Bharat Ram Meena Vs. Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur &
Ors  INSC 93 (29
CJI., SUHAS C. SEN, SEN,J.
This appeal has been filed against an order passed by the
Rajasthan High Court on a writ petition filed by the appellant for quashing
some adverse remarks made in his annual confidential report for the year 1990.
The controversies raised by the appellant in this case are really questions of
fact. The appellant Bharat Ram Meena was appointed as Munsiff/Judicial
Magistrate on probation for two years on 19.7.1985. The appellant was duly
confirmed and later on posted as Munsiff/Judicial Magistrate, Barmer, District Balotra.
In the years 1987,1988 and 1989 the appellant discharged the duties as munsiff/judiciali
magistrate Barmer satisfactorily. It has been Stated by the appellant that Shri
Satya Prakash Pathak, the then District and sessions judge, balotra had found
the appellant's work satisfactory and the Annual confidential Reports had been
General Elections to the legislative Assembly of State of
Rajasthan were held on 27.2.1990. The appellant was deputed as Zonal magistrate
for the purpose of election to the State Assembly. On 20.2.1990, a wireless
message had been issued by the Registrar, all collectors of the State and
District and Sessions judges permitting deployment of judicial Magistrate and
subordinate staff of judicial courts for election duty. The directions were
given by the High Court to the District collectors to contact the District and
sessions Judges for this purpose. The Collectors were not authorised to issue
any instructions to Judicial Officers directly. The District and sessions
judges had to be contacted for giving instructions to the Judicial Officers.
The collector, Barmer by order dated 17.02.1990 deployed the
appellant as Zonal Officer/Zonal Magistrate for the election period commencing
from 23.2.1990 to 27.2.1990. In the said order of the Collector, it was stated
that a meeting of the Zonal Officers/Zonal Magistrate was to he held at 3 P.M. on 22.2.1990. The District and Sessions Judge, Balotra by
his order had directed the Zonal Officers stationed at barmer (including the
appellant) to work upto 2.45
P.M. on 22.2.1990 in
their respective courts and they were asked to attend the election duty from
23.2.1990 till 27.2.1990.
On 19.2.1990, the District collector without contacting the
District Sessions Judge, directly got in touch with the appellant and sent him
to deliver a D.O. letter to the Deputy Secretary, judicial Department at jaipur.
On the same date, the appellant without any reference to or permission from the
District and Sessions Judge went to jaipur and came back on 22.2.1990. He was
also absent from Court on 28.2.1990 without prior permission alleging that he was
on election duty for which a certificate from the District Election Officer was
produced. In view of the unauthorised absence of the appellant from 19.2.1990
to 22.2.1990 and also on 28.2.1990 without prior permission of the District and
Sessions Judge, an adverse entry was made in his annual Confidential Report by
the District Judge and a report was submitted to the Registrar of the High
Court for initiating disciplinary proceeding against the appellant. The
disciplinary authority, passed order to the following effect:
"I deem it proper the delinquent officer to be given a
warning to be careful in future to maintain absolute devotion to duty and
dignity of the office held by him." The second controversy involving the
appellant started when the appellant was working as Munsiff and Judicial
magistrate from 21.8.1987 to 28.4.1990. The appellant had been invested with
jurisdiction to hear all cases arising and registered after 30.1.1990 under the
Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Attrocities) Act, 1989. On
26.3.1990, Constable Man Singh submitted a challan in the case of state versus Nathu
Singh & Ors. Under section 430,.IPC and Section 3(13) of the 1989 Act.
The allegation against the appellant is that instead of
entertaining the case, he threatened that the constable would be sent to jail
on account of wrong presentation of challan. Thereafter, the constable
approached Hari Prasad Vyas, Assistant Public Prosecutor who appeared before
the appellant on that very date (26.3.1990) and submitted that under the order
of the District Judge and in accordance with the provisions of Section 54(2)
read with Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the challan had to be
presented in the Court of the appellant. The appellant did not pass any order for
registering the case, but threatened to register a case against Shri Vyas. He,
however, announced that he will pass an order on 27.3.1990.
On 27.3.1990, the Assistant Public Prosecutor submitted a
written complaint against the appellant to the District and Sessions Judge D.J.
Pathak narrating substantially the allegations set out herein above. The
District and Sessions judge on the basis of the complaint called for the file
concerning the said challan case. it was found from the file that an order had
been passed on 26.3.1990 by the appellant in the case, C.P. No. 30/90 (State
vs. Nathu Singh). The allegations against the appellant is that this order was
actually dictated on 27.3.1990 and thereafter was backdated to show that it had
actually been passed on 26.3.1990.
The next allegation is that the appellant had on Singh. In
that case, no bail application was moved by or on behalf of the accused on that
date. The Assistant Public Prosecutor had not been given a copy of any such
application on 26.3.1990. But it could be seen from the order that the records
of the court had been manipulated. On 30.3.1990, the appellant forced the
advocate for the accused to present a bail application which was actually
entered in the Court Fees Register on 30.3.1990 but it was shown as to have
been entered on 26.3.1990.
The next allegation is that on 1.4.1990, the appellant
lodged an FIR against the Assistant Public Prosecutor Vyas alleging that he had
lodged a false complaint against the appellant to the District and Sessions
Judge, Balotra. It was further alleged that evidence had been collected against
the appellant by force threatening the witnesses to harm him. In the FIR lodged
by the appellant, it was stated after referring to the irregularities committed
by the Assistant Public Prosecutor Vyas:
"........By reason of suppressing the irregularities
committed in the above challan, gave false and fabricated informations to the
District and Sessions Judge, barmer against me. As a result of which the
District and Session Judge, Balotra who is may executive officer was bound to
come in the official capacity in the police van and made the inquiry in
connection with my above file." It was further alleged by the appellant
that as a result of the inquiry caused by the District Judge, he had suffered
great mental agony and the evidence was collected against him after giving
threats to the witnesses to cause loss to the appellant.
On 2.4.1990, the District and Sessions Judge, Balotra, after
taking evidence of Shri Vyas, the Assistant Public Prosecutor, Shri Lekhraj,
Stenographer, Tarachand parmer, Reader, Swaroop Singh, Advocate and Man Singh,
Constable, sent a reprot to the Rajasthan High Court for initiating
disciplinary proceedings against the appellant. Thereafter, a departmental inquiry
was initiated against him under Rule 16 of Rajasthan Civil Services
(Clarification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1958 for acts amounting to gross
misconduct, indiscipline, insubordination and dereliction of duty. There were
further charges of commiting acts of manipulation, substitution., addition and
alternation in the judicial records amounting to misconduct. There was also
change of being instrumental for manipulation and creation of false and inccorect
judicial record, misusing his power and position by pressuring the advocate the
move ante-dated application. Further charges were about the conduct of the
appellant in lodging an FIR in which the district Judge was implicated.
In the Annual Confidential Report of the appellant which was
initially written by the District and sessions judge, it was alleged that the
appellant's integrity was suspicious, he was not impartial, he was short
tempered, his official conduct was not upto the mark, he lacked proper control
over the office work, he was an irresponsible office and he did not enjoy good
reputation about honesty.
When the Annual Confidential Report was submitted to the
Inspecting Judge, he remarked that "I agree with the D.J.
Members of Bar also have poor opinion about his conduct and
work". The report was then submitted to the Chief Justice of Rajasthan
High Court who agreed with the report and observed"....... There is
nothing to differ from these observations, which I endorse and remark that he
is a bad officer".
The adverse remarks in the Annual Confidential Report of the
appellant were communicated to him by the Registrar.
The appellant was informed that he could make
representation, if any, against the above observations within fifteen days of
the receipt of the communication. The appellant's representation, however, was
rejected. The appellant was in the meantime promoted as Civil Judge/Chief
Judicial Magistrate on 24.5.1994. On 11.1.1995, the appellant field a writ
petition in the Rajasthan High Court for quashing the adverse remarks made
against him in the Annual Confidential Report. The High Court, however,
dismissed the writ petition observing:
"We have seen the original A.C.Rs of the officer and
gone through the case and find no ground to interfere with the recording of the
A.C.Rs for the year 1990 in the extra ordinary writ jurisdiction" The
appellant has challenged this decision of the Rajasthan high Court. The
appellant has raised several disputed questions of fact. The Annual
Confidential Report was written on the basis of allegations made against the
appellant by the District Judge. The appellant had his opportunity to make
representation against the report which he did. The appellant is to be judged
on the strength of his work and his conduct. We do not find that the assessment
of the merit of the appellant can be treated in any way as arbitrary or without
any factual basis. Nothing has been brought on record to justify the court in
exercise of its wort jurisdiction to intervene and quash the adverse remarks in
the Annual Confidential Reports of the appellant.
The appellant's grievance is that the High Court should not
have summarily dismissed the writ petition, but should have examined the facts
in detail. We have set out the allegations against the appellant in extenso. He
has, of course, denied the allegations, but it is a matter of appreciation of
evidence. The writ Court rightly declined to enter into the controversy.
We are, therefore, of the view that there is no merit in
this appeal and it must be dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.