Deputy Inspector General of Police Vs. K.S. Swaminathan  INSC 1247 (4
O R D
the respondent was working as an Inspector of Police, District Special Branch
in Coimbatore Rural District a special raid was conducted in the farm house of
one Eswaramoorthy Gounder located within the limits of Avinashi Police Station
on August 19, 1991. The incriminating material
recovered from the from house would indicate that he was making payments to
certain persons and one of the names disclosed from the incriminating material
was of the respondent. Consequently, a charge memo imputing misconduct on his
part was issued to him. The respondent filed O.A in the Administrative Tribunal
challenging the validity of the charge memo dated September 28, 1991. The Tribunal in the impugned order dated April 15 1994 set aside the charge memo on the
ground that the charges were vague. Thus, this appeal by special leave.
settled law by catena of decisions of this Court that if the charge memo is
totally vague and does not disclose any misconduct for which the charges have
been framed, the Tribunal or the Court would not be justified at that stage to
go into whether the charges are true and could be gone into, for it would he a
matter on production of the evidence for consideration at the enquiry by the
enquiry officer. At the stage of framing of the charge, the statement of facts
and the charge sheet supplied are required to be looked into by the Court or
the Tribunal as to the nature of the charges, i.e., whether the statement of
facts and material in support thereof supplied to the delinquent officer would
disclose the alleged misconduct.
Tribunal, therefore, was totally unjustified in going into the charges at that
stage. It is not the case that the charge memo and the statement of facts do
not disclose any misconduct alleged against the delinquent officer.
the Tribunal was totally wrong in quashing the charge memo. In similar
circumstances, in respect of other persons involved in the same transactions,
this Court in appeals arising out of SLP (C) Nos.19453-63 of 1995 had on February 9, 1996 allowed the appeals, set aside the
order passed by the Tribunal and remitted the matter holding that:
is not the stage at which the truth or otherwise of the charges ought to be
looked into. This is the uniform view taken by this Court in such
matters." We respectfully agree with the above conclusion and set aside
the impugned order of the Tribunal. The enquiry officer is directed to conduct
and complete the enquiry within a period of eight months from the date of the
receipt of the order and the disciplinary authority is directed to take action
thereon within three months thereafter.
appeal is accordingly allowed but, in the Circumstance, without costs.