Road Transport Corporation & ANR Vs. Shri Kewal Krishan  INSC 326 (21
RAMASWAMY, K.T. THOMAS
O R D
E R Leave granted. We have heard learned counsel on both sides.
appeal by special leave arises from the judgment and order of the Himachal
Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, Shimla made on August 12, 1996 in TA No. 755/86. The respondent-conductor was found to
have not issued the tickets to the passengers. As a result, an enquiry was
conducted on an initiation by the head of the office, one Mr. K.N. Uppal:
Assistant Manager. The enquiry report was submitted by the Divisional Manager
who accepted the report and removed the respondent from service. The respondent
filed a civil suit which was dismissed by the trial Court.
the appeal was pending, the Tribunal came to be constituted. Accordingly, the
appeal was transmitted to the Tribunal. The Tribunal, in the impugned order,
has held that the Assistant Manager has no jurisdiction to initiate
disciplinary proceedings against the delinquent and, therefore, the entire
action taken is vitiated by manifest error of law. Accordingly, it quashed the
order of dismissal. Thus, this appeal by special leave.
seen that the statutory power has been exercised by the Corporation exercising
power under Himachal Road Transport Corporation (Class III & IV) Services
(Recruitment, Promotion and Certain Conditions of Service) Regulations, 1975 whereunder
in Rule 4, the amendment to the Regulation No. 4 was made, thus:
Schedule of powers of appointment, discipline and suspension etc. Which is
appended as Annexure 'B' to these Regulations should be substituted with the
revised Annexure 'B' appended to this officer order." The revised Annexure
'B' indicates that in respect of Serial No. 58 relating to conductors,
authority competent to make appointment is the Head of the Officer. The
penalties in relation to Rule 11 of CCS (CC&A) Rules are as mentioned in
items (i) to (ix). The authority competent to impose the penalty is the Head of
the Officer. The appellate authority is the Assistant General Manager, the
C.A.O. or D.M. Himachal pradesh Road Transport Corporation. By proceedings
dated June 29, 1978 in exercise of the power under
special Serial No. 77 of the financial power of the Himachal Pradesh Transport
Corporation, Mr. K.N. Uppal was declared manager, was designated under the
statutory rules as Head of the Officer is terms of Annexure 'B'. As
consequence, action initiated by him for the disciplinary proceedings against the
respondent is within the parameters of law.
L.N. Rao, learned counsel appearing for the respondent, contends that under
Rule 13(2) of SCC (CC&A) Rules, 1965 which was adopted by the Himachal
Pradesh Government, contemplates that a disciplinary authority competent under
these rules to impose any of the penalties specified in clause (i) to (ix) of
Rule 11 may institute disciplinary proceedings against any Government servant
for the imposition to any of the penalties specified in clause (v) to (ix) of Rule
11 notwithstanding that such disciplinary authority is not competent under
these rules to impose any of the latter penalties. Therein the competent
authority to initiate proceedings is the Divisional Manager and, therefore, the
action initiated by the Assistant Manager is without authority of law. We find
no force in the contention.
Rule 13(2) contemplates is that a subordinate officer who is empowered to
impose minor penalty is also entitled to initiate disciplinary proceedings for
major penalties. Of course, the order could be passed by the competent
authority after the enquiry was conducted and matter was placed before them. In
view of the Regulations of the Corporation read above, by necessary
implication, the CCS (CC&A) Rules stands replaced by the Regulations
referred to hereinbefore. As a results, the Head of Officer, namely the
Assistant Manager is the competent authority to appoint.
he is the competent authority to appoint, he is equally, in relevant col. 5, is
the competent authority to impose the penalty. Instead of himself imposing the
penalty, he placed the matter before the Divisional Manager who himself imposed
the major penalty of removal form service.
next contended by Mr. L.N. Rao that though the respondent had raised several
contentions in his pleadings in the trial Court, the Tribunal was required to
go into them. Therefore, he requested for remission of the matter to the
Tribunal for disposal of other points. The Tribunal's order does not indicate
that the counsel had pressed all these contentions. It has restricted its
consideration on the jurisdictional issue.
that view of the matter, we do not think that the order passed by the Tribunal
warrants remittance of the matter to the Tribunal.
appeal is accordingly allowed. The order of the Tribunal stands set aside. The
suit stands dismissed. No. costs.