Monday, January 28, 2019

No Authority Can Claim Privilege Not To Comply With SC Judgment: SC

The Supreme Court has observed that no authority can claim a privilege not to comply with its judgment.

The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta made this observation while allowing an appeal filed by an employee of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
In this case, the employee had approached the Tribunal contending that the failure to communicate the Annual Confidential Reports in which he had failed to meet the benchmark violated the O-Ms issued by the Department of Personnel and Training. However, the tribunal held that CSIR is an autonomous body and therefore the circulars issued by the Union of India would not ipso facto apply. The high court concurred with the said view of the Tribunal.
In his appeal, the bench noted that in Dev Dutt vs. Union of India, it was held that that non-communication of entries in the ACRs has civil consequences since it may affect the chances of the employee for promotion and other benefits. While holding that failure to communicate ACRs would be arbitrary, the court had held that these directions would apply to employees of statutory authorities, public sector corporations and other instrumentalities of the State, in addition to government servants. The bench also added that the Three Judge Bench in Sukhdev Singh vs. Union of India had approved of this view taken in Dev Dutt judgment.

The bench then observed that both the Tribunal and the High Court were in error in coming to the conclusion that CSIR being an autonomous entity and having adopted the O.Ms of the Department of Personnel and Training with effect from a specified date, the employee could not make a grievance of the non-communication of the ACRs for the relevant period.
"CSIR by reason of its autonomy may have certain administrative privileges. No authority can, however, claim a privilege not to comply with a judgment of this Court. Once the law was enunciated in Dev Dutt's case (supra), all instrumentalities of the State were bound to follow the principles laid down by this Court. CSIR was no exception.", the bench said.

Read Full Judgment

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