(Mrs.) Neeraj Bala Goswami Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors  INSC 522 (11 April 1996)
G.N. (J) Ray, G.N. (J) Hansaria B.L. (J) G.N. Ray.J.
JT 1996 (4) 138 1996 SCALE (3)427
this application, respondent No.3 Sri Surender Mohon, has prayed for direction
to expunge the remarks made against him in the order dated 21.11.1994 passed in
the writ petition filed by Dr. (Mrs.) Neeraj Bala Goswami. For the the purpose
of appreciating the prayer, some background facts may be reiterated.
young soldier Sri Shyamai Goswami of Meerut gave an exemplary display of courage risking his own life for the defence
of his motherland during indo-Chinese war in 1962, when he was in an army
detachment in a forward area in Chusul. At the gravest risk of his life, he faught
undauntedly against a heavy detachment of Chinese army and by that process
became severly wounded. Later on, he was rescued and treated. But his legs had
to be amputed. In recognition of his gallantry and exemplary courage and
devotion to duty, he was awarded the highest gallantly award for an army
personnel: "Mahavir Chakra". In the year 1992, the Government of U.P.
gave Col. Goswami a land measuring about 2 bighas 11 biswas and on getting a
dealership of licence of L.P.G. from Indian Oil Corporation. Col. Goswami used
to run the said Gas Agency. Col. Goswami married the petitioner, Dr. Neeraj Bala
Goswami, but it appears that the conjugal life had to suffer a rough weather.
At the time of his death, his wife used to live separately. In April 1992, Col.
Goswami was found murdered in his house in the campus of Goswami Gas Agency.
After the death of Col. Goswami, dispute as to ownership of the Gas Agency and
right to carry on the said agency arose between his widow Dr.Neeraj Goswami and
the sisters of Col. Goswami, particularly Sm. Ashoka Trikha, who claimed to be
a partner of Col. Goswami long before his death.
applicant is the husband of one of the real sisters of Col. Goswami, Sm. Deepashree
Mohon respondent no.14. He is a very senior member of the Indian Administrative
Service. While holding a very senior assignment as an IAS Officer in Utter
Pradesh Cadre, the applicant wrote two letters one dated 10th August 1993 to the Executive Director of Indian
Oil Corporation and the other dated May 5, 1994 addressed to the Principal
Secretary. Home Department of the State of U.P.
In the order dated 21.11.1994 it was observed that "we are of the view
that respondent No.3 Sri Surendra Mohon had acted with gross impropriety and in
violation of the office by addressing letters dated 10th August 1993 to the
Executive Director of Indian Oil Corporation and letter dated 5th May 1994 to
the Principal Secretary, Home Department of the State when his wife and other
near relations were involved in the matter. We strongly disapprove of his
conduct." Along with this application, the applicant has annexed both the
said letters and has given his explanation as to why and under what
circumstances and for what purpose the said letters were written by him. After
giving our careful consideration to the letter dated 5th May, 1994 addressed to the Principal
Secretary, Home Department of the State of U.P.,
it transpires to us that the said letter was addressed not with a purpose to
influence the course of investigation of the case relating to unfortunate
murder of Col. Goswami, who was the real brother of the wife of the applicant.
There is no difficulty in appreciating the anguish of the applicant in not
solving the case of murder of a valiant son of the country, committed in a
mysterious circumstance. It appears to us that the letter was addressed so that
the investigation in the case of murder is taken more vigorously by
requisitioning the service of the CID department. Normally, such prayer is
often made by near relations and friends, when the police falls to solve the
mystery of murder. But the applicant was a senior member of the IAS. His letter
is likely to assume a different dimension and it is not unlikely that such
letter may influence the course of action to be taken by the department. Since
such letter was written to the Principal Secretary of the Home Department, we
do not think that the same was written with any intention to influence another
very senior member of the cadre. On reconsideration of the facts and
circumstances of the case. We feel that such letter was addressed bonafide in
an anxiety to ensure speeds and effective investigation in the case of murder
of Col. Goswami. The applicant, therefore may not deserve the strong
observation made by this Court for the said letter in the order dated
as the Letter dated August
10, 1993 addressed to
the Executive Director of Indian Oil Corporation is concerned, the applicant
being a senior member of the IAS and holding a high office of responsibility
should have desisted writing of the said letter when in the rival claims for
the gas agency, his very close relations were involved.
is no difficulty in appreciating the applicant's concern for his near relations
at the personal level but in his official capacity, such letter should not have
been addressed. It was expected of the applicant to be alive to the possibility
that such letter was likely to create prejudice against the other rival
claimant. However, on a careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of
the case and noting that petitioner Dr. Neeraj Goswami was approaching various
authorities including the political high ups to recommend her case for giving
the agency in her favour, it appears to us that the said letter was written to
highlight the viewpoint of the other claimant Sm. Ashoka Trikha so that the
authorities concerned may consider the rival claims after keeping in mind the
relevant facts and circumstances. Although such course of action on the part of
the applicant was unwise and should have been avoided, it appears to us that
the said letter was not written with any malafide intention. Considering the
statements made in the application, we do expect that the applicant would be
more careful in future in writing letters in his official capacity. He has
genuinely regretted for failing to appreciate the consequence which his letter
was likely to bring about.
therefore, modify the order dated 22.11.1994 by expunging the observation made
in connection with both the said letters. The application is disposed of
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