On 22 April 2020, Hon’ble Justice Mr Sanjeev Kumar of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, at Jammu, via video conferencing, heard the case of Sham Lal V. Union Of India & Others, wherein the Petitioner filed two Writ of Certiorari and three Writ of Mandamus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, which were ultimately quashed.
Facts of the case
In August 2012, the Petitioner was enrolled as a constable in CRPF. He then joined his training at the Training Centre in Kerala on 25-09-2012. While he was on his training, he fell ill and was sent back to Group Centre, Bantalab, Jammu on medical ground. He proceeded on a three day earned leave w.e.f 27-11-2012 to 29-11-2012, during which he was examined in the Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu where the doctors advised him six weeks complete rest. The Petitioner fell ill yet again and remained under the treatment in GMC, Jammu till 02-08-2013. After his recovery, he applied to the respondents along with his medical certificates for allowing him to join the duties. However, the Respondents terminated the Petitioner from the service by passing an order dated 19-03-2013. It was claimed that the order of termination was passed by Respondent No. 3 without allowing the Petitioner to be heard. The appeal of the Petitioner was rejected by Respondent No. 2.
Arguments of the Petitioner
The Petitioner prayed for the following reliefs by filing writ petitions under Article 226 of Constitution of India-
- Writ of Certiorari that quashes the order passed by the respondent No. 3 on 19-03-2013, where did not hold an enquiry and did not give an opportunity of being heard.
- Writ of Certiorari quashing the order dated 24-07-2014 passed by Respondent No. 2 rejecting the appeal of the Petitioner without allowing him to be heard, violating the principles of natural justice.
- Writ of Mandamus commanding upon the respondents to allow the Petitioner to resume his duties/training at CRPF Training Centre in Kerala SWP No. 3265/2014.
- Writ of Mandamus commanding the respondents to not only allow him to join his services in Kerala but also to grant all consequential benefits.
- Writ of Mandamus commanding upon the respondents to constitute a Medical Board for the examination of the Petitioner for his medical fitness in the CRPF.
In addition to it, the Petitioner’s plea was that his services were not governed by CCS (Temporary Services) Rules, 1965 by the respondents.
Arguments of the Respondents
The respondents have claimed that the Petitioner was granted three days leave for his treatment w.e.f 27.11.2012 to 29.11.2012, after which he was supposed to report for duty on 30.11.2012 but he did not report back for duty on the due date and overstayed leave.
It was argued that the Petitioner, instead of joining on 30.11.2012, he submitted applications dated 29.11.2012 and 12.12.2012 stating that due to severe pain in the lower limbs, he had reported at Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu
Being only an OPD patient, he was repeatedly advised by the competent authority to report at Composite Hospital, CRPF, Jammu for taking treatment because the Petitioner was newly appointed and was not having sufficient leave in his leave account. He neither reported at Composite Hospital for treatment nor reported for duty in Group Centre and took treatment in OPD, Govt. Medical Hospital, Jammu at his own, SWP No. 3265/2014, in spite of issuing several notices and affording him sufficient opportunities in writing by the Group Centre, CRPF, being an OPD patient, he could have reported at Composite Hospital in compliance to various notices issued by the competent authority.
The respondents also stated that the Petitioner being a temporary Government servant was terminated vide order dated 19.03.2013 in terms of clause (b) of Rule 5(1) of CCS (Temporary Services) Rules, 1965 without conducting any departmental enquiry and, therefore, the orders impugned are perfectly legal and sustainable in law.
Additionally, while the Petitioner was on his training in Kerala, he had submitted an application for discharge from service citing personal reasons i.e. his own and his mother’s illness. Thus, after accepting his request, he was sent to Group Centre, CRPF, Bantalab, Jammu. The Petitioner reported back at the Group Centre and instead of pursuing his discharge, he asked for a three day leave due to illness which was granted from 27-11-2012 to 29-11-2012. Instead of reporting on 30-11-2012, he sought extension of leave from 30-11-2012 due to severe pain in lower limbs, which was granted. After the examination of his medical record, it was found that he was only an OPD patient, several notices were issued asking him to report to the Composite Hospital, CRPF but he ignored.
Due to his indiscipline of taking unauthorised leave and disobeying the authorities, his services were terminated by an impugned order dated 19-03-2013 by invoking clause(b) of sub-rule 1 of Rule 5 of CSS(Temporary Services) Rules, 1965 without conducting any enquiry. The appeal was further rejected as it had no merit.
From the perusal of the original record produced by the respondents before the court, it was clear that the services of the Petitioner were not terminated on medical grounds, but, the Petitioner was SWP No. 3265/2014 discharged/terminated for overstaying leave during the period of his temporary service.
The plea of learned counsel for the Petitioner that the services of the Petitioner were not governed by the CCS (Temporary Services) Rules, 1965 is devoid of merit, for Rule 16 of the CRPF Rule, 1955 provides that a member enrolled in the force shall be treated as a temporary member for three years after which he shall be considered for quasi-permanency under the provisions of CCS (Temporary Service), Rules, 1965. Rule 16 of CRPF Rules, 1955 itself provides that those who are temporary shall be liable to SWP No. 3265/2014 discharge on one month’s notice in accordance with CCS (Temporary Service), Rules, 1965. This exactly has been done by the respondents while terminating the services of the Petitioner.
The Petitioner was given ample opportunities to report back for duties and seek treatment from the Composite Hospital, CRPF, Bantalab, Jammu, the Petitioner cannot be heard to complain that the impugned order was passed in violation of principles of natural justice.
It is to be noted that the Petitioner was examined by the Board of Medical Officers and was declared unfit for Central Reserve Police Force services.
From the aforesaid narration of events, it becomes abundantly clear that the Petitioner from the very beginning had no intention to serve in the Central Reserve Police Force and continuously exhibited conduct unbecoming of a disciplined soldier. Being temporary member of the service, his services were discharged by the respondents by invoking Rule 5 (1)(a) of the CCS (Temporary Service), Rules, 1965. The Petitioner was given one month’s salary instead of notice. I find nothing wrong with the order impugned. The appeal preferred by the Petitioner was devoid of any merit and, therefore, rightly rejected by the appellate authority’’, the court said.
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