Singh Vs. Union of India &
Ors  Insc 738 (16 July 2007)
Tarun Chatterjee & Markandey Katju
O R D E R CIVIL APPEAL NO 3024 OF 2007.
(Arising out of SLP) No.13110 of 2006) TARUN CHATTERJEE,J.
1. Leave granted.
2. After the notice was issued by this Court on the instant Special Leave
Petition on 18th of August, 2006, the petition again came up for hearing on
23rd of April, 2007 when the following order was passed:
"It is stated that the petitioner (Constable- Driver) was dismissed
from service and his case was that there was only one day's delay in reporting
for duty and there was also a justifiable reason of death of his father. In the
facts and circumstances of the case, it would be appropriate if the
respondent-Union of India considers his case sympathetically if he can be
reinstated in service without back wages."
3. Departmental proceedings were initiated against the appellant and the
inquiry officer returned a finding of guilt against him. The disciplinary
authority, relying on the said finding of the inquiry officer, agreed with the
same and imposed a penalty of dismissal from service on the appellant.
4. Being aggrieved by the said order of dismissal, the appellant challenged
the same before the concerned statutory authorities.
Finally the order of dismissal was challenged before the Central
Administrative Tribunal which also dismissed the application of the appellant
on the ground that the same was time barred and that no reasonable explanation
had been given by the appellant for preferring the appeal belatedly.
5. Challenging the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, a writ
petition was moved before the High Court. The High Court also dismissed the
writ petition, inter alia, on the following finding :
"We have gone through the records and having heard the learned counsel
for the parties, we find that there was no reason for the petitioner in not
approaching the court/tribunal in terms of the statement made by the
respondents in their letter dated 12th of June, 2001. It was specifically
mentioned in the said communication sent to the petitioner by the respondents
that he now has a remedy to move the court against the order of punishment of
the disciplinary authority and also as against the order passed by the
appellate authority. The fact that no revision would he as against the said
order was also brought to his notice. Despite the said fact, the petitioner
went on filing representation after representation. The said representations
were not statutory. The filing of such representations is not provided for. The
petitioner had all the options to move the Tribunal for redressal of his
grievances. He did not exercise such option expeditiously. He slumbered over
the matter and did not avail the remedy available to him"
6. It is this order of the Division Bench of the High Court which the
appellant has challenged by way of a special leave petition in which leave has
been granted. As noted herein earlier, the matter came up for hearing before a
Bench of this Court on 23rd of April, 2007, when it was observed that the
dismissal from service of the appellant was due to one day's delay in reporting
for duty and there was also a justifiable reason of death of his father.
Considering this aspect of the matter this Court thought it fit to direct
the Union of India-respondents to consider the case of the appellant
sympathetically and if he could be reinstated in service without back wages.
7. The matter came up for hearing before this Bench on 9th of July, 2007
when the learned counsel appearing for the respondents submitted on instruction
that in view of the observations made by this Court on 23rd April, 2007
respondents would have no objection to reinstate the appellant in service
without payment of back wages. Such being the stand taken by the respondents
and in view of the submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellant
that in the event he is reinstated he would not claim back wages, we direct the
respondents to reinstate the appellant in service within one month from the
date of communication of this order. We make it clear that the appellant shall
not be entitled to back wages.
8. In view of the order passed by this Court, the order of dismissal passed
against the appellant is liable to be set aside and delay in filing the original
application before the Central Administrative Tribunal must be condoned.
Accordingly the order of dismissal from service is set aside and the order
passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal as well as of the High Court
stands set aside and consequent thereupon the original application filed before
the Central Administrative Tribunal also stands allowed. The appeal is thus
allowed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.