KALYAN DOMBIVALI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION VS SANJAY GAJANAN GHARAT Case

KALYAN DOMBIVALI MUNICIPAL  CORPORATION VS SANJAY GAJANAN GHARAT  Case

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  2643    OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 6885 of 2021]
KALYAN DOMBIVALI MUNICIPAL 
CORPORATION        ...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
SANJAY GAJANAN GHARAT 
AND ANOTHER    ...RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  2644  OF 2022
[Arising out of SLP(C) No. 6968 of 2021]
J U D G M E N T
B.R. GAVAI, J.
1. Leave granted in both the Special Leave Petitions.
2. Kalyan   Dombivali   Municipal   Corporation   (hereinafter
referred   to   as   the   “KDM   Corporation”)   and   the   State   of
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Maharashtra,   by   way   of   the   present   appeals,   challenge   the
correctness of the judgment dated 6th April 2021, passed by the
Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in
Writ Petition (ST.) No. 3599 of 2020, thereby holding that the
KDM Corporation was not the competent authority to suspend
respondent No.1­Sanjay Gajanan Gharat.   By the impugned
judgment, the High Court had also quashed the departmental
inquiry initiated against the respondent No.1 and directed the
KDM   Corporation   to   reinstate   him   forthwith   to   the   post   of
Additional Municipal Commissioner (hereinafter referred to as
“AMC”) of the KDM Corporation. 
3. The facts are not in dispute.   The respondent No.1 was
initially appointed as an Assistant Municipal Commissioner of
the KDM Corporation in the year 1995.  The said appointment
was approved by the State Government on 1st  February 1997
under Section 45 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations
Act, 1949 (hereinafter referred to as “the MMC Act”). The KDM
Corporation thereafter recommended the respondent No.1 to be
promoted   as   Deputy   Municipal   Commissioner   of   the   KDM
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Corporation   on   9th  May   2003.     This   was   done   after   the
Departmental Promotion Committee of the KDM Corporation
found   respondent   No.1   suitable   for   such   promotion.   The
General Body of the KDM Corporation also approved the said
recommendation in its meeting held on 18th  July 2003.   The
State   Government,   vide   notification   dated   23rd  July   2005,
granted   approval   to   the   promotion   of   respondent   No.1   as
Deputy Municipal Commissioner with effect from 9th May 2003.
4. Vide Maharashtra Act No.32 of 2011, which came into
effect  from  25th  September 2011, various amendments were
effected into the MMC Act.  Vide the said amendment, Section
39A was brought in the statute, which provided for creation of
one   or   more   posts   of   AMCs   and   appointment   of   suitable
persons on such posts.
5. In pursuance of the amendment effected in the year 2011,
the   State   Government   issued   a   Government   Resolution
(hereinafter referred to as “G.R.”) on 11th November 2011. Vide
the   said   G.R.,   one   post   of   AMC   was   created   for   the   KDM
Corporation.     Consequent   to   the   upgradation   of   the   KDM
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Corporation from Class ‘D’ to Class ‘C’, one additional post of
AMC came to be created vide G.R. dated 6th January 2015.  The
said G.R. also laid down the procedure for carrying out the
selection   process   for   the   post   of   AMCs.   Undisputedly,   the
Selection   Committee,   which   considered   the   proposal   of   the
Commissioner of the KDM Corporation, for a suitable person to
be appointed as AMC, in its meeting held on 5th  May 2015,
found   respondent   No.1   most   suitable   for   the   same   and
accordingly,   his   name   came   to   be   recommended   by   the
Selection   Committee   to   the   State   of   Maharashtra   for
appointment to the post of AMC of the KDM Corporation.  The
respondent No.1 came to be appointed as AMC of the KDM
Corporation by the State of Maharashtra on 2nd  June 2015.
Pursuant to his appointment, the respondent No.1 joined his
service as AMC of the KDM Corporation in the same month.
6. On 14th  June 2018, an FIR No.34 of 2018 came to be
registered   against   the   respondent   No.1   for   the   offences
punishable under Sections 7, 8, 13(1)(d) along with Section
13(2)   of   the   Prevention   of   Corruption   Act,   1988.     The
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respondent No.1 was arrested on the same date and continued
to be in custody till 17th  June 2018, on which date, he was
released on bail.
7. The Commissioner of the KDM Corporation purportedly, in
exercise of the powers under Section 56(1)(b) of the MMC Act
and Rule 4(1) of the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline and
Appeal) Rules, 1979 (hereinafter referred to as “MCS Rules”), on
18th  June 2018, issued an order suspending respondent No.1
from service.  The General Body of the KDM Corporation, in its
meeting   held   on   7th  July   2018,   ratified   the   suspension   of
respondent No.1. On 20th June 2019, the General Body of the
KDM Corporation also accorded sanction to hold departmental
inquiry   against   respondent   No.1.   Accordingly,   the
Commissioner of the KDM Corporation issued a notice dated 7th
August   2019   to   respondent   No.1   with   regard   to   holding   of
departmental   inquiry   against   him   and   called   upon   him   to
appear   before   the   Inquiry   Officer   appointed   by   the   KDM
Corporation.   The respondent No.1, vide his letter dated 16th
August   2019   addressed   to   the   Commissioner,   KDM
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Corporation, objected to the said departmental inquiry on the
ground of jurisdiction.
8. Again,   the   KDM   Corporation   issued   a   notice   dated   5th
December 2019, to respondent No.1 calling upon him to remain
present for the preliminary inquiry to be held on 26th December
2019.  However, the respondent No.1 chose not to participate in
the departmental inquiry and filed a writ petition being Writ
Petition   (ST.)   No.3599   of   2020   before   the   High   Court   of
Judicature at Bombay on 21st February 2020.  In the said writ
petition, he sought the following reliefs:
“a) This Hon'ble Court may be pleased to issue Writ
of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ in the
nature   of   Mandamus   or   any   other   appropriate
Direction   or   Order   thereby   directing   Respondent
No.1 Corporation and its Municipal Commissioner
to forthwith withdraw and/or cancel ­
I) the impugned Suspension Order dated
18th   June,   2018,   being   Exhibit­U
hereto; 
II) the impugned General Body Resolution
dated 7th July, 2018, being Exhibit­V
hereto; 
III) the Impugned General Body Resolution
No.6   dated   20th   June,   2019   being
Exhibit­Y hereto; and 
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IV) the Impugned Notice of Departmental
inquiry dated 7th August, 2019 being
Exhibit­Z to this petition; 
b) This Hon'ble Court may be pleased to issue a
Writ of Certiorari or any other appropriate Writ in
the nature of Certiorari or any other appropriate
Direction or Order thereby quashing and/or setting
aside –
I)  the Impugned Suspension Order dated
18th   June,   2018,   passed   by   the
Municipal   Commissioner   of
Respondent   No.1   being   Exhibit   ­U
hereto; 
II)  the Impugned General Body Resolution
dated   7th   July,   2018   of   Respondent
No.1, being Exhibit­V hereto; 
III)  the Impugned General Body Resolution
No.6   dated   20th   June,   2019   or
Respondent   No.1,   being   Exhibit   ­Y
hereto; and 
IV) the   Impugned   Notice   of   193
Departmental   Inquiry   dated   7th
August   2019   issued   by   the
commissioner   of   Respondent   No.1
being Exhibit­Z to this petition; 
c) This Hon'ble Court may be pleased to Issue Writ
of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ in the
nature   of   Mandamus   or   any   other   appropriate
Direction   or   Order   thereby   directing   Respondent
No.1 Corporation and its Municipal Commissioner
to forthwith re­Instate the Petitioner in the post of
Additional   Municipal   Commissioner   of   the   1st
Respondent Corporations;”
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9. By the impugned judgment dated 6th April 2021, the writ
petition filed by the respondent No.1 came to be allowed in
terms   of   the   prayers   (a)   to   (c),   which   are   reproduced
hereinabove.     Being   aggrieved   thereby,   both,   the   KDM
Corporation and the State of Maharashtra have approached
this Court.
10. We have heard Shri P.S. Patwalia, learned Senior Counsel
appearing   on   behalf   of   the   KDM   Corporation,   Shri   Rahul
Chitnis, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State and
Shri Anupam Lal Das, learned Senior Counsel appearing on
behalf of respondent No.1.
11. Shri Patwalia submitted that the High Court has grossly
erred in holding that the respondent No.1 was an employee of
the   State   Government   and   therefore,   it   was   only   the   State
Government, who had powers to suspend him.  He submitted
that   though   under  Section   39A   of  the   MMC   Act,  the   State
Government was an authority competent to create a post and
appoint a suitable person on that post, such a post was created
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specifically for the KDM Corporation and once a suitable person
was appointed by the State Government on the said post, he
became an employee of the KDM Corporation.   He submitted
that in view of the provisions of Section 56 of the MMC Act, it
was   only   the   KDM   Corporation,   which   was   competent   to
suspend such an employee on the grounds as are available
under   the   said   provision,   and   also   to   initiate   departmental
proceedings.   He submitted that the High Court has grossly
erred in not considering the said aspect and referring to Section
16 of the Maharashtra General Clauses Act, 1904 (hereinafter
referred to as “GC Act”).   He submitted that when there is a
specific   provision   in   the   MMC   Act,   which   empowers   the
Commissioner   to   suspend   an   employee   and   to   initiate
departmental proceedings against him, recourse to GC Act is
not warranted.   He submitted that since the respondent No.1
was   arrested   and   was   detained   in   custody   for   a   period
exceeding 48 hours, in view of sub­rule (2) of Rule 4 of the MCS
Rules, his suspension was a deemed one.  The learned Senior
Counsel submitted that the impugned judgment has the effect
9
of leading to a consequence that the respondent No.1, who has
been caught red­handed in a trap case, will be left scot­free. 
12. The State Government has also supported the contentions
as raised by the KDM Corporation.  It is submitted that though
the post was created by the State Government for the KDM
Corporation and though the respondent No.1 was selected and
appointed by the  State  Government  in  accordance with  the
procedure prescribed in the G.R. dated 6th January 2015, the
appointment was, as an AMC of the KDM Corporation and as
such, the KDM Corporation was well within its powers under
Section 56 of the MMC Act to suspend him.
13. Shri Anupam Lal Das, learned Senior Counsel appearing
for the respondent No.1, on the contrary, would submit that the
respondent No.1 was appointed by the State Government under
Section  39A  of  the  MMC  Act  and   the  post  of  AMC is  pari
materia with that of the Commissioner, who is appointed under
Section 36 of the MMC Act.  He submitted that under Section
39A(2)   of   the   MMC   Act,   an   AMC   is   subject   to   the   same
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liabilities, restrictions and terms and conditions of service, to
which the Commissioner is subjected to as per the provisions of
the  MMC Act.   He further submitted that  the  posts of the
Commissioner and the AMC find place in Chapter II of the MMC
Act, whereas Section 56 finds place in Chapter IV of the MMC
Act.  He submitted that various other sections in Chapter IV of
the   MMC  Act  provide  for appointment  of  various  municipal
officers and servants other than AMC and Commissioner and
therefore,   the   term   “competent   authority”   will   have   to   be
construed to be only such authorities, who were competent to
make appointments to the posts found in Chapter IV of the
MMC Act.     He submitted that in any case, in view of the
judgment of this Court in the case of Ajay Kumar Choudhary
v.   Union   of   India   through   its   Secretary   and   Another1
,
continued suspension of respondent No.1 was not warranted.
He submitted that even the charge­sheet was not submitted
within 90 days and as such, there is no reason to interfere with
the impugned judgment.
1 (2015) 7 SCC 291
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14. The High Court, in the impugned judgment, has held that
since the appointment of respondent No.1 was made by the
State Government in view of Section 36 of the MMC Act, it is
only the State Government, who was competent to suspend and
initiate departmental inquiry against him.   It was, therefore,
held that the suspension order issued by the Commissioner
and ratified by the KDM Corporation, and the departmental
inquiry initiated by the Commissioner with the approval of the
KDM Corporation was beyond their powers.   We will have to
examine the correctness of these findings.
15. Section 39A of the MMC Act reads thus:
“39A.   Appointment   of   Additional   Municipal
Commissioners.—(1)   The   State   Government   may
create one or more posts of Additional Municipal
Commissioners   in   the   Corporation   and   appoint
suitable persons on such posts, who shall, subject
to the control of the Commissioner, exercise all or
any of the powers and perform all or any of the
duties and functions of the Commissioner.
(2)   Every   person   so   appointed   as   the   Additional
Municipal   Commissioner   shall   be   subject   to   the
same   liabilities,   restrictions   and   terms   and
conditions of service, to which the Commissioner is
subjected to as per the provisions of this Act.
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16. The perusal of sub­section (1) of Section 39A of the MMC
Act would reveal that the State Government is empowered to
create one or more posts of AMCs.   However, such a post is
created in the particular Corporation.  The State Government is
also entitled to appoint suitable persons on such posts.  It is
further clear that the AMCs so appointed, though shall exercise
all or any of the powers and perform all or any of the duties and
functions of the Commissioner, the same shall be subject to the
control of the Commissioner.  Sub­section (2) of Section 39A of
the MMC Act provides that every person so appointed as the
AMC shall be subject to the same liabilities, restrictions and
terms and conditions of service, to which the Commissioner is
subjected to as per the provisions of MMC Act.
17. It is not in dispute that vide G.R. dated 6th January 2015,
for the KDM Corporation, which was promoted from Class ‘D’ to
Class ‘C’, one new post of AMC was created.  It is also not in
dispute that there was already one post of AMC existing in the
KDM Corporation. The perusal of the said G.R. would reveal
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that one post of AMC, which was newly created, was to be filled
in from the officers of the State Cadre in the KDM Corporation.
It would further reveal that the second post of the AMC was to
be   filled   in   from   the   officers   working   in   the   respective
Corporation by way of selection.  It further clarified that in the
event, the suitable person is not available for selection to the
said post, the same shall be filled in from the officers of the
State Government Cadre.
18. From the perusal of the record, it could be seen that the
State   Government   had   called   for   the   names   of   suitable
candidates from the Commissioner of the KDM Corporatoin.
The   Commissioner,   vide   his   communication   dated   4th  April
2015, proposed three names.  The said names were considered
by a Committee consisting of the following authorities:
(i) Commissioner/Director,   Directorate   of   Municipal
Administration;
(ii) Additional   Commissioner,   Mumbai   Municipal
Corporation;
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(iii) Commissioner, KDM Corporation; 
(iv) Deputy Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra; and
(v) Under Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra.
19. A perusal of the Minutes of the said Meeting would reveal
that though the Commissioner of the KDM Corporation stated
that none of the candidates including the respondent No.1 were
eligible for the post of AMC, the Committee, in its meeting held
on 5th  May 2015, after considering the confidential reports of
the three candidates, resolved to recommend respondent No.1
for appointment to the post of AMC of the KDM Corporation.
The   said   recommendation   was   approved   by   the   State
Government   and   accordingly,   respondent   No.1   came   to   be
appointed as AMC of the KDM Corporation vide G.R. dated 2nd
June 2015.  The said G.R. would clearly reveal that respondent
No.1   had   been   appointed   specifically   as   AMC   of   the   KDM
Corporation.  It could thus clearly be seen from the record that
though the respondent No.1 was selected and appointed by the
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State   Government,   his   appointment   was   specifically   for   the
KDM Corporation.  
20. Therefore, the question that we will have to consider is as
to whether the respondent No.1 though an employee of the
KDM   Corporation,   can   neither   be   suspended   nor   any
departmental proceedings can be initiated against him by the
KDM  Corporation,   since  his   selection   and  appointment  was
done by the State Government.  
21. For considering the rival submissions, it will be relevant to
refer to some of the provisions of the MMC Act.   We have
already reproduced Section 39A of the MMC Act hereinabove.
The other two provisions that require consideration are subsection (9) of Section 2 and Section 56 of the MMC Act, which
read thus:
“2. Definitions.­
…..
(9)   “the   Commissioner”   means   the   Municipal
Commissioner for the City appointed under Section
36 and includes an acting Commissioner appointed
under Section 39;
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…………..
56. Imposition of penalties on municipal officers
and   servants.—(1)   A   competent   authority   may
subject to the provisions of this Act impose any of
the   penalties   specified   in   sub­section   (2)   on   a
municipal   officer   or   servant   if   such   authority   is
satisfied that such officer or servant is guilty of a
breach   of   departmental   rules   or   discipline   or   of
carelessness, neglect of duty or other misconduct or
is incompetent:
Provided that,—
(a) no municipal officer or servant holding
the post equivalent to or higher in rank
than   the   post   of   the   Assistant
Commissioner shall be dismissed by the
Commissioner   without   the   previous
approval of the Corporation.
[(b) any   officer   or   servant   whether
appointed   by   the   Corporation   or   any
other   competent   authority,   except
Transport Manager being a Government
officer on deputation, may be suspended
by the Commissioner pending an order of
the Corporation and when the officer so
suspended is the Transport Manager or
an   officer   appointed   under   Section   45,
such  suspension  with  reasons therefor,
shall,   forthwith   be   reported   by   the
Commissioner   to   the   Corporation,   and
such suspension shall come to an end if
not confirmed by the Corporation within
a period of six months from the date of
such suspension:
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Provided that, such suspension of an officer or
servant pending inquiry into the allegations against
such officer or servant shall not be deemed to be a
penalty.]”
22. It could thus be seen that under Section 39A of the MMC
Act, though the AMC will exercise all or any of the powers and
perform   all   or   any   of   the   duties   and   functions   of   the
Commissioner, the same shall be subject to the control of the
Commissioner.  No doubt, that the AMC would be subject to the
same   liabilities,   restrictions   and   terms   and   conditions   of
service,   to   which   the   Commissioner   of   the   Corporation   is
subjected.     However,   the   legislative   intent   is   clear   that   the
powers to be exercised by AMCs would be subject to the control
of the Commissioner.  
23. The legislative intent would also be gathered from subsection (9) of Section 2 of the MMC Act.  It could be seen that in
the   definition   of   the   “Commissioner”,   though   an   acting
Commissioner appointed under Section 39 of the MMC Act has
been included, an AMC appointed under Section 39A of the
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MMC Act has not been included.  We are, therefore, unable to
accept the contention of respondent No.1 that the post of AMC
is pari materia with that of the Commissioner.  The legislative
intent is clear that though the AMC exercises all or any of the
powers and performs all or any of the duties and functions of
the Commissioner, he would be subject to the control of the
Commissioner, and as such, subordinate to him.  
24. Under sub­section (1) of Section 56 of the MMC Act, a
competent authority, subject to the provisions of the said Act, is
entitled to impose any of the penalties specified in sub­section
(2) of Section 56 of the MMC Act on a municipal officer or
servant if such authority is satisfied that such officer or servant
is guilty of breach of departmental rules or discipline or of
carelessness,   neglect   of   duty   or   other   misconduct   or   is
incompetent.   Clause (a) of the proviso to sub­section (1) of
Section   56   of   the   MMC   Act,   however,   provides   that   no
municipal officer or servant holding the post equivalent to or
higher in rank than the post of the Assistant Commissioner,
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shall be dismissed by the Commissioner without the previous
approval of the Corporation.  It can be seen that the words used
are “post equivalent to or higher in rank than the post of the
Assistant Commissioner”.  It will also be relevant to note that
Section 56 of the MMC Act has also been amended by the same
Amending Act i.e. Maharashtra Act No. 32 of 2011, by which
Section 39A was brought in the statute.   Earlier, the words
used in clause (a) of sub­section (1) of Section 56 were “whose
monthly salary, exclusive of allowances exceeds one thousand
rupees”.     The   said   words   were   substituted   by   the   words
“holding the post equivalent to or higher in rank than the post
of   the   Assistant   Commissioner”.     It   can   thus   be   seen   that
though   the   “competent   authority”   is   entitled   to   impose   the
penalty as specified in sub­section (2) of Section 56 of the MMC
Act on a municipal officer or servant; in case of an officer, who
is equivalent to or higher in rank than the post of Assistant
Commissioner, the power of dismissal can be exercised by the
“Commissioner”   only   with   the   previous   approval   of   the
Corporation. 
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25. It can further be seen that clause (b) of the proviso to subsection   (1)   of   Section   56   of   the   MMC   Act   enables   the
Commissioner   to   suspend   any   officer   or   servant,   whether
appointed by the Corporation or any other competent authority,
except   Transport   Manager   being   a   Government   Officer   on
deputation,   pending   an   order   of   the   Corporation.   It   further
provides   that   when   the   officer   suspended   is   a   Transport
Manager or an officer appointed under Section 45 of the MMC
Act, such suspension with reasons thereof, shall, forthwith be
reported by the Commissioner to the Corporation.   It further
provides that such a suspension shall come to an end if not
confirmed by the Corporation within a period of six months
from the date of such suspension. 
26. It   is   thus   clear   that   whereas,   the   Commissioner   is
empowered   to   suspend   any   officer   or   servant,   whether
appointed by the Corporation or any other competent authority,
in case of a Transport Manager being a Government Officer on
deputation or any officer appointed under Section 45 of the
21
MMC   Act,   the   Commissioner   is   required   to   report   such   a
suspension with reasons thereof, to the Corporation.  It further
provides that such suspension shall come to an end if not
confirmed by the Corporation within a period of six months
from the date of such suspension.
27. A conjoint reading of the aforesaid provisions of the MMC
Act   would   reveal   that   though   a   competent   authority   may
impose any of the penalties on a municipal officer or servant,
no municipal officer or servant holding the post equivalent to or
higher in rank than the post of an Assistant Commissioner,
shall be dismissed by the Commissioner without the previous
approval of the Corporation.  
28. It   could   be   seen   that   the   legislature   has   created   two
classes of the municipal officers and servants.  One class is of
the   municipal   officers   and   servants,   other   than   the   ones
holding the post equivalent to or higher in rank than the post of
an   Assistant   Commissioner.     In   this   category,   a   competent
authority   may   impose   the   penalties   as   provided   under   the
22
provisions   of   the   MMC   Act.     The   other   class   of   municipal
officers   is   of   the   persons   holding  the   post   equivalent   to   or
higher in rank than the post of Assistant Commissioner.  The
officers   in   such   a   class   can   be   dismissed   only   by   the
Commissioner and that too with the previous approval of the
Corporation.  
29. As already discussed hereinabove, clause (a) of the proviso
to   sub­section   (1)  of   Section   56  of   the  MMC  Act  has  been
amended   simultaneously   by   an   amendment,   which   brought
Section 39A into the statute.  As such, we are of the view that
the term “post equivalent to or higher in rank than the post of
Assistant   Commissioner”   cannot   be   construed   in   a   narrow
compass.  We are therefore of the view that clause (a) of subsection (1) of Section 56 of the MMC Act would also include the
post   of   AMC.     As   such,   the   Commissioner   would   be   a
“competent authority” insofar as the post of AMC is concerned.
Likewise, though the powers of the Commissioner to suspend
any   officer   or   servant   except   a   Transport   Manager   being   a
23
Government   Officer   on   deputation   or   the   officers   appointed
under Section 45 of the MMC Act are without any restriction,
when such suspension is with regard to a Transport Manager
or   an   officer   appointed   under   Section   45   of   the   MMC   Act,
though the Commissioner is empowered to suspend them, such
a suspension has to be reported to the Corporation along with
the reasons thereof.  Such a suspension shall come to an end,
if   not   confirmed   by   the   Corporation   within   a   period   of   six
months from the date of such suspension. 
30. For   appreciation   of   the   rival   contentions,   it   will   be
apposite to seek certain guidance from some precedents of this
Court. 
31. In   the   case   of  Philips   India   Ltd.   v.   Labour   Court,
Madras and Others2
, this Court had an occasion to decide the
rate of overtime wages as mentioned in Section 31 of the Tamil
Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947.  This Court found
that   for   finding   the   minimum   rate   of   overtime   wages   as
mentioned in Section 31 of the said Act, it will have to be
2 (1985) 3 SCC 103
24
interpreted in the light of the provisions contained in Section
14(1) read with proviso to Section 31 of the said Act.  Coming to
this conclusion, this Court observed thus:
“15. No   canon   of   statutory   construction   is   more
firmly established than that the statute must be
read   as   a   whole.   This   is   a   general   rule   of
construction applicable to all statutes alike which is
spoken of as construction ex visceribus actus. This
rule   of   statutory   construction   is   so   firmly
established that it is variously styled as “elementary
rule”   (see Attorney   General v. Bastow [(1957)   1   All
ER   497]   )   and   as   a   “settled   rule”   (see Poppatlal
Shah v. State of Madras [AIR 1953 SC 274 : 1953
SCR 667] ). The only recognised exception to this
well­laid principle is that it cannot be called in aid
to alter the meaning of what is of itself clear and
explicit. Lord Coke laid down that: “it is the most
natural   and   genuine   exposition   of   a   statute,   to
construe one part of a statute by another part of the
same statute, for that best expresseth meaning of
the   makers”   (Quoted   with   approval   in Punjab
Beverages Pvt. Ltd. v. Suresh Chand [(1978) 2 SCC
144 : 1978 SCC (L&S) 165 : (1978) 3 SCR 370] ).”
32. It could thus be seen that this Court has held that the
Statute must be read as a whole.   It has been held that this
rule of statutory construction is so firmly established that it is
variously styled as “elementary rule”.  It has been held that for
25
finding   out   the   true   meaning   of   one   part   of   a   statute,   a
reference will have to be made to another part of the statute
and that will best express meaning of the makers.  
33. In the case of Sultana Begum v. Prem Chand Jain3
, this
Court   was   considering   the   question   regarding   the   conflict
between Section 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and
Order XXI Rule 2 thereof.   This Court held that applying the
rule of harmonious construction, the so­called conflict between
the said two provisions had been dispelled.  Observing so, this
Court   reiterated   the   following   well­settled   principles   of
interpretation of statutes:
“15. On   a   conspectus   of   the   case­law   indicated
above,   the   following   principles   are   clearly
discernible:
(1) It is the duty of the courts to avoid a
head­on   clash   between   two   sections   of
the Act and to construe the provisions
which appear to be in conflict with each
other in such a manner as to harmonise
them.
(2)   The   provisions   of   one   section   of   a
statute cannot be used to defeat the other
provisions unless the court, in spite of its
3 (1997) 1 SCC 373
26
efforts,   finds   it   impossible   to   effect
reconciliation between them.
(3) It has to be borne in mind by all the
courts all the time that when there are
two   conflicting   provisions   in   an   Act,
which   cannot   be   reconciled   with   each
other, they should be so interpreted that,
if   possible,   effect   should   be   given   to
both. This   is   the   essence   of   the   rule   of
“harmonious construction”.
(4) The courts have also to keep in mind
that an interpretation which reduces one
of   the   provisions   as   a   “dead   letter”   or
“useless   lumber”   is   not   harmonious
construction.
(5) To harmonise is not to destroy any
statutory provision or to render it otiose.”
34. It can thus be seen that this Court has held that it is the
duty of the court to avoid a head­on clash between two sections
of the Act and to construe the provisions which appear to be in
conflict with each other in such a manner so as to harmonise
them.     It  has   further   been   held   that  the   provisions   of   one
section   of   a   statute   cannot   be   used   to   defeat   the   other
provisions   unless   the   court   finds   the   reconciliation   between
them   impossible.     It   has   further   been   held   that   when   two
conflicting provisions in an Act cannot be reconciled with each
27
other, they should be so  interpreted that, if possible, effect
should  be  given  to   both.   It  has   further  been   held   that   an
interpretation, which reduces one of the provisions as a “dead
letter” or “useless lumber”, should be avoided.
35. This   Court,   in   the   case   of  Jagdish   Singh   v.   Lt.
Governor,  Delhi  and  Others4
,  while considering the conflict
between Rules 25(2) and 28 of the Delhi Cooperative Societies
Rules, 1973, observed thus:
“7. … It is a cardinal principle of construction of a
statute or the statutory rule that efforts should be
made in construing the different provisions, so that,
each provision will have its play and in the event of
any conflict a harmonious construction should be
given. Further a statute or a rule made thereunder
should be read as a whole and one provision should
be construed with reference to the other provision
so   as   to   make   the   rule   consistent   and   any
construction which would bring any inconsistency
or repugnancy between one provision and the other
should   be   avoided.   One   rule   cannot   be   used   to
defeat another rule in the same rules unless it is
impossible to effect harmonisation between them.
The   well­known   principle   of   harmonious
construction is that effect should be given to all the
provisions, and therefore, this Court has held in
several cases that a construction that reduces one
of   the   provisions   to   a   “dead   letter”   is   not   a
harmonious   construction   as   one   part   is   being
4 (1997) 4 SCC 435
28
destroyed   and   consequently   court   should   avoid
such a construction……..”
36. In   the   case   of  Commissioner   of   Income   Tax   v.
Hindustan  Bulk  Carriers5
, though in Sections 245­D(4) and
245­D(6) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the terminus point for
charging   interest   was   not   specifically   provided,   this   Court,
applying   the   principle   of   harmonious   and   contextual
construction, held that they have to be charged in the spirit of
Sections 234­A, 234­B and 234­C of the said Act.  Holding this,
this Court observed thus:
“16. The courts will have to reject that construction
which   will   defeat   the   plain   intention   of   the
legislature   even   though   there   may   be   some
inexactitude   in   the   language   used.
(See Salmon v. Duncombe [Salmon v. Duncombe,
(1886) LR 11 AC 627 (PC) : 55 LJPC 69 : 55 LT
446] , AC at. 634, Curtis v. Stovin [Curtis v. Stovin,
(1889) LR 22 QBD 513 (CA) : 58 LJQB 174 : 60 LT
772] referred to in S. Teja Singh case [CIT v. S. Teja
Singh, AIR 1959 SC 352 : (1959) 35 ITR 408] .)
17. If the choice is between two interpretations, the
narrower of which would fail to achieve the manifest
purpose   of   the   legislation,   we   should   avoid   a
construction which would reduce the legislation to
5 (2003) 3 SCC 57
29
futility,   and   should   rather   accept   the   bolder
construction,   based   on   the   view   that   Parliament
would   legislate   only   for   the   purpose   of   bringing
about   an   effective   result.   (See Nokes v. Doncaster
Amalgamated   Collieries   Ltd. [Nokes v. Doncaster
Amalgamated Collieries Ltd., 1940 AC 1014 : (1940)
3 All ER 549 (HL) : 109 LJKB 865 : 163 LT 343]
referred   to   in Pye v. Minister   for   Lands   for   New
South   Wales [Pye v. Minister   for   Lands   for   New
South Wales, (1954) 1 WLR 1410 : (1954) 3 All ER
514   (PC)]   .)   The   principles   indicated   in   the   said
cases were reiterated by this Court in Mohan Kumar
Singhania v. Union   of   India [Mohan   Kumar
Singhania v. Union   of   India,   1992   Supp   (1)   SCC
594 : 1992 SCC (L&S) 455] .
18.  The statute must be read as a whole and one
provision   of   the   Act   should   be   construed   with
reference to other provisions in the same Act so as
to   make   a   consistent   enactment   of   the   whole
statute.
19.  The court must ascertain the intention of the
legislature by directing its attention not merely to
the   clauses   to   be   construed   but   to   the   entire
statute; it must compare the clause with other parts
of the law and the setting in which the clause to be
interpreted occurs. (See R.S. Raghunath v. State of
Karnataka [R.S.   Raghunath v. State   of   Karnataka,
(1992) 1 SCC 335 : 1992 SCC (L&S) 286] .) Such a
construction   has   the   merit   of   avoiding   any
inconsistency or repugnancy either within a section
or between two different sections or provisions of
the same statute. It is the duty of the court to avoid
a head­on clash between two sections of the same
Act.   (See Sultana   Begum v. Prem   Chand
Jain [Sultana Begum v. Prem Chand Jain, (1997) 1
SCC 373] .)
30
20. Whenever it is possible to do so, it must be done
to construe the provisions which appear to conflict
so  that   they   harmonise.   It  should   not   be   lightly
assumed that Parliament had given with one hand
what it took away with the other.
21.  The   provisions   of   one   section   of   the   statute
cannot be used to defeat those of another unless it
is impossible to effect reconciliation between them.
Thus   a   construction   that   reduces   one   of   the
provisions to a “useless lumber” or “dead letter” is
not a harmonised construction. To harmonise is not
to destroy.”
37. It could thus be seen that it is more than well­settled that
the court has to avoid the interpretation which will result in
head­on clash between two sections of the Act.   When one
section of an Act is not in a position to bring out the legislative
intent, recourse will have to be made to other sections of the
statute for gathering the legislative intent.  An attempt should
be made to see to it that the effect must be given to parts of the
statute   even   if   they   may,   on   first   blush,   appear   to   be
conflicting.  One provision of the Act has to be construed with
reference   to   other   provisions   in   the   Act,   so   as   to   make   a
consistent enactment of the whole statute. An attempt should
31
be made of avoiding any inconsistency or repugnancy either
within a section or between two different sections.
38. It has further been held that if the court has a choice
between two interpretations, the narrower of which would fail to
achieve   the   manifest   purpose   of   the   legislation,   such   an
interpretation will have to be avoided.  The court should avoid a
construction which would reduce the legislation to futility. A
broader interpretation  which  would bring about  an effective
result, will have to be preferred.  Applying this principle, we are
of   the   considered   view   that   sub­section   (9)   of   Section   2,
Sections 39A and 56 of the MMC Act will have to be read in
reference to each other.  They cannot be read in isolation.
39. Therefore, we are of the view that the finding of the High
Court   that   in   view   of   Section   39A   of   the   MMC   Act,   the
Commissioner   or   the   Corporation   will   not   have   power   to
suspend or initiate departmental inquiry against the AMC, is in
ignorance of the provisions of Section 56 and sub­section (9) of
Section 2 of the MMC Act.  
32
40. We find that the view taken by the High Court is also not
acceptable   in   view   of   another   principle   of   statutory
interpretation.  In the case of Mahadeo Prasad Bais (Dead) v.
Income­Tax Officer ‘A’ Ward, Gorakhpur and Another6
, this
Court held that an interpretation, which will result in anomaly
or absurdity, should be avoided.  It has been held that at times,
the circumstances justify a slight straining of the language of
the clause so as to avoid a meaningless anomaly.
41. It   will   further   be   relevant   to   refer   to   the   following
observations of this Court in the case of  K.P.   Varghese   v.
Income Tax Officer, Ernakulam and Another7
“6. …….We must therefore eschew literalness in the
interpretation of Section 52 sub­section (2) and try
to   arrive   at   an   interpretation   which   avoids   this
absurdity   and   mischief   and   makes   the   provision
rational and sensible, unless of course, our hands
are tied and we cannot find any escape from the
tyranny of the literal interpretation. It is now a wellsettled  rule  of   construction  that   where   the   plain
literal   interpretation   of   a   statutory   provision
produces   a   manifestly   absurd   and   unjust   result
which   could   never   have   been   intended   by   the
6 (1991) 4 SCC 560
7 (1981) 4 SCC 173
33
legislature, the court may modify the language used
by the legislature or even “do some violence” to it, so
as to achieve the obvious intention of the legislature
and   produce   a   rational   construction
(vide Luke v. Inland   Revenue   Commissioner [(1963)
AC 557] ). The Court may also in such a case read
into   the   statutory   provision   a   condition   which,
though not expressed, is implicit as constituting the
basic   assumption   underlying   the   statutory
provision …..”
42. It will be apposite to refer to the following paragraphs from
the judgment of this Court in the case of State of Tamil Nadu 
v. Kodaikanal Motor Union (P) Ltd.8
:
“16. Lord   Denning,   in Seaford   Court
Estates v. Asher [(1949)   2   All   ER   155,   164]   said
thus:
“... when a defect appears a Judge cannot
simply   fold   his   hands   and   blame   the
draftsman. He must set to work on the
constructive task of finding the intention
of   Parliament…   and   then   he   must
supplement the written word so as to give
‘force   and   life’   to   the   intention   of   the
legislature.... A Judge should ask himself
the question how, if the makers of the Act
had themselves come across this ruck in
the   texture   of   it,   they   would   have
straightened it out? He must then do as
8 (1986) 3 SCC 91
34
they would have done. A Judge must not
alter   the   material   of   which   the   Act   is
woven, but he can and should iron out
the creases.”
17. The courts must always seek to find out the
intention of the legislature. Though the courts must
find   out   the   intention   of   the   statute   from   the
language used, but language more often than not is
an   imperfect   instrument   of   expression   of   human
thought. As Lord Denning said it would be idle to
expect every statutory provision to be drafted with
divine   prescience   and   perfect   clarity.   As   Judge
Learned Hand said, we must not make a fortress
out of dictionary but remember that statutes must
have   some   purpose   or   object,   whose   imaginative
discovery   is   judicial   craftsmanship.   We   need   not
always   cling   to   literalness   and   should   seek   to
endeavour to avoid an unjust or absurd result. We
should not make a mockery of legislation. To make
sense out of an unhappily worded provision, where
the purpose is apparent to the judicial eve “some”
violence   to   language   is   permissible.   (See K.P.
Varghese v. ITO [(1981) 4 SCC 173, 180­82 : 1981
SCC   (Tax)   293,   300­302   :   (1981)   131   ITR   597,
604­606]   and Luke v. Inland   Revenue
Commissioner [(1964) 54 ITR 692 (HL)] .)”
43. It could thus be seen that this Court has held that the
court   should   not   always   cling   to   literal   interpretation   and
should endeavor to avoid an unjust or absurd result.  The court
35
should not permit a mockery of legislation.   It has been held
that   to   make   sense   out   of   an   unhappily   worded   provision,
where   the   purpose   is   apparent   to   the   judicial   eye,   ‘some’
violence to language is also permissible.
44. If   the   interpretation   as   placed   by   the   High   Court   is
accepted, it will lead to an absurd and anomalous situation
wherein on one hand, the respondent No.1, who was selected
and   appointed   by   the   State   Government   for   the   KDM
Corporation,   though   would   be   an   employee   of   the   KDM
Corporation, the KDM Corporation would not be in a position to
initiate departmental proceedings against him, even if he is
found to have indulged into serious misconduct.  On the other
hand, since the respondent No.1 is not an employee of the State
Government,  the  State  Government   also  would  not  be  in  a
position to initiate any departmental proceedings against him. 
45. We have no hesitation in holding that the intention of the
legislature would not have been to lead to such an absurd and
anomalous situation.  A legislative intent cannot be to leave an
36
employee   scot­free   though   he   has   indulged   into   serious
misconduct.  We are therefore of the considered view that on a
harmonious   construction   of   sub­section   (9)   of   Section   2,
Sections 39A and 56 of the MMC Act, the Commissioner of the
Municipal   Corporation   will   have   the   power   to   suspend   or
initiate departmental proceedings against an AMC, who is an
officer,   superior   in   rank   to   the   Assistant   Commissioner.
However, in case of suspension of such an officer, the only
requirement   would   be   to   report   to   the   Corporation,   with
reasons thereof, and if such a suspension is not confirmed by
the Corporation within a period of six months from the date of
such   suspension,   the  same  shall   come  to   an   end.    In   our
considered   view,   any   other   interpretation   would   lead   to
absurdity and anomaly, and therefore will have to be avoided.
46. We find that the appeals deserve to be allowed on another
rule of interpretation, that the statute has to be interpreted in
such a manner that it preserves its workability.  Recently, this
Court, in the case of  Sanjay  Ramdas  Patil   v.  Sanjay  and
37
Others9
, has referred to the earlier judgments of this Court and
observed thus:
“36. …..It   will   be   relevant   to   refer   to   the
observations of this Court in State of T.N. v. M.K.
Kandaswami [State   of   T.N. v. M.K.   Kandaswami,
(1975) 4 SCC 745 : 1975 SCC (Tax) 402] : (SCC p.
751, para 26)
“26. … If more than one construction is
possible,   that   which   preserves   its
workability, and efficacy is to be preferred
to the one which would render it otiose or
sterile.”
37. This   Court   in CIT v. Hindustan   Bulk
Carriers [CIT v. Hindustan   Bulk   Carriers,   (2003)   3
SCC 57] has observed thus : (SCC p. 73, para 15)
“15. A statute is designed to be workable
and the interpretation thereof by a court
should  be  to   secure  that  object  unless
crucial omission or clear direction makes
that   end   unattainable.
(See Whitney v. IRC [Whitney v. IRC, 1926
AC 37 : 10 Tax Cas 88 (HL) : 95 LJKB
165 : 134 LT 98] , AC at p. 52 referred to
in CIT v. S.   Teja   Singh [CIT v. S.   Teja
Singh, AIR 1959 SC 352 : (1959) 35 ITR
408]   and Gursahai
Saigal v. CIT [Gursahai Saigal v. CIT, AIR
1963 SC 1062 : (1963) 48 ITR 1] .)”
9 (2021) 10 SCC 306
38
38. In Balram   Kumawat v. Union   of   India [Balram
Kumawat v. Union of India, (2003) 7 SCC 628] , this
Court observed thus : (SCC pp. 636­37, paras 25­
26)
“25. A statute must be construed as a
workable instrument. Ut res magis valeat
quam pereat is a well­known principle of
law.   In Tinsukhia   Electric   Supply   Co.
Ltd. v. State of Assam [Tinsukhia Electric
Supply Co. Ltd. v. State of Assam, (1989)
3   SCC   709]   this   Court   stated   the   law
thus : (SCC p. 754, paras 118­20)
‘118.   The   courts   strongly   lean
against   any   construction   which
tends to reduce a statute to futility.
The provision of a statute must be
so construed as to make it effective
and operative, on the principle “ut
res magis valeat quam pereat”. It is,
no doubt, true that if a statute is
absolutely   vague   and   its   language
wholly   intractable   and   absolutely
meaningless,   the   statute   could   be
declared void for vagueness. This is
not in judicial review by testing the
law   for   arbitrariness   or
unreasonableness under Article 14;
but   what   a   court   of   construction,
dealing   with   the   language   of   a
statute, does in order to ascertain
from, and accord to, the statute the
meaning   and   purpose   which   the
39
legislature   intended   for   it.
In Manchester   Ship   Canal
Co. v. Manchester   Racecourse
Co. [Manchester   Ship   Canal
Co. v. Manchester   Racecourse   Co.,
(1900) 2 Ch 352 : 69 LJCh 850 : 83
LT   274]   Farwell,   J.   said:   (Ch   pp.
360­61)
“Unless   the   words   were   so
absolutely senseless that I could
do   nothing   at   all   with   them,   I
should   be   bound   to   find   some
meaning, and not to declare them
void for uncertainty.”
119.   In Fawcett   Properties
Ltd. v. Buckingham   County
Council [Fawcett   Properties
Ltd. v. Buckingham   County   Council,
(1960) 3 WLR 831 : (1960) 3 All ER
503   (HL)]   Lord   Denning   approving
the dictum of Farwell, J., said: (WLR
p. 849 : All ER p. 516)
“But   when   a   statute   has   some
meaning,   even   though   it   is
obscure,   or   several   meanings,
even   though   there   is   little   to
choose between them, the courts
have   to   say   what   meaning   the
statute   is   to   bear,   rather   than
reject it as a nullity.”
40
120. It is, therefore, the court's duty
to make what it can of the statute,
knowing that the statutes are meant
to be operative and not inept and
that   nothing   short   of   impossibility
should   allow   a   court   to   declare   a
statute   unworkable.
In Whitney v. IRC [Whitney v. IRC,
1926 AC 37 : 10 Tax Cas 88 (HL) :
95   LJKB   165   :   134   LT   98]   Lord
Dunedin said : (AC p. 52)
“A   statute   is   designed   to   be
workable, and the interpretation
thereof by a court should be to
secure that object, unless crucial
omission or clear direction makes
that end unattainable.” ’
26. The courts will therefore reject that
construction which will defeat the plain
intention of the legislature even though
there may be some inexactitude in the
language   used.
[See Salmon v. Duncombe [Salmon v. Dun
combe, (1886) LR 11 AC 627 (PC) : 55
LJPC 69 : 55 LT 446] (AC at p. 634).]
Reducing the legislation futility shall be
avoided and in a case where the intention
of the legislature cannot be given effect
to,   the   courts   would   accept   the   bolder
construction for the purpose of bringing
about an effective result.”
41
39. It could thus be seen that the Court will have to
prefer an interpretation which makes the statute
workable. The interpretation which gives effect to
the   intention   of   the   legislature,   will   have   to   be
preferred. The interpretation which brings about the
effect of result, will have to be preferred than the
one   which   defeats   the   purpose   of   the
enactment……”
47. We are of the considered view that the legislature could
not have intended a situation, wherein though the post of AMC
is created by the State Government and a suitable person is
appointed by it and though a person appointed on the said post
becomes an employee of the Corporation, there would be no
provision in the statute to initiate departmental proceedings
against him.   If such an interpretation is accepted, it would
lead to absurdity and create a vacuum. In our opinion, in order
to avoid such a situation, the interpretation as placed by us on
the   aforesaid   provisions   of   the   MMC   Act   will   have   to   be
preferred. 
48. Insofar as the contention raised on behalf of respondent
No.1   that   the   term   “competent   authority”   as   used   in   sub42
section (1) of Section 56 of the MMC Act will have to be read as
a “competent authority” in respect of appointments to be made
for the posts in Chapter IV is concerned, we are unable to
accept the said contention.  Such a restrictive meaning would
render the legislation otiose.     In any event, it is to be noted
that though a Transport Manager is appointed under Section
40 of the MMC Act, which is a part of Chapter II, a Transport
Manager is specifically referred to in clause (b) of sub­section
(1) of Section 56 of the MMC Act which is a part of Chapter IV
and   empowers   the   Commissioner   to   suspend   his   services,
however, with a requirement of reporting the same with reasons
to the Corporation.  It is thus clear that if the legislative intent
was   to   give   a   narrower   meaning   to   the   term   “competent
authority”, only to mean such authorities who were found in
Chapter IV, then there would have been no reference in subsection (1) of Section 56 of the MMC Act to Transport Manager,
who   is   appointed   under   Chapter   II   of   the   MMC   Act.     We
therefore find that the contention in that regard needs to be
rejected.
43
49. We  are therefore of the  considered view  that the  High
Court has totally erred in setting aside the suspension and the
departmental   proceedings   initiated   against   respondent   No.1.
The effect of the impugned judgment is that the respondent No.
1, who has been, prima facie, found to be involved in a serious
misconduct, has been left scot­free without requiring to face
any departmental proceedings and directed to be reinstated in
services. 
50. Insofar as the prolonged suspension of the respondent
No.1   is   concerned,   the   respondent   No.1   has   relied   on   the
judgments   of   this   Court   in   the   cases   of  Ajay   Kumar
Choudhary (supra) and State of Tamil Nadu represented by
Secretary to Government (Home) v. Promod Kumar, IPS and
Another10.  Insofar as the judgment of this Court in the case of
Ajay   Kumar   Choudhary  (supra)   is   concerned,   though   this
Court has deprecated the protracted period of suspension and
repeated renewal thereof, in the facts of the said case, this
10 (2018) 17 SCC 677
44
Court found that since the appellant therein was served with a
charge­sheet, the direction issued in the said case may not be
relevant to him any longer. 
51. Insofar   as   the   judgment   of   this   Court   in   the   case   of
Promod Kumar, IPS (supra) is concerned, this Court observed
thus:
“24.  ….There cannot be any dispute regarding the
power or jurisdiction of the State Government for
continuing the first respondent under suspension
pending criminal trial. There is no doubt that the
allegations made against the first respondent are
serious in nature. However, the point is whether the
continued suspension of the first respondent for a
prolonged period is justified.”
52. In   the   said   case,   the   respondent   No.1   therein   was
suspended for more than six years.  This Court found that no
useful purpose would be served by continuing the respondent
No.1 therein under suspension any longer.
53. We find that in the present case, it is the respondent No.1
who, though called upon to  participate in the  departmental
proceedings, has on his own, chosen not to participate therein.
45
It is the respondent No.1, who had objected to the initiation of
the   departmental   proceedings   by   the   Commissioner   on   the
ground   of   jurisdiction   and   refused   to   participate   in   the
departmental   proceedings.     We   therefore   find   that   the
respondent No.1 cannot be permitted to take benefit of his own
wrong.     In   any   case,   we   find   that   the   issue   of   prolonged
suspension   would   be   taken   care   of   by   directing   the
departmental proceedings to be completed within a stipulated
period but the suspension of respondent No.1 would continue
till then.
54. We find that the impugned judgment passed by the High
Court is not sustainable in law.  
55. In   the   result,   the   appeals   are   allowed   in   the   following
terms:  
(i) The impugned judgment dated 6th April 2021, passed by
the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Writ Petition
(ST.) No. 3599 of 2020 is quashed and set aside;  
46
(ii) The  Writ Petition (ST.) No. 3599 of 2020 filed by the
respondent No.1 before the High Court of Judicature at
Bombay is dismissed; 
(iii) The   departmental   proceedings   initiated   against
respondent   No.1   are   directed   to   be   completed   as
expeditiously   as   possible   and   in   any   case,   within   a
period of four months from the date of this judgment.
The   respondent   No.1   would   continue   to   be   under
suspension till the conclusion of the said departmental
proceedings; and
(iv) Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of in
the above terms. No order as to costs.
..…..….......................J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]
.…….........................J.       
[B.R. GAVAI]
NEW DELHI;
MARCH 31, 2022.
47

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