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DINESH KUMAR versus POLICE INSPECTOR GENERAL AND OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Dinesh Kumar v. Police Inspector General And Others - WRIT - A No. 52841 of 1999 [2005] RD-AH 4877 (26 October 2005)

 

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

                                                                                        Reserved

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.  52841     of  1999

Dinesh Kumar

Versus

Police Inspector General P.A.C.and others

Hon.Sanjay Misra.J.

Heard Sri P.K. Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondents.

The petitioner was a constable in ''G'. Group of 42 Batallion  P.A.C. Naini Allahabad. He has been dismissed from service  and his appeal has been rejected by the respondent no.2 and the revision has been rejected by the respondent no.1. The petitioner submits that when his battalion  was located at Fatehpur, the petitioner  injured  his leg while playing volleyball on l 2.2.1996. He  informed his group leader Sri Surya Bali  who  instructed the petitioner to obtain medical treatment from local doctor and take rest in the camp . It is alleged that at 10.00 P.M. on the same date, the officiating group leader  Sri Irshad  Ahmad asked  the petitioner to join him for night patrol duty and upon refusal of the petitioner, due to his physical inability ,the group leader initiated action against the petitioner where upon the petitioner  was suspended and was served a charge sheet.  On the basis of an  enquiry report his services were terminated by the order dated 26.8.1996. It is the contention of the petitioner that the respondents have not considered the evidence on record and believed the  allegations and charges leveled against the petitioner  on imaginary and non-existent basis. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the punishment of dismissal imposed upon the petitioner is disproportionate to the charges leveled and found proved against him. He has confined his argument to the said point only.

        A counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the respondents wherein the impugned orders have been justified on the ground that the petitioner was admittedly in state of intoxication when he was asked by his group leader to accompany him on night patrol duty. It is stated that the petitioner has misbehaved with his senior officer and tried to strike him with a stick. The petitioner was examined in the hospital on the same date  and he was found to be under the  influence of alcohol . A preliminary enquiry was conducted   and the proceedings under Rule 14 (1)of the U.P. Police Officers (Punishment and Appeal ) Rules 1991 was initiated  against  him.   He was given notice and opportunity to defend himself before the regular enquiry wherein charges levelled against the petitioner were found to have been proved and he was therefore, rightly dismissed. In para 4 of the counter affidavit, respondents have narrated twenty incidents of misconduct committed by the petitioner on as many occasions wherein he was given minor punishment and warning . It is stated that keeping in view  the various acts  of  misconduct of the petitioner during his service and seriousness of  the charges leveled against him ,he was rightly  dismissed and his appeal and revision were also rejected in public interest.

A rejoinder affidavit has been filed by the petitioner wherein he has denied the allegations made in para 4 of the counter affidavit and has stated that the petitioner was given minor punishment for the said minor lapses on his part .However, the said minor punishments were not recorded in his service book and that the said punishments were not a subject matter of the present charge and therefore, there was no occasion to make a reference to such earlier minor punishment.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the  case    of  U.P.State Road Transport Corporation Vs. Mahesh Kumar Misra and others (2000) 3 S.C.C. 450 and has contended that when relevant factors are not taken note of which have some bearing on the quantum of punishment  then Court can direct  reconsideration or in an appropriate case, shorten the litigation  by indicating the punishment to be awarded . In the case referred to the employee of the bus who was a conductor  was checked by the transport inspector and eleven passengers were issued short distance tickets and  instead of charging fare of Rs.1.80P , the conductor had charged fare of Rs.1.50P from the passengers. Hon'ble Supreme Court upheld the order of the High Court   where the punishment awarded had been reduced on the ground that although all the passengers had been issued ticket ,the only dispute was with regard to the place at which the passengers had boarded the bus.  No statement of such passengers was recorded  and  reliance was placed  on the report of the transport inspector.

Learned counsel  has referred to the case  of Kailash Nath Gupta versus Enquiry Officer Allahabad Bank  and others reported in 2003 (2) AWC 1509 (S.C) . In this case it was found that a reading of various charges shows that there was some procedural irregularity in making advances which could not be termed to be a negligence to warrant extreme penalty of dismissal from service. The Hon'ble Supreme Court found that the said aspect had not been considered in the proper perspective and therefore, the matter was remitted back to the High Court.  Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that in the aforesaid case the punishment imposed by the disciplinary authority was disproportionate to the charges proved and therefore, this Court can interfere in the punishment awarded by the respondents.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance on a decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court  in the case of Deo singh Vs. Punjab   Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (2003) 8, Supreme Court Cases 9,  and has contended that if punishment imposed by the disciplinary authority or appellate authority shocks judicial conscience of the Court, then it would be  appropriate for the High Court to direct  the authority to reconsider the penalty imposed or to  impose an appropriate punishment with cogent reasons in support thereof. He submits that if the punishment imposed is totally disproportionate then Court can interfere in such case.

Placing reliance upon the decision of the Hon'ble  Supreme Court in the case of Shri Bhagwan Lal Arya Vs. Commissioner of Police, Delhi and others (2004) 4, Supreme Court Cases 560, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that when the employee was found absent from duty on medical grounds it was found that it did not amount to grave misconduct rendering him completely unfit for police service. On such ground  for dismissal , the punishment was found to be excessive and disproportionate  and  it  was not  permissible  as per rules

Learned standing counsel on the other hand has  referred to the judgment of this Court in the case of  Gukulesh Sharma Vs. Deputy Inspector General, North Zone, CISF New Delhi and others E.S.C. (All.) 2005 (1) ,577 and contended that the employee having failed to carry out the transfer order and refused to receive the letter issued by the department  and having had a chequered history of  indiscipline , this court did not find any ground to review the punishment of dismissal  finding the employee to be highly undisciplined and grossly negligent in discharging his duties and responsibility in a discipline force.  

In the present case, the charge leveled against the petitioner, as indicated  above, was very specific as would be found from a perusal of the charge sheet. The documents which were relied upon against the petitioner were doctor's report dated 12.2.1996  indicating that the petitioner was in a state of intoxication. The petitioner had submitted his reply and contended that he received a leg injury  while playing volleyball  . His group leader had been informed orally . However, it is nowhere found on record as to whether the said group leader admitted the said fact. On the contrary ,it was found that it was the said group leader (Sri Surya Bali) who reported the incident to the Commandant therefore, the defence of the petitioner with respect to leg injury was  disbelieved in the enquiry. The petitioner was medically examined  on the same date and the doctor found that he had consumed alcohol and this fact has also been proved before the enquiry officer by submitting the doctor's medical report. The refusal of the petitioner to go for night patrol duty is admitted by him by saying that he was unable due to leg injury . However, in view of the specific finding that the petitioner was intoxicated and misbehaved with his group leader and refused to go on night patrol duty coupled with the fact  that his group leader (Surya Bali) had permitted him to rest in the camp was controverted by the same group leader who reported the  incident to the Commandant indicates that there was no error committed by respondent authorities or enquiry officer in considering the evidence which was available on record . A perusal of the order passed by the disciplinary authority indicates that the disciplinary authority has considered each and every ground taken by the petitioner in his explanation to the  show cause notice. Disciplinary authority has agreed with the finding of the enquiry officer and passed a reasoned order.

The petitioner had filed appeal which was rejected by the appellate authority . A perusal of the appellate order indicates that appellate authority has also applied his mind to the grounds of appeal taken by the petitioner and while dealing with the same it has  found that the appeal of the petitioner did not have any merit and  was , therefore, dismissed. The appellate authority in his order has considered the conduct of the petitioner with respect to 15 years of his service and came to the conclusion that the petitioner was an indiscipline employee in a discipline force  and has therefore, recorded that retaining the petitioner in service would be against the public interest.

The revisional authority has rejected the revision of the petitioner and has passed the order in exercise of its jurisdiction under Regulation 512  of the U.P.Police Regulations  which is quoted here under :-

"An officer whose appeal has been rejected by any authority  subordinate to the Local Government is entitled to submit an application for revision to the authority next in rank above that by which his appeal has been rejected. On such an application the power of revision may be exercised only when, in consequence of some flagrant irregularity, there appears to have been material injustice or miscarriage of justice.

The procedure prescribed for appeals applies also to applications for revision. An application for revision of an order rejecting an appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the original as well as of the appellate order.

It provides that on an application for revision, the authority can exercise its revisional power only when in consequence of some flagrant irregularity there appears to have been material injustice or miscarriage of justice. In view of the revisional power exercised by the respondent no. 1 it is seen that the revisional authority has considered the  revision of the petitioner in the light of his powers under Regulation 512 referred to above . No error can be found in the order of the revisional court.

In the present case, punishment awarded to the petitioner for being intoxicated for refusing to go on patrol duty and for  abusing and trying to strike his group leader has been considered as a grave misconduct by the respondent authorities. The record of the case indicates that the petitioner has committed act of minor misconduct on as many as  twenty occasions from the year 1985 upto the year 1992. It appears from the record that he was involved in misbehavior with a senior officer, absence from duty ranging from one day to 174 days  , not participating in parade, refusing to work,  being intoxicated and misbehaving  with general public. It appears that the petitioner had chequered history of indiscipline while serving in the disciplined force . The punishment of dismissal which has been awarded to the petitioner was on a grave charge which can not be said to be a minor misconduct. The police is a disciplined force and such indisciplined person does not deserve to be retained therein . No grounds or reasons have been made out in the present case for this Court to review the order of punishment given to the petitioner by the respondent authorities.

On the facts of the present case, it is found that the punishment  awarded  to the petitioner was not in any way disproportionate to the charge found proved against him, particularly when appellate authority has found the petitioner's career to be chequered with a history of indiscipline and it has record that it would not be in public interest to retain the petitioner in service.

For the reasons stated above ,there is no merit in this petition . The writ petition is accordingly dismissed . No order is passed as to costs.

Dt.     /October 2005.

Naim


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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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