27 February 2020
Supreme Court


Case number: W.P.(C) No.-000190 / 2018
Diary number: 7989 / 2018
Advocates: AMIT KUMAR Vs










J U D G M E N T  

Deepak Gupta, J.

1. These writ petitions have been filed by two erstwhile judicial

officers who were members of the judicial service in the State of

Jharkhand and are directed  against the orders  whereby they

have been compulsorily retired.   In respect of the two writ

petitions  which  are the subject  matter of this judgment, this

Court passed the following order on 06.09.2018:

“Writ  Petition  Nos.  190/2018 and 391/2018 shall remain pending.  The High Court of Jharkhand may like to reconsider the matter in the light of the



entirety of the materials that have been placed before us at the hearing by the Registrar General of the Jharkhand High Court and also by the learned counsel for the High Court.

We make it clear that the High Court is free to decide the matter as may be considered appropriate and that we have expressed no opinion on merits at this stage.   The High Court of Jharkhand would be free to support its conclusions in terms of the present order with adequate reasons.

The  decision  of the  High  Court in  accordance with this order be laid before us at the end of two months from today.

List the matters after two months.”

Pursuant to the aforesaid order, the matters were placed before

the Screening Committee of the High Court of Jharkhand and the

Screening Committee on 11.10.2018 again found sufficient

reasons and approved the earlier  action taken to compulsorily

retire these officers.   The resolution of the Screening Committee

was placed before the  Standing  Committee of the Jharkhand

High Court, which approved the resolution of the screening

committee on 25.10.2018.   

2. Challenge is laid in both these writ petitions to the orders of

compulsory retirement and especially to the reasons assigned or

the material ignored by the Screening Committee.  The orders of

compulsory retirement have been passed  in terms of the Rule



74(b)(ii) of the  Jharkhand Service  Code,  2001 which  reads  as


 “(ii) The appointing authority concerned may after giving a Government servant atleast three month’s previous notice in writing,  or  an equal  amount to three month’s pay and allowance in lieu of such notice, require him in public interest to retire from the service on the date on which such a Government servant completes thirty years of qualifying service or attains fifty years of age or on any date thereafter to be specified in the notice”

The aforesaid rule is  pari materia  to Rule 56(j) of the

Fundamental Rules.   

3. The main contentions raised on behalf of the petitioners are

that their retirement is  not in the  pubic interest: their entire

service record especially the contemporaneous record  has  not

been taken into consideration and also that the petitioners have

been granted various promotions which would have the effect of

washing off their previous adverse entries, if any.

4. While deciding the present case we are conscious of the fact

that we are dealing with the cases of judicial officers.   The

standard of integrity and probity expected from judicial officers is

much higher than  that  expected  from other  officers.  Keeping



these factors in mind we shall first discuss the law on the subject

and then take up these two cases on merits.   

Principles Governing Compulsory Retirement

5. This Court in Union of India v. Col. J.N. Sinha1 held that

compulsory retirement does not involve civil  consequences.   It

also dealt with the issue of what constitutes public interest.  The

following observations are apposite:

“9. Now coming to the express words of Fundamental Rule 56(j) it says that the appropriate authority has the absolute right to retire a Government servant if it is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so. The right conferred on the appropriate authority  is an absolute one. That power can be exercised subject to the conditions mentioned in the rule, one of which is that the concerned authority must be of the opinion that it is in public interest to do so. If that authority bona fide forms that opinion, the correctness of that opinion cannot be challenged before courts. It is open to an aggrieved party to contend that the requisite opinion has  not  been formed  or the  decision is  based  on collateral grounds or that it is an arbitrary decision. The 1st  respondent challenged the opinion formed by the Government on the ground of mala fide. But that ground has failed. The High Court did not accept that plea. The same was not pressed before us.  The  impugned order  was not  attacked  on the ground that the required opinion was not formed or that the opinion formed was an arbitrary one. One of the conditions of the 1st respondent’s service is that the Government can choose to retire him any time after he completes fifty years if it thinks that it is in public interest to do so. Because of his compulsory retirement he does not lose any of the rights

1 (1970) 2 SCC 458



acquired by him before retirement.  Compulsory retirement  involves  no civil  consequences.  The aforementioned Rule 56(j) is not intended for taking any penal action against the Government servants. That rule merely embodies one of the facets of the pleasure doctrine embodied in Article 310 of the Constitution.  Various considerations may weigh with the appropriate authority while exercising the power conferred under the rule. In some cases,  the Government may feel that a particular post may be more usefully held in public interest  by an officer  more competent than the one who is holding.  It  may be that the officer who is  holding the  post is  not inefficient  but the appropriate authority may prefer to have a more efficient officer. It may further be that in certain key posts public  interest may require that a person of undoubted ability and integrity should be there. There is no denying the fact that in all organizations and more so in Government organizations, there is good deal of dead wood.  It is  in public  interest to chop off the same. Fundamental Rule 56(j) holds the balance between the rights of the individual Government servant and the interests of the public. While a minimum service is guaranteed to the Government servant, the Government is given power to energise its machinery and make it more efficient by compulsorily retiring those who in its opinion should not be there in public interest.

xxx                                xxx                                xxx

11.  In our opinion the High Court erred in thinking that the compulsory retirement involves civil consequences.  Such a retirement does not take away any of the rights that have accrued to the Government servant because of his past service. It cannot be said that if the retiring age of all or a section  of the  Government servants is fixed at 50 years, the same would involve civil consequences. Under the existing system there is no uniform retirement age for all Government servants. The retirement age is fixed not merely on the basis of the interest of the Government servant but also depending on the requirements of the society.”

(emphasis supplied)



This judgment was followed in  State of Gujarat  v. Suryakant

Chunilal Shah2,  wherein this Court dealt  with the concept of

public interest in great detail.   

6. A  three­Judge Bench  in  Baikuntha Nath Das   v.  Chief

Distt. Medical Officer3 dealing with the concept of compulsory

retirement laid down the following principles:

“34. The following principles emerge from the above discussion:

(i)  An order of compulsory retirement is not a punishment. It implies no stigma nor any suggestion of misbehaviour. (ii) The order has to be passed by the government on forming the opinion that it is in the public interest to retire a government servant compulsorily. The  order is  passed  on the subjective satisfaction of the government. (iii) Principles of natural justice have no place in the context of an order of compulsory retirement. This does not mean that judicial scrutiny is excluded altogether. While the High Court or this Court would not examine the matter as an appellate court, they may interfere if they are satisfied that the order is passed (a) mala fide or (b) that it is based on no evidence or (c) that it is arbitrary — in the sense that no reasonable person would form the requisite opinion on the given material; in short, if it is found to be a perverse order. (iv) The government (or the Review Committee, as the case may be) shall have to consider the entire record of service before taking a decision in the matter — of course attaching more importance to record of and performance during

2 (1999) 1 SCC 529 3 (1992) 2 SCC 299



the later years. The record to be so considered would naturally include the entries in the confidential records/character rolls, both favourable and adverse. If a government servant is  promoted  to  a  higher  post  notwithstanding the adverse remarks,  such remarks  lose their sting, more so, if the promotion is based upon merit (selection) and not upon seniority. (v) An order of compulsory retirement is not liable to be quashed by a Court merely on the showing that while passing it uncommunicated adverse remarks were also taken into consideration. That circumstance by itself cannot be a basis for interference.

Interference is permissible only on the grounds mentioned in (iii) above. This aspect has been discussed in paras 30 to 32 above.”

7. In  Chandra Singh  v.  State  of  Rajasthan4,  though  this

Court  came  to the  conclusion  that the  compulsory retirement

awarded to the applicant was not in consonance with the law, it

did not give relief to the petitioner on the ground that even under

Article 235 of the Constitution of India, the High Court can

assess the performance of any judicial officer at any time with a

view to discipline the black sheep or weed out the dead wood.

This Court held that this constitutional power of the High Court

is  not  circumscribed by any rule.  Reference may be made to

paras 40 and 47 of the judgment:

“40. Article 235 of the Constitution of India enables the  High  Court to  assess the  performance  of any

4 (2003) 6 SCC 545



judicial officer at any time with a view to discipline the  black sheep or  weed out the  deadwood. This constitutional  power  of the  High  Court cannot  be circumscribed by any rule or order.  

xxx xxx xxx

47. In the instant case, we are dealing with the higher judicial officers. We have already noticed the observations made by the Committee of three Judges. The nature of judicial service is such that it cannot afford to suffer continuance in service of persons of doubtful integrity or who have lost their utility.”

8. In Syed T.A. Naqshbandi v. State of J & K,5, this Court

held that while exercising powers of  judicial review the Courts

should not substitute themselves for the Committee/Full Court

of the High Court.  The following observations are pertinent:

“10…Neither the High Court nor this Court, in exercise of its powers of judicial review, could or would at any rate substitute themselves in the place of the Committee/Full Court of the High Court concerned, to make an independent reassessment of the same, as if  sitting on an appeal. On a careful consideration of the entire materials brought to our notice by learned counsel on either side, we are satisfied that the evaluation made by the Committee/Full Court forming their unanimous opinion is neither so arbitrary or capricious nor can be said to be so irrational as to shock the conscience of the Court to warrant or justify any interference. In cases of such assessment, evaluation and formulation of opinions, a vast range of multiple factors play a vital and important role and no one factor should be allowed to be overblown out of proportion  either to  decry  or  deify  an  issue  to  be resolved or claims sought to be considered or asserted.  In  the very nature of things  it  would be

5 (2003) 9 SCC 592



difficult, nearing almost an impossibility to subject such exercise undertaken by the Full Court, to judicial review except in an extraordinary case when the Court is convinced that some monstrous thing which ought not to have taken place has really happened  and not  merely  because there  could  be another possible view or someone has some grievance about the exercise undertaken by the Committee/Full Court…”

9. In Pyare Mohan Lal v. State of Jharkhand6, dealing with

a case of  judicial officers, this Court  in relation to the powers

under the same rule, after referring to a number of judgments,

summarised the law on the point as follows:

“18. Thus, the law on the point can be summarised to the effect that an order of compulsory retirement is not a punishment and it does not  imply stigma unless such order is passed to impose a punishment for a proved misconduct, as prescribed in the statutory rules. [See  Surender Kumar  v.  Union of India] [(2010) 1 SCC 158]. The Authority must consider and examine the overall effect of the entries of the officer concerned and not an isolated entry, as it may well be in some cases that in spite of satisfactory  performance, the  authority  may desire to compulsorily retire an employee in public interest, as in the opinion of the said Authority, the post has to be manned by a more efficient and dynamic person and if there is sufficient material on record to show that the employee “rendered himself a liability to the institution”, there is no occasion for the court to interfere in the  exercise  of its limited  power  of judicial review.”

6 (2010) 10 SCC 693



10. In Rajendra Singh Verma v. Lt. Governor (NCT of Delhi)

7, this Court was dealing with the compulsory retirement of  a

judicial officer from the Delhi Higher Judicial Service.  It was held

that if the authority bona fide forms an opinion that the integrity

of a particular officer is doubtful and it is in public interest to

compulsorily retire such judicial officer,  judicial review of such

order should be made with great care and circumspection.  It was

specifically observed that when an order of compulsory

retirement  is passed, the authority concerned has to take into

consideration the whole service record of the concerned officer

which could include non­communicated adverse remarks also.  It

would be apposite to refer to the following observations of this


“218. On a careful consideration of the entire material, it must be held that the evaluation made by the Committee/Full Court, forming their unanimous opinion, is neither so arbitrary nor capricious nor can be said to be so irrational, so as to shock the conscience of this Court to warrant or justify any interference. In cases of such assessment, evaluation and formulation of opinions, a vast range of multiple factors play a vital and important role and no one factor should be allowed to be blown out of proportion either to decry or deify an issue to be resolved or claims sought to be considered or asserted. In the very nature of things, it would be difficult, nearing almost an impossibility

7 (2011) 10 SCC 1



to subject such exercise undertaken by the Full Court to judicial review except in an extraordinary case  when  the  Court is convinced that  some  real injustice, which ought not to have taken place, has really happened and not merely because there could be another possible view or someone has some grievance about the exercise undertaken by the Committee/Full Court.

219. Viewed thus, and considered in the background of the factual details and materials on record, there is absolutely no need or justification for this Court to interfere with the impugned proceedings. Therefore, the three  appeals fail and are dismissed. Having regard to the facts of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.”

11. In R.C. Chandel   v. High Court of M. P.8, this Court, after

dealing with the entire law on the subject, framed the following 3

questions of law:

“18. The questions that fall for consideration are: (1) Whether the recommendation made by the High

Court on the basis of unanimous opinion to the Government for compulsory retirement  of the appellant and the order of compulsory retirement issued by the Government suffer from any legal flaw?

(2) Is the order of compulsory retirement so arbitrary or irrational that justifies interference in judicial review?

(3) Is the view of the Division Bench upholding the order of the appellant’s compulsory retirement so erroneous warranting interference by this Court in an  appeal  under  Article 136 of the Constitution of India?”

The Court took note of the fact that the appellant before it had

been promoted and confirmed as District  Judge and was also

8 (2012) 8 SCC 58



given selection grade and super time scale etc., but it held that

these promotions would not wash off the earlier adverse entries

which shall remain on record.   It would be pertinent to refer to

paragraphs 26 and 29 of the judgment which read as follows:

“26. It is true that the appellant was confirmed as District Judge in 1985; he got lower selection grade with effect from 24­3­1989; he was awarded super timescale in May 1999 and he was also given above super timescale in 2002 but the confirmation as District Judge and grant of selection grade and super timescale do not wipe out the earlier adverse entries which have remained on record and continued to hold the field. The criterion for promotion or grant of increment or higher scale is different  from an exercise which is  undertaken by the High Court to assess a judicial officer’s continued utility to the judicial system. In assessing potential for  continued useful  service  of  a judicial officer in the system, the High Court is required to take into account the entire service record. Overall profile of a judicial officer is the guiding factor. Those of doubtful integrity, questionable reputation and wanting in utility are not entitled to benefit of service after attaining the requisite length of service or age.

xxx   xxx xxx

29. Judicial service is not an ordinary government service and the Judges are not employees as such. Judges hold the public office; their function is one of the essential functions of the State. In discharge of their functions and duties, the Judges represent the State. The office that a Judge holds is an office of public trust. A Judge must be a person of impeccable integrity and unimpeachable independence. He must be honest to the core with high moral values. When a litigant enters the courtroom, he must feel secured that the Judge before whom his matter has come, would deliver justice impartially and uninfluenced by any



consideration. The standard of conduct expected of a Judge is much higher than an ordinary man. This is no excuse  that  since the  standards  in  the society have fallen, the Judges who are drawn from the society cannot be expected to have high standards and ethical firmness required of a Judge. A Judge, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion. The credibility of the judicial system is dependent upon the Judges who man it. For a democracy to thrive and the rule of law to survive, justice system and the judicial process have to be strong and every Judge must discharge his judicial functions with integrity, impartiality and intellectual honesty.”

12. In  Rajasthan SRTC v. Babu Lal Jangir9, this Court held

as follows:

“23. The principle of law which is clarified and stands crystallised after the judgment in Pyare Mohan Lal v.  State of Jharkhand is that after the promotion of an employee the adverse entries prior thereto would have no relevance and can be treated as wiped off when the case of the government employee is to be considered for further promotion. However, this “washed­off theory” will have no application when the case of an employee is being assessed to determine whether he is fit to be retained in service or requires to be given compulsory  retirement.  The rationale  given  is that since such an assessment is based on “entire service record”, there is no question of not taking into consideration the earlier old adverse entries or record of the old period. We may hasten to add that while such a record can be taken into consideration, at the same time, the service record of the immediate past period will have to be given due credence and weightage.  For  example,  as  against  some very  old adverse entries where the immediate past record shows exemplary performance, ignoring such a record of recent past and acting only on the basis of old adverse entries, to retire a person will be a clear example of arbitrary exercise of power.  However, if old record pertains to integrity of a person then

9 (2013) 10 SCC 551



that may be sufficient to justify the order of premature retirement of the government servant.”

                                                                    (emphasis supplied)

The view in Pyare Mohan Lal  (supra) was reiterated.   The only

caveat being that the entire record should be taken into

consideration and the earlier record even after promotions could

not be ignored.   

13. In  High  Court  of  Judicature  of  Patna  v.  Shyam Deo

Singh10, this  Court  was  dealing  with  a case  where  a judicial

officer was retired at  the age of  58 years and was denied the

benefit of service of 2 years.  This Court has held as follows:

“8. The importance of the issue can hardly be gainsaid. The evaluation of  the service record of a judicial  officer for the  purpose  of formation  of an opinion as to his/her potential for continued useful service is required  to  be made by  the  High Court which obviously means the Full Court on the administrative side. In all High Courts such evaluation, in the first instance, is made by a committee of senior Judges. The decision of the Committee is placed before the Full Court to decide whether the recommendation of the Committee should be accepted or not. The ultimate decision is always preceded by an elaborate consideration of the matter by the Hon’ble Judges of the High Court who are familiar with the qualities and attributes of the judicial officer under consideration. This is also what had happened in the present case. The very process by which the decision is eventually arrived at, in our

10 (2014) 4 SCC 773



view, should permit a limited judicial review and it is only in a rare case where the decision taken is unsupported by any material or the same reflects a conclusion which, on the face of it, cannot be sustained that judicial review would be permissible.”

Washed off theory

14. One of the main arguments raised by the petitioners is that

since the petitioners have been promoted to various higher posts,

their record prior to the promotion will lose its sting and is not of

much value.  Reliance is placed on the observations of this Court

in D. Ramaswami v. State of T. N.11 wherein this Court held as


“4. In the face of the promotion of the appellant just a few months earlier and nothing even mildly suggestive of ineptitude or inefficiency thereafter, it is impossible to sustain the order of the Government retiring the appellant from service. The learned counsel for the State of Tamil Nadu argued that the Government was entitled to take into consideration the entire history of the appellant including that part of it which was prior to his promotion. We do not say that the  previous history  of  a  government  servant should be completely ignored, once he is promoted. Sometimes, past events may help to assess present conduct. But when there is nothing in the present conduct casting  any  doubt on the  wisdom of the promotion, we see no justification for needless digging into the past.”

15. Reference may also be made to the judgment of this Court

in  Pyare Mohan Lal  (supra) in  which while  dealing  with the

11 (1982) 1 SCC 510



concept of washed off theory, this Court after dealing with the

entire case law on the subject held as follows:

“24. In view of the above, the law can be summarised to state that in case there is a conflict between two or more judgments of this Court, the judgment of the larger Bench is to be followed. More so, the  washed­off theory  does  not  have  universal application. It may have relevance while considering the case of government servant for further promotion but not in a case where the employee is being assessed by the reviewing authority to determine whether he is fit to be retained in service or requires to be given compulsory retirement, as the Committee is to assess his suitability taking into consideration his “entire service record”.

   xxx     xxx   xxx

29.  The law requires the authority to consider the “entire service record” of the employee while assessing whether he can be given compulsory retirement irrespective of  the fact that the adverse entries had not been communicated to him and the officer had been promoted earlier  in spite of  those adverse entries. More so, a single adverse entry regarding the integrity of an officer even in remote past is  sufficient to  award compulsory retirement. The case of a judicial officer is required to be examined, treating  him to  be  different from other wings of the society, as he is serving the State in a different  capacity.  The  case  of  a judicial  officer is considered  by  a  committee  of Judges  of the  High Court duly constituted by the Hon’ble the Chief Justice and then the report of the Committee is placed before the Full Court. A decision is taken by the Full Court after due deliberation on the matter. Therefore, there is hardly any chance to make the allegations of non­application of mind or mala fides.”

16. The law on the subject of compulsory retirement, especially in

the case of judicial officers may be summarised as follows:



(i) An order directing compulsory retirement of a

judicial officer is not punitive in nature;  

(ii)  An order directing compulsory retirement of a

judicial officer has no civil consequences;

(iii)  While considering the case of a judicial officer

for compulsory retirement the entire record  of the

judicial officer should  be taken into consideration,

though the latter and more contemporaneous record

must be given more weightage;

(iv)  Subsequent promotions do not mean that

earlier  adverse record cannot  be looked into  while

deciding whether a judicial officer should be

compulsorily retired;  

(v)  The ‘washed off’ theory does not apply in case

of judicial officers specially in respect of adverse

entries relating to integrity;

(vi) The courts should exercise their power of

judicial review with great circumspection and

restraint  keeping in view  the fact that  compulsory

retirement of a judicial officer is normally directed on



the recommendation of a high­powered committee(s)

of the High Court.

It is in the light of the aforesaid law that we will now consider the

factual aspects of the present case.

17. In view of the fact that the Screening Committee has given

detailed reasoning only after the orders of this Court referred to

above and in view of the  limited scope of  judicial review when

there  are  no  allegations  of  mala fide,  we  would  have  avoided

giving reasons to uphold such an order since it does not amount

to punishment and is not penal in nature.   However, since the

petitioners have insisted that there is no material against them,

we have no option but to refer to some of the reasons given by the

Screening Committee.   

Case of Shri Arun Kumar Gupta

18. As far as Mr. Arun Kumar Gupta is concerned, there are two

very serious allegations against him.   The first is that when he

was working as Deputy Director, Administrative Training

Institute at Ranchi, as many as 10 ladies, who were Civil Service

Probationers, made allegations that he was using unwarranted

and objectionable  language during his  lectures, citing  indecent



examples and using words having double meaning, thereby

causing embarrassment to the lady officers.   We have perused

the complaints which are filed with the reply and the common

refrain is that the language used by Mr. Gupta during his

lectures was highly sexist.   

19. There is also another allegation that he had physically hurt

a washerman by placing a hot iron on the head of the washerman

who had allegedly not  ironed his clothes properly. It  would be

pertinent to mention that the Principal District Judge had

reported to the High Court that the victim had personally

approached him  immediately  after the  occurrence and he  (the

Principal  District Judge) found that the victim  had sustained

burn injuries and he got the victim treated.   It is true that Mr.

Arun  Kumar  Gupta  was exonerated  by the successor judicial

officer before whom the complainant denied having suffered any

injury but we may note that this is a preliminary inquiry and the

successor Principal District Judge did not even care to examine

his predecessor Principal District Judge, who had not only been

approached personally by the washerman, but who had himself

noted the burn injuries and had got the victim treated.



Therefore, we are of the view that the Screening Committee was

right that the victim may have been put under some pressure to

withdraw his complaint.  These occurrences are of the year 2011­

2012 and cannot be said to be very old.   

20. In our view, the aforementioned two instances are sufficient

to decide the case against the petitioner.  We may also note that

Shri  Raju Ramchandran, learned senior  counsel  appearing  for

the petitioner has urged that the Screening Committee had only

taken the entries from 1992­1993 to 2004­2005 and had ignored

the entries from 2005­2006 to 2016­2017.   As explained by Mr.

Sunil Kumar, learned senior counsel appearing for the High

Court, all the ACRs were before the Screening Committee but in

the order it is only the adverse entries which have been noted.

Be that as it may, we are of the view that even if these adverse

entries are ignored, the petitioner cannot be granted relief for the

reasons aforesaid.   

Case of Shri Raj Nandan Rai

21. As far as this officer is concerned, we find that his record on

many counts is not at all good.  His reputation and integrity have

been doubted more than once in the  years  1996­1997,  1997­



1998 and 2004­2005.   Some adverse remarks have been

conveyed to him.  In the year 2015­2016, even his knowledge of

law and procedure is found to be average and his relation with

the members of the Bar was found not very good.  There are also

allegations against him of having granted bail for illegal

gratification and substance has been found in this allegation in

the report of the Judicial Commissioner, Ranchi (who is

equivalent to the Principal District Judge).   The officer had

granted bail by noting in the order that Section 327 of the Indian

Penal Code, 1860 was bailable whereas the offence is non­

bailable and an unrecorded warning regarding the integrity of the

judicial officer was issued to him in 2012.   


22. As is obvious from the  law quoted above,  adverse entries

with regard to integrity do not lose their sting at any stage.   A

judicial officer’s integrity must be of a higher order and even a

single aberration is not permitted.   As far as the present cases

are concerned, the matter has been considered by the Screening

Committee  on  two occasions  and  the recommendations  of the

Screening Committee have been accepted by the Standing



Committee on both occasions.   The action taken is not by one

officer or Judge, it is a collective decision, first by the Screening

Committee and then approved by the Standing Committee.  

23. Senior judges of the High Court who were the members of

the Screening Committee and Standing Committee have taken a

considered and well­reasoned decision. Unless there are

allegations of mala fides or the facts are so glaring that the

decision of  compulsory retirement is  unsupportable this  court

would not exercise its power of judicial review. In such matters

the court on the judicial side must exercise restraint before

setting aside the decision of such collective bodies comprising of

senior High Court Judges. In our opinion these are not fit cases

to interfere with the said decisions.  

24. In view of the above, both the writ petitions are dismissed.

Any pending application(s) shall stand(s) disposed of.  

……………………………..J. (L. Nageswara Rao)

…………………………….J. (Deepak Gupta)

New Delhi February 27, 2020