Union of India & Ors. Vs. Amar Singh
 Insc 1176 (23
Chatterjee & P. Sathasivam
out of SLP (C) No. 1082 OF 2005) P. Sathasivam, J.
Challenge in this appeal is by the Union of India and its functionaries to the
judgment dated 27.09.2004 rendered by a learned Single Judge of the High Court
of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh holding that the services of the
respondent-herein are governed by the Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949
(in short the Act) and Rule 24 of the Central Civil Services
(Pension) Rules, 1972 does not govern the service conditions is without
factual position in a nutshell is as follows:- The respondent herein was
enrolled as Constable in the Central Reserve Police Force on 28.02.1968. At the
time of enrolment, he had submitted a certificate regarding his qualification.
After completion of 29 years and 7 months of service, in order to verify the
service rendered by him to determine the qualifying service with regard to
pension, it has been observed by the Pay and Accounts Office that his date of
birth has been amended in the School Leaving Certificate without any authority.
Therefore, the Pay and Accounts Office directed OC Gurgaon to verify the
authenticity of the School Leaving Certificate and intimate the actual date of
birth in respect of the respondent hererin from the School Authorities. The
School Authorities, vide their letter No.E-2/638 dated 26.08.1996 and letter
dated 05.03.1997, confirmed that the School Leaving Certificate is fictitious
and bogus and not issued by them. On the basis of the report received from the
School Authorities, a departmental enquiry was ordered against the respondent
herein. Consequently, on 05.05.1997, Shri Puran Singh Asst. Commandant was
appointed as Enquiry Officer to enquire into the charges. On completion of the
enquiry, the Enquiry Officer submitted his report and found that the articles
of charges framed against the delinquent were substantiated vide prosecution as
well as defence evidence cited as proof and it was established that the School
Leaving Certificate submitted by him at the time of enrolment was fake which
was also confirmed by the concerned school. A copy of the Enquiry Report was
provided to the respondent herein asking for his representation if any, within
a period of 15 days, but he did not submit anything new for consideration.
the charges leveled against the respondent herein having been proved beyond
doubt, he was found guilty under Section 11(1) of the Act read with Rule 27 of
the CRPF Rules, 1955, on 20.09.1997 and was removed from service.
by the dismissal order, on 01.02.2000, the respondent herein filed a civil suit
in the Court of Civil Judge (Sr. Division), Narnaul, inter alia, praying that
the order of dismissal was bad and without jurisdiction and that he may be
granted pensionary and retrial benefits.
learned Civil Judge, on 22.10.2002, decreed the suit of the respondent herein
holding that the dismissal order was passed as per law but he was entitled to
pension, gratuity, provident fund etc. Aggrieved by the said judgment, the
appellants herein filed Civil Appeal No. 418 of 2002 in the District Court, Narnaul
praying for setting aside the same. The learned District Court, vide order
dated 28.02.2004, dismissed the appeal of the appellants-herein by holding that
the decision of the trial court was correct and based on proper appreciation of
evidence and proper application of law and came to the conclusion that in view
of the provisions of Section 2 of CCS (Pension) Rules 1972, Rule 24 of the said
Rules would not be applicable to the respondent herein who is governed by the
provisions of the CRPF Act, 1949. Aggrieved by the same, the appellants herein
moved R.S.A. No. 3891 of 2004 before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh. A learned Single Judge of the High
Court, by order dated 27.09.2004, dismissed the appeal of the appellants herein
holding that there was no infirmity in the order of the courts below and held
that the services of the respondent was governed by the provisions of the Act
and the provisions of Rule 24 of the Central Civil Services Rules does not
govern the service conditions of the respondent herein. Questioning the order
of the learned Single Judge of the High Court, the appellants have filed the
above appeal by way of special leave.
have heard Ms. Binu Tamta, learned counsel, appearing for the appellants and
Ms. Shweta Kapoor, learned counsel, appearing for the respondent.
Binu Tamta, learned counsel appearing for the Union of India by drawing our
attention to the relevant provisions of the Central Reserve Police Force Act,
1949, the Central Reserve Police Force Rules, 1955 and the CCS (Pension) Rules,
1972 submitted that the High Court committed an error in concluding that Rule
24 of the CCS (Pension) Rules would not be applicable to the respondent herein
and in the absence of any provision in the CRPF Rules that provide for
forfeiture of past service in case of dismissal or removal from service, the
appellant was entitled to pensionary benefits after dismissal from service.
other hand, Ms. Shweta Kapoor, learned counsel appearing for the respondent,
submitted that in the absence of specific provision either in the Act or Rules
governing Central Reserve Police Force, the Courts below including the High
Court were right in rejecting the stand of Central Reserve Police Force. She
also contended that in view of the fact that no specific order forfeiting the
past service in the order of dismissal from service, the authorities were not
entitled to forfeit pension or other benefits.
have carefully considered the rival submissions with reference to the pleadings
and also perused the annexures and records filed along with this appeal.
Before answering the above question, it is relevant to refer to the impugned
order passed by the learned Single Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which reads as under:- Services
of the respondent in the present case are governed by Central Reserve Police
Force Act, 1949. Rule 24 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972
does not govern the service conditions of the respondent.
counsel for the appellants could not point out to me as to under which rule or
section, forfeiture of past service of the respondent can be done in case of
substantial question of law involves in this appeal.
not find any infirmity in the judgment dated 28.02.2004 of the Additional
District Judge, Narnaul.
It is clear that the learned Judge after finding that Rule 24 of the CCS
(Pension) Rules does not govern the service conditions of the respondent and
finding no substantial question of law dismissed the second appeal in limine.
After going through the relevant provisions as pointed out by learned counsel
for the Union of India, we are unable to accept the conclusion arrived at by
the High Court for the following reasons:
is not in dispute that the provisions of Central Reserve Police Force Act, 1949
and Central Reserve Police Force Rules, 1955 are applicable to the respondent
virtue of Section 18 of the Act, the Central Government framed the Central
Reserve Police Force Rules, 1955.
the Rules, we are concerned with Chapter VIII and, more importantly, Rule 42
which speaks about pensions and gratuities for service in the Force. Rule 42
reads as follows:
Pensions and gratuities for service in the Force shall be regulated according
to the provisions contained in Chapters XV to XXI and XLVII and XLVIII of the
Civil Service Regulation as may be amended from time to time and the new
Pension Rules promulgated in the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance
Memorandum No. F.3(1)E(Spl)/47, dated the 17th April, 1950 as may be amended from time to
Pensions and gratuities to enrolled followers for service in the Force shall be
governed by provisions contained in the Central (Class IV) Services (Gratuity,
Pension and Retirement) Rule, 1936 and the New Pension Rules published in the
Government of India in the Ministry of Finance Memorandum No.F3(1)E(Spl)/47,
dated the 17th April, 1950, as may be amended from time to time. The above
referred provision makes it clear that even for the personnel/force in Central
Reserve Police Force, Civil Service Regulations or Pension Rules are
applicable. In fact, except Rule 42 clarifying that in respect of pensions and
gratuities for persons in the Force, certain provisions of civil service
regulations and pension Rules promulgated Ministry of Finance, Government of
India are applicable no other provision speaks about the same. Rule 24 of the
CCS (Pension) Rules reads as under:-
Forfeiture of service on dismissal or removal.- Dismissal or removal of a
Government servant from a service or post entails forfeiture of his past
seen that the above provision particularly Rule 42 of the Central Reserve
Police Force Rules, 1955 has not been brought to the notice of the High Court.
Inasmuch as the High Court has dismissed the second appeal only on this ground,
in view of the present position as rightly pointed out by learned counsel for
the appellants, it is but proper to remit the matter to the High Court to
consider the claim of both parties on merits.
Learned counsel for the Union of India placed reliance on two recent judgments
of this Court, namely, Union of India and Others vs. Ghulam Mohd. Bhat, (2005)
13 SCC 228 and Ram Saran vs. IG of Police, CRPF and Others, (2006) 2 SCC 541
and submitted that the right of pension and monetary benefits can be given only
if the appointment was valid and legal. According to her, in view of the
conclusion of the Courts below (trial and lower appellate Court) and in the
light of the fact that the respondent who entered service by producing false
educational certificate, does not deserve any sympathy or indulgence or equity
from this Court. Equally learned counsel appearing for the respondent, placing
reliance on the decisions of this Court in Shri Krishnan vs. The Kurukshetra University,
Kurukshetra, (1976) 1 SCC 311 and Major G.S. Sodhi vs. Union of India, (1991) 2
SCC 371 submitted that irrespective of the order of dismissal/removal the
respondent is entitled to pension and gratuity for the past service rendered by
him. In view of our conclusion to remit the matter to the High Court, we are
not expressing any opinion on merits. However, we reiterate that a person who
seeks equity must come with clean hands. We also reiterate that equity
jurisdiction cannot be exercised in the case of a person who got the
appointment on the basis of a false certificate by playing a fraud.
Learned counsel for the respondent by drawing our attention to Rule 14 of the
Central Reserve Police Rules submitted that it is incumbent on the part of the
authorities to verify as soon as he is enrolled in the Force and they are not
permitted to do the same after 29 years and 7 months of service. The said Rule
Verification.- (a) As soon as a man is enrolled, his character, antecedents, connections
and age shall be verified in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the
Central Government from time to time. The Verification Roll shall be sent to
the District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner of the District of which the
recruit is a resident. A reading of the said Rule clearly stipulates that
after enrolment in the Force, his character, antecedents,
connections and age shall be verified in accordance with
the procedure prescribed. In other words, the said Rule enables the authorities
concerned to verify the particulars with regard to the same as soon as the
person concerned has been inducted into the Force. It is not stated anywhere
about false or fake certificate of education is to be
verified immediately as stated in sub-clause (a) of Rule 14.
other hand, it is the responsibility of the person who seeks employment to
place authenticated certificate about his educational qualification and
view of our conclusion and of the fact that the High Court has wrongly
concluded that CCS (Pension) Rules are not applicable and in the light of the
fact that no discussion on merits of the case, we set aside the impugned order
of the High Court and remit the same to the High Court for fresh disposal.
Inasmuch as the High Court dismissed the RSA in limine and in the light of the
legal position as pointed out above, the High Court is requested to decide the
issue after affording opportunity to both parties. As observed earlier, both
parties are free to put- forth their respective claim/stand before the High
Court by placing all the relevant materials which support their case and it is
for the High Court to consider the same expeditiously.
Civil Appeal is allowed to this extent as indicated above. No costs.