State of Punjab Vs. Darshan Singh  INSC 269 (15 February 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
JT 1996 (5) 540 1996 SCALE (2)576
O R D
On January 11, 1996, since the respondent had not
appeared, the matter was heard ex-parte. However, the appellant was directed to
produce copy of the order dismissing the respondent from service. That order
has now been placed on record. The respondent was removed from service by the
proceedings of the General Manager of the appellant on May 26, 1989. The respondent filed the Suit
No.450/91 Questioning it for a declaration that the order of removal was
illegal. The trial Court proceeded on the finding that the order of removal is
based upon the previous conduct of the respondent which was not put in issue
before he was removed from service. Therefore, the order is vitiated by error
of law. That was upheld by the appellate Court. The Second Appeal was dismissed
summarily. Thus this appeal is by special leave.
order of removal clearly indicates that the charge was framed on the basis that
he committed misconduct in collecting fares from the passengers but had not
issued the tickets to them. Evidence was adduced after giving reasonable
opportunity and it was found that the defence of the respondent was not proved.
As a consequence, it was held in paragraph 5 that "in view of foregoing
discussions, the charge of committing fraud to the tune of Rs.7.50 ps. against
Shri Darshan Singh, C. is established." In view of that finding, the
respondent was removed from service. While communicating the order, they have
indicated the previous punishments he had to his credit. That does not mean
that they have taken into account those previous punishments imposed on him. The
courts below, therefore, have wrongly proceeded on the assumption that the
disciplinary authority had taken into consideration the previous conduct
without any charge being framed in that behalf or that no opportunity was given
to the respondent in this behalf.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The suit stands dismissed. No costs.