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K.P.Mariappan v. Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies - Writ Petition No.5317 of 1998  RD-TN 899 (16 October 2003)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.K.RAJAN
Writ Petition No.5317 of 1998
Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies
Chennai, 600 050 Petitioner Versus
1.Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies
2.The Managing Director
Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation
42 Thambuswamy Road
Chennai 600 010 Respondents Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying to issue a writ of Certiorari, as stated there in. For Petitioner :Mr.S.Venkataraman
For Respondents : Mr.V.Perumal
This writ petition has been filed against the order of recovery of Rs.5000/- as penalty.
2. The brief facts that are necessary for the purpose of disposal of this case is as follows: The petitioner was employed as Deputy Manager (Accounts) at Nannilam Civil Supplies Corporation. An inspection was conducted and in pursuance of the inspection report, charge memo was issued on 24.11.1995 and after enquiry, Rs.5000/- was levied as penalty and that was sought to be recovered for the charges proved against the petitioner. Against that, an appeal was filed and the appeal was also rejected. Aggrieved by the appellate order, the petitioner filed the present writ petition.
3. As per the rules applicable to the Civil Supplies Corporation, Chapter-5, deals with disciplinary proceedings, penalties and appeal Regulations. According to this chapter, (a) Minor penalties are: (i) Censure, (ii) withholding of increments temporarily without cumulative effect, (iii) Recovery from pay to the extent necessary of the monetary value equivalent to the amount of increments ordered to be withheld where such stoppage of increment cannot be practically given effect to. (b) Major Penalties are provided under Clause-b, (i) withholding of increments with cumulative effect for a specific period, (ii) Recovery of pay to the extent necessary of the monetary value equivalent to three times, the amount of increment ordered to be withheld where such stoppage of increment cannot be practically given effect to. This regulation also enumerates further punishment.
4. In this case, the impugned order was passed on 30.06.1997. The appeal was dismissed on 29.11.1997. Admittedly the petitioner retired from service only on 13.04.2003. It is true, the petitioner was also paid regular scale of pay getting increments periodical every year. He retired from service on 14.03.2003. There was a possibility for stoppage of increments with or without cumulative effect during his service. But, that was not done in this case. But, only penalty of Rs.5000/- was imposed and that was sought to be recovered. Such a recovery is permissible under the Chapter-5, Rule(a) and (b) or Rule (b)(ii) only "where such stoppage of increment cannot be practically given effect to". That means where it is not practical or possible to effect stoppage of increment, the recovery of consolidated amount can be resorted to, i.e., only if person already retired from service on the date when the punishment was imposed or when he was about to retire within a period for which stoppage of increment was sought to be imposed, such a recovery is permissible. But, in this case, the petitioner was in service six years after passing of the order both initial as well as appellate order. Therefore, stoppage of increment was permissible in this case. The Chapter-5, a(iii) or b(ii) cannot be invoked where a person continues to be in service. For the above stated reasons, the impugned order is not legally sustainable and hence it is set aside.
5. In the result, the writ petition is allowed as prayed for. No costs. The amount already recovered shall be refunded to the petitioner within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
Index:yes Internet:yes ksr
To 1. Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Limited Thiruvarur Region Thiruvarur.
2. The Managing Director Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation 42 Thambuswamy Road Chennai 600 010
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