Mangal Singh Vs. State of
Arunachal Pradesh & Ors  INSC 732 (29 April 2008)
TARUN CHATTERJEE & HARJIT SINGH BEDI
O R D E R CIVIL APPEAL NO.3036 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP(C)No.13026 of
2006) Leave granted.
This appeal is filed against the final judgment and order dt.06.04.2006 of
the Division Bench of the High Court of Guwahati in Writ Appeal No.614 of 2005
allowing the Writ Appeal filed by the respondents and rejecting the plea of the
appellant to set aside the order of termination which was passed in the year
1991 along with the order passed on 14.05.2001. The learned Single Judge while
allowing the Writ Petition made the following observations :
"8. In view of the aforesaid discussions, this case is disposed of with
a direction that the respondent authority shall take steps immediately to
provide an appropriate relief to the petitioner like Mr.Santosh Kumar Rao as
provided in the order dated 14.5.2001. Since the petitioner is not in service
as Junior Engineer as on date and there is also no interim order passed by this
Court in this case, the petitioner will not be entitled for any back wages. The
aforesaid direction shall be completed within a period of two months from the
date of receipt of a certified copy of this order to be submitted by the
Feeling aggrieved by the said order, the respondent filed a Writ Appeal
before the Division Bench of the High Court. In the said appeal, the Division
Bench of the High Court had not gone practically into the merits of the Writ
Petition but allowed the Writ Appeal on the ground that since the appellant had
not challenged the order of termination which was passed in the year 1991, the
appellant was not entitled to claim any relief. Feeling aggrieved, the
appellant had filed the present appeal by way of Special Leave Petition.
Mr.P.K.Goswami, learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant
contended that the Division Bench without looking into the prayers made in the
Writ Appeal and the reliefs claimed therein, had allowed the appeal of the
respondent on the ground that the Writ Petition was filed by the appellant
after 11 years of the order of termination.
After hearing learned counsel for the parties and after going into the
impugned order of the Division Bench as well as the learned Single Judge of the
High Court, we are of the view that the Division Bench had failed to consider
that the Writ Petition which was filed by the appellant was not only
challenging the order of termination of 1991 but also the order dt.14.05.2001.
The learned Single Judge relying upon the order dt.14.05.2001 had given the
same relief as was given to one Mr.Santosh Kumar Rao. It is true that the order
of termination was not set aside by the learned Single Judge. However, it is
also an admitted position that before the learned Single Judge the question of
limitation was not even raised by the parties.
In that view of the matter, we are of the view that the impugned order
should be set aside and the matter may be sent back to the Division Bench of
the High Court to decide the same on merits and in accordance with law.
Accordingly, the impugned order of the High Court is set aside. The appeal is
allowed to the extent indicated above. The Division Bench of the High Court is
requested to decide the appeal on merits preferably within three months from
the date of communication of this Order.
There shall be no order as to costs.