Comm. In Chief,Lucknow & Ors Vs. R.P. Shukla & Ors  Insc 333 (22 May 2006)
& Lokeshwar Singh Panta
D E R
present Civil Appeal is directed against the judgment and order dt.04.01.1996
passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur in Misc.Petition No.2611 of 1992.
have heard Mr.A.Sharan, learned ASG appearing on behalf of the appellants.
first respondent died during the pendency of this appeal in this Court.
his Lrs. were impleaded vide Courts Order dt.20.04.2006 in I.A.No.2, there is
no response on their behalf. Notice has also been served on respondent Nos.1(i),
1(ii), 2 and 3. In spite of service, none appears for the said respondents.
respondents were found guilty by the Officer Commanding, Troops, C.O.D., Jabalpur by order dt.18.04.1992. They were
sentenced to undergo RI for one year and dismissal from service. This was in
respect of respondent No.1. Respondent Nos.2 and 3 were sentenced to undergo RI
for six months each and also suffered dismissal from service. All the three
respondents approached the High Court on 05.08.1992 by way of Writ Petition
under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India being Miscellaneous
Petition No.2611 of 1992 with a grievance that the appellant had not decided
the appeal till the date of filing of the Writ Petition. However, during the pendency
of the Writ Petition, the appeal filed by the respondents was rejected by the
appellant No.1 herein. The appellants challenged the legality and validity of
the proceedings of the Summary Court Martial and award of the punishment by the
Summary Court Martial on various grounds.
appellants contested the said Writ Petition by filing a detailed affidavit.
High Court vide its judgment dt.04.01.1996 allowed the Writ Petition on the
sole ground of non-observance of Army Rule 180 and accordingly set aside the
entire proceedings of Summary Court Martial including charge sheet
dt.09.04.1992 and also set aside the punishment awarded to the respondents
therein with a further direction that they will be entitled to be reinstated in
the services. Being aggrieved by the above judgment, the appellant has
preferred the present appeal in this Court.
have perused the judgment passed by the High Court and also the grounds of SLP
and the other annexures filed along with the Writ Petition and in this appeal.
We have also heard the learned ASG appearing on behalf of the appellants
herein. Since the High Court has disposed of the Writ Petition on the ground
that Army Rule 180 has not been strictly observed, we directed the learned ASG
to place before us the entire original records of the inquiry and other allied
proceedings in order to satisfy ourselves as to whether Army Rule 180 has been
adhered to or not. The entire records have been placed before us and we have
perused the same. A perusal of the entire records would clearly show that the
Court of Inquiry has strictly observed and complied with the Army Rule 180.
finding of the High Court, therefore, that Army Rule 180 has not been observed
is factually not correct and we, therefore, have no option but to set aside the
judgment of the High Court and affirm the order passed by the Officer
Commanding, Troops, C.O.D., Jabalpur.
have also perused the charges of misconduct alleged against the respondents
herein. The charges are very serious and grave in nature. In view of the
seriousness of the charges, we are of the opinion that the punishment awarded
to the respondents are not disproportionate or excessive in nature to shock the
conscience of this Court. We, therefore,affirm the order passed by the Officer
Commanding, Troops, C.O.D., Jabalpur
imposing punishment of RI and dismissal of all the three respondents from
service which they deserve in the facts and circumstances of the case.
also seen from the application filed by the appellants for fixing an early date
of hearing of the appeal, certain particulars with regard to the tenure of
service of the respondents have also been furnished in the said application
which are as under :- "Army No. Rank Date of Date of Date of and
Name enrollment dismissal completion in DSC of terms of engagement if not
dismissed 7086847 ES/HAV 11 Jul.83 18 Apr 92 21 Jul 93 R.P.Shukla 10243832
Ex-Sep 7 Jul 84 18 Apr 92 6 Jul 94 Pati Ram Balmiki 13843278 Ex-Sep 26 Jul 90
18 Apr 92 25 Jul 95" Mohan Lal It is submitted that the existing terms of
all the respondents have already expired much before the order of reinstatement
was passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh vide its judgment dt.04.01.1996.
Since the terms of the engagement of all the three respondents have already
expired, they cannot also be reinstated in service. It is stated that the
respondents were employed in service on short term basis, their terms of
employment expired way back on 25 Sept.1995 and the High Court Judgment came in
4th January, 1996. On this ground also, the respondents have no case.
all the reasons aforesaid, we set aside the judgment of the High Court which is
impugned in this appeal. In the result, the appeal filed by the appellants
stands allowed. However, there shall be no order as to costs.
already noticed, the High Court has disposed of the matter only on the ground of
non-observance of Army Rule 180. At the time of hearing before us, the entire
records were placed before us and we have perused the same. Therefore, we
decided to consider the entire matter on merits and accordingly allowed the
present appeal as above.