Govt. of Andhra Pradesh V. B. Ashok Kumar  INSC 471 (28 April 1997)
RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA
Mr. Justice K. Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr. Justice D.P. Wadhwa G. Prabhakar, Adv. for
the appellant L.N. Rao, Ramkrishna Prasad, V.S. Reddy, S.U.K. Sagar, and D. Bharti
Reddy, Advs. for the Respondent O R D E R The following order of the Court was
respondent was imputed with a charge that he demanded and accepted a sum of
Rs.3,000/- as illegal gratification for refraining from registering a complaint
in respect of the bribe given, against whom criminal prosecution was to be
initiated. The matter was referred to the Tribunal for disciplinary proceeding
which after enquiry submitted its report on July 20, 1994, holding that the charge against the respondent had been
proved and he was guilty of the charge. However, it recommended to impose the
penalty of stoppage of three increments with cumulative effect. The Government
after consideration of the evidence found that the recommendation was not
correct proper and that major penalty was required to be given. Accordingly,
show cause notice, together with copy of the report, was issued for imposing
punishment of dismissal from service and the respondent submitted his reply.
The Government after considering the entire material came to the conclusion
that the respondent deserved to be dismissed from service.
order, viz. G.O.Ms. No.238 Home (SCA) dated July 28, 1995 dismissing him service was issued. On the O.A. having been
filed before the Tribunal. The Tribunal while accepting that the charge had
been proved was of the view that the Government should reconsider the question
of imposition of the penalty of stoppage of three increments.
this appeal by special leave against the order of Tribunal made on April 23, 1996 in O.A. No. 4297. Shri L.N. Rao,
learned counsel for the respondent contends that the Tribunal in disciplinary
proceedings had opined that the evidence of the witness was weak and, therefore,
it felt like holding that the charge of imposing penalty of stoppage of three
increments would meet the end of justice. In view of the finding given by the
Tribunal, that imposition of the penalty of dismissal from service shook the
conscience of the Tribunal, it does not warrant interference. We find no force
in the contention. It is now legal settled position that imposition of the
penalty is the right of the disciplinary authority consistent with the
magnitude and the misconduct imputed and the evidence in support thereof. The
Tribunal in disciplinary proceedings found as a fact that the respondent
demanded and accepted illegal gratification of Rs. 3,000/- for not prosecuting
the offender. Since the respondent is an Inspector of Police, a higher ranking
officer, if he demands and accepts illegal gratification and restrains himself
from initiating prosecution against the offender, it would have an effect on
the maintenance of law and order in the society.
the finding of the Tribunal that it shook its conscience is unsustainable. We
have seen that the Tribunal has no power to direct the appellant to reconsider
the matter. This court in B.C. Chaturvedi vs. Union of India [(1995) 6 SCC 749]
has held that the Tribunal has the power to direct the punishment, imposed by
the disciplinary authority.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The order of the Tribunal stands set aside. As a
result, the order of the Government stands confirmed. No costs.