11 February 1954
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 70 of 1952






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/02/1954


CITATION:  1954 AIR  245            1954 SCR  786  CITATOR INFO :  D          1954 SC 493  (6)  F          1955 SC 800  (6,9,12)  RF         1958 SC  36  (5,9)  RF         1958 SC 325  (4)  RF         1961 SC 751  (14)  RF         1962 SC   8  (4)  RF         1962 SC 933  (15)  R          1964 SC  72  (4)  R          1964 SC 600  (22)  R          1969 SC1302  (13)  R          1977 SC1466  (24)  F          1985 SC1416  (52)  R          1991 SC2176  (1,32)

ACT:      Civil     servant--Wrongful     dismissal--Suit      for  recovery   of arrears of salary--Whether competent--Rule  of  English  law--Civil servant--Holding office at the  pleasure  of Crown--Whether applicable in India.

HEADNOTE:    Held, that the rule of English law that a civil  servant cannot’  maintain a suit against the State or   against  the Crown for  the 787 recovery  of arrears  of salary  does not prevail  in  India and  it has been negatived by the provisions of the  statute law in India.    Section 240  of the  Government  of  India  Act,   1935, places  restrictions  and limitations  on the  exercise   of the  pleasure  of the Crown and these restrictions  must  be given   effect   to.  They  are imperative   and  mandatory. Therefore  whenever  there   is  a  breach  of  restrictions imposed   by the  statute’ by  the Government or  the  Crown the  matter  is  justiciable  and  the  aggrieved  party  is entitled  to  suitable relief at the hands  of  the   court. Government  servants are entitled to relief like any   other person   under the  ordinary law, and  that relief must   be regulated by  the Code of Civil Procedure.



  Punjab  Province v. Pandit Tara Chand   ([1947]   F.C.R. 89) approved.    High  Commissioner  OF India and Pakistan v.  I.M.  Lall ([1948] L.R. 75 I.A. 225) distinguished.

JUDGMENT:   CIVIL APPELATE      JURISDICTION:    Civil   Appeal No. 70 of 1952.   Appeal   by special  leave  from the  Judgment and  Decree dated the 5th May, 1949, of the High Court of Judicature  at Patna    (Manohar  Lall  and  Mahabir Prasad JJ.) in  Appeal from  Appellate  Decree No. 2091 of 1946.     C.K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General far India (G. N.  Joshi and Porus A. Mehta, with him)  for the appellant.     8.  P.  Sinha  (Nuruddin  Ahmed,  with  him)   for   the respondent.     1954.   February 11.  The  Judgment  of the   Court  was delivered by MAHAJAN  G.I.--This  is  an appeal by  the  State  of  Bihar against  the  judgment  of the  High  Court of Judicature at Patna  whereby  the High Court passed a decree  for  arrears of salary  of the respondent against the State from the 30th July,  1940, up to the date of the institution of the suit.     The undisputed facts of the case are:That the respondent was    appointed   a   Sub-Inspector   of  Police   by   the Inspector-General  of Police, Bihar and Orissa, in  January, 1920.   In  the  year  1937  departmental proceedings   were taken  against him and he was found guilty of cowardice  and of  not  preparing   search  lists  and  was   punished   by demotion    for    ten  years.   On  appeal;    the   Deputy Inspector-General  of Police held 788 that   the   respondent   was   guilty   of  cowardice   but acquitted   him  of   the other  charge. By  an  order dated the  23rd  July,   1940,  which   was  communicated  to  the respondent     on   the  29th of  July,  1940,   the  Deputy Inspector-General   of  Police  having found him  guilty  of cowardice  made  an  order  dismissing  him  from   service. Further   appeals   by  the respondent  to   the  Inspector- General   of  Police and  to the  Governor   of  Bihar  were unsuccessful.     Aggrieved by the departmental action taken against  him, the  respondent  filed  the suit out of  which  this  appeal arises in the court of additional subordinate judge  against the  State of Bihar for a declaration that the order of  the Deputy   Inspector-General  of  Police  dismissing  him from service was illegal and void and that he should be  regarded as continuing in office.  He also claimed a sum of Rs. 4,241 from 30th July,  1940, to the date of the suit on account of arrears  of salary.  The  State contested  the   claim   and pleaded   that   the   plaintiff held  his  service  at  the pleasure  of the Crown, and could not call in  question  the grounds or the reasons which led to his dismissal, and  that in  any case he had been  reinstated  in service  from   the 30th   of   July,  1940,   and   the   order   of  dismissal therefore   was  no longer  operative,  and  the  suit   had thus  become infructuous.   The    additional    subordinate judge   by  his  judgment  dated the  2nd  February,   1945, dismissed  the  suit on the  finding that   the   Government having  reinstated   the   respondent he had   no  cause  of action.  As regards the arrears of salary, it was held  that the  claim  to  it  could  only be  made  according  to  the procedure  prescribed under rule 95 of section 4-of  Chapter



IV  of Bihar and  Orissa  Service Code.  This  decision  was confirmed   in appeal  by  the  additional  district  judge. On   further  appeal   the   High   Court   reversed   these decisions   and decreed the  claim for  arrears   of  salary in  the sum of Rs. 3,099-12-0.  It  was  held  that rule  95 of  the  Bihar and Orissa Service Code  had  no  application because  the  respondent  had  never  been dismissed  within the  meaning  of  that  rule.  It was further held that  the plaintiff  was entitled to maintain the suit for arrears  of pay in view of the decision 789 of  the  Federal Court in Tara Chand Pandit’s   case(1)  the correctness  o15 which was not  affected by decisions of the Privy  Council  in cases of 1. M. Lall(2) and  Suraj  Narain Anand(3). The  principal  questions involved in this appeal  are: (1)  Whether the High  Court  correctly  held  that rule  95 above mentioned  had  no  application  to  the case ?   (2)  Whether  a  suit 15or arrears of salary  by  a  civil servant  is  competent in a civil court ?    Rule  95 of the Bihar and Orissa Service  Code  provides: Rule 95  "When the  suspension  of  a Government  servant as a   penalty   for  misconduct is,  upon  reconsideration  or appeal,   held   to have been  unjustiliable or  not  wholly justifiable;  or  when  a Government servant  who  has  been dismissed  or removed, or suspended pending   enquiry   into alleged   misconduct is reinstated;   the  revising or appellate authority may grant to him  for the  period  of  his  absence from  duty    (a) if he  is   honourably  acquitted,  the  full  pay  to which  he  would  have  been entitled if  he  had  not  been dismissed,   removed  or  suspended  and,  by an  order   to be  separately  recorded, any  allowance  of which he was in receipt prior to his dismissal, removal or suspension; or   (b)  if  otherwise,  such  proportion  of  such   pay  and allowances   as  the revising  or appellate   authority  may direct." The provisions of this rule enable an appellate or  revising authority, when making an order  of reinstatement  to  grant the   reliefs   mentioned  in  the   rule.  Obviously  these provisions  have no application to the situation that  arose in  the present case. The respondent here was  dismissed  by the  Deputy  Inspector-General of Police,   though  he   was appointed  by  the  Inspector-General of Police.  This   was clearly  contrary  to the (1) [1947] F.C.R. 89. (2) 75 I.A. 225. (3) 75 I.A. 343. 790 provisions  of section 240 (3)  of the Government  of  India Act, 1935, which provides that no person shall be  dismissed from   the   service  of  His  Majesty   by   an   authority subordinate    to  that by  which  he  was  appointed.   But nevertheless    the   appeal-preferred   by   him   to   the Inspector-General  of Police  was  rejected and his petition to the  Government  of  the  State met with the same   fate, so  that   he  was never reinstated by  the   order  of  any revising  or   appellate  authority. It was only  after  the present suit was filed that the Government  reinstated  him. This was no proceeding in  revision  or  appeal.   In  these circumstances   the enabling  provisions  of  rule  95   had no   application  whatsoever to the case of  the  plaintiff. What   happened   subsequently   is   a     matter    wholly outside   the  contemplation   of   the  rule.   After   the institution   of  the  suit,  the  Chief  Secretary  to  the



Government  of  Bihar   realising the  untenability  of  the Government’s  position   wrote  to  the    Inspector-General of  Police that the order of dismissal should be treated  as null and  void  and  that the  respondent  should         be reinstated.     Thus    the     reinstatement    of      the plaintiff  the   telegram  of the   30th   December,   1943, was not made  at  the  instance  of  any  of the authorities mentioned  in  the rule in exercise of  their  jurisdiction, appellate,  or revisional, but was made at the  instance  of the defendant   in the suit who had realised that it was not possible   to defend the order of dismissal. For the reasons given   above we are of the opinion that the High Court  was right  in  holding that rule 95 had no application   to  the facts  and circumstances  of this case and that the enabling provisions  of  this rule did not operate  as a bar  to  the plaintiff’s action.     The  next  contention of the  learned  Solicitor-General that  a suit by a public  servant  against  the  State   for recovery  of  arrears of salary cannot be  maintained  in  a civil court is again, in our opinion, without substance.  We think  that  the matter is covered by the  decision  of  the Federal  Court  in  Tara Chand Pandit’s case(1)   with which we find ourselves in respectful agreement.  In that case the learned Attorney General had argued with great force all the points that were (1) [1947] F.C.R. 89. 791 urged   in   this   appeal  before   us   by   the   learned SolicitorGeneral and were dealt with by the Federal Court in great  detail. It was there held that the prerogative  right of   the   Crown  to dismiss  its  servants at  will  having been  given statutory form in sub-section (1)of section  240 of  the  Government of India Act, 1935, it could   only   be exercised   subject  to   the  limitations imposed  by   the remaining  sub-sections   of that section and that  it  must follow  as  a necessary consequence that if  any   of  those limitations  was ’contravened  the public servant  concerned had  a  right to maintain an action against  the  Crown  for appropriate  relief and that  there was  no warrant for  the proposition    that  that  relief  must  be  limited  to   a declaration and should not go beyond it. It was further held that  even  if apart from the prerogative  of the  Crown  to terminate the  service of any of its  servant at will,   the further  prerogative could be invoked that  no  servant   of the  Crown  could maintain an action against  the  Crown  to recover  arrears   of  pay  even  after  the  pay  had  been earned  and had become due and that the prerogatives of  the Crown had been preserved in the case of India by  section  2 of  the  Constitution Act,  it  must be presumed  that  this further   prerogative   had  been abandoned in the  case  of India  by the provisions of’ the  Code of  Civil   Procedure and  that  it   was  not  possible  to  subscribe  to    the proposition   that  while  a creditor  of a  servant of  the Crown  was entitled as  of right to compel the Crown to  pay to  him a substantial portion of the salary of such  servant in  satisfaction  of  a decree obtained   against   him  the servant himself had no such right. Mr. Justice Kania, as  he then  was,  in  a  separate    but    concurring   judgment, negatived   the contention of the Attorney-General in  these terms:     "The  question whether the law in England and  India  is the  same on this point should be further considered  having regard   particularly   to  the  provisions  found   in  the Civil  Procedure  Code.  In  this connection, section  60(1) and  clauses (i) and (j) of the proviso,   and   explanation



(2)   should  be noted.  Under section   60   all   property belonging   to   the  judgment debtor    is  liable   to  be attached.   In stating  the 792 particulars   of  what   may  not  be  attached   and  sold, exemption  to  a limited  extent  is  given  in  respect  of the   salary  of  a public  servant.  These   provisions  of the  Code  of  Civil  Procedure  were not noticed  in  Lucas v.  Lucas  and High  Commissioner  for  India(1  ),  as  the application  was  made in England and  the  Civil  Procedure Code  of   1908  did not apply  there.  The  provisions   of section  60 of  the  Civil Procedure  Code give  a right  to the  creditor   to attach  the salary of a  servant  of  the Crown.  There  can  be  no  dispute  about  that.   If   the contention  of the appellant  was accepted, the result  will be  that while the civil servant cannot recover  the   money in  a suit  against  the Crown,  his ,creditor  can  recover the   same  in  execution  of a  decree  against  the  civil servant.   This right of the creditor to receive   money  in that  manner has been  recognised  in innumerable  decisions of  all  High Courts. There were similar provisions  in  the Civil Procedure Code of 1882 also.  By reason of section 292 of the Constitution Act, the Code of Civil Procedure,  1908, continues in force, in spite of the repeal of the Government of  India Act of 1915.  Could the  Imperial  Parliament’  in enacting  section  240   and  being  deemed  aware   of  the provisions  of section 60 of the Civil Procedure Code,  have thought  it  proper to give this privilege  to  a  creditor, while  denying it to the officer himself ? To hold’ so,  the words of section 240 of  the  Constitution  Act will have to be   unduly    and  unnaturally   strained.    Moreover   in explanation (2) of section 60 the word ’salary’  is defined. In the proviso  to  section 60 clause  (i) the word ’salary’ is   used   as   applicable  to private  employees  and   to Government servants also. The word ’salary’ in respect of  a private  employee must mean an enforceable right to  receive the  periodical payments  mentioned in the explanation.   In that   connection it is not used in the sense of  a  bounty. It will therefore  be  improper to give the same word,  when used  with  regard  to a civil servant  under  the  Crown  a different  meaning  in  the  same clause.  It  seems  to  me therefore  that  the Imperial  Parliament has  not  accepted the   principle  that  the Crown is not liable  to  pay  its servant salary (1) (1943) P. 68. 793 for  the  period  he  was  in  service,  as  applicable   to British   India   or as forming part of the  doctrine   that service  under the Crown is at His Majesty’s pleasure."     The   learned  Solicitor-General  contended   that   the decision in Tara Chand Pandit’s case(1), was no longer  good law  and  should be deemed to have been dissented  from  and overruled  by the decision of their Lordships of  the  Privy Council  in I. M. Lall’s case(2), and that in any event  the view expressed in that decision should be preferred  to  the view   expressed in  Tara Chand Pandits case. We are  unable to  uphold  this  contention.  It  seems  that  during   the arguments in Lall’s case attention  of their Lordships   was not   drawn  to the decision of the  Federal  Court in  Tara Chand  Pandit’s  case because  the point was   not  directly involved  therein.  In  that  case no  claim had  been  made by  the plaintiff for arrears of his pay. The plaintiff  had sued  for a  declaration  simpliciter  that  the  order   of his  removal  from the office was illegal and  that  he  was still  a  member of the Indian  Civil  Service.   The   High



Court  granted  that  declaration.  The  Federal  Court,  on appeal,  substituted  for the declaration made by  the  High Court  a declaration that the plaintiff had been  wrongfully dismissed.  The case  was  remitted  to the High Court  with a  direction to take such action as it thought necessary  in regard  to any  application by  the plaintiff  for leave  to amend  the claim  for recovery  of damages.  On  appeal   to the   Privy   Council the decree and the order made  by  the Federal  Court was modified and  their Lordships  held  that in   their opinion  the declaration  should be varied so  as to declare that the purported dismissal  of  the  respondent on  the  10th August,  1940,  was void and inoperative   and the   respondent   remained  a  member  of   the      Indian Civil  Service at the date of the institution of  the  suit, 20th  of June, 1942. The  High Commissioner for  India   had also  appealed   against the  order of  the  Federal   Court remitting the case to the High  Court for  amendment of  the plaint. The plaintiff  did not want to maintain the order of the Federal     Court to remit,  before  the (1) [1947] F.C.R. 89 (2) 75 I.A. 225. 14--95 S.C.I./59 794 Privy  Council.  He however  urged that he was  entitled  to recover in the suit his arrears of pay from the date of  the purported  order of dismissal  up to the   date  of  action, though this was not one of the reliefs    claimed by him  in the  suit  at  all. This relief  that was   claimed  by  him before  the  Board was negatived by their Lordships  on  the ground  that  no  action  in  tort  could lie  against   the Crown  and  that  such an action must either  be  based   on contract   or  conferred   by   statute.   Their   Lordships approved  of  the  judgment  of  Lord  Blackburn   in    the Scottish  case   of Mulvenna  v.  The Admiralty(1), in which that   learned    Judge laid down the rule in the  following terms  after  reviewing various authorities:     "These   authorities  deal only with  the  power of  the Crown  to dismiss a public servant, but they appear  to   me to  establish   conclusively  certain  important points. The first  is that the terms of service of a public servant  are subject   to   certain  qualifications  dictated  by  public policy,  no matter to what service the servant  may  belong, whether it be naval, military or civil, and no  matter  what position  he  holds  in  the  service, whether  exalted   or humble.   It   is   enough that  the  servant  is  a  public servant,   and  that  public policy,  no  matter   on   what ground  it  is  based,  demands  the qualification. The next is  that  these  qualifications are to  be  implied  in  the engagement   of a  public  servant, no matter  whether  they have  been referred  to when the engagement was made or not. If  these conclusions are justified  by the  authorities  to which I have referred, then it would seem to follow that the rule based  on public policy which has been enforced against military  servants  of the Crown,  and which prevents   such servants  suing  the Crown for their pay on  the  assumption that their only claim is on the bounty of the Crown and  not for  a  contractual   debt,  must equally  apply   to  every public  servant.  It  also follows that  this  qualification must be read, as an implied  condition,  into every contract between  the  Crown and a public servant,  with  the  effect that, in terms of their  contract, they have  no  right   to their remuneration which  can be (1) [1926] S. C. 842. 795 enforced  in a civil court of justice, and that  their  only



remedy under their contract lies in an appeal of an official or political kind’."     The    observations    made   in    Mulvenna   v.    The Admiralty(1), which is a Scottish case, could not have  been made  if  in the law of that country there  were  provisions similar   to the  provisions  made  in various sections   of the Code of Civil Procedure referred to by the Federal Court in  Tara Chand Pandit’s case(2).  It was further urged  that the  same view was taken by Pilcher J. inLucas v. Lucas  and the  High Commissioner for India(a).There the  question  for consideration  was whether the sterling overseas pay  of  an Indian  civil  servant   was a  debt   owing   and  accruing within   the meaning of rule 1 of Order XLV of the Rules  of the   Supreme   Court  and  which  could  be   attached   in satisfaction  of an order for the payment  of alimony.   The real  point for decision in that case was whether the  whole or  any  portion  of the salary of a member  of  the  Indian Civil  Service  was  liable  to  attachment  in England   in satisfaction   of  the  judgment  debt.   It  appears   that the  attention of the learned  Judge  was not invited to the provisions  of section 60 and other relevant provisions   of the  Code of Civil Procedure and the learned  Judge  applied the  dictum of Lord Blackburn in Mulvenna v. The  Admiralty( 1  ),  to the case of a civil  servant from India.   As  the application was made in England and the Civil Procedure Code did not apply there,  the  provisions  of the Code were  not noticed  in that case. We are therefore of the opinion  that the  rule laid down by their Lordships of the Privy  Council in  1. M. Lall’s case(4),  without a consideration  of   the provisions  of the Code of Civil Procedure relevant  to  the inquiry  and without a consideration  of the   reasoning  of the Federal Court in Tara Chand Pandit’s case(2), cannot  be treated,  particularly because  the matter was not  directly involved in the suit, as the final word on the subject.   We are  in no way bound by the decision given either  in   Tara Chand Pandits case(2 ), or by the (1) [1926] S.C. 843.               (3) [1943] P. 68. (2) [1947] F. C.R. 89.              (4) 75 I.A. 225. 796 decision  given by the  Privy  Council in  I. M. Lall’s case (1).  But on a consideration of the reasons given in the two judgments we think that the rule of English law that a,civil servant  cannot  maintain  a suit  against  the   State   or against  the  Crown  for the  recovery of arrears of  salary does  not  prevail  in this country and  that  it  has  been negatived by the provisions of the statute law in India.     Reliance  was  also  placed by  the  learned  Solicitor- General on the decision of the Federal Court in Suraj Norgin Anand  v.  North West Frontier Province(2).   In  that  case Suraj  Narain  having been appointed a    Sub-Inspector   of Police  posted in the North West Frontier Province   by  the Inspector-General   of  Police   of   the   Province     was subsequently dismissed by the  Deputy Inspector-General   of Police.  Failing  to get relief-by departmental  proceedings he instituted  a suit in the Court of the Senior Subordinate Judge,  Peshawar.  The subordinate   judge   dismissed   the suit   as  being unsustainable. This decision was upheld  by the  Court of the Judicial Commissioner. The  Federal  Court held that the Courts below were not justified in  dismissing the  suit, that the plaintiff  was at least entitled   to  a declaration  that the order of dismissal passed  against him was   void.  That  court accordingly set  aside  the  decree of the  Judicial  Commissioner  and remitted the case with a declaration   that  there   shall be   substituted  for  the decree   appealed   against  a declaration   in   the  terms



above   stated,   with   such  further   directions  as  the circumstances  of the  case may require  in the light of the observations  of their  judgment.  The  Province appealed to the   Privy  Council against   the decision of  the  Federal Court.   It  was held by the  Board in  the  first  instance allowing  the  appeal of the North West  Frontier  ’Province and reversing  the  decision  of the Federal Court of India, that the North West Frontier Province Police  Rules,   1937, had become operative in 1938 at some  date before April  25, 1938,  when  the respondent was dismissed, and that rule  16 (1)was   a  valid  rule  made  under        the    authority conferred on the (1) 75 I.A. 225. (2) [1941] F.C.R. 37. 797 appellant  by section  243 of the Government of  India  Act, 1935, and that the respondent’s suit was rightly  dismissed, but  subsequently  on the petition of the respondent  asking the   Board  to reconsider’ their decision  on  the   ground that  it had been ascertained that the Police Rules of  1937 were in fact printed and published on  April 29,  1938, that was, four days after the date  of his dismissal,  the  Board heard   the    appeal   further,   when   the   respondent’s allegation   was  admitted  and, :applying the reasoning  in their previously  delivered judgment,  the  Board   reversed their   former  decision and affirmed the  judgment  of  the Federal  Court  which  had  held   that’  the   respondent’s dismissal  was  void and :inoperative.  During the arguments before  the Privy ,Council reference was made to section  60 of the Code of-Civil  Procedure  and to the decision  of the Federal  ’Court in Tara Chand Pandit’s case(1), and  it  was also  noticed  that following on the remit  of the  case  to the  Judicial.  Commissioner by  the order  of  the  Federal Court, dated December 4,  1941, the respondent had ,obtained a decree for payment  of Rs. 2,283 against  the appellant in respect  of  arrears of pay from the date of  dismissal   to the   institution   of  the  suit.  When   the  appeal  came before the Board for further hearing their Lordships on  the 6th August,  1948, caused a letter to ’be  addressed  to the solicitor  representing the appellant, informing  him   that their    Lordships   now   proposed ’humbly  to  advise  His Majesty  that the appeal should ’be dismissed,  and  stating that  the   order  as  to  costs would not  be  varied.  The letter  pointed out that if this :advice were tendered,  and if  His Majesty were pleased to accept it, the effect  would be that the declaratory ’judgment of the Federal Court would stand.  Finally, ’the letter referred  to the award  of  Rs. 2,283  to  the  respondent  by the  Court  of  the  Judicial Commissioner  ’which, according to a submission made by  the appellant’s  counsel,  was open to challenge,  and  inquired whether  the  appellant wished to have  an  opportunity  ,of satisfying  their Lordships that the point was open, and  of being  heard on it. By their Lordships’ direction a copy  of this letter was sent to the respondent. (1)[1947] F.C.R. 89. 798 An  intimation  was received by the Privy Council  that  the appellant did not wish to offer any further arguments on the case. The respondent also did not desire an  opportunity  of arguing  that  he-should  now beawarded arrears of pay  from the  date of the institution of the suit  onwards. In  these circumstances the  Board refused  to deal further  with  the matter   and  advised His Majesty   that   the   declaratory judgment  of  the Federal Court be restored and proceeded to observe  that it would be open to the respondent  to  pursue



any remedy which flows from that declaratory judgment in  an appropriate    court.   Their   Lordships   concluded    the judgment with the following observations :-     "Their  Lordships  must not be  understood,  however, as expressing an opinion  that the respondent  was  entitled as of right to recover the sum of  Rs. 2,283 which was  awarded to  him,  or  that he has any claim to  a  further   sum  in respect  of  arrears  of  pay.  It is unnecessary, owing  to the  very proper attitude of the appellant, to  express  any view  as  to the former question,  and the  latter  question does  not  arise in this  appeal which is from the  decision of  the  Federal  Court. If that decision  is  affirmed  the respondent  who did not himself enter an appeal, cannot  now ask for anything more."     It is thus  clear that in express terms in this decision their  Lordships   declined   to give  any  opinion  on  the question   whether   the  respondent was   entitled   as  of right  to  recover  arrears of pay awarded to  him  by  the" Judicial   Commissioner,   in spite  of   the   circumstance that their attention  had  been  drawn  to  the  decision of the  Federal  Court  in Tara Chand  Pandit’s  case(1).  This decision  therefore  cannot  be said  to  support  the  view contended   for  by the learned  Solicitor-General. On   the other  hand,  it  must be assumed that  in  spite  of  their decision  in 1. M. Lall’s case(1),  their Lordships in  this case,   the judgment in which was  delivered  subsequent  to the  decision in 1. M. Lalls case(2), on November 4,   1948, did  not reaffirm  the propositions (1) [1947] F.C.R. 89. (2) 75 I.A. 225. 799 laid down in that case  but preferred to express no  opinion on the point.  It  was suggested that the true view to take is  that  when the  statute   says  that  the    office is to  be  held  at pleasure,   it  means  "at  pleasure",    and  no-rules   or regulations  can alter or modify  that;  nor can section  60 of  the Code of Civil Procedure,  enacted by  a  subordinate legislature  be  used  to  construe an  Act  of  a  superior legislature.    It   was   further   suggested   that   some meaning  must be given to  the  words  "holds  office during His  Majesty’s  pleasure" as these words cannot  be  ignored and   that they bear the meaning given to them by the  Privy Council in 1. M. Lall’s case (1).     In  our  judgment,  these suggestions  are  based  on  a misconception   of  the  scope  of  this   expression.   The expression concerns itself with the tenure of office of  the civil  servant  and it is not implicit in it  that  a  civil servant serves  the Crown  ex grati or that  his  salary  is in the  nature  of a bounty.  It has  again no  relation  or connection with the question whether an action can be  filed to recover arrears of salary  against the Crown. The  origin of  the  two  rules is different and  they  operate  on  two different fields.     The  rule  that  a civil servant  holds  office  at  the pleasure  of the  Crown has its origin in the latin  phrase" durante   bene  placito"  ("during pleasure")  meaning  that the  tenure  of  office  of a  civil servant,  except  where it  is  otherwise  provided  by  statute,  can be terminated at  any  time  without cause assigned. The  true  scope  and effect of this expression is that even if a special contract has been made with the civil servant the Crown is not  bound thereby.  In  other words, civil servants  are   liable   to dismissal  without  notice  and there is no right of  action for wrongful dismissal,  that is,  that  they  cannot  claim



damages   for   premature termination of   their   services. [See   Fraser’s  Constitutional Law,  page  126;   Chalmer’s Constitutional  Law, page 186; Shenton v. Smith (2); Dunn v. The Queen(3) ].     This  rule of English law has not been fully adopted  in section 240.  Section   240  itself  places  restrictions (1)  75 I.A. 225.   (2) [1895] A.C. 229, 234.    (3)  [1896] Q.B. 116. 800 and   limitations  on the  exercise  of that  pleasure   and those   restrictions   must  be given effect  to.  They  are imperative   and  mandatory.  It  follows   therefore   that whenever  there is a breach of restrictions imposed  by  the statute  by  the  Government  or the  Crown  the  matter  is justiciable   and  the  party  aggrieved   is  entitled   to suitable relief at the  hands  of the  court. As pointed out earlier  in  this  judgment, there is  no  warrant  for  the proposition   that   the  relief  must be  limited   to  the declaration  and  cannot go beyond  it.  To  the extent that the   rule  that  Government  servants  hold  office  during pleasure  has  been  departed  from  by  the  statute,   the Government  servants are entitled to relief like  any  other person  under the ordinary  law,  and that  relief therefore must be  regulated  by  the  Code of Civil Procedure.     Section  292   of the  Government of  India  Act,  1935, provides that the law in force in British India  immediately before the commencement of the Act shall continue  in  force until    altered,  repealed   or  amended  by  a   competent legislature.   Sections   100 to 104 of the  Government   of India   Act.    1935,  confer  legislative powers   on   the different   legislatures   in the  country. Item  4  of  the concurrent list in the Seventh  Schedule reads thus:  "Civil Procedure    and all matters included in the Code  of  Civil Procedure,  at  the  date of the passing  of this Act."   It is   clear   therefore  that  the Indian  Legislatures  were conferred  by the Government of India Act,  1935,  power  to regulate  the  procedure in regard to  actions  against  the Grown  and  to make provision for reliefs   that  could   be granted   in  such  actions.  These   provisions   of    the Government   of  India   Act,  1935,   stand  by  themselves independently   of  what  is contained  in section   240,and therefore  no  question arises  that section 60 of the  Code of  Civil  Procedure  which  has   the  sanction   of    the Government   of India Act, 1935, itself is in  status  lower than the rule laid down in section 240.     The  rules of English law that the Grown cannot be  sued by  a civil servant for money or salary or for  compensation has its origin in the feudal theory that the Crown cannot be sued  by its  vassals  or subjects  in its 801 own courts.  From this  theory  the  common law lawyers   in England  deduced two rules,  namely,  (1) that the King  can do no wrong, and (2) that as a matter of procedure no action can  lie  in the King’s  courts against  the   Crown.   (See Ridge’s  Constitutional  Law, eighth edition, page 295,  and Fraser’s Constitutional Law, page 164). The subject, in this situation, could only proceed by way of a petition  of right which  required  the previous  permission  of   the   Crown. Permission   was  given  by a fiat justitia  issued  by  the Crown.  It was not in practice refused to a petitioner   who had   any   shadow  of  a  claim,  so  that   probably   the disadvantages   of   this  form  of  procedure   were   more theoretical  that  substantial.  Petitions   of  right   and various    other   special  forms  of   English    procedure applicable  exclusively  to actions by and against the Crown



were abolished by the Crown Proceedings  Act,  1947,   which provides   that in  future claims against  the Crown   might be  enforced  as   of  right and without  the  fiat  of  His Majesty,  and that they should be enforceable   by  ordinary procedure in accordance with the rules of the High Court  or the  County  Court  as the case   might   be.   Arrears   of salary   were being actually  recovered  by  the   procedure of  petition  of right in England. ’[See Bush  v.  R.  (1)]- There the judgment  resulted  in  favour of  the  suppliant. The claim was in respect of the amount of salary due to  him as  Master  of the Court  of  Queen’s  Bench   in   Ireland. (Robertson’s   Civil  Proceedings  by   or    against    the Crown, page 338).     In India, from the earliest times, the mode of procedure to proceed against the Crown has been laid down in the  Code of  Civil  Procedure  and  the  procedure  of  petition   of right   was  never  adopted  in this country, and  the  same seems to have been the rule in Australia and other Colonies. Section   56 of the  Judiciary  Act, 1903,  relating to  the Commonwealth of Australia provides:    "Any    person    making    any    claim   against    the Commonwealth,  whether  in  contract or in tort, may respect of  the  claim  bring  a  suit  against  the (1) [1869] Times News, May 29. 802 Commonwealth  in the High Court or in the Supreme  Court  of the State in which the claim arose."     Under  the  New   South   Wales   Act, 39 Vict. No.  38, the  Government of the Colony  is liable to be sued   in  an action  of tort  as well as in  contract.  Section 65 of the Government  of India  Act, 1858, conferred the right of suit against  the Government. It provided  that "all persons  and bodies  politic shall and may have and take the same  suits, remedies and proceedings  legal and equitable,  against  the Secretary  of State in  Council of India as they could  have done  against  the said company" (the East  India  Company). This was replaced  by section 32 of the Government  of India Act,  1915. Sub-section (2)  of that section ran as  follows :--     "Every   person   shall   have    the   same    remedies against  the Secretary of State in Council as he might  have had  against  the  East  India  Company  if  the  Government of India Act,     1858, and this Act had not been passed."     This was replaced by section 176(1)of the Government  of India  Act,   1935,  which  substantially  reproduced  these provisions.  From these  provisions  it  is  clear that  the Crown  in  India was liable to be sued in respect  of  acts, which in  England  could be enforced only by a petition   of right.   As  regards  torts  of its servants in exercise  of sovereign  powers,  the company was not, and  the  Crown  in India  was not, liable unless the act had been   ordered  or ratified  by  it.   Be  that as it may,  that  rule  has  no application  to the case of arrears of salary earned   by  a public   servant for  the period  that he was   actually  in office.  The present claim is not based on tort but is based on quantum meruit or contract and the court is  entitled  to give  relief  to him. The Code of Civil Procedure from  1859 right  up  to 1908 has prescribed  ’the  procedure  for  all kinds   of suits and section 60 and the provision  of  Order XXI  substantially stand the same as they were in  1859  and those   provisions   have received  recognition in  all  the Government  of  India Acts that have been passed  since  the year 1858.  The salary of its civil servants in the 803 hands  of  the Crown has been made subject to  the  writ  of



civil  court.  It  can be seized in execution  of  a  decree attached.   It is  thus  difficult  to see  on what  grounds the  claim  that  the Crown cannot be sued  for  arrears  of salary  directly by the civil servant, though  his  creditor can  take it, can   be based   or  substained.   What  could be   claimed  in England  by  a  petition  of right  can  be claimed in this country by ordinary process.     For the reasons  given above we are of the opinion  that this   appeal is without  force  and we accordingly  dismiss it with, costs. Appeal dismissed. Agent for the appellant: R.H. Dhebar. Agent for the respondent: S.P. Varma.