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Constable No. 1396/796 Civil P., Devi Prasad Pandey & Ors. v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - A No. 52240 of 2006  RD-AH 16304 (19 September 2006)
Court No. 38
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 52240 of 2006
Constable No.1396/796 Civil Police Devi Prasad Pandey and others
State of U.P. and others
Hon'ble V.K. Shukla, J.
Petitioners, who are four in number, have been placed under suspension on the ground that on surprise inspection being made, it was revealed that petitioners, who were assigned escort duty in Shramjivi Express, were found in the activity of getting the passengers travel without ticket. In exercise of power under Section 17 (1) (a) of the Uttar Pradesh Police Officers of Subordinate Ranks (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1991, Superintendent of Police, Railways, Allahabad, passed order of suspension. At this juncture present writ petition has been filed.
Sri Dinesh Pathak, learned counsel for petitioner, contended with vehemence, that in the present case no preliminary enquiry has been conducted and as such petitioner cannot be placed under suspension. In this connection reliance has been placed on Division Bench judgment in case of Kripa Shankar Prasad and others vs. State of U.P. and others (2004) 1 UPLBEC 124.
In the present case undisputed position is that in surprise inspection which was carried out, petitioners were caught and as such this was a case where material was there in the knowledge of the authority concerned. Holding of preliminary enquiry is not at all mandatory criteria, inasmuch as preliminary inquiry is only a mean to find out as to whether the facts and circumstances involved in a particular case warrant holding of a regular inquiry. Here material was there in the surprise inspection, which was carried out. Consequently, there was no requirement of holding any preliminary inquiry and the authorities in their wisdom could have exceeded power of supervision. The said Division Bench decision would not come to the rescue of petitioners, as undisputed position is that impugned order of suspension in the said case has been passed during the course of preliminary inquiry, whereas Rule 17 of the said Rules empowered the competent authority to pass suspension order during the course of an inquiry or contemplation thereof which was referable to regular enquiry. In the said case, impugned order which was subject matter of challenge , it was mentioned to appoint officer to hold preliminary enquiry. Consequently dictum of the aforementioned judgment would not come to th rescue of the petitioners.
Sri Dinesh Pathak has next contended that in the present case order has been passed by an authority who is below the status of Superintendent of Police, as such impugned order of suspension is without jurisdiction. Rule 17 (1) (a) of the Rules provides that a police officer of subordinate rank may be placed under suspension pending conclusion of inquiry in the discretion of the appointing authority or by any authority not below the rank of Superintendent of Police authorised by him in this behalf. In this regard Xerox copy of the suspension order has been perused and the said order indicates that it has been passed by the Superintendent of Police, Railways, Allahabad, and there is valid authorization in favour of the aforementioned authority as mentioned in paragraph 2 of the impugned order of suspension dated 12.08.2006 itself. Consequently, the authority who has passed the order of suspension was competent enough, there was not short coming in the same, and it does not warrant interference.
At last Sri Dinesh Pathak contended that charges are of very trivial in nature and the same will not result in major penalty. Prima facie seeing the nature of allegations, it cannot be said that charges are trivial in nature. However, after evidence is led, then it can be seen as to whether charges have been brought to home or not. Consequently, it is directed that disciplinary proceeding undertaken against petitioners be endeavoured to be concluded at the earlies, preferably, within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order, subject top full co-operation being extended by the petitioner.
Subject to observations made above, writ petition is dismissed.
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