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Indian Case Summary

K. S. Srinivasan vs Union Of India on 18 February, 1958 – Case Summary

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In the case of K. S. Srinivasan vs Union Of India on 18 February, 1958, the Supreme Court of India was presented with a complex issue concerning the termination of a quasi-permanent government servant. The case was presided over by a bench that included Das, S.K., Bose, Vivian, Das, Sudhi Ranjan (CJ), Aiyar, T.L. Venkatarama, and Sarkar, A.K.

Facts of the Case

K. S. Srinivasan, the appellant, held the post of a Public Relations Officer at All India Radio and was declared to be in quasi-permanent service under rule 3 of the Central Civil Service (Temporary Service) Rules, 1949. As a measure of war economy, the Government decided to hold the post “in abeyance” and the appellant was appointed to officiate as Assistant Station Director in a temporary capacity. He was ordered to carry his quasi-permanent status while holding his new post. However, upon the objection of the Union Public Service Commission, the service of the appellant was terminated and he was appointed to a temporary post of Assistant Information Officer which belonged to a lower grade.

Issues Raised

The appellant moved the High Court for a writ of certiorari, contending that as he had not been called upon to show cause, Article 311(2) of the Constitution was violated. The respondent argued that the order permitting the appellant to carry his quasi-permanent status to his new post had been made under a misapprehension that the post of Assistant Station Director belonged to the same grade as that of the Public Relations Officer, and therefore his service was terminable under the relevant Service Rules.

Court’s Observations

The majority of the bench (Das, C. J., Venkatarama Aiyar, S. K. Das and A. K. Sarkar, JJ.) held that the post of Assistant Station Director was not a post in the same grade as that of the Public Relations Officer and under the relevant Service Rules he could not carry his quasi-permanent status to the new post. They concluded that as the order permitting the appellant to carry his quasi-permanent status was passed under a misapprehension and was not intended to confer on him that status independently in the new post, his service was terminable under rule 6(1) of the Rules.

The court also observed that if a servant has no right to the post and his service can be terminated under the Service Rules, Article 311(2) is not attracted. Consequently, the appellant, who was appointed on a purely temporary capacity, could not seek the protection of Article 311(2).

Bose, J., dissenting, held that the order of the Government permitting the appellant to carry with him the quasi-permanent status he had in his former post was clearly intended to confer on the appellant quasi-permanent status in his new post and the Government could not be allowed to go back upon it although it may have acted under a mistake, subsequently discovered.

This case is significant as it delves into the complexities of service rules and the rights of quasi-permanent government servants, providing a detailed examination of the implications of Article 311(2) of the Constitution.