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M.DASARADHAN versus THE SUPERINTENDENT ENGINEER

High Court of Madras

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M.Dasaradhan v. The Superintendent Engineer - W.P.NO.26499 OF 2001 and W.M.P.NO.39197 OF 2001 [2002] RD-TN 218 (2 April 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED: 2-4-2002

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.SATHASIVAM W.P.NO.26499 OF 2001 and W.M.P.NO.39197 OF 2001 M.Dasaradhan ..Petitioner vs

The Superintendent Engineer

Tirupattur Electricity

Distribution Circle

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board

Tirupattur 635 601

Vellore District ..Respondent Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issue of writ of Certiorari as stated therein. For petitioner :Mr.P.V.Bakthavatchalam

For respondentS:Mr.V.Radhakrishnan

: ORDER



By consent the main writ petition itself is taken up for disposal.

2.Aggrieved by the second show cause notice calling upon the petitioner to submit his objections, if any, with regard to the proposed punishment, the petitioner has filed the above writ petition to quash the same on various grounds.

3.Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner as well as the respondent.

4.Though the learned counsel for the petitioner has raised several contentions including the merits of the proposed punishment to be imposed, I am of the view that it is unnecessary to consider all those points except the fact that whether the respondent is justified in arriving at a definite conclusion even before considering the proposed objections/explanation of the petitioner. In this regard, the counsel for the petitioner very much relied a decision of mine reported in 1 998 (2) L.L.N. 907 (J.VICTOR V. GENERAL MANAGER, RANI MANGAMMAL TRANSPORT CORPORATION). In that decision I had an occasion to consider the scope of the employee's right to submit his objection/explanation regarding the report of the enquiry officer and the ultimate decision to be taken by the employer. After referring the decision of the Apex Court reported in 1994 (2) L.L.N.9(MANAGING DIRECTOR, ELECTRONIC CORPORATION OF INDIA LTD., HYDERABAD V. B.KARUNAKAR)I have held,

"8.The law laid down by the Apex Court in the above referred decision is squarely applicable to the facts of this case, as rightly pointed out by the learned senior counsel. In our case, the enquiry officer has submitted a report to the disciplinary authority. Thereafter, the disciplinay authority, after considering the said report, accepted the same in toto. The disciplinary authority on the basis of the report of the enquiry officer, decided to impose a capital punishment, viz., removal from service as per the Standing Orders. The procedure adopted by the respondent-Corporation is certainly contrary to the decision of the Supreme court referred above. No doubt, the petitioner had ample opportunity before the enquiry officer. However on receipt of the report from the enquiry officer, before taking any decision, a duty is cast on the respondent-management to send the entire copy of the report including the enquiry proceedings to the delinquent employee. After receipt of reply or explanation from the delinquent employee, it is open to the respondent to arrive at a decision regarding punishment as per the provisions of the Standing Orders. As rightly stated, a perusal of the impugned order clearly shows that the respondent after accepting the enquiry officer's report and after arriving at a decision that a capital punishment of removal from service has to be imposed on this case, notice has been sent to the petitioner calling upon him to offer his explanation with regard to the proposed punishment. It is the contention of the learned counsel for the respondent that along with the notice the disciplinary authority has also enclosed a copy of the report as well as the proceedings, hence, according to him, it is sufficient compliance of the provisions of natural justice. In the light of the decision of the Supreme Court referred above, I am unable to accept the argument of the learned counsel for the respondent. As observed by the Supreme Court, the right to make a representation before the disciplinary authority against the findings recorded in the enquiry report is an integral part of the opportunity against the charges, and if the same is denied, it would amount to breach of principles of natural justice. Irrespective of the nature of punishment whenever an enquiry is held, the delinquent employee should have the effect of the report of the enquiry officer before the disciplinary authority regarding his findings on the charges levelled against him."

It is not disputed that along with the impugned show cause notice, the respondent-employer has furnished a copy of the report of the enquiry officer. As observed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court the right to make a representation before the disciplinary authority against the findings recorded in the enquiry report is an integral part of the opportunity against the charges and if the same is denied it would amount to breach of principles of natural justice. In other words, irrespective of the nature of punishment whenever an enquiry is held, the delinquent employee should have the effect of the report of the enquiry officer before the disciplinary authority regarding his findings on the charges levelled against him. In the absence of such procedure, the conclusion arrived at by the respondent cannot be countenanced. The above decision is directly applicable to the present case. On this ground, the impugned notice of the respondent dated 18.12.2001 is quashed. The respondent is at liberty to proceed further after issuing fresh notice in the light of the principle referred above and proceed further in accordance with law. The writ petition is allowed to the extent mentioned above. Consequently, W.M.P.No. 39197 of 2001 is also closed. No costs

5.It is made clear that in respect of the proposed notice, it is open to the petitioner/employee to raise all allowable contentions in support of his claim.

2-4-2002

index:yes

internet:yes

sal

To

The Superintendent Engineer

Tirupattur Electricity

Distribution Circle

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board

Tirupattur 635 601

Vellore District

P.SATHASIVAM,J.

Sal

W.P.NO.26499 of 2001

and

W.M.P.NO.39197 of 2001




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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