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Union of India & Ors Vs. N.V. Phaneendran [1995] INSC 438 (29 August 1995)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Hansaria B.L. (J)

CITATION: 1995 SCC (6) 45 1995 SCALE (5)355




Leave granted.

The only contention raised before the Central Administrative Tribunal was that the Divisional Railway Manager, Railways, was not the appointing authority.

Therefore, he was not competent to impose the punishment of removal from service. That found favour with the Tribunal.

Accordingly, the order of removal from service was set aside by the Tribunal in its order dated November 15, 1989.

The controversy is no longer res integra. In Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence and others v. s. Daniel and others [1980 (2) SCR 440], a bench of this Court interpreted the Rules in a common judgment. On a reading of Rule 2(a) and Rule 9 of the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, it was held that it would be impossible for the President to deal with all the disciplinary matters of the Government employees. Therefore, delegation of appointment power was made to the General Manager and disciplinary power was delegated to the Divisional Manager.

The General Manager is not the delegator. Consequently, the doctrine that a delegator cannot further delegate his powers to the delegatee has no application. As a result, it was held that the delegation of power to impose appropriate punishment is permissible. Since the ratio squarely covers the point of controversy, we are of the view that the order of the Tribunal is clearly illegal.

It is next contended that though several contentions have been raised on merits, the Tribunal had only dealt with on this issue and, therefore, an opportunity may be given to the respondent to agitate those questions by remitting the matter to the Tribunal. We find it difficult to accept this contention. It is true that though several points appear to have been raised, but before the Tribunal the only contention argued for the respondent was as extracted in paragraph 4 of the order of the Tribunal. It says:

"The only point that was urged before us by the learned counsel appearing for the applicant is that the Divisional Railway Manager not being the appointing authority is not competent to impose a punishment of removal from service on the applicant who is a Travelling Ticker Examiner in the pay scale of Rs.425- 640." Since the controversy was only limited to this point before the Tribunal, we do not find any justification to remit the matter.

The appeal is accordingly allowed but in the circumstances without costs.



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