Dattatraya Ramteerthakhar Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors  INSC 1474 (20 November 1996)
G.T. Nanaviti, K. Venkataswami
O R D
special leave petition arises from the order of Maharashtra Administrative
Tribunal, Bombay Bench, made in OA No.558 of 1991. The finding recorded by all
the authorities is that the petitioner has misappropriated a sum of Rs.1440/-
deducted from the employees and had not deposited unti asked to pay the same in
1985. Thereby, the authorities have concluded that the petitioner has committed
misconduct. On that finding, the Enquiry Officer found him guilty. The
disciplinary authority removed him from service.
Petitioner challenged the order in the High Court. The High Court allowed the
petitioner to withdraw the writ petition with liberty to avail the alternative
remedy. The Tribunal found that there is no proper explanation for the
inordinate delay in assailing the disciplinary action. That apart, even on merits
also, we do no think that there is any case made out for interference. The
finding is that the petitioner has committed misappropriation of the public
money and his removal from service is an appropriate order.
counsel for the petitioner sought to contend that the petitioner has not
committed any misappropriation and that he was forced to deposit the money. We
cannot accept the contention in view of the fact that the petitioner himself
had deposited the amount. It is then contended that the preliminary enquiry was
not properly conducted and, therefore, the enquiry is vitiated by principles of
natural justice. We find no force in the contention. The preliminary enquiry
has nothing to do with the enquiry conducted after the issue of the charge-sheet.
former action would be to find whether disciplinary enquiry should be initiated
against the delinquent. After full-fledged enquiry was held, the preliminary
enquiry had lost its importance.
these circumstances, we do not find any illegality in the order passed by the
Tribunal warranting interference. The special leave petition is accordingly