Union of India & Ors Vs. C.L. Verma
 INSC 81 (12
Kasliwal, N.M. (J) Kasliwal, N.M. (J) Sahai, R.M. (J)
1994 AIR 1516 1993 SCR (1)1044 1993 SCC (2) 195 JT 1993 (3) 703 1993 SCALE
Services-Dismissal-Non-furnishing copy of the enquiry report to delinquent
official-Effect of-Application to cases pending before the court on the crucial
date of judgment- Matter referred to larger bench.
and Phrases-"Prospectively"--Meaning of
respondent-employee was dismissed from service without supplying him a copy of
the enquiry report at the time to hearing. The order of dismissal was
challenged in the Central Administrative Tribunal, and the same was set aside
on the ground that since the employee was not supplied the copy of the enquiry
report, the dismissal stood vitiated.
appellants have challenged the order of the Tribunal in this court. Relying on
the decision in Ramzan's case, the appellants have contended that the said
ruling of the Supreme Court holding that the delinquent should be supplied the
copy of the enquiry report before dismissal should apply prespectively.
the matter to the Constitution Bench, this Court,
1. This appeal may be heard alongwith the Civil Appeal arising out of the
Special leave petition in Managing Director, Electronics Corporation of India v. Karunakar, in which a reference
has already been made to the Constitution Bench. [1048D]
is not proper in the interest of justice to give any direction of reinstatement
of the respondent in service or award of any back wages as done in B. Karunakar's
case. the respondent would be Governed by an appropriate direction that may be
given at time of the final decision. The operation of the impugned order in appeal
shall remain stayed so far as the respondent is concerned. [1048G-H] Union of India & Ors. v. Mohd Ramzan Khan,  SCC
188, 1045 relied on.
Director Electronics Corporation of India v. B. Karunakar, and JT (1992) 3 SC 605 and Kailash Asthana v. State of
UP., JT (1988) 2 SC 291, referred to.
APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 611 of 1993.
the Judgment and Order dated 8.8.91 of the Central Ad- ministrative Tribunal Bombay Bench, in Original Application No.171 of
Reddy, Additional Solicitor General, R. Sasiprabhu and Vijay Kumar Verma for
Jaising and Mukul Mudgal for the Respondent.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by KASLIWAL, J. Delay condoned.
respondent C.L. Verma was an employee of Western Railway, Church Gate, Bombay,
He was served with a charge sheet dated 30.9.1983. He was dismissed from
Railway service with effect from 29.8.1985 by the disciplinary authority.
appeal filed by the respondent was dismissed by the President of India vide
order dated 21.8.1986. The respondent challenged his dismissal in the Central
Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal by an order dated 8.8.1991 set aside the
order of dismissal on the ground that the respondent was not supplied the copy
of the Enquiry Officer's report. The Tribunal placed reliance on a decision of
this Court in Union of India and Others v. Mohd Ramzan Khan,  1 SCC 588.
The Tribunal considered the effect of the observations made in Mohd Ramzan's
case (supra) that the said decision shall have prospective ap- plication and no
punishment imposed shall be open to challenge on this ground. The Tribunal in
this regard held that no inference can be drawn from the observations made by
the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Ramzan Khan's case (supra) that all the pending
matters will also abate. The Tribunal further held as under:- 1046 "Thus
all the pending matters which were open for adjudication and would be so open
after the decision in Ramzan Khan's case (supra) would be adjudicated upon not
having become final and would be thus within the ambit of plural judgments
would have prospective effect used in Ramzan Khan's case (supra)." The
Tribunal further clarified that this decision may not preclude the disciplinary
authority from reviving the proceeding and continuing with it in accordance
with law from the stage of supply of the enquiry report in cases where
dismissal or removal was the punishment.
against the aforesaid order, the Union of India has come in appeal before this
have considered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties. In
para 17 of the judgment of Mohd. Ramzan Khan's case (supra) it was held as
under:- "There have been several decisions in different High Court which,
following the Forty-second Amendment, have taken the view that it is no longer
necessary to furnish a copy of the inquiry report to delinquent officers. Even
on some occasions this Court has taken that view. Since we have reached a different
conclusion the judgments in the dif- ferent High Courts taking the contrary
view must be taken to be no longer laying down good law. We have not been shown
any decision of a co-ordinate or a larger bench of this Court taking this view.
Therefore, the conclusion to the contrary reached by any two Judge bench in
this Court will also no longer be taken to be laying down good law, but this
shall have prospective application and no punishment imposed shall be open to
challenge on this ground." After the decision in Mohd. Ramazan Khan's
case, the matter came up for consideration again before a three Judge Bench of
this Court in Managing Director, Electronic Corporation of India v. B. Karunakar,
JT (1992) 3 S.C. 605. In this case, notice was taken of an earlier decision of
this Court in Kailash Chander Asthana v. State of U.P., JT (1988) 2 S.C. 291 =
 3 SCC 600 wherein it had been observed by a Bench of three 1047 Judges
that the question of furnishing a copy of the report of enquiry in disciplinary
proceedings held after Forty- second Amendment does not arise. This Court
therefore, held that there was seeming conflict as to the entitlement of a copy
of the enquiry report to the delinquent officer in between the cases of Kailash
Chander Asthana and Mohd. Ramzan Khan and as such it was considered necessary
to refer this matter to a larger bench. This Court, therefore, in B. Karunakar's
case (supra) granted special leave on this question and directed the papers to
be placed before the Chief Justice for constitution of a larger bench. This
Court in B. Karunakar's case also gave the following directions:- "Since
the matter is likely to take a long time for desposal of the matter, any stay
order would prejudicially effect the interest of the respondent in whose favour
there is an order of reinstatement with liberty reserved for continuing the
inquiry. We, therefore, direct that respondent be reinstated in service within
a month from today with the payment of one half of the back wages." It has
come to our notice that in several cases the view has been taken that the ratio
of Mohd. Ramzan Khan's case shall apply prospectively and shall not apply in
the cases where the order of dismissal was passed prior to the said decision in
Mohd Ramzan Khan's case. One of such cases is Civil Appeal No. 4523 of 1992
entitled Union of India & Others v. A.K Chatterjee, decided on 19.10.1992
by a Bench of two Judges, of which P.B. Sawant, J. was a member and was also
one of the judges in Mohd Ramzan Khan's case. In the aforesaid case the
respondent A.K. Chatterjee was dismissed for service by order dated 6.1.1988.
On appeal filed by A.K. Chatterjee, the order was modified to the extent that
the order of dismissal was reduced to removal vide appellate order dated
22.2.1980. On a further revision, the General Manager reduced the penalty of
removal of service to that of compulsory retirement vide order dated 1.8.1988.
The tribunal vide its judgment dated 18.2.1992 set aside the order of
compulsory retirement placing reliance on Mohd Ramzan Khan's case. On appeal by
the Union of India this Court held that the Tribunal had not noticed the
operative part of the judgment in Mohd Ramzan Khan's case, where it was made
clear that the law laid down there will apply prospectively. It was held that admittedly
in the case, the order of dismissal was passed prior to 1048 the said decision
and as such the decision of the Tribunal was set aside and the matter was
remanded to the Tribunal for decision on merits of other points.
thus contended before us by the learned counsel for the Union of India that in Mohd
Ramzan Khan's case, it was clearly laid down that the said decision will apply
prospectively and will not affect such orders of dismissal which had been
passed prior to the date of the said decision. On the other hand, it was
contended on behalf of the respondent that the aforesaid observations cannot
apply to a case in which the delinquent officer had already challenged the
order of dismissal before the Administrative Tribunal and the observations made
in Mohd Ramzan Khan's case should only apply in such cases where the order of
dismissal had become final and not in such cases where the proceedings were
therefore, direct that this appeal may also be heard along with the Civil Appeal
No. 3056 of 1991 arising out of Special Leave Petition No. 12103 of 1991
entitled Managing Director, Electronic Corporation of India v. B. Karunakar, in which a
reference has already been made to the Constitution Bench. Now, so far as the
question of granting the stay order is concerned, in our view it should depend
on the facts and circumstances of each case. In the case in hand before us, the
charge levelled against the respondent was of having accepted Rs. 2,000 as
illegal gratification from a 'Khalasi' employed in the Workshop for getting him
allotted a railway quarter out of turn. The respondent has been found guilty of
the said charge in disciplinary proceedings and the order of dismissal has been
set aside by the Tribunal only on the ground of non supply of enquiry report
and following the decision in Mohd Ramzan Khan's case.
taking note of the aforesaid decisions as well as the gravity of the charge levelled
against the respondent and the same having not been set aside on merits, we do
not consider it proper in the interest of justice to give any direction of
reinstatement of the respondent in service or award of any back wages as done
in B. Kamuakar's case. The respondent would be governed by an appropriate
direction to be given at the time of the final decision of the case. It view of
the circumstances mentioned above, we direct that the operation of the impugned
judgment of the Central Ad- ministrative Tribunal, Bombay Bench dated 8.8.1991
shall remain stayed so 1049 far- as the respondent C.L. Verma is concerned.
This appeal may now be heard by the Constitution Bench along with the appeal
arising out of Special Leave Petition No. 12103 of 1991 entitled Managing
Director, Electronic Corporation of India v. B. Karunakar.
Referred to Constitution Bench.