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THE FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA & ORS versus SONE LAL, EX.

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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The Food Corporation of India & Ors v. Sone Lal, Ex.-Technical Assistant - LPA-938-2002 [2007] RD-P&H 568 (18 January 2007)

LPA No.938 of 2002 [1]

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.

L.P.A. No. 938 of 2002

Date of Decision: January 18, 2007

The Food Corporation of India and others .......Appellant through Mr.V. Ramswaroop, Advocate

for the appellants.

v.

Sone Lal, Ex.-Technical Assistant .......Respondent through Mr.C.M.Chopra, Advocate

for the respondent.

CORAM: HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE VIJENDER JAIN, CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE RAJIVE BHALLA

***

1. Whether Reporters of Local Newspapers may be allowed to see the judgment?

2. To be referred to the Reporters or not?

3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest? ***

VIJENDER JAIN, CHIEF JUSTICE (ORAL)

This appeal has a chequered history. The impugned order passed by the learned Single Judge was taken in appeal before a Division Bench of this Court. The Division Bench upheld the order of the learned Single Judge vide order dated 19.12.2003. Aggrieved by the said order, the appellants preferred Special Leave Petition No.10452 of 2004. Special Leave to Appeal was granted and in Civil Appeal No.6808 of 2005, the Supreme Court framed the following two issues:-

(a) Whether the Senior Regional Manager, Food Corporation of India, Regional Office, Punjab, was/is competent to impose the penalty of dismissal from service on the respondent under LPA No.938 of 2002 [2]

Regulation 56 of the Food Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations 1971?

(b) Whether the action taken by appellant No.3 was vitiated due to violation of the principles of natural justice? The Supreme Court answered issue No.1 in favour of Food Corporation of India by holding that Senior Regional Manager, Food Corporation of India was competent to impose the penalty of compulsory retirement on the respondent under Regulation 56 of the Food Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations, 1971.

With regard to issue No.2 the Supreme Court took note of the fact that in para 8 of the writ petition the petitioner had specifically pleaded that the Senior Regional Manager had not issued any show cause notice before imposing the major penalty and a copy of the enquiry report was not supplied before awarding punishment. A relevant extract of the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court reads as follows:-

"At the time of hearing, copy of the writ petition filed before the High Court and the copy of the written statement filed on behalf of the FCI was placed before us. We have perused the same. It has been specifically mentioned in para 8 of the writ petition that the Senior Regional Manager has not even issued any show cause notice before inflicting such major penalty and moreover no enquiry report was supplied to the petitioner before awarding punishment thus violates principles of natural justice. In the written statement filed by FCI in para 8 it has been stated as follows:- "No prejudice has been caused to the petitioner by non- issuance of show cause notice before inflicting the penalties.

The order of punishment has been passed in accordance with the provisions of FCI Staff Service Regulations, 1971" As rightly pointed out by Mr.Ramchandran, this question has not been examined by the Division Bench and the High Court has allowed the writ petition on another ground without going into the LPA No.938 of 2002 [3]

question of principles of natural justice. We have today confirmed the finding in regard to the competence of the Senior Regional Manager in initiating departmental proceedings and imposing punishment. We, therefore, remit the matter to the Division Bench for consideration of the second issue, namely, violation of principles of natural justice."

The Hon'ble Supreme Court, therefore, set aside the judgment of the Division Bench and remitted the matter for a decision afresh.

We have perused the impugned judgment. The question of violation of the principles of natural justice, as noticed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, was not decided by the learned Single Judge. We consequently set aside the order passed by the learned Single Judge and remand the case, for a decision afresh, on the questions whether a show cause notice was issued, before awarding punishment and whether a report of the Enquiry Committee was supplied to the respondent or not. The learned Single Judge shall decide the writ petition in terms of the observations made above by 26.2.2007.

The appeal stands disposed of accordingly.

( VIJENDER JAIN )

CHIEF JUSTICE

( RAJIVE BHALLA )

January 18, 2007. JUDGE

RC


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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