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Dhruv Deo Shukla v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 30053 of 2005  RD-AH 1372 (20 May 2005)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 30053 Of 200
Dhruv Dev Shukla Vs. State of U.P. and others
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 30064 Of 200
Girish Chandra Mishra Vs. State of U.P. and others
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 30057 Of 200
Suresh Kushwaha Vs. State of U.P. and others
Hon. Tarun Agarwala,J.
The petitioners have challenged the suspension orders. The charges levelled against them are similar and therefore, all the three writ petition are being decided together. For the sake of convenience, the contents and facts of writ petition of Dhruv Dev Shukla are being taken into consideration.
The charges indicate that the petitioner has been charged for negligence of his duties on account of which the Government would face an expected loss of Rs.3,86,25,100/- on account of the fact that settlement of 17 country liquor shops could not be made for the year 2005-06 because the petitioner did not take any interest in getting these shops settled.
Heard Sri Ashok Khare, the learned Senior Counsel assisted by Sri Pradeep Upadhyay for the petitioner and Sri V.K.Rai, the learned Standing Counsel for the respondents.
The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the charges levelled against the petitioners are vague and even if they are proved, it cannot result into a major of penalty. The learned counsel for the petitioner relied upon the proviso of Rule 4(1) of the U.P. Government Servant (Punishment and Appeal) Rules 1999 in support of his contention that a government servant should not be placed under suspension if the charges are not so serious and which would not entail a major penalty. The learned counsel further submitted that the petitioner was not responsible for the settlement of the 17 shops of country liquor and that the loss which was alleged to have been shown is only a fictitious figure which has yet not been crystallized and that these shops can also be settled in the excise year which has not come to an end as yet. The learned counsel for the petitioner further submitted that the target fixed for the district were wholly unrealistic on account of which the shops could not be settled.
The respondents in their counter affidavit submitted that all the District Excise Officers were called by the Excise Commissioner on 2.4.2005 at Allahabad to examine the progress of annual settlement process of all the excise shops of Uttar Pradesh and in this meeting it was found that out of 134 country liquor shops, 25 shops remained unsettled and out of these 25 shops, 17 shops fell in the area where the petitioner was posted. According to the respondents the Excise Inspector, namely, the petitioner was responsible for the prevention of illicit sale and manufacture of liquor as mentioned in paragraphs 122, 124 and 273 of the U.P. Excise Manual. Since preventive work was not taken by the petitioner seriously, it resulted in the illicit sale of liquor which in turn resulted in the non-settlement of these shops which otherwise had a potential in the market. The learned Standing Counsel submitted that there was a direct relationship between the settlement of a shop and the effective and preventive work been done by the Excise Inspector in his area in the previous financial year.
The aforesaid facts have been stated in the counter affidavit which have to be proved in a regular inquiry. It is yet to be ascertained to whether the petitioner was responsible for the loss which the State Government would incur in the current financial year. The question whether there is a direct nexus between the settlement of a shop and the effective and preventive work done by the petitioner as contemplated in paragraph nos.122, 124 and 273 of the Excise Manual is also to be verified and ascertained in the inquiry proceedings. At the present moment there are no charges that the petitioner had indulged in the illicit sale of liquor or was responsible for not preventing the illicit sale and manufacture of liquor in his area. Consequently, in my view, the suspension order cannot be sustained at this stage.
In so far as the attachment order is concerned, attaching the petitioner to the excise office at Allahabad, I see no ground to interfere in the said order. At times, it is necessary and essential to attach the petitioner to the Head Office during the pendency of the inquiry proceedings, so that, the evidence may not be tampered. Consequently, I do not find any error in interfering with the attachment order.
In view of the aforesaid, the writ petition is partly allowed. The suspension order dated 2.4.2005 is quashed. The respondents are directed to complete the inquiry proceedings expeditiously. In the event the inquiry proceedings prolong for one reason or the other, it is open to the respondents to pass a fresh order with regard to his posting at any other place.
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