Vs. Canara Bank & Ors  INSC 1340 (28 October 1996)
LEAVE PETITION (C) NO. 20632 OF 1996
O R D
special leave petitions have been filed against the Order of the Division Bench
of the Madras High Court made on September 9,1996 in Writ Petition Nos.
17011/94 and 9851/87.
admitted facts are that the petitioner, while working as a Manager of the
respondent-Bank, was charged on November 3, 1986 for an offence punishable under
Sections 420, 467, 477 IPC read with Section 5(1) (d) of the Prevention of
Corruption Act, 1947 (for short, the `Act').
trial Court convicted the petitioner for an offence under Sections 420 and 477A
IPC and 5(2) read with 5(1)(d) of the Act and sentenced to undergo one year
imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs.3,000/- on each of the counts.
appeal, the High Court suspended the sentence on September 15, 1987 and enlarged the petitioner on bail. The respondents had
issued a show cause notice pending trial to the petitioner on September 24,
l987. The petitioner challenged the same which was subsequently withdrawn.
After the conviction, they issued another notice to the petitioner on September 12, 1994. The petitioner challenged the show
cause notice in the above writ petition. The High Court in the impugned order
dismissed the same. Shri Sampath. learned counsel for the petitioner, contended
that the conviction on the basis of a criminal charge is not one of the
specified enumerated misconducts. Removal does not lead the conviction due to
the misconduct under the Regulation. Therefore, Regulations 6, 7 and 8 would
not apply to the facts in this case. Consequently, Regulation 11 of the Canara
Bank Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations does not get
attracted. The action taken, therefore, is without jurisdiction. We find no
force in the contention. It is true that the High Court had suspended the
operation of the judgment but nonetheless the conviction recorded by the trial
Court cannot be obliterated. It is still conviction but only redemption is that
by operation of the suspension, the petitioner is not required to undergo the
sentence pending appeal in the High Court. Regulation 11 reads as under;
11:- Notwithstanding anything contained in Regulation 6 or Regulation 7 or
Regulation 8 the Disciplinary Authority may impose any of the penalties
SPECIFIED IN Regulation 4, if the Officer employee has been convicted on a
Criminal Charge or on the strength of facts or conclusions arrived at by a
judicial trial." The respondents have specifically stated that on account
of the conviction by the criminal court on a criminal charge, the action is
sought to be taking action under the Regulations. The non obstante clause
engrafted in Regulation 11 takes out the necessity to follow the procedure
prescribed in Regulation 6, 7 or 8, as the case may be, by excluding the
operation of Regulations 6, 7 and 8. The authority is empowered to take action
against the delinquent employee for imposition of any of the penalties
specified in Regulation 4. Only in two cases, Regulation 11 could be invoked,
namely, conviction of a criminal charge or on the strength of facts of
conclusions arrived at by a judicial trial. In view of the fact that criminal
court had recorded the conviction of the appellant for offences under Sections
420. 477A and 5(2) read with Section 5(l)(d) of the Act. The invocation of
Regulation 11 stands applicable.
then contended that the conviction must be such that leads to the criminal
misconduct under the Regulation and when only the action could be taken. We
find no force in the contention. If the action is taken for any of the
misconducts specified in Regulation 4, the procedural requirements contemplated
under Regulations 6, 7 and 8, as the case may be, are required to be followed
and order passed. In other words, if any delinquent employee of the Bank was
convicted of a criminal charge, action is taken not on the basis of the
misconducts on the basis of a crime committed by the employee by abuse of the
office or on the basis of an offence that led to the conviction on a criminal
charge or on the strength of facts or conclusions arrived at by a judicial
trial irrespective of the abuse of office.
the petitioner is not an employee governed by the proviso to Article 311(2) of
the Constitution, we need not go into the conviction leading to the conviction
as to whether the authority can take disciplinary, action pending criminal
proceedings leading to conviction. In this case, since there is already a
finding of conviction recorded by the criminal court, though the sentence was
suspended by the High Court on appeal, the authorities are still competent to
take action under Regulation 11. Therefore, the High Court was clearly right in
not interfering with the notice issued to the petitioner.
petitions are accordingly dismissed.