Eastern Coalfields Ltd. Vs. Prem Kumar Sharma & Ors  Insc 428 (19 July 2006)
Pasayat & Lokeshwar Singh Panta
out of SLP (C) No. 20279 of 2004) ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
calls in question legality of judgment rendered by a Division bench of the
Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur Bench. Background facts leading to filing
of the appeal are as follows :
No.1Prem Kumar Sharma filed a writ Petition before the High Court claiming
appointment on the ground that he was a land loser. High Court by its order
dated 8.8.2001 directed consideration by the sub-Divisional Officer.
the sub-Divisional officer held that he was entitled to employment, a writ
petition was filed by the appellant before the High Court. The High Court held
that since the land of the respondent No. 1 had been acquired, he was entitled
for compensatory appointment. The High Court gave the following directions:
petitioner is directed to extend the employment to the son/defendant as the
case may be of respondent no.3, within a period of twelve months from today, on
availability of first vacancy with the petitioner.
case no vacancy arises within the period, the petitioner shall create a post
for the employment, in this regard." Questioning correctness of the
judgment, a Letters Patent Appeal was filed by the appellant before the
Division Bench of the High Court. By the impugned judgment, the High Court
modified the direction to the following extent:
due consideration of the submissions of the learned counsel for the parties, we
direct the petitioner to consider the case of respondent No. 3 Prem Kumar
Sharma for the employment to his son/dependent as the case may be whenever the
vacancy arises." Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the
entitlement to employment of a person whose land has been acquired is governed
by the guidelines dated 22.12.1984. The approved recommendations of the
Committee constituted by the Government of India, Ministry of Energy, Department
of Coal, evolving uniform guidelines for employment to the land losers
stipulated that the person concerned should have lost either 3 acres of
non-irrigated land or 2 acres of irrigated land.
the total land acquired in the case of respondent No.1 is .72 decimal which the
respondent No. 1 originally owned along with 10 others. Therefore, he is not
entitled to any relief and the High Court should not have given the directions
response, learned counsel for the respondent No.1 submitted that the norms
fixed have not been uniformly followed and in several cases acquisitions were
for lesser extents of land and they have been given employment. Several
instances have been highlighted. The appellant has filed affidavits indicating
as to how those cases were not similar.
guidelines which are undisputedly applicable read as follows:
Government had earlier constituted a Committee to consider evolution of uniform
guide-lines for providing employment to land- losers. The committee had submitted
its report and the same has now been accepted by the Govt. subject to one
amendment vide letter No. 55011/14/83-PIR/CP Dated 17th November, 1984. Copy
enclosed. The approved uniform guideline is annexed with this letter. You are
requested to kindly ensure that these guidelines are implemented in your
company." In the approved recommendations of the Committee constituted by
Government of India, Ministry of Energy, Deptt. of Coal evolving Uniform
Guidelines for employment to the land losers, it has been inter alia stated as
standard norm should be one employment for 3 acres of non-irrigated land and 2
acres of irrigated land. The practice ECL should be brought at par with the
practice in the other 3 Companies.
However, if the
land loser being considered for employment is a matriculate or above, the norm
may be reduced to 2 acres per person if he opts to join initially as an
apprentice for a period of 2 years during which he may be paid a fixed stipend
per month. His regulation will subsequently, be governed by the normal rules of
For the purpose
of employment the Unit will be land-owner/Raiyat whose title appears in the
record of rights of the particular village and will include his direct linear
deliberated on the point whether employment to land-loser should be accepted as
a compulsory obligation of management of the coal Company, irrespective of the
requirement of man-power. The Committee recommends that wherever possible,
effort should be made to offer increased amount of compensation to the
land-losers with a view to content the man- power unless the Company has the
requirement of personnel in a particular category within the sanctioned
strength of the manpower." A bare perusal of the recommendations and the
guidelines make the position clear that acquired area should be 3 acres of
non-irrigated land or 2 acres of irrigated land.
the acquired area is much less under the recommendation/guidelines, respondent
was not entitled to any relief. The other question is as to whether the
respondent No. 1 was entitled to be appointed on the ground that some others
have been appointed.
concept of equality as envisaged under Article 14 of the Constitution of India,
1950 (in short the 'Constitution') is a positive concept which cannot be
enforced in a negative manner. When any authority is shown to have committed
any illegality or irregularity in favour of any individual or group of
individuals other cannot claim the same illegality or irregularity on ground of
denial thereof to them. Similarly wrong judgment passed in favour of one
individual does not entitle others to claim similar benefits. In this regard
this Court in Gursharan Singh & Ors. v. NDMC & Ors. [1996 (2) SCC 459]
held that citizens have assumed wrong notions regarding the scope of Article 14
of the Constitution which guarantees equality before law to all citizens.
Benefits extended to some persons in an irregular or illegal manner cannot be
claimed by a citizen on the plea of equality as enshrined in Article14 of the
Constitution by way of writ petition filed in the High Court. The Court
Article 14 of the Constitution conceives within the equality clause this
concept nor Article 226 empowers the High Court to enforce such claim of
equality before law. If such claims are enforced, it shall amount to directing
to continue and perpetuate an illegal procedure or an illegal order for
extending similar benefits to others.
a claim based on equality clause is upheld, it must be established by the
petitioner that his claim being just and legal, has been denied to him, while
it has been extended to others and in this process there has been a
discrimination." In Secretary, Jaipur Development Authority, Jaipur v. Daulat
Mal Jain and Ors. (1997 (1) SCC 35), this Court considered the scope of Article
14 of the Constitution and reiterated its earlier position regarding the
concept of equality holding:
it to hold that the illegal allotment founded upon ultra vires and illegal
policy of allotment made to some other persons wrongly, would not form a legal
premise to ensure it to the respondent or to repeat or perpetuate such illegal
order, nor could it be legalised. In other words, judicial process cannot be abused
to Perpetuate the illegalities.
considered, we hold that the High Court was clearly in error in directing the
appellants to allot the land to the respondents." In State of Haryana & Ors. v. Ram Kumar Mann [1997
(3) SCC 321] this Court observed:
doctrine of discrimination is founded upon existence of an enforceable right.
He was discriminated and denied equality as some similarly situated persons had
been given the same relief. Article 14 would apply only when invidious
discrimination is meted out to equals and similarly circumstanced without any
rational basis or relationship in that behalf.
respondent has no right, whatsoever and cannot be given the relief wrongly
given to them, i.e., benefit of withdrawal of resignation.
High Court was wholly wrong in reaching the conclusion that there was invidious
discrimination. If we cannot allow a wrong to perpetrate, an employee, after
committing mis- appropriation of money, is dismissed from service and
subsequently that order is withdrawn and he is reinstated into the service. Can
a similarly Circumstanced person claim equality under Section 14 for
Reinstatement? The answer is obviously "No".
converse case, in the first instance, one may be wrong but the wrong order
cannot be the foundation for claiming equality for enforcement of the same
order. As stated earlier, his right must be founded upon enforceable right to
entitle him to the equality treatment for enforcement thereof.
wrong decision by the Government does not give a right to enforce the wrong
order and claim parity or equality. Two wrongs can never make a right". [See:
State of Bihar and others v. Kameshwar Prasad
Singh and Another [(2000) 9 SCC 94].
being the legal position, the learned Single Judge and the Division Bench were
not justified in giving impugned directions. Their orders are accordingly set
is allowed with no order as to costs.