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Kunwar Lal Ex-Constable v. Union Of India Thru' Chief Secy. And Others - WRIT - A No. - 22765 of 2004 [2007] RD-AH 18387 (28 November 2007)

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Court No. 32

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 22765 of 2004

Kunwar Lal, Ex-Constable


Union of India and others

Hon'ble Sudhir Agarwal, J.

Heard Sri I.P. Yadav, learned counsel for the petitioner and learned Standing Counsel and Sri Shashank Shekhar Singh for the respondents.

The petitioner who was working as Constable in Central Reserve Police Force (in short "CRPF") was found guilty of unauthorised absence from 27.02.2002 to 01.06.2002. During the aforesaid period he was also detained and kept in jail from 09.02.2002 to 27.03.2002 but this fact was not disclosed to the disciplinary authority. Consequently disciplinary proceedings were conducted against the petitioner vide charge sheet dated 17.09.2002 and after holding departmental inquiry the aforesaid charges were found proved by the inquiry officer. The disciplinary authority vide order dated 10.03.2003 imposed punishment of dismissal whereagainst the petitioner preferred an appeal before D.I.G. CRPF, Allahabad who rejected the same vide order dated 23.10.2003. The petitioner preferred a revision before I.G. CRPF who has also considered the same and by a detailed reasoned order dated 25.05.2004, the revision of the petitioner has been rejected. Aggrieved by the aforesaid orders, the petitioner has approached this Court by means of the present writ petition seeking a writ of certiorari for quashing the aforesaid orders.

Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that he was ill and had submitted medical documents during the course of inquiry but the same has not been considered by the inquiry officer. He further contended that the punishment imposed upon him does not commensurate to the gravity of charges levelled against him and is excessive.

So far as the first submission is concerned, the petitioner has placed before this Court the alleged medical treatment document dated 17.05.2002 of one S.D. Nursing Home, Mauranipur Road (Ramnagar Tiraha) Gursarai showing that he was under treatment on the said date and was administered simple common disease medicines like Combiflam tablet, Culiv syrup, Alb tablet etc. There is nothing on record to show that he was ill from 27.01.2002 and onwards and was not in position to inform the department about his illness seeking medical leave by furnishing adequate medical certificate of the competent authority. Moreover, the inquiry officer has considered the entire aspect of the matter and has recorded a finding of fact that the petitioner was guilty of both the charges. The matter has also been examined by the appellate and revisional authority in detail. Learned counsel for the petitioner could not point out any perversity in the findings of fact.

So far as the second submission is concerned, scope of judicial review in the matter of quantum of punishment is very narrow and limited. Unauthorised absence and that too by a member of para military force of CRPF cannot be taken lightly but it is a serious misconduct on the part of the member of the disciplined force. Moreover, the petitioner was also found guilty of concealing material fact regarding his involvement in a criminal case and detention in jail. Both the charges reflects on the conduct of the petitioner. Learned counsel for the petitioner relied upon the judgment of Apex Court in Ranjit Thakur Vs. Union of India and others, 1987 (4) SCC 611 and Union of India and others Vs. Dwarka Prasad Tiwari, 2007 (1) UPLBEC 218. Having gone through both these judgements this Court found that instead of helping the petitioner, the same fortify the above view taken by this Court hereunder.

Lastly, learned counsel for the petitioner also contended that in the criminal case he was acquitted and therefore, the punishment of dismissal is wholly illegal. The record shows that the criminal case against the petitioner was for different facts and allegations and the charges in domestic inquiry have no connection with the criminal case as such. Moreover, the criminal proceedings are different than the departmental proceedings and once employee has been found guilty in departmental proceedings the punishment imposed pursuant thereto cannot be said to be vitiated only on the ground that the incumbent has been acquitted in the criminal case. Learned counsel for the petitioner could not point out any error in decision making process having the effect of denying adequate opportunity of defence. In the departmental matters unless it is found that the incumbent has been denied adequate opportunity of defence or that the procedure adopted in the departmental inquiry is contrary to the rules having the effect of denying opportunity to the employee concerned or the conclusion drawn by the authorities is perverse, the Court shall not interfere with the order passed by the authority.

No error has been pointed out in the impugned orders. The writ petition, therefore, lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.




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