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A. Maheswari v/s The Deputy Chief Executive (Administration), Nuclear Fuel Complex, Department of Atomic Energy, Hyderabad & Others


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    W.P.(MD)No. SR 29869 of 2020

    Decided On, 09 September 2020

    At, Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SURESH KUMAR

    For the Petitioner: T. Aswin Rajasimman, T. Lajapathi Roy, Advocates. For the Respondents: ------



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Writ Petition - filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India, to issue a writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records pertaining to the Impugned order in Ref.NPC/Vig/1/01/6490/2020/271 dated 30.06.2020 on the file of the Respondent No.5 and quash the same as illegal and consequently for a direction, directing the Respondent No.3 to drop the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the petitioner in view of the Report of the District Vigilance Committee vide Roc.No.AW2/34652/2014 dated 09.05.2018 and the Report of the Inquiry Officer dated 27.03.2019 within the time period stipulated by this Court.)1. This Writ petition in W.P.(MD) SR 29869 of 2020 has been posted by the Registry under the caption 'for maintainability'.2. Heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner.3. This writ petition has been filed to quash the impugned order dated 30.06.2020 passed by the 5th respondent viz., the Industrial Relations Officer (Vig.), Nuclear Fuel Complex, Department of Atomic Energy, Vigilance Section, ECIL Post, Hyderabad – 500062. Since the 5th respondent and other respondents come under the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, especially under The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, which is one of the organization included in the list of Governmental Organizations or Department, for the purpose of jurisdiction, under the provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act 1985, and in respect of service disputes of Central Government Employees, the issue can be raised, at the first instance, before the concerned Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal. Hence the Registry raised the objection as to how this writ petition is maintainable before this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.4. Apart from the Central Government Departments, some of the independent statutory organisations under the aegis of Central Government and its instrumentalities, also are included in the list of organisations for the purpose of jurisdiction to be conferred on the Central Administrative Tribunal. Time and again, these organizations are included in the list and are being published.5. In this context, though the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner would agree that, the respondent department is one of the department or the respondent organization viz., Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is one of the organization, which was included in the Central Government's notification for the purpose of jurisdiction of Central Administrative Tribunal and accordingly, the service issue in this writ petition can only be filed at the first instance before the Central Administrative Tribunal, however, would submit that, in view of the factual matrix of this case, the Central Administrative Tribunal may not be an effective alternative remedy and therefore, in order to have an effective alternative remedy, the petitioner has filed this writ petition before this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, therefore, it is maintainable.6. In this context, the learned counsel relied upon a decision of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in (2003) 2 Supreme Court Cases 107 – Harbasanlal Sahnia V. Indian Corporation Limited, where, he relied upon para No.7, which is extracted hereunder:“7. So far as the view taken by the High Court that the remedy by way of recourse to arbitration clause was available to the appellants and therefore the writ petition filed by the appellants was liable to be dismissed is concerned, suffice it to observe that the rule of exclusion of writ jurisdiction by availability of an alternative remedy is a rule of discretion and not one of compulsion. In an appropriate case, in spite of availability of the alternative remedy, the High Court may still exercise its writ jurisdiction in at least three contingencies: (I) where the writ petition seeks enforcement of any of the fundamental rights; (ii) where there is failure of principles of natural justice; or (iii) where the orders or proceedings are wholly without jurisdiction or the vires of an Act is challenged. (See Whirlpool Corpn. V. Registrar of Trade Marks). The present case attracts applicability of the first two contingencies. Moreover, as noted, the petitioners' dealership, which is their bread and butter, came to be terminated for an irrelevant and non-existent cause. In such circumstances, we feel that the appellants should have been allowed relief by the High Court itself instead of driving them to the need of initiating arbitration proceedings.”7. Relying upon the said decision, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner would submit that, in this case also, fundamental right of the petitioner is affected, therefore, he can very well invoke the jurisdiction of this Court without going to the Central Administrative Tribunal.8. According to the petitioner counsel, the petitioner married a person belongs to other religion that means, the wedlock was inter-religious. Therefore, on that ground only, the disciplinary action was initiated against the petitioner, therefore, he submits that the Central Administrative Tribunal is not an effective remedy.9. Be that as it may, on the merits of the case as to whether the disciplinary action or any other action initiated against the petitioner would be a sustainable one in the eye of law, can very well be decided by the Central Administrative Tribunal.10. The Central Administrative Tribunal alternatively exercising the jurisdiction at Regional level or State level by various benches throughout the country, where, this kind of service disputes of Central Government employees and other organizations notified in this regard, would be first redressed only before the Central Administrative Tribunal and only thereafter, under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India, as per the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in L.Chandrakumar Vs. Union of India reported in AIR 1997 SC 1125, judicial review would be available to the aggrieved party who may either be employer or employee, before the Division Bench of the jurisdictional High Court.11. When that being the position and the forum has been well earmarked, this Court feels that, the petitioner cannot bye pass the same and file directly the writ petition before this Court invoking Article 226 of the Constitution of India.12. In these circumstances of the present case, where it is a service dispute, it can very well be agitated before the Central Administrative Tribunal. The principle, as quoted by the learne

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d counsel appearing for the petitioner, made in (2003) 2 Supreme Court Cases 107 – Harbasanlal Sahnia V. Indian Corporation Limited may not be applicable in this case and therefore, this Court has no hesitation to hold that, the petitioner can agitate the issue on merits only by way of Original Application before the Central Administrative Tribunal and not before this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.13. In that view of the matter, this writ petition is not maintainable before this Court. Accordingly, the office objection is sustained. Registry is directed to return all the case papers, after retaining photocopies for records purpose, to the learned counsel for the petitioner on acknowledgement.
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