Vs. State of Tamil Nadu & Anr  INSC 1082 (6 September 1996)
K. Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
O R D
special leave petition has been filed against an order of the Tamil Nadu Administrative
Tribunal, Madras Bench, made an February 26, 1996 in Da No.2152 of 1991. The petitioner, while working as
Assistant commissioner of Commercial Taxes, demanded and accepted illegal
gratification. Consequently he was suspended from service on October 1, 1995. An enquiry into the charges was
conducted by the Tribunal for disciplinary proceedings. The Tribunal
recommended dismissal of the petitioner form service on the basis of the
finding that the preponderance of evidence established that petitioner had
demanded and accepted illegal gratification from PW -I (Shammugasundaram).
Accepting the report, the disciplinary authority by its order dated January 6, 1989, dismissed the petitioner form
service. The petitioner than filed DA in the Tribunal. In the first instance,
the Tribunal allowed the petition. Subsequently, when an appeal was filled in
this Court, this Court by it s order dated September 8, 1995 set aside the
Tribunal's order and held that the Tribunal is not a fact finding authority and
the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is such matters is well settled. It was also
held that Administrative Member cannot alone decide the matter.
the matter was remitted to the Tribunal, it held that though other witnesses
had turned hostile the evidence of PW-1 and other evidence on record was found
to be sufficient to dismiss the petitioner form service. Accordingly, the
Tribunal has upheld the order of dismissal from service.
this special leave.
Kumar, learned counsel for the petitioner, has contended that as many as 17
witnesses examined by the Government to prove the charges of demand and
acceptance, have turned hostile and they were declared hostile by the
prosecution. The solitary evidence by PW-1, chronic defaulter in payment of
sales Tax, is without corroboration on material particulars and is not
sufficient for order of dismissal of the petitioner form service. We find no
force in the contention. Admittedly, the Evidence Act has no application for
the disciplinary proceedings. The report of the Tribunal was material before
the disciplinary authority to take action in accordance with law. It is true
that the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commissioner had recommended to take a
lenient view in the matter but the Government had not accepted the
recommendation. The view of the Public Service Commission being only
recommendatory, the Government was not bound to accept the recommendation made
by the Public Service Commission. Taking all the facts and the circumstances of
the case, the Government had accepted the finding of the Tribunal that
preponderance of probabilities did establish that the petitioner had demanded
and accepted illegal gratification form PW-1 and thereby he committed
misconduct rightly leading to dismissal from service. This finding having been
based upon the evidence of PW-1, it cannot be said that the findings is based
upon no evidence.
for the disciplinary authority to take into consideration all the relevant
facts and circumstance and is found that the evidence establishes misconduct
against a public servant, the disciplinary authority is perfectly empowered to
take appropriate decision as to the nature of the findings on the proof of
guilt. Once there is a finding as regards the proof of misconduct, While making
decision to impose punishment of dismissal from service, if the disciplinary
authority had take the decision keeping in view the discipline in the service.
Though this Court is empowered to go into the question as to the nature of the
punishment imposed, it has to be considered in the peculiar facts and
circumstances of each case. No doubt, there is no allegation of misconduct
against the officer during his earlier carrier. But it does not mean that
proved allegation is not sufficient to impose the penalty of dismissal from
service. Considered from this perspective. we think that there is no illegality
in the order passed by the Tribunal warranting an interference.
this special leave petition is dismissed.