Vs. Union of India & Ors  Insc 1211 (3 December 2007)
Chatterjee & Dalveer Bhandari
O R D
E R CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5606 OF 2007 [Arising out of SLP (C) No. 17331 of 2006]
appellant was appointed in the year 1984 with the South Central Railway and was
posted at Lalgude Loco-Shed, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh. On 15.10.1991, one
C. M. Reddy, colleague of the appellant, abused him and uttered objectionable
words regarding the character of his wife. On this sudden provocation and
insinuation, the appellant lost his cool and equanimity and slapped C. M.
a scuffle ensued, in which Constable Murali of the Railway Police Force had
beaten Yard Khalashi Meekwin James, in order to save Constable C.M. Reddy. Meckwin
James tried to push them away and consequently they fell down and sustained
entire incident happened because of irresponsible behaviour of the appellant
and Constable C.M. Reddy. It is alleged by the respondents that the entire
incident had lowered the reputation of the disciplined Railway Police Force.
departmental enquiry was conducted against them and both of them were found
guilty. The punishment of withholding of increment for a period of two years
with cumulative effect on Constable C.M. Reddy was imposed and the appellant
involved in the same incident, was punished with removal from the service. The
punishment of the appellant of removal the from service was maintained even by
the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court, Bench at Aurangabad in Writ
Petition No.1673 of 1993 The appellant, aggrieved by the imposition of extreme
penalty of removal from the service, has approached this court.
the appellant (being a member of a disciplined Force) had acted in a very irresponsible
manner. It was submitted on behalf of the appellant that the conduct of the
appellant must be seen in the background of the entire episode. In the
departmental enquiry, the appellant and Constable C.M. Reddy were found guilty.
The penalty of removal of the appellant from the service was maintained even
before the Division Bench of the High Court.
appellant aggrieved by the impugned judgment has approached this court.
Court issued show cause notice to the respondents and in pursuance to that a
counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Divisional Security
Commissioner, Railway Police Force, Hyderabad Division. In para 4 of the said
affidavit, it is incorporated that the entire incident was due to the
irresponsible behaviour of the appellant and Constable C.M. Reddy. But, in the
departmental enquiry, Constable C.M. Reddy was imposed the punishment of
withholding of increment for a period of two years with cumulative effect,
whereas, the appellant was punished with removal from the service.
have heard the learned counsel for the appellant and the learned Additional
Solicitor General appearing for the respondent, Union of India. On
consideration of the peculiar facts and circumstance of this case, the extreme
punishment of removal imposed on the appellant seems to be shockingly
disproportionate to the level of misconduct on the part of the appellant,
particularly when Constable C.M. Reddy, who was involved in the same incident,
has been awarded much lesser punishment. The entire incident happened
predominantly because of sudden and grave provocation by Constable C.M. Reddy
on uttering abusive language and doubting the character of the appellant's
considered opinion, the ends of justice would be met if the extreme penalty
imposed on the appellant of removal from the service is set aside and, instead,
the penalty of withholding of increment for a period of three years with
cumulative effect is imposed on the appellant. The appellant shall also not be
entitled to any back wages.
appeal is accordingly disposed of. In the facts and circumstances of the case,
the parties are directed to bear their own costs.