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
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
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.)