High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Nirmal Singh v. Presiding Officer State College Tribunal - CWP-10089-2004  RD-P&H 3433 (25 May 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
C.W.P. No.10089 of 2004
DATE OF DECISION: 15.5.2006
Presiding Officer State College Tribunal, Punjab and others.
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE J.S. NARANG.
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ARVIND KUMAR,
Present:- Mr.M.K. Dogra,Advocate
for the petitioner-workman.
Mr.S.C. Nagpal, Advocate
for respondents No.2 and 3.
The petitioner was appointed as Peon-cum-gate keeper with the respondents on 18.7.1989 initially for six months. His services were confirmed on 17.8.1991. According to the petitioner-workman the Principal of respondent-college was inimical towards him. Consequently, at one point of time he was implicated in a false case of theft of VCR from college premises. His appointment was made to do the day duty whereas he was forced to perform duty in night as also to work at the residence of the Principal of the college, to which he refused. Resultantly, he was served with a charge sheet on 31.10.1992 on the allegations of absence from duty w.e.f. 28.9.1992. A domestic enquiry was held against the petitioner. He was held guilty of charges of remaining absence from duty since 28.9.1992 as also of disobeying the orders of Principal. The respondent-college sent a communication on 26.4.1994 to Director of Public Instructions for according necessary approval for dismissal of the petitioner. The requisite C.W.P. No.10089 of 2004 2
approval was granted on 25.7.1995. Ultimately, order of dismissal was passed by college authorities on 5.9.1995. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner filed an appeal under Section 4(4) of the Punjab Affiliated Colleges (Security of Service of Employees) Act, 1974 before respondent No.1, which was accepted vide order dated 14.5.1999. Dissatisfied with the same, the College authorities filed CWP No.12505 of 1999 in this Court and vide order dated 20.12.2001 this Court remitted the matter to respondent No.1 for re-determination. Consequent thereto, respondent No.1 vide its order dated 20.3.2002 rejected the appeal filed by the petitioner against the order of his dismissal. Hence the petitioner has knocked the door of this Court by filing the instant petition under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of the India challenging the impugned orders dated 25.7.1995, 5.9.1995 and 20.3.2002.
The impugned orders have been challenged primarily on the ground that the alleged enquiry conducted against the petitioner is null and void and is a result of malafide and vindictive attitude of the college authorities as the petitioner had refused to work at the residence of the Principal as also made a complaint in writing against the college Superintendent. The petitioner was very much present to perform his duties but the college authorities did not permit him to carry out his duties.
We have heard learned counsel for the parties and have perused the paper book.
The petitioner-workman was charge-sheeted on account of deliberate disobedience of legal order and remaining absence from duty from 28.9.1992 onwards. The counsel for the petitioner has questioned the fairness of the enquiry. It is apt to mention that Court exercising the C.W.P. No.10089 of 2004 3
jurisdiction of judicial review would not interfere with the findings of fact arrived at in the departmental enquiry proceedings except in a case of malafides or perversity and where there is no evidence in support of findings. The Court cannot embark upon re-appreciating the evidence or weighing the same like an appellate authority. So long as there is some evidence to support the conclusion arrived at by the departmental authority, the same has to be sustained. In the instant case, the appointment of the petitioner-workman was on the post of Peon-cum-Gate Keeper. He was put on night duty as Watchman on 28.9.1992. The petitioner-workman in his own showing refused to perform the night duty. His own endorsement, under his signature, to the memo (Annexure P-6) is reproduced as under:- "I had already informed you that my house is at lonely place and I had my small children. For this reason, I cannot perform night duty."
He reiterated his said stand in the communication addressed to the College dated 13.10.1992 (Annexure P-7), legal notice dated 20.10.1992 (Annexure P-8) as also in the reply to the charge-sheet dated 7.11.1992 (Annexure P-10). In this case there is no stipulation in the appointment letter (Annexure P-2) of the petitioner that he was required to perform the day duty and not the night duty. Therefore, it is the choice of the college authorities to put him either on day duty or at night, as per requirement. His refusal to perform the duty reflects insubordination and amounts to misconduct. The word 'misconduct' though not capable of precise definition, its reflection receive its connotation from the context, the delinquency in its performance and its effect on the discipline and the nature of duty. The said conduct of the petitioner is to such a degree so as to incompatible with continuance of relationship of master and the servant. The action of the C.W.P. No.10089 of 2004 4
management dismissing him from service had already been approved by the DPI (c). The entire matter has been re-assessed in appeal before respondent No.1. A bare perusal of the impugned order also reveals that the appellate authority had also of the opinion that the college authorities had completed all the formalities resulting into dismissal of petitioner-workman and that the proper procedure has been followed and there is no justification to have a different view in the matter. In the backdrop of the matter, we also endorse the view taken by the appellate authority.
There is also a legal hurdle in this case. The cause of action had accrued to the petitioner-workman to approach this Court in March 2002 when his appeal was dismissed by respondent No.1. However, he slept over the matter. He filed the instant writ petition after a delay of more than three years. There is absolutely no explanation for such a delay. The Supreme Court in the case of Sadasivaswamy v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 1974 Supreme Court 2271 has clearly held that an aggrieved party has to move the Court within a period of six months or at best within one year of the date when cause of action accrued. Sadasivaswamy's case (supra) has been followed by this Court in the case of Harvinder Singh vs. State of Punjab & Ors. 2005 (2) SLR 587. Therefore, the instant petition also suffers from delay and latches. No relief can be granted to the petitioner.
In view of what has been stated above, the present writ petition fails and the same is dismissed. No costs.
May 15,2006 JUDGE
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