none of the appellants belong to the Scheduled Tribe category whereas their initial appointment was on that basis= Division Bench of the High Court has issued a direction to terminate them from service and also to recover all the benefits they have earned in service. Such an order was passed on the basis that none of the appellants belong to the Scheduled Tribe category whereas their initial appointment was on that basis= service of respondent/Reserve Bank of India for about two decades or more and majority of them are in the fag end of their service. – we are of the view that the appellants are entitled to the protection granted by the same High Court in the judgment dated 1.11.2012 in Writ Petition No.1512/2004. In any case the parties to the writ petition cannot be disturbed collaterally and the judgment operated as a judgment in rem in view of the circular dated 1.7.2013 issued by the Reserve Bank of India and since the litigations were pursued by the respective associations. In partial modification of the impugned judgments, it is ordered that all the 7 appellants shall be placed below the last of the general category candidate as on 28.11.2000 and will be continued as such till their superannuation. All the benefits which the appellants earned as reserved category candidates after 28.11.2000 will be surrendered/recovered. After 28.11.2000 the benefits available to the reserved category candidates will be given to the members of the reserved category regarding whom there is no dispute. There shall be no recovery of any6 benefits from the employees who are already superannuated. Action, if any, taken pursuant to the impugned judgment(s) will stand recalled and modified to the extent indicated hereinabove. Needless to say that the notification dated 24.12.2013 will be appropriately reconsidered.

NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO(S). 10396/2018
(ARISING FROM SLP (C) NOS. 13011/2018)
GAJANAN MAROTRAO NIMJE & ORS. APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA & ORS. RESPONDENT(S)
WITH
C.A. NO(S). 10402/2018 @ SLP(C) NO. 18557/2018
C.A. NO(S).10397-10398/2018 @ SLP(C) NO. 15818-15819/2018
C.A. NO(S). 10399-10400/2018 @ SLP(C) NO. 15820-15821/2018
C.A. NO(S).10401/2018 @ SLP(C) NO. 16125/2018
C.A. NO(S).10403-10404/2018. @ SLP(C) NO. 18746-18747/2018
J U D G M E N T
KURIAN, J.
Leave granted.
2. The appellants have been in the service of
respondent/Reserve Bank of India for about two
decades or more and majority of them are in the fag
end of their service. We are informed that some of
1
them have even superannuated. The appellants are
before this Court, aggrieved by the judgment dated
13.04.2018 whereby the Division Bench of the High
Court has issued a direction to terminate them from
service and also to recover all the benefits they
have earned in service. Such an order was passed on
the basis that none of the appellants belong to the
Scheduled Tribe category whereas their initial
appointment was on that basis.
3. This litigation has a little other background.
In Writ Petition No.1512 of 2004 before the same High
Court at the same Nagpur Bench had occasion to deal
with the same issue. It appears, the writ
petitioners in all the matters taking note of the
efflux of time of were not inclined to go for a
verification of the caste status, bereft of any
supporting materials in view of the lapse of long
years.
4. At paragraph 18 of the common common judgment
dated 01.11.2012 it has been hence held as follows:-
“18. …It is declared that the petitioners
would be entitled to protection of their
appointments. It is further declared that if
any benefits are granted after 28.11.2000 on
the basis that they belong to Scheduled
Tribes, the respondent Authorities are at
2
liberty to withdraw the said benefits and
restore the position as on 28.11.2000. The
respondents to take further necessary steps
in accordance therewith.”
5. Based on the judgment referred to above, the
Reserve Bank of India issued a comprehensive circular
on 01.07.2013. The relevant paragraphs of the
circular read as follows:-
“As you are aware, the issues relating to
verification of Caste Certificate and its
validation, non-submission of documents for
verification of the caste/tribe claims by the
concerned employees have been persisting for
a long time and have been matter of concern
for the Bank. With a view to resolving the
problem, the entire gamut of the issues
related to scrutiny of Caste Certificate etc.
has been reviewed and it has been decided to
take action as under:
A. The services of the employees belonging
to Halba, halba Koshti/Koshti
caste/community, who were appointment against
vacancies reserved for the Scheduled Tribe
and who have been confirmed in the services
of the Bank before November 28, 2000, may be
protected. Such employees, thereafter, will
be treated as employees belonging to General
Category, with the following conditions.
(i) The employee concerned would give
an undertaking to the effect that he/she
3
would give up their claim as belonging to
Scheduled Tribes and would not seek any
benefits in support of their claim
subsequently.
(ii) No benefit will accrue to them on
the basis of reservation after the aforesaid
date i.e. November 28, 2000.
(iii) The above decision is subject to
outcome of the Writ Petition No.1562 of 2004
filed before the High Court of Judicature at
Bombay Bench at Nagpur.
The undertaking as mentioned at (i)
above shall be obtained from employees
concerned before issuing the office order
protecting their services in the Bank.
B. The services of other employees
belonging to Scheduled Tribe appointed
against vacancies reserved for Scheduled
Tribe and, who have not submitted their Caste
Certificate for verification/validation
and/or their Caste Certificate has been
invalidated etc. and have been confirmed in
the services of the Bank before November 28,
2000 may also be protected. Such employees,
thereafter, may be treated as belonging to
General Category on the conditions indicated
against A(i) to (iii) on pre page.”
6. The High Court has unfortunately missed to take
note of this circular while passing the impugned
judgment. It is also significant to note the
prayers in the writ petition leading to the impugned
4
judgment. Prayers (a) to (f) read as follows:-
“(a) by an appropriate writ, order and/or
direction, direct the respondent no.1-Reserve
Bank of India to keep the respondent Nos.5
to 140 below the last candidate in the
seniority list of Open Category as on 28th of
November, 2000;
(b) by an appropriate writ, order and/or
direction, hold that the respondent Nos.5 to
140 are not entitled for any benefit
inclu6ding the benefit of Time Bound
Promotion, Assured Promotion, Personal
Promotion etc. before the last Open Category
Candidate in the seniority list Open Category
Candidates as on 28th of November, 2000;
(c) by an appropriate writ, order and/or
direction, direct the respondent No.1-Reserve
Bank of India to withdraw the benefits
granted to the respondent Nos.5 to 140 after
they are treated as Open Category Candidates
with effect from 28th of November, 2000;
(d) by an appropriate writ, order and/or
direction, direct the respondent No.1-Reserve
Bank of India to fill in the backlog of
Scheduled Tribe Category as on 28th of
November, 2000 pursuant to the absorption of
respondent nos.5 to 140;
(e) by an appropriate writ, order and/or
direction, direct the respondent No.1-
Reserve Bank of India to recover the benefits
including the arrears of salary extended to
respondent Nos.5 to 140;
(f) by an appropriate writ, order and/or
5
direction, direct the respondent no.1-Reserve
Bank of India to withdraw the Office Order
Staff No.89/2013-14, dated 24th of December,
2013.”
7. Apparently, there was some confusion with regard
to the implementation of the judgment dated
01.11.2012 in the judgment in Writ Petition
No.1512/2004 and connected matters.
8. Based on6 the recent judgment of this Court
passed in Chairman and Managing Director, Food
Corporation of India and Others Vs. Jagdish Balaram
Bahira and Others, reported in (2017) 8 SCC 670, the
High Court passed the impugned order directing the
termination and recovery of the benefits.
9. We are afraid, in the peculiar background of the
appellants and the history of the previous litigation
of the same issue, the High Court is not justified in
passing such an omnibus order. There is no case for
anybody leave alone the writ petitioners that at the
time of entry in service, the appellants played any
fraud. There was no case that the petitioners
therein had played any fraud in obtaining the
certificate or employment. In any case the
appellants, it is pointed out that, even assuming
that they do not belong to Scheduled Caste or
Scheduled Tribe, fall either under the most backward
6
or under the backward category, who were also
entitled to some reservation at the time of
recruitment. In order to avoid any litigation on
this aspect only, the High Court in its wisdom passed
the judgment dated 1.11.2012, that all the
petitioners therein will be put in the general
category.
10. It will be relevant to note that the common
judgment dated 01.11.2012 was challenged before this
Court and the special leave petition(s) and the
review petition(s) were also dismissed.
11. Having regard to the background, as above, we are
of the view that the appellants are entitled to the
protection granted by the same High Court in the
judgment dated 1.11.2012 in Writ Petition
No.1512/2004. In any case the parties to the writ
petition cannot be disturbed collaterally and the
judgment operated as a judgment in rem in view of the
circular dated 1.7.2013 issued by the Reserve Bank of
India and since the litigations were pursued by the
respective associations.
12. Therefore, these appeals are disposed of as
follows:-
In partial modification of the impugned
judgments, it is ordered that all the
7
appellants shall be placed below the last of
the general category candidate as on
28.11.2000 and will be continued as such till
their superannuation. All the benefits which
the appellants earned as reserved category
candidates after 28.11.2000 will be
surrendered/recovered. After 28.11.2000 the
benefits available to the reserved category
candidates will be given to the members of
the reserved category regarding whom there is
no dispute. There shall be no recovery of
any6 benefits from the employees who are
already superannuated. Action, if any, taken
pursuant to the impugned judgment(s) will
stand recalled and modified to the extent
indicated hereinabove.
Needless to say that the notification
dated 24.12.2013 will be appropriately
reconsidered.
In view of this judgment, we request the
High Court to dispose of all the contempt
proceedings initiated against the officers of
the Reserve Bank of India for nonimplementation
of the impugned judgment dated
13.04.2018.
8
13. Pending applications, if any, shall stand
disposed of.
14. There shall be no orders as to costs.
…………………..J.
[KURIAN JOSEPH]
…………………..J.
[S. ABDUL NAZEER]
NEW DELHI;
OCTOBER 11, 2018
9