Dattatraya Dhande Vs. The Stateo Maharashtra & Ors  INSC 595 (10 July
RAMASWAMY, D. P. WADHWA
O R D
E R Leave granted.
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
most unfortunate that the Government demoralises the Officers who discharge the
duties honestly and diligently and brings to book the persons indulging in
black marketing and contrabanding the liquor. This is one of the eloquent case
where such a sorry state of affairs has come to light.
appeal by special leave arises from the order of the Maharashtra Administrative
Tribunal, Aurangabad Bench, made on December 6, 1996 in O.A. No. 925 of 1995 upholding
the order of transfer of the appellant. We directed the learned counsel
appearing for the State to produce the record and the material which is made
the basis for transfer of the appellant. The sequence to be mentioned hereunder
stands testimony to the facts. The transfer is nothing but mala fide and
arbitrary action at the behest of the persons interested to target the honest
officers who efficiently discharge the duties.
On December 28, 1994, the appellant conducted a raid on
Mr. Rathod at Dharayan Tal. Erandol Amalner Tal. Amalner.
was taken from the Toddy for analysis on the even date; consequently, offences
were registered on December
29, 1994, on the basis
of the Analyses Report received on August 25, 1995. It revealed that today was
adulterated. Therein, it was clearly stated that it contained Chloral Hydrate,
a very harmful and poisonous substance which could endanger the lives of the
consumers. The appellant asked for permission of the competent authorities to
prosecute the licensee and also for cancellation of the licence. By his
proceeding of even dates i.e., August 25, 1995,
permission was granted. As a counter-blast to sincere and legal action taken by
the appellant against Mr. Narayana Goud, the toddy contractor, the latter
lodged his complaint against the appellant on August 30, 1995 and the Minister for District (designated as Guaradia
Minister) repeated the complaint to the Minister for State. Excise on the basis
of the contractor's complaint on September 28, 1995. This is lynching point where the officer was alleged to be
wanting in duty. It would be obvious that the based upon this complaint given
by the Guarrdia Minister to the Minister for State Excise, triggered another
complaint by one Shewala, President of the Country Liquor Association on October 7, 1995. Pursuant to the permission for
cancellation of the licence, licence came to be cancelled on September 24, 1996.
basis of these complaints, the action appears to have been initiated as per the
proceedings dated November
18, 1995. Action was
taken against the appellant and ultimately he came to be transferred. It is seen
that the officer supposed to review the performance of the duties of the
officers on July 7, 1995, i.e., Deputy Commissioner, Excise had reviewed and
stated that from March 25 to May 25, 1995 he collected articles Rs. 34,996.00, Rs.
1,91,853.00 and Rs. 1,80,143.00 in three months. In his commendation he has
stated that "after considering the above said particulars, except Mr. A.D.
Dhande Inspector Flying Squad Jalgaon" not a single officer has fulfilled
the required quota." "Please congratulate Mr. Dhande on my behalf for
his excellent work and for he has fulfilled his target." It was signed by S.A.
Deputy Commissioner, Excise.
view of the unimpeachable and eloquent testimony of the performance of the
duties, it will be obvious that the transfer is not in public interest but is a
case of victimisation of a honest officer at the behest of the aggrieved
complainants carrying on the business in liquor and toddy. Under these
circumstance, as stated earlier, the transfer of the appellant is nothing but mala
fide exercise of the power to demoralise honest officers who would efficiently
discharge the duties of a public office.
appeal is, accordingly, allowed. the transfer order of the appellant stands
quashed. Order may be communicated to the Chief Secretary to take appropriate
action against the person responsible for it and the action taken may be
informed to this Registry.