Ranjeet Mal Vs. General Manager,
Northern Railwaybaroda House, New Delhi &  INSC 320 (10 December
RAY, A.N. (CJ) RAY, A.N. (CJ) BEG, M.
HAMEEDULLAH SINGH, JASWANT
CITATION: 1977 AIR 1701 1977 SCR (2) 409 1977
SCC (1) 484
Constitution of India--Article 226--In a writ
by a Railway employee challenging removal from service--Whether Union of India
a necessary party.
The appellant, an employee of the Northern
Railway was removed from service. His appeal against the order of removal was
rejected by the General Manager. The appellant feeling aggrieved filed a writ
petition under Art. 226.
in the writ petition, the General Manager was
joined as a respondent but the Union of India was not impleaded. On appeal, the
Division Bench confirmed the decision of the single Judge. The counsel for the
appellant contended that the General Manager is the authority to hear the
matters regarding the removal and, therefore, he is the proper authority.
Dismissing the appeal by Special Leave,
HELD: The appellant was servant of the Union.
The order of removal is removal from the service of the Union. Any order of a
court would have to be enforced against the Union. The General Manager or any
other authority acting in the Railway Administration is as much a servant of
the Union as the appellant was in the present case. The Union of India
represents the Railway Administration. The Union carries administration through
different servants. Any order setting aside the removal would fasten liability
on the Union of India and not on any servant of the Union. Therefore, the Union
of India is a necessary party. [410G-H, 411A-B] Hari Vishnu Kamnath v. Ahmad
Syed Isak & Ors., A.I.R.
1954 Nagpur 166 and Observer Publications P.
Ltd. v. Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India, New Delhi A.I.R.
1966 Punjab 417, distinguished.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
No. 432 of 1976.
(Appeal by Special Leave from the Judgment
and Order dated the 4-10-1974 of the Rajasthan High Court in D. B, Civil Special
Appeal No. 134 of 1973).
L. M. Singhvi, K.B. Rohtagi, S. K. Dhingra,
Vijay, K. Jain and M.M. Kashyap, for the appellant.
Mrs. Shyamla Papu, R.N. Sachthey and Girish
Chandra, for respondents.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
RAY, C.J.--In this matter leave was granted on 30 March, 1972. Leave was
confined to the question whether Union of India is a necessary party. Leave was
granted because it was contended that there were decisions to support the
appellant's contention, that the Union of India is not a necessary party. We
gave leave to settle this question.
410 The appellant applied under Article 226
in the High Court of Rajasthan. The appellant was an employee of the Northern
Railway. He was removed from service with effect from, 2 January 1969. His
appeal against the order of removal was rejected by the General Manager. The
appellant felt aggrieved and filed the application under Article 226.
The trial court rejected the application on
the ground that the Union of India was not impleaded.
On appeal the Division Bench affirmed the
decision of the trial court and held after referring to two decisions of this
Court that the Union of India is a necessary party.
Counsel for the appellant contended that the
General Manager is the authority to hear these matters regarding the removal,
and, therefore, that is the appropriate party.
Reliance was placed in support of the
contention on the decision Hari Vishnu Karnath v. Ahmad Syed Isak &
That was a case relating to an Election
Petition. The contention was advanced that the Union of India was a necessary
party because the Election Commission is required to transmit copies of order
of the Tribunal to the Speaker of the House and to publish the same in the
Gazette. The Nagpur High Court rejected the contention that the Union was a
necessary party on that ground. This decision can by no stretch of imagination
be of any aid to the appellant in the present case.
Counsel for the appellant relied on the
decision of the Punjab High Court in Observer Publications Pvt. Ltd. v.
Railway Board, Ministry of Railways,
Government of India, New Delhi(2). The petitioner in that case made an application
under Article 226 to question the validity of the ban imposed by the Railway
Board on the news-weekly "Indian Observer". At page 421 of the report
the question of competency of the petition was discussed. The High Court said
that it was accepted by both parties that the Railway Board was acting under a
"notification issued in this behalf' and the Railway Board .was thus
invested with all the powers of the Central Government. The High Court held
that it was not necessary in that situation for the petitioner in that case to
implead the Union Government and it could not be contended that the petition
should fail on that ground. There is no discussion on the question now
canvassed here. This decision is also of no aid to the appellant for the
reasons indicated now.
It cannot be disputed that the appellant was
a servant of the Union. It is equally indisputable that any order of removal is
removal from service of the Union. The appellant challenged that order. Any
order which can be passed by any Court would have to be enforced against the
Union. The General Manager or any other authority acting in the Railway
administration is as much a servant of the Union as the appellant was in the
(1) A.I.R. 1954 Nag. 166. (2) A.I.R. 1966
411 The Union of India represents the Railway
administration. The Union carries administration through different servants.
These servants all represent the Union in regard to activities whether in the
matter of appointment or in the matter of removal. It cannot be denied that any
order which will be passed on an application under Article 226 which will have
the effect of setting aside the removal will fasten liability on the Union of
India, and not on any servant of the Union. Therefore, from all points of view,
the Union of India was rightly held by the High Court to be a necessary party.
The petition was rightly rejected by the High Court.
The appeal fails and is dismissed. Parties
will pay and bear their own costs.
P.H.P. Appeal dismissed.