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Rajesh Kumar Asthana v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 21343 of 2005 [2007] RD-AH 8570 (7 May 2007)


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                                                                               Court No.31

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 21343 of 2001

Ravendra Deo Shukla


Board of Revenue, U.P., Lucknow through its Chairman & others

Hon'ble Vineet Saran, J

The petitioner was a Lekhpal. He is aggrieved by the order dated 10.8.1999 passed by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, respondent no. 4 whereby he has been dismissed from service. He is also aggrieved by orders dated 23.3.2000 and 30.10.2000 whereby the appeal and the revision of the petitioner have been dismissed by the District Magistrate and the Commissioner, respondents no. 3 and 2 respectively.

I have heard Smt. Kamla Singh, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner as well as learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents. Pleadings have been exchanged and with consent of the learned counsel for the parties, this writ petition is being disposed of at this stage.

The order of dismissal has been passed primarily on the charge that the petitioner had misplaced the original revenue records of certan villages. The second charge, which was only partly proved, is with regard to the petitioner leaving station without prior permission of his superior officers.

The case of the petitioner is that on 25.9.1998, while he was in office, he came to know of his mother's illness. Thus, at about 9 p.m. the petitioner left for his village where his mother was residing, which was 60 Kms. away. It is his case that on the way he was looted and his bag containing the revenue records and some money was taken away by the miscreants. The learned counsel for the petitioner could not satisfactorily explain as to for what purpose the original records of several villages in question were being taken by the petitioner, when according to him he left the office at 9 p.m. to visit his ailing mother, which was about 60 Kms. away. The Enquiry Officer has rightly concluded that the said story cannot be believed as no first information report of loot had been lodged, but only a report that the documents had been missing had been filed by the petitioner. The story of the petitioner is also not believable because the motor-cycle and other valuables, which the petitioner was possessing, had not been taken by the miscreants. In the absence of the petitioner being able to show the reason for his taking the original records from the office, the charge which is proved against the petitioner is very serious in nature.

Learned counsel for the petitioner also submitted that the prescribed procedure had not been followed by the Enquiry Officer inasmuch as the witnesses had not been examined and the reply of the petitioner was not considered by the Enquiry Officer. Although nothing material has been shown in this respect that the procedure adopted by the Enquiry Officer was not proper, however, even assuming that there were some lapses in the conduct of enquiry then too in the facts and circumstances of this case, where the petitioner has not been able to satisfy this Court as to why he was carrying the original official records with him, this Court would not exercise its extraordinary discretionary and equity jurisdiction in favour of such person.

Learned counsel for the petitioner then submitted that merely because of one incident, the punishment of dismissal from service is very harsh and as such lesser punishment should be imposed.  I have considered this aspect also and do not find any ground for interference with the order of punishment. Learned Standing Counsel has placed before me the order of the Commissioner wherein the conduct of the petitioner has been discussed and the petitioner, ever since his joining services as Lekhpal, has been suspended and punished on several occasions on serious charges. It is settled law that the writ Court should interfere with the quantum of punishment, unless the same is shockingly disproportionate to the charges levelled and proved against the employee. In the present case, in my view, the punishment imposed can in no way be said to be disproportionate, let aside being shockingly disproportionate so as to shock the conscience of this Court.

As such, for the foregoing reasons, I do not find any good ground for interference with the orders impugned in this writ petition. This writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed. No order as to costs.        





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