Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd.Thr.Mng.Director & Ors Vs. Mohinder Singh
 Insc 878 (29
Pasayat & S.H. Kapadia
out of SLP (C) No.12763 of 2006) ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is to the order passed by the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court allowing the
Writ Petition filed by one Mohinder Singh. During the pendency of the writ
petition before the High Court the said Mohinder Singh expired and was
substituted by his legal heirs. Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
Singh was appointed as a T. Mate in the Haryana State Electricity Board on
23.4.1972. Thereafter he was promoted as a regular line man. His services were
transferred to the appellant No. 1 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Employer').
On 23.4.2002 a show cause notice was issued to him indicating therein that
meter site was found with direct supply and, therefore, he was guilty of
malpractice of stealing energy. Compensation was accordingly assessed. The
amount was paid subsequently. He was placed under suspension and charge sheet
was served upon him. On 18.6.2002 he submitted a reply. On 13.9.2002 he was
dismissed from service. His statutory appeal before the Chief Engineer (O.P.)
Zone was dismissed. He thereafter filed a revision petition on 26.10.2003. The
same was returned to him on the ground that the order of dismissal was passed
by the officer who was the revisional authority and no other officer was
the writ petition was filed. It appears that on the date when the matter was
posted for admission, the learned Additional Advocate General accepted notice.
According to the appellants the Additional Advocate General had accepted the
notice purportedly on behalf of the State and the appellants.
did not bring to the notice of the appellant about the receipt of the notice.
He was not authorized to receive any notice on behalf of the appellant. The
High Court noted that none was present to represent the respondents and,
therefore, the writ petition was disposed of in the absence of the respondents
before it. The order of dismissal was set aside and the matter was remanded to
authority for fresh decision in accordance with Regulation 7 of Haryana State
Electricity Board Employees (Punishment & Appeal) Regulation, 1990
(hereinafter referred to as the 'Regulation'). The High Court held that the
procedure for imposing major penalty as delineated in the regulation 7 had not
as noted above several grounds have been taken in support of the appeal learned
counsel for the appellants submitted that without even proper service of notice
the matter has been disposed of. Learned Additional Advocate General accepted
notice although he did not have authority to do so because he was one of the
panel lawyers and only after the case is allocated to him he can handle the
review application filed by the appellants on the aforesaid ground of
non-service of notice was rejected on the ground that the order of dismissal
was passed without observance of the principles of natural justice. The High
Court set aside the same and had remanded the matter to the authority for fresh
is no dispute to the stand that the learned Additional Advocate General who
accepted the notice was not authorized to receive the notice on behalf of the
not the case of the respondents that there was any general authority to receive
notice and only after notice is issued the particular case is allocated to one
of the lawyers in the panel. Therefore, it is stated that the appellants had no
knowledge about the proceedings. No material has been brought on record by the
respondents to show that in fact the appellants had any knowledge about the
proceedings. That being so, the basic order in the writ petition and the order
passed in the review application are set aside. The matter is remitted to the
High Court for fresh consideration. The appellants are aware of the grievances
raised in the writ petition by the respondents. Let them file counter
affidavit, if any, within six weeks from today. Thereafter the High Court shall
proceed in the matter in accordance with law.
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent without any order as to costs.