Read Order: Manmohan Singh v. State of Punjab and Others 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 23, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted liberty to the writ petitioner to approach appropriate authority in appeal against the impugned order by which recovery of Rs. 21,858 was  imposed against the petitioner because the said order was appealable under Rule 16 of the Punjab Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1970 and the petitioner approached the High Court without exhausting statutory remedy available with him.

While granting such liberty, the Bench of Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu held, “Also necessary to observe here that petitioner has been pursuing the present petition under a bona fide impression on legal advice rendered by his counsel, therefore, the Appellate Authority while entertaining the appeal and particularly on the point of delay, shall take into consideration the pendency of proceedings before this Court in the interest of justice in terms of rule 17 of the rules of 1970.” 

The Court was dealing with a Writ Petition  filed under Article 226 of the Constitutioninter-alia, for issuance of writ in the nature of certiorari to quash the impugned order whereby recovery of Rs. 21,858/- was  imposed against the petitioner.

During the course of hearing, the State counsel raised an objection to the effect that the above order was appealable under Rule 16 of the Rules of 1970; but  without exhausting the remedy of statutory appeal, petitioner approached the Court while invoking the extra-ordinary jurisdiction, which was not permissible. 

Faced with the above situation, the counsel on instructions from petitioner submitted that he be permitted to withdraw the present writ  petition with liberty to take recourse to the remedy of statutory appeal.

Thus the petitioner was given the aforesaid liberty. Before parting, the Court however, clarified that in case an appeal was preferred by the petitioner (within time stipulated by the Court) the same shall be  considered and decided in accordance with law by the competent authority while passing reasoned order within a time-bound manner.

Also, the Court observe that petitioner was pursuing the present petition under a bona fide impression on legal advice rendered by  his counsel, therefore, the Court directed the Appellate Authority while entertaining the appeal and  particularly on the point of delay, to take into consideration the pendency of proceedings before the High Court in the interest of justice in terms of rule 17 of the rules of 1970.

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