Vs. Tulsi Gramin Bank & ANR  INSC 528 (7 May 1997)
RAMASWAMY, S. SAGHIRAHMAD, G.B. PATTANAIK
O R D
E R Delay condoned.
heard learned counsel for the petitioner.
petitioner was charge-sheeted for dereliction of the duty under Section 3 of theRegional
Rural Banks Act (21 of 1976). Afterinquiry, the disciplinary authority directed
with-holding of three increments with cumulative effect. On appeal,the
appellate authority stated thus:"[Therefore, in accordance with the
decision taken by the Board of Directors, oneincrement is released and he is warnedthat
in future no such actor irregularity will be repeated, otherwise serious disciplinaryactionwill
be taken". Wen writ petition was filedby the petitioner, the High Court in
the impugned order dated December
16, 1996 made inWrit
Petition 12133/93 stated as under:
do not feel inclinedto quash the orderpassed by the appellate disciplinary
authority who has disciplinary authority who has disposed of the appeal of the
petitioner by setting aside the order with-holdingone of the three increments
and has warned the petition r that in future no such act/irregularity will berepeated
byhim and if itis done in that event disciplinary actionwill be taken against
him." It is contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that theHigh
Court has misunderstood the operative Dartof theorder of the appellate
authority. We find no force in the contention. TheWord "one increment
release" would mean that the appellate authority is inclined to confirm thepenalty
of imposing two incrementswith cummulative effect andthereby, one incrementwas
released from the penalty. The High Court, therefore, isnot right in construing
that two increments have been released and one was retained. Instead,the
reverse isthe intention. Under the circumstances, while clarifying thefactualposition,
we do not find that it is a case warranting interference.
only legal question sought tobe raised in the SLP is whether under Rule 30(3)
of the Staff Service Regulation, the enquiry officer has to be higher inrank
than the delinquent officer. Regulation 30 (3)of the Staff ServiceRegulation
enquiry under this regulation and the procedure with the exception of the final
order, may bedelegated in case the person against whom proceedings are taken isan
officer, toany officer who isin a grade higher than such officer and in the
case of an employee,to any officer. For purpose ofthe enquiry, the officer oremployee
may not engage a legal practitioner." Thus an enquiry, under Regulation
may be delegatedto a person higher in rankthan the delinquent officer, in the
case of an officer. But in this case we donot find any substantial miscarriage
of justice preejudicial to the petitioner for the reason that though it is
always desirable that an officer higher in rank than the delinquent officer
should be directed toconductan enquiry, the enquiry is conducted as a delegate
of the disciplinary authority.
theultimate decision is to be taken by the disciplinary authority. By mere delegatingthe
enquiry whetherthe enquiry officer is of the same cadre or of higher grade than
that of thepetitioner, it did not cause any material irregularity notresulted
in anyinjustice to the petitioner. Under these circumstances, we do notfind any
illegality warranting interference.
special leave petitionis accordingly dismissed.