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Ram Prasad v. The District Judge, Varanasi & Another - SPECIAL APPEAL No. - 1571 of 2007 [2007] RD-AH 18340 (27 November 2007)

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CJ's Court



Special Appeal No. 1571 of 2007

Ram Prasad, Son of Sri Ram Deo, resident of

Room No. E-50, D.M. Compound, Cantt. Varanasi



1. The District Judge, Varanasi (U.P.)

2. Inquiry Officer/VIth Additional District

Judge, Varanasi

--------- Respondents/Opp. Parties

Present : Mr. Anand Prakash Srivastava, counsel for the appellant

Mr. Amit Asthalekar, counsel for the respondents.

Coram: Hon'ble H.L. Gokhale, C.J.

Hon'ble Pankaj Mithal, J.

Date: 27.11.2007

Oral Judgment (Per: H.L. Gokhale, CJ.)

1. Heard Sri Anand Prakash Srivastava in support of this appeal. Sri Amit Asthalekar appears for the respondents.

2. The appellant is working as class III employee under the first respondent, District Judge, Varanasi (U.P.). A complaint was made against him on 19th September 1991 that at about 1.30 p.m. he had assaulted a class IV employee one Jawahar Lal. A preliminary inquiry was conducted first, thereafter a departmental inquiry was conducted. The order reducing the appellant to lower pay scale has been passed. Against this order a Writ Petition bearing No.53646 of 1999 (Ram Prasad Vs. The District Judge, Varanasi and another) was filed. Learned Single Judge has dismissed the writ petition and hence this appeal has been filed.

3. Mr. Srivastava, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that principles of natural justice were violated. The appellant did not get an opportunity of hearing. From the final order which has been passed it is seen that on the request of the appellant four persons were examined in the inquiry. They were the complainant namely, Jawahar Lal, and Gulab Singh, Mani Lal and Surendra Kumar Pandey. The appellant has participated in the inquiry and he has given his statement. Thereafter, the inquiry officer has accepted the version given by the complainant Jawahar Lal only.

4. The complaint of Jawahar Lal is that on the particular day the appellant is reported to have abused him by taking the names of his mother and sister and thereafter has twisted his arm and beaten him. He has also made grievance that the appellant stated that the complainant belongs to lower community and had become too important.

5. There is also a complaint by another employee one Gulab Singh that the appellant had eaten 'Pan' and thereafter he indulged into spitting and spoiled the dress of that complainant Gulab Singh.

6. The statement of witness No.3 Mani Lal has supported the version of Jawahar Lal that there was an altercation between him and Ram Prasad. He also stated that Ram Prasad apologized in his presence.

7. It has also come on record of another witness Surendra Kumar Pandey, who is a typist typed the complaint that the delinquent has questioned him for not informing him when the complaint was lodged against him.

8. It is basically indicated that the delinquent was behaving in an intemperate manner. The supporting statement of Mani Lal and that of S.K. Pandey read with the complainant Jawahar Lal have been accepted by the inquiry officer.

9. In the departmental inquiry the inquiry officer has to proceed on the basis of the probabilities. The three statements led him to accept that the complaint has been established. From the report given by the inquiry officer it is seen that the appellant had participated in the proceeding, his explanation has also been considered and the inquiry officer has thereafter come to the conclusion that the misconduct has been established. We do not find that there is violation of principles of natural justice or findings in any way are not justified.

9. Mr. Srivastava submitted that the punishment of reducing the appellant to the lower pay scale was not justified as it was a major punishment. As far as this aspect is concerned it is for the disciplinary authority to consider the gravity of misconduct and to impose appropriate punishment. Be that as it may be, the appellant is working in the District Court and the employees who are working in the Court and for that matter in any public employment has to observe the rules and discipline. If an employee beats up a sub-ordinate employee the conduct certainly calls for an appropriate punishment. The disciplinary authority has not rushed to pass a severe punishment in the nature of the dismissal or removal but has only reduced the appellant to the lower pay scale.

10. In our view, it cannot be said the inquiry officer awarded disproportionate punishment. Learned Single Judge has not erred in any way in dismissing the writ petition.

10. The appeal is dismissed.

Dt. 27.11.2007


(Chief Justice)

(Pankaj Mithal, J.)


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