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Satyendra Singh v. Zonal Manager (North) F.C.I. And Others - WRIT - A No. 3142 of 2004  RD-AH 18260 (28 October 2006)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 3142 of 2004
Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli J.
Hon'ble Pankaj Mithal, J.
Apparently the procedure prescribed for transport of bulk food grains is that before loading the bulk, sealed samples of the same should be drawn at the loading end and the samples should be sealed and kept in the wagon along with the bulk food grains. This procedure is apparently meant to ensure that the loading end has discharged its responsibility and the bulk of the food grains which have been loaded are not tampered with or replaced during transit and reach the receiving end intact. The petitioner was incharge of the loading end. His duty was to super wise the loading.
Of the bulk food grains, which were received at the receiving end, the rice was found broken and damaged beyond the permissible limits and beyond the rejection limits. The living larvae of khapra was found in the rice and most important of all, sealed samples were not found in any of the wagons.
This means that the petitioner utterly failed in his duty. Whether this failure was innocent or intentional is not for this Court to decide. On the above material, the enquiry officer, the disciplinary authority have all recorded findings against the petitioner and the petitioner has been dismissed from service.
The argument advanced before us is that this act of the petitioner is at best incompetence or negligence, which does not warrant the extreme penalty of dismissal. The argument is sought to be fortified by the contention that the technical staff below the petitioner has been exonerated.
Normally, it is no argument to say that because some other guilty persons have been let off, therefore, the petitioner should also be let off despite his guilt. The writ Court is not an appellate Court. Considering the limits of the writ jurisdiction, the facts mentioned above, which have persuaded the sub-ordinate authorities to arrive at a particular conclusion can not be said to be so irrelevant that no rational person should have arrived at the conclusion, which has been arrived at regarding guilt of the petitioner.
The officers of the Food Corporation of India are not paid salary for relaxing and failing to do the duty entrusted to them. It is ultimately the public which suffers the consequences of such irresponsible officers.
However, considering the conduct of the petitioner alleged and found in the impugned orders, we do not find the punishment of dismissal so grossly disproportionate to the misconduct as to shock the consequences of this Court and, thereby warrant interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
In this discretionary jurisdiction therefore, we are not inclined to quash the dismissal order.
The writ petition is dismissed as above.
Dated : October 28, 2006
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