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A. Srinivasa Rao And Ors. Vs The Govt. Of A.P.

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CASE BRIEF

Citations: 2002 (4) ALD 881, 2002 (4) ALT 475

Case Type: Civil

Case No: 17035 of 1990.

Decided On: 26 July, 2002

Petitioner: A. Srinivasa Rao And Ors

Respondent: The Govt. Of A.P.

Bench: B S Reddy, V Eswaraiah

Statutes Referred:

Article 226, Article 227,227(1), 227(2), Article 228, Article 323-A and the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985

Cases Referred:

Ranbir Yadav v. Stale of Bihar, ,

Mohd. Baquar v. Hyderabad State, AIR 1951 Hyd. 82,

Inder Singh v. State of Rajasthan,

T.N. Seshan, Chief Election Commissioner of India v. Union of India,

In State of Orissa v. Bhagaban Sarangi

Facts:

The petitioners herein claim to possess worked as nominee Village Administrative Officers in leave vacancies for a substantial time. the specified particulars are stated within the annexure appended to the writ petition.

They claim to possess the requisite minimum qualifications to carry the newly created post of Panchayat Secretary.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh having examined the difficulty of providing a Secretary to every Gram Panchayat within the interest of excellent village level governance decided to appoint a Secretary to every Gram Panchayat who are going to be called as ‘Panchayat Secretary’, the govt accordingly created the post of Panchayat Secretary in each Panchayat combining the revenue and Panchayat functions and accordingly promulgated the principles called as “The Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Subordinate Service (Supplementary) Rules” (for short ‘the Rules’) where under the service consisting of certain additional categories of posts within the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Subordinate Service is constituted.

The tactic of appointment is by transfer from the V.D.O. Grade-I, V.D.O. Grade-II, V.D.O. Grade-III and also from the excess manpower pool maintained by the Finance Department. there’s no direct recruitment intrinsically for filling up the said posts. The posts are sought to be filled up with the eligible candidates by way of re-deployment.

Issues Involved: The grievance of the petitioners is that the govt didn’t consider their case for being appointed as Panchayat Secretaries though they’re fully qualified and eligible with sufficient experience to carry the posts. In short, it’s their case that the govt with none reason or justification ignored their legitimate claim for being appointed as Panchayat Secretaries and resorted to filling up the posts from out of the excess manpower working in various other departments on temporary basis though the said surplus employees don’t have any experience or maybe acquaintance with the village administration.

It’s under those circumstances, the petitioners invoked the jurisdiction of the Tribunal by filing OA No. 2913 of 2002 challenging the constitutional validity of the said rules on various grounds

Observations/Obiter Dicta:

Subordination of Tribunals and Courts functioning within the territorial jurisdiction of a High Court can be either judicial or administrative or both. The power of superintendence exercised by the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution is judicial superintendence and not administrative superintendence, such as one which vests in the High Court under Article 235 of the Constitution over subordinate Courts. Vide para 96 of L. Chandra Kumar case the Constitution Bench did not agree with the suggestion that the Tribunals be made subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Courts within whose territorial jurisdiction they fall, as our constitutional scheme does not require that all adjudicatory bodies which fall within the territorial jurisdiction of any High Court should be subject to its supervisory jurisdiction. Obviously, the supervisory jurisdiction referred to by the Constitution Bench in para 96 of the judgment is the supervision of the administrative functioning of the Tribunals as is spelt out by discussion made in paras 96 and 97 of the judgment.

Rationale:

It’s clear from the dicta laid down in L. Chandra Kumar that no appellant is entitled and be permitted to directly invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226/227 of the Constitution for grant of any relief in commission related matters. It’ll not be open for the litigants to directly approach the High Court’s even in cases where they question the vires of statutory legislations by overlooking the jurisdiction of the Tribunal concerned. However, the choices of Tribunals created pursuant to Article 323-A of the Constitution are going to be subject to the present Court’s writ jurisdiction under Article 226/227 of the Constitution before a Division Bench.

Judgement:

Withdrawal of an original proceeding by this Court for whatever reason in order to decide the same may amount to indirectly interfering with the law laid down by the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar (supra) and such a course is impermissible. This Court is not only bound by the law declared by the Supreme Court but also bound to follow and enforce the law so declared by the Supreme Court in its letter and spirit. Any interference in this matter by this Court in order to transfer and withdraw the pending original proceeding from the Tribunal may amount to tinkering with the law declared by the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar (supra). What cannot be done directly cannot be done in an indirect manner.

For the aforesaid reasons, we are of the considered view that this Court in exercise of its jurisdiction either under Article 226, or 227 read with Article 228 of the Constitution is not empowered to withdraw a case to itself from a Tribunal established and constituted under the provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 and dispose of the same or determine merely the question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution arising in such a case before the Tribunal. For all the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any merit in this writ petition. The same shall accordingly stand dismissed. No order as to costs.

The Court acknowledges the valuable assistance rendered by Sri D. Prakash Reddy and Sri Ramesh Ranganathan, learned Additional Advocates-General.

It is needless to observe that the observations, if any, made in this order shall have any bearing whatsoever upon the merits of the case in OA No. 2913 of 2002 pending before the Tribunal.

Conclusion:

It is thus clear that this Court at the instance of an aggrieved litigant is entitled to judicially review the choice of the Tribunal. But this Court cannot entertain directly any writ petition in commission related matters. But set it simply, this Court is not able to exercise original jurisdiction in any service related matters. The facility and jurisdiction is circumscribed. Therefore, this Court will not be able to withdraw any case or proceeding from the Tribunal even before any decision is rendered by the Tribunal. the choice alone is vulnerable to be judicially reviewed by this Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution.

Prepared by Anushka Choudhary