(Prayer: This Writ petition is filed Under Articles 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India praying to quash the order dated 7.10.2020 issued by the R-1 Vide Annexure-b as arbitrary and Violative of Article14 of the Constitution of India Blatant and inconsistent with the declaration of law by this Court in Uday Kumar Vs State of Karnataka passed in Wp.No.33296/2019 and Writ Appeal No.3843/2019 and etc.)1. The petitioner who is in the cadre of Chief Engineer was appointed as Director of Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (hereinafter referred to as 'KPTCL' for short), by order of appointment dated 06.12.2019. The petitioner is aggrieved by the order dated 07.10.2020 passed by the respondent-State Government, whereby respondent No.4 was appointed as Director of KPTCL and the petitioner was appointed as Managing Director of Power Company of Karnataka Limited (hereinafter referred to as 'PCKL' for short), by virtue of another order passed on the same day. It is submitted that the fourth respondent was the Managing Director of 'PCKL' till the impugned order dated 07.10.2020 was passed.2. Prof. Ravivarma Kumar, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that no doubt, the appointment of the petitioner on 06.12.2019 as Director, KPTCL was under the pleasure of the Government, as the order dated 06.12.2019 clearly mentions that the appointment of the petitioner was "until further orders", nevertheless, it is submitted that appointments made under the pleasure of the Government does not mean licence to act arbitrarily. On the other hand, invocation of doctrine of pleasure by the Government must be for good and compelling reasons and it cannot be at the sweet will, whims and fancy of the State Government, but it can only be for valid reasons and the power referable to the doctrine of pleasure can be used reasonably and only for public good. The learned Senior Counsel submitted that these were the words used by the Hon'ble Division Bench in the case of the fourth respondent, when he challenged the order of a co-ordinate Bench of this Court in W.P.No.33296/2019 before the Division Bench in W.A.No.3843/2019.3. The learned Senior Counsel submits that in W.A.No.3843/2019, clause (b) of Article 74 of the Articles of Association of BESCOM which conferred on the State Government power to nominate and appoint Directors to the office of the Board of Directors or Managing Director or fulltime Directors of the Company, fell for consideration at the hands of the Hon'ble Division Bench. It is submitted that in the present case, with respect to KPTCL, similar provision of law in the form of Clause (b) of Article 30 of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of KPTCL has been invoked by the respondent-State Government.4. While referring to the said decision of Hon'ble Division Bench, it was submitted that when the doctrine of pleasure was invoked by the State Government, valid reasons either in the proposal or in the approval granted by the Hon'ble Chief Minister was necessary. It is submitted that the proposal in the form of notings put up before the Hon'ble Chief Minister did not contain any valid reasons for putting an end to the services of the petitioner as Director, KPTCL and neither did the Hon'ble Chief Minister furnish reasons while approving the proposal. On facts, it was submitted that the fourth respondent is due to attain the age of superannuation on 31.01.2021, while the petitioner would attain the age of superannuation on 30.04.2021. It is submitted that it is difficult to understand what prompted the respondent-State Government to appoint the fourth respondent as Director, KPTCL at the verge of his retirement. Moreover, it was submitted that the fourth respondent did not possess any experience in the field of transmission. The petitioner had earlier worked as Chief Engineer, Transmission Zone, Bagalkot and as Director (Transmission) since November 2019.5. During the course of the argument, it was pointed out by the learned Counsels for the respondents that though the petitioner was appointed as Director of PCKL, by order dated 07.10.2020, he did not report for duty. Subsequently, the State Government issued one more notification dated 16.10.2020 appointing the petitioner as Managing Director, Mysore Electrical Industries Limited (hereinafter referred to as 'MEI Limited' for short).6. Learned Senior Counsel Sri Shashikiran Shetty, appearing for the fourth respondent submitted that even if the petitioner were to succeed in this writ petition and if this Court were to set aside the impugned order dated 07.10.2020, it would be of no avail to the petitioner, since the petitioner took charge as Managing Director of MEI Limited on 16.10.2020.7. To counter the said argument, Prof. Ravivarma Kumar, learned Senior Counsel, while placing reliance on Badrinath Vs. Government of Tamil Nadu and Others reported in AIR 2000 SC 3243 and Chairman-Cum- Managing Director, Coal India Limited and Others Vs. Ananta Saha and Others (2011) 5 SCC 142 submitted that once the basis of a proceeding is gone, by virtue of an order passed by this Court, an intermediate action taken in the meantime would fall to the ground. While drawing the attention of this Court to paragraph-27 of Badrinath's case (supra), it was submitted that the principle of 'consequential orders' which is applicable to judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings is equally applicable to administrative orders. Similarly it was pointed out from paragraphs-32 and 33 of Ananta Saha's case (supra), that in case a foundation is removed, the superstructure falls.8. In the opinion of this Court, the subsequent development in the respondent State Government appointing the petitioner as Director of PCKL by order dated 07.10.2020 and thereafter one more notification dated 16.10.2020 issued by the State Government appointing the petitioner as Managing Director, MEI Ltd., consequent to which the petitioner taking charge as Managing Director of MEI Ltd., on 16.10.2020, without demure, assumes significance. Normally, when transfer orders are challenged before a court of law or tribunal and during the pendency of such proceedings if another order of transfer is passed and the transferee assumes charge by virtue of the subsequent order of transfer, without protest and without raising a challenge to the subsequent orders, the pending proceedings are disposed of as having become infructuous. The obvious reason behind the disposal of the proceedings as having become infructuous is that no useful purpose would be served in proceeding to consider the validity of the previous order of transfer, unless the subsequent order of transfer is also questioned by amending the memorandum of petition, raising grounds of challenge and seeking a specific prayer to set aside the subsequent order of transfer is made, a decision on the previous order of transfer would be rendered useless. It is not a matter of right that by quashing the previous order of transfer that all subsequent orders would axiomatically fall to the ground.9. In the case of Badrinath (supra), the Hon'ble Supreme Court was considering the action of the State Government in initiating subsequent proceedings against a delinquent IAS Officer ignoring the earlier decision of the Governor, who, while exercising the powers of the State Government during President's Rule had dropped the disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent officer. Merely because the matter had gone to the UPSC before the Governor dealt with the issue and thereafter a letter was received from the UPSC, based on which a subsequent order of censure was passed by the State Government, ignoring the decision of the Governor who had exercised the powers of the Government and had dropped the proceedings. It was therefore held that the consequential communication made by the UPSC had no validity in the eye of law, once the Governor had dropped the disciplinary proceedings. Such is not the case on hand.10. Similarly, in the case of Ananta Saha (supra), the CMD, ECL had passed an order initiating disciplinary proceedings consequent to the High Court, in the earlier writ proceedings granting liberty to hold de nova enquiry quashing the earlier proceedings. It was held that it was not permissible for the appellants to proceed on the basis of the charge sheet issued earlier. Therefore, while holding that the order of the CMD was not sufficient to initiate fresh disciplinary proceedings, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that if initial action is not in consonance with law, subsequent proceedings would not sanctify the same. In such fact situation, the legal maxim sublato fundamento cadit opus was said to be applicable, meaning thereby, in case a foundation is removed, the superstructure falls. This decision too is not applicable to the factual matrix of this case. There is no challenge raised by the petitioner to his subsequent appointment as Managing Director, MEI Ltd. Therefore, even if this Court were to quash the impugned order, it would not be sufficient to put the petition back in place as Director, KPTCL. The two orders are independent orders issued by the State Government invoking the doctrine of pleasure.11. Moreover, the admitted facts in the instant case is that the respondent No.4 who has taken charge as Director of KPTCL by virtue of the impugned order dated 07.10.2020 is due to attain the age of superannuation on 31.01.2021, while the petitioner attains the age of superannuation on 30.04.2021. Therefore, this Court is of the opinion that in the interest of the KPTCL, the State and the citizens, it would not be proper in directing the State Government to reconsider the appointment of the respondent No.4 as Director, KPTCL.12. Before parting with this writ petition, this Court dee
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
ms it necessary to remind the State Government and the top Executives that appointments and transfers are required to be made in "public interest". Public interest means the interest of the State and the citizens. If the same is followed in letter and spirit, the powers that be would not have to face inconvenient questions and such actions would considerably reduce unwanted litigations. It is sad that though this Court and the Hon'ble Apex Court have time and again reminded the powers that be of their constitutional obligation to act in accordance with law, both in letter and spirit, orders of appointment and transfers are made with utter disregard to the reminders and have become source of genuinely avoidable litigations. It would be apt to quote the prophetic words of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, "However good a Constitution may be, if those who are implementing it are not good, it will prove to be bad. However bad a Constitution may be, if those implementing it are good, it will prove to be good."13. For the reasons stated above, the writ petition stands dismissed. No order as to costs.