High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. v. S.K. Tiwari - RSA-3907-2005  RD-P&H 2795 (2 May 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
R.S.A. No.3907 of 2005
Date of decision: May 04, 2006.
Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. & Ors.
Present: Shri Narender Hooda, Advocate for the appellants.
Shri G.K. Chawla, Advocate for the respondent.
Surya Kant, J. (Oral)
This regular second appeal has been filed by Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. (in short the Corporation) against whom a suit for declaration to the effect that the respondent-plaintiff is entitled for the grant of his annual increments and additional increment on completion of 10 years service and consequential fixation of pay, has been decreed by both the courts.
The respondent was working as a Junior Engineer (Field) with the appellant-Corporation. While he was posted in the Sub-Urban Division No.2 at Karnal during the year 1987-88, he is alleged to have failed to furnish the details of the MAS accounts despite numerous letters written to him.
This is, however, an admitted fact that no charge-sheet/show cause notice was served upon the respondent and, thus,no disciplinary R.S.A. No.3907 of 2005 - 2 -
action, as per the Haryana Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1987 (in short the 1987 Rules), was taken, yet the respondent's annual increments were withheld. The respondent was due for retirement on superannuation on 31st
July, 2000. As per his case, he made several representations for the grant of annual increments which were arbitrarily withheld on the pretext that last pay certificate (LPC) was not issued in his favour by respondents No.3 and 4. According to the respondent, he was entitled for additional increments on completion of 10 years of service as per the circular/policy of the Corporation but those additional increments were also denied to him on that very count. Since the respondent was fast approaching the date of retirement, he filed the present suit for seeking various declarations, mainly with regard to the release of his annual increments/additional increments and consequential pay fixation on the basis of which his post retiral benefits also were to be fixed.
Both the courts have accepted the respondent-plaintiff's claim.
Learned Counsel for the appellants vehemently contends that even in the absence of disciplinary action against the respondent, the authorities were competent to withhold the additional increments or other monetary benefits and the courts below could not have decreed the suit and that too without giving any liberty to the appellants to take action or fix responsibility of the respondent for not furnishing the MAS accounts in time.
After hearing Learned Counsel for the parties and perusing the judgments passed by the courts below, I do not find any merit in this appeal.
There is no denial to the fact that the respondent was not charge-sheeted and/or served even with a show cause notice for not R.S.A. No.3907 of 2005 - 3 -
furnishing the details of the MAS accounts. "The recovery from pay of the whole or part of any pecuniary loss caused by negligence or breach of orders", is one of the specified 'minor penalty' under Rule 4(1)(iv) of the 1987 Rules. Obviously, the said punishment could be imposed only after following the procedure laid down under the Rules which has, admittedly, not been followed. As far as the permission sought by the appellants is concerned, no such liberty can be granted at this stage for the reason that the alleged irregularity in not furnishing the details of the MAS accounts was committed by the respondent-plaintiff in the year 1987-88 and after his retirment on 31.7.2000, no disciplinary action is permissible under the rules for a misconduct which is alleged to have been committed more than 5 years prior to the date of retirement.
For the reasons afore-mentioned, I do not find any merit in this appeal which is accordingly dismissed.
May 04, 2006. [ Surya Kant ]
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