Sharma Vs. Kulwant Singh & Ors  INSC 466 (25 April 1997)
RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA
O R D
E R Delay condoned.
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
appeal by special leave arises from the judgment of the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, made on April 18, 1995 in Civil Writ Petition
first respondent had purchased furniture and said to be used the bank car for unofficiaal
purposes. On that ground, he was surcharged. The inspection report dated May 4, 1993 would indicate that the first respondent as
president of the Bank had not used the car while performing duties and
responsibilities according to the statutory provisions and the expenditure
incurred in that behalf and the value of the furniture purchase were liable to
be recovered from then personally. The enquiry conducted in the behalf revealed
that the first respondent had made unauthorised use of the bank car and had
made purchase of the furniture etc. It was opined that he had needlessly
incurred the expenditure and, therefore, the same was liable to be recovered
from him as surcharge. When he challenged this order in the High Court, the
High Court allowed the writ petiton and quashed the surcharge order and the Annexure
P.5 imposing surcharge with cost of Rs.5,000/- to be borne by the State with
the liberty to proceed against the appellant for recovery thereof. When the
matter had come up before us, we directed the Joint Registrar, Cooperative
Societies to give an opportunity of hearing to the Ist respondent and then to
pass a reasoned order whether he had caused any loss to Bank of which he is the
Chairman. In the order dated April 9, 1997, the Registrar, after elaborate
consideration held that the respondent had incurred expenditure in the sum of
Rs.1,15,888/- towards the use of the vehicle to attend various official
functions. He also incurred expenditure in the sum of Rs.1,01,650.48 towards
the expenditure for the purchase of the furniture. He actually performed the
journey and used the car in the discharge of his duties as a Chairman of the
Board of the Directors of the Bank. He also purchased the furniture and the
furniture is being used by the Bank and thereby he has not caused any pecuniary
loss to the Bank.
view of the above finding, the direction issued for recovery of the costs
personally from the first respondent is not warranted and the High Court has
rightly quashed the surcharge order.
appeal is accordingly allowed. No costs.