State of Uttarakhand & Anr. vs Mayan Pal Singh Verma

State of Uttarakhand & Anr. vs Mayan Pal Singh Verma - Supreme Court Case


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2905 OF 2022
State of Uttarakhand & Anr.           ..Appellant (S)
Versus
Mayan Pal Singh Verma                    ..Respondent (S)
J U D G M E N T 
M. R. Shah, J.
1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned order
passed   by   the   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   of
Uttarakhand at Nainital in WPSB No. 9/2022, by which
the   High   Court   has   disposed   of   the   said   writ   petition
without   deciding   the   writ   petition   on   merits   and   has
directed the Department to comply with the order passed
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by the Tribunal which was under challenge before it, the
State has preferred the present appeal.
  
2. Feeling   aggrieved   with   the   order   passed   by   the
Uttarakhand Public Service Tribunal, Dehradun (for short
“Tribunal”) in Claim Petition No.104/DB/2009, by which
the Tribunal directed the Department to ignore the uncommunicated   “Uttam”   entries   in   the   ACRs   while
considering  the  case  of  the  original  applicant  –  private
respondent herein for his promotion to the post of the
Chief Engineer Level­2 by the reviewed ACP, the State of
Uttarakhand   had   preferred   the   writ   petition   before   the
High Court. By the impugned order, the Division Bench of
the   High   Court   has   disposed   of   the   said   writ   petition
without deciding the writ petition on merits and without
expressing   anything   on   the   legality   and   validity   of   the
order passed by the Tribunal and has directed the State to
comply with the order passed by the Tribunal by observing
that   though   Tribunal   had   passed   an   order   on   15th
September, 2021, no review ACP has been constituted.
There is no discussion at all by the High Court on the
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merits of the order passed by the Tribunal, which was
under challenge before it. The impugned order reads as
under: ­ 
“The matter is taken up through virtual hearing.
Heard   Mr.   Pradeep   Joshi,   learned   Standing
Counsel for the appellant. 
In this case, the petitioner has assailed the order
passed by the Uttarakhand Public Service Tribunal,
Dehradun   in   Claim   Petition   No.   104/DB/2009
directing   the   opposite   party   to   ignore   the   uncommunicated   ''Uttam”   entries   in   the   ACRs   while
considering the case of the private respondent for his
promotion to the post of the Chief Engineer level­2 by
the   reviewed   ACP.   It   is   further   directed   that   the
respondent­Department   may  hold   the   reviewed   ACP
within three months from the date representation of
the certified copy of this order. This Order has been
passed on 15th  September, 2021 till then no review
ACP has been constituted. Let that order passed by
the Tribunal be complied within 21 days from today. 
With such observation, the writ application is
disposed of.”
2.1 From the writ petition produced on record, it appears
that the order passed by the Tribunal was challenged on
a number of grounds. None of the grounds raised in the
writ petition has been dealt with and/or considered by
the High Court on merits. There is no discussion at all on
any   of   the   grounds   raised   in   the   writ   petition.   The
Division Bench of the High Court has disposed of the writ
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petition in a most cavalier and cursory manner, which is
unsustainable. The High Court has disposed of the writ
petition without deciding the writ petition on merits and
has directed the Department to comply with the order
passed by the Tribunal solely by observing that the order
has been passed on 15th September, 2021 and till date no
review   ACP   has   been   constituted.   However,   the   High
Court ought to have noted that the order passed by the
Tribunal was under challenge before it and therefore, the
High Court was required to decide and dispose of the writ
petition   on   merits   and   consider   the   legality   and
correctness of the order passed by the Tribunal. 
2.2 The manner in which the High Court has dealt with and
disposed of the writ petition without deciding the writ
petition on merits cannot be appreciated at all. When a
number   of   issues/grounds   were   raised   in   the   writ
petition, there was the duty cast upon the High Court to
deal with the same and thereafter, to pass a reasoned
order. In the recent decision in the case of Vishal Ashwin
Patel   Vs.   Assistant   Commissioner   of   Income   Tax
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Circle 25(3) & Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 2200/2022), it was
observed   by   this   Court   that   when   the   Constitution
confers on the High Courts the power to give relief, it
becomes the duty of the High Courts to give such relief in
appropriate cases and the High Courts would be failing to
perform   its   duty   if   relief   is   refused   without   adequate
reasons. It is further observed that in this case, the High
Court   in   exercise   of   powers   under   Article   226   of   the
Constitution of India was required to have independently
considered the legality and validity of the order passed by
the Tribunal which was under challenge before it. Neither
any submission on merits is recorded nor is there any
discussion   on   the   merits   of   the   matter   on   the   order
passed by the Tribunal. There is no application of mind
at all by the High Court on merits of the order passed by
the Tribunal. It can be seen that the High Court has
failed   to   exercise   its   jurisdiction   vested   in   it   while
exercising   the   powers   under   Article   226/227   of   the
Constitution of India. 
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2.3 While   emphasising   the   necessity   to   pass   a   reasoned
order,   in   the   case   of  Central   Board   of   Trustees   Vs.
Indore Composite Private Limited, (2018) 8 SCC 443,
it was observed and held by this Court that the courts
need to pass a reasoned order in every case which must
contain the narration of the bare facts of the case of the
parties   to   the   lis,   the   issues   arising   in   the   case,   the
submissions urged by the parties, the legal principles
applicable   to   the   issues   involved   and   the   reasons   in
support of the findings on all the issues arising in the
case and urged by the learned counsel for the parties in
support of its conclusion. It was further observed in the
said decision that an order bereft of reasoning causes
prejudice to the parties because it deprives them to know
the reasons as to why one party has won and other has
lost. 
2.4 In a recent decision in the case of Union Public Service
Commission   Vs.   Bibhu   Prasad   Sarangi   and   Ors.,
(2021) 4 SCC 516, while emphasising that reasons ought
to be given by the High Court while exercising powers
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under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, it was
observed   and   held   by   this   Court   that   the   reasons
constitute the soul of judicial decision and how Judges
communicate   in   their   judgment   is   a   defining
characteristic of judicial process since quality of justice
brings legitimacy to the judiciary. It is further observed
that though statistics of disposal of cases is important, of
a higher value, is the intrinsic content and of a quality
judgment. It is further observed that in exercise of powers
under Article 226 the courts require to independently
consider the issues involved. 
3. Applying   the   law   laid   by   this   Court   in   the   aforesaid
decisions   to   the   facts   of   the   case   on   hand   and   the
manner in which the High Court has disposed of the writ
petition, in the interest of sobriety, we may only note that
the order is bereft of reasoning as diverse grounds were
urged/raised by the parties which ought to have been
examined by the High Court in the first place and a clear
finding was required to be recorded upon analysing the
relevant documents. 
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4. Since we cannot countenance the manner in which the
order  has   been  passed   by   the   High   Court   which   has
compelled us to remand the matter to the High Court for
deciding the writ petition afresh on merits, we do so in
light of the aforesaid observations. 
5. In light of the foregoing discussion, we allow the present
appeal and set aside the impugned order passed by the
High Court and remand the matter to the Division Bench
of the High Court for deciding the writ petition afresh in
accordance with law, keeping in view our observations
made supra. We, however, make it clear that we have
refrained from making any observation on the merits of
the controversy, having formed an opinion to remand the
case to the High Court only for the reasons mentioned
above. The High Court would, therefore, decide the writ
petition, bearing in mind our observations made above
and strictly in accordance with law. 
With   the   above   directions,   the   present   appeal   is
accordingly allowed and the impugned order is set aside.
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The matter is remanded to the High Court as aforesaid.
No costs.            
…………………………………J.
                (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
 (B.V. NAGARATHNA)
New Delhi, 
April 19, 2022.
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