Mr. R.L. Rathore vs Delhi Power Supply Co. Ltd. on 3 September, 2003

Delhi High Court
Mr. R.L. Rathore vs Delhi Power Supply Co. Ltd. on 3 September, 2003
Equivalent citations: 2003 VIAD Delhi 268, 106 (2003) DLT 566, 2003 (71) DRJ 655, 2003 LablC 3284, 2004 (2) SLJ 265 Delhi
Author: V Jain
Bench: V Jain


JUDGMENT

Vijender Jain, J.

1. Rule.

2. Petitioner aggrieved by the action of the respondent imposing a penalty of 30 % cut in pension for a period of five years has filed the present writ petition. Counsel for the petitioner has contended that petitioner was issued three charge sheet. The first charge sheet was issued on 31.10.1990. Reply to the said charge sheet was filed by the petitioner. No action was taken on the said charge sheet by the respondent. Second charge sheet was issued on 14.3.1995 and reply was filed by the petitioner. No action was taken by the respondent. Subsequently, on 18.2.1997 another memo was issued to the petitioner. Reply was filed by the petitioner. Inquiry officer was appointed. On 20.4.98, Inquiry Officer gave the report that there was no substance of charges against the petitioner. Thereafter, another memo dated 28.12.99 was issued by Disciplinary Authority, disagreeing with the finding of the Enquiry Authority. Counsel for the petitioner has contended that Disciplinary Authority although had a right to disagree with the report of the Inquiry Authority but no reason whatsoever was stated in the memo dated 28.12.99, disagreeing with the finding of the Inquiry Authority, which is at page 101 of the paper book. It was further contended that in view of the law laid down by this Court as well as Supreme Court as the respondent itself has given promotion to the petitioner on 5.12.96 without any demur that the promotion was subject to the order of disciplinary proceedings, it was presumed that the same was condoned. Reliance has been placed on the judgment of Division Bench of this Court in Than Singh v. Union of India 104(2003) Delhi Law Times 25 as well as judgment of Division Bench of Madhya Pradesh in Lal Audhraj Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh 1968 SLR 88 and decision of Karnataka High Court in Kamath v. K.S.R. T.C. 1985 (3)SLR. It was also contended that there was inordinate delay in issuing the charge sheet.

3. On the other hand counsel for the respondent has contended that after issuance of the second charge sheet on 14.3.95 and after receiving the reply from the respondent the matter was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission and Central Vigilance Commission directed the respondent to initiate major penalty proceedings against the petitioner and in pursuance of the said direction of Central Vigilance Commission, enquiry was conducted. It was further contended that after receiving the report of the enquiry officer the same was referred to Central Vigilance Commission to obtain second stage confirmation from Central Vigilance Commission. However, Central Vigilance Commission was of the opinion that Disciplinary Authority should disagree with the report of the Inquiry Authority and that is why the memo disagreeing with the report of the Inquiry Authority was given to the petitioner.

4. I have given my careful considerations to the arguments advanced by the counsel for the parties. It is strange that when the first charge sheet was given in 1990, no action was taken till 1995. In 1995 second charge sheet was issued. Reply was received by respondent and the matter was referred to Central Vigilance Commission who directed the respondent to initiate major disciplinary proceedings against the petitioner. Pursuant to that enquiry was conducted. Enquiry Officer has recorded that it was a case of no evidence. The same is to the following effect:

“So taking into account, the above mentioned reasons, the writer of the above said documents has not been produced to corroborate the contents, therefore, the documents cannot be admitted in any manner in support of the charge or to give any findings based thereon. I, therefore, conclude that the charges levelled against Shri R.L. Rathore, Dy. Director (Rev)E. No. 11398, do not stand proved.”

5. It is a well settled proposition of law that the Disciplinary Authority for cogent reasons may disagree with the findings of Enquiry Authority. The observation of Disciplinary Authority in paragraph 3 of memo dated 28.12.99 is to the following effect:

“This representation was said to have been made to FA & CAO and Dy. CO. Since FA & CAO had not issued such instructions in all probability this was done by CO. thus the article of Charge-I stands proved.

From the aforesaid observation, it seems that Disciplinary Authority without applying its mind on the dictate of Central Vigilance Commission disagreed with the finding of the Enquiry Authority. It will be clear from the letter dated 18.11.99 written by Central Vigilance Commission in this regard to the Disciplinary Authority. Paragraph 2.1 of the said letter is to the following effect:

” Since FA & CAO had not issued such instructions, in probability this was done by Shri Rathore. Thus, the Article of charge I may be held as ‘PROVED’.”

6. The order of Disciplinary Authority shows complete non application of mind as well as abdication of this authority as observation of the Central Vigilance commission has been bodily lifted in the memo of disagreement. Even otherwise when the petitioner was promoted on 5.12.1996, in the promotion order it was not mentioned that the promotion of the petitioner was subject to the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding. As a matter of fact in DDA v. Ashok Kumar SLP(Civil) 24710/95, decided on 25th March, 1996, Supreme Court held which is to the following effect:

“It is further well-settled that when a person is promoted without any demur whatsoever, unless it is shown that his promotion was subject to the order of disciplinary proceedings either contemplated or pending, it would be presumed that the same has been condoned.”

7. Looking from any angle the order of Disciplinary Authority cannot stand scrutiny of law. The same is hereby quashed. Petitioner shall be entitled to all consequential benefits.

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