03 March 2020
Supreme Court


Case number: C.A. No.-001918-001918 / 2020
Diary number: 22520 / 2018









CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1918 OF 2020  

[Arising out of SLP (C) No.15795/2018]  


Ramesh Singh                                                       …Appellant   




The State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.                  …Respondent  



J U D G M E N T  




Leave granted.   

1. The appellant was posted as Zila Basic Shiksha  

Adhikari, District Basti in January 2003.  The appellant  

was the In-charge District Basic Education Officer  

Gorakhpur, when he issued appointment letters to 400  

candidates holding B.Ed. degrees to the post of  

Assistant Teachers in Basic Schools (Primary Schools)  

in District Gorakhpur, and 121 candidates in District  

Basti during April to June 2003.  

2. The State vide Office Order dated 24.07.2003 placed the  

appellant under suspension, and directed a  

disciplinary/departmental enquiry to be conducted




under the Uttar Pradesh Civil Service (Discipline and  

Appeal) Rules, 1999. The State appointed the Joint  

Director, Basic Education as the Enquiry Officer.  

The Charge Sheet was filed on 21.08.2003 wherein it  

was alleged that the appointments of Assistant  

Teachers made by the appellant were irregular, as they  

were in violation of Rules 16 and 19(3) of the U.P. Basic  

Education (Teachers) Service Rules, 1981 (“1981  


3. The appellant submitted his reply to the charge sheet  

on 09.11.2003 denying the charges levelled against  

him. It was contended that the appointments were  

made by him in compliance with earlier orders passed  

by the High Court, and directions from senior  


4. The enquiry officer found the appellant guilty of the  

charges levelled against him in the charge sheet. The  

Report of the Enquiry Officer was forwarded to the  

Disciplinary Authority on 19.06.2004.   

5. The appellant challenged the order of suspension by  

way of W.P. (C) 52287/2005, wherein the High Court  

vide interim Order dated 28.07.2005 granted stay of the  

order of suspension.   

6. During the pendency of the Writ Petition, the Deputy  

Secretary, Basic Education Department vide Order  

dated 10.01.2006 proposed punishment of removal  

from service.   

The appellant challenged the Order dated 10.01.2006  

by filing W.P. (C) No. 14083/2006, wherein vide interim




order dated 08.03.2006, the High Court directed stay of  

the aforesaid Order of proposed punishment.    

7. On the basis of the enquiry report, the Government  

decided to award major punishment of removal from  

service under the provisions of the U.P. Civil Service  

(Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1999, and referred the  

matter to the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission  

vide Government Order dated 17.10.2005. The U.P.  

Public Service Commission approved the punishment of  

service to the appellant vide letter dated 21.12.2006.  

The order of removal from service was passed by the  

Governor dated 21.04.2008.    

8. The appellant challenged the Order of Removal in W.P.  

(C) No. 28842/2008, wherein the High Court vide  

interim order dated 20.06.2008 directed that the  

operation, implementation and execution of the order of  

dismissed dated 21.04.2008 shall remain stayed.   

Subsequent to the interim order, the State  

Government withdrew the proposed order of  

punishment on 19.05.2010.   

As a consequence, the High Court dismissed the Writ  

Petition on 25.05.2010 with the observation that the  

disciplinary proceedings may be concluded in  

accordance with law, preferably within a period of 6  

months. The appellant was directed to co-operate with  

the disciplinary proceedings.   

9. The disciplinary authority issued a second show cause  

notice along-with the enquiry report.   

    The appellant inter alia submitted that conditional  

appointments had been made against fixed pay scale




pursuant to the orders of the court, and pressure from  

the government. All appointments made were declared  

void ab initio. The enquiry was conducted without  

affording any opportunity of hearing and adducing  

evidence through production of witnesses.    

10. The disciplinary authority granted a personal hearing to  

the appellant.   

The disciplinary authority found all the charges  

proved against the appellant, and passed an order of  

removal from service on 27.06.2017.   

11. The appellant challenged the order dated 27.06.2017 by  

way of Writ A. No. 31098/2017 before the Allahabad  

High Court.   

The High Court vide the impugned judgment and  

order dated 10.05.2018 partly allowed the Writ Petition.   

The High Court held that the enquiry officer had not  

recorded any finding as to whether the appellant was  

given a notice intimating the date, time and place of  

holding the oral enquiry. The appellant had expressly  

taken the plea that the enquiry officer had not afforded  

any opportunity of hearing. The disciplinary authority  

while passing the order of punishment overlooked the  

mandatory requirement of holding a valid enquiry by  

complying with the principles of natural justice.   

In these circumstances, the High Court felt that it  

would not be appropriate to consider the contention of  

the appellant that the appointments were made in  

compliance with the order passed by High Court and  

pursuant to the directions of the higher authorities,




since it would require appreciation of the evidence on  


The High Court, however, rejected the contention that  

the enquiry officer was biased, as there was no material  

on record to reveal any element of bias on part of the  

enquiry officer.   

The Court rejected the contention of the appellant for  

parity with the case of K.C. Bharati who had been  

awarded a lesser punishment of withholding one  

increment for one year, and a censure entry in his  

service record.    

The High Court concluded that since the enquiry was  

held in violation of the principles of natural justice, the  

order of dismissal from service dated 27.06.2017 was  

liable to be quashed. The matter was remitted to the  

disciplinary authority to hold the enquiry afresh from  

the stage of charge sheet. It was further directed that  

the appellant shall be treated under suspension, during  

the pendency of the enquiry and shall be paid  

subsistence allowance as per the Rules.   

The Court deprecated the casual and callous manner  

in which the disciplinary authorities had acted in  

conducting an enquiry into grave allegations of  

corruption of such a magnitude where hundreds of  

appointments were made by the appellant, without  

following the due process of law. A direction was issued  

to the disciplinary authority to appoint an enquiry  

officer with the approval of the Chief Minister, who  

should be apprised of the outcome of the disciplinary  





12. Aggrieved by the said judgment, the appellant filed the  

present Special Leave Petition before this Court. This  

Court vide Order 09.07.2018 issued notice on whether  

the appellant should be continued on suspension, and  

whether the disciplinary authority should report the  

matter to the Chief Minister.   

Pursuant to the impugned judgment, the State  

granted sanction vide Office Memo dated 11.10.2018 to  

re-conduct the enquiry from the stage of the charge  


By a further order dated 31.10.2018, this Court  

ordered stay of the operation of the Office Memo dated  


13. We have heard learned counsel for the parties, and  

perused the record.   

The issue which arises for our consideration is  

whether the appointment letters issued to 521  

candidates who were B.Ed. degree holders for the post  

of Assistant Teachers, was conducted de hors the  

mandatory procedure prescribed by the Rules.   

14. The counsel for the appellant submitted that the  

continued suspension of the appellant was not justified,  

and that his client had made the appointments  

pursuant to an earlier order of the High Court, and also  

instructions from higher authorities.   

14.1. Reliance was placed on a letter dated 10.04.2003  

addressed by the Secretary, Basic Education,  

Government of U.P. to all the Divisional Assistant  

Directors of Education (Basic) U.P, wherein it was  

directed that orders passed by the High Court in




connection with appointment of teachers be complied  

by the District Basic Education Officers.  

14.2. It was further submitted that vide letter dated  

18.4.2003, the appellant had requested the Director  

Basic Education, U.P. to issue directives for  

appointment of candidates to the post of Assistant  

Teachers in schools, who held qualifications of  


14.3. By a further letter dated 21.04.2003, the appellant  

informed the Secretary, Basic Education, Govt. of U.P.  

that there were posts of Teachers lying vacant in  

District Gorakhpur, and there was no provision for  

appointment of candidates holding qualifications of  

B.Ed./L.T./ B.PEd./C.P.Ed. to the post of Assistant  


14.4. The appellant subsequently issued a notification dated  

25.04.2003 stating that a decision was taken to issue  

appointment orders to candidates with B.Ed./L.T.  

pursuant to discussions with the Chief Minister, and  

the Minister for Basic Education, Secretary, Basic  

Education, Govt. of U.P. held on 23.04.2003.  It is also  

mentioned that he was given directions that if the  

appointments were not made immediately,  

departmental proceedings would be initiated against  


14.5. Accordingly, the appellant made appointments to 521  

posts of Assistant Teachers in Basic Schools during the  

period May to June 2003.  




14.6. It was further submitted that the appellant sought the  

advice of the Chief Standing Counsel for the State of  


The Chief Standing Counsel vide letter dated  

01.05.2003 stated that the Government Order dated  

10.04.2003 was general in nature. The appellant was  

advised to take a decision with the consent of the  

Government since such cases may affect the State in  

similar cases.   

14.7. The appellant addressed another letter dated  

06.05.2003 to the Secretary, Basic Education Council  

seeking instructions on whether the appointment of  

candidates holding higher qualifications of  

B.Ed./L.T./B.PEd./C.P.Ed. could be made in  

accordance with the High Court orders/directives.   

14.8. The Secretary Basic Education vide Order dated  

28.05.2003 directed all Divisional Assistant Director  

(Basic Education) to make appointments of candidates  

to the post of Teachers only in those cases in which  

final/interim orders had been passed by High Court by  


14.9. The appellant placed reliance on an earlier judgment of  

the division bench of the Allahabad High Court in  

Special Appeal No. 21(SB)/1993. The High Court took  

note of an earlier judgement in Firoz Alam Khan v. State  

of U.P. & Ors. 1986 UP LBC 674 wherein it was directed  

that if sufficient number of B.T.C. trained candidates  

were not available for appointment as Assistant  

Teachers in the Basic Schools, the candidates who




qualified for appointment as stated in the advertisement  

could be appointed.   

The High Court in that case had referred to the  

judgement of this Court in Mohd. Riazul Usman Ghani  

and Ors. v. District & Sessions Judge, Nagpur1, wherein  

it was held as under:    

“21. A criterion which has the effect of denying a  candidate his right to be considered for the post on the  

principle that he is having higher qualification than  prescribed cannot be rational. We have not been able to  appreciate as to why those candidates who possessed  qualifications equivalent to SCC Examination could not also  be considered. We are saying this on the facts of the case  in hand and should not be understood as laying down a  rule of universal application.”   

[emphasis supplied]    

15. We have perused the Uttar Pradesh Basic Education  

(Teachers) Service Rules, 1981, which lays down the  

procedure for appointment of Assistant Teachers in  

basic schools in U.P.  

Sub-rule (1)(b) of Rule 2 defines the “competent  

authority” as under:  

“(b) ‘Appointing Authority’ in relation to teachers  referred to in Rule 3 means the District Basic Education  Officer”  


Rule 8 prescribes the academic qualifications for the  

post of Assistant Teachers as:   

“8. Academic qualifications. - (1) The Essential  qualifications of candidates for appointment to a post  referred to in clause (a) of Rule 5 shall be shown below  against each :   

  Post  Academic Qualifications   …    


(ii) Assistant  A Bachelor’s Degree from a  

 1 (2000) 2 SCC 606




Master and  Assistant  Mistress of  Junior Basic  Schools  

University established by law  in India or a Degree  recognized by the  Government as equivalent  thereto together with the  training qualification  consisting of a Basic  Teacher’s Certificate, Vishshit  Basic Teacher’s Certificate  (B.T.C), Hindustani teacher’s  Certificate, Junior Teacher’s  Certificate, Certificate of  

teaching or any other Training  Course recognized by the  Government as equivalent  thereto.  


Rule 16 provides for constitution of the Selection  

Committee for making appointments to any post under  

these Rules :  

“16. Constitution of Selection Committee – For selection  of candidates for appointment to any post under  these Rules, there shall be constituted a Selection  Committee comprising –   

 a) Principal, District Institute  

of Education and Training     

– Chairman  

b) District Basic Education  Officer   


– Member -Secretary   

c) Principal, Government Girl’s  Intermediate College at the  District Head-quarters   


– Member  

d) District Non-Formal  Education Officer  


– Member  

f) One Specialist in Hindu,  Urdu or other languages, as  the case may be,  nominated by District  Magistrate   

– Member  





Rule 19(3) provides that no appointment shall be  

made except upon the recommendation of the Selection  


“19. Appointment. –   …  (3) No appointment shall be made except with the  recommendation of the Selection Committee, and in  the case of direct recruitment except on production of  residence certificate issued by the Tahsildar.”  

               [emphasis supplied]  


16. A perusal of the aforesaid Rules reveals that the  

appellant as the District Basic Education Officer, being  

the appointing authority was empowered to make  

appointments only on the basis of recommendations of  

the Selection Committee as contemplated by Rules 16  

and 19(3) as set out hereinabove.   

It is the case of the Respondent-State that the  

appellant made the appointments without complying  

with the 1981 Rules. Serious allegations of corruption  

have been raised against the appellant by the state,  

which would require determination in a full-fledged  

enquiry by the disciplinary authority. It is pertinent to  

note that all these appointments were declared to be  

void ab initio by the State, as mentioned in the  

appellant’s reply dated 04.12.2012 to the second show  

cause notice.   

The plea of the appellant that the appointments were  

made in compliance with an earlier order passed by the  

High Court, and under the directions of senior  

functionaries, would require to be considered in the  





17. We uphold the impugned judgment passed by the High  

Court in remitting the matter to the disciplinary  

authority, which would be conducted from the stage of  

the charge sheet. The disciplinary authority will  

conduct the enquiry in accordance with the principles  

of natural justice, after giving a full opportunity of  

hearing to the appellant, who will be allowed to produce  

both oral and documentary evidence. No unnecessary  

adjournments will be granted to the parties.   

The appellant will continue to remain under  

suspension during the period of enquiry. The enquiry is  

directed to be completed within a period of 4 months.   

We modify the impugned judgement to the extent  

that the enquiry officer be appointed by the Chief  


Let a copy of this order be despatched to the Chief  


It is clarified that there is no expression of any  

opinion on the merits of the case.    


The Civil Appeal is dismissed.    

   Pending Applications, if any, are accordingly disposed of.   

Ordered accordingly.   



     (S. ABDUL NAZEER)  






    New Delhi;  

    March 3, 2020.