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Mool Chandra v. The U.P. State Road Transport Corporation And Others - WRIT - A No. 47139 of 2003  RD-AH 8038 (30 April 2007)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 47139 of 2003
Mool Chandra Vs. The U.P. State Road Transport
Corporation and others
Hon'ble Vineet Saran, J.
The petitioner was appointed as a Conductor in the U.P. State Road Transport Corporation in the year 1980. For an incident which occurred on 17.6.2002 with regard to checking of tickets, an enquiry report was submitted by the Checking Inspector on 20.6.2002. Thereafter the petitioner was given a chargesheet on 21.8.2002. After the reply was submitted by the petitioner on 16.9.2002, a show cause notice was given to him on 11.3.2003, in response to which the petitioner submitted his reply on 31.3.2003. Thereafter, by the impugned order dated 30.6.2003 passed by the respondent no.3, the petitioner was removed from service. The appeal filed by the petitioner has been dismissed by the respondent no.2 vide order dated 1.10.2003. Aggrieved by the aforesaid orders, this writ petition has been filed.
Heard Sri C.P.Gupta, learned counsel for the petitioner as well as Sri V.K.Singh, learned counsel appearing for the respondents. Pleadings have been exchanged and with the consent of learned counsel for the parties, this writ petition is being disposed of at this stage.
The submission of Sri C.P.Gupta, learned counsel for the petitioner, is firstly that the charge sheet was defective as the charge mentioned was to the effect that he did not issue tickets to three passengers traveling from Kasganj to Soron, whereas the bus station Soron did not fall on the route on which the said bus was being plied i.e. Kasganj to Mathura. It has been contended that the said bus station Soron falls on the opposite route of Kasganj to Bareilly. It has been urged that the defect in the chargesheet was fatal and neither the same was removed nor any supplementary chargesheet was given to the petitioner, and as such, no adverse order could have been passed against the petitioner on the basis of such chargesheet. Secondly, it has been contended that the disciplinary authority has recorded a finding against the petitioner to the effect that for the last thirteen months, the load-factor of the route in question was found to be extremely low and has thus concluded that the petitioner took no interest in the work of Corporation and that there was no possibility of improvement. It has been contended that the impugned order of removal from service has been passed on such finding, whereas there was no charge to that effect in the charge sheet given to the petitioner. It has, thus, been urged that the petitioner was not given opportunity to submit his reply/explanation with regard to the aforesaid. Lastly, it has been contended that, even if proved to be so, in the matter of failing to issue only three tickets valued Rs.42/-, the punishment of removal from service was highly disproportionate to said charge. In support of this, the learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that other similarly situated persons, who were also facing charges of not issuing tickets, had been awarded minor punishment, whereas the petitioner has been awarded the ultimate punishment of removal from service.
Sri V.K.Singh, learned counsel for the respondents has, however, submitted that the defect in the chargesheet though not removed, was not fatal as the charge that the petitioner was carrying three passengers without ticket was proved, and as such the punishment removing the petitioner from service cannot be said to be excessive. He has also submitted that punishment awarded cannot be said to be disproportionate as financial loss has been caused to the Corporation, in which case, a lenient view should not be taken.
From perusal of the chargesheet as well as the impugned orders, it is clear that the chargesheet which was served on the petitioner, was defective. Since the charge was different from the one that is said to have been proved, the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner has force that the petitioner did not have opportunity to defend himself of the charge which is said to have been proved against him. Even after noticing the defect in the chargesheet, the respondent-Corporation did not issue an amended chargesheet to the petitioner.
The Apex Court in the case of State of Haryana Vs. Om Prakash, Constable 1990 (Supp) Supreme Court Cases 282 has held that the punishing authority was not entitled to take into consideration allegations beyond that the respondent had been charged for in the disciplinary proceedings in formulating the order of punishment. In the said case, the employee was charged in the disciplinary proceedings for negligence and carelessness but he was not put to notice of the allegation that the respondent had fabricated the record in support of his stand of non-receipt of the complaint. In such circumstances, it was found that before awarding of any punishment, the employee should be put to notice of the charge on the basis of which the employer propose to impose punishment.
In the present case, the charge proved against the petitioner is different from the charge mentioned in the chargesheet. Further, the disciplinary authority had admittedly considered, as well as recorded findings, with regard to the low load factor of the petitioner and concluded that the petitioner has not taken interest in the work of Corporation, without there being any such charge mentioned in the chargesheet. As such, the charge as mentioned in the chargesheet against the petitioner cannot be said to have been proved against him. In such facts, the order of removal of the petitioner from service has been passed on finding recorded by the enquiry officer as well as the disciplinary authority with regard to certain charge which was not included in the charge sheet, and thus, in my view, the impugned orders dated 30.6.2003 and 1.10.2003 deserve to be set aside.
Accordingly, this writ petition stands allowed and the the impugned orders dated 30.6.2003 and 1.10.2003 passed by respondents no.3 and 2 are quashed. The petitioner shall be entitled to all consequential benefits. No order as to cost.
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