Union of India and Another Vs. Kunisetty Satyanarayana  Insc 840 (22 November 2006)
B. Sinha & Markandey Katju
out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 16572 of 2006] MARKANDEY KATJU, J.
appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment and order dated 22.3.2006
of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Writ Petition No. 7409 of 2004.
learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
respondent was initially appointed as a Clerk in the Postal Department of the
Union of India on 30.11.1965 on the basis of the marks obtained by him in the
SSLC Examination. The SSLC certificate of the respondent indicated that he
belongs to the 'Konda Kapu' community which is admittedly a Scheduled Tribe
community in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
the respondent appeared for a departmental test for promotion to the post of
Upper Division Clerk against a post reserved for the Scheduled Tribe community,
and the respondent was promoted as an Upper Division Clerk in Scheduled Tribe
category. His promotion order specifically stated that he has been promoted as
an Upper Division Clerk under Scheduled Tribe category vide promotion order
in 1987, he was further promoted to the next higher post, i.e. LSG cadre, again
on a post reserved for Scheduled Tribe category.
28.11.1994, a show-cause notice was issued to the respondent to show cause as
to whether he obtained employment on forged caste certificate. In reply to the
said show-cause notice, the respondent admitted that he does not belong to 'Konda
Kapu' community, but he belongs to 'Kapu' community which is not a Scheduled
Tribe community. The respondent in reply to the show-cause notice also stated
that it was wrongly mentioned in the SSC register that he belongs to 'Konda Kapu'
community on the basis of a declaration given by his illiterate father who got
the respondent admitted in school when he was 11 years old.
order dated 3.1.1995, the Assistant Post Master General directed that the
respondent be treated as 'OC' community and accordingly an alteration was made
in the respondent's Service Book stating that he belongs to 'OC' community.
11.7.1997, the competent authority i.e. Collector of Hyderabad District passed
an order stating that the respondent obtained an ST caste certificate from the Mandal
Revenue Officer although he does not belong to 'Konda Kapu' community, but he
belongs to 'Kapu' community, which is not a Scheduled Tribe community. Hence,
the Collector ordered cancellation of the caste certificate of the respondent
and requested the Chief Post Master General, A.P. Circle to take action against
the respondent vide order dated 11.7.1997.
against that order, the respondent filed an appeal before the State Government
which was disposed of on 17.2.2001 holding that the respondent does not belong
to Scheduled Tribe community and he cannot be considered as such, and the
Postal Department may take appropriate disciplinary action against the
a Charge Memo dated 23.12.2003 was issued to the respondent framing the
following charges against him:
he, while working as T/S Clerk in the Secunderabad Postal Division, appeared
for the examination held on 19.9.76 for promotion to UDC against a post
reserved for 'ST' community and subsequently he was also promoted to LSG Cadre
based on the said reservation. However, as per G.O. Ms No. 28 dated 17.02.2001
the Government of A.P. declared that Sri K. Satyanarayana does not belong to Konda
Kapu as declared by him and as such not entitled for the reservation under the
K. Satyanarayana availed reservation against ST in the promotional post though
he does not belong to the said category and as such failed to maintain absolute
integrity and acted in a manner unbecoming of a government servant contravening
the provisions of Rule 3(1) (i) & (iii) of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
The statement of imputations gives the details of the reservation availed by
the petitioner during his service." Instead of replying to the aforesaid
Charge Memo, the respondent filed an OA before the Central Administrative
Tribunal, Hyderabad which was disposed of vide order 15.3.2004 with the
direction to the applicant to submit his reply to the Charge Memo dated
23.12.2003 and on submission of the said reply the Disciplinary Authority
should consider the same.
of filing any reply the respondent filed a Writ Petition in the High Court
which has been allowed, and hence this appeal.
opinion, the High Court was not justified in allowing the Writ Petition.
well settled by a series of decisions of this Court that ordinarily no writ
lies against a charge sheet or show-cause notice vide Executive Engineer, Bihar
State Housing Board vs. Ramdesh Kumar Singh and others JT 1995 (8) SC 331,
Special Director and another vs. Mohd. Ghulam Ghouse and another AIR 2004 SC
1467, Ulagappa and others vs. Divisional Commissioner, Mysore and others 2001(10) SCC 639, State
of U.P. vs. Brahm Datt Sharma and another
AIR 1987 SC 943 etc.
reason why ordinarily a writ petition should not be entertained against a mere
show-cause notice or charge-sheet is that at that stage the writ petition may
be held to be premature. A mere charge-sheet or show-cause notice does not give
rise to any cause of action, because it does not amount to an adverse order
which affects the rights of any party unless the same has been issued by a
person having no jurisdiction to do so. It is quite possible that after
considering the reply to the show-cause notice or after holding an enquiry the
authority concerned may drop the proceedings and/or hold that the charges are
not established. It is well settled that a writ lies when some right of any
party is infringed. A mere show-cause notice or charge-sheet does not infringe
the right of any one. It is only when a final order imposing some punishment or
otherwise adversely affecting a party is passed, that the said party can be
said to have any grievance.
jurisdiction is discretionary jurisdiction and hence such discretion under
Article 226 should not ordinarily be exercised by quashing a show-cause notice
or charge sheet.
doubt, in some very rare and exceptional cases the High Court can quash a
charge-sheet or show-cause notice if it is found to be wholly without
jurisdiction or for some other reason if it is wholly illegal. However,
ordinarily the High Court should not interfere in such a matter.
counsel for the respondent submitted that the charge against the respondent had
already been enquired into earlier and he had been exonerated of the charge in
an earlier proceeding. Hence, he contended that the impugned Charge Memo would
amount to double jeopardy and was therefore illegal. He relied upon the
decision of this Court in Lt. Governor Delhi and others vs. HC Narender Singh
2004 (13) SCC 342.
agree with the learned counsel for the respondent that if the charge which has
been levelled under the Memo dated 23.12.2003 had earlier been enquired into in
a regular enquiry by a competent authority, and if the respondent had been
exonerated on that very charge, a second enquiry would not be maintainable.
However, in the present case, we are of the opinion that the charges levelled
against the respondent under the Charge Memo dated 23.12.2003, had not been
enquired into by any authority and he had not been exonerated on those charges.
Hence we are of the opinion that it is not a case of double jeopardy.
fact, the contention of the respondent was carefully examined by the Central
Administrative Tribunal in paragraph 5 of its order dated 15.3.2004.
present case, in the earlier proceedings no finding had been recorded that the
respondent had not availed of the benefit of belonging to the Scheduled Tribe
community for any of the promotions given to him. In fact, the authority was
satisfied that he gained initial entry into service as an 'OC' candidate and
not as a Scheduled Tribe candidate. However, it seems that his subsequent
promotions were against posts reserved for Scheduled Tribe Community, to which
he did not belong. While disposing of the appeal filed by the respondent
against the order of the District Collector, Hyderabad, the State Government referred the matter to the employer
to take disciplinary proceedings after verifying of the records for production
of false Caste certificate. It appears that the respondent availed of the
benefit of Scheduled Tribe community for getting two promotions one as UDC and
another as LSG Clerk, on the ground that he belongs to Scheduled Tribe
community, and it is for these reasons that the authorities issued the impugned
Charge Memo dated 23.12.2003. Hence, we are of the opinion that ratio of the
decision in Lt. Governor Delhi and others (supra) has no application in the
the foregoing reasons, we are of the opinion that the impugned judgment of the
High Court is not correct and the same is set aside. We fully agree with the
view taken by the Central Administrative Tribunal vide its order dated
15.3.2004. The respondent is now directed to submit his reply to the Charge
Memo dated 23.12.2003 within three weeks from today and the authority concerned
should decide the same expeditiously in accordance with law, and thereafter
take appropriate legal action in pursuance of the said decision, after giving
an opportunity of hearing to the respondent.
appeal is allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.