Posted On by &filed under High Court, Karnataka High Court.


Karnataka High Court
Federation Of Canara Bank … vs Canara Bank on 14 August, 2000
Equivalent citations: (2001) ILLJ 932 Kant
Author: V G Gowda
Bench: V G Gowda


ORDER

V. Gopala Gowda, J.

1. The first petitioner is a Trade Union and second petitioner is an employee of Canara Bank, They have filed this writ petition seeking to quash Annexure L dated January 31, 1994 by which penalty of censure was imposed on the 2nd respondent and Annexure M dated February 21, 1994 by which the 2nd petitioner was called upon to reimburse Rs. 23,000-00 along with interest. The order of imposing penalty of censure was preceded by a departmental enquiry on the charge of shortage of money.

2. A detailed statement of objections is filed on behalf of the Bank justifying the impugned orders. Mr. T.R.K. Prasad, learned counsel appearing for the respondent Bank sought to justify the impugned orders. According to him, since the other Clerk has admitted the loss of money and has paid the same, the petitioner is guilty of the charge. He further submits that since opportunity was given to the petitioner, this Court shall not interfere with the impugned orders.

3. Perused the impugned orders and the enquiry records. The main ground of attack is that the Enquiry Officer has relied upon the statement of co-delinquent who was not examined in the enquiry proceedings and consequently, the petitioner had no opportunity to cross-examine him. A perusal of the enquiry report at Annexure H reveals that two witnesses had been examined on behalf of the management. The statement of one G.G. Shenoy had been relied upon without examining him and without tendering him for cross-examination. Hence, the findings recorded by the Enquiry Officer are vitiated. The Disciplinary Authority has not taken into consideration this aspect of the matter. Hence the impugned order at Annexure L passed by him is bad in law.

4. The Appellate Authority has also failed to consider the aforesaid aspect. Hence the order at Annexure L also cannot be sustained.

5. So far as the demand made for refund of the amount under Annexure M is concerned, it is without jurisdiction. No liability is fixed on the 2nd petitioner. When the Disciplinary Authority himself has not ordered for refund of the same, the Divisional Manager who has issued Annexure M could not have asked the 2nd petitioner to refund the amount without determining the liability of the second petitioner. Further the finding recorded by the Enquiry Officer based on the statement of co-delinquent employee is the basis and foundation for issuing the impugned demand notice at Annexure H without proving the charge of the alleged shortage caused to the respondent and fixing the liability upon this petitioner the impugned demand notice is vitiated in law. The impugned demand notice issued by the respondent is also bad in law for another reason that the respondent should not have placed reliance upon the erroneous finding recorded by the Enquiry Officer, as he has placed reliance upon the statement of co-delinquent employee who is a cash clerk without examining him in the enquiry and tendered him for cross-examination by this petitioner which finding is not only erroneous and the same is in violation of the principles of natural justice.

6. For the aforesaid reasons, petition is allowed and the impugned orders at Annexures L, M and R are quashed. Liberty is reserved to the respondents to re-do the matter, if they are so advised.


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