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INDRA NARAYAN BAJPAI versus STATE OF U.P. THRU' SECRY., RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Indra Narayan Bajpai v. State Of U.P. Thru' Secry., Rural Development And Others - WRIT - A No. - 47316 of 2006 [2007] RD-AH 17854 (15 November 2007)

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Court No. 10

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 47316 of 2006

Indra Narayan Bajpai ........... Petitioner

Vs.

State of U.P. & Others ........... Respondents

***********

Hon'ble Pankaj Mithal, J.

Heard Sri Amit Saxena, learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing counsel.

The petitioner was working as a Senior Clerk in the office of Kshetriya Gram Vikas Sansthan, Bakewer, District Etawah. A disciplinary inquiry was instituted against him and principal of Regional Rural Institute of Development was appointed as an Inquiry Officer. An enquiry report was submitted on 8.11.2005. On the basis of the enquiry report, the District Development Officer, Etawah vide impugned order dated 17th December 2005 passed an order of punishment reverting the petitioner to the post of Junior Clerk. This order has been assailed by the petitioner by means of this writ petition.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has contended that after the enquiry report was submitted neither the copy of the same was supplied to the petitioner nor he was given a show cause notice before passing the impugned order of punishment. Therefore, the impugned order stands vitiated under law being in violation of principal of natural justice.

The petitioner in paragraph 34 of the writ petition has clearly stated that he was never supplied with the copy of the enquiry report nor was given any show cause notice or any opportunity of hearing by the respondent No.3 i.e. the District Development Officer before passing impugned order dated 17.12.2005. In the counter affidavit no specific reply to the aforesaid averments has been given. A perusal of the impugned order also indicates that no show cause notice was given to the petitioner enclosing the copy of the enquiry report before imposing the punishment. There is nothing on record to establish that the copy of the inquiry report was supplied to the petitioner and he was given a show cause notice on its basis before imposing the punishment.

It is settled principle of law that where an inquiry is conducted by a person other than the disciplinary authority, the delinquent is entitled to the copy of the inquiry report and an opportunity to submit a representation against the same. Admittedly, in the case at hand the inquiry was not conducted by the disciplinary authority but was entrusted to the inquiry officer i.e. principal of the Regional Rural Institute of Development. Therefore, it was not open by the disciplinary authority to have straight away passed the order of punishment on the basis of the inquiry report. The disciplinary authority manifestly erred in law and at the same time acted in violation of the principles of natural justice in not making available the inquiry report to the petitioner and affording him an opportunity to represent against the same by giving a show cause notice. Accordingly, the impugned order of punishment cannot be sustained and is liable to be quashed.

As far as the appellate order passed by the District Magistrate, respondent No.2 is concerned it may be noted that the respondent No.2 dismissed the appeal of the petitioner against the order of punishment vide order dated 18.8.2006 (Annexure 10 to the counter affidavit). A glance to the aforesaid order reveals that it is a non-speaking order and is totally uninformed of reasons with regard to the contentions raised by the petitioner in appeal. Moreover, the petitioner was sent communication on 17.7.2006 by the District Development Officer, respondent No.3 that his appeal has been dismissed by the respondent No.2 District Magistrate vide order dated 17.6.2006. This communication is on record as Annexure 12 to the writ petition and is not being denied. However, the appellate order was actually passed on 18.8.2006. Therefore, in view of the above communication, it is not clear as to in what circumstances the appellate order is said to have been passed on 18.8.2006 when the appeal had already been rejected. Therefore, a shadow of doubt is cast upon the genuineness of the appellate order. The appellate order does not even deal with the point for non supply of the inquiry report before inflicting the punishment. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case when the order of punishment itself is fully unsustainable under law, the appellate order also false to the ground and is liable to be quashed.

Accordingly, a writ of certiorari is issued quashing the appellate order dated 18.8.2006 (Annexure 12 to the counter affidavit) and order of punishment dated 17.12.2005 (Annexure 9 to the writ petition). The petition succeeds and is allowed with liberty to the disciplinary authority to pass a fresh order, if necessary, after giving a second show cause notice in accordance with law

Petition allowed with the aforesaid observation.

Dt. 15.11.2007

S.S.


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