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Central Bank Retirees Grievances Cell “Kasht-Haran” v. Union of India and Anr. - (High Court of Delhi) (10 Jan 2017)

Public Interest Litigation does not lie in service matters.



Instant writ petition is filed by Petitioner said to be an NGO being a trust registered under Indian Trust Act, 1882. Petitioner is “Central Bank Retirees Grievances Cell”. In present writ petition, Petitioner claims the relief of directions to be issued to all public sector banks that in case of a penalty of removal/dismissal from services is imposed then outstanding leave should be allowed to be encashed and be paid along with interest.

It is a well settled law in view of a catena of judgments of Supreme Court that in service matters a Public Interest Litigation petition does not lie. One such recent judgment of Supreme Court is case of Bholanath Mukherjee and Others vs. Ramakrishna Mission Vivevkananda Centenary College and Others. There is a reason why in service matters a writ petition cannot be filed on behalf of an association for various individual persons because if any action for contempt has to be taken against individual persons such action cannot be taken by Court against individual persons who are not before Court and are only being represented by a body/association, such as in present case.

Since, Petitioner is not a living person and is only an NGO, rights of such an NGO are different from rights of an individual person, and rights of an individual person as per service matters law can only be enforced by such individual persons by seeking appropriate writs of certiorari, mandamus and/or any other appropriate order. Petitioner can only have locus standi if any personal rights of Petitioner were involved as an NGO but not on account of petitioners pleadings to be representing thousands and lakhs of employees of public sector banks. High Court held that, since legal position is settled, writ petition is not maintainable. Though, Court granted liberty to each individual employee of Bank who seeks rights to file appropriate independent proceedings and dismissed writ petition.

Relevant : Bholanath Mukherjee and Others Vs. Ramakrishna Mission Vivevkananda Centenary College and Others, (2011) 5 SCC 464


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