Vs. Union of India & Ors.  INSC 137 (18 February 2010)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 1429-1430
OF 2010 (Arising out of SLP (C) Nos.6975-6976/2009) Angad Das .. Appellant
VERSUS Union of India & Ors. .. Respondents
People in power and authority should not easily lose equanimity,
composure and appreciation for the problems of the lesser mortals. They are
always expected to remember that power and authority must be judiciously
exercised according to the laws and human compassion. Arrogance and vanity have
no place in discharge of their official functions and duties.
Delay condoned. Leave granted.
Heard the learned Additional Solicitor General and the learned
counsel for the appellant at length. Brief facts necessary to dispose of these
appeals are recapitulated as under:-
The appellant was recruited as a Constable in the Central Reserve
Police Force, Balia Police Line in the State of U.P. in the year 1969. He was
promoted to the post of Lance Naik, then as Naik and thereafter to the post of
appellant was posted as a Head Constable at Jammu and Kashmir, he was served a
show cause notice dated 11.4.1995 by the Commandant 51 BN, C.R.P.F.
no.4) alleging that the date of birth as given by him at the time of joining
the service was found false. An enquiry was conducted and thereafter the
appellant was compulsorily retired from the service by way of punishment by an
order dated 14th June, 1996 by respondent no.4. The said order reads as under:-
"After careful thought and keeping in view of his long service career, a
family to support and considering natural justice, I hereby impose the
punishment of `COMPULSORY RETIREMENT FROM SERVICE WITH FULL
PENSIONARY BENEFITS AND GRATUITY' on No.690298321 HC Angad Dass w.e.f. 31/5/96
AN, in pursuance of the authority vested in me under Section 11(1) of CRPF Act,
1949 read with table below Rule 27 of CRPF Rule 1955."
The appellant had sent a very polite letter of request to the
Additional District Inspector General, Police (for short, DIG) praying that his
request for re-employment be kindly considered because he has enormous
responsibility of educating and marrying five daughters. The prayer was made
with folded hands and touching his feet. The letter reflected pinnacle of
humility. The relevant portion of request letter reads as under:- "I am
burdened with the education and marriages of five daughters and I am the only
earning hand and according to the hereditary record of Gram Panchayat my date
of birth is 8.7.47. I had received that record under the order of BDO. I am
also having certificate from the Gram Pradhan. I, therefore, with folded hands
and touching the feet praying that I may be allowed to complete the service and
I may be awarded any other punishment otherwise, seven people will be uprooted
and will resort to beggary and will fall on the wrong path for earning their
Respondent No.4 would have been fully justified in either
accepting or declining the appellant's request for re- employment, but
astonishingly, on 8th October, 1996 the request letter of the appellant for
re-employment was treated as an appeal by the DIG Police, CRPF, Avadi, Madras
and the punishment of "compulsory retirement" as awarded by the
Commandant, 51 BN, CRPF, was enhanced to that of "removal from
service" w.e.f. 31.5.1996. No provision of law permits him to treat a
letter of request for re-employment as an appeal.
(Police) has no power or authority to enhance the sentence of the appellant. We
fail to comprehend how such an innocuous and polite letter of request seeking
re- employment on compassionate ground can ever receive such an unwarranted and
arrogant reaction. The order is wholly arbitrary and illegal.
The appellant aggrieved by the said order filed a revision
petition before the Special Director General, C.R.P.F., Hyderabad who
unfortunately passed the following order on 2nd August, 1997. The relevant part
of the order reads as under:- "HC Angad Das of 51 BN CRPF is hereby
removed from service with effect from the date of issue of this order. The
intervening period between 31-5-96 (AN) to the date of this order will be
treated as `Dies Non' for all purposes."
We are astonished as to how a simple letter of request for
re-employment has been treated as an appeal by the D.I.G.
CRPF, and in exercise of his power under Rule 28 of the CRPF Rules, 1955, the
punishment of "compulsory retirement"
service has been enhanced to "removal from service" w.e.f. 31.5.1996.
The mere letter for re-employment could not have been treated as an appeal
under Rule 28 of the CRPF Rules, 1955. The D.I.G. Police, CRPF, was totally
unjustified in enhancing the punishment from "compulsory retirement"
to "removal from service". The order was legally untenable. The
Special Director General has also seriously erred in upholding the order dated
8th October, 1996 passed by the D.I.G. Police, CRPF.
In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, we are
constrained to set aside the orders dated 8th October, 1996 and 2nd August,
1997. Consequently, the order dated 21.5.1996 passed by the Commandant, 51 BN,
CRPF as amended by order dated 14.6.1996 of compulsory retirement is restored.
The appellant would be entitled to all the benefits which flow from the said
The appellant and his family have suffered tremendous mental agony
and harassment caused to them on account of totally arbitrary orders mentioned
We also direct that the appellant be paid all the pensionary
benefits which have become due and payable to him, with interest at the rate of
9% per annum, within two months from the date of communication of this order.
Consequently, these appeals are allowed. Respondent No.1, Union of
India is directed to pay costs of Rs.50,000/- to the appellant within two
We hope and trust that senior officials in future would not be
totally oblivious of the problems of the humble and modest employees and pass
February 18. 2010.