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Patna High Court – Orders
Vi Nod Kant Jha vs The State Of Bihar & Ors on 14 September, 2011
                 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA
                                       LPA No.854 of 2011
                 Vinod Kant Jha, s/o Late Haldhar Jha, resident of village-Haripur Gauri
                 Das Tole, P.O.-Haripur Dih Tole, P.S.-Kaluwahi (Khajauli) District-
                 Madhubani................................................Petitioner/Appellant
                                                Versus
                 1. The State of Bihar.
                 2. The Secretary-cum-Commissioner of Department of Irrigation,
                     Govt. of Bihar, Patna.
                 3. Engineer-in-chief, Department of Irrigation, Govt. of Bihar, Patna.
                 4. Secretary, Rural Development Department, Govt. of Bihar, Patna.
                 5. Chief Engineer, Rural Engineering Organisation No. II.
                     Bishwaswaraiya Bhawan, Bailey Road, Patna.
                 6. The Executive Engineer, rural Engineering Organisation, Works
                     Division, Darbhanga, District-Darbhanga.
                 7. The District Magistrate, Darbhanga.
                 8. B.D.O., Jaley Block District Darbhanga.
                 9. State of Jharkhand through the Administrator Swarn Rekha Project,
                     Department of Irrigation, Adityapur Swarn Rekha Bhawan,
                     Adityapur, District-Jamshedpur.
                 10. Chief Engineer Rural Engineering Organisation Swarn Rekha
                     Bhawan Adityapur, District Jamshedpur.
                 11. Superintending Engineer Rural Engineering Organisation, khar kai
                     Dam Circle, Adityapur, District-Jamshedpur.
                 12. Executive Engineer, Minor Distribution Division-III Dimna Mango,
                     Jamshedpur. ...................................................Respondents

                    For the appellant             :        Mr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
                                                           Mr. Abinash Kr. Sinha
                    For the State of Bihar        :        Mr. Maheshwar Dhar Dwivedi
                                                           SC- 23
                                                           Mr. Sudhir Kumar Singh
                                                           AC to SC 23
                    For the State of Jharkhand    :        Mr. N.N.Ojha.

                                             -----------

3. 14.9.2011 Heard the parties in respect of I.A. No. 3791/2011 filed

under Section 5 of the Limitation Act. For the reasons mentioned

therein, the delay of 164 days is condoned. I.A. stands allowed.

Heard learned counsel for the appellant, learned counsel

for the State of Bihar and learned counsel for the State of

Jharkhand.

2

The facts of this case are slightly peculiar. As an

Assistant Engineer posted in Swarn Rekha Project which is now

under Jharkhand. The appellant was transferred from that project

at Jamshedpur (Division-3) to Rajnagar (Division-12). According

to the appellant, in spite of his repeated request such as made in

Annexue-4 to the writ petition dated 3.3.1992 and Annexure-5

series, he was relieved without taking proper charge from him of

the Stores which included a stock of tiles. Ultimately the appellant

was able to hand over charge on 17.1.2001 and on account of

broken and unusable conditions of the tiles, a demand of Rs.

1,51,000/- (One lakh and fifty one thousand) was made from the

appellant. The appellant explained all the circumstances, and

thereafter the authorities vide decision communicated through

letter dated 19.12.2001 Annexure-8 to the writ petition passed an

order for recovery of Rs. 85,800/- (Eighty five thousand and eight

hundred) only which was to be made from the appellant. He filed

representations and ultimately writ petition against the aforesaid

decision. That writ petition bearing No. 12247 of 2004 has been

dismissed by the order under appeal dated 26th October, 2010.

We find that on account of neglect or deliberate act the

State was put to loss and for that it was entitled to recover the

amount in question from the guilty person.

According to the submission advanced before us, the

concerned Executive Engineer who ignored the request of the
3

appellant for taking charge in March, 1992 should be held

responsible for the loss caused to the State.

Had the said Executive Engineer been a party by name,

we could have issued notice to him to have his version but

unfortunately the then Executive Engineer is neither a party in the

writ petition nor in the appeal. Even if we, prima facie, accept the

contention of the appellant that the then Executive Engineer or his

successor Executive Engineer of Division No. 3 at Dimna Mango,

Jamshedpur was responsible for damage or loss to the State and

even if it be further presumed that the appellant is correct in

alleging that he was always ready to hand over charge which was

not accepted by the authorities at Division-3, we find difficulty in

deciding the issue finally.

In view of the facts noted above, while dismissing this

appeal, we grant liberty to the appellant that if he is so advised, he

may sue the concerned officials who prevented him from handing

over the charge and claim the loss which has been recovered from

him or further damages, in accordance with law.

(Shiva Kirti Singh, J.)

(Shivaji Pandey, J.)

Mkc/


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