Central Industrial Security Force; Union of India Vs. Braham Pal Singh [Delhi High Court, 17-10-2016]

Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 –Ss. 8 & 9 – Suit filed by the respondent/plaintiff would be barred because civil court would have no jurisdiction to try and decide a challenge to the orders passed by the disciplinary/statutory authorities under Sections 8 and 9 of the CISF Act.

CISF Act, 1968

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE VALMIKI J. MEHTA

17.10.2016

RSA 184/2016

UNION OF INDIA ….. Appellant Through: Mr. R.V.Sinha, Advocate. versus BRAHAM PAL SINGH ….. Respondent Through: Mr. Y.D.Nagar and Mr. F.C.Sharma, Advocates.

ORDER

1. On 30.9.2016, the following order was passed inasmuch as it was found that the civil court would not have jurisdiction as per the ratio of the judgment in the case of Union of India & Ors. Vs. Shri Ishwar Singh RSA No. 26/2016 decided on 5.9.2016:-

“1. Counsel for the appellant relies upon the judgment delivered by this Court in the case of Union of India & Ors. Vs. Sh. Ishwar Singh RSA 26/2016 decided on 5.9.2016 to argue that once a person is an employee of CISF and statutory authorities under Section 8 and 9 of the CISF Act have passed orders as disciplinary authority, appellate authority etc, then civil suit will not lie and the remedy of a person against whom statutory orders are passed under Section 8 and 9 of the CISF Act is to file a writ petition.

2. Counsel for the respondent seeks time to examine the position.

3. I may note that I have allowed the appellant to argue this aspect which is not taken up before the courts below because the issue goes to the root of the matter i.e lack of jurisdiction of the civil court to try the suit.

4. List on 17th October, 2016.”

2. A reference to the ratio of the judgment in the case of Shri Ishwar Singh (supra) shows that since disciplinary proceedings of employees of CISF are statutory proceedings under Sections 8 and 9 of the CISF Act, 1968, hence such decisions of statutory authorities achieve finality unless they are challenged by means of filing of a writ petition in this Court under Article 226 and/or Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

It has also been held in Shri Ishwar Singh‘s case (supra) that once the decisions of the statutory authorities under Sections 8 and 9 of the CISF Act are not challenged by filing of a writ petition, such decisions operate as res judicata in view of the general nature of the principles of res judicata as held in the judgment of the Supreme Court reported as

Gulam Abbas and Others v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others, (1982) 1 SCC 71

In Shri Ishwar Singh‘s case (supra) reference has been made to Rule 57 of the CISF Rules framed under the CISF Act which bars the jurisdiction of the civil court. The relevant paras of the judgment of this Court in Shri Ishwar Singh‘s case (supra) are paras 2 to 14, and which paras read as under:-

“2. In addition to the above substantial questions of law, in my opinion, an additional substantial question of law is required to be framed as stated hereunder for the disposal of the present Regular Second Appeal:-

“Whether the suit filed by the respondent-plaintiff is at all maintainable in the civil court because such a suit would be in fact barred by application of general principles of res judicata inasmuch as orders passed by statutory authorities under the Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 and which are challenged in the suit could only have been challenged by means of proceedings in a writ petition under Articles 227 and/or 226 of the Constitution of India in this Court?”

3. Learned counsel for the appellants relies upon a recent judgment of this Court in the case of Ex. Const. Krishan Kumar Vs. Union of India & Ors., RSA No.254/2014 decided on 1.9.2016 which holds that a civil suit does not lie for challenging the orders which are passed by the statutory authorities under Section 8 and sub-Sections (1) to (3) of

Section 9 of the Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968

(hereinafter referred to as “the CISF Act”). Section 8 of the CISF Act provides for orders to be passed by the Disciplinary Authority. Section 9(1) provides for the orders to be passed by the Appellate Authority. Section 9(2A) and (2B) provides for passing of the orders by the Revisional Authority. Section 9(3) provides for exercise of suo moto powers by the Central Government against the orders of the aforementioned statutory authorities. It is argued that though this issue was not raised before the courts below, since the issue is purely a legal issue and which hits at the very jurisdiction of the court to try the suit, this Court should consider the same.

4. In the case of Ex. Const. Krishan Kumar (supra) by placing reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of

Ghulam Abbas and Others v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others (1982) 1 SCC 71

I have held that once orders are passed by the statutory authorities in exercise of statutory powers, against such decisions of the statutory authorities, only a writ petition will lie either under Article 227 and/or under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and a suit if filed to challenge the orders of the statutory authorities will be barred by the application of the general principles of res judicata.

5. The relevant paragraphs of the judgment in the case of Ex. Const. Krishan Kumar (supra) are paragraphs no. 3 to 7 and these paragraphs read as under:-

“3. At the outset, let me reproduce Sections 8 and 9 of the Central Industrial Security Force Act, 1968 (hereinafter referred to as „the CISF Act‟), and which provisions provides for the orders to be passed by the Disciplinary Authority, Appellate Authority, Revisional Authority and the Central Government, and which provisions read as under:-

8. Dismissal, removal etc.of enrolled members of the Force

Subject to the provisions of article 311 of the Constitution and to such rules as the Central Government may make under this Act supervisory officer may –

(i) dismiss, remove, order of compulsory retirement or reduce in rank any enrolled member of the Force whom he thinks remiss or negligent in the discharge of his duty, or unfit for the same; or

(ii) award any one or more of the following punishments to any enrolled member of the Force who discharges his duty in a careless or negligent manner, or who by any act of his own renders himself unfit for the discharge thereof, namely :-

(a) fine to any amount not exceeding seven days pay or reduction in pay scale;

(b) drill, extra guard, fatigue or other duty.

(c) removal from any office of distinction or deprivation of any special emolument.

(d) withholding of increment of pay with or without cumulative effect.

(e) withholding of promotion.

(f) Censure.