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Ram Dhan v. Regional Manager, U.P.S.R.T.C. & Another - WRIT - A No. 14933 of 2000  RD-AH 5328 (8 November 2005)
Court No. 27
Writ Petition No. 14933 of 2000
U.P.State Road Transport
Corporation Alld.& another. Respondents
Hon. Vikram Nath,
Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Samir Sharma learned counsel for the respondents.
This Court vide order dated 04.04.2000 passed the following order:-
"The contention of the petitioner is that in the enquiry conducted against him, the U.P. State Road Transport Corporation had not produced the persons who had given report on the basis of which the disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him and thus it vitiates the entire enquiry report as the charges have not been proved. Thus petitioner cannot lead the evidence which does not exist. Further the punishment awarded to the petitioner is highly disproportionate to the charges levelled against him.
Issue notice to the respondents. The respondents are represented by Shri Shamir Sharma learned counsel. He prays for and is granted six weeks to file counter affidavit. Rejoinder affidavit may be filed within two weeks thereafter. List in the week commencing 10th July 2000.
Till further orders, the operation of the order dated 14.02.2000 shall remain stayed."
It has been alleged by the petitioner that in the inquiry the complainant on whose report the disciplinary proceedings was initiated against the petitioner did not appear before the Inquiry Officer nor his statement was recorded at any stage and petitioner as such had not been given any opportunity to cross-examine the said complainant. The Inquiry Officer has also mentioned in his reported that despite repeated communication to the complainant he did not appear and ultimately statement of the petitioner was recorded in the absence of the complainant. The Inquiry Officer further records that the complaint made against the petitioner has not been proved nor verified as the complainant had not appeared and as such the charges levelled against the petitioner cannot be substantiated. However, he has held the petitioner guilty only for the reason that the petitioner failed to produce any evidence . Such a finding recorded by the Inquiry Officer forms the basis of the order of the Disciplinary Authority who dismissed the petitioner from service vide order dated 14.02.2000.
In the counter affidavit also nothing of substance has been stated by which it could be inferred that the charge against the petitioner was established. The purpose of departmental inquiry is to inquire into the charges, for which the department/ prosecution has to first establish the charge and thereafter give opportunity to the delinquent to cross examine the witness and thereafter give opportunity to lead evidence/witness in support of his defence. But before the defence evidence is to be led the charges levelled against the delinquent have to be proved. In the present case the complainant himself (an employee of the corporation) having absented and inquiry officer having failed to record his statement, the charge against the petitioner cannot be said to have been proved. Further the observation of the Inquiry Officer that the petitioner was guilty as he failed to produce evidence cannot be sustained. In the circumstances the inquiry stands vitiated.
The charge leveled against the petitioner is that he did not stop the bus upon signal being given to him by the checking squad. On such report being made by the checking squad the proceedings were initiated. Even if such charge was found to have been proved, which has not been done in this case, even then the punishment of dismissal awarded to the petitioner would appear to be too harsh and disproportionate.
Since I have already held that the inquiry stood vitiated, as the charge was not proved in the inquiry, the order of the dismissal cannot be sustained.
The writ petition deserves to be allowed. The impugned order of dismissal dated 24.02.2000 is set aside.
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