Gramin Bank & Anr Vs. Ram Pal Chouhan  Insc 243 (27 April 2006)
Pasayat & S.H. Kapadia
out of S.L.P. (C) No.19442 of 2004 ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is to the correctness of the judgment rendered by a Division
Bench of the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur allowing the D.B. Civil Special Appeal (Writ) No.617 of 2003 filed by
the respondent. By the impugned order the High Court held as follows:
view of the aforesaid discussion, we are of the view that the impugned order of
termination dated 8th August, 1995 suffers from the procedural error leading to
the manifest injustice or the vice of violation of principles of natural
special appeal is allowed.
order of the leaned Single Judge dated 22nd July, 2003 is set aside. The writ petition is
allowed. The order of the Disciplinary Authority dated 3rd August, 1995 Annexure-1 and the order of the
Appellate Authority dated 28.12.1995 Annexure-2 are quashed and set aside. It
is directed that the appellant shall be reinstated in service with all
consequential benefits." On 27.9.2004 notice was issued by this Court
limited to sustainability of High Court's judgment vis-`-vis charge Nos.6 and
brief reference to the factual aspects would suffice.
respondent was dismissed from service under the provisions of Regulations
30(1)(f) of the Marwar Gramin Bank (Staff) Service Regulations, 1980
(hereinafter referred to as the "Regulations") having been found
guilty of the charge of misconduct levelled against him while he was posted at
Sarnau Branch of the appellant-Marwar Gramin Bank in District Jalore. A
complaint came to be filed by some of the loanees against him alleging inter
alia that he demanded bribe for providing them relief under the Agricultural
Rural Bank Relief Regulations. A preliminary enquiry was conducted by Shanti
Lal Sharma, who recorded the statements of the Manager, Field Supervisor and
other staff members and also recorded the statements of the complainants. After
conducting the preliminary enquiry, disciplinary proceedings were initiated
under Regulation 30 of the Regulations. The respondent was served with a
memorandum dated 6.9.1991 whereby he was informed that an enquiry is proposed
against him on the charges set out in the statement of charges and explained in
the statement of allegations. The charges against the respondent set out are as
No.1 That the
respondent demanded Rs.100/- from one Narsi as bribe for closing his account
and he told the loanees to give money and take the deposit receipts later on
and because of not giving of receipts by him, he loanees did not deposit the
money in the Bank and therefore, he did not watch the interest of the Bank and
thus, the violated Regulations 17 and 19 of the Regulations of 1980.
No.2 That the
respondent did not give correct information to Ganesha and Mohan Lal in respect
of their accounts and he harassed the loanees and by not giving correct
information to the loanees and harassing the loanees, he violated Circular
dated 27.7.1981 and further, he collected Rs.232.65 more from Mohan Lal as
bribe and thus, he violated Regulations 17 and 19 of the Regulations of 1980.
No.3 That the
respondent demanded Rs.200/- as bribe from one Karmi and further, the
respondent was given Rs.1400/- towards loan amount by Karmi, but the respondent
did not deposit that money in the Bank and kept that amount with him
unauthorisedly and thus, he did not deposit the amount received from the
loanees in the bank and thus, violated the Circular dated 18.2.1984 and further
by demanding bribe and keeping the recovered amount towards loan with him, he
violated the provisions of Regulations 17 and 19 of the Regulations of 1980.
similarly, the respondent also demanded bribe from Teja and further, he took
Rs.1300/- from Teja, but did not deposit that money in the Bank and kept that
amount with him unauthorisedly and therefore, he violated the instructions
contained in the circulars dated 27.7.1981 and 18.2.1984 and also violated the
provisions of Regulations 17 and 19 of the Regulations of 1980.
No.5 That the
respondent did not give correct information to the loanees in respect of
balance and already deposited loan amount and he harassed the loanees and also
gave wrong information to them and thus, he lowered down the image of the Bank.
No.6 That on
25.10.1990, he was Cashier and cash book was not closed by him on that day and
though the amount was actually received on 26.10.1990, but he issued the
receipts in the date of 25.10.1990 and thus, violated the instructions
contained in Circular dated 18.2.1984.
No.7 That on the
vouchers dated 25.10.1990, the respondent did not mention the description of
notes." Questioning the order passed by the Disciplinary Authority, a writ
application was filed which was dismissed by learned Single Judge. Special
Appeal was allowed by the Division Bench and the orders of Disciplinary
Authority and that of the Appellate Authority were quashed.
counsel for the appellants submitted that the logic of alleged violation of
principles of natural justice have no application to the facts of the present
case and in any event relating to charge nos. 6 and 7. The explanation offered
by the respondent was duly considered and was found unacceptable.
High Court did not deal with charge nos. 6 and 7 separately and the principles
in relation to charge nos. 1 to 5 were applied to charge nos. 6 and 7 also.
counsel for the respondent on the other hand submitted that the High Court has
taken note of the deficiencies in the conduct of proceedings and has rightly
interfered with the order passed by the authorities. It is to be noted that in
the counter affidavit filed in this Court it has been stated as follows:
That when witness Shri Mangla Ram was questioned vide Question No.22 whether on
that day i.e. 26.10.1990 Mohan/Rama came to get his accounts closed and had
brought 3 to 4 other loanees with him, Shri Choudhury answered that the Account
of Mohan son of Rama being DIR/26 stood closed on 25.10.90." It appears
from the record that the Branch Manager Shri Mangla Ram had deposed as a
management witness. He was cross-examined by the respondent; but further prayer
was made to produce Shri Mangla Ram Choudhury again. No reason was indicated as
to why such a prayer was being made, after he had cross examined him. As a
matter of fact, the sustainability of charge nos. 6 and 7 depended on the
accepted stand of the respondent. Other persons could have hardly thrown any
light on the issue. He appears to have accepted the allegations. That being so,
the question of any prejudice being caused by alleged non-observance of
principles of natural justice in the absence of the witnesses being called does
not arise. The High Court does not appear to have considered this aspect and
had in a routine manner applied the logic applicable to the other charges to
charge nos. 6 and 7.
notice issued was restricted to the findings as regards charge nos. 6 and 7. As
the High Court has not considered the issue in the proper perspective, we remit
the matter for consideration afresh on charge Nos. 6 and 7. We make it clear
that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case.
appeal is accordingly disposed of, with no order as to costs.