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Suresh Chandra v. Union Of India And Others - WRIT - A No. 12143 of 2006 [2006] RD-AH 4804 (28 February 2006)


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Court No. 34

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 12143 of 2006

Suresh Chandra Vs. Union of India and others


Hon. Dr. B.S. Chauhan, J.

Hon. Dilip Gupta, J.

This writ petition has been filed for quashing the judgment and order dated 5.1.2006 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Allahabad Bench, Allahabad in Original Application No. 162 of 1999.

The original application had been filed for quashing the order of dismissal from service. This order was passed after holding a detailed enquiry against the petitioner. The charge against the petitioner was that even though the petitioner had signed the documents relating to the samples taken during the course of inspection in the pantry car of the train but later on he retracted from the same. Learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to point out any infirmity in the enquiry proceedings and all that he contended was that the punishment imposed upon the petitioner was disproportionate to the charges levelled against him.

In B.C. Chaturvedi V. Union of India and others, (1995) 6 SCC 749, which has been referred to in the aforesaid decision, the Supreme Court after referring to a number of its earlier decisions observed as under:-

" A review of the above legal position would establish that the disciplinary authority, and on appeal the appellate authority, being fact-finding authorities have exclusive power to consider the evidence with ad view to maintain discipline. They are invested with the discretion to impose appropriate punishment keeping in view the magnitude or gravity of the misconduct. The High Court/Tribunal, while exercising the power of judicial review, cannot normally substitute its own conclusion on penalty and impose some other penalty. If the punishment imposed by the disciplinary authority or the appellate authority shocks the conscience of the High Court/Tribunal, it would appropriately mould the relief, either directing the disciplinary/appellate authority to reconsider the penalty imposed, or to shorten the litigation, it may itself, in exceptional and rare cases, impose appropriate punishment with cogent reasons in support thereof."

In V.Ramana Vs. A.P.SRTC & Ors., (2005) 7 SCC 338 the Hon'ble Supreme Court observed :-

"The common thread running through in all these decisions is that the court should not interfere with the administrator's decision unless it was illogical or suffers from procedural impropriety or was shocking to the conscience of the court, in the sense that it was in defiance of logic or moral standards. In view of what has been stated in Wednesbury case the court would not go into the correctness of the choice made by the administrator open to him and the court should not substitute its decision for that of the administrator. The scope of judicial review is limited to the deficiency in decision-making process and not the decision.

To put it differently unless the punishment imposed by the disciplinary authority or the Appellate Authority shocks the conscience of the court/Tribunal, there is no scope for interference. Further to shorten litigations it may, in exceptional and rare cases, impose appropriate punishment by recording cogent reasons in support thereof. In a normal course if the punishment imposed is shockingly disproportionate it would be appropriate to direct the disciplinary authority or the Appellate Authority to reconsider the penalty imposed." (Emphasis supplied)

In Regional Manager, U.P. SRTC, Etawah & Anr. Vs. Hoti Lal & Anr. (2003) 3 SCC 605 the Supreme Court observed as under:-

"If the charged employee holds a position of trust where honesty and integrity are inbuilt requirements of functioning, it would not be proper to deal with the matter leniently. Misconduct in such cases has to be dealt with iron hands. Where the person deals with public money or is engaged in financial transactions or acts in a fiduciary capacity, the highest degree of integrity and trustworthiness is a must and unexceptionable. Judged in that background, conclusions of the Division Bench of the High Court do not appear to be proper. We set aside the same and restore order of the learned Single Judge upholding the order of dismissal." (emphasis supplied)

The aforesaid decisions of the Supreme Court clearly emphasise that it is only when the punishment imposed by the Disciplinary Authority shocks the conscience of the High Court that it can interfere in the matter. In the present case, we have examined the materials on record but find nothing, which may even remotely shock the conscience of the Court. We, therefore, see no ground to interfere with the order of dismissal or with the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal rejecting the original application.

The writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed.

Dt/- 28.2.2006



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