Union of India Vs. I. S. Singh  INSC 43 (19
Reddy, B.P. (J) Jeevan Reddy, B.P. (J) Hansaria B.L. (J)
1994 SCC Supl. (2) 518
respondent was a Superintendent of Statistics in the Field Operations Division,
National Sample Survey Organisation, Union of India the appellants herein.
charges were framed against him for unauthorised absence and an inquiry held.
By an order dated May
30, 1980, he was
compulsorily retired from service as a measure of penalty. He filed an appeal
which was dismissed on August
30, 1982. It appears
that thereafter he filed a review before the appellate authority which is not
indeed provided by the rules. This review petition came to be dismissed on July 9, 1985, whereupon he approached the High
Court by way of a writ petition. While the writ petition was pending, the
Central Administrative Tribunal was constituted and the writ petition was
transferred to that Tribunal. The Tribunal allowed the respondent's application
by its order dated November
4, 1991. The Tribunal
has allowed the application on two grounds, viz., (1) non- furnishing of the
report of the Enquiry Officer to the respondent before imposing the punishment
and (2) irregularities in conduct of the inquiry.
far as the first ground is concerned, it stands negatived by the recent
decision of this Court in Managing Director, ECIL, Hyderabad v. B. Karunakarl , inasmuch as the
order of punishment is of the year 1980. So far as the second ground is
concerned, a few facts need be stated. An inquiry was held, in the first
instance, which was not found to be in order by the disciplinary authority who
directed a fresh inquiry. When notices were issued in the second inquiry, they
could not be served on the respondent. On a later date, the respondent sent an
application stating that he is suffering from unsoundness of mind and that the
inquiry may be postponed till he regains his mental health.
(1993) 4 SCC 727: 1993 SCC (L&S) 1184: (1993 ) 25 ATC 704: JT (1993) 6 SC 1
520 The respondent also states that he sent his medical certificate along with
he is application. (Indeed, according to him, he sent not one but three letters
to the said effect.) The report of the Enquiry Officer, however, does not show
that he paid any attention to these letters. If, indeed, the letters were not
accompanied by medical certificates, as is now asserted by Shri Mahajan,
learned counsel for the appellants, the proper course for the Enquiry Officer
was to have called upon the respondent either to produce a medical certificate
or to direct him to be examined by a medical officer specified by him. The
inquiry report does not even refer to the request contained in the said
application nor does it mention why and for what reasons did he ignore the said
plea of the respondent. The Enquiry Officer proceeded ex parte, in spite of the
said letters and made his recommendation on the basis of which the aforesaid
penalty was imposed. It is evident from the facts stated above that the Enquiry
Officer has not only conducted the inquiry in a manner contrary to the
procedure prescribed by Rule 14(2) of CCS (CCA) Rules but also in violation of
the principles of natural justice. The result of this finding would have been
to set aside the order of punishment and allow the authority to proceed with
the inquiry afresh. In our opinion, however, this is not advisable at this
distance of time and also having regard to the nature of the charges levelled
against the respondent.
think that the more appropriate course would be to give a quietus to the matter
at this stage itself, at the same time providing for some measure of penalty to
the respondent. We suggested to the learned counsel for the respondent whether
he is agreeable to our suggestion, viz., that the respondent should forego the
emoluments for the period commencing from June 1, 1980 to August 31, 1985
(approximating to the date of punishment and the date on which the respondent
approached the High Court). Learned counsel, Shri H.M. Singh, agrees to the
said course after consulting his client. In the circumstances, we dismiss the
appeal but direct that the respondent shall not be entitled to any emoluments
for the period June 1, 1980 to August 31, 1985.
said period shall, however, count for seniority and other purposes. The
respondent shall be reinstated forthwith.
appeal is disposed of in the above terms. No costs.