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RAKESH BABU versus C.A.T ALLD. & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Rakesh Babu v. C.A.T Alld. & Others - WRIT - A No. 53173 of 2000 [2007] RD-AH 6637 (11 April 2007)

 

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

Court No. 29

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 53173 of 2000

Rakesh Babu

Vs.

Central Administrative Tribunal,

Allahabad & others

Hon'ble Anjani Kumar, J.

Hon'ble Sudhir Agarwal, J.

Aggrieved by the order dated 2.11.2000 passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Allahabad rejecting the petitioner's original application no. 322 of 1994, the petitioner has come up in this writ petition.

The facts in brief, necessary for appreciation of the dispute are that the petitioner was appointed on 14.6.1975 as casual labour by the Permanent Way Inspector, Northern Railway, Shikohabad. For giving regular pay scale he was medically examined by Divisional Medical Officer, Northern Railway, Tundla, on 26.12.1982 and thereafter was transferred to Chunar. It is alleged that the Casual Labour Service Card was issued initially to the petitioner by one Sri R.P. Singh, the then Permanent Way Inspector, Northern Railway, Shikohabad and photograph and thumb impression was affixed in his presence, which was countersigned by the said authority. The petitioner worked as a gang man. A Charge sheet was issued on 23.8.1991 alleging that he has secured appointment by impersonation, i.e., by affixing his photograph on casual labour service card no. 108650 which was issued to one Sri Rakesh Babu, son of Sri Kailash and, therefore, he was guilty of securing appointment by fraudulent means. Oral enquiry was conducted and thereafter enquiry report dated 22.5.1993 was submitted holding charge proved against the petitioner. The disciplinary authority issued a show cause notice dated 16.7.1993 whereagainst the petitioner submitted his reply dated 4.8.1993. The disciplinary authority vide order dated 5.8.1993 held the petitioner guilty of securing appointment by impersonation and therefore imposed punishment of removal. The petitioner's appeal was rejected vide order dated 8.12.1993 Aggrieved by the order of removal as confirmed in appeal, he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal but his original application has been dismissed.

The learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the disciplinary authority and the appellant authority have not considered various evidence and facts and have recorded finding holding the petitioner guilty without any discussion at all. He further submits that the appellate order is wholly non speaking and unreasoned, therefore, is vitiated in law and learned Tribunal has erred by not considering this aspect of the matter. He also submits that no personal hearing was afforded to the petitioner before rejecting his appeal and, therefore, also, the proceedings are vitiated in law. Though, he also sought to argue that adequate opportunity of defence was not afforded to the petitioner, but on our specific query as to what opportunity was denied, he could not point out any instance having the effect of denying opportunity to the petitioner.

We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record. The documents placed on record show that the enquiry officer has examined various witnesses, gave due opportunity of cross examination to the petitioner also and thereafter submitted his report holding charge proved against him. Even the disciplinary authority has considered the matter in a well reasoned order running in about seven typed pages of the paper book discussing various issues raised by the petitioner on the merits of the case. It has found that there was difference in thumb impression in the service book and when enquired from the petitioner for the reason of such difference, he said that there was a cross wound in his left thumb on account whereof, he could not affix his thumb impression properly at the time of appointment.  The authority has dealt with the said explanation in detail. Learned counsel for the petitioner could not point out any perversity therein. From the reading of entire order passed by the disciplinary authority we are satisfied that a finding of fact has been recorded based on material on record that the petitioner obtained appointment by impersonation and was thus guilty of playing fraud with the respondents. In the matter of departmental enquiry, whether the evidence should be accepted or not is within the exclusive domain of the authority concerned and this Court would not sit in appeal over the decision of the disciplinary authority unless it is found that the disciplinary authority has acted with perversity or mala fide. The learned counsel for the petitioner has failed to show any perversity in the finding and there is no allegation of mala fide against the disciplinary authority. The scope of judicial review in such matters is very limited and instead of burdening this judgment on this aspect, it would be appropriate to reproduce certain principles laid down by a Division Bench of this Court (after considering the law down on the subject laid by the Apex Court in a number of cases) in Special Appeal No. 1280 of 2005, Sarvesh Kumar Sharma Vs. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. & Another, as under :

(1)The Tribunal exercising quasi judicial functions neither bound to follow the procedure prescribed for trial of actions in Courts nor bound by the strict rules of evidence.

(2)They may obtain all information material for the points under enquiry and act upon the same provided it is brought to the notice of the party and fair opportunity is afforded to explain.

(3)The judicial enquiry is to determine whether the authority holding enquiry is competent, and whether the procedure prescribed is in accordance with the principle of natural justice.

(4)There should exist some evidence accepted by the competent authority which may reasonably support the contention about the guilt of the officer. Adequacy or reliability of the evidence can not be looked into by the Court.

(5) The departmental authorities are the sole judges of facts and if there be some legal evidence on which their findings can be based, the adequacy or reliability of that evidence is not a matter which can be permitted to be canvassed before the Court.

(6) There is no allergy to hear-se evidence provided it has reasonable nexus and credibility. All materials which are logically probative for a prudent mind are  permissible.

(7) The essence of a judicial approach is objectivity, exclusion of extraneous materials or considerations and observance of rules of natural justice.

(8) It is not necessary that the Disciplinary authority should discuss material in detail and contest  the conclusions of the Inquiry Office.

(9) The judicial review is extended only when there is no evidence or the conclusion or finding be such as no reasonable person would have ever reached on the basis of the material available.  

Learned counsel placed reliance on a Division Bench Judgment in Daya Singh Vs. General manager (Personnel) Punjab Sind Bank & others, 2007 (2) ESC 802 (All)(DB). However, we do not find any support for the point in issue raised by the petitioner in this petition. This Court in Daya Singh (supra) after perusing the record found that the enquiry report itself was non speaking and therefore, the order of disciplinary authority being non speaking, both vitiated the proceedings. In the case in hand, as we have already noticed the enquiry report cannot be said to be non-speaking and learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to show any perversity  in the finding of fact recorded therein, In view thereof, we do not find any error either in the decision making process or order itself passed by the disciplinary authority.

So far as the contention of the petitioner that the appellate order is non speaking, we find that it is an order confirming the order passed by the disciplinary authority and such an order need not be a detailed order as held by the Apex Court in the case of S.N. Mukherjee Vs. Union of India, AIR 1990 SC 1984 (para-35) wherein it was held as under :

"The need for recording of reasons is greater in a case where the order is passed at the original stage. The appellate or revisional authority, if it affirms such and order, need not give separate reasons if the appellate or revisional authority agrees with the reasons contained in the order under challenge."

No other point has been argued.

The writ petition, therefore, lacks merit and is, accordingly, dismissed.

Dt. 11.4.2007

PS


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