of India Vs. M.A. Chowdhary  INSC 158 (7 May 1987)
E.S. (J) VENKATARAMIAH, E.S. (J) DUTT, M.M. (J) CITATION: 1987 AIR 1526 1987
SCR (3) 424 1987 SCC (4) 112 1987 SCALE (1)1254
INFO : F 1988 SC1970 (7) R 1990 SC1720 (6)
of India--Article 311--Protection of--Whether available to staff artists of All
respondent was appointed as a staff artist in the All India Radio under an
agreement on contract basis. On November 2, 1967 the Government of India passed
an order stating that staff artists should be allowed to remain in service upto
the age of 55 years and accordingly a clause was added to the agreement
executed by the respondent.
4(v) of the agreement however provided that the respondent's service will be
liable to be terminated on six months notice on either side. On October 5, 1970
a notice was issued to the respondent intimating that his-services would stand
terminated on the expiry of six months from the date of that notice. The
respondent challenged the validity of the termination notice by a writ
petition. A learned Single Judge of the High Court and the Division Bench of
the High Court found that the post of staff artists held by the respondent was
a 'civil post' within the meaning of Article 311(1) of the Constitution and had
the protection of Article 311. Though the authority to terminate the
respondent's service emanated from the contract but nevertheless it has the
effect of violating Article 311(1) of the Constitution.
notice of termination was found void as it did not comply with Article 311(2).
Hence this appeal.
with the High Court dismissing the appeal this Court,
That the staff artists of the All India Radio hold civil posts under the
Government and Article 311 of the Constitution is applicable to them. [426F]
Appellate Jurisdiction: Civil Appeal No. 384 of 1977.
the Judgment and Order dated 18.11.1974 of the Allahabad High Court in Special
Appeal No. 258 of 1974.
Ganguli, R.P. Srivastava, P Parmeswaran and Miss. A. 425 Subhashini for the
Rani Chhabra for the Respondent. The following Order of the Court was
Court Editorial Note:
Facts of the case:
respondent-M.A. Chowdhary was appointed as a Staff Artist in All India Radio, Bombay
under an agreement executed by him with the Director General of All India
Radio. The agreement was for three years. On the expiry of three years, the
respondent was re-employed and his contract was renewed on yearly basis up to
30th November, 1964. Thereafter he was re-employed on a five years' contract.
November 2, 1967 the Government of India passed an order stating that Staff
Artists should be allowed to remain in service upto the age of 55 years.
Accordingly, a clause was added to the agreement executed by the respondent,
stipulating that the respondent shall remain in service upto December 31, 1985
on which date he was to attain the age of 55 years. Clause 4(v) of the
agreement, however, provided that the respondent's service will be liable to be
terminated on 6 months' notice on either side.
due course, the respondent was transferred to All India Radio, Varanasi. The
Assistant Station Director of All India Radio, Varanasi issued a notice dated
5th October, 1970 intimating the respondent that his services would stand
terminated on the expiry of 6 months from 5th October, 1970 in accordance with
clause 4(v) of the agreement.
respondent challenged the validity of the aforesaid termination notice by Writ
Petition filed in the High Court of Allahabad. The learned Single Judge held
that having regard to the service conditions, it must be held that the
respondent was holding a 'civil post', and as such was entitled to the
protection of Articles 311(2) and 16 of the Constitution, and that inasmuch as
persons junior to him had been retained in service, the Appointing Authority in
terminating his services had violated Article 16 of the Constitution. On these
grounds, the notice of termination of the respondent's service was held bad and
In appeal, the Division Bench held that in view of clauses (1) to (4) of the
Agreement it is apparent that the Government in consideration of a monthly
salary, controls the nature and manner of work assigned to the staff artists,
that the Government had complete control over the respondent's work and manner
and method of doing the work, which was supervised by the higher authorities,
that the relation- ship between the respondent and the appellant was clearly of
a master and servant, and the respondent was, therefore;
a 'civil post' within the meaning of Article 311(1) of the Constitution. The
authority to terminate the respondent's service on 6 months' notice emanated
from the contract but nonetheless it has the effect of violating Article 311(1)
of the Constitution. It must comply with Article 311(2), otherwise the
termination would be a removal from service within the meaning of Article
311(2) and in violation of its provisions. The Division Bench held that the
notice of termination was void and rightly quashed by the learned Single Judge
and dismissed the appeal of the Union of India.
Shri A.K. Ganguli, Learned Counsel for the Union of India submits that Article
311 of the Constitution is applicable to the Staff Artists of the All India
Radio. We are of the view that the statement made on behalf of the Government
represents the true legal position because the Staff Artists are holding civil
posts under the Government. In view of the above statement, this appeal filed
against the judgment of the High Court of Allahabad in Special Appeal No. 258
of 1974 which has also taken the view that article 311 is applicable to those
Staff Artists has to be dismissed. This appeal is accordingly dismissed. No