8.2006 learned standing counsel has produced the original service records of the petitioner which has been perused by the Court.
I have considered the submissions of counsel for the parties and perused the record.
The first submission of counsel for the petitioner is discrimination violating the rights under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Learned standing counsel has placed the report of the Screening Committee and the letter of the Commissioner dated 3.3.2004 by which the report was sent to the State Government referring retirement of sixteen persons on
31.3.2003. From the report of the Commissioner it is clear that two persons with whom the recommendation for retiring the twenty persons was sent from regular establishment , they were less than fifty years of age and their compulsory retirement was illegal. The retirement with regard to Kailash Behari (peon), Jahani Ram (peon), Randhir Singh (driver) details were given with regard to them and it has been further observed that with regard to those persons there was no adverse entry in the last ten years. Learned standing counsel stated that their case were different from the petitioner. With regard to the Collection establishment, it has been mentioned by the Commissioner that the reports were mentioned with regard to nine employees by the Screening Committee and in the said report they have been recommended to retire on the basis of poor recovery but neither the details of the demand and the recovery nor any annual chart was placed on record. With regard to Ram Narain Dube an adverse entry was mentioned. Learned Standing counsel stated that said Ram Narain Dube was not reinstated. He has further stated that Ram Narain Dube has not challenge the order . The counsel for the petitioner submitted that Ram Narain Dube was ill and he has left the service. From perusal of the Screening Committee report and the letter of the Commissioner dated 3.3.2004 I am satisfied that there is no discrimination for not reinstating the petitioner by the State Government and the submission of discrimination cannot be accepted.
Now comes the submission of counsel for the petitioner that there was no sufficient material before the Screening Committee for compulsory retiring the petitioner. The Screening Committee in its report with regard to petitioner has relied on following materials for forming opinion:-
(i)Special censure entry dated 5.12.1996 recording negligence in State Assembly Election of 1993.
(ii) Order of Sub Divisional Officer dated 31.5.1995 grading the petitioner "unsatisfactory" due to illegal and fictitious entry made in Class 10.
(iii) The order dated 31.7.1992 by which the petitioner was given special adverse entry after drawing proceedings by the District Magistrate. The special adverse entry was given for showing Pancham son of Mannu as dead whereas he was very much alive. The passing an order in P.A. 11-A dated 22.1.1997 was not proper ;functioning of the petitioner.
The adverse material taken into consideration by the Screening Committee have also been noted in the chart appended to the supplementary counter affidavit, in 1994-1995 he was granted grading as "unsatisfactory" . Censure entry was made by the order dated 21.10.2002 and special adverse entry was made on 31.7.2002. The submission of the counsel for the petitioner that by order dated 31.7.2002 the main role was found of Lekhpal, does not help the petitioner in any manner. By the order of the District Magistrate special adverse entry was recorded in the petitioner's character roll. In considering the materials which have been relied for compulsory retirement this Court is not sitting in appeal so as to reassess those materials but the Court is to examine as to whether there was material for forming the opinion. The petitioner cannot be permitted to canvass that recording of adverse entry against the petitioner was not correct. this Court while exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 cannot substitute its opinion to the opinion of the Screening Committee which has been formed on valid materials . This Court is not sitting in appeal over the decision of the Screening Committee. The decisions of the Screening Committee can be faulted with only when there is no material to form the objective opinion or the decision is arbitrary. Parameter for the judicial review of the order of compulsory retirement has been laid down in the case of M. S. Bindra Versus Union of India and others (supra). The apex Court laid down the principles after reiterating the earlier judgment in the case reported in A.I.R. 1992 S. C. 1020 Baikuntha Nath Das and another Versus Chief District Medical Officer and another and observed that the High Court can only interfere with the compulsory retirement order when either it was mala fide or based on no evidence or it is arbitrary in the sense that no reasonable person would form the requisite opinion on the given material. Paragraph 7 of the judgment is extracted below:-
''7. Approving the above principle, a three Judge Bench of this Court has laid down in Baikuntha Nath Das ;and another v. Chief District Medical Officer and another, MANU/SC/0193/1992, AIR 1992 Screening Committee 1020, JTI 1992 (2) Screening Committee 1, (1992) ILLJ 784 Screening Committee , 1992 (1) SCALE 428, (1992) 2 SCC 299, (1992) 1 SCR 436, 1992 (1) SLJ177 (Screening Committee ), (1992) 2 UPLBEC816 that five principles should be borne in mind while considering a case of compulsory premature retirement. It is not necessary to extract all the five principles here except No.(iii) which reads thus:
"Principles of natural justice have no place in the context of an order of compulsory retirement . This does not mean that judicial scrutiny is excluded altogether. While the High Court or this Court would not examine the matter as an appellate court, they may interfere if they are satisfied that the order is passed (a) mala fide or (b) that it is based on no evidence or (c) that it is arbitrary- in the sense that no reasonable person would form the requisite opinion on the given material; in short, if it is found to be a perverse order".
The judgment in the case of Pritam Singh Versus Union of India and other (supra) relied by the counsel for the petitioner does not help the petitioner in the present case in which the observations for judicial scrutiny as laid down in M.S. Bindra Versus Union of India & others (supra) has been quoted with approval. The apex Court in the aforesaid case held that no material was placed before the disciplinary authority, the appellate authority, revisional authority, Tribunal and before the High Court to reasonably form an opinion that the compulsory retirement was in public interest . The compulsory retirement in the above case was held to be arbitrary.
Another judgment relied by the counsel for the petitioner is Ram Chandra Raju Versus State of Orissa (supra)
a case in which the order of compulsory retirement was held to be arbitrary and set aside. The Court also held that even after the adverse remarks which were relied, the petitioner was promoted. In the aforesaid case the apex Court found that instead of taking into consideration the total record of service the compulsory retirement was made solely based on one adverse remark for the year 1987-1988. Thus the above case was on its own facts and does not help the petitioner.
In view of the law laid down by the apex Court as noted above, in the present case there was sufficient materials before the Screening Committee to form an objective opinion. It was not a case of sole adverse remark. As observed above, the the action of the respondent was not discriminatory. There is no case of any mala fide exercise of power by the respondent. The order of the appointing authority based on report of the Screening Committee , cannot be said to be arbitrary. In the present case I do not find any of the grounds on which this Court can interfere with the order of compulsory retirement.
In view of foregoing discussions the writ petition lacks merit and is dismissed.
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