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M. James Christopher v/s Divisional Personnel Officer. South Central Railway & Others

    Writ Petition No. 1901 of 1971

    Decided On, 23 November 1972

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh


    For the Petitioner: N. Raghavan, Advocate. For the Respondents: A. Raghuvir, Standing Counsel for Railways on behalf.

Judgment Text

Chinnappa Reddy, J.

1. The petitioner was originally appointed as Substitute Teacher in the Railway Mixed Upper Primary School at Rajahmundry on 30-8-1989. His services were terminated on 7-11-1969. He was again re-employed. His services were again terminated and this intermittent process went on for some considerable time. However he worked continuously from 19-2-1970 to 10-6-1971 on which date a notice was given to him terminating his services under Rule 149 of the Indian Railway Establishment Code. The petitioner claims that after three months' service as a Subst

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tute Teacher, he attained the temporary status contemplated by the Rules and thereafter he was entitled to remain in service until he was subjected to a selection by a selection board. The selection board would then regularise the services or refuse to select him in which case his services could be terminated. He alleged that his services have now been terminated as a consequence of selection made by the Railway Service Commission. He submits that these direct recruits cannot replace him unless he himself is subject to the process of selection by the selection board.2. The learned counsel for the petitioner drew my attention to the letter No. E(NG) 61 RC 1/40 dated 28-10-1961 from the Assistant Director. Establishment. Railway Board, New Delhi to the General Manager. South Eastern Railway, Calcutta. By this letter certain points raised by the General Manager were answered by the Railway Board. Point (a) raised by the General Manager was whether the substitute teachers may be treated as temporary employees and they may be granted the privileges of leave, passes etc. as are admissible to temporary employees of the Railway. The Board's answer was that substitute teachers should be treated as temporary employees provided they have put in continuous service of three months and above. Point (b) was whether the service of the substitute teachers. who were subsequently recruited in the regular manner as approved candidates may be treated as continuous for all purposes except for seniority which may count from the date on which the panel is made available by the Commission. The Board's answer was that the service of such teachers may be treated as continuous for all purposes except for seniority which Should count from the date their appointments are regularised by the selection board in terms of a letter of the Board dated 1-4-1957. It was also mentioned in the answer, that answer (b) had the sanction of the President. The learned counsel also invited my attention to a letter dated 16-9-1963, from the Railway Board to the General Manager of the Central Railway and others in which a reference was made to an earlier letter of the Board dated 30-1-1969 where it had been laid down that all substitute, casual and temporary workmen will have a prior claim over others to permanent recruitment. It is doubtful whether this letter which refers to workmen can apply at all to teachers. The learned counsel drew my attention to paragraph 2318 of the Indian Railway Establishment Manual, which provides:"Substitutes should be afforded all the rights and privileges as may be admissible to temporary railway servants, from time to time on completion of six months continuous service. Substitute school teachers may. however, be afforded temporary status after they have put in continuous service of three months and their services should be treated as continuous for all purposes except seniority on their eventual absorption against regular posts after selection."There is a note appended to para 2318 which states:"The conferment of temporary status on the Substitutes on completion of six months continuous service will not entitle them to automatic absorption or appointment to railway service unless they are in turn for such appointment on the basis of their position in select lists and/or they are selected in the approved manner for appointment to regular railway posts."3. On this material the learned counsel wants me to draw the inference that the temporary status have a right to be continued in service until they are subjected to a process of selection and are either selected or not selected for regular appointment. It is difficult to read so much into these communications say is that the substitute teachers who have attained temporary status and who are thereafter appointed regularly by the selection board will be entitled to have their services treated as continuous for all purpose except for the purpose of seniority. It is difficult to read these communication as implying a right to continue in the post subject to the process of selection and rejection. In the counter-affidavit it has been pointed that the Railway Service Commission selection certain direct recruits for appointment as teachers and prepared a panel on 1.4.1969. But the panel could not be given effect for some considerable time because of the writ petitions filed by some substitute teachers who had responded to an advertisement dated 20.6.1968 and whose selection was yet incomplete by them. The writ petition filed by those substitute teachers were allowed and this Court directed that the panel should not be given effect until the selection process of the substitute teachers. who had responded to the advertisement dated 20.6.1968. This resulted in the order terminating the services of the petitioner. It will be seen from these facts that the petitioners services were being replaced by persons who had been selected by the Railway Service Commission long before the petitioner was even entertained as a substitute teacher. The petitioner cannot therefore have any real grievance.4. In the result the Writ Petition is dismissed. But in the circumstances there will be no order regarding costs.Petition dismissed.

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