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Sulekh Chand & Salek Chand Vs. Commissioner of Police & Ors [1994] INSC 501 (30 September 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (3) 674 JT 1995 (1) 23 1994 SCALE (4)707

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. Leave granted.

2. These appeals arise from the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal in O.A.No.1218/88 dated December 12, 1993. The appellant was promoted from the post of A.S.I. to S.I. but he was confirmed w.e.f. January 4, 1989 though it was stated .that his case for promotion had to be considered with effect from October 1, 1982. This claim was resisted by the respondents on the ground that in 1983, he was charged for an offence under section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and he was kept under suspension and he was also communicated of adverse remarks for the period from June 7, 1980 to March 31, 1981 and that he became eligible to be considered for promotion as S.I. w.e.f. December 16, 1985. Therefore, his case was considered and he was promoted in 1989. Counsel for the respondent was directed to produce the record relating to the D.P.C. proceedings- We have perused the proceedings of D.P.C. which would clearly show that the reasons which prevailed with the DP.C. were the prosecution under section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act and the departmental enquiry, against the appellant It is not in dispute that the proposed departmental enquiry a;so is related to the self same offence under section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The, judgment acquitting the appellant of the, charge under section .,(2) became final and it clearly indicate-,; that it was on merits. Therefore, once the acquittal was on merits the necessary consequence would be that the delinquent is entitled to reinstatement as if there is no blot on his service and the, need for the departmental enquiry is obviated.

It is settled law that though the delinquent official may get an acquittal on technical grounds, me authorities are entitled to conduct departmental enquiry on the self same allegations and take appropriate disciplinary action. But, here, as stated earlier, the acquittal was on merits. The material on the basis of which his promotion was denied was the sole ground of the prosecution under section 5(2) and that ground when did not subsist, the same would not furnish the basis for DPC to overlook his promotion. We are informed that the departmental enquiry itself was dropped by the respondents. Under these circumstances, the very foundation an which the D.P.C. had proceeded is clearly illegal. The appellant is entitled to the promotion with effect from the date immediate junior was promoted with all consequential benefits. The appeals are allowed. No costs.

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