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Union of India v. K. P. Joseph and Others, AIR 1973 SC 303


  • Whether the order applied to the first respondent as he was reemployed before 25/11/1958?
  • Whether the order was justifiable and writ lay?


  • There are administrative rights that confer rights and impose duties. it is because an administrative order can abridge take away rights that the Court imported the principle of natural justice of audi altram partem into this area.


  • The appellant was discharged from the post of combatant Clerk in the Indian Army on 9th June, 1953, and was re-employed shortly thereafter.
  • His pay was re-fixed in the scale applicable. On 15th July, 1960, the Government of India issued a general Order relating to re-employed ex-military personnel.
  • Under the Order those entitled to its benefits would get fixed in the scale applicable to them by adding to the bottom of their scales increments equal to the total number of completed years of military service.
  • The first respondent having exercised the option provided for in the Order, claimed that he was entitled to the benefit of the Order.
  • The claim was rejected by the Government the first respondent filed a writ petition in the High Court.


  • The Supreme Court held that the general rule under the Order was that past cases of persons re-employed before 25-11-1958 would not be reopened. 
  • But the effect of clause (3) of paragraph (3) is to create an exception to the general rule in the case of persons re-employed before 25-11-1958 for an unspecified period or for a period that extends to the date of order and who have exercised their option in writing to be brought under the Order.
  • Therefore, it was held that the respondent having exercised his option was therefore entitled to the benefit of the order.