Vijay Singh Vs. State
of U.P. & Ors.
[Civil Appeal No.
3550 of 2012 arising out of SLP(C) No. 27600 of 2011]
O R D E R
appeal has been preferred against the impugned judgment and order dated
19.7.2011 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad in CMWP No. 39609
of 2011, wherein the case of the appellant against the order of punishment in
disciplinary proceedings has been rejected as the revisional authority had held
that against the order passed by the disciplinary authority, the revision was
not maintainable. The High Court held that on such facts the writ petition was
not worth entertaining.
instant case is an eye opener as it reveals as to what extent the superior
statutory authorities decide the fate of their subordinates in a casual and
cavalier manner without application of mind and then expect them to maintain
complete discipline merely being members of the disciplined forces. The facts
necessary to decide this appeal are as under:
A. The appellant when
posted as Sub-Inspector of Police at Police Station, Moth, District Jhansi in
the year 2010, had arrested Sahab Singh Yadav for offence punishable under
Section 60 of the U.P. Excise Act and after concluding the investigation, filed
a chargesheet before the competent court against the said accused.
B. During the pendency
of the said case in court, a show cause notice was served upon him by the
Senior Superintendent of Police, Jhansi dated 18.6.2010 to show cause as to why
his integrity certificate for the year 2010 be not withheld, as a preliminary
enquiry had been held wherein it had come on record that the appellant while
conducting investigation of the said offence did not record the past criminal
history of the accused.
C. The appellant filed
reply to the said show cause notice on 4.7.2010 pointing out that the said
offence was bailable. The purpose of finding out the past criminal history of
an accused is relevant in non-bailable cases as it may be a relevant issue for
considering his bail application. More so, withholding the integrity could not
be the punishment and as the criminal case was sub judice before the competent
court against the said accused on the chargesheet submitted by him, no action
could be taken against the appellant unless the court comes to the conclusion
that investigation was defective.
D. The disciplinary
authority, i.e. Senior Superintendent of Police without disclosing as under
what circumstances not recording the past criminal history of the accused
involved in the case had prejudiced the cause of the prosecution in a bailable
offence and without taking into consideration the reply to the said show cause,
found that the charge framed against the appellant stood proved, reply
submitted by the appellant was held to be not satisfactory. Therefore, the
integrity certificate for the year 2010 was directed to be withheld vide
impugned order dated 8.7.2010.
E. Aggrieved, the
appellant preferred an appeal before the Deputy Inspector General of Police on
20.8.2010 raising all the issues including that it was not necessary to find
out the past criminal history of the accused in bailable offence and the
punishment so imposed was not permissible under the U.P. Police Officers of the
Subordinate Ranks (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1991 (hereinafter referred to
as Rules 1991). The appeal stood rejected by the appellate authority vide order
F. Being aggrieved,
appellant preferred a revision before the Additional Director General of Police
which was dismissed vide order dated 29.3.2011 observing that withholding
integrity certificate did not fall within the ambit of the Rules 1991.
Therefore, the said revision could not be dealt with on merit and thus was not
G. Aggrieved, appellant
filed a Writ Petition which was dismissed by the High Court by the impugned
judgment and order dated 19.7.2011. Hence, this appeal.
R.K. Gupta, learned counsel appearing for the appellant has raised all the
issues which had been agitated persistently by the appellant in his show cause
reply, grounds in appeal and revision and in the writ petition before the High
Court and submitted that as the punishment awarded is not provided under the Rules,
1991, the punishment so awarded is without jurisdiction and is liable to be
the contrary, Shri Arvind Verma, learned counsel appearing for the State of
U.P. made an attempt to defend the impugned orders on the ground that the
appellant did not conduct the investigation properly and, therefore, the order
passed against him was justified and no interference was required.
have considered the rival submissions made by learned counsel for the parties
and perused the record.
only question involved in this appeal is as to whether the disciplinary
authority can impose punishment not prescribed under statutory rules after
holding disciplinary proceedings. The appellant is employed in the U.P. Police
and his service so far as disciplinary matters are concerned, is governed by
the Rules 1991. Rule 4 thereof provides the major penalties and minor penalties
and it reads as under:-
1. Punishment (1) The
following punishments may, for good and sufficient reasons and as hereinafter
provided, be imposed upon a Police Officer, namely
a. Major Penalties
in rank including reduction to a lower-scale or to a lower stage in a time
b. Minor Penalties
not exceeding one months pay.
of increment, including stoppage at an efficiency bar.
2. In addition to the
punishments mentioned in sub-rule (1) Head Constables and Constables may also
be inflicted with the following punishments
to quarters (this term includes confinement to Quarter Guard for a term not
exceeding fifteen days extra guard or other duty).
Drill not exceeding fifteen days.
guard duty not exceeding seven days.
of good-conduct pay.
3. In addition to the
punishments mentioned in sub-rules (1) and (2) Constables may also be punished
with Fatigue duty, which shall be restricted to the following tasks:
grass, cleaning jungle and picking stones from parade grounds.
huts and butts and similar work in the lines.
the punishment imposed upon the appellant is not provided for under Rule 4 of
Rules 1991. Integrity of a person can be withheld for sufficient reasons at the
time of filling up the Annual Confidential Report. However, if the statutory
rules so prescribe it can also be withheld as a punishment. The order passed by
the Disciplinary Authority withholding the integrity certificate as a
punishment for delinquency is without jurisdiction, not being provided under
the Rules 1991, since the same could not be termed as punishment under the
Rules. The rules do not empower the Disciplinary Authority to impose any other
major or minor punishment. It is a settled proposition of law that punishment
not prescribed under the rules, as a result of disciplinary proceedings cannot
Court in State of U.P. & Ors. v. Madhav Prasad Sharma, (2011) 2 SCC 212,
dealt with the aforesaid Rules 1991 and after quoting Rule 4 thereof held as
under: 16. We are not concerned about other rule. The perusal of major and
minor penalties prescribed in the above Rule makes it clear that sanctioning
leave without pay is not one of the punishments prescribed, though, and under
what circumstances leave has been sanctioned without pay is a different aspect
with which we are not concerned for the present. However, Rule 4 makes it clear
that sanction of leave without pay is not one of the punishments prescribed.
Disciplinary authority is competent to impose appropriate penalty from those
provided in Rule 4 of the Rules which deals with the major penalties and minor
penalties. Denial of salary on the ground of no work no paycannot be treated as
a penalty in view of statutory provisions contained in Rule 4 defining the
penalties in clear terms. (Emphasis added)
Authority has to act or purport to act in pursuance or execution or intended
execution of the Statute or Statutory Rules. (See: The Poona City Municipal
Corporation v. Dattatraya Nagesh Deodhar, AIR 1965 SC 555; The Municipal
Corporation, Indore v. Niyamatulla (dead) by his Legal representatives, AIR 1971
SC 97; J.N. Ganatra v. Morvi Municipality, Morvi, AIR 1996 SC 2520; and Borosil
Glass Works Ltd. Employees Union v. D.D. Bambode & Ors., AIR 2001 SC 378).
issue involved herein is required to be examined from another angle also.
Holding departmental proceedings and recording a finding of guilt against any
delinquent and imposing the punishment for the same is a quasi-judicial
function and not administrative one. (Vide: Bachhittar Singh v. State of Punjab
& Anr., AIR 1963 SC 395; Union of India v. H.C. Goel, AIR 1964 SC 364;
Mohd. Yunus Khan v. State of U.P. & Ors., (2010) 10 SCC 539; and
Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Coal India Ltd. & Ors. v. Ananta Saha &
Ors., (2011) 5 SCC 142). Imposing the punishment for a proved delinquency is
regulated and controlled by the statutory rules. Therefore, while performing
the quasi-judicial functions, the authority is not permitted to ignore the
statutory rules under which punishment is to be imposed. The disciplinary
authority is bound to give strict adherence to the said rules. Thus, the order
of punishment being outside the purview of the statutory rules is a nullity and
cannot be enforced against the appellant.
very ground has been taken by the appellant from the very initial stage. Before
the appellate authority such a ground was taken. Unfortunately, the appellate
authority brushed aside the said submission observing that the judgments
mentioned by him to the effect that integrity could not be withheld as
punishment not prescribed under the statutory rules, had no application to the
case, and therefore, in that respect no further consideration was necessary.
The order of punishment imposed by the disciplinary authority did not require
any interference. The revisional authority rejected the revision as not
maintainable observing as under: Representation is not maintainable.
Withholding of integrity certificate does not come under punishment under 1991
Rules &.Therefore, the revision is returned without hearing on merit on the
ground of non maintainability. (Emphasis added)
fail to understand, if the revisional authority was of the view that integrity
could not be withheld as punishment, why the mistake committed by the
disciplinary authority as well as by the appellate authority could not be
rectified by him. This shows a total non-application of mind. In such a
fact-situation, the subordinate officer has to face the adverse consequences
without any fault on his part.
The grievance raised
by the appellant that recording the past criminal history of an accused is
relevant in non-bailable offences only as it may be a relevant factor to be
considered at the time of grant of bail, and he did not record the same as it
was a bailable offence, has not been considered by any of the authorities at
all. Undoubtedly, the statutory authorities are under the legal obligation to
decide the appeal and revision dealing with the grounds taken in the
appeal/revision etc., otherwise it would be a case of non- application of mind.
present case shows dealing with the most serious issues without any seriousness
and sincerity. Integrity means soundness of moral principle or character,
fidelity, honesty, free from every biasing or corrupting influence or motive
and a character of uncorrupted virtue. It is synonymous with probity, purity,
uprightness rectitude, sinlessness and sincerity. The charge of negligence,
inadvertence or unintentional acts would not culminate into the case of
doubtful integrity. Withholding integrity merely does not cause stigma, rather
makes the person liable to face very serious consequences. (Vide: Pyare Mohan
Lal v. State of Jharkhand & Ors., AIR 2010 SC 3753). weigh
a too trivial matter had been dragged unproportionately which has caused so
much problems to the appellant. There is nothing on record to show as to
whether the alleged delinquency would fall within the ambit of misconduct for
which disciplinary proceedings could be initiated. It is settled legal
proposition that the vagaries of the employer to say ex post facto that some
acts of omission or commission nowhere found to be enumerated in the relevant
rules is nonetheless a misconduct (See: M/s. Glaxo Laboratories (I) Ltd. v. Presiding
Officer, Labour Court, Meerut & Ors., AIR 1984 SC 505; and A.L. Kalra v.
The Project and Equipment Corporation of India Ltd., AIR 1984 SC 1361).
in a civilized society governed by rule of law, the punishment not prescribed
under the statutory rules cannot be imposed. Principle enshrined in Criminal
Jurisprudence to this effect is prescribed in legal maxim nulla poena sine lege
which means that a person should not be made to suffer penalty except for a
clear breach of existing law. In S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal & Anr., AIR 2010
SC 3196, this Court has held that a person cannot be tried for an alleged
offence unless the Legislature has made it punishable by law and it falls
within the offence as defined under Sections 40, 41 and 42 of the Indian Penal
Code, 1860, Section 2(n) of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, or Section 3(38)
of the General Clauses Act, 1897. The same analogy can be drawn in the instant
case though the matter is not criminal in nature. Thus, in view of the above,
the punishment order is not maintainable in the eyes of law.
the result, appeal succeeds and is allowed. The impugned order dated 8.7.2010
withholding integrity certificate for the year 2010 and all subsequent orders
in this regard are quashed. Respondents are directed to consider the case of
the appellant for all consequential benefits including promotion etc., if any,
afresh taking into consideration the service record of the appellant in
accordance with law.
.............J. (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)
(JAGDISH SINGH KHEHAR)