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VED PRAKASH MOWAR versus CHAIRMAN/MANAGING DIRECTOR P.N.B. & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Ved Prakash Mowar v. Chairman/Managing Director P.N.B. & Others - WRIT - A No. 32935 of 2002 [2007] RD-AH 2513 (14 February 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 OF ALLAHABAD

Court No.31

Civil Misc.Writ Petition No. 32935 of 2002

*********

Ved Prakash Mowar   -----------Petitioner.

Vs.

Chairman/Managing Director, Punjab National Bank,

K7-Bhikaji Kama Palace, New Delhi & others.     -----------Respondents.

Hon'ble Bharati Sapru, J.

Heard learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri Pankaj Srivastava and Sri K.L Grover, learned Senior Counsel assisted by Sri Arun Sharma for the respondent Bank.

The present petition has been filed by the petitioner against three orders. The order dated 23.7.2001 (Annexure-14 to the writ petition) which is an order of punishment by which the petitioner has been given a major penalty of  "Removal from service which shall not be a disqualification for future employment". The Second order is  the order passed in appeal against the order dated 23.7.2001 and the appellate order dated 22.11.2001 confirms the order of punishment (Annexure-16 to the writ petition). The third order is dated 27.3.2002 (Annexure-18 to the writ petition), which is the order in review and also concurs with the appellate order.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner was initially appointed on 14.6.1980 as a clerk-cum-cashier in Punjab National Bank, after facing regular selection. The petitioner got promotions from time to time and at the relevant time i.e. On 9.6.1997 when the petitioner was placed under suspension he was posted as Assistant Manager in the PNB in CBEC, Cell, Meerut. The starting point of trouble in the present case is the date  9.6.1997 when the Senior Regional Manager of the PNB issued an order placing the petitioner under suspension with immediate effect in view of serious irregularities committed by the petitioner while working as Assistant Manager Loans at the Branch Office Bombay Bazar, Meerut. Thereafter a letter was sent to the petitioner on 8.2.1999 by which the bank sought to recover the sum of Rs. 53060.58/- from the petitioner. This amount was sought to be recovered against the petitioner under several heads which were detailed in the accompanying letter, which  are quoted below:-

(i) An amount of Rs. 1000/- was in excess taken in the account of New   Agarwal Printing Press for Insurance Premium.

(ii) In the housing loan taken by the petitioner himself there was alleged   misappropriation of Rs. 12457.58.

(iii) An amount of Rs.1117/- exists as an interest on the housing   loan of the petitioner from 15.1.1997 to 14.8.1997.

(iv) The loan amount in the case of Hamid Ahmad an amount of Rs. 12040/- was adjusted wrongly, similarly in the case of Rajesh Verma an amount of Rs.9100/- was adjusted.

(v) An amount of Rs.50/- in the sumptury head of one S.G. Awasthi is also shown.

The petitioner sent a detailed reply to this letter dated 8.2.1999 on 19.2.1999 the reply of the petitioner is on record as "Annexure-3" to the writ petition. The petitioner admitted his mistakes categorically in the said reply and assured the bank that he would not in future commit any mistakes and perform his duties with utmost sincerity and devotion.

Thereafter a charge sheet was issued on 25.1.2000. The Charge sheet contained 25 charges and thereafter an amended charge sheet was given to the petitioner on 28.7.2000. The petitioner thereafter gave a very detailed reply to the charge sheet. The enquiry was then set in motion and the petitioner participated fully in the enquiry. The enquiry officer submitted his report, the enquiry report was given to the petitioner and on the basis of the enquiry report the impugned order of punishment was passed on 23.7.2001, being aggrieved by the order imposing the punishment on 23.7.2001, the petitioner preferred an appeal before the appellate authority who confirmed the order of punishment by his order dated 22.11.2001 against which the petitioner preferred a review and the review filed by the petitioner  too has been rejected by the reviewing authority.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has made lengthy arguments. The first argument made by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the bank has framed rules to place an officer under suspension and a very elaborate procedure has been laid down under the said rules which is to be followed  before an official can be placed under suspension. Learned counsel for the petitioner has also placed before this Court the regulation which states that once an order of suspension has passed against an officer the competent authority should take all possible steps to  serve the charge sheet to the suspended employee within three months from the date of suspension and thereafter the disciplinary action which is initiated against the suspended officer should be personally monitored by the competent authority/disciplinary authority so as to ensure that the same is decided within a time bound programme and expeditiously.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has also taken the Court through the regulation which provides for time limits for fixing the staff accountability which contemplates that normally audits and inspections would be completed within 3 and 4 years and no disciplinary proceeding would ordinarily lie against any official for any lapse not detected within two successive internal regular audits/ inspections of the same account for 4 years from the date of event whichever is later. The time limit, however, has no application in cases of fraud criminal offences or cases where other malafide are alleged. Other such procedure has also been pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioner. The argument in short is that before passing the order of suspension the procedure which was to be applied  was not fully applied.

The second argument of learned counsel for the petitioner is that in fact when the bank detected the irregularities made by the petitioner it issued a letter of recovery dated 8.2.1999 detailing seven heads. It is the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner that this letter of demand was issued invoking rule 4-D of the Punjab National Bank Discipline and Appeal Rules, 1977, which is quoted below:-

(d) Recovery from pay or such other amount as may be due to him of the whole or part of  any pecuniary loss caused to the bank by negligence or breach of orders.

The argument is that the bank sought to impose only a minor punishment on the petitioner and had not proposed to impose any major penalty such as dismissal or other major penalty on the petitioner, in furtherance of this argument the petitioner states that it is because of this letter of demand dated 8.2.1999 that the petitioner replied on 19.2.99 and admitted and owned his responsibility towards the seven irregularities which were committed by him and, therefore, also rectified the mistakes made by him and in the end result learned counsel for the petitioner argues that no loss was caused to the bank.

The next argument of learned counsel for the petitioner is that the entire proceedings initiated against the petitioner are vitiated on account of the fact that the bank took 31 months to issue a charge sheet against the petitioner. The order of suspension was passed on 9.6.97 and the charge sheet was issued on 25.1.2000 whereas under the regulations applicable a charge sheet is to be normally issued within a period of three months from the date of suspension.

The next argument made by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the charge sheet which was issued against the petitioner was not specific not precise but rather it was vague and had been issued after inordinate and unexplained delay. However, this is an argument  which is being made at the stage of final hearing in the writ petition prior to this, this plea was never taken either before enquiry officer or before the appellate authority or even before the reviewing authority.

The next argument made by learned counsel for the petitioner is that the entire disciplinary proceedings were also delayed and without any explanation to this issue is also being raised at the stage without spelling out by the petitioner as to what is the prejudice which has been caused in the delay in disciplinary proceedings.

In pursuance of the first argument that is on delay made in issuing the order of suspension the petitioner has cited a decision of Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of AIR 1994 SC 2296, State of Orissa Vs. V.K. Mohanti and has relied in the contents of paragraph 12 of this decision. In para 12 of the decision the Hon'ble Apex Court laid down the general principles which are to be followed while passing the order of suspension. The general principles are well established and there is no difficulty in accepting that. Learned counsel for the petitioner has however, failed to point out how in the present case the general principles have not been adhered too by the respondent authority while passing the order of suspension.

On the other hand,  the record reflects that because there were irregularities made by the petitioner which were detected  that an order of suspension was passed against him.

On the issue that chargesheet was vague, learned counsel for the petitioner has cited a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court rendered in the case of Transport Commissioner, Madras versus A.R.K. Moorthy, reported in (1995) 1 SCC 332 and has relied in para 9 and 10 of the said decision, in which the Hon'ble Apex Court came to the conclusion that a reading of chargesheet showed that the allegations in the chargesheet were not clear and specific rather they were vague. The Hon'ble Supreme Court said that the charges in that case did not spell out the precise charge against the respondent and therefore the respondent in that case who had been charged with other officers for indulging in misappropriation and falsification of the accounts was not in a position to make the reply to these charges.

Here in the present case, the position is quite different, it is only the petitioner who was charged by the bank for making interpolation in the accounts of the bank. The charges as made in the chargesheet clearly and specifically spell out the specific role that was played by the petitioner. In fact the petitioner in his reply has admitted to all these charges. Therefore the facts of the above case, on which the petitioner has relied are completely distinguishable and different and therefore this case does not aid the case of the petitioner.

The petitioner has next cited a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court reported in the case of State of Punjab versus V.K. Khanna, reported in AIR 2001 SC 343 and has relied on para 20, 27, 28, 33, 37 and 38 of the said decision. All these paragraphs above are on bias. Therefore this case has no application in the case of the petitioner because there are no pleadings of bias in the present writ petition and in fact the petitioner admitted all the charges against him in his reply dated 19.2.1999.

The petitioner has next cited a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of State of Punjab versus Chaman Lal Goyal, reported in (1995) 2 SCC 570 and relied specifically on para 9 and 12 of the said decision. In the case of Chaman Lal Goyal (supra), there was a delay of 5 ½ years in serving the chargesheet and in the facts of that case, the Hon'ble Apex Court held that if the delay is too long and unexplained then it becomes difficult for the delinquent to make his replies and to prove his innocence but the Hon'ble Apex Court in the very same case also held that where the delay is too long also depends on the facts and circumstances of that case.

In the present case however the delay was not 5 ½ years. The irregularities were of the year 1997, the order of suspension was passed in the year 1997 itself and the proceedings against the petitioner had started. The chargesheet itself is issued on 25.1.2000. It took time for the bank to issue a chargesheet because the irregularities was committed by the petitioner himself and it took time for the bank to reckon the irregularities. Moreover the petitioner  has neither in his writ petition or in his pleadings, even before the enquiry officer and the appellate authority stated anywhere as to how the delay, if any for the issuance of chargesheet has prejudiced his case. The charges were for making false entries in the bank accounts and in the petitioner's own account. The charges were therefore on the basis of the documentary evidence, which were there. It is not the petitioner's case that documentary evidence was lost or that any witness who was required to be examined by him so as to prove his innocence was not available.  Therefore this case is also no help to the petitioner.

One of the arguments was made by the learned counsel for the petitioner rather feebly and that was the petitioner was being victimised on account of his participation in Union activities. In support of this argument, learned counsel for the petitioner has cited cases of the Hon'ble Apex Court rendered in the case of Colour-Chem Limited versus A.L. Alaspurkar and others, reported in AIR 1998 SC 948 and Bengal Bhatdee Coal Co. versus Ram P. Singh, reported in AIR 1964 SC 486. He has also cited M/s. Khardha and Co. Ltd. Versus The Workmen, reported in AIR 1964 SC 719 and Ranjit Thakur versus Union of India and others, reported in AIR 1987 SC 2386.

The last argument as made by the learned counsel for the petitioner was on the quantum of punishment. Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that the punishment awarded to the petitioner was too harsh and disproportionate to the charges made against him.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the previous conduct of the petitioner was not examined. There was not a single charge previous to this and the punishment of dismissal ought not to have been given to him in view of the fact that in the very first instance, the bank had disclosed its intention to award only minor punishment while making a recovery from the petitioner and that itself was sufficient punishment.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that because no loss was caused to the bank, as such the punishment of dismissal was not warranted. However, this strictly speaking is not correct. The enquiry officer has recorded that the act of the petitioner caused loss of interest to the bank, so it cannot be argued that there was no loss to the bank. Apart from the actual loss of interest, the loss that was suffered was the loss of faith and confidence by the bank in the petitioner employee. The relationship between the customer and bank is that of trustworthiness and confidence; once that is lost, it cannot be said that the dismissal of the petitioner is either harsh or disproportionate. In support of his argument of proportionality of punishment, the learned counsel for the petitioner has cited decisions rendered in the case of Sri Bhagwan Lal Arya versus Commissioner of Police, Delhi and others, reported in (2004) 4 SCC 560 and Chairman and Managing Director, United Commercial Bank and others versus P.C. Kakkar, reported in AIR 2003 SC 1571, Union of India versus Ganayutham, reported in AIR 1997 SC 3387, State Bank of India versus T.J. Paul, reported in AIR 1999 SC 1994, State Bank of India versus S.K. Endow, reported in (1994) 2 SCC 537 and Government of India versus Tarak Nath Ghosh, reported in AIR 1971 SC 823.

In reply to all these arguments, the learned counsel for the respondent-bank Sri K.L. Grover has argued that the petitioner was working as Assistant Manager (Loans) in the branch office at Bombay Bazar, Meerut when serious irregularities were detected against him. The irregularities which were detected against him were in the Loan Department itself.

Sri Grover has pointed out that the petitioner, who gave his reply to the charge no. (1 (i)on 19.2.1999 in fact admitted that he had added his name in the cheque issued by National Assurance Company and had wrongly credited the same in his account. He had also stated that he had paid the said amount of the cheque to the client/party concerned M/s. New Agrawal Printing Press.

In respect of the charge no. (1 (b) (ii), the charged officer had admitted that he prepared documents in duplicate for Rs.40,000/- and got the duplicate voucher passed by himself and credited for release of the amount. The amount was first credited in the Savings Bank account no. 9729 in the name of account holder Sanjay Saxena and thereafter it was withdrawn by him vide cheque no. RHF 234536. This misappropriation was clearly proved from an examination of the Loan Account of the chargesheeted officer himself. The chargesheeted officer had admitted the posting of Rs.40,000/- in his account but blamed that it was done by the clerk concerned and further stated that the act was not done intentionally but it was just a mistake. He further contended that vouchers were signed and passed at the instance of the branch manager who had countersigned all those vouchers.

In respect of all other charges which were made against the petitioner, the petitioner admitted his mistake and irregularities committed by him but ultimately said that no loss was caused to the bank and further stated that termination of service without disqualification for future service was excessive.

Learned counsel for the respondent-bank has further argued that the enquiry officer in his report which is on record in the writ petition held that the petitioner had derived benefit of the bank funds as contained in the charge no.1. The petitioner had not ensured proper post sanctioned follow-up and in support of the charge no. 5, the enquiry officer held that the chargesheeted officer had neglected the bank norms by holding various advances beyond his discretionary powers.

Learned counsel for the respondent bank argued that such being the findings of the enquiry officer, the disciplinary authority after serving the copy of the report upon the chargesheeted officer and considering his reply confirmed the charges no. 1 (a), (b) (i) and (ii), (c ) charge II (a) (i) (ii) (3) charges ii (d), charges (iii) (A)(a) and (b). Charges iii (B) (a), (b), (c ) and (d) and charge iv (accounts serial no. 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 14 and charge no. 5 partly and charge no. 6 proved and in terms of Punjab National Bank Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal)Regulations, 1977, the petitioner was imposed major penalty i.e. removal from service which shall not be disqualification for future employment.

Learned counsel for the respondent bank further argued that the chargesheeted officer filed an appeal which was dismissed by the appellate authority on 22.11.2001. The chargesheeted officer filed a review petition before the Chairman and Managing Director. The same was dismissed by the order dated 27.3.2002.

He further argued in reply that the arguments as advanced on behalf of the petitioner that chargesheeted officer was that (i) he was not given the documents, (2) the punishment awarded is too severe and (3) there being amendments in the charges, the proceedings were vitiated, are not correct. He admitted on behalf of the bank that all the documents upon which the bank relied were supplied to the chargesheeted officer and that is so admitted by the chargesheeted officer. The answer by the Presenting officer to the enquiry officer, I have delivered one set to C.O. One set to you (enquiry officer) one set to him (Presenting officer) then the question was by enquiry officer to Charge sheeted officer as you said all the same." The chargesheeted officer replied "I had received all the listed documents except no. 114."

He further submitted that the document no. 114 could not be traced and that was not made part of the proceedings and is not admitted. The defence officer stated to enquiry officer that document no. 114 not marked as MEX. It is so mentioned at page 17 as well as no part of the findings of the enquiry officer, the orders of the disciplinary authority, appellate authority or the reviewing authority is based on document no. 114. It has also not been disclosed what is the said document.

In support of his argument, Sri K.L. Grover has cited a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court rendered in the case of State Bank of India versus Bela Bagchi and others, reported in J.T. 2005 (8) SC 96 wherein the Hon'ble Apex Court has held that the pleading of absence of loss is of no avail. He has also placed reliance on another decision of the Hon'ble Apex Court rendered in the case of Disciplinary Authority versus Nikunja Bihari Patnayak, reported in J.T. 1996 (4) SC 457. Therefore the plea that no loss was caused to the bank or the loss caused was not very big to justify the removal from service is of no avail to the petitioner who holds the office of an officer in a bank. He deals with public money and is a guardian of public funds.

He further also placed reliance in the case of K.S.R.T.C. Versus A.T. Mane reported in J.T. 2004 (8) SC 113 in which the Hon'ble Apex Court has held in para 13 of the report, which reads as under:

"Coming to the question of quantum of punishment, one should bear in mind the fact that it is not the amount of money misappropriated that becomes a primary factor for awarding punishment, on the contrary, it is the loss of confidence which is the primary factor to be taken into consideration. In our opinion, when a person is found guilty of misappropriating corporation's fund, there is nothing wrong in the corporation losing confidence or faith in such a person and awarding a punishment of dismissal."

Sri Grover has next argued that the Hon'ble Supreme Court in various decisions held that the findings of disciplinary authority are immuned from interference, reference is made to the cases of Bank of India and another versus Degala Surya Narain, reported in J.T. 1999 (4) SC 489.

He further argued that no loss to the bank is no defence in the banking service when the accounts of the client are handled by the delinquent officer. In support of this argument, the learned counsel for the respondent has cited a decision in the case of State Bank of India and another versus Bela Bagchi and others, reported in J.T. 2005 (8) SC 96, wherein the Hon'ble Apex Court has held -

"A Bank Officer is required to exercise higher standards of honesty and integrity. He deals with money of the depositors and the customers. Every officer/employee of the Bank is required to take all possible steps to protect the interests of the Bank and to discharge his duties with utmost integrity, honesty, devotion and diligence and to do nothing which is unbecoming of a Bank Officer. Good conduct and discipline are inseparable from the functioning of every officer/employee of the Bank. As was observed by this Court in Disciplinary Authority-cum-Regional Manager versus Nikunja Bihari Patnaik, reported in J.T. 1996 (4) SC 457, it is no defence available to say that there was no loss or profit in the case, when the officer/employee acted without authority. The very discipline of an organization more particularly a Bank is dependent upon each of its officers and officers acting and operating within their allotted sphere. Acting beyond one's authority is by itself a breach of discipline and is a misconduct. The charges against the employee were not causal in nature and were serious. That being so, the plea about absence of loss is also sans substance."

I have heard learned counsel for the petitioner as well as the learned counsel for the respondent bank at length and I have also perused the entire materials on record, including the enquiry report, the order of disciplinary authority, the order passed in appeal and in revision as well as the petitioner's explanation dated 19.2.1999. A plain reading of the petitioner's explanation dated 19.2.1999 itself discloses that in fact the petitioner admitted to all the charges that were made against  him. Perhaps the petitioner thought that these irregularities were not serious and such behaviour should be condoned by the bank, but the petitioner played an individual and specific role in all the irregularities and being a bank officer, whose integrity should have been completely above-reproach, the petitioner surely did not except that after admitting to his acts of the so-called irregularities, which could, in other terms, be called misappropriation and falsification of the accounts, would result in lesser punishment than the dismissal.  In fact the bank has given him lesser punishment than dismissal and has imposed on him punishment of removal from service which shall not be a disqualification from future employment.

Although the learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the petitioner was suspended for a long period, he has not been able to show as to how that has caused him any prejudice because the period of suspension is not  in the nature of punishment but simply on account of grave charges, the delinquent officer was suspended so that no further acts of irregularities or misconduct were indulged him.

In support of the second argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the chargesheet was vague and not precise. A bare perusal of the chargesheet would show that it can hardly be called vague or not precise. Each and every charge against the petitioner  clearly spells out the role played by him and it cannot be said that the charges which were framed against the petitioner were so vague as to make difficult for him to reply to the charges against him.

In respect of the third argument as advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner that there was an inordinate delay in making the chargesheet against the petitioner. The conclusion reached by him is that once the irregularities committed by the petitioner were detected by the bank, they started process of preliminary enquiry and enquiry and it cannot be said that the period that elapsed between the time when the acts were committed and when the chargesheet was issued was so long that ensuing delay could have prejudiced the case of the petitioner in any manner especially in view of the fact  that all the irregularities were detected from documents itself and the delay, if any had not in any way prejudiced the petitioner to the extent that either his defence was prejudiced by the loss of document or of witness.

The argument as raised about the delay is made in issuance of the chargesheet have been made without lying foundation in the petition and without any incorporation of the same in the ground. In the entire petition, the petitioner has not even made any wishper as to what is the prejudice caused to  him on account of fact that chargesheet was given to him with delay. Factually  also the record reveals otherwise. The disciplinary proceedings were going on and it took time for the bank to make discoveries and therefore the chargesheet was issued after those discoveries were made from the account books. In absence of any pleadings or any ground in the petition that the delay in issuance of the chargesheet resulted in any prejudice to the petitioner, the argument of delay holds no water. In a recent decision rendered in the case of P.D. Agrawal versus State Bank of India, reported in AIR 2006 SC 2064, the Hon'ble Supreme Court examined the similar issue and opined that while it may be true that delay itself may be a ground for arriving at a finding that the enquiry proceeding was vitiated in the event it is shown that by reason thereof the delinquent officer has been prejudiced, but no such case was made out. Therefore I also come to the conclusion that no prejudice having been caused to the petitioner, plea of delay holds no water and deserves to be set aside.

I therefore hold that there was no delay in the disciplinary proceedings in respect of the petitioner. In so far as the plea of loss to the bank is concerned, I have come to the conclusion that it has been clearly recorded in the disciplinary proceedings that the petitioner had actually caused loss of the interest of the bank and then the greater loss that of faith and confidence and the integrity of the officer.

Couple with the argument of no loss to the bank, the petitioner has also argued that the quantum of punishment was very harsh and disproportionate and some lesser punishment should have been given to the petitioner in view of the fact that bank itself had sought to recover the said amount from the petitioner.

In respect of this argument, the conclusion drawn by me after examining the record of the case is that in such a case, the primary factor to be taken into consideration was the loss of confidence not the amount of money misappropriated and notwithstanding that there was no allegation against the petitioner in the past, the punishment imposed by the bank could not be said to be either harsh or disproportionate as there is no question of showing any sympathy or generosity in such matters. The petitioner held a position of trust in the bank and breached that trust. The petitioner had not acted with perfect honesty and diligence and therefore it was not a case where any kind of sympathy or generosity could have been shown to the petitioner.

In a recent decision, the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of T.N.C.S. Corporation Ltd. Versus K.Meerabai, reported in 2006 SC (L &S) 265, has held that -

"29. Mr. Francis also submitted that a sum of Rs.34,436.85 being 5% of the total loss of Rs.6,88,737.12 is sought to be recovered from the respondent and that the present departmental proceedings is the only known allegation against the respondent and there was no such allegation earlier and, therefore, a lenient view should be taken by this Court and relief prayed forcibly both the parties can be suitably moulded by this Court. We are unable to agree with the above submission which, in our opinion, has no force. The scope of judicial review is very limited. Sympathy or generosity as a factor is impermissible. In our view, loss of confidence is the primary factor and not the amount of money misappropriated. In the instant case, the respondent employee is found guilty of misappropriating the Corporation funds. There is nothing wrong in the Corporation losing confidence or faith in such an employee and awarding punishment of dismissal. In such cases, there is no place for generosity or misplaced sympathy on the part of the judicial forums and interfering therefor with the quantum of punishment awarded by the disciplinary and appellate authority."

In view of the above, I hold that no prejudice has been caused to the petitioner in the present case because the disciplinary proceedings was conducted in accordance with law. The petitioner has been given every opportunity of defending himself. The principles of natural justice have been fully observed and the petitioner has participated in the enquiry and the other subsequent proceedings fully. The pleading of vagueness of the chargesheet and the delay in submittal of chargesheet have been taken by the petitioner in the present case as an after thought because while participating in the enquiry and thereafter in the disciplinary proceedings after issuance of the chargesheet, such pleas were never taken by the petitioner. The petitioner has participated in the disciplinary proceedings actively at every stage and in fact acquiesced to the proceedings that were being conducted against him.

In fact the appellate authority has recorded in the appellate order a clear finding in respect of the charge no. III (a) that while dealing with Loan Account, the petitioner posted sum of Rs.29,000/- and Rs.28,590/- on 26.12.1996 showing as interest in two different C.C. Account without vouchers and credit of the entries to neutralize the bogus interest entries which indicated his malafide intention to extend undue benefit to the parties causing loss of interest to the bank.

In respect of charge no. III (b ), the appellate appellate authority recorded that the petitioner was indulging in fictitious credits to the parties frequently clearly indicating his malafide intention. The petitioner was in the Loan Department and was extending undue benefits to the parties at the cost of the bank.

Thus I come to the conclusion that the petitioner has failed to make out the case which would warrant interference by this Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to either modify or interfere with the punishment, which has been awarded by the bank. In fact this Court is of the opinion that the punishment awarded by the bank is lenient  and not harsh.

The writ petition fails and is hereby dismissed. No costs.

Dated 14.2.2007

s.puri.rk.32935.02


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Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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