* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI + W.P. (Civil) No.7437 of 2010 % Date of Decision: 09.02.2011 Union of India & Ors. ....Petitioners Through Mr.R.V.Sinha & Mr.Kumar Rajesh Singh, Advocates.
Harcharan Singh & Ors. ...... Respondents Through Mr.A.K.Trivedi, Advocate
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ANIL KUMAR
HON'BLE MS. JUSTICE VEENA BIRBAL
Whether reporters of Local papers may be YES allowed to see the judgment?
To be referred to the reporter or not? NO Whether the judgment should be reported NO in the Digest?
ANIL KUMAR, J.
1. The petitioners, Union of India through General Manager, Northern Railway & Ors., have challenged the order dated 4th June, 2010 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi in OA No.1915 of 2010, titled 'Harcharan Singh & Others v. Union of Indian & Ors.' directing the petitioners to consider the prayer of the respondents to grant the increments between the intervening period from the date of removal to the date of reinstatement in the light of the Judgment of the Rajasthan High Court dated 25th September, W.P.(C) No.7437/2010 Page 1 of 5 2007 which was upheld by the Supreme Court and if the respondents are found to be similarly situated, then the same benefit be extended to them.
2. The respondents had filed an Original Application before the Central Administrative Tribunal contending inter-alia that they were amongst those who were dismissed by the petitioners for participating in the General Railways Employees Strike (Locomen Strike) in 1981. According to the respondents, they were reinstated in November 1993, however, they have not been given the benefits of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 5th August, 1993 in the matter of 'Union of India & Anr. v. V.Raddappa & Ors. (Civil Appeal Nos.4681-82 of 1992) whereby notional continuity from the date of termination till the date of restoration for the purpose of calculation of pensionary benefits were granted. The respondents contended that they are similarly situated and are entitled for all the benefits which were granted by the Supreme Court to the other employees.
3. The Original Application of the respondents was taken up for consideration by the Central Administrative Tribunal on 4th June, 2010 and was disposed of without issuing a notice to the petitioners and without taking into consideration any objections or opposition on their behalf against the prayers made by the respondents. W.P.(C) No.7437/2010 Page 2 of 5
4. The learned counsel for the petitioners has contended that the claims of the respondents which have been allowed by the Central Administrative Tribunal by allowing the OA No.1915 of 2010 were barred by time as the application was filed by the respondents in 2010. It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that notice was not issued by the Tribunal to them and the petition had been decided merely on the basis of the averments made by the respondents.
5. Learned counsel for the respondents have admitted that notice was not issued by the Tribunal to the petitioners and the order has been passed to consider their claim, as the respondents are only claiming that the benefit which has been given to similarly placed employees be also granted to them in terms of order of the Supreme Court as detailed hereinabove. Learned counsel has contended that the claims of the respondents are not barred by time as has been alleged by the petitioners. In any case the Tribunal has not granted the relief and has only observed that the claim of the respondents be considered and if the respondents are found to be similarly situated, then the benefit extended to other similarly placed employees be also extended to them.
6. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. The admitted position is that the notice was not issued to the petitioners, nor had they been heard. Howsoever, irrelevant or frivolous may be the plea or opposition by the petitioners to the claim of the respondents, or whether W.P.(C) No.7437/2010 Page 3 of 5 the relevancy of the plea is acceptable or not could be decided only after hearing the petitioners after issuing a notice to them. In the absence of a notice being issued to the petitioners, the original application of the respondents could not have been allowed even though it was only with a direction to consider their pleas by the petitioner.
7. Learned counsel for the respondents is unable to cite any law or precedent under which any application filed by the respondents could be decided without hearing those parties against whom the relief was claimed. The Tribunal could not have foreseen as to what objection or opposition would be raised by the petitioners. In any case what could be the objections or oppositions to the claim of the respondents could be considered only after giving notice to the petitioners and after giving them a hearing. The course of action adopted by the Tribunal cannot be sustained and approved in the facts and circumstances of the case. The order of the Tribunal is illegal and is not sustainable in the facts and circumstances of the case.
8. Before any relief could be granted to the respondents, even of consideration of their claim, the Tribunal was bound to give a hearing to the petitioners. In the circumstances, the order dated 4th June, 2010 is liable to be set aside and the Tribunal is liable to hear both the parties before passing any order. Since the petitioners have filed the present writ petition and are aware of the pleas and contentions raised W.P.(C) No.7437/2010 Page 4 of 5 by the respondents in their original application, the directions can be given to the petitioners to appear before the Tribunal and file a reply to the OA of the respondents expeditiously whereafter the Tribunal should hear both the parties and decide the matter.
9. For the foregoing reasons, the writ petition is allowed. The impugned order dated 4th June, 2010 in OA No.1915 of 2010, titled 'Harcharan Singh & Ors. v. UOI & Ors.', is set aside and the matter is remanded back to the Tribunal to pass a fresh order after giving a hearing to the petitioners on the original application of the respondents. The parties shall appear before the Tribunal on 1st March, 2011. The Tribunal shall give time to the petitioners to file the reply, if any, and thereafter shall decide the application expeditiously. With these directions, the writ petition is disposed of. Parties are left to bear their own costs.
ANIL KUMAR, J.
February 09, 2011. VEENA BIRBAL, J. 'vk'
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