Government resolution cannot override legislation: SC
Sunday January 28 2007 10:44 IST
NEW DELHI : A beneficent government resolution cannot override a statutory legislation, the Supreme Court has held while upholding the Maharashtra government's decision to sack an employee who produced a fraudulent tribal certificate to obtain a job.
Setting aside the orders of reinstatement passed by the Mumbai High Court, a bench of justices S B Sinha and Markandeya Katju felt that though the government may bring in certain beneficent rules, they cannot be extended to a person who does not satisfy the condition precedent thereof.
Sanjak K Nimje, who was employed with the government of Maharashtra, was sacked by the authorities on may 25, 2005 for fraudulently using a "Halba community caste certificate though he belonged to the special backward class community Koshti.
Nimje, challenged the dismissal before the High Court on the ground that the government had passed a resolution on June 15, 1995, under which those who were appointed on the basis of such tribal certificates prior to the issuance of the resolution were protected from any punitive or disciplinary action.
He cited the case of one Maruti Jadhav, who obtained a similar relief under the said resolution. Nimje, further argued that though he was technically appointed on June 29, 1995, he was actually selected to the post on June 15, 1995 when the day on which the resolution was issued.
Accepting the plea, the Mumbai High Court quashed the dismissal and directed his reinstatement following which the government appealed before the apex court.
However, the Supreme Court in its recent order interpreting section 10 of the Maharashtra SC, STC, De-Notified Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, OBC and Special Backward Category Caste Certificate Act, 2000 pointed out that the legislation clearly enjoined withdrawal of the benefits secured on the basis of the false certificate.
Moreover, the apex court pointed out that although Nimje might have been selected on June 15, 1995 when the resolution was passed, he was appointed only on June 29, 1995. Hence the said resolution would have no application in his case, it said.
"The 2000 Act being a legislative act would prevail over any government resolution. A government resolution may be beneficent in nature, but it is well-settled that a benefit under a government resolution cannot be extended to a person who does not satisfy the conditions precedent thereof," the bench observed.