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Bhagwati Prasad Tiwari Son Of Shri … vs Regional Manager, Bank Of Baroda, … on 15 October, 2004

Allahabad High Court
Bhagwati Prasad Tiwari Son Of Shri … vs Regional Manager, Bank Of Baroda, … on 15 October, 2004
Author: R Misra
Bench: R Misra


JUDGMENT

R.B. Misra, J.

In this petition, the petitioner has prayed for quashing the order dated 13.7 1974 (Annexure- I to the writ petition) passed by the respondent No. I and the award dated 31.8.1998 published on 27.10.1998 made by the respondent No. 3 (Annexure-4 to the writ petition) and further prayer has also been made for commanding the respondents to reinstate the petitioner in service with full back-wages and all consequential benefits.

1. Heard Sri P.N. Saxena, learned Senior Advocate assisted by Sri Amit Saxena. learned counsel for the petitioner None appears on behalf of the respondent Bank.

2. The brief facts necessary for adjudication of the present writ petition are that during Holi festival in March, 1970 the petitioner had some altercation with his neighbour at Kanpur, namely, Shri Beni Prasad, who later on filed a criminal complaint and petitioner was convicted for six months rigorous imprisonment by the Judicial Magistrate under Section 325 I.P.C. and the conviction was confirmed on 11.8.1973 by the Sessions Judge in appeal, however, in June, 1970 the petitioner was appointed as Chaukidar in the respondent bank on temporary basis and was confirmed on 1.6.1972. While posted at Fatehpur branch of the said bank, the service of the petitioner was terminated on the ground of his involvement in the offence under Section 325 I.P.C. and in view of conviction by the criminal court and in the light of the provisions of Chapter XIX of I Bipartite Settlement of October. 1966 as well as under Section 10 of Banking Regulations Act after making payment of three months’ salary. According to the petitioner, the offence under Section 325 I.P.C. cannot be termed as moral turpitude, which exposes an employee to terminate in view of para 19 (2) of the said settlement An enquiry was conducted in respect of the matter and incidence of March. 1970 by the Enquiry officer, but before its conclusion the petitioner was confirmed on 1st June, 1972. The petitioner challenged the said termination by filing a Writ Petition No. 6582 of 1974, which was dismissed on 08.02.1977 on the ground of alternative remedy with liberty to the petitioner to seek appropriate remedy. The respondent No. 1 did not refer the said matter for adjudication to the Tribunal, in that respect the Writ petition No. 10312 of 1987 was allowed by this Court with direction to the Government of India to make a reference before Tribunal, which passed an award dated 31.08.1998 holding that the Management was justified in dismissing the petitioner from service in exercise of power under paragraphs 19.2 and 19.3 of the Bipartite Settlement, according to which when in an award staff is convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude such workman can be dismissed from the service without holding any inquiry.

3. It will be appropriate to refer clauses 19.2 & 19.3 of the First Bipartite Settlement under which orders were passed suspending the respondent. These clauses read as follows.

“19.2 By the expression “offence” shall be meant any offence involving moral turpitude for which an employee is liable to conviction and sentence under any provision of law.

19.3 (a) When in the opinion of the management an employee has committed an offence, unless he be otherwise prosecuted, the bank may lake steps to prosecute him or get him prosecuted, the bank may take steps to prosecute him or get him prosecuted, the bank may take steps to prosecuted and in such a case he may also be suspended.

(b) If he is convicted, he may be dismissed with effect from the date of his conviction or be given any lessor form of punishment as mentioned in Clause 19.6 below. ”

4. It is evident from the bare perusal of the aforesaid clauses that if in the opinion of the management, an employee has committed an offence, then the bank may take steps to prosecute him and in such a case, he may also be suspended. The word “offence” occurring in clause 19.3 (a) has been defined in clause 19.2 to mean any offence involving “moral turpitude” for which an employee is liable to conviction and sentence under any provision of law.

Section 10(1) of Banking Regulation Act given as below:

“10 Reference of Dispute to Boards, Courts of Tribunals-” where the appropriate Government, is of opinion that any industrial dispute exists or is apprehended, it may at anytime, by order in writing

(a) refer the dispute to a Board for promoting a settlement thereof; or

(b) refer any matter a pearing to be connected with or relevant to the dispute to a court for inquiry or

(c) refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to, the dispute, if it relates to any matter specified in the Second Schedule, to a Labour Court of adjudication; or

(d) refer the dispute or any matter appearing to be connected with or relevant to, the dispute, whether it relates to any matter specified in the second Schedule or the Third Schedule to a Tribunal for adjudication:

Provided that where the dispute relates to any matter specified in the third Schedule and is not likely to affect more than one hundred workmen, the appropriate Government may if it so thinks fit, make the reference to a labour court under Clause (C):

” Provided further that where the dispute relates to a public utility service and a notice under Section 22 has been given, the appropriate Government shall, unless it considers that the notice has been frivolously or vexatiously given or that it would be inexpedient so to do make a reference under this sub-section not withstanding the any other proceedings under this Act in respect of the dispute may have commenced”

5. What is an offence involving “moral turpitude” must depend upon the facts of each case. But whatever may be the meaning which may be given to the term “moral turpitude” it appears to us that one of the most serious offences involving “moral turpitude” would be where a person employed in a banking company dealing with money of the general public, commits forgery and wrongfully withdraws money which he is not entitled to withdraw.

6. It was observed in the award dated 31st August, 1998 in paragraphs- 8 and 9, as under:-

“8. Now the first contention may be considered. It is to be seen of the conviction under Section 325 IPC involves moral turpitude. Before refering to the authority it will be relevant to refer para 19.2 and 19.3 of 1st Bipartite Settlement, the substance of which is that when an award staff is convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude such workman can be dismissed from the service without holding any enquiry The management has exercised powers under this provision for passing dismissal order against the workman The authorised representative of the concerned workman has referred to the case employers State Bank v. Its workmen 1966 (13) FLR 139. In this case an award staff was convicted under Section 323 IPC and it was found to be not amounting moral turpitude. For arriving at this conclusion reference was also made to Section 325 IPC. It will be relevant to quote the following observation.

But even an offence of causing grievance hurl under Section 325 IPC while it may make the offence liable to a heavy sentence of imprisonment may not he in the circumstances of a particular case involve moral turpitude. For instance a person may he convicted of grievous hurt by exceeding right of private defence and yet the offence would hardly involve moral turpitude.

From the above it will be evident that the Hon’ble High Court had not absolutely ruled that a conviction under Section 325 I.P.C does not involve moral turpitude instead it will be considered from the facts and circumstances under which offence committed. Further for example if a convicted person had exceeded the right of private defence it will not amount to moral turpitude. In other words the material point is as to who was the aggressor in such incident. If the convicted person is aggressor it will involve moral turpitude. If such person was the victim of aggression and had exceeded the right of private defence it will not involve moral turpitude.

9. In the instant case it was for the workman to have proved that he was the victim of aggressor. For this filing of copy of judgment of criminal court was necessary but the same has not been filed. In its absence it cannot be determined as to whether the concerned workman was the victim of aggression or not. In its absence the concerned workman cannot be given benefit of this observation. Accordingly I am unable to come to the conclusion that conviction under Section 325 I.P.C. of the concerned workman did not involve moral turpitude. Hence this point is decided against the concerned workman.

9. In the second place reference was made to the case of G.R. Sirwai v. B.C. & Company Limited, 1988 (SC) FLR 655 In this case it was held that even in the case of conviction without holding of domestic enquiry, the dismissal in terms of certified standing order was not justified. In the instant case this ruling will not apply as the concerned workman is governed by First Bipartite Settlement under which the management has been given option to dismiss without holding of enquiry if the workman is convicted for offence involving moral turpitude.”

7.(I) The “moral turpitude” as acknowledged in ‘The Law Lexicon, 2nd Edition, 1997’ are as under:

Moral turpitude. Anything done contrary to justice, honesty, principle, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a main owes to his fellow man or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between mean and man. (Ame. Cyc.).

The morally culpable quality held to be present in some criminal offences as distinguished from other described in reference to Section 385(1)(c), Companies Act.

The term of moral turpitude is not clearly defined. What constitutes moral turpitude, or what will be held such, is not entirely clear. A contract to promote public wrong, short of crime, may or may not involve it. If parties intend such wrong, as where they conspire against the public interests by agreeing to violate the law or some rule of public policy, the act doubtless involves moral turpitude. When no wrong is contemplated, but is unintentionally committed, through error of judgment, it is otherwise. (Pullman’s Palace Car Co. v. Central Transp. Co., 65 Fed 158, 161.) Everything done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals is done with turpitude, so that embezzlement involves moral turpitude.

Anything done contrary to justice, honesty, principle or good morals, an act of baseness, vileness or deprivity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man. (American Encyclopaedia of Law.) interpreted in reference to Section 267 of Companies Act (1 of 1956).

‘Moral turpitude’ refers to conduct that is inherently base, vile or depraved and contrary to the accepted rules of morality, whether it is or is not punishable as a civil possession of fire are by a person who has not engaged in neferious activities, does not amount to moral turpitude. Chandgi Ram v. Election Tribunal, dealt with in reference to Section 153 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act (Act 8 of 1954).

The expression ‘moral turpitude’ implies depravity and wickedness or character or disposition of the person charged with the particular conduct. Risal Singh v. Chandgi Ram, , dealt with in reference to Section 153(e) of Delhi Land Reforms Act (8 of 1954).

A conviction of a person under Section 16 of the Act does not mean that he has committed an offence involving moral turpitude, unless the facts on which the conviction is based are known. Prem Kumar v. State of H.P., , elaborated in reference to Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

(II) In Mitra’s Legal & Commercial Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Moral Turpitude has been defined as under:-

“Moral Turpitude. The expression ‘moral turpitude’ or ‘delinquency’ is not to receive a narrow construction. Whenever conduct proved against an advocate is contrary to honesty or opposed to good morals or is unethical, it involves moral turpitude. In re P. an Advocate AIR 1963 SC- 1313. Every punishable act is not an offence involving moral turpitude. The following are the tests (a) whether the act leading to a conviction is such as could shock the moral conscience of the society in general?; (b) whether the motive leading to the act was a base one: (c) whether on account of the act having been committed the perpetrator is to he looked down in the society as a depraved man. Management of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. v. P.O., First Addl. Labour Court (1983) 1 Mad LJ 41.”

(III) In Dictionary of Philosophy, edited by I. Frolov, ‘Moral Norms’; ‘Morality’; ‘Morality, Christian’; “Morality, Communist’ and ‘Morals’ have been defined as below:-

“Moral Norms, a form of ethical standards which regulate people’s conduct through general prescriptions and bans as regards actions of the same type. Moral Norms are sanctioned not by the State authority but by the force of habit and public opinion; they are formed in the moral consciousness of society spontaneously and not as a result of a specially promulgated law.”

“Morality, a form of social consciousness, a social institution that regulates people’s conduct in all spheres of social life without exception. Morality differs from other forms of regulating mass activity (law, rules of administrative procedure, government decrees, popular traditions, etc.) by the method of giving substance to its requirements and of their implementation.”

“Morality, Christian, In their view only God is absolutely moral and he is also the only competent moral judge. Unconditional trust in divine grace is regarded as the supreme moral virtue of man. Another important virtue is forgiveness.”

“Morality, Communist, the aggregate of principles and standards of conduct based on the ideals of communist society. The objective criterion of communist morality is what contributes to the establishment of communist society and the realisation of the communist ideal. The following main principles of communist morality make up the moral code of the builder of communism: devotion to the cause of communism; increase of social wealth by labour; a high sense of public duty, collectivism, humanism, internationalism.”

(IV) In Words and Phrases Permanent Edition (Volume 27 A)at page 167 the word “Moral” has been described as under-

“Moral. “Moral” means righteous or upright. Manasco v. Walley, 63 So. 2d 91, 95, 216 Miss. 614.

“Moral” pertains to character, conduct, intention, social relations, etc. U.S. v. Carrollo, D.C. Mo., 30 F. Supp. 3, 6.

“Moral” means manner, custom, habit, way of life, conduct. Jones v. Poole, 8 S.E. 2d 532, 534, 62 Ga.App. 309.

“Moral”, when used in connection with word “turpitude”, means pertaining to character, conduct, intentions, social relations, etc. State v. Deer, Ohio Com. P1., 129 N.E. 2d 667, 668.

“Turpitude” is defined as inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words or actions; depravity. “Moral” is defined as pertaining to character, conduct, intentions, social relations, etc. In re Burch, 54 N.E. 2d 803, 806, 73 Ohio App. 97.

The term “morals” refers to the moral standard of the community; the norm or standard of behaviour which struggles to make itself articulate in law. Com. v. Randall, 133 A.2d 276, 279, 183 Pa. Super. 603,

“Morals” must be taken to refer to moral standards of the community; the norm of standard of behaviour which struggles to make itself articulate in law. Commercial Pictures Corporation v. Board of Regents of University of State of N.Y., 113 N.E. 2d 502, 506, 305 N.Y. 336.

Morals of respective parents are an appropriate and proper subject of consideration in custody case, and term “morals” comprehends more than merely sexual conduct and encompasses as well common decency, cleanliness of mind and body, honesty, truthfulness and proper respect for established ideals and institutions, among other things. L v. N. Mo. App., 326 S.W. 2d 751, 755.

Word “morals” as used in statute proscribing publication of obscene matter manifestly tending to corrupt morals of youth, means the code of conduct adopted and used by particular people at a particular time and encompasses more than sexual conduct but relates as well to common decency, cleanliness of mind and body, honesty, truthfulness, and proper respect for established ideals and institutions State v. Clem, Fla., 93 So. 2d 876, 881,

“Turpitude” is defined as inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words or actions, or shameful wickedness or depravity, whereas “moral” describes conduct that conforms to the generally accepted rules which society recognizes should govern everyone in his social and commercial relations with others, regardless of whether those rules constitute legal obligations, so that “moral turpitude” implies something in itself whether punishable by law or not, the word “moral” serving only to emphasize the nature of the wrong committed. State ex. Rel. Conklin v. Buckingham, 84 P.2d 49, 51, 59 Nev. 36.

The adjective “moral” when used in connection with the word “turpitude” means any manner or custom relating to or according to the received and customary rule of right and duty between man and man; relating to the private and social duties of men as distinguished from civil responsibilities. “Turpitude” signifies moral baseness, depravity, or enormity. “Moral turpitude” is an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man. Gomez v. Hawailian Gazette Co., 10 Haw. 108.

“Moral turpitude” is an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man. “Turpitude” is base or shameful character; baseness, vileness; depravity, wickedness; inherent baseness or vileness or principle, words or actions; shameful wickedness; depravity. “Moral” in combination with “turpitude” is a tautological expression which does nothing more than add emphasis to the word “turpitude.” Brun v. Lazzell, 191 A. 240, 244, 172 Md. 314, 109 A.L.R. 1453.

Slanderous words charging larcency held “actionable per se” because charging indictable offense involving “moral turpitude.” “Turpitude” is defined as inherent baseness or vileness of principle, words, or actions, or shameful wickedness or depravity, whereas “moral” describes conduct that conforms to the generally accepted rules which society recognizes should govern every one in his social and commercial relations with others, regardless of whether those rules constitute legal obligations, so that “moral turpitude” implies something immoral in itself, whether punishable by law or not, the word “moral” serving only to emphasize the nature of the wrong committed. Hughey v. Bradrick, 177 N.E. 911, 912, 39 Ohio App. 486″

(V) In Corpus Juris Secundum Vol. LVIII it has been provided as under:-

“the phrase “moral turpitude” has no definite meaning and that it shifts and fluctuates in keeping with changes in the moral standards of a people or country.”

“Moral turpitude” has been defined as meaning an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man, and this definition has been given by a great many authorities and approved by all that have considered the question. The term has also been defined as meaning anything done contrary to justice, honesty, principle, or good morals; everything done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals; anything done knowingly contrary to justice, honesty, or good morals. “Moral turpitude” has also been defined to mean baseness, depravity, or wickedness; base or shameful character; a base or shameful act.

Standards of morals differ from time to time and at different places, and the concept of moral turpitude depends to some extent on the state of public morals, and is to be determined by the state of public moral and the common sense of the community, and since “moral turpitude” is a term which conforms to, and is consonant with, the state of public morals, it never can remain stationary, but it may vary according to community or the times.

Moral turpitude often involves the question of intent, and as a general rule unintentional wrong, or an improper act done without unlawful or improper intent, does not carry with it the germ of moral turpitude. Thus an act committed because of ignorance does not constitute moral turpitude. It is not necessary to prove a bad motive on the part of one in order to have it said that he is guilty of moral turpitude.

There is no hard and fast rule as to what constitute moral turpitude and what will be held such is not entirely clear. Moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, regardless of whether it is punishable by law as a crime, since an act may involve moral turpitude even though it is not a crime. It must not merely be mala prohibita, but the act itself must be inherently immoral. The doing of the act itself, and not its prohibition by statute, fixes the moral turpitude Everything done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals is done with turpitude.

Moral turpitude is not involved in every criminal act and is not shown by every known and intentional violation of statute, but whether any particular conviction involves moral turpitude maybe a question of fact, and frequently depends on all the surrounding circumstances. It is therefore difficult to determine just what crimes do involve moral turpitude, and the courts are not in complete agreement with respect to the particular offenses to which this concept attaches. One reason for this difficulty and lack of agreement may be the fact that the concept of moral turpitude may vary according to the community or the times, as stated supra p. 1202 note 87. Thus in one community a crime might be held to involve moral turpitude when gauged by the public morals of that community; but in another community the same offense would not be so considered. Furthermore, many things which were not considered criminal in the past have, with the advancement of civilization, been declared so by statute, and the commission of such an offense, if it involves the violation of a rule of public policy and morals, is such an act as may involve moral turpitude. Another reason is that some crimes are of such a nature by definition that they involve moral turpitude as a matter of law. Other crimes, of which the punishment is quite as severe, do not involve moral turpitude as a matter of law. In between these two classes is the class of crimes where the determination as to whether moral turpitude is involved becomes a question of fact in the particular case. As to this last class, the circumstances must be regarded to determine whether moral turpitude was shown, and the circumstances attendant on the commission of the offense usually furnish the best guide. It cannot be measured by the nature or character of the offense unless, of course, it be an offense inherently criminal, the very commission of which implies a base and depraved nature. The severity of punishment imposed is not controlling on the issue whether the offense involves moral turpitude, for there are various shades and degrees of moral turpitude, varying from the vilest and basest acts of moral degeneracy, punishable by the severest punishment to death, to other acts which involve a very slight degree of moral turpitude and on which society does not frown with such severity.

As a general rule, a crime will be considered as involving moral turpitude if it involves an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity when judged in the light of the social duties which a man owes to his fellow man or to society in general. If the actual commission of an offense involves moral turpitude, then an attempt to commit the offense, on a conspiracy to commit the offense, will likewise involve moral turpitude.

Offenses against the revenue laws, such as defrauding the government of taxes imposed on intoxicating liquors, or smuggling, have been held to be crimes involving moral turpitude, although it has been said that an attempt to evade payment of a tax due the nation, or the commonwealth, or the city, or the school district, while wrong and unlawful, does not necessarily involve moral turpitude.

Violations of state and federal narcotic laws are generally regarded as offenses involving moral turpitude, but the contrary view has also bee recognized.

Sexual crimes, or offenses which pertain thereto, or which are of a similar nature, such as abduction, adultery, aiding and abetting in lewd entertainment, indecent exposure, rape and similar crimes, seduction under promise of marriage, and soliciting for prostitutes, are all crimes which are regarded as involving moral turpitude.

While frequently general statements have been made to the effect that mere assault does not, or may not, involve moral turpitude, or that assault and battery rarely involves moral turpitude; the rule would seem to be that assault and battery may involve moral turpitude and it may not, the difference depending on the circumstances; and whether an assault does or does not involve moral turpitude generally will be determined by the particular facts of each individual case. The statutes in various jurisdictions divide assaults into different degrees, and many of the crimes which are included within such definitions are crimes that involve moral turpitude. Homicide may or may not involve moral turpitude depending on the degree of the crime.

It is generally accepted that larceny, whether it be grand or petit larceny, and theft are crimes which involve moral turpitude. However, the rule that petit larceny in every case involves moral turpitude has been subject to criticism. Embezzlement, forgery, robbery, and swindling are crimes which denote moral turpitude; and, as a general rule, all crimes of which fraud is an element are looked on as involving moral turpitude. Thus concealing assets in bankruptcy, obtaining goods on false representations, and other crimes involving fraud are usually regarded as showing moral turpitude. It has been said that using the mails to defraud, and attempting to obtain money or property of others by fraud or false pretenses, whether through the use of the mails or otherwise, are offenses which involve moral turpitude; but it also has been said that using the mails to defraud and entering into a conspiracy for that purpose are not offenses which involve moral turpitude as a matter of law.”

(VI) Offenses involving moral turpitude(1) Conspiring to corruptly influence, obstruct, impede, hinder, and embarrass the due administration of justice. In re Craig, 82 P.2d 442, 444, 12 Cal. 2d. 93.

(2) False swearing. In re King, 105 P. 2d 870, 874, 165 Or. 103.

(3) In time of war knowingly and wilfully making false statements with intent to interfere with the success of the military and naval forces, or wilfully attempting to cause disloyalty, insubordination, mutiny, and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces, or wilfully obstructing, or attempting to obstruct, the recruiting and enlistment service.

Conn. Kuriz v. Farrington, 132 A. 540, 541, 104 Conn. 257.48 A.L.R. 259.

III. In re Pontarelli, 66 N.E. 2d 83, 85, 393 III. 310.

(4) Offenses connected with the sale and distribution of contraceptives. Barretta v. Barretta, 46 N.Y. S. 2d, 261, 262, 182 Misc. 852.

(5) Prejury. 00 U.S. ex. Rel Karpay v. Uhl, C.C.A.N.Y., 70 F. 2d 792 U.S. ex. Rel. Carella v. Karnuth, D.C.N.Y., 2 F. Supp. 998.

(6) Possession of counterfeit money. –State Medical Board v. Rodgers, 79 S.W. 2d 83, 84,190 Ark. 266.

Offenses not involving moral turpitude.

(1) Bookmaking. Hofferman v. Simmons, 32 N.Y.S. 2d 244, 248, 217 Misc. 962.

(2) Disturbing the peace.-Wyatt v. Cerf., 149 P.2d 309, 312,64 Cal. App.2d 732.

(3) Drunkenness. Ga. –Groves v. State, 164 S.E. 822, 825,175 Ga. 37.

Tex.-Ruedas v. State, 158 S.W.2d 500, 503, 143 Tex.Cr. 291.

(4) Offenses connected with the operation of a lottery.-U.S. v. Carrollo, D.C.Mo.,30 F.Supp.3, 7.

(5) Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.– Traders & General Ins. Co. v. Russell, Tex.Civ.App., 99 S.W. 2d 1079, 1084.

(6) Prison breach and escape accomplished by force.-U.S. ex rel. Manzella v. Zimmerman, D.C. Pa., 71 F.Supp. 534, 537″

(VII) In Corpus Juris Secundum Vol. 58 it has been given as under-

“Code of Conduct. Fla.– Word “morals” means the code of conduct adopted and used by particular people at a particular time and encompasses more than sexual conduct but relates as well to common decency, cleanliness of mind and body, honesty, truthfulness, and proper respect for established ideals and institutions. State v. Clem, 93 So. 2d 876, 881 ”

8. In Baleshwar Singh v. District Magistrate Collector, Varanasi and Ors., , this Court has considered the expression of moral turpitude in reference to Section 5-A(h) of U.P. Panchayat Raj Act and Section 182 of Indian Penal Code as follows: –

“The expression ‘moral turpitude’ is not defined anywhere. But it means anything done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals. It implies depravity and wickedness of character or disposition of the person charged with the particular conduct, livery false statement made by a person may not be moral turpitude, but it would be so if it discloses vileness or depraivity in the doing of any private and social duty, which a person owes to his fellowmen or to the society in general. If therefore, the individual charged with a certain conduct owes a duty, either to another individual or to the society in general, to act in a specific manner or not to so act and he still acts contrary to it and does so knowingly, Ins conduct must he held to he due to vileness and ” depraivity. It will he contrary to accepted customary rule and duty between man and man.”

9. The aforesaid ease was followed subsequently, in the ease of Mangali v. Chakki Lal and Ors., , wherein the Court had held as follows. –

“With great respect, it appears to me that some of the observations made in these decision have been too widely stated and if followed literally may make every act punishable in law an offence involving moral turpitude, that, however could not be the intention with which those observations were made. From consideration of the dictionary meaning of the words ‘moral’ and ‘turpitude’ as well as the real ratio decided of the cases the principle which emerges appear to he that the question whether a certain offence involves moral turpitude or not will necessarily depend on the circumstances in which the offence is committed. It is not every punishable act that can be considered to be an offence involving moral turpitude. Had that been so, the qualification “involving moral turpitude” would not have been used by the Legislature and it would have disqualified every person who had been convicted of any offence. The tests which should ordinarily be applied for judging whether a certain offence does or does not involve moral turpitude appear to be : (1) whether the act leading to a conviction was such as could shock the moral conscience of the society in general, (2) whether the motive which led to the act was abase one and (3) whether on account of the act having been committed the perpetrator could be considered to be a depraved character or a person, who was to be looked down upon by the society.

No absolute standard can be laid down for deciding whether a particular act is to be considered one involving moral turpitude, but the above are the general tests which should be applied and which should in most cases be sufficient for enabling one to arrive at a correct conclusion on the question. ”

In the aforesaid ease of Chakki Lal (supra), the respondent No. 1 was found in possession of Bhang and was convicted of an offence under Section 60 of the U.P. Excise Act and have been sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 10/- for that offence. This Court had held that there was no base or motive leading to the crime. It further held as follows: –

“The act did not show any depravity in the character of the respondent nor had the respondent done anything which was considered base demeaning by society in general. In these circumstances the conviction of the respondent was really a technical one and could not he considered to he in respect of an offence involving moral turpitude.”

10. The decision of Chakki Lal (supra) was referred in the case of Management of Tractors and farm Equipment Ltd. v. The Presiding Officer, 1st Addl. Labour Court and T.A. Doss, 1983 Labour and Industrial Cases-460, where the Madras High Court after considering the various decisions on the subject and the dictionary meaning of the word ‘Moral Turpitude’ had observed as follows. –

“From the above, it is clear that every act punishable in law would not amount to an offence involving moral turpitude. If that had been the intention, then there is no necessity at all for statutes to say that a person convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude would be exposed to certain consequences or disqualification. The Legislature would have merely stated that person who is punished for violation of any law would be exposed to such consequences, or disqualification. The question whether conviction for a particular offence involves moral turpitude will depend upon the facts and circumstances of the case. However, in order to come within the scope of the phrase moral turpitude there must be an element of baseness and depravity in the act for which a particular individual has been punished. The act must be vile or harmful to society in general or contrary to accepted rules or rights and duties between man and man. Mere violation of a particular statue cannot amount to the commission of an act involving moral turpitude. I an in complete agreement with Srivastava, J. of the Allahabad High Court in Mangali v. Chakki Lal, who has laid down the following tests: (I) Whether the act leading to a conviction was such as could shock the moral conscience or society in general, (2) whether the motive which led to the act was a base one and (3) whether on account of the act having been committed the perpetrator could be considered to be of a depraved character of a person who was to be looked down upon by the society. Tested in the light of the above principle, the punishment of an individual for consuming liquor without permit in violation of the provisions of the Prohibition Act cannot be said to be an offence involving moral turpitude. It cannot be said that drinking is considered by society to he so base or vile as to characterise a man, who consumes liquor as one of depraved charader or as one who is to be looked down upon by society. Further Prohibition Act itself provides permit to be granted by the State Government under certain circumstances. The quest ion whether consumption of alcoholic liquor by itself makes a man to be ostracised by society on the ground that he is a man of depraved character has to be decided, in my opinion, not on the basis of a prohibition law prevalent in a particular State but on the basis of the situation in the country as a whole. No doubt, in the State of Tamil Nadu, there is a Prohibition Act, which at the relevant time was more stringent than what it is today. At the same time, there are States in India where there is no prohibition, at all. I am emphasising this aspect only to show that drinking as such is not considered as harmful to society in general or contrary to accepted rules of rights and duties between men and men. I am therefore, of the view that conviction for an offence for consumption of liquor under the Prohibition Act does not amount to an offence involving moral turpitude.”

11. The term “moral turpitude” has generally been taken to mean to be a conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals and contrary to what a man owes to a fellow-man or to society in general. Durga Singh v. State of Punjab, .

12. An act of killing a person is normally attributed to a feeling of hurt or revenge, an act of personal vendetta, per se an act of murder will not come within the broad concept of “moral turpitude”. Kuldeep Singh v. State of Punjab, , in reference to Section 17 and 26 of the Punjab Co-operative Societies Act, (1961).

13. Learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on J.T. 1996 S.C. 155 (Pawan Kumar v. State of Haryana and Anr.), where it was held.

“12. “Moral turpitude” is an expression which is used in legal as also societal parlance to describe conduct which is inherently base, vile, depraved or having any connection showing depravity. The government of Haryana while considering the question of rehabilitation of ex-convicts took a policy decision on February 2, 1973 (Annexure E in the Paper Book), accepting the recommendations of the Government of India, that ex-convicts who were convicted for offences involving moral turpitude should not however be taken in government service. A list of offences which were considered involving moral turpitude was prepared for information and guidance in that connection. Significantly Section 294 IPC is not found enlisted in the list of offences constituting moral turpitude. Later, on further consideration, the government of Haryana on 17/26th March, 1975 explained the policy decision of February 2, 1973 and decided to modify the earlier decision by streamlining determination of moral turpitude as follows:

“…The following terms should ordinarily he applied in judging whether a certain offence involves moral turpitude or not:

(1) whether the act leading to a conviction was such as could shock the moral conscience of society in general.

(2) whether the motive which led to the act was a base one.

(3) whether on account of the act having been committed the perpetrator could be considered to he of a depraved character or a person who was to be looked down upon by the society.

Decision in each case will, however, depend on the circumstances of the case and the competent authority has to exercise its discretion while taking a decision in accordance with the above mentioned principles. A list of offences which involve moral turpitude is enclosed for your information and guidance. This list, however, cannot be said to be exhaustive and there might be offence which are not included in it but which in certain situations and circumstances may involve moral turpitude.”

Section 294 IPC still remains out of the list. Thus the conviction of the appellant under Section 294 IPC on its own would not involve moral turpitude depriving him the opportunity to serve the State unless the facts and circumstances, which led to the conviction, met the requirements of the policy decision above-quoted.”

14. In J.T. 1997(3) SC 544, (Allahabad Bank and Anr. v. Deepak Kumar Bhola) it was held in paragraphs-10 and 11 as under:-

“10. This Court in Pawan Kumar v. State of Haryana and Anr., at page 21 dealt with the question as to what is the meaning of expression “moral turpitude” and it was observed as follows:

” “Moral turpitude” is an expression which is used in legal as also societal parlance to describe conduct which is inherently base, vile, depraved of having any connection showing depravity.”

11. This expression has been more elaborately explained in Baleshwar Singh v. District Magistrate And Collector, Banaras, where it was observed as follows:

“The expression ‘moral turpitude’ is not defined anywhere. But it means anything done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals. It implies depravity and weakness of character or disposition of the person charged with the particular conduct. Every false statement made by a person may not be moral turpitude, but it would be so if it discloses vileness or depravity in the doing of any private and social duty which person owes to his fellowmen or to the society in general. If therefore the individual charged with a certain conduct owes a duty, either to another individual or to the society in general, to act in a specific manner or not to so act and he still acts contrary to it and does so knowingly, his conduct must beheld to be due to vileness and depravity. It will be contrary to accepted customary rule and duty between man and man.” ”

15. Sri P.N. Saxena, learned Senior Counsel, has relied upon a decision of this Court in the case of Rajendra Prasad Pandey v. High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and Anr., 1998 Vol. 3 UPLBEC-2088 and submitted that anything done contrary to justice honesty principle or good moral and social duty, which a man owes to his fellowmen or society in general involves moral turpitude.

16. This Court (Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.K. Agrawal) in its judgement dated 8th November, 2000 passed in Writ Petition No. 36333 of 1999 (Parashu Ram Semwal v. The Registrar, HNH, Garhwal University, Srinagar and Ors.) for conviction of the writ petitioner under Section 60 of the U.P. Excise Act for possessing six pouches of illicit liquor and released under Section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1985 on furnishing bond of Rs. 1000/- and surety of like amount treating on probation period, held that the said guilt of the writ petitioner was found not under the purview of moral turpitude.

17. ‘Moral’ and ‘Morality’ connote the entire virtues of human being, in short justice, discipline, self-control, tolerance, benevolence, generosity, honesty, compassion, devotion to duty and willingness to sell-sacrifice one’s own interest and benefit for the welfare of others. All these human virtues could be covered in morality. It may also be said that these virtues are essential components of good conduct and collectively known as morality. The basic foundation of morality is the willingness to sacrifice one’s own interest for the welfare of people at large. The basic foundation of our Indian Culture is to achieve perpetual and unlimited joy, peace and happiness for everyone
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The human virtues ultimately become the basic foundation of “Dharma’. which is very fundamental essential ingredients for sustenance of one’s life as well as of society, and in nutshell the human virtues ultimately reveal with their qualities in the wide-manifestation to become goodness of good conduct or in short called “Dharma’.

According to ‘Manusmriti’-

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/khfoZ|k lR;eØks/kks n’kd /keZy{k.ke~ AA

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That is, fortitude, forgiveness, self-control, non-coveting, purity, control of sense, power of mind to discriminate between good and bad, learning truthness, absence of anger constitute “Dharma’, which is sum and substance make life style as ‘TO LIVE AND LET LIVE”.

These ten components in the form or signs of ‘Dharma’ indicates to words the fundamental essence of virtues, comprising goodness of good conduct or “SADACHAR’ and obeyance one by one or collectively of these elements is morality and defiance thereto shall lead to moral turpitude.

18. I have heard learned Counsel for the petitioner and perused the records. Applying the principles laid down by this Court in the case of Baleshwar Singh (supra), which have been approved by the Supreme Court in the case of Deepak Kumar Bhola (supra) and in the case of Pawan Kumar (supra) and also in reference to the decision in T.A. Doss (supra), I find that the petitioner for his alleged involvement in an offence under Section 325 of Indian Penal Code could have been dealt with under above Code and conviction for the said act cannot be said to be evaluated on the yardsticks of moral turpitude. Thus, it cannot be said that the petitioner is guilty of an act involving moral turpitude. In view of the above observations, the termination of the petitioner does not appears to be made in consonance to the provisions of law and is in derogation to the principles of natural justice. In these circumstances, the award dated 31st August, 1998 is quashed and writ petition is allowed. However, the petitioner shall be given only 25% of the back-wages as since he has not rendered any work for the period he was away from the employment.

In view of the above observations, writ petition is allowed.

No order as to cost.

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