liberty and therefore, the suspension of it implied that all the remedies protecting this right under anyother law shall also be suspended. The Court while construing Article 21 as the sole repository of life andpersonal liberty denied all available remedies to the detenus on any ground that any challenge to thedetention order for the enforcement of the right to personal liberty under Article 21 could not be so doneon account of the presidential order suspending it being in force. The majority further held that even theorder of detention could not be challenged even on any other ground, even if the detention order waspassed
, rendering the detenu without any remedy even against an illegal detention. Therefore,
the Court declared, “in view of the Presidential Order dated June 27 th, 1975 no person has any locus
standi to move any writ petition under Article 226 before a High Court for habeas corpus or any otherwrit or order or direction to challenge the legality of an order of detention on the ground that the order isnot under or in compliance with the Act or is illegal or is vitiated by mala fides factual or legal or is based
on extraneous considerations”, closing its doors to any sort of relief whatsoever to any person suffering
from illegal detention.
FOR COMMON MAN:-
“a scar on Indian Judiciary”
, the judgment exposed the dangers facingthe Constitution (read total anarchy) if the judicial wing was unwilling to stand firm and intolerant toviolation of constitutional mandate. However Justice Khanna, who gave the dissenting judgment, waspraised for his integrity of duty to deliver justice. Later, with the next government came in power, theConstitution was amended whereby it was provided that Article 21 could not be ever suspended, even incase of emergency. Thus the reoccurrence of such a situation has been amended by a ConstitutionalAmendment where the right of life and personal liberty cannot be suspended in any situation.
(2) Ajit Singh (II) v. State of Punjab, (1999) 7 SCC 209
FACTS IN BRIEF :-
The Indian Railways issued a circular on February 28 th, 1997 to the effect that thereserved candidates promoted at roster points could not claim seniority over the senior generalcandidates promoted later. This was done following the law laid down by the Supreme Court - that it was"permissible" to follow that reserved candidates who get promotion at the roster points would not beentitled to claim seniority at the promotional level as against senior general candidates who got promoted at a later point of time to the same level and that "it would be open" to the State to provide that as and when the senior general candidate got promoted to the level to which the reserved candidate waspromoted earlier, the general candidate would have to be treated as senior to the reserved candidate at the promotional level as well, unless, of course, the reserved candidate got a further promotion by that time to a higher post. Similarly, the State of Punjab was proceeding to revise seniority lists and makefurther promotions of the senior general candidates who had reached the level to which the reservedcandidates had reached earlier.At that point of time, another three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court held that the general rule in theService Rules relating to seniority from the date of continuous officiation would be attracted even to theroster point promotees as otherwise there would be discrimination against the reserved candidates. Inlight of above two contrary decisions, State was in a quandary what to do and the same was brought before the Supreme Court wherein the issues
Could the roster point promotees (reserved category) count their seniority in the promotedcategory from the date of their continuous officiation vis-à-vis the general candidates who weresenior to them in the lower category and who were later promoted to the same level?
Whether the 'catch-up' principles claimed by the general candidates are tenable?
The judgment of the Court can be summarized as follows;
The roster point promotees (reserved category) could not count their seniority in the promotedcategory from the date of their continuous officiation in the promoted post vis-à-vis the generalcandidates who were senior to them in the lower category and who were later promoted. On theother hand, the senior general candidate at the lower level, if he reached the promotional levellater but before the further promotion of the reserved candidate would have to be treated assenior, at the promotional level, to the reserved candidate even if the reserved candidate wasearlier promoted to that level.
The Apex Court held that decision of
Jagdishlal v. State of Haryana
(AIR 1997 SC 2366) arrived at an incorrect conclusion because of applying a rule of continuous officiation which was not intended to apply to the reserved candidates promoted at roster points. There was no conflict inthe principles laid down in the two judgments of
Union of India v. Virpal Singh
(1993) 6 SCC 685and
Ajit Singh Januja v. State of Punjab
(1996) 2 SCC 215. In
the Court had to considerthe validity of such a Circular dated 19.7.69 which positively declared that the "roster points wereseniority points. Thus, the decision in