of Punjab & Anr Vs. Swaran Singh  INSC
125 (24 January 1996)
O R D
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
appeal by special leave arises from the order of the single Judge of the High
Court of Punjab and Haryana, made on October 20, 1993 in RSA No. 2076 of 1993 dismissing
the in limine.
only question is : whether the appellant is empowered to impose 15% cut in the
pension of the respondent as a measure of penalty. Disciplinary proceedings
were initiated against the respondent and pending proceedings, he retired from
service. The disciplinary authority passed the order before his superannuation
on February 15, 1987 holding that misconduct on his part
was established; however, a minor penalty was imposed. But the higher
authority, on appeal, gave notice to the respondent and disagreed with the
disciplinary authoritys's conclusion and imposed 15% cut in the pension payable
to the respondent by proceedings dated March 30, 1989. The respondent filed a civil suit.
The trial Court decreed the suit. On appeal, it was confirmed and the second
appeal, as stated earlier, was dismissed in limine.
seen that notice was issued by this Court by order dated April 19, 1996 confined to the question whether
the power of the authority to withhold whole or any part of the pension is
correct or not. It is seen that Rule 15 (v) (c) of the Punjab Civil Services
(Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1970 provides that "subject to the provisions
of Rule 14, a Government employee may prefer an appeal against all or any of
the orders and while disposing of the appeal the appellate authority has power
to order (c) reducing or withholding the pension or denying the maximum pension
admissible to him under the rules". It is contended by the learned counsel
for the respondent that Rule 11 casts duty to supply enquiry report along with
the penalty which has not been supplied. Therefore, the order is violative of
Rule 11 of the Rules. We find no force in the contention. It is seen that the
impugned order came to be passed on appeal by the appellate authority. We have
already held that it has the power and authority to impose cut in the pension.
It is not a case where the primary authority imposed any penalty without
supplying copy of the report and action was taken thereon. Under these
circumstances, though Rule 11 provides for the supply of copy of the enquiry
report, the infraction thereof makes no difference in view of the facts in this
appeal is accordingly allowed. The judgment and decree of all the courts stand
set aside. As a result, the suit stands dismissed. No costs.