Authority of India & ANR Vs. Dr. R.K. Diwakar & Ors  INSC 662 (13
VENKATASWAMI, V.N. KHARE.
13TH DAY OF AUGUST, 1997 Present:
Mr. Justice K.Venkataswami Hon'ble Mr.Justice V.N.Khare G.M.Mishra and Rathin Das,
Advs. for the appellants A.P.Mohanty, Adv. for the Respondents
following Judgment of the Court was delivered:
C.A. No. 5851 of 1994)
common question of law arises out of these two appeals. As a matter of fact,
the High Court disposed of the two Miscellaneous Petitions by one order.
appellant framed charges against the first respondent in each of the appeals
for certain alleged misconduct committed by them. The charge-sheets were issued
by the Director. Medical and Health Services of the appellant. The delinquents
challenged the charge-sheets on the only ground that their appointing
authority/disciplinary authority being the Managing Director of the appellant,
the charge memo issued by the Director, Medical and Health Services was invalid
and of no consequence. The appellant, however, justified the issue of
charge-sheet by the Director. Medical & Health Services on the ground that
the powers to initiate disciplinary action had been delegated to the Head of the
Department who enjoys a rank of General Manager. The Director, Medical and
Health Services, who issued the charge memos, admittedly come under the
category of controlling authority.
High court did not accept the contention of the appellant (respondent before
the High Court) stating that the delegation of power has not been established.
us, the learned counsel appearing for the appellants, apart from bringing to
our notice the relevant proceedings duly delegating the power to the Director,
Medical and Health Services, invited our attention to a recent decision of this
Court in Director General. ESI vs. T.Abdul Razak (1996 (4) SCC 708). In that
case, in answering an identical question, this Court held a follows:-
"With regard to initiation of disciplinary proceedings by the Regional
Director, we find that the legal position is well settled that it is not
necessary that the authority competent to impose the penalty must initiate the
disciplinary proceedings and that the proceedings can be initiated by any
superior authority who can be held to be the controlling authority who may be
an officer subordinate to the appointing authority (See: State of m.P. v. Shardul
Singh; P.V. Srinivasa Sastry v. Controller & Auditor General and Inspector
General of Police v. General and Inspector General of Police v. Thavasiappan).
Regional Director, being the officer-in-charge of the region, was the
controlling authority in respect of the respondents. He could institute the
disciplinary proceedings against the respondents even in the absence of
specific conferment of a power in that regard." (Emphasis supplied) In the
case on hand, it is not in dispute that the authority who issued the
charge-sheet was the controlling authority. That being the position, the judgment
of the High Court cannot be sustained and accordingly it is set aside and the
appeals are allowed. However, there will be no order as to costs.