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Audi alteram partem Appointment of Anganwadi Worker – Income certificate of less than 12000/- per annum was cancelled with out hearing the appellant – from top to bottom , no body hear her objections and simply relied on the report of Thasildar – Apex court set aside the orders and remanded the case for fresh disposal after hearing the appellant =NISHA DEVI ..APPELLANT VERSUS STATE OF H.P. & ORS. ..RESPONDENTS = 2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41275

Audi alteram partem Appointment of Anganwadi Worker  – Income certificate of less than 12000/- per annum was cancelled with out hearing the appellant – from top to bottom , no body hear her objections and simply relied on the report of Thasildar – Apex court set aside the orders and remanded the case for fresh disposal after hearing the appellant =

 

 In the said Report the Income  Certificate  issued  to  the

Appellant, to the effect  that  her  income  was  less  than  Rupees  twelve

thousand per annum,  thereby  making  her  eligible  for  appointment  as  a

Anganwadi Worker, was cancelled on the predication that she  was  the  owner

of 1-19 Bighas of land which was in addition to her father’s ownership of  6

Bighas of land.

4.     In  the  course  of  arguments  addressed  before  us,  the   fervent

submission of counsel of  the  Appellant  that  she  was  not  afforded  any

opportunity of being heard has not been controverted,  inasmuch  as  it  has

been contended that the  Report  of  the  Tehsildar  was  based  on  revenue

records, which, therefore, was presumed to be correct.   The High Court  has

acted upon this one sided or unilateral Report of the Tehsildar in  arriving

at the conclusion that the Appellant indeed  had  an  income  in  excess  of

Rupees twelve thousand  per  annum  and,  accordingly,  was  ineligible  for

appointment as an Anganwadi Worker.

2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41275

T.S. THAKUR, VIKRAMAJIT SEN

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOs.2915-2917 OF 2014
[Arising out of SLP©Nos.26106-08 of 2011]

 

NISHA DEVI ..APPELLANT

VERSUS

STATE OF H.P. & ORS. ..RESPONDENTS

 

 

O R D E R

 
VIKRAMAJIT SEN,J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Delay condoned.
3. By means of these Appeals the Appellant/ Petitioner assails the
decision of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh at Shimla in C.W.P.No.4169
of 2009, whereby her appointment as an Anganwadi Worker, on 11.04.2007, was
set aside. The Appeals present a picture of protracted litigation. It
appears that Respondent No.5 had successfully challenged the Appellant’s
appointment before the Deputy Commissioner. The Appellant’s consequent
Appeal had limited success before the Divisional Commissioner as he, by
Order dated 13.05.2008, had remanded the matter to the Deputy Commissioner,
Kullu, for fresh consideration. This time around the Appellant had
succeeded upto the level of the Divisional Commissioner resulting in filing
of C.W.P.No.1570 of 2009 before the High Court. The previous writ
proceedings filed by Respondent No.5 succeeded inasmuch as it was held that
the Divisional Commissioner had no power to review his own Order under the
Scheme and Guidelines relating to ‘Anganwadi Workers’. The narration of
the complicated and convoluted sequence of events is not essential for
deciding the present Appeals for the simple reason that the impugned
Judgments accept the Report of the Tehsildar, Kullu, which was itself
predicated only on the revenue records and was arrived at without hearing
the Appellant. In the said Report the Income Certificate issued to the
Appellant, to the effect that her income was less than Rupees twelve
thousand per annum, thereby making her eligible for appointment as a
Anganwadi Worker, was cancelled on the predication that she was the owner
of 1-19 Bighas of land which was in addition to her father’s ownership of 6
Bighas of land.
4. In the course of arguments addressed before us, the fervent
submission of counsel of the Appellant that she was not afforded any
opportunity of being heard has not been controverted, inasmuch as it has
been contended that the Report of the Tehsildar was based on revenue
records, which, therefore, was presumed to be correct. The High Court has
acted upon this one sided or unilateral Report of the Tehsildar in arriving
at the conclusion that the Appellant indeed had an income in excess of
Rupees twelve thousand per annum and, accordingly, was ineligible for
appointment as an Anganwadi Worker.
5. Trite though it is, we may yet again reiterate that the principle of
audi alteram partem admits of no exception, and demands to be adhered to in
all circumstances. In other words, before arriving at any decision which
has serious implications and consequences to any person, such person must
be heard in his defence. We find that the High Court did not notice the
violation and infraction of this salutary principle of law. Accordingly,
on this short ground, the impugned Judgments and Orders require to be set
aside, and are so done. The matter is remanded back to the Divisional
Commissioner for taking a fresh decision after giving due notice to the
Appellant and affording her an opportunity of being heard. The Divisional
Magistrate, Kullu, shall complete the proceedings expeditiously, and not
later than six months from the date on which a copy of this Order is served
on him.
6. The appeals are allowed in the above terms.
7. The parties to bear their respective costs.

…………………………………………J
(T.S. THAKUR)

…………………………………………J
(VIKRAMAJIT SEN)
NEW DELHI;
February 28, 2014.

———————–
6

 

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