Director General of
Police, CRPF, & Ors. Vs. P. M. Ramalingam  INSC 2008 (25 November
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. OF 2008 (Arising out of
S.L.P. (C) Nos.19386-19387 of 2008) The Director General of Police Central
Reserve Police Force New Delhi & Ors. ....Appellants Versus P.M. Ramalingam
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in these appeals is to the order passed by the Division Bench of the Madras
High Court in review application no.42/2008, M.P. No.1/08 dated 18th March,
2008 and M.P. No.2/08 in review application no.42/08. Accordingly, the
respondent's review application was nothing but an abuse of the process of
court as the same relief which was turned down by this Court has been sought
for in the review application. It is the case of the appellants that the High
Court has passed the interim order of status quo which would entitle the
respondent to enjoy the benefits of conditional promotion as well as benefit of
three years of extra service to which he was not entitled to.
is pointed out that the High Court allowed the writ appeal filed by the
appellants granting liberty to proceed with departmental inquiry in accordance
with law. The respondent filed SLP(C) 4552-4533/2008 specifically praying to
restrain the department from reverting the respondent from the post of DIG to
the post of Additional DIG and consequently to the post of Commandant. The
aforesaid SLPs were mentioned on 21.2.2008 and it was directed that the matter
shall be listed on 3rd March, 2008 and reversion, if any, was stayed till then.
The matter was listed and after hearing the parties this Court dismissed the
SLPs. Soon after dismissal of the SLPs on the merit, the respondent again filed
revision for review of the judgment in Writ Appeal nos.1074 and 1075 of 2004
dated 4.1.2008. The plea essentially was to get his two promotions regularized
which otherwise had been accepted by the respondent for many years to be
conditional. It is pointed out that when the departmental proceedings were
initiated during 2000 against the respondent he was serving in the rank of
Commandant and was not entitled to any promotion during the pendency of the
departmental inquiry against him and the age of superannuation in the rank of
Commandant is 57 years. Therefore, he was required to superannuate during
September 2008. He was promoted conditionally to the rank of Addl. DIG and DIG
respectively by virtue of interim orders of the High Court dated 29.3.2004 and
6.7.2007 during the pendency of the Writ Appeal filed by the appellants. It was
clearly mentioned by the High Court that such promotions were subject to the
outcome of Writ Appeal nos.1074 and 1075 of 2004. It is pointed out that even
without deciding on the question of maintainability of the of the review
application, the interim orders were passed virtually allowing the review
is to be noted that during the hearing of the appeal, learned counsel for the
appellants pointed out an order dated 29.9.2008 in M.P. No.1/2008 in Writ
Petition no.23914/08 granting interim stay of the proceedings pursuant to the
orders made in No.P/VII-2/2008 Pers-I dated 24.9.2008.
The prayer was to
permit the writ petitioner to continue to discharge his duties as DIG beyond
30.9.2008. It is submitted that ultimate relief prayed for has been granted by
granting interim stay.
counsel for the respondent, on the other hand, submitted that the High Court
was perfectly justified in passing the interim orders.
find that the High Court by its first order observed as follow:
"5. Mr. Anand
Natarajan, learned counsel for the review petitioner, without seeking stay of
the disciplinary action, prays for interim injunction restraining the
respondents from reverting the petitioner from the post of DIG to ADIG, pending
the disposal of the review petition, on the ground that the age of retirement
of DIG is 60 years and on the other hand if he is reverted he would be retiring
at the age of 58 years even pending the above disciplinary action.
6. It is under such
circumstances, we are satisfied that the balance of convenience lies in favour
of the petitioner and, therefore, we pass the following order:- a) the review
petition is admitted without prejudice to the right of the respondents to
oppose maintainability at the time of final hearing;
b) the disciplinary
proceedings initiated will not be stayed, on the other hand, the review
petitioner shall cooperate with the disciplinary proceedings, which shall be
completed within twelve weeks from the date of commencement of the disciplinary
proceedings viz. 4.3.2008 as agreed by the learned Senior Central Government
standing Counsel; and c) the respondents shall maintain status quo, pending
the second order the High Court directed as follow:
As the departmental
enquiry has already commenced, it may not be proper to stay all further
proceedings of the enquiry at this stage. Hence, it is suffice, in our
considered opinion, to permit the enquiry proceedings to go on, however, with a
direction to keep the final decision in abeyance till the disposal of the 5
above review application, as otherwise the review application would become
rightly submitted by learned counsel for the appellants, the High Court could
not have passed the interim order which virtually means allowing the review
petition, without deciding the question of maintainability of the review
petition. Such a course is not permissible in law.
therefore, dispose of these appeals with the following directions:
(1) The High Court
shall decide the question relating to maintainability of the review petition
and then proceed to deal with it, if it is found that the review petition is
(2) Further the order
of this Court dated 18.9.2008 granting interim stay of the High Court's orders
dated 18.3.2008 and 29.4.2008 shall remain operative till the Review
Application no.42/08 in Writ Appeal no.1074/04 is decided. It is made clear
that we have not expressed any opinion on the question of as to the
maintainability or otherwise of the Review application.
(3) It is open to the
appellants to move the High Court to seek variation of the impugned order in
Writ Petition 23914 of 2008 referred to above.
(4) Let authorities
make an effort to complete the departmental proceedings within three months.
Needless to say the respondent shall cooperate in such completion.
the appeals are accordingly disposed of without any order as to costs.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)