The Land Acquisition Officer,
Kammarapally Village Vs. Nookala Rajamallu & Ors  INSC 228 (25
CITATION: 1961 AIR 751 1961 SCR (2) 679
CITATOR INFO :
F 1961 SC 773 (5,7) RF 1964 SC 600 (57,63,18)
F 1965 SC 868 (4) R 1967 SC 356 (7) RF 1968 SC 224 (3) RF 1969 SC 903 (30) RF
1969 SC1108 (8) D 1970 SC 122 (12) D 1970 SC1244 (29) RF 1971 SC1403 (7) F 1971
SC2111 (7) E 1973 SC 883 (19) RF 1974 SC 794 (13) O 1974 SC2192 (50,51,53) R
1975 SC 446 (10) RF 1976 SC2433 (6) R 1977 SC 747 (6) R 1979 SC 52 (13) R 1979
SC1149 (19) RF 1980 SC2181 (104) RF 1981 SC 711 (11) F 1982 SC1407 (24) R 1983
SC 494 (8) RF 1983 SC 558 (20) O 1985 SC1416 (43,56, TO 58) RF 1986 SC 555 (6)
RF 1988 SC 805 (10) D 1989 SC 811 (3,10) RF 1989 SC1160 (30) RF 1990 SC 820
(31) RF 1992 SC1033 (54)
Public Servant--Complaint of taking bribes
against Police officer--Magisterial enquiry into complaints--Departmental trial--Validity
of--Police Act, 1861 (V of 1861), s. 7--U.
P. Police Regulations, Paras. 486, 489.
The respondent was posted as officer in charge
of a police station when complaints were received by the District Magistrate
that the respondent was receiving bribes. The District Magistrate got an
enquiry made by the Sub Divisional Magistrate and forwarded the report to ghether
with his own endorsement to the Superintendent of Police.
The respondent was forced to go on 2 months
leave and was reverted to his substantive post of Head Constable, but later he
was promoted to the rank of officiating Sub Inspector and posted at another
police station. Meanwhile on further complaints an investigation was made and
it was reported that the respondent was a habitual bribe taker. He was charged
under s. 7 Police Act for 9 charges of bribery and after departmental trial was
dismissed by the Superintendent of Police. He filed a Writ Petition before the
High court challenging the order of dismissal inter alia on the ground that the
offences charged being cognizable offences the Superintendent of Police had no
jurisdiction to hold the departmental trial without first complying with the
provisions of para. 486(1) of the U. P. Police Regulations.
The High Court accepted this contention and
quashed the order of dismissal.
673 Held (per Sarkar, Subba Rao and
Mudholkar, JJ.) that the subject matter of the magisterial enquiry and of the
departmental trial was substantially the same and that the depart'I mental
trial was validly held. The fact that there was an interregnum between the
magisterial enquiry and the departmental trial did not affect the question.
Paragraph 486 did not apply to a case where a magisterial enquiry was ordered
and a police officer could be departmentally tried under s. 7 Police Act after
such magisterial enquiry.
Per Gajendragadkar and Wanchoo, JJ.-The
provisions of para.
486 were merely directory and even if there
was noncompliance therewith the order of dismissal was not invalidated.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
No. 270 of 1959.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated December 23, 1957, of the Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) at
Lucknow in Civil Miscellaneous Application (0. J.) No. 86 of 1954.
C. B. Aggarwala, G. C. Mathur and C. P. Lal,
for the appellants.
Achhru Ram, S. N. Andley, J. B. Dadachanji,
Rameshwar Nath and P. L. Vohra, for the respondent.
1960. November, 25. The Judgment of Sarkar,
Subba Rao and Mudholkar, JJ., was delivered by Subba Rao, J., and that of
Gajendragadkar and Wanchoo, JJ., was delivered by Wanchoo, J.
SUBBA RAO, J.-This is an appeal by special
leave against the judgment and order of the High Court of Judicature at
Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, allowing the petition filed by the respondent under
Art. 226 of the Constitution.
The facts are in a small compass and may be
In the year 1933 the respondent was appointed
a constable in U. P. Police Force; on December 1, 1945, he was promoted to the
rank of head constable and in May, 1952 he was posted as officer incharge of
Police Station, Intiathok, District Gonda. Complaints were received by the
District Magistrate, Gonda, to the effect that the respondent was receiving
bribes in the discharge of his duties. On September 16, 1952, the District
Magistrate, Gonda, directed the SubDivisional Magistrate to make an enquiry in
respect of the 674 said complaints. On November 3,1952, the Sub-Divisional
Magistrate, after making the necessary enquiries, submitted a report to the
District Magistrate recommending the transfer of the respondent to some other
station. On November 17, 1952, the District Magistrate sent an endorsement to
the Superintendent of Police to the effect that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate
had found substantial complaints against the integrity of the respondent, that
he had also received such complaints and that his general reputation for
integrity was not good, but that his transfer should, however, come after
sometime and that in the meantime his work might be closely watched. On being
called upon by the Superintendent of Police to submit an explanation for his
conduct, the respondent submitted his explanation on November 29, 1952. On
December 17, 1952, the respondent was forced to go on leave for two months.
Before the expiry of his leave, he was reverted to his substantive post of head
constable and transferred to Sitapur. On February 17, 1953, he was promoted to
the rank of officiating Sub-Inspector and posted as Station Officer at Sidholi.
On February 27, 1953, the Superintendent of Police made the following
endorsement in his character roll:
"A strong officer with plenty of push in
him and met with a strong opposition in this new charge. Crime control was very
good but complaints of corruption were received which could not be
substantiated. Integrity certified." Meanwhile on further complaints, the
C.I.D. probed the matter further and on July 26, 1953, the Superintendent of
Police, Investigation Branch, C.I.D., reported that the respondent was a habitual
bribetaker. On July 28, 1953, he was placed under suspension and on August 18,
1953, he was charged under s. 7 of the Police Act with remissness in the
discharge of his duty and unfitness for the same inasmuch as while posted as a
Station Officer, Police Station, Intiathok, he had been guilty of dishonesty,
corruption and misbehaviour in that he had on nine occasions, particulars of
which were given in the charge, accepted bribes. it may be mentioned that the
magisterial inquiry 675 related to seven of the nine charges alleged against
the respondent. The trial was conducted by the, Superintendent of Police and
the respondent submitted his explanation on September 12, 1953. The
Superintendent of Police, who conducted the trial, examined many witnesses and found
that seven out of the nine charges had been established.
Thereafter he issued a notice to the
respondent calling upon him to show cause why he should not be dismissed from
the police force. On February 20, 1954, the respondent submitted his explanation
and the Superintendent of Police, by his order dated February 22, 1954,
dismissed the respondent from service with effect from the said date. The
appeal preferred by the respondent to the Deputy Inspector General of Police
was dismissed by his order dated June 2, 1954.
Thereafter the respondent on August 5, 1954,
filed a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution before the High Court of
Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, for quashing the order of dismissal.
Before the High Court three points were
raised, namely, (1) as the petitioner was officiating. as Sub-Inspector of
Police at the time of the departmental trial the Suprintendent of Police had no
power to dismiss him, since an order in such circumstances could only be made
by a police officer senior in rank to a Superintendent; (2) the trial was
vitiated by a number of serious irregularities;
and (3) the specific acts with which the
petitioner was charged were cognizable offences and, therefore, the
Superintendent of Police had no jurisdiction to proceed with a departmental
trial without complying with the provisions of subparagraph (1) of para. 486 of
the Police Regulations.
The learned Judges of the High Court held
that the respondent was charged with committing cognizable offences and therefore
sub-paragraph (1) of para. 486 governed the situation and that, as no case, as
required by the said subparagraph, was registered against the respondent in the
police station, the order of dismissal was invalid. They further held that the
case was not covered by the first proviso to sub-paragraph (1) of para. 486,
as, in their opinion, the information 676 about the commission of the offences
was not in the first instance received by the Magistrate and forwarded to the
police for inquiry. In view of that finding they found it unnecessary for them
to express any opinion upon other arguments which had been advanced on behalf
of the respondent. In the result they issued a writ in the nature of certiorari
quashing the impugned orders. Hence the appeal.
Mr. C. B. Agarwala, learned counsel appearing
for the appellants, raised before us the following points: (1) The Governor
exercised his pleasure through the Superintendent of Police, and, as the Police
Regulations were only administrative directions, the non-compliance therewith
would not in any way affect the validity of the order of dismissal. (2) If the
order of dismissal was held to have been made under the statutory power
conferred upon the Superintendent of Police, the regulations providing for
investigation in the first place under chapter XIV of the Criminal Procedure
Code were only directory in nature, and inasmuch as no prejudice was caused to
the respondent the non-compliance with the said regulations would not affect
the validity of the order of dismissal. (3) The Superintendent of Police was
authorized to follow the alternative procedure prescribed by subparagraph (3)
of para. 486 and, therefore, the inquiry held without following the procedure
prescribed by rule I was not bad. (4) As the magisterial inquiry was held in
regard to practically all the charges, the subject matter of the departmental
trial, the case is not covered by the provisions of para. 486 of the Police
In the case of The State of U. P. v. Babu Ram
Upadhya (1) in which we have just delivered the judgment, we have considered
the first three point; and for the reasons mentioned therein we reject the
first three contentions.
The appellants must succeed on the fourth
contention. From the facts already narrated, the conduct of the respondent,
when he was officer incharge of the Police Station, Intiathok, was the
subject-matter of (1) Civil Appeal No. 119 of 1950;  2 S.C.R. 679.
677 magisterial inquiry. The Sub-Divisional
Magistrate made inquiry in respect of seven of the charges which were the
subject-matter of the departmental trial and. submitted a report to the
District Magistrate. The District Magistrate, in his turn, made an endorsement
on the report and communicated the same to the Superintendent of Police recommending
the transfer of the respondent and suggesting that in the meanwhile the work of
the respondent might be closely watched. Though the Superintendent of Police
gave at first a good certificate to the respondent, in respect of the same a
further probe was made through the C.I.D.
Thereafter the Superintendent of Police
conducted a departmental trial in respect of the aforesaid seven charges and
two other new charges of the same nature. The inquiry ended in the dismissal of
the respondent. In the circumstances it would be hyper-technical to hold that
there was no magisterial inquiry in respect of the matter which was the
subject-matter of the departmental trial. On the said facts we hold that the
departmental inquiry was only a further step in respect of the misconduct of
the respondent in regard whereto the magisterial inquiry was held at an earlier
stage. If so, the question is whether para. 486 would govern the present
inquiry or it would fall outside its scope.
The relevant provisions of the Police Regulations
Paragraph 486: "When the offence alleged
against a police officer amounts to an offence only under s: 7 of the Police
Act, there can be no magisterial inquiry under the Criminal Procedure Code. In
such cases, and in other cases until and unless a magisterial inquiry is
ordered, inquiry will be made under the direction of the Superintendent of
Police in accordance with the following rules;" Paragraph 489: "A
police officer may be departmentally tried under section 7 of the Police Act(1)
after he has been tried judicially;
(2) after a magisterial inquiry under the
Criminal Procedure Code;
86 678 (3) after a police investigation under
the Criminal Procedure Code or a departmental enquiry under paragraph 486 III
above." A combined reading of these provisions indicates that para.
86 does not apply to a case where a
magisterial inquiry is ordered; and that a police officer can be departmentally
tried under s. 7 of the Police Act after such a magisterial inquiry. In this
case the departmental trial was held subsequent to the completion of the
magisterial inquiry and therefore it falls within the express terms of para.
The fact that in the interregnum the police
received further complaints or that the C.I.D. made further enquiries do not
affect the question, if substantially the subject-matter of the magisterial
inquiry and the departmental trial is the same. In this case we have held that
it was substantially the same and therefore the departmental trial was validly
held. We, therefore, set aside the order made by the High Court. As we have
pointed out earlier, the High Court, in the view taken by it, did not express
its opinion on the other questions raised and argued before it. In the
circumstances, we remand the matter to the High Court for disposal in
accordance with law.
The costs of this appeal will abide the
WANCHOO, J.-We have read the judgment just
delivered by our learned brother Subba Rao J. We agree with the order proposed
by him. Our reasons for coming to this conclusion are, however, the same which
we have given in C.A. 119 of 1959, The State of Uttar Pradesh v. Babu Ram
Appeal allowed. Case remanded.