Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur Vs. Ajay Kumar Gulati  INSC 816 (16 July 1996)
Reddy, B.P. (J) Jeevan Reddy, B.P. (J) Sen, S.C. (J) B.P.Jeevan Reddy,J.
JT 1996 (6) 477 1996 SCALE (5)226
the counsel for the parties.
appeal is preferred by the employer, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur against the judgment and
order of the Delhi High Court giving certain directions with respect to the
scope of disciplinary enquiry to be conducted against the respondent-employee.
disciplinary enquiry was held against the respondent with respect to certain
grave charges. The enquiry officer reported that the charges were established.
Respondent submitted his comments and objections to the report of the enquiry officer
After considering the report and the objections the disciplinary authority
passed the following order on April 29 4. It is indeed a communication
addressed to the respondent:
reference to your representation dated the 16th Decembers 1993, with regard to
proceedings and findings of the Enquiry Officer constituted earlier to go into
the charges against your we have carefully gone into the points raised by you
in your representation and having applied our mind dispassionately have
observed that though his findings are sufficient for taking a view in the
matter to expel every iota of doubt and to provide every opportunity to you to
put your defences another opportunity in the name of justice may be given to
you to make your position clear.
have, therefore,, issued orders for conducting the enquiry against you afresh
and have appointed Shri S.K.Supekars, Branch Manager, D.N. Market Ahmedabad as
Enquiry Officer to conduct the necessary departmental enquiry. The notice dated
29.4.1994 issued by me in this respect is enclosed.
date, time and place of the enquiry will be advised to you by the Enquiry
Officer. You are advised to remain available to him as and when required.
Please also finalise the selection of your representative for defending your case,
before the commencement of the proceedings in case you wish to engage one.
faithfully, sd/ C.K. MISHRA Notified Disciplinary Authority." On the same
days the very same authority addressed another communication to Sri S.K.Supekars
Branch Manager State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur,
D.N.Market, Ahmedabad intimating that he has been appointed the enquiry officer
and asking him to commence the enquiry on May 26, 1994 and complete the same within the
period prescribed. The communication reads as follows:
abovenamed was issued charge sheet no. DGM/DPS/159 dated 24.9.1991 for
committing certain Acts of misconduct while posted as ALPMO at Amar Colony, New Delhi branch. Following the denial of
charge by Shri Gulati, matter was got enquired into Enquiry Officer has since
submitted the Enquiry report. Keeping in view he representation made by Shri Gulati
and with a view to give him full opportunity to put up his defences, it has
been decided by me to get the matter enquired afresh and have appointed you as
Enquiry Officer. I forward herewith the copies of the following documents for
your perusal and necessary action.
Noted dated 29.4.94 issued by me appointing you as Enquiry Officer.
Copy of Order dated 29.4.1994, appointing Shri G.S Talwar as Bank's
Copy of Charge Sheet no.DGM/DPS/159 dated 24/09/1991 issued to Shri A.K.Gulati.
Time schedule of the enquiry.
Copy of letter no. DGM/DPS/ dated 29.4.1994 addressed to Shri A.K.Gulati.
are advised to commence the enquiry on 26.5.1994 as mentioned in the schedule
of enquiry. You are further advised to complete the enquiry within the given
schedule by holding the same on day to day basis without break. Please note
that your report must reach me positively within the stipulated period as
detailed in the enclosed time schedule.
faithfully, sd/- (C.K. Mishra) Notified Disciplinary Authority" The
respondent questioned the aforesaid proceeding, order dated April 29, 1994 by way of a writ petition [C.W.No.405
of 1995] in the Delhi High Court. Though several grounds
were raised in the writ petitions the any question urged before the High Courts
as it appears, from the order of the High Court was, from which stage of
proceeding should the de novo enquiry commence. It would be appropriate to
extract the order of the High Court in its entirety:
writ petition can be disposed of at this stage as now the only question
addressed before us is as to from what state of the proceedings,.the de novo
enquiry should commence. A new enquiry officer has been appointed vide impugned
order and impugned order has ordered de novo enquiry which, according to our
views was not Justified. The reason given for holding fresh enquiry is that
petitioner's grievance that he had not been given proper opportunity for
defending his case by leading documentary and oral evidence has been accepted
by the Department and for affording reasonable opportunity of hearing to the
petitioner for giving his full defences de novo enquiry has been ordered.
of the view that the enquiry would not be from the very beginning. The
Department's evidence has already been completed and some evidence of the
petitioner has also been recorded. The New Enquiry Officer should now proceed
to give opportunity to the petitioner to is documentary and oral evidence and
also consider the question of recalling any witness for further
cross-examination petitioner and then proceed to decide the matter afresh.
petitioner be given his dues according, to the rules.
the directions this writ petition is disposed of. Parties are left bear their
own costs. The application is also disposed of." In this appeals it is
contended by the appellant Bank that there is no warrant for the High Court to
direct that the enquiry to be conducted hereinafter should be confined to the
recording of the evidence to be adduced by the respondent alone. The learned
counsel for the appellant contends that no reasons are given in support of the
direction made by the High Court.
not prepared to agree. The High Court was given reasons for the direction it
has given, in supersession of the orders of the notified disciplinary
authority. We are unable to say that the view taken by the High Court is not a
possible view. Acting under Article 136, we do not think it advisable to
interfere with the order of the High Court, even if we find that another view
of the matter is possible.
appeal is dismissed accordingly. No costs.