Chairman Administrative … vs Jagpal Singh on 23 March, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Chairman Administrative … vs Jagpal Singh on 23 March, 2021

Author: Hemant Gupta

Bench: Uday Umesh Lalit, Hemant Gupta, S. Ravindra Bhat

                                                                 REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                          CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                      CIVIL APPEAL NO. 49 OF 2021
              (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO. 298 OF 2021)
                        (DIARY NO. 4183 OF 2020)


CHAIRMAN ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE U.P.                        …..APPELLANT
MILK UNION & DAIRY FEDERATION
CENTRALIZED SERVICES
                            VERSUS

JAGPAL SINGH                                                   ....RESPONDENT


                                  JUDGMENT

HEMANT GUPTA, J.

1. The challenge in the present appeal is to an order passed by the

Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad,

Lucknow Bench dated 26.8.2019, affirming the order passed by the

learned Single Bench on 17.5.2019.

2. The writ petition filed before the High Court was to assail an order

of punishment dated 26.10.2018, whereby the respondent 1 was

ordered to be reverted to the minimum pay scale and the period of

suspension was to be considered as a period spent by the

employee in service. However, for the said suspension period, the

employee was not found to be entitled to any other pay or

allowance except subsistence allowance and dearness allowance.

The order of punishment was passed after the prior approval of the

1 hereinafter referred to as ‘employee’

1
Commissioner (Dairy Milk), Lucknow, designated as Registrar by

the State Government on the same day.

3. The employee was appointed as Executive Trainee in the

Centralised Services on 11.8.1984. After completion of the training

period, he was appointed as Manager Grade-III. The employee was

served with a charge sheet dated 21.4.2015, inter-alia, on the

ground that in addition to two chambers of milk in tankers, one

more additional third hidden chamber having capacity of 310 liters

was created by partition. Water was filled in the said additional

chamber to maintain total weight of the vehicle. After weight

measurement at the time of unloading of milk from the two

chambers, water from the additional hidden chamber was

discharged. On account of manipulation in the weight

measurement, the Federation suffered financial losses. The

employee controverted the said allegations and thus an Inquiry

Officer was appointed. In the Inquiry Report dated 13.6.2018,

charges nos. 1 and 3 were found to be partially proved against the

employee. The Inquiry Report was then forwarded to the employee

along with a show cause notice on 25.6.2018. An opportunity of

personal hearing was also afforded to him. It is thereafter that the

Managing Director/ Chairman (Administrative Committee) passed

an order on 26.10.2018 holding the employee guilty of all the three

charges and passed an order of punishment, as mentioned above,

after obtaining approval from the Commissioner (Dairy Milk)/

Registrar, Dairy Milk Co-operatives, U.P. on 26.10.2018. It is the

2
said order which was challenged by the employee by way of a writ

petition before the High Court.

4. The learned Single Bench while deciding the Writ Petition held that

the order of punishment was passed without following the due

procedure of law, four days prior to the retirement of the employee.

There was an undue and unexplained haste in passing the

impugned order without taking prior approval under Regulation 87

of the Service Regulations from the competent authority i.e., the

Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Institutional Service Board. It was

further held that the punishment order has been passed by the

Chairman of the Administrative Committee and the approval for the

punishment has also been granted by the same person. Therefore,

the present case was found to be an example of inappropriate

approval given by an incompetent authority.

5. In the intra-court appeal, the Division Bench of the High Court

referred to the inquiry reports dated 9.5.2014 and 15.10.2014 to

hold that the employee has not been given any disagreement note,

rather he was exonerated in those reports. However, it is to be

noted that the Division Bench overlooked the fact that they were

preliminary inquiries. The Division Bench considering the

Regulations 87 and 106 of the Service Regulations held as under:

“15. On due consideration of the aforesaid, it is clear that
basic requirement is that the order should not be
inconsistent to the Regulations of 1975 and the order dated
08.08.2016 is in direct conflict to the provisions as contained
under Regulation 87 of the Regulations of 1975. The
respondent-petitioner was a member of Centralized
Services, which were promulgated by the U.P. Dairy
Federation & Milk Union Centralized Services Rules, 1984,

3
which came into existence after a period of more than five
years and, therefore, the notification dated 17.11.1979
cannot be applicable to the members of Centralized Services
and, as such, the analogy given by the Milk
Commissioner/Registrar while passing the order dated
08.08.2016 is incorrect.”

6. Before we consider the respective arguments and the findings of

the High Court, some of the statutory provisions are reproduced

hereunder for appreciation of the contentions raised:

“UTTAR PRADESH CO-OPERATIVE SOCIEITES ACT, 19652

121. Power of Registrar to determine terms of
employment of society. – (1) The Registrar may, from time
to time, frame regulation to regulate the emoluments and
other conditions of service including the disciplinary control
of employees in a co-operative society or a class of co-
operative societies and any society to which such terms are
applicable, shall comply with those regulations and with any
orders of the Registrar, issued to secure such compliance.

(2) The regulations framed under sub-section (1) shall be
published in the Gazette and take effect from the date of
such publication.

122. Authority to control employees of co-operative
societies. – (1) The State Government may constitute any
authority or authorities, in such manner as may be
prescribed, for the recruitment, training and disciplinary
control of the employees of co-operative societies, or a class
of co-operative societies, and may require such authority or
authorities to frame regulations regarding recruitment,
emoluments, terms and conditions of service including
disciplinary control of such employees and subject to the
provisions contained in Section 70, settlement of disputes
between an employee of a co-operative society and the
society.

(2) The regulations framed under sub-section (1) shall be
subject to the approval of the State Government and shall
after such approval, be published in the Gazette, and take
effect from the date of such publication and shall supersede

2 for short, the ‘Act’

4
any regulations made under Section 121.

3

122-A. Centralisation of certain services.- (1)
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the State
Government may by rules provide for the creation of one
there services of such employees of such co-operative
societies or class of co-operative societies as the Stale
Government may think fit, common to such co-operative
societies and prescribe the method of recruitment,
appointment, removal and other conditions of service of
persons appointed to any such service.

(2) When any such service is created, all employees of such
societies existing on the dale of creation of such service on
the posts included in such service, shall be deemed to have
been provisionally absorbed in the service. with effect from
the date of creation of such service:

Provided that any such employee may, by notice in writing
to the prescribed authority within the prescribed period,
intimate his option of not becoming a member of such
service, and in that event his services in the society shall
stand determined with effect from the date of such notice
and he shall be entitled to compensation from the society
which shall be-

                              xx                    xx             xx

                Section 130. Power to make rules.—

                (1)      the State Government may, make rules to carry out
                         the purposes of this Act.

                 (2)           xx                        xx             xx

                THE UTTAR              PRADESH      CO-OPERATIVE   SOCIETIES
                RULES, 19684

2. Definitions- In these rules, unless the context otherwise
requires —-

(a) *** ***

(b) “Apex Society”, “Apex Level Society” or “State Level Co-
operative Society” means-

(1) to (3) ******

3 subs.by U.P. Act 17 of 1977 (w.e.f.3-10-1975)
4 for short, ‘1968 Rules’

5
(4) Pradeshik Co-operative Dairy Federation Ltd.,
Lucknow;

                              xx                    xx                   xx

                 *[389-A.    The authority or authorities under Section 122

may be constituted by the State Government by notification
published in the Official Gazette]

* substituted by Notification No. 3885-C/XII-CA-5(1)-69-B, dt. Aug. 31,
1971, published in the U.P. Gaz., Extra., dt. 31 st Aug., 1971, p.2.”

7. In terms of Section 122 of the Act and Rule 389-A of the 1968

Rules, a notification was issued on 4.3.1972 constituting Uttar

Pradesh Co-operative Institutional Service Board for the purposes

of recruitment, training and disciplinary control of the employees of

apex level, central or primary societies. Later, the Uttar Pradesh

Co-operative Societies Employees Service Regulations, 1975 5 were

published in the U.P. Gazette, Extraordinary on 6.1.1976 in exercise

of the powers conferred under Section 121 of the Act. Some of the

relevant provisions read thus:

“2(iii) ‘appointing authority’ means “Committee of
Management” or any other authority which is empowered
under these regulations or the bye-laws of the society
concerned to make appointment;

(iv) ‘Board’ means the U.P. Co-operative Institutional Service
Board;

(v) to (viii) *** ***

(ix) ‘Co-operative Society’ means a Co-operative Society
placed under the purview of the Board by Government
Notification No. 366-C/XII-C-3-36-71, dated March 4, 1972,
as amended from time to time by notifications issued under
Section 122 of the Act read with Rule 389(a) of the Rules.

5    for short, the ‘Service Regulations’

                                                                                           6
                     xx                 xx                   xx

87. Order imposing penalty under sub-clauses (e) to (g) of
clause (1) of Regulation No. 84 shall not be passed except
with the prior concurrence of the Board.”

8. Regulation 84 of the Service Regulations provides for penalties

such as reduction in rank or grades held substantively by the

employee (clause e), removal from service (Clause f), or dismissal

from service (Clause g). As per Regulation 87 of the Service

Regulations, the aforesaid punishment could not be passed except

with the prior concurrence of the Board.

9. It may be stated that all the powers of Registrar in respect of all

Co-operative Milk Societies were conferred on the Milk

Commissioner Uttar Pradesh by the State Government vide

notification dated 19th May, 1976 in exercise of powers conferred

under sub-section 2 of Section 3 of the Act.

10. The Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Institutional Service Board ceased

to have jurisdiction to operate regarding recruitment, training and

disciplinary control of the employees of the Apex Level Milk Society

i.e. Pradeshik Co-operative Dairy Federation, Central or Primary

Milk Societies vide notification dated 17.11.1979 issued under

Section 122 read with Rule 389-A of the 1968 Rules. Instead, a

Selection Committee for recruitment of Category I and II

employees, as specified by the Registrar from time to time, was

constituted. Such Selection Committee consisted of an officer

nominated by the State Government as Chairman; a representative

of the National Milk Dairy Development Board, Principal Agricultural

7
Institute, Naini, Allahabad and one Chairman of a Co-operative Milk

Union or Central Milk Society in the State nominated by the State

Government as Members; and Managing Director, Pradeshik Co-

operative Dairy Federation as Member Secretary.

11. The Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Dairy Federation and Milk Union

Centralised Service Rules, 19846 came to be published in the U.P.

Government Gazette on 29.8.1984. As per the said Rules, the

Administrative Committee was to consist of a Managing Director of

the Federation, a nominee of the Registrar not below the rank of

Class I Officer, a nominee of the Managing Director of the

Federation and a Member Secretary. Some of the relevant

provisions of the Dairy Service Rules read as under:

“2(a) “Act” means the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Societies
Act, 1965.

(b) “Authority” means the Cadre Authority as constituted in
accordance with rule 4 of these rules;

(c) “Board” means the Committee of Management of the
Pradeshik Co-operative Dairy Federation Ltd., Lucknow (and
includes the Administrator or the Committee of
Administrators of the Federation);

(d) “Committee” means the Administrative Committee
constituted in accordance with rule 5 of these rules;

(e) “Federation” means the Pradeshik Co-operative Dairy
Federation Ltd., Lucknow;

(f) to (l) *** ***

3. Creation of Service. – (1) Uttar Pradesh Co-operative
Dairy Federation and Milk Unions Centralised Service shall
consist of all the managerial posts of the Federation and the
Unions except the post of Managing Director, Chief

6 for short, the ‘Dairy Service Rules’

8
Commercial Manager and Chief General Manager of the
Federation.

(2) No appointment shall be made to any of the posts falling
within the purview of the service by the Federation or Union
from the date of enforcement of these rules:

Provided that the Government may place on
deputation any officer of the Government on any managerial
post of the federation or Union:

Provided further that the services of the persons
already in the employment of another, Co-operative Society,
or a corporation or undertaking owned or controlled by the
central or State Government or a body corporate
administering a local fund or National Dairy Development
Board may also be taken on deputation.

4. Constitution of Cadre Authority. – The Cadre Authority
shall be constituted as under:

(i)    The Registrar                        …Chairman

(ii)   to (viii)   ***            ***

(ix)   Managing Director of the Federation       …Member-Secre-
tary

Note. – In case the post of the Registrar and the Manag-
ing Director of the Federation is held by the same officer, the
Chairman may nominate any member as Member-Secretary
and the vacancy of member so caused shall be filled by nomi-
nation of any other officer or the Federation by the Managing
Director.

5. Constitution of Administrative Committee. – The
Administrative Committee shall be constituted as under:

(i) Managing Director of the Federation – Chairman

(ii) A nominee of the Registrar not below the rank of Class I
Officer – Member

(iii) A nominee of the Managing Director of the Federation –
Member-Secretary.

xx xx xx

9. Powers and duties of the Authority. – (1) The
Authority with the prior approval of the State government

9
shall frame regulations relating to recruitment, training,
emoluments, disciplinary control and other conditions of
service of the members such regulations shall come into
force from the date of their publication in the Gazette.

(2) The Authority shall—

(i) determine and modify, from time to time, the scales of
pay for different category of posts, with the approval of the
Registrar;

(ii) settle the dispute and allocate the cost of training,
travelling allowance, salary and other allowances for the
period of training and the cost of recruitment under sub-rule
(6) of rule 22;

(iii) advise the Government and the Registrar on matters
relating to the Service;

(iv) decide such policy matters concerning the Service as
may be referred to it by the Committee;

(v) exercise such other powers and perform such other
duties under these rules, or regulations as may be entrusted
to it by the Government or the Registrar from time to time.

10. Powers and duties of the Committee. – The
Committee shall—

(i) exercise overall control and supervision over the
members of the Service;

            (ii)   to (vii)   *** ***

                       xx                 xx                xx

            15. Appointing Authority. - Appointing authority of      and
            the authority exercising disciplinary control over,      the
            members of the service and the Management Trainees       and
            the Executives shall be such as may be laid down in      the
            regulations:

Provided that till enforcement of such regulations the
Chairman of the Committee shall be the appointing authority
and the authority exercising disciplinary control over them.”

12. Later, Regulation 106 was inserted in the Service Regulations vide

10
Notification No. 2295 dated 9.12.2002. The provision reads as

under:

“1. Short title, commencement and application – (1) These
regulations may be called the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative
Societies Employees’ Service (Tenth Amendment)
Regulations, 2002.

(2) They shall take effect from the date of their publication
in the U.P. Gazette.

(3) They shall apply to all the Employees of Co-operative
Societies in Uttar Pradesh.

2. Insertion of new Regulation. – In the Uttar Pradesh Co-
operative Societies Employees’ Service Regulations, 1975
after Regulation 105 the following regulation shall be
inserted, namely:-

“106. The State Government or the Registrar may
pass such orders not inconsistent with these
Regulations as it or he deems necessary just and
proper to remove any difficulty arising in relation to
emoluments, terms and conditions of service,
appointment or re-appointment, termination,
dismissal or removal, deputation or merger.”

13. The Cadre Authority was required to frame regulations in terms of

Rule 9 of the Dairy Service Rules with the prior approval of the

State Government relating to recruitment, training, emoluments,

disciplinary control and other conditions of service of the members;

whereas, the Administrative Committee under Rule 10 was to

exercise overall control and supervision over the members of the

service. Rule 15 of the Dairy Service Rules contemplated that the

Appointing Authority and the authority exercising disciplinary

control over the members of the service shall be such as may be

laid down in the regulations. However, the proviso contemplated

11
that till the enforcement of such regulations, the Chairman of the

Administrative Committee shall be the Appointing Authority and

would act as the authority exercising disciplinary control as well.

14. The Administrative Committee in exercise of the powers conferred

under Rule 10 read with proviso to Rule 15 passed an office order

on 8.8.2016 that prior to imposing of penalty, the approval of Dairy

Milk Commissioner/Registrar would be mandatory. The relevant

extract from the said Circular reads as under:

“… Therefore, in the matter of employees of Centralised
Service Cadre, until the provisions of Uttar Pradesh
Cooperative Society Employees Service Rules, 1975 are
applicable, till then prior to imposing of penalty the approval
of Dairy Milk Commissioner/Registrar is mandatory.

Therefore, the Chairman, Administrative Committee, Uttar
Pradesh Cooperative Dairy Federation and Dairy Milk
Federation Centralised Service Cadre, PCDF Hqrs., Lucknow
is hereby directed that prior to imposing penalty against the
members of aforesaid cadre the prior approval of Dairy Milk
Commissioner/Registrar under the provisions of Regulation
87 of Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Society Employees Service
Rules, 1975 may be obtained necessarily.”

15. It is in terms of the said Circular that the order of punishment was

passed against the employee after approval from the

Commissioner (Dairy Milk), discharging functions as the Registrar.

16. The High Court relied upon a judgment of Division Bench of the

High Court in Chandra Pal Singh v. State of U.P. & Ors.7

wherein it was held that prior approval of the Board was not

obtained as is required under Regulation 87 of the Service

7 Writ-A No. 45263 of 2011 passed on 9.1.2018

12
Regulations. It was noted that though in terms of notification dated

17.11.1979 Service Regulations ceased to apply, but provisions as

were existing before the provisions of Service Regulations, would

be applicable to the employees of the Centralised Services in terms

of the resolution dated 20.9.1984. It was also held that the

notification dated 17.11.1979 was not mentioned in the resolution

dated 20.9.1984. Thus, it was concluded that the order of

punishment without approval of the Board was not legal in terms of

Regulation 87 of the Service Regulations. Hence, the order of

punishment was quashed. The relevant extract from Chandra Pal

Singh reads as under:

“Considered the submissions of learned counsel for the
parties and perused the record. As far as the approval part is
concerned, admittedly, no approval/concurrence was
obtained by the Board before passing the order of dismissal
from service. In view of the provision of Regulation 87 of U.P.
Cooperative Societies Employees Service Regulation 1975,
concurrence of the Board is required before passing the
order of dismissal. According to notification dated
17.11.1979, Pradeshik Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd.
including the Primary Milk Cooperative Society were put out
of purview of U.P. Cooperative Societies Employees Service
Regulation 1975 with respect to the recruitment, training
and disciplinary control and by the same notification,
selection committee was constituted for category 1 and 2
employees of cooperative dairy federation. Hence, in case of
the Centralised Services, the provision of Regulation 87
ceased to apply and whatever provision was applicable
before the provision of Regulation 1975 was adopted, which
will be applicable to the employees of Centralised Services.
When the provision was adopted by the resolution of the
Board dated 20.9.1984, the notification of 1979 was not
mentioned in the same and the resolution regarding
adoption of the provisions of Pradeshik Cooperative Society
Employees Service Regulation 1979 were adopted till
regulation for the Centralised Services was framed.

Subsequently, it was clarified and approved vide order dated

13
31.1.2000 by the Dairy Commissioner/Registrar and the
resolution dated 20.9.1984 was approved. Hence, till
regulations are framed, the provisions of U.P. Cooperative
Societies Employees Service Regulations 1975 are
applicable.”

17. We find that the High Court in the impugned judgment and in

Chandra Pal Singh proceeded on wrong assumptions of facts and

law. Factually, in the present appeal, the disciplinary proceedings

against the employee were initiated on 21.4.2015. The Inquiry

Report was submitted on 13.6.2018 wherein the charges nos. 1 and

3 were found to be proved. Thus, there was no question of

recording of any disagreement with the findings recorded by the

Inquiry Officer. A show cause notice was subsequently served upon

the employee enclosing a copy of the Inquiry Report on 25.6.2018.

The employee was given an opportunity for personal hearing as

well. Thereafter, an order of punishment was passed after obtaining

approval from the Commissioner (Dairy Milk).

18. Section 122 of the Act and Rule 389-A of the 1968 Rules empower

the State Government to constitute an authority for recruitment,

training and disciplinary control of the employees of Co-operative

Societies. By virtue of notification dated 4.3.1972, Uttar Pradesh

Co-operative Institutional Service Board was constituted for the

purpose of recruiting, training and exercising disciplinary control of

the employees of Apex Level Societies, Central or Primary Soci-

eties. Later, Regulation 87 of the Service Regulations mandated

that no order of punishment could be passed without prior concur-

14
rence of the Board. However, by notification dated 17.11.1979 is-

sued again in terms of the powers conferred on the State Govern-

ment under Section 122 of the Act and Rule 389-A of the 1968

Rules, the Apex Level Society i.e. Pradeshik Co-operative Dairy

Federation, Central or Primary Milk Societies, whose area of opera-

tion extends to more than one district or State and Co-operative

Milk Unions, including Kanpur Co-operative Milk Board, were taken

out of the control of Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Institutional Ser-

vice Board. A Selection Committee was constituted in respect of

Category I and II employees. Thereafter, it was the Selection Com-

mittee who was empowered for the purpose of recruitment, train-

ing and disciplinary control of the employees of Dairy Co-operative

Societies until the Dairy Service Rules came into force upon publi-

cation of the Gazette on 29.8.1984 and not the Service Regulations

since it ceased to apply vide notification 17.11.1979 issued by the

State. The Resolution dated 20.09.1984 by the Cadre Authority

which provided that the service conditions of the members of the

Centralised Service shall be governed by the 1975 Regulations will

not revive the applicability of Regulation 87 of the Service

Regulations as Rule 15 of the Dairy Service Rules contemplate the

Appointing and Disciplinary Authority.

19. The Administrative Committee exercises overall control and super-

vision over the members of the Service in terms of Rule 10(i) of the

Dairy Service Rules. Such Administrative Committee constituted

under Rule 5 of the Dairy Service Rules is the Appointing Authority

15
till the time Regulations are framed in terms of Rule 15 of the said

Rules. Therefore, the Resolution dated 20.9.1984 will not deter-

mine the Appointing or Disciplinary Authority, the same being cov-

ered the Statutory Rule namely the Dairy Service Rules.

20. The Dairy Service Rules have been framed in exercise of the juris-

diction conferred under Section 122A of the Act. The Regulations

can be framed by the Registrar or the State either under Section

121 or 122 of the Act or in terms of Rule 9 of the Dairy Service

Rules. Such Rules would have precedence over the Regulations,

which are framed or are required to be framed either by the Regis-

trar or by the Authority entrusted with the task of recruitment,

training and disciplinary control. Therefore, in terms of proviso to

Rule 15, the Chairman of the Administrative Committee is the Ap-

pointing and Disciplinary Authority. Hence, the Service Regulations

would be inapplicable to determine the Appointing Authority and/or

the Disciplinary Authority in respect of the employees of Co-opera-

tive Milk Societies.

21. The attention of the Division Bench in Chandra Pal Singh was not

drawn to Rule 15 of the Dairy Service Rules. The proviso to the

said Rule empowered the Administrative Committee constituted

under Rule 5 as an Appointing Authority and the authority to

exercise disciplinary control over the employees of the centralised

services till the time regulations are framed. The resolution dated

20.9.1984 would thus be applicable in respect of other service

conditions. However, with regard to disciplinary control, it would be

16
the Dairy Service Rules which would be applicable.

22. Regulation 106 of the Service Regulations empowers the State

Government or the Registrar to pass such orders not inconsistent

with the Regulations in respect of termination, dismissal or

removal. The punishment imposed is of reversion and not of either

termination, dismissal or removal. Therefore, Regulation 106 will

not be applicable. There is also no inconsistency or difficulty which

the State Government or Registrar is empowered to remove in

exercise of powers conferred under Regulation 106.

23. In Chandra Pal Singh, the finding of the Division Bench that the

1979 notification is not mentioned in the resolution of the Cadre

Authority passed on 20.9.1984 is untenable in view of statutory

rules contemplating the Appointing Authority. Therefore, the order

of punishment passed by the Chairman of the Administrative

Committee in terms of proviso to Rule 15 is by the competent

Disciplinary Authority.

24. The Administrative Committee however passed an office order on

8.8.2016 that the Chairman shall seek prior approval of Dairy Milk

Commissioner/Registrar prior to imposing penalty. Such decision of

the Administrative Committee is self-regulatory and has been ap-

plied by the Administrative Committee in the present case as well

while seeking prior approval of the Milk Commissioner/Registrar.

25. As mentioned before, the 1975 Regulations were framed in

17
exercise of power conferred under Section 122 of the 1965 Act. Till

the time 1975 Regulations were framed, the entire statutory

regime, in terms of which service conditions including disciplinary

control of employees in a co-operative society or class of co-

operative societies could be regulated, was in terms of Sections

121 and 122 of the 1965 Act. Regulation 87 of 1975 Regulations,

therefore, has to be seen as part of such general statutory regime.

26. On 16.04.1976, Section 122-A was inserted in the 1965 Act which

now provided for centralization of services. This Section opens

with a non-obstante clause and thus, the intent is to give an

overriding effect over the general regime contemplated by

Sections 121 and 122 of the 1965 Act. Section 122-A of the 1965

Act empowers the Government, by rules, to provide for creation of

one or more services of employees of such co-operative society or

class of co-operative societies as the Government may think fit and

prescribe inter alia conditions of service including appointment and

removal of persons appointed to such service.

27. It was in exercise of power conferred under Section 122-A of the

1965 Act that 1984 Rules were framed. Rule 15 of the 1984 Rules

stipulates that the appointing authority and the authority

exercising disciplinary control over the members of the service

shall be such as may be laid down in the Regulations and till such

Regulations are brought in force, ‘ the Chairman of the Committee

shall be the appointing authority and the authority exercising

disciplinary control over them’.

28. In terms of the specific statutory regime referable to Section 122-A

18
of the 1965 Act, Rule 15 thus, would be the governing principle

rather than Regulation 87 framed in exercise of regulation making

power referable to the general dispensation under Sections 121

and 122 of the 1965 Act. Rule 15 does not contemplate that the

Chairman of the Committee is required to have any prior

concurrence of any authority.

29. It would, therefore, be incorrect to rely upon or import the

principles of Rule 87 in substitution of clear intent and mandate of

Rule 15 of 1984 Rules.

30. The Resolution dated 20.09.1984 or for that matter the Office

Order dated 08.08.2016 which are pure departmental executive

instructions cannot displace statutory Rule 15 and the process

contemplated therein and import a requirement which would be in

the teeth of Rule 15.

31. The learned Single Bench found that the Chairman of the Adminis-

trative Committee and that the Milk Commissioner are one and the

same person, which vitiates the order of punishment passed. We

do not find any merit in the said finding. Sir William Wade in

his Administrative Law stated:

“But there are many cases where no substitution is possible,
since no one else is empowered to act. Natural justice then
has to give way to necessity; for otherwise there is no
means of deciding and the machinery of justice or
administration will break down.

It was further stated:

“In administrative cases the same exigency may arise.

Where the statute empowers a particular minister or official
to act, he will usually be the one and only person who can
do so. There is then no way of escaping the responsibility,

19
even if he is personally interested. Transfer of responsibility
is, indeed, a recognised type of ultra vires. In one case it
was unsuccessfully argued that the only minister competent
to confirm a compulsory purchase order for land for an
airport had disqualified himself by showing bias and that the
local authority could only apply for a local Act of
Parliament.”

32. The Milk Commissioner has been appointed as Registrar in exercise

of the powers conferred on the State Government by the Act. The

approval from the Registrar is in terms of the resolution of the

Administrative Committee constituted in terms of Dairy Service

Rules. The exercise of the powers under the Act are conferred by

designation. The prior approval of the punishment is by the

Registrar. If, incidentally, the person holding the post of Registrar

is also Chairman of the Administrative Committee, it cannot be said

to be illegal as he is exercising the powers of Registrar as well as of

the Chairman of the Administrative Committee in terms of the Act

or the Rules.

33. The Chairman is the Disciplinary Authority in terms of proviso to

Rule 15 of the Dairy Service Rules. Though, the Administrative

Committee has resolved that the approval of the Dairy Milk

Commissioner/Registrar would be mandatory, but such Resolution

has to be read in the context of proviso to Rule 15 which confers

jurisdiction on the Chairman of the Administrative Committee to be

a Disciplinary Authority. Since the Chairman of the Administrative

Committee happens to be the Registrar, the decision to impose

punishment may not require prior approval. However, if the prior

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approval has been sought from the office of Registrar, that will not

vitiate the proceedings.

34. Viewed thus, the power exercised by the Chairman of the

Committee in the instant case cannot be subject to Regulation 87.

Therefore, there is nothing wrong in the exercise of power by the

Chairman of the Committee in the present case.

35. Thus, we do not find any error in the order of punishment passed

by the Administrative Committee. We find that the orders passed

by the High Court are not based upon correct appreciation of law

and facts. Consequently, the orders are set aside and the writ peti-

tion is dismissed. The appeal is allowed.

………………………………………J.

(UDAY UMESH LALIT)

………………………………………J.

(HEMANT GUPTA)

………………………………………J.

(S. RAVINDRA BHAT)

NEW DELHI;

MARCH 23, 2021.

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