KRISHAN CHANDER NAYAR
THE CHAIRMAN, CENTRAL TRACTORORGANISATION AND OTHERS
DATE OF JUDGMENT:
SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.(CJ)
SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.(CJ)
GUPTA, K.C. DAS
AYYANGAR, N. RAJAGOPALA
1962 AIR 602 1962 SCR Supl. (3) 187 CITATOR INFO :
D 1977 SC 854 (15,16)
R 1985 SC 28 (17)
State Employment-Arbitrary imposition of ban against such employement-If violates fundamental right-Constitution of India, Art. 16(1).
Arbitrary imposition of a ban against a person's entry ino Government service amounts to an infringement of his right to equality o f opportunity guaranteed by Art. 16(1)of the Constitution.
That Article guarantees not merely the right to make an application for State employment but also a consideration on merits of that application when made.
Consequently, in the instant case where such. a ban was in fact imposed on. the petitioner but, the affidavit filed in answer to this petition on behalf of the authority imposing the ban failed to indicate its nature and merely reiterated that the petitioner had not been deprived of his right to apply and no opportunity had been given to the petitioner of showing cause against the imposition of the ban which evidently prevented his applicaton being considered on the merits.
Held, that there was a clear infringement of the petiners fundamental right under Art. 16(1) of the constitution. The necessity for exact, concise and clear statements in affidavits must be emphasised.
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION : Petition No. 107 of 1957. Petition under Art. 32 of the Constitution of India for enforcement of Fundamental. Rights.
D. D. Chaula, for the petitioner.
C. K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General of India, H. J. Umrigar and T.M. Sen, for the respondents.
1961. August 23.The Judgment of the Court was delivered by SINHA C. J.-Th-is petition under Art. 32 of the Constitution prays for a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or direction to the
respondents to remove: the- ban. against the petitioner against his entry into government service. The respondents to the petition are
1. The Chairman, Central Tractor Organisation, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of-India, New Delhi.
2.The Secretary, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, New'Delhi.
3.The Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.
The petition is founded on the following allegations. The petitioner is a trained machineman. In 1948, he was employed as a machineman in the Central Tractor Organisation. He continued in government service and rendered a good account of himself in that service until, by a notice dated September 16, 1954, his services were terminated. The office order No. 375 terminating his services is at Annexure "A' to the petition and is in these terms
"Shri K. C. Nayar s/o Dr. Tara Chand Designation M/Man is informed that his services are no longer required in this Organisation. His services will accordingly stand terminated with immediate effect from the date on which this notice is served on him. In lieu of the notice for one month due to him under rule 5 of the Central Civil Service (Temporary Service) Rules, Shri K.C. Nayar will be given pay and allowances, for that period. The payment of allowances will, however, be subject to the conditions under which such allowances are otherwise admissible."
The petitioner appealed against the said order of termination of his services, but his, appeal was rejected. on December 6, 1954 (Annexure 'B'). Thereafter, the petitioner applied for and obtained p, certificate-in the following terms (Annexure
"Certified that Shri Krishan Chancier Nayar served in this organisation as a Machineman in the scale of Rs. 125-6-185 with effect from 13-5-1948 to 21-9-1954. His services were terminated under Rule 5 of the Central Civil Services (Temporary Service) Rules, 1949." After receiving the certificate aforesaid, the petitioner made several applications for appointment under the Government, but without any results. Later on "the petitioner learnt to his dismay that the respondents had placed a ban on the petitioner being ever taken into government service". The alleged ban is contained in the following memorandum (Annexure 'D');
"With reference to his representations dated September 9, 1955 and September 21,1955, the undersigned is directed to inform Shri K.C. Nayar, Ex-Mac hineman that Government of India
regret their inability to lift the ban on his employment for the present."
It is this ban which, the petitioner pleads, has discriminated against him in the matter of government employment. The petitioner moved the Circuit Bench of Delhi of the High Court of Judicature for the State of Punjab, under Art. 226 of the Constitution, but his petition was dismissed ,in limine by the Division Bench of that Court by its order dated September 12, 1956, and an application for grant of the, necessary certificate for ,appealing to this Court was also dismissed by the Bench on April 26., 1957. This Court was moved under Art. 32 of the' Constitution by a petition dated August 20, 1957.
The answer to the petition is contained in the affidavit sworn to by one Mr. G. P. Das, Acting Chairman, Central Tractor Organisation, Ministry of Food & Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi. This document runs into 23 paragraphs and whoever may have been responsible for drawing up
the answer in the form of the affidavit on behalf of the respondents aforesaid cannot be accused either of brevity or of accuracy. It is full of repetitions, but, as will presently appear, does I not answer the main contention raised on behalf of the petitioner, based on Annexure ID', quoted above. Besides containing the usual plea that the petition was "entirely misconceived and untenable in law", the affidavit aforesaid on behalf of the respondents states that the Central Tractor Organisation is a temporary organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India ; that the petitioner was appointed as a purely temporary hand ; and that his services were liable to termination at any time by giving him one month's notice or one month's pay in lieu of th- notice and without assigning any reasons. The statement is repeated more than once that the petitioner's services were duly terminated in accordance with r. 5 of the Central Civil Services (Temporary Service) Rules, 1949. Referring to the petitioner's main grievance, contained in paragraphs 6 and 7, with particular reference to the memorandum contained in Annexure 'ID', referred to above, the answer is in these terms
"Referring to paragraphs 6 & 7 of the petition I do not admit that the Respondents had put a ban on the petitioner being taken into Government service...... I say that the, petitioner was not deprived of his right to apply for any service, and that the petitioner had no right to appointment. to a Government Service But it is submitted that the peti- tioner is entitled to apply for any. government service and such application would be considered on its merits."
Then again in paragraph 12, after referring to the temporary character of his service and its termination. under the rule aforesaid, the following
"As regards the ban alleged by the petitioner it is submitted that it was purely a Departmental instruction for future guidance which did or does not in any way prevent the petitioner from applying for any post under the Govt. and such application of the peti- tioner will be entertained on merits and the petitioner is not debarred from applying for any post under the Government as he has alleged in his petition. As the petitioner was governed by Rule 5 of the Central Civil Services (Temporary Service) Rules, 1949, no question of the issue of any show cause notice can arise. So far as the question of ban is concerned it is further submitted that after the petitioner had submitted his repre- sentation to the Chairman, Central Trator Organisation, for reinstatement it was' duly considered by the Government which took into consideration all the circumstances and the antecedents of the, petitioner and came to the finding that it would not be desirable to re- instate him."
The careless and irresponsible way in which the affidavit has been drawn up is further illustrated by the following statement in paragraph 13 of the affidavit : "Referring to paragraph 11 of the petition it is submitted that the petitioner is not entitled to move this Hon'ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution after his application for special leave before this Hon'ble Court from the judgment of the Punjab High Court, Circuit Bench, was dismissed on the 26th of April, 1957, and the order passed by this Hon'ble Court dismissing the said special leave petition on, the 26th of April, 1957 is final between the parties and should be treated as res judicata against the present applications."
This is reiterated in paragraph 23, which runs as follows : .LM15
"Referring to Grounds 10 and 11 of the said petition, I say that there is no fundamental right in the petitioner to move an application before this Hon'ble Court as he has sought to do. The petitioner has already exhausted all his remedies and this Hon'ble Court was also pleased to dismiss his application for special leave and as such it is submitted that the present application is wholly misconceived and should be dismissed with costs."
It is clear that the averments, quoted above, are intended to convey the idea that this Court dealt with an application for special leave to appeal from the judgment of the Punjab High Court, Circuit Bench and dismissed the same by its order dated April 26, 1957. As a matter of fact, there was no such special leave application filed in this Court, and, therefore, there is no foundation, in fact, for that averment. What appears to have happened is that the High Court refused to grant the necessary certificate when it was moved to certify that was a fit case for appeal to this Court. It is manifest, therefore, that the person responsible for drawing up the affidavit was either negligent or ignorant. Such remissness cannot readily be passed over. Those who are charged with the duty and res- ponsibility of drawing affidavits to be used in this Court have got to be circumspect and should not make statements and reemphasize them when there is no basis, in fact, for such statements.
As already indicated, the affidavit, in answer to the petitioner's case, is unnecessarily verbose. But it does not suffer only from that infirmity ; it is also misleading And disingenuous. Though the petitioner had pointedly drawn attention to the ,ban' contained in Annexure ID', quoted above, and that, indeed, was his main grievance against the 193
respondents, the affidavit in answer to the petition, does not make any reference,to Annexure. 'D' and, ignoring it,purports not to admit that the respondents had put a ban' on the petitioner being taken into Government service. The answer of the respondents is, in effect, that the petitioner has not ben deprived of his right to apply for a post under the Government, though so long as the ban' is there, any application by the petitioner for employment under the Government is bound to be, ignored. In spite of the denial on behalf of the respondents that there was no ban against the petitioner's employment under the Government, the fact of the matter is that the petitioner is under a ban in the matter of employment under the, Government, and that so long as the ban continues, he cannot be considered by any Government department for any post for which he may make ail application, and for which he may be found qualified. If the affidavit on behalf of the respondents had clearly indicated the nature of the ban and the justification therefore, the Court would have 'been in a better position in deciding the question whether or not the petitioner had any substantial grounds for complaining against the treatment, meted out to, him. A person whohas once been employed under the Government,and whose services have been terminated byreason of his antecedents, way or may not stand ';on an equal footing with other candidates not-under such a ban' of course, the ban imposed by Goverment should have a reasonable basis and must have some relation to his suitability for employment or appointment to an office. But an arbitrary imposition of a ban against the employment of a certain person, under the Government would certainly amount to denial of right of equal opportunity of employment, guaranteed under Art. 16(1) of the Constitntion. In the instant case, the affidavit filed on behalf of the respondents does not indicate the nature of the ban, and whatever may have
been the nature of the ban, there does not appear to have been any proceeding taken against the petitioner giving him the opportunity of showing cause against the action proposed to be taken against him. We are, therefore, not in a position to say that the reason for the ban, whatever its nature, had a just relation to the question of his suitability for employment or appointment under the Government.
It is clear, therefore, that the petitioner has been deprived of his constitutional right of equality of opportunity in matters of employment or appointment to any office under the State, contained in Art. 16(1) of the Constitution. So long as the ban subsists., any application made by the petitioner for employment under the State is bound to be treated as wastepaper. The fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution is not only to make an application for a post under the Government but the further right to be considered on merits for the post for which an application has been made. Of course, the right does not extend to being actually appointed to the post for which an application may have been made. The "ban' complained of apparently is against his being considered on merits. It is a ban which deprives him of that guaranteed right. The inference is clear that the petitioner has not been fairly treated.
The application is, therefore, allowed and a direction issued to the respondents to remove the ban against the petitioner. The petitioner is entitled to his costs. Petition allowed.