of Management, K.D. College Vs. Shambhu Saran Pandey  INSC 559 (28 October 1994)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)
1995 SCC (1) 404 JT 1995 (1) 270 1994 SCALE (4)1082
Admittedly, the respondent acted as a principal of the appellant's Institution.
The charge levelled against the respondent was that he had misappropriated
certain funds belonging to the Institution. Therefore, on + From the Judgment
and Order dated 5-2-1993 of the High Court of Allahabad in CMWP No.11542 of
1983 405 22-3-1991 a charge-sheet was given to the respondent, after appointing
an enquiry officer. The respondent had given the reply on 13-4-1981 to the charge-sheet. At the earliest, he wanted
inspection of the documents mentioned in the charge- sheet. Admittedly, neither
the documents had been supplied nor an opportunity of inspection had been given
to the respondent. Instead, the enquiry officer in his letter dated 18-5-1981 had given the reply stating that since the
respondent had already given the reply to the chargesheet item-wise, he was at
liberty to inspect the documents at the time of final arguments on 7-6-1981. From time to time, the enquiry was postponed.
Ultimately, the respondent did not participate in the enquiry. Consequently,
the enquiry officer had submitted his report on 9-5-1982. Based on that report, on 23-6-1982 the show-cause notice as to why he should not be dismissed
from service was given to the respondent. The respondent had not submitted his
explanation. However, he requested the Committee to convene a meeting in which
he desired to submit his explanation.
there being no provision to give hearing to an employee in the meeting of the
Committee, the same was not given to the respondent. The appropriate resolution
has been passed by the appellant on 22-9-1982 to dismiss the respondent from
service, subject to its approval by the Vice-Chancellor and the Chancellor. The
Vice-Chancellor in his proceedings dated 27-1-1983 and the Chancellor in his
proceedings dated 12-8-1983 had given their approval under the
relevant provisions of the U.P. Universities Act. Thereafter the appellant
dismissed the respondent from service.
respondent challenged the order of dismissal in WP No. 11542 of 1983 in the
High Court at Allahabad. Pending its disposal the
respondent retired on reaching the age of superannuation on 12-12-1992. It would appear that the respondent was reappointed
till the end of academic year as per rules and on the expiry of the academic
year he stood superannuated according to rules w.e.f. 30-6-1993. The judgment was rendered on 5-2-1993 setting aside the orders of dismissal and leaving
open the holding of fresh enquiry, if necessary. This appeal by special leave
has been filed on 3-5-1993.
is contended by Shri Raju Ramachandran, the learned counsel for the appellant
that the High Court was not right in its conclusion that the documents required
by the respondent were not supplied nor is there any denial of opportunity to
the respondent to examine his own witnesses.
respondent himself adopted dilatory tactics and he did not cooperate in the
conduct of the enquiry. He did not ask the enquiry officer for an opportunity
to examine the witness on his behalf. The question of hearing him by the
Committee did not arise inasmuch as there is no such provision in the byelaws
of the society or the rules.
there was no violation of principles of natural justice, on the facts of this
case. We have heard the learned counsel for the respondent also.
the facts and circumstances, we are of the view that at the earliest the
respondent sought for the inspection of documents mentioned in the charge-sheet
and relied on by the appellant. It is settled law that after the 406
charge-sheet with necessary particulars, the specific averments in respect of
the charge shall be made. If the department or the management seeks to rely on
any documents in proof of the charge, the principles of natural justice require
that such copies of those documents need to be supplied to the delinquent. If
the documents are voluminous and cannot be supplied to the delinquent, an
opportunity has got to be given to him for inspection of the documents. It
would be open to the delinquent to obtain appropriate extracts at his own
expense. If that opportunity was not given, it would violate the principles of
enquiry, if the delinquent seeks to support his defence with reference to any
of the documents in the custody of the management or the department, then the
documents either may be summoned or copies thereof may be given at his request
and cost of the delinquent. If he seeks to cross-examine the witnesses examined
in proof of the charge he should be given the opportunity to cross- examine
him. In case he wants to examine his witness or himself to rebut the charge,
that opportunity should be given. In this case, at the earliest, the delinquent
sought for inspection of the documents. It is now admitted in the affidavits filed
in this Court and in the letter written by the enquiry officer, that some of
the documents were seized by the police after the murder of the Manager of the
appellant-institution on 31-7-1980 for investigation. In that case the
respondent was also one of the accused charged for the offences under Section
302 read with Section 120-B IPC. It is now an admitted fact that in Sessions
Trial No. 228 of 1981 dated 31-7-1986 he was convicted for the said offence and
was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life.
would appear that he filed an appeal in the High Court and bail was granted to
is stated in the letter written by the enquiry officer that inspection of
documents would be permitted at the time of final hearing. That obviously is an
erroneous procedure followed by the enquiry officer. In the first instance he
should be given the opportunity for inspection and thereafter conduct the
enquiry and then hear the delinquent at the time of conclusion of his enquiry.
In this case that procedure was not adopted. Therefore the procedure in
conducting the enquiry adopted is clearly in violation of the principles of
we agree with the High Court, though for different reasons, in the setting
aside of the order of dismissal passed by the management as approved by the
Vice- Chancellor and Chancellor on the respective dates referred to
observed by the High Court, it would be open to the appellant to conduct an
enquiry afresh after supplying the documents and to give an opportunity to the
respondent to inspect the documents and then take appropriate action according
to law. Depending upon the result of the enquiry, the respondent has since been
superannuated, his pensionary claims and other benefits are to be granted to
upon the fresh enquiry, the question of payment of back wages would arise and
the management would take appropriate decision thereon. The appellant should
conduct and complete enquiry within a period of six months from the date of the
receipt of this order. It is needless to mention that the respondent should 407
cooperate in the enquiry to be conducted. In case he adopts dilatory tactics, a
notice in that behalf be given before forfeiting his right to participate in
the enquiry from that stage and to follow the procedure in conducting the
enquiry and to pass appropriate orders on the result of the enquiry.
appeal is accordingly disposed of. No costs.