Loading...
Responsive image

Indian Overseas Bank Represented … vs R. Sathyamurthi on 7 September, 1993

Madras High Court
Indian Overseas Bank Represented … vs R. Sathyamurthi on 7 September, 1993
Equivalent citations: (1994) IMLJ 115
Author: K Swami
Bench: K Swami, Somasundaram


JUDGMENT

K.A. Swami, C.J.

1. This writ appeal is preferred against the order dated 19.3.1992 passed by the learned single Judge in W. P. No. 2273 of 1984. In the writ petition, the respondent herein sought for quashing the order in Ref. No. DO : GM; 664, dated 3.12.1975 issued by the General Manager of the appellant/Bank, terminating the services of the respondent. Learned single Judge has allowed the writ petition on the ground that the order passed by the appellate authority is not a speaking order, and consequently has directed the appellate authority to reconsider the appeal afresh. Hence, the Bank has come up in appeal.

2. We have been taken through the proceedings of the Board which are found in pages 82 to 85 of the typed set and also the findings of the enquiring authority which are found in pages 56 to 64 of the typed set. From the order of the learned single Judge it is apparent that the proceedings of the Board have not been looked into. What has been taken into consideration is only the communication sent to the respondent informing him that his services are terminated. That communication has been issued pursuant to the decision of the Board incorporated in the proceedings of the Board. We are of the view that instead of stating as to what is contained in the proceedings of the Board, it is appropriate to reproduce the same, which is as follows :

“Memorandum to the Board

(For Information)

Central Office :

Head of subject : Staff – Supervising Nature of subject : Shri R. Satyamoorthy, Shri R. Satyamoorthy, an officer of our Bank was dismissed by us on 27.8.1975 for committing breach of the Rules of the Bank and for doing acts detrimental to its interest while he was working as Manager of Swamiarmadam Branch. Against the order of dismissal, he has now preferred an appeal to the Board of Directors under Rule 36 of the Rules governing the service of officers.

Brief Summary of the case : Shri R. Satyamoorthy was charge-sheeted for committing breach of the rules of the Bank and for displaying negligence, inefficiency and indifference and for knowingly acting to the detriment of the Bank’s interest under the following circumstances :

He passed unauthorised debits in suspense account as advance towards LFC and utilised such amounts for his monetary needs, without undertaking any journey. He failed to refund a sum of Rs. 125.51 drawn by him from the Bank in excess of the T. A. bill sanctioned to him as early as on 15.9.1971.

He misappropriated a sum of Rs. 100 being the provision made for electricity charges and held in the branch sundry creditors account on 29.12.1973.

He had failed to check the branch Despatch Register as a result of which a sum of Rs. 110.45 was found to have been debited to charges account (postages) in excess of the actual postages incurred.

He granted personal loans to some members of the staff and public, but did not ensure that they actually purchased the articles for which the loans were granted. He allowed members of staff to draw medical aid expenses in excess of their entitlements.

According to the findings of the enquiry officer, the irregularities committed by the member are serious in that he abused his powers as Manager of the Branch and displayed negligence and inefficiency and knowingly acted in a manner detrimental to the interests of the Bank. On the basis of the findings of the enquiry officer, Shri R. Satyamoorthy was dismissed from service with effect from 27.8.1975. Aggrieved by this dismissal order, he has preferred this appeal from consideration of the Board of Directors.

The members in his appeal has stated that he had not done anything which was resulted in a loss to the Bank and that he was not given access to the books and files during the enquiry. He also contends that the recording of the proceedings of the enquiry has led to distortion of facts and the omissions and misleading comments have resulted in wrong conclusions.

There is nothing on record to show that the member made a request to the enquiry officer, to allow him to have access to the books and files during the enquiry. The very fact that Shri R. Satyamoorthy has certified in the enquiry proceedings that the recordings were made in his presence and that it is a true and complete record of the proceedings and that every opportunity has been given to him to defend himself, goes to prove that his above contentions are baseless.

He contends that due to deferment of his transfer he could not proceed on LFC and foreseeing that he would not be able to complete the journey in accordance with the rules, he refunded the advance of Rs. 750 on 19.2.1974, availed of earlier. But in the enquiry he has admitted that he debited suspense account with Rs. 700/- on 30.1.1974 as advance for LFC to respond to a debit made by Chinnasalem Branch on account of his R. D. account. He has also admitted that he reversed this entry on 19.2.1974 when the amount was received from Chinnasalem Branch. He has expressed his regret for passing such unauthorised transaction in suspense account. He also admitted that he did not refund the sum of Rs. 121.51 due by him to the Bank in respect of his T. A. bill sanctioned for a reduced amount.

He contends that there was no need for him to misappropriate the amount of Rs. 100/- debited to sundry creditors account on 18.1.1974. In the enquiry though he denied having received the amount himself, he could not explain how the amount was disposed of and why it was not credited to charges account. His contention that the relative voucher was not passed for payment, did not bear the pay cash stamp, Manager’s signature or recipient’s signature on the back of the voucher do not hold good since he has entered the same in the scroll as the last item for the day and has also admitted at the enquiry that voucher was omitted to be passed by oversight.

His contention that he should be exonerated from the charge that he granted loans to members of the staff and public although they did not actually purchased the articles for which the loans were granted cannot be accepted since he himself admitted at the enquiry that he granted loans on the request of the members to meet their urgent/medical aid needs.

The punishment meted out to him is mainly for passing unauthorised debits in suspense account, misappropriating a sum of Rs. 100/- negligence in checking the despatch registers resulting in excess debits to charge (postages), granting personal loans to staff and the public although they did not purchase the articles, allowing members of staff to draw medical aid expenses in excess of their entitlements. It has been clearly established in the enquiry that he abused his powers as Manager of the branch, committed breach of the rules of the Bank and displayed negligence, inefficiency and indifference and knowingly acted to the detriment of the Bank’s interest.

As Manage of the branch, it was highly irregular on his part to have committed the above acts with dishonest intentions for which the punishment of dismissal cannot be said to be unjustified.

The following matters relating to Shri R. Satyamoorthy’s case leading to his dismissal are attached for consideration of the Board of Directors :

1. Enquiry Officer’s finding dated 10.4.1975 (including charge-sheet).

2. Show-cause notice dated 30.4.1975.

3. Shri R. Satyamoorthy’s reply dated 31.5.1975.

4. Dismissal order dated 27.8.1975.

5. Shri R. Satyamoorthy’s appeal dated 4.10.1975.


 

Sd/-   S.V.S. 22/11 

         GENERAL     

Sd/-       K.R.     

      CHIEF OFFICER 

         MANAGER     

        INSPECTION    

Disposal by the Board
He may be treated as
having been terminated
instead of dismissal. 

       Sd/         

GENERAL MANAGER".  
 

It is thus clear that the Board has gone into all the charges and the findings recorded by the enquiry officer and thereafter it has decided to treat the punishment of dismissal imposed by the disciplinary authority into one of termination. The entire proceedings that was placed before the Board would become part of the decision of the Board. As already pointed out, what was communicated to the respondent was only the ultimate decision. The reasons are contained in the proceedings which have been reproduced above. That being so, it is not possible to agree with the learned single Judge that the order of the Board is not a speaking order. In addition to this, this is a case in which the disciplinary authority recorded findings on each one of the charges on the basis of the findings recorded by the enquiry authority. Sufficient reasons are contained in the order of the enquiring authority. Therefore, it was not necessary for the appellate authority to go into the matter in detail and detail reasons, if such reasons are available in the original order. However, as already pointed out, the Board has gone into the matter in detail. In a case where the reasons are contained in the findings recorded by the enquiry officer and even if the appellate authority does not go into them in detail, the order may not be vitiated as held by the Supreme Court in S. N. Mukherjee v. Union of India, . Under these circumstances, we are of the view that the order of the Board did not suffer from any infirmity. Therefore, we see no justification to quash the same. In view of the conclusion we have reached, it is not necessary to consider the contention urged by Mr. N. G. R. Prasad that the petitioner/respondent was guilty of laches and as such he was not entitled to any relief in a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India.

3. For the reasons stated above, the writ appeal is allowed. The order passed in W. P. No. 2273 of 1984 dated 19.3.1992 is set aside and the said writ petition is dismissed. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Information