The state is a necessary party - Ranjeet Mal Vs General Manager, Northern Railway, New Delhi & Anr


In Ranjeet Mal V. General Manager, Northern Railway, New Delhi & Anr., AIR 1977 SC 1701, the Supreme Court considered a case where the writ petition had been filed challenging the order of termination from service against the General Manager of the Northern Railways without impleading the Union of India.

The Court held as under:-

“The Union of India represents the Railway Administration. The Union carries administration through different servants. These servants all represent the Union in regard to activities whether in the matter of appointment or in the matter of removal. It cannot be denied that any order which will be passed on an application under Article 226 which will have the effect of setting aside the removal will fasten liability on the Union of India, and not on any servant of the Union. Therefore, from all points of view, the Union of India was rightly held by the High Court to be a necessary party. The petition was rightly rejected by the High Court.”

While considering the similar view in Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of A.P. V. Collector & Ors; AIR 2003 SC 1805, the Apex Court accepted the submission that a writ cannot be entertained without impleading the State if relief is sought against the State.

The Court also considered the provisions of Article 300 of the Constitution which provide for legal proceedings by or against the Union of India or State and held that in a suit by or against the Government, the authority to be named as plaintiff or defendant, as the case may be; in the case of the Central Government, the Union of India and in the case of State Government, the State, which is suing or is being sued.

Rule 1 of Order 27 of CPC only deals with suits by or against the Government or by officers in their official capacity. It provides that in any suit by or against the Government, the plaint or the written statement shall be signed by such person as the Government may like by general or special order authorize in that behalf and shall be verified by any person whom the Government may so appoint.

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