NON-OBSTANTE CLAUSE & INTERPRETATION OF STATUTE

PETITIONER:  R.S. RAGHUNATH Vs. RESPONDENT:STATE OF KARNATAKA AND ANR, AIR 1993 SC 81

DATE OF JUDGMENT04/10/1991

BENCH:

KULDIP SINGH (J)

REDDY, K. JAYACHANDRA (J)

YOGESHWAR DAYAL (J)

CITATION:

 1992 AIR   81  1991 SCR  Supl. (1) 387

 1992 SCC  (1) 335        JT 1991 (4)    82

 1991 SCALE  (2)808

ACT:    Service Law: Karnataka Civil Services (General  Recruit-ment) Rules, 1977--(General Rules)/Karnataka General Service (Motor          Vehicles Branch) Recruitment  Rules, 1976--(SpecialRules)  Promotion  to  the post of  Deputy  Commissioner  of

Transport--New           Rule    3  (2)    inserted  in   the   General Rule--Stipulating  seniority-cum-merit as  basis---  Special Rules  providing  selection as basis--Whether the  GeneralRules override the Special Rules, Non-obstante clause---Whether has the effect of abrogating the earlier Special law.

Statutory Construction: Non-obstante clause--Scope of--Whether to be necessarily and  always co-extensive with operative         portion--Courts  to examine  every word in its context and use it in its  widest  sense,

HEADNOTE:

    The  appellant was initially appointed as  Inspector  of Motor Vehicles and was promoted as Assistant Regional Trans-port  Officer  In 1976, when the Karnataka  General  Service(Motor Vehicles Branch) (Recruitment) Rules, 1976  were  in force.  Karnataka  Civil  Services  (General  Recruitment) Rules,    1977 came into being thereafter. The  appellant was promoted as Regional Transport Officer in 1981. The  General Rules of 1977 were amended in 1982 and sub-rule (2) of         Rule 3  was      inserted, and as per the new Rule  3(2)         the  second Respondent was promoted as Deputy Commissioner of  Transport on seniority-cum-merit basis.

    The appellant  filed an Application  before  the  State Administrative     Tribunal  questioning the promotion  of            the second      Respondent on the ground that promotion to the     post of Deputy Commissioner of Transport should have been made by selection  and not on seniority-cure-merit basis.  He also sought a declaration that the promotion of Respondent No.  2 was illegal and Respondent No.1 be directed to consider          thecase  of the appellant for promotion to the post  of  Deputy Transport Commissioner with all consequential benefits.          The Tribunal dismissed the application on the  ground that Rule 3(2) of the General Rules,  which            was introduced  later, had the effect of overriding the  earlier special Rules, and hence the promotion made as per Rule 3(2) of the General Rule was valid.

    Aggrieved  by the Tribunal's order, the  appellant            preferred the present appeal, by special leave.

    On behalf    of the appellant it was contended  that the Special Rules were exclusively meant to govern the  recruitment  and  promotion of officers of various  cadres  of         the Motor Vehicles Department and the General Rules which generally  regulate the recruitment of all State  Civil  Services broadly        even though later in point of time cannot  abrogate the  Special  Rules and that they were not meant  to  be  so since  the Special Rules were not superseded and  were           very much in force.

    The  Respondent-State  contended that  the         non-obstante clause    in Rule 3(2) of the General Rules which            was  introduced  later clearly indicate the intention of the  Legislature to supersede the Special Rules and promotions from         the cadre  of Regional Transport Officer to that of Deputy Commissioner of Transport could only be on the basis of seniority-cum-merit and not by selection.

Allowing the appeal, this Court,

HELD: (By the Court)

    Sub-rule  (2)  of  Rule 3 of  Karnataka  Civil  Services (General  Recruitment) Rules, 1977- (General Rules) has  the overriding effect over the Karnataka General Service  (Motor Vehicles Branch) (Recruitment) Rules, 1976--(Special Rules). [400 D,E]

Per Majority (By Reddy, J.-Kuldip Singh, .1. concurring)

1.         Examining the scope of Rule 3(2) particularly along  with other General Rules, the context in which Rule 3(2)  is made  is  very    clear. It is not enacted  to  supersede         the Special Rules. [403-G]

2.1 The non-obstante clause is appended to a  provision with  a view to give the enacting part of the  provision  an overriding  effect  in case of a conflict. But the non-obstante clause need not necessarily and always be co-extensive  with  the operative part so as to have the  effect  of cutting down the  clear  terms of an enactment and if the  words  of the enactment  are clear and are capable of a clear interpretation  on a plain and grammatical construction of  the  words the non-obstante clause cannot cut down the construction and restrict the scope of its operation. In such cases the non-obstante  clause  has  to be read as  clarifying  the  whole position and must be understood to have been incorporated in the enactment by the Legislature by way of abundant  caution

and  not by way of limiting the ambit and scope of the   Special Rules. Courts should examine every word of a statute in its  context and use it in its widest sense. [402  E-G;    403 -B]

2.2       There should be a clear inconsistency between the two  enactments   before giving an overriding effect  to  the non-obstante clause but when the scope of the provisions  of an earlier enactment is clear the same cannot be cut down by resort to non- obstante clause. [403 G-H]

23        Even  the General Rules of which Rule 3(2)  forms  a part provide for promotion by selection. As a matter of fact Rules 1(3)(a), 3(1) and 4 also provide for the enforceability  of the Special Rules. The very Rule 3  of           the  General Rules  which  provides          for recruitment           also  provides for promotion by selection and further lays down that the  methods  of         recruitment shall be as specified  in the  Special  Rules,      if  any.  The object of these Rules  is         to  provide broadly    for recruitment to services of all the            departments and  they are framed generally to cover situations that  are not  covered by the Special Rules of any particular  department.  In  such a situation both the Rules  including  Rules 1(3)(a), 3(1) and 4 of General Rules should be read  together. If so read it becomes plain that there is no  inconsistency  and that amendment by inserting Rule 3(2) is  only  an amendment to the General Rules and it cannot be   interpreted as  to supersede the Special Rules. The Amendment also     must be read as being subject to Rules 1(3)(a), 3(1) and 4(2)  of the  General Rules themselves. The amendment cannot be read as  abrogating    all other Special Rules in  respect  of       all departments. [403 H; 404 A-D]

2.4          Where there are no special rules to naturally the General            Rules would be applicable. Just because there is  a non-obstante  clause in Rule 3(2) it cannot  be    interpreted that  the said amendment to the General Rules though  later in  point of time would abrogate the special rule the  scope of which is very clear and which co-exists particularly when no  patent conflict or inconsistency can be spelt out.        [404

D-E]

    Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur v. Thakur Manmohan Dey and Ors., AIR 1966 SC 1931; Justiniane Augusto De Piedade Barreto  v. Antonic Vicente Da Fonseca and Others etc.  [1979]  3 SCC 47, relied on.

    Muniswamy v. Superintendent of Police, ILR 1986 Karnataka 344, approved.

    Eileen  Louise Nicolle v. John Winter Nicolle, (1922)  I AC  284; In Re Chance, (1936) Ch. 266; Kunter  v.  Phillips, (1891) 2 Q.B. 267, referred to.

    3. There is no doubt that a later statute may repeal  an earlier one  either  expressly or by  implication.  In the instant case there is no express repeal of the Special Rule providing  for    promotion by selection. There is  no  patent inconsistency  between the General and Special Rules but  on the  other hand they co-exist. Therefore, there is no  scope whatsoever to infer the repeal by implication. [405 B,F]

    Aswini  Kumar Ghosh and Ant. v. Arabinda Bose  and  Ant, [1953] SCR 1; The Dominion of India (Now the Union of India) and  Anr.  v. Shrinbai A. Irani and Anr, AIR  1954  SC 596;

Union  of  India andAnother v. G.M. Kokil  and          Ors.  [1984] Suppl.      SCR 196; Chandavarkar Site Ratna Rao  v.Ashalata  S. Guram, [1986] 4 SCC 447; State of West Bengal v.  Union  of India,  [1964]  1  SCR 371; Reserve Bank of  India  etc.  v.

Peerless  General  Finance and Investment Co.  Ltd.  &        Ors, [1987]      1 SCC 424; Municipal Council Palai v.  T.J.  Joseph, AIR 1963 SC 1561, relied on.

    Muniswamy v. Superintendent of Police, ILR 1986 Karnataka 344, approved.

    Maxwell  on            The Interpretation  of            Statutes,  Eleventh Edition page 168, relied on.

    4.     The Government is directed to consider the  case  of the  appellant for promotion to the post of  Deputy  Commissioner of Transport on the basis of promotion by  selection, as  provided in the Special Rules namely  Karnataka  General Service         (Motor Vehicles Branch) (Recruitment) Rules,  1976. [405 F-G]

    Per   Yogeshwar  Dayal, J. (dissenting): 1. It  is  clear from  Rule  1 (3)(a) of the General Rules that     the  General Rules apply to recruitment to all State Services and to       all posts in connection with the affairs of the State. A perusal of different rules in the General Rules makes it clear        that  the general         provisions which apply to recruitment to all  posts under the Government are specified in those Rules instead of repeating  them in each and every Special Rules of  recruitment relating to different departments. It would be impossible  to limit the application of the General Rules only          for recruitment  to posts for which no Special Rules  have    been made. Thus Rule 1(3) of the General Rules which accepted the applicability  of Special Rules is itself a part of  General Rules  and the non-obstante clause is not merely to what  is mentioned  to  the contrary in the Special Rules but  it  is also notwithstanding anything contained in the General Rules

itself. [410 B-D; 411 G]

    2.     By the wording of rule 3(2) of the General Rules  it is  clear that the Government took conscious and  deliberate policy         decision  and gave a mandate to make only  posts  of

Head  of  Departments,          Additional Head          of  Departments  as selection  posts  and all other posts on promotion  will  be filled        by adopting the criterion of  "seniority-cum-merit".

To  give effect to that policy decision instead of  amending every  Special  Rules of recruitment relating  to  different State Civil Services, the Government made a provision in the General Rules by incorporating a non-obstante clause   stating  that it would  apply  to  all services and   posts   notwithstanding  the provisions in the General Rules or in     the Special Rules of the State. [410 E-G]

    3.1 The selection of 'best' very often has an element of chance which may not be very conducive to proper climate and harmony in service. Probably because of that experience        the rule  making  authority thought it fit that the           process  of promotion by selection should be confined only to top  posts and for rest of the posts the method should be promotion  by adopting  the principle of seniority-cure-merit. There is  a clear mandate of latest intention of the rule making authority  contained     in Rule 3(2) of the General Rules  and           this must be respected by the Court. Court is not expert body  in  knowing what is the best method for selection and to  assume that the purest method must be found by the Court and implemented        even  by violation of the Rule, will  not  be  sound rule of construction of statute. [412 D-F]

    3.2   It is not the function of the Court to examine           the efficacy  of one form of selection or the other. It  is            for the recruiting authority, namely, the Government to  examine it and enforce it in the way it Likes. [413 C] 392

    3.3      In  the  present case the respondent           No.  2  was

promoted after the amendment of Rule 3 of the General  Rules and  there  is no dispute about his recruitment by  way  of promotion  on the basis of seniority-cum-merit and that     the earlier      Special Rules which contemplated the  promotion  by selection were not followed in view of the latest  intention clearly given by a positive mandate. [411 G-H]

    3.4      As laid down by this Court in Ajay  Kumar  Banerjee's case a prior special law would yield to a later general  law if it satisfies either of the two  conditions  viz., that  the two are inconsistent with each other;, that  there is some express reference in the later to the earlier enactment.  In  the instant case, the  special  law     contemplated promotion  by 'selection' whereas the later law, viz.,           Rule 3(2)   of   the       general  law  contemplated   promotion         by seniority-cum-merit.  The  two are  inconsistent  with each other  and if fulfills the first condition. Since  the   non-obstante  clause in the later general law specifically    mentions  its efficacy inspite of the Special Law,          the  second condition  is also fulfilled. Thus, in this case, the  later general        law prevails over the earlier Special Law,  having fulfilled not one but both the conditions. [413 F-H; 414  A-B]

    3.5     It was for the legislature to choose the method to  indicate  its intention. The Courts should not defeat  their intention  by  over-looking it. Respondent No.2  has been selected for promotion by following the General Rules amending the Special Rules and it was strictly in accordance with law. [414 C-D]

    Ajay Kumar Banerjee and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., [1984] 3 SCC 127, relied on.

    Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur v. Man Mohan Dev, AIR 1966

SC  1931;  Muniswamv v. Superintendent of Police,  ILR       1986

Karnataka 344, referred to. 

JUDGMENT

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 5617 of

1990.

    From the Judgment and Order dated 9.8.1990 of the Karnataka  Administrative Tribunal, Bangalore in Application      No. 3155 of 1989.

    P.P.  Rao,     S.R. Bhat, Alok Aggarwal and Ms.  Mohini  L. Bhat 1or the Appellant.

    P.     Chidambaram, M. Veerappa (N.P.) and K.H Nobin  Singh

for the Respondents.

The Judgment of the Court was delivered by

    KULDIP  SINGH,  J.

Even the General Law later  in  time, prevails  over             the earlier Special Law if  it   clearly and directly  supersedes the said Special Law'-- is an  unexceptionable  proposition of law. K. Jayachandra Reddy,  J.  has interpreted  Rule  3(2) of General Rules  consistently with Rules  1(3)(a),   3(1)  and 4(2) of the   same  Rules.  Giving harmonious construction to various provisions of the General Rules  the learned Judge has held that the General Rules  do not supersede the Special Rules. Yogeshwar Dayal, J. on            the other hand has focused his attention on the language of Rule 3(2)  of the General Rules and has concluded that  there  is clear  indication in the said Rule to supersede the  Special Rules.     I have given my thoughtful consideration to the  reasoning adopted by the earned Judges in their respective  judgments.  Rule 1(3)(a) of the General Rules, which lays         down the extent and applicability of the General Rules,  specifically provides that the General Rules shall not be  applicable to the State Civil Services for which there are  express provisions  under any law for the time being in force.     When the  General  Rules  were enforced the Special   Rules  were already  holding the field. The Special Rules  being   "law" the  application  of the General Rules is  excluded  to      the extent the field is occupied by the Special Rules. I do    not agree  that  the  non-obstante clause in Rule  3(2)  of      the General  Rules has an overriding effect on Rule, 1(3)(a)  of the said Rules. With utmost respect to the erudite  judgment prepared  by Yogeshwar Dayal, J. I prefer the reasoning and the  conclusions  reached by K. Jayachandra  Reddy,  J.         and agree with the judgment proposed by him.

    K.JAYACHANDRA REDDY, J.  This appeal is directed against the order of the Administrative Tribunal, Bangalore dismissing  an application filed by the appellant.  The  principal question involved is whether SubRule (2) of Rule 3 of Karnataka  Civil  Services  (General Recruitment)  Rules,            1977 ('General  Rules' for short) has the overriding effect   over the  Karnataka            General           Service  (Motor  Vehicles   Branch) (Recruitment) Rules, 1976 ('Special Rules' for short). For  a  better appreciation of the question          it  becomes necessary  to state few facts. The appellant  was  appointed initially as Inspector of Motor' Vehicle and was promoted as Assistant Regional Transport Officer in the year  1976 in which year the Special Rules were            framed.  In the year 1981 the appellant was promoted as Regional  Transport Officer. Some of the General Rules of 1977 were amended

in  the year 1982 and Sub-Rule 2 of Rule 3 was         inserted  in the  said Rules. In the year 1989 the second respondent      was promoted  as Deputy Commissioner of Transport on  seniority-cure-merit basis alone as purported to have been provided in new Rule 3(2) of General Rules. Being aggrieved by the        same the  appellant filed an Application No. 3155/89   before            the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal questioning the  promotion of second respondent on the ground that the promotion to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Transport should be by selection  from the cadre of Regional Transport Officers and        not merely     on  seniority-cum-merit basis. His  application    was dismissed by the Tribunal holding that Rule 3(2) of  General Rules  which  was  introduced later  overrides        the  earlier Special Rules. It is this order which is questioned in  this appeal.

    Shri P.P. Rao, learned counsel appearing for the  appellant contended that the Special Rules are exclusively  meant to  govern  the recruitment and promotion  of officers  of various  cadres            of  the Motor Vehicle            Department  and        the General  Rules which generally regulate the  recruitment  of all State Civil Services broadly even though later in  point of time cannot abrogate the Special Rules and that they        are not  meant  to do so since the Special Rules also  are           very much  in force inasmuch as they are not superseded. Shri  P. Chidambaram,  learned  counsel for the          State  of  Karnataka contended  that the non-obstante clause in Rule 3(2) of  the General  Rules which was introduced later  clearly  indicate the  intention   of he Legislature to supersede   the  Special Rules  and promotions from the cadre of          Regional  Transport

Officer to that of Deputy Commissioner of  Transport  could only  be  on  the basis of seniority-cam-merit         and  not  by election.  From            the rival contentions it emerges  that           the real  question       involved is one of construction    of  non-obstante  clause  in Rule 3(2) and its fleet  on   the  Special Rules providing for promotion to the post of Deputy -Commissioner of Transport by selection from the cadre of  Regional Transport Officers.

    We   shall now refer to the relevant Special and  General Rules. The  special Rules were framed in  exercise  of            the powers     conferred by the proviso to Article 309 of the           Constitution  of India in the year 1976. The special  Rules  of recruitment for the category of post of Deputy         Commissioner of Transport reads thus:

   Category of              Method of                            Minimum

   posts                   recruitment                             Qualification

    1.                              2.                                           3.

Deputy Transport   By promotion by                 Must have  put  in not

Commissioner     selection  from the                    less  than five years of

                           cadre of Regional                   service in cadre of

                            Transport Officers                 Regional Transport  Officers."

    It      can be seen that this part of Special Rules  clearly provides for promotion to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Transport by selection from the cadre of Regional  Transport Officers  who have put in not less than five years of  service. The General Rules were framed in the year 1977 and Rule 3 reads as under:

                  "Method of recruitment-(1) Except as otherwise

                  provided    in  these rules or any  other  rules

                  specially made in this behalf,  recruitment to

                  any  service or post shall be made  by  direct

                  recruitment which may be either by competitive

                  examination  or by selection, or by  promotion

                  which  may  be either by selection or  on            the

                  basis  of seniority- cure- merit. The  methods

                  of recruitment and qualifications shall be  as

                  specified in the rules of recruitment special-

                  ly made in that behalf,'

                               provided   that in respect  of  direct

                  recruitment  to any service or post  when           the

                  method of recruitment is not specified in            the

                  rules  of     recruitment  specially            made, the

                  method of recruitment be by selection after an

                  interview   by the Commission, the Advisory  of

                  Selection Committee or the Appointing Authori-

                  ty as the case may be.

                  Provided    further that  no  person  shall  be

                  eligible for promotion unless he has satisfac-

                  torily  completed the period of  probation  or

                  officiation,  as the case may be, in the    post

                  held by him.

                  (2)  Notwithstanding  anything  contained             in

                  these  rules  or in the rules  of     recruitment

                  specially made in respect of any service or

                  (a)  the      promotion  to the post            of  Head  of

                  Department or the

                  396

                  post  of an Additional Head of Department,  if

                  it  is  in a grade equivalent to that  of      the

                  Head  of    Department concerned,  shall  be  by

                  selection;

                  Provided that for the purpose of promotion  by

                  selection, the number of persons to be consid-

                  ered shall be such number of persons  eligible

                  for promotion in the order of seniority, as is

                  equal to five times the number of vacancies to

                  be filled.

                  (b) the promotion to all other posts shall  be

                  on the basis of seniority-cam-merit."

                  (Emphasis supplied)

 It  may be noted that Sub-Rule 3(2) with  which we are mainly concerned was inserted in the year 1982. Shri Chidambaram  strongly relying on the non-obstante clause  in        Rule

3(2)  with which this Sub-Rule begins, contended  that         this general     rule dearly supersedes the special law            and  therefore,  according to him, the Tribunal was right   in  holding that  the  promotion to the post of Deputy  Commissioner  of Transport could be only on the basis of seniority-cum-merit.  It is true that a simple reading of Rule 3(2) appears to lay down that notwithstanding anything contained in the  General Rules or in the Special Rules, the promotion to the post  of a  Head or Additional Head of a Department only shall be  by selection and that the promotion to all other posts shall be on  the basis Of seniority- cum-merit. This clause  (b)  of Sub-Rule  (2) is in general terms and as already  noted            the General    Rules indicate that they regulate general  recruitment  to all the Karnataka State Civil Services broadly.  It is not in dispute that just like the Special Rules providing for  recruitment of the Transport Department there are            such special rules in respect of many other departments also.  It is therefore clear that while General Rules broadly indicate that  they regulate general recruitment including  promotion to  all the State Civil Services but at the same  time each Department has its own Special Rules of recruitment and they are  co-existing. Such Special Rules of recruitment for the Motor Vehicles Department are not repealed by any  provision of the General Rules which are later in point of time. As  a matter of fact Rule 21 which provides for repeal does not in any  manner  indicate that any of the  Special          Rules  stood repealed. It is in this background that we have to  consider the  interpretation of non-obstante clause in Rule  3(2)  of the General Rules.

    At     this juncture it is necessary to note that  some  of the rules of the General Rules also provide for promotion by way  of selection and that Special Rules providing for     such promotion by selection should be adhered to. They are Rule 1(3)(a), the first part of Rule 3 and Rule 4  which are existing. In Sub-rule 1(3)(a) of            the  General Rules, we find the following

                  "1(3)(a)      These rules shall apply to  recruit-

                  ment to all State Services and to all posts in

                  connection  with the affairs of the  State  of

                  Karnataka  and to members of all           State  Civil

                  Services     and to the holders of posts  whether

                  temporary or permanent except to         the  extent

                  otherwise expressly provided-

                  (i) by or under any law for the time being  in

                  force; or

                  XX                                            XX

                  (emphasis supplied)

    This  is  the opening rule of the General Rules  and  it abundantly  makes  it clear that the rest of the  rules   are subject to any other rules expressly providing for  recruitment. Then in clause (1) of Rule (3) of the General Rules we find the words "Except as otherwise provided in these  Rules or any other rules specially made in this behalf recruitment  to any  service or post shall be made by direct            recruitment which may be either by competitive examination or by  selection or by promotion which may be either by selection or  on the  basis of seniority-cum-merit.  The methods of  recruitment and qualification shall be as specified in the rule  of recruitment  specially made in that behalf." This  part  of General Rule 3 provides for recruitment by way of  promotion either         by selection or on the basis of            seniority-cum-merit as  specified  in the said Rules  of  recruitment  specially made.        Further the opening words of clause (1)    "Except  as otherwise  provided in these Rules or any other       Rules  specially made" give a clue that the special rules would govern and  regulate the method of recruitment including  promotion by  way            of selection. Further Rule 4 of the  General  Rules which  lays down the procedure of appointment contains           Sub-Rule 2 which reads as under:

                  "4. Procedure of appointment - subject to           the

                  provisions  of   these rules,  appointment  to

                  any service or post shall be made -

                          xxxx               xxxx       xxxx

                  (2) in the case of recruitment by promotion --

                  (a) if it is to a post to be filled by  promo-

                  tion by, selection, by selection of a

                  398

                  person, on the basis of merit and suitability

                  in  all respects to discharges the  duties  of

                  the  post    with due regard to  seniority from

                  among persons eligible for promotion.

                  (b)  if  it is to a post other than  that        re-

                  ferred to in sub-clause (a) by selection of  a

                  person  on the basis of  seniority-cure-merit,

                  that  is, seniority subject to fitness of       the

                  candidate to discharge the duties of the post,

                  from among persons eligible for promotion."

                  (emphasis supplied)

     Though  Rule  3(2) of the General            Rules  is  inserted later, the above mentioned Rules remain undisturbed and they co-exist.  They  provide for recruitment  and  promotion  by selection  to certain categories of posts and for others  on the  basis of seniority-cure-merit. From a combined  reading of  these  provisions of General Rules it follows  that recruitment  to any service     by promotion as  regulated  by Special Rules can be by way of selection. "Then the question is  whether Rule 3(2) of the General Rules which  is  introduced in 1982 particularly providing the method of promotion by  selection to the post of heads and additional  heads  of departments  has altogether dispensed with the promotion  by selection  to all other posts and whether, the non-obstante clause  in this rule, in these circumstances can  be  interpreted as to have the overriding effect as contended by        the learned counsel for the respondents. The non-obstante clause is  sometimes appended to a section or a rule in the  beginning  with a view to give the enacting part of that  section or rule in case of conflict, an overriding effect  over         the provisions or act mentioned in that clause. Such a clause is usually used  in the provision to indicate  that  the   said provision should prevail despite anything to the contrary in the provision mentioned in such        non-obstante clause. But it has to be noted at this stage that we are concerned with the enforceability of special law on the subject inspire of        the general    law. In Maxwell on the Interpretation or  Signites, Eleventh  Edition   at page 168, this principle       of  law  is stated as under:

                  "A  general  later law does  not abrogate  an

                  earlier  special      one  by           mere  implication.

                  Generalia  specialibus  non derogant,  or,  in

                  other words," where there are general words in

                  a later Act capable of reasonable and sensible

                  application without extending them to subjects

                  specially    dealt with by earlier            legislation,

                  you  are not to hold that earlier and  special

                  legislation  indirectly repealed, altered,  or

                  derogated from merely by force of such

                  general  words,  without any indication  of  a

                  particular  intention to do so. In such  cases

                  it  is presumed to have only general cases  in

                  view, and not particular cases which have been

                  already otherwise provided for by the  special

                  Act."

     In Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur v. Thakur Manmohan Dey and ors. ,AIR 1966 S.C. 1931, applying this principle it  is held that general law does not abrogate earlier special       law by mere implication. In Eileen Louise Nicoole v. John Winter Nicolle, [1992] 1 AC 284, Lord Phillimore observed as under:

                            "It is a sound principle of all  juris-

                  prudence   that a prior particular law  is not

                  easily to be held to be abrogated by a  poste-

                  rior  law, expressed in general terms  and  by

                  the  apparent generality of its  language ap-

                  plicable to and covering a number of cases, of

                  which the particular law is but one. This,  as

                  a    matter of jurisprudence, as  understood  in

                  England, has been laid down in a great  number

                  of cases, whether the prior law be an

                  express  statute, or be the underlying  common

                  or  customary        law of  the  country.  Where

                  general words in a later Act are       capable

                  of reasonable and sensible application without

                  extending  them  to subjects  specially  dealt

                  with by earlier legislation,  that earlier and

                  special  legislation is not to be     held  indi-

                  rectly             repealed, altered, or  derogated

                  from merely by force of such

                  general  words,  without any indication  of  a

                  particular intention to do so."

    In     Justiniane  Augusto De Piedade          Barreto  v. Antonio Vicente    Da Fortseca and others etc., [1979] 3 SCC 47,            this Court  observed that A law which is essentially  general  in nature may contain special provisions on certain matters and in  respect  of these matters it would be  classified  as  a special  law. Therefore unless the special law is  abrogated by  express repeal or by making provisions which arc  wholly inconsistent with it, the special law cannot be held to have been abrogated by mere implication.     I have already noted that even in the General Rules         the promotion by selection is provided for and if there are       any special     rules in that regard they are not abrogated  except by an express repeal. 

    I  shall now examine whether the interpretation of          non-obstante  clause in Rule 3(2) of the General Rules as  given by  the Tribunal is warranted.         The Tribunal has  held that the non-obstante clause which was introduced in the General Rules clearly indicates the intention  to  supersede the special law. The Tribunal  has            also noted even a later general law provision can override earlier  special  law if it clearly indicates  the  intention  to  supersede  the   special law. As a proposition of  law  one cannot dispute this part of the finding but I am not able to agree with the finding of the Tribunal that the non-obstante clause in Rule 3(2) clearly abrogates earlier special law.

    This  very     question was considered        by  Karnataka High

Court  in  Muniswamy v. Superintendent of Police,  ILR        1986 Karnataka 344 (Vol. 36). In that case also the same  General Rules and particularly Rule 3(2) inserted later came up      for

consideration. The  Special Rules were          that  of  Karnataka State  Police State Recruitment Rules, 1967.   The  Director General         of  Police  issued a circular for  the   purpose  of recruitment of Head Constables on purely seniority-cum-merit

basis.   It was contended that the posts of the Head  Constables  have  to   be filled up by promotion  by  selection  as provided  in the Special Rules and Rule 3(2) of the  General Rules  cannot  have an overriding effect inspire of  a           non-obstante  clause. The Division Bench of the  Karnataka        High Court held that Sub-rule (2) of Rule (3) which is an  amendment to the General Rules cannot be treated as an  amendment to  the     Special Police Rules and that Rule 3(2)  cannot  be read  as amending all other special rules of recruitment  of all  other  department            of Government in  general.  It            also further     observed that this amendment to the  General  Rules must  be  read as subordinate to the  application  of  Rules declared  by  Rule 1(3) of the Rules and cannot be  read  as enlarging  the scope. This judgment rendered  by  the         High Court  in the year 1986 has become final. The fact that      the State did not appeal or repeal the Special Rules suitably in spite  of  the decision clinchingly shows that            it  accepted this position.

    In     Aswini Kumar Ghosh and Another v. Arabinda Bose  and  Another, [1953] SCR 1, it was observed as under:

                  "It  should  first  be  ascertained  what    the

                  enacting    part  of the section provides  on  a

                  fair construction of the words used  according

                  to their natural and ordinary meaning, and the

                  non  obstante  clause is to be  understood  as

                  operating  to  set aside as  no  longer  valid

                  anything    contained in relevant existing            laws

                  which is inconsistent with the new enactment."

It was further held that:

                  "Nor  can we read the non obstante  clause  as

                  specifically  repealing  only  the  particular

                  provisions which the learned Judges below have

                  been at pains to pick out from the Bar   Coun-

                  cils  Act and the Original Side Rules  of   the

                  Calcutta,    and Bombay High Courts. If,  as  we

                  have pointed out, the enacting part of section

                  2    covers all Advocates of the Supreme  Court,

                  the non obstante clause can reasonably be read

                  as  overriding  "anything  contained"  in any

                  relevant     existing law which  is  inconsistent

                  with the new enactment, although the draftsman

                  appears  to have had primarily in his  mind  a

                  particular type of law as conflicting with the

                  new Act. The enacting part of a statute  must,

                  where it is clear, be taken to control the non

                  obstante    clause  where both  cannot  be           read

                  harmoniously;   for,  even  apart  from   such

                  clause,  a  later law abrogates  earlier    laws

                  clearly inconsistent with it. Posteriors leges

                  priores  contrarias abrogant  (Broomo's  Legal

                  Maxims, 10th Edn., p.347)."

                  (emphasis supplied)

    In     The Dominion of India (Now the Union of      India)  and another v. Shribai A. Irani and another, AIR 1954 S,C. 596,  it was observed as under:

                  "While recognising the force of this  argument

                  it  is however necessary to observe  that           al-

                  though  ordinarily  there should  be  a  close

                  approximation between the non-obstante  clause

                  and  the     operative part of the  section,           the

                  non-obstante  clause need not necessarily         and

                  always  be  co-extensive  with  the  operative

                  part, so as to have the effect of cutting down

                  the clear terms of an enactment.           If the words

                  of the enactment are clear and are capable  of

                  only  one interpretation on a plain and  gram-

                  matical  construction of the words  thereof  a

                  non- obstante  clause  cannot  cut  down            the

                  construction  and  restrict the scope  of its

                  operation.  In  such  cases  the     non-obstante

                  clause has to be read as clarifying the  whole

                  position     and must be understood to have       been

                  incorporated in the enactment by the  Legisla-

                  ture by way of abundant caution and not by way

                  of limiting the ambit and scope of the  opera-

                  tive part of the enactment".

                  (emphasis supplied)

In  Union  of India and Another. v. G.M. Kokil and  0  hers.

[1984]

402

Suppl. SCR 196, it was observed as under:

                  "It  is well-known that a non obstante  clause

                  is  a  legislative  device  which     is  usually

                  employed to give overriding effect to  certain

                  provisions over some contrary provisions            that

                  may  be found either in the same enactment  or

                  some other enactment, that is to say, to avoid

                  the  operation  and  effect  of  all  contrary

                  provisions."

    In     Chandavarkar Sita Ratna Rao v. Ashalata S. Guram,  [

1986]  4  SCC 447, the scope of non-obstante clause  is        ex-

plained in the following words:

                  "A   clause  beginning  with  the     expression

                  "notwithstanding   anything contained  in            this

                  Act or in some particular provision in the Act

                  or  in some particular Act or in any  law  for

                  the  time being in force, or in any  contract"

                  is  more often than not appended to a  section

                  in  the  beginning  with a view  to  give   the

                  enacting    part of the section in case of  con-

                  flict an overriding effect over the  provision

                  of  the Act or the contract mentioned  in the

                  non  obstante  clause.  It  is  equivalent  to

                  saying  that in spite of the provision of    the

                  Act  or  any other Act mentioned in  the  non

                  obstante    clause or any contract            or  document

                  mentioned the enactment following it will have

                  its  full       operation or  that  the  provisions

                  embraced in the non obstante clause would       not

                  be  an  impediment  for an  operation  of            the

                  enactment."

    On a conspectus of the above authorities it emerges that the  non-obstante clause is appended to a provision  with  a view to give the enacting part of the provision an  overriding  effect  in     case of a conflict.  But  the            non-obstante clause need not necessarily and always be co-extensive      with the operative part so as to have the effect of cutting down the  clear  terms of an enactment and if the  words  of          the enactment  are clear and are capable of a clear      interpretation  on a plain and grammatical construction of  the  words the non-obstante clause cannot cut down the construction and restrict the scope of its operation. In Such cases the non-obstante  clause  has  to be read as  clarifying  the  whole position and must be understood to have been incorporated in the enactment by the Legislature by way of abundant  caution and  not by way of limiting the ambit and scope of the        Special Rules.

    Further,  the influence of a non-obstante clause has  to be  considered on the basis of the context also in which  it is used. In State of West Bengal v. Union of India, [1964] 1 SCR 371, it is observed as under:

                  "The Court must ascertain the intention of the

                  legislature by  directing its attention not  merely  to      the

                  clauses  to  be construed but  to   the  entire

                  statute; it must compare the clause with the

                  other  parts  of the law and  the   setting  in

                  which the clause to be interpreted occurs."

    It      is also well-settled that the Court  should  examine every word of a statute in its context and to use context in its widest sense. In Reserve Bank of India etc. v.  Peerless General Finance and Investment Co. Ltd. & Ors.. [1987] 1 SCC 424, it is observed that "That interpretation is best  which makes  the textual interpretation match the contextual".  In this  case, Chinnapa Reddy, J. noting the importance of       the context in which every word is used in the matter of  interpretation of statutes held thus:

                               Interpretation  must  depend  on            the

                  text  and the context. They are the  bases  of

                  interpretation.  One may well say if the  text

                  is  the  texture, context is  what  gives     the

                  colour.  Neither     can  be            ignored.  Both            are

                  important.  That interpretation is best  which

                  makes  the  textual interpretation  match           the

                  contextual. A statute is best interpreted when

                  we  know why it was enacted. With this  knowl-

                  edge,  the  statute must be read, first  as  a

                  whole  and then section by section, clause  by

                  clause, phrase by phrase and word by word.  If

                  a statute is looked at, in the context of    its

                  enactment,  with the glasses of  the  statute-

                  maker,  provided by such context, its  scheme,

                  the  sections, clauses, phrases and words            may

                  take colour and appear different than when the

                  statute  is  looked  at  without      the  glasses

                  provided by the context. With these glasses we

                  must  look at the Act as a whole and  discover

                  what  each section, each clause,  each  phrase

                  and each word is meant and designed to say  as

                  to  fit into the scheme of the entire Act.  No

                  part of a statute and no word of a statute can

                  be construed in isolation. Statutes have to be

                  construed  so that every word has a place          and

                  everything is in its place".

    If we examine the scope of Rule 3(2) particularly  along  with other General Rules, the context in which Rule 3(2)  is made  is  very clear. It is not enacted  to  supersede            the Special Rules.

    As already noted, there should be a clear  inconsistency  between          the  two  enactments before  giving  an  overriding effect to the non-obstante clause but when the scope of            the provisions of an earlier enactment is clear the same  cannot be cut down by resort to non-obstante clause. In the instant case  we have noticed that even the General Rules  of  which Rule 3(2)  forms a part provide for promotion by selection. As  a matter of fact Rules 1(3)(a) and 3(1) and 4 also provide for the enforceability of the Special Rules.  The very Rule 3 of the  General Rules which provides for recruitment also         provides for promotion by selection and further lays down       that the  methods  of recruitment shall be as  specified  in         the Special Rules, if any. In this background if we examine the General Rules it becomes dear that the object of these Rules only  is to provide broadly for recruitment to            services  of all  the departments and they are framed generally to  cover situations that are not covered by the Special Rules of         any particular  department. In such a situation both  the  Rules including Rule 1(3)(a), 3(1)and 4 of general rules should be read together. If so read it becomes plain that there is  no inconsistency  and that amendment by inserting Rule 3(2)  is only  an  amendment to the General Rules and  it  cannot  be interpreted as to supersede the Special Rules. The Amendment also  must be read as being subject to Rules  1(3)(a),       3(1) and  4(2)  of the General Rules   themselves.  The  amendment cannot           be  read as abrogating all other  Special  Rules  in respect of all departments. In a given case where there      are  no  Special Rules then naturally the General Rules would  be applicable. Just because there is a non-obstante clause,  in Rule  3(2) it cannot be interpreted that the said  amendment to  the        General Rules though later in point of          time  would abrogate  the special rule the scope of which is very  clear and which co-exists particularly when no patent conflict  or inconsistency  can  be            spelt out. As  already  noted  Rules 1(3)(a), 3(1) and 4 of the General Rules themselves  provide for  promotion       by selection and for enforceability  of           the Special Rules in that regard. Therefore there is no  patent conflict or inconsistency at all between the General and the Special Rules.

     Shri P. Chidambaram, in this context, however,  submitted that the intention of the Legislature is to do away with promotion by selection and instead of amending every special

rule, the General Rule in the form of Rule 3(2) is  inserted and  therefore by virtue of non- obstante clause  all  other special   rules governing the recruitment to all          departments stand  abrogated.  I  am unable to agree. If  such  was         the intention  of the amendment then I see no reason as  to   why even  in the General Rules as noted above the  promotion  by selection  is recognised and provided for and  these   Rules remain unaffected. This is also clear from the fact that the Government did not even appeal against the High Court  decision rendered in  Muniswamy's case. 

    Shri  P. Chidambaram, however, further submitted that  a plain  reading of Rule 3(2) which is later in point of            time would clearly indicate that the  Special  Rule providing for promotion by  selection  is repealed  at least by implication. There is no doubt that  a

later statute may repeal an earlier one either expressly  or by  implication. In the instant case we have  already  noted that there is no express repeal of the Special Rule  provi ding for promotion by selection. The Courts have not favoured such repeal by implication. On the other hand it is indicated  by       the courts that if earlier and            later  statutes  can reasonably  be          construed in such a way that both can  be

given effect to, the same must be done. In Re Chance  [1936] Ch. 266 Farewell, J. observed that "If it is possible it  is my  duty so to read the section       .....      as not to effect  an implied repeal of the earlier Act".

    In Kunter v. Phi/lips [1891] 2 Q.B. 267 it is held that:

"It is only when the provisions of a later enactment are  so

inconsistent  with  or  repugnant to the  provisions  of  an

earlier one then only the two cannot stand together and     the

earlier stands abrogated by the later". In Municipal Council

Palai  v.  T.J.    Joseph, AIR 1963 SC 1561,  this  Court          has

observed  that there is a presumption against a  repeal  by

implication;  and  the reason of this rule is based  on           the

theory  that  the  Legislature while enacting a           law  has  a

complete knowledge of the existing laws on the same  subject

matter and therefore, when it does not provide a  repealing

provision,  it    gives  out an intention not  to repeal the

existing legislation.

    It      is further observed that such a presumption  can  be

rebutted and repeal by necessary implication can be inferred

only when the provisions of the later Act are so  inconsist-

ent with or repugnant to the provisions of the earlier          Act,

that the two cannot stand together.

    I  am  satisfied that there is no  patent  inconsistency

between the General and Special Rules but on the other     hand

they  co-exist. Therefore, there is no scope  whatsoever  to

infer the repeal by implication as contended by the  learned

counsel Shri. Chidambaram.

    In     the result the appeal is allowed and the  Government

is directed to consider the case of the appellant for promo-

tion to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Transport on     the

basis of promotion by selection, as provided in the  Special

Rules  namely  Karnataka  General  Service  (Motor  Vehicles

Branch)           (Recruitment) Rules, 1976. In the circumstances  of

the case there will be no order as to costs.

    YOGESHWAR  DAYAL,  J. I have had the pleasure  of  going through the judgment prepared by my learned brother, Justice K.J.  Reddy. However, with due respect, 1 regret 1 have    not been able to persuade myself to agree to either his reasoning or the conclusion. There is no quarrel that general principle is that special law  prevails over  general law but the learned Judge has failed  to        note that  even  there  is an exception to such  a  general            law, namely -- it is a later general law which prevails over  the earlier special law if it clearly indicates the intention to supersede the special law.

    This appeal by Special Leave has been filed by Sri            R.S. Raghunath against the order of the Karnataka  Administrative Tribunal,  Bangalore,  dated 9th August,  1990.        Before            the Tribunal the appellant sought a declaration that the  promotion  of  Shri I.K. Devaiah, respondent No.  2 herein, was illegal      and to direct the respondent No. 1 to consider the case  of the appellant for promotion to the cadre of  Deputy Transport Commissioner with all consequential benefits.     The Tribunal  dismissed the application filed by the  appellant.  The  Tribunal was called upon to construe Rule 3(2)  of         the Karnataka  Civil Services (General Recruitment) Rules,    1977 as  amended in June, 1982 (hereinafter referred to  as           "the General   Rules')The Tribunal, after considering the  general Rules  took  the view that the non-obstante clause  in     Rule 3(2) of the General Rules which was introduced after framing of  the   Karnataka General Service (Motor  Vehicles  Branch) (Recruitment)  Rules,  1976 (in short 'the  Special  Rules') clearly indicates  the intention to supersede            the  special law.  The Tribunal took the view that the general  principle that  the special law prevails over the general law has     one exception  and            that is a later general law  prevails   over earlier special law if it clearly indicates the intention to supersede  the     special law. The Tribunal held that  a non-obstante clause in Rule 3(2) of the General Rules, which was enacted       after   the  Special Rules,  clearly  indicates the intention  to  supersede the special  law.  The         controversy rises in the following circumstances.

    The  Special  Rules came into force on  or           about  10th December, 1976 on the publication of the same in the  Karnataka  Gazette  (Extraordinary).      It consisted  of  only   two Rules-      (I)  and (II). The first Rule gave  the       'title    and commencement' and the second Rule dealt with the 'method  of recruitment and minimum qualifications'. There was a  schedule attached to Rule 1I. In the schedule for the post specified  in  column  1 thereof the method          of  recruitment           and minimum            qualification were specified in  corresponding    entries  in columns 2 and 3 thereof. It dealt with roughly  35 categories  of posts. I may mention that there was only      onepost,  namely the post of Deputy Transport Commissioner   for which  the method of recruitment was by selection  from    the cadre  of Regional Transport Officers who must have  put  in not less than five years of service in that cadre. For  all the rest of the posts in the schedule there was  no provision for recruitment by way of promotion by  selection.

For  all the posts the method of recruitment was  either  by promotion or by deputation or by direct recruitment, or both by  direct recruitment and promotion or by merely posting  a suitable officer or by direct recruitment through employment  exchange  etc.       The only recruitment to the post  of  Deputy Transport Commissioner was by method of promotion by  selection.

    At the time when the aforesaid Special Rules were enacted the Karnataka State Civil Services (General Recruitment )Rules,    1957 (in short the General Rules of 1957 )  were  in operation which were repelled by the General Rules. So        long as  the     General Rules of 1957 continued the  Special  Rules continued  to govern the method of recruitment of the  posts as  specified in the schedule attached to the  said  Special Rules.

    The  General  Rules           of 1957, as  stated  earlier,   were repelled by the General Rules which came into force on           25th June,  1977.  Rule  1(3)(a) of the  General  Rules  provided thus:-

                  "1.(3)  (a)   These rules shall apply  to      re-

                  cruitment  to  all State Services and  to  all

                  posts  in connection with the affairs  of   the

                  State of Karnataka and to members of all State

                  Civil  Services  and to the holders  of  posts

                  whether  temporary or permanent except to      the

                  extent otherwise expressly provided-

                  (i) by or under any law for the time being  in

                  force; or

                           (ii)        in respect of any member of           such

                  service by a contract  or agreement subsisting

                  between such member and the           State

                  Government".

    It is thus clear from the provision of Rule 1(3)(a) that the  General Rules were applicable for all purposes to            members  of all State Civil Services including the Motor  Vehicles Branch except to the extent otherwise expressly provided  by            the Special Rules. The Special Rules,  as  mentioned earlier, dealt with the method of recruitment and qualification for the Motor Vehicles Branch and so far as the post of Deputy      Transport Commissioner was concerned, the method  of recruitment was "promotion by selection". The Special  Rules dealt with nothing else. It is also clear from Rule 1(3)  of the  General  Rules itself as to what is the  scope  of    its applicability. It was applicable to all posts except to the extent  otherwise  expressly  provided for  by           the  Special Rules. Rule 3(1) of the General Rules,  before the insertion of sub-rule (2), reads as follows:-

                  "3.  Method  of recruitment -  (1)  Except  as

                  otherwise provided in these rules or any other

                  rules specially made in this behalf,  recruit-

                  ment  to any service or post shall be made  by

                  direct  recruitment  which may  be  either  by

                  competitive examination or by selection, or by

                  promotion which may be either by selection  or

                  on  the  basis  of  seniority-cum-merit.    The

                  methods  of  recruitment and   qualifications

                  shall be as specified in the rules of recruit-

                  ment specially made in that behalf:

                  Provided that in respect of direct recruitment

                  to  any  service or post when  the  method  of

                  recruitment  is not specified in the rules  of

                  recruitment  specially  made,  the  method  of

                  recruitment  shall  be by selection  after  an

                  interview   by the Commission, the Advisory  or

                  Selection Committee or the Appointing Authori-

                  ty as the case may be.

                  Provided    further that  no  person  shall  be

                  eligible for promotion unless he has satisfac-

                  torily  completed the period of  probation  or

                  officiation  as the case may be, in  the    post

                  held by him."

    The  substantive  part of Rule  3(1)  described  various methods of recruitment but stated that the methods  of            recruitment  and qualifications shall be as specified  in      the rules  of  recruitment specially made in that  behalf. The first  proviso described that when in the Special Rules         for recruitment no provision is made for direct recruitment, the method of recruitment shall be by selection after an  interview by the Commission, the Advisory or Selection  Committee to the Appointing Authority, as the case may be. The  second proviso    to Rule 3(1) contemplated that no person  shall  be eligible  for promotion unless he has satisfied           three  completed       years of probation or officiation, as the  case           may be, in the post held by him. The second proviso is by way ofabundant  caution  in view of the Karnataka  Civil  Services (Probation)  Rules,  1977 (hereinafter referred to  as            'the Probation  Rules') because of Probation Rules   contemplated that the period of probation shall be as may be provided for in  the rules of recruitment specially made for any  service or post, which shall not be less than two years'. The Probation  Rules  also contemplated declaration  of            satisfactory completion of probation at the end of the prescribed  period of  probation as extended or reduced by the appointing      authority. It may be useful to note that Rule 19 of the General  Rules  also           dealt with probation  and  appointments  by promotion. It is clear from reading of Rules 1, 2 and 3,  as originally enacted, of the General Rules that so            far as  the Special Rules expressly provided to  any  particular branch            of  the State Service that was to prevail  over           the General Rules. Rule 3A, as amended, provided for  qualification in respect of ex-servicemen, irrespective of the provisions of the Special Rules. Rule 4 provided the procedure of appointment. It also provided that if the appointment is  by way of selection, how a selection has to be conducted and if the  recruitment  is by way of promotion, how it has  to  be done. Rule 5 provided for disqualification for           appointment.Rule  6 provided the age limit for appointment. Rule 8        provided for reservation of appointments for scheduled  castes, scheduled  tribes,  backward tribes etc.  Rule           9  contained provision  for      ex-servicemen  and  physically        handicapped notwithstanding          anything  contained in the  Special  Rules.Rule 10 contemplated conditions relating to suitability        and certificates  of character. Rule 11 provided  for  procedure how  the  applications       have to be made         by  the  Government servants  for recruitments. Rule 16 provided for  relaxation notwithstanding  the  provisions contained  in  the  General Rules or the Special Rules. Rule 16 A provided for  appointment  by transfer. Rule 17 dealt with appointment by  direct recruitment or by promotion in certain cases notwithstanding  anything  contained  in the General or    Special Rules.  All these  Rules arc applicable to all the posts except  to     the extent as contemplated by Rule(3) of the General Rules. This was  the position at the time of enactment of General  Rules in 1977 appears  that Rule 3 of the General Rules       was  amended and subrule (2) was added to Rule 3. Rule 3(2) of the General Rules, so added in June, 1982, reads thus:

                  "3(2).  Notwithstanding anything contained  in

                  these  rules  or in the rules  of     recruitment

                  specially    made in respect of any          service  or

                  post--

                            (a) the promotion to the post of Head of

                  Department  of the post of an Additional            Head

                  of Department, if it is in a grade  equivalent

                  to  that of the Head of Department  concerned,

                  shall be by selection:

                  Provided that for the purpose of promotion  by

                  selection, the number of persons to be consid-

                  ered shall be such number of persons  eligible

                  for promotion in the order of seniority, as is

                  equal to five times the number of vacancies to

                  be filled.

                  410

                             (b)  the promotion to all    other  posts

                  shall be on the basis of seniority-cum-merit".

     We are really concerned with the scope of Rule 3(2)  of the General Rules for proper decision of this case. Both the General Rules and the Special Rules have been framed by        the Government of Karnataka in exercise of powers under  Article 309 of the Constitution of India.

     It is clear from Rule 1(3)(a) of the General Rules that the General Rules apply to recruitment to all State Services and  to           all  posts in connection with the  affairs  of  the State.        A  perusal of different rules in the  General  Rules makes  it clear that the general provisions which  apply  to recruitment to all posts under the Government are  specified in  those Rules instead of repeating them in each and  every Special  Rules of recruitment relating to different  departments.        For  example, provisions relating to age  limit          for recruitment, disqualification for recruitment, joining           time etc.  should find place in Special Rules and  normally          they should      be uniform for all categories of posts.           Instead  of repeating them in all Special Rules of each department they have  been  put        in one set of rules known  as the  General Rules.     It would be impossible to limit the  application  of the General Rules only for recruitment to posts for which no Special       Rules have been made. If that was so, what arc        the provisions relating to disqualification, age limit,  joining time  etc.  for posts for which Special Rules  governing  of recruitment  have been made ? There are no other rules            governing the subject except the General Rules.

     By the wording of Rule 3(2) of the General Rules it  is clear  that  the Government took  conscious  and  deliberate policy decision  and gave a mandate to make only  posts  of Head  of  Departments, Additional Head  of  Departments  as selection  posts  and all other posts on promotion  will  be filled by the criterion of "seniority-cum-merit'.

     To   give  effect  to that policy  decision  instead  of mending  every    Special Rules of  recruitment            relating  to different State Civil Services, the Government made a provision  in the General Rules by incorporating  a non-obstante clause stating that it would apply to all services and posts j notwithstanding the provisions in the General Rules or  in the  Special Rules of the State. This aspect  is  absolutely clear by a mere reading of Rule 3(2) of the General Rules.

     In    the  case of Maharaja Pratap Singh Bahadur  v.      Man Mohan Dev. AIR 1966 SC 1931, the Supreme Court approved           the following quotation from Maxwell on Interpretation of  Statute:/411

                  "A  general  later law does  not abrogate  an

                  earlier  special      one  by           mere  implication.

                  Generalia  specialibus  non derogant,  or,  in

                  other words, "where there are general words in

                  a later Act capable of reasonable and sensible

                  application without extending them to subjects

                  specially dealt. with by earlier   legislation,

                  you  are not to hold that earlier and  special

                  legislation  indirectly repealed, altered,  or

                  derogated from merely by force of such general

                  words, without any indication of a  particular

                  intention  to  do so." In such  cases  it  is

                  presumed  to have only general cases in  view,

                  and  not     particular  cases  which  have            been

                  already otherwise provided for by the  special

                  Act?'

    It is stated therein that for the general principle that  the  special  law  prevails over general law  there  is    one exception  and            that is a later general law  prevails over earlier special law if it clearly indicates the intention to supersede  the special law. The non-obstante  clause  introduced by amending Rule 3 of the General Rules by adding Rule 3(2) which was enacted after the Special Rules indicates the clear  intention to supersede the Special Law to the  extent that for the posts which arc not Head of the Departments  or Additional  Head of Departments the promotion,     if  provided for by way of selection, would mean on the basis of seniority-cum-merit and not on the basis of merit only.

    As I have noticed earlier if we look at the Special Law it  contained  various methods of recruitment  to  about  35 posts mentioned in the Schedule annexed thereto but there is only one post for which the promotion was proposed by selection.  Surely it would have been flimsy way of      drafting  if one particular clause of a particular Special Law was sought to  be individually repelled by enacting a repealing  clause for  that purpose. To get over that the non-obstante  clause is  introduced later on by the same authority which  enacted both  the General and Special Laws to give its           latest   mandate. The latest mandate cannot be ignored.

    Rule  1(3) of the General Rules which accepted  the         applicability  of          Special Rules is itself a part   of  General Rules  and the non-obstante clause is not merely to what  is mentioned  to  the contrary in the Special Rules but  it  is also notwithstanding anything contained in the General Rules itself.

    In     the  present case the respondent No.  2        herein  was promoted after the amendment of Rule 3 of the General  Rules and  there  is no dispute about his recruitment        by  way  of promotion  on the basis of seniority-cum-merit and  that   the earlier Special Rules which contemplated the  promotion  by selection were not followed in view of the latest  intention clearly given by a positive mandate.

    The  learned counsel for the appellant  strongly  placed  reliance on the decision of the Karnataka High Court in            the case  of Muniswamy v. Superintendent of Police,          dated  18th July, 1986 (Annexure 'F' pages 66 to 108 of the paper-book). That  decision dealt with the General Rules and the  Special Rules  in  relation to Karnataka State Police  Service   (Recruitment) Rules,1967.

    We   have  to  construe the meaning of  Clause  3(2)        for ascertaining  the object and purpose which  the            legislature had  in view in enacting the said provision and the  context thereof.  It  appears to me that the Special Rules  for        re-

cruitment to some of the services had been in force  providing a particular method of either selection or promotion. It appears that because of the experience the Government had of

its  working, it was thought proper to change  this  policy,  namely -  instead of providing selection on  the  basis  of merit to every post, in certain posts, it thought it fit  to give due weightage to seniority and merit instead of  having the  'best'. The selection of 'best' very often has an  element  of  chance which may not be very conducive  to  proper climate       and harmony in service. It appears that because  of  that  experience  the rule making authority thought  it    fit that  the process of promotion by selection should  be    confined only to top posts and for rest of the posts the method should be promotion by adopting the principle of  seniority-cum-merit.  I find that there is a clear mandate  of  latest intention  of  the rule making authority contained  in  Rule 3(2) of the General Rules and this must be respected by  the Court. The Courts are not expert body in knowing what is the best  method  for selection and to assume  that    the  purest method            must be found by the Court and implemented  even  by violation  of the Rule, will not be sound rule of  construction of statute. 

    I  am afraid I have not been able to persuade myself  to agree  with the reasoning of the learned Division  Bench  in the aforesaid case of Muniswamy v. Superintendent of Police.

    The  learned Division Bench had restricted the scope  of Rule  3(2) to only such officers whose "service or  post  is not  regulated by any Special Rules. then and then only    the posts  of  Head of Departments of Government as            defined  in 1982  Rules had to be filled by promotion by  selection and all  other  posts in such Departments have to be  filled  by promotion  on  seniority-cure-merit  basis".   The  Division Bench also examined the merits and demerits of various forms of selection at great length and took the view in  paragraph 41 of the judgment as under:

                  "We  were shocked  and  surprised  when          the

                  learned Government Advocate submitted before us that he was

                  supporting the stand urged by Sri Bhat and the

                  circular issued by the Director under instruc-

                  tions  from Government. We have no doubt        that

                  the Government had not really reflected on the

                  untenable  stand  it was   urging  before this

                  Court  which,  if accepted  would have  meant

                  death knell to .efficiency in the services  of

                  the State."

    I am surprised with this type of approach. It is not the function of the Court to examine the efficacy of one form of selection or the other. It is for the recruiting  authority, namely the Government to examine it and enforce it  in            the way  it      like.    To use such an expression  "death  knell  to efficiency" really gives the mind of the Court that it wants to  enforce  the particular policy even           though            the  latest mandate is for change of the policy in the name of efficiency.  This  type           of reasoning really  ignores  the  specific provision  of the non-obstante clause applying to  even         "in the  rules of recruitment specially made in respect  of  any service or post".

    In Ajay Kumar Banerjee and others v. Union of India        and others, [1984] 3 SCC 127 at page 153 Sabyasachi Mukharji, J. (as His Lordship then was) observed thus:--

                  "As mentioned herein before if the scheme        was

                  held  to be valid, then the question  what  is

                  the  general law and what is the  special law

                  and  which law in case of conflict would  pre-

                  vail  would  have arisen and that would have

                  necessitated the application of the  principle

                  "Generalia  specialibus  non  derogant".  The

                  general  rule to be followed in ease  of   con-

                  flict  between  the two statutes is  that    the

                  later  abrogates    the earlier  one.  In  other

                  words,  a prior special law would yield  to  a

                  later  general law, if either of the two     fol-

                  lowing conditions is satisfied.

                  (i) The two are inconsistent with each other.

                  (ii)  There is some express reference  in  the

                  later to the earlier enactment.

                  If  either  of these two      conditions  is   ful-

                  filled,  the later law, even  though  general,

                  would prevail".

It  is     thus  clear that both the  conditions  mentioned  by  Mukharji, J., speaking  for the Bench are fulfilled. In this case  whether the  promotion has to be by the method of selection or simplicitor  promotion on the basis of seniority-cum-merit,  is the  contest. The Special Law          contemplated  promotion  by selection  whereas the later law contemplates  promotion  by the method of seniority-cum-merit. The two are inconsistent with  each other. This fulfills the first condition. So  far as  the  second condition is concerned there is         an  express reference  in the later general law "in the  earlier  enactment". But as per the proposition of Mukharji, J., if either of  the  two conditions are fulfilled the  later  law,   even though        general,  would       prevail. Surely  the  provision  of recruitment  contemplated  in the Special  Police  Rules  is inconsistent with the latest general provision applicable to all posts in Karnataka. In the present case the later general  law    prevails over the earlier special law because           the non-obstante  clause  specifically  mentions  its   efficacy inspite    of the Special Law. It was for the  legislature  to choose the  method of indicate its  intention.            The  Courts should  not  defeat their intention by overlooking  it.            The respondent No. 2 has been selected for promotion by  following the General Rules amending the Special Rules and I find it was strictly in accordance with law. I am, therefore,  of the considered view that the appeal deserves to be dismissed with parties to bear their own costs.

G.N.                 Appeal allowed.

 

 

 

Comments