of Andhra Pradesh Vs. Dr. K.Ramachandran  INSC
3 (6 January 1998)
Ahmad, G.B. Pattanaik Saghir Ahmad, J.
(MS) M & H dated march 3, 1981, the Government of Andhra Pradesh had
imposed the penalty of 20% cut in the pension of the respondent for period of 5
year. By another order G.O. 1278 M & H dated 10.8.1981, the Government
refused to treat the period of suspension of the respondent as period spent on
duty. Both the orders were challenged by the respondent before the Andhra
Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, which by its Judgment dated 22nd June, 1985
allowed the petition and set aside the above orders on the ground that the
Government had no jurisdiction to hold disciplinary proceedings as the
disciplinary proceedings could be held only by the Tribunal constituted under
the Andhra Pradesh civil Services (Disciplinary Proceedings Tribunal) Act,
counsel appearing on behalf of the state of Andhra Pradesh contends that the
Government being the employer and the Authority which can pass final orders of
punishment in disciplinary proceedings, retains its jurisdiction to proceed
departmentally against its employees for mis-conduct committed by them in spite
of the Tribunal constituted under the Act of 1960 for holding disciplinary
proceedings and therefore the decision of the Tribunal taking, a contrary view,
is not correct. We are not impressed by the argument.
(2) (d) of the Act defines `Tribunal', which means Tribunal constituted under
section 3. Section 2(c) defines the word `prescribed', which means prescribed
by rules made under the Act.
(3) of the Act provides as under:
member of the Tribunal shall be a Judicial Officer of the status of a District
Judge and his appointment shall be made by the Government out of a panel of
names forwarded by the High Court." Section 4 of the Act, prior to its
amendment by Andhra Pradesh Act 6 of 1993, provided as under:
Cases to be referred to Tribunal: The Government shall refer to cases as may be
prescribed of allegations of misconduct on the part of Government
rules under the Act were made by the Government and were published under G.o.
MS No. 895 G.A. (Ser-D) dated 18th July, 1961, in which misconduct has been
defined as under:
(b) "Misconduct" shall have the same meaning as criminal misconduct
under Section 5 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 (Central Act II
of 1947) and shall include any attempt to commit any offence referred to in
clause (c) of clause (d) of that section and any "wilful contravention of
the rules made under the proviso top Article 309 of the constitution of India
to regulate the conduct of persons appointed to public services and posts and
posts in connection with the affairs of the state'. (G.O. Ms.. No. 1026, G.A. (Ser-D),
dated 16.2.1969." Rule 3 which is the relevant rule is quoted below:
may subject to the provisions of rule 4 refer to the Tribunal for enquiry and
report under section 4 of the Act- (a) case relating to Government servants
drawing a basic pay of Rs. 360 and above per mensem in respect of matters
involving misconduct; and (b) cases relating to Government servants drawing a
basic pay of less then Rs. 600 per mensem in respect of matters involving
misconduct committed by such Government servants either jointly with government
servant drawing a basic pay of not less then Rs. 360 per mensem of in the
course of the same transaction involving misconduct committed by such other
Government servants. (G.O. Ms. No.490 GAD (Ser-D) dated 25.7.1980:
that it shall not be necessary to refer to the Tribunal any case in which the
Tribunal has at any previous stage, reported its finding in regard to the order
to be passed and no fresh question has thereafter arisen for determination".
(G.O.Ms. No.718, G.A.(Ser-C), dated 8th October, 1976.
Where two or more Government servants are concerned in any case the Government
may make an order directing disciplinary proceedings against all of them may be
taken in a common proceeding and; thereupon the Tribunal shall conduct the
enquiry into such case accordingly" (G.O. Ms. No. 862), G.A., dated
Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1) or (2), cases arising in the
Judicial Department and cases of officer and servant of the High Court who come
under the rule making control of the chief Justice as laid down in article 229
of the Constitution of India shall not be referred to the Tribunal".
the above Rule, the employees, whose cases are to be referred to the Tribunal
have been specified. If any of the employee falling within the above category
committed misconduct, his case, in view of unamended section 4 of the Act,
"particularly because of the use of the word "SHALL" therein,
had to be referred to the Tribunal constituted under that Act for holding
disciplinary proceedings. This Tribunal, it will be noticed, is presided over
by a Judicial Officer of the rank of a District Judge appointed by the
Government from a panel of names recommended by the High Court.
apparent that at the relevant time, when the disciplinary proceedings were
started against the respondent, the Government had no jurisdiction to hold
departmental proceedings for the misconduct committed by the respondent. It had
no choice except to refer the case to the Tribunal.
4 of the Act which was in mandatory terms was amended by Andhra Pradesh Act 6
of 1993 and the word "shall" occurring in section 4 was replaced by
the word "may", which gave a direction to the Government to refer or
not to refer the matter to the Tribunal. Section 4A which was inserted in the
Principal Act by the same amending Act, namely, Andhra Pradesh Act 6 of 1993,
gave power to the Government to withdraw at any stage, any case from the
Tribunal before its conclusion. This, again indicates that the choice to refer
or not to refer the case to the Tribunal for disciplinary proceeding or to
withdraw any case already referred to the Tribunal became available to the
Government only after the amendment of the principal Act by Act 6 of 1993.
Judgment passed by the Administrative Tribunal does not, therefore , suffer
from any error or illegality. the appeal is consequently dismissed. There shall
be no order as to costs.