P&H HC: Offence u/s 295A won’t be Attracted if Act done Without Malicious Intent  ||  Ker. HC: No Liability on RTO to Pay Compensation if Vehicle Owner Fails to get it Insured  ||  Guj. HC: Elected Members Must Not Disrepute the Institution to Which they are Elected  ||  All. HC: Scheme of A&C Act Put no Limitation for Application of Doctrine of Severability to an Award  ||  Kar. HC: Apprehension of Not Getting a Fair Trial is Required to Seek Transfer of Case  ||  Ker. HC: Not Granting Divorce Despite Mutual Consent Amounts to Cruelty  ||  Tel. HC: Elders in the House Can’t Decide Custody of Child  ||  All. HC: Gravity of Misconduct and Past Conduct Relevant to be Considered by Disciplinary Authority  ||  P&H HC Issues Guidelines on Proclamation u/s 82 CrPC  ||  SC: Can File Complaint Under Repealed FERA Provisions During Sunset Period After Enforcement of FEMA    

Central Bank of India and Ors. Vs. Utpal Bordoloi - (High Court of Gauhati) (01 Jun 2018)

Misappropriation of customers' money by a bank officer is a serious misconduct and does not warrant lenient view



In facts of present case, the Respondent was given compassionate appointment by the Appellant-Bank on the post of Clerk because his father died in harness. It was expected from the Respondent that, he will discharge his duties by maintaining highest standard of honesty and integrity, but sadly, he failed to do so. He not only indulged into misappropriation of money on two occasions, but also became a habitual absentee. He was, therefore, subjected to disciplinary proceedings. Initially, two charges were levelled against him, but under the modified charge-sheet, he was directed to respond to three charges in the disciplinary proceedings.

A Senior Manager of the Bank, who conducted the enquiry, in his report concluded that all the three charges were proved against the Respondent. Thereafter, the disciplinary authority also agreed with the findings of the Enquiry Officer. The disciplinary authority, then, having regard to the serious nature of charges, vide order, inflicted a penalty of Respondent's removal from service. Aggrieved, the Respondent filed a departmental appeal and it too was dismissed by the Appellate Authority vide order. The Respondent finally filed writ petition, essentially, on the ground that, penalty of his removal from service was shockingly disproportionate to the charges proved against him. Respondent in the writ petition did not seriously question the validity of the departmental enquiry. The learned Single Judge, by the impugned order, while holding that charges were proved against the Respondent in a valid enquiry, agreed with him that penalty of his removal from service was disproportionate and directed the disciplinary authority to impose a lesser punishment than that of removal from service. It is in this background, the Appellant-Bank had filed the present appeal.

The Respondent was given compassionate appointment on the death of his father by the Appellant-Bank. Therefore, while dealing with the money of depositors/customers, he was expected to take all possible steps to protect the interest of the bank and to discharge his duties with utmost integrity, honesty, devotion and intelligence. But, on two occasions, he misappropriated the money of depositors for his wrongful gain. On the first occasion, he misappropriated Rs. 10,000.00 and in the second occasion, he misappropriated Rs. 4988.00. It has also been proved vide Charge No. 3 that he was habitual in remaining unauthorisedly absent. The Respondent, thus, lost the confidence of the Appellant-Bank.

In Suresh Pathrella vs. Oriental Bank of Commerce, the Supreme Court has clearly held that, misappropriation of customers' money by a bank officer is a serious misconduct and it does not warrant lenient view. In that case, the Supreme Court also upheld the punishment of removal from service of a bank employee. In yet another case, Narendra Nath Bhalla vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court, for a charge of misappropriation of money, has held the punishment of dismissal to be just and proper. Apparently, these aspects were not taken into consideration by the learned Single Judge. The punishment of removal from service of the Respondent was not disproportionate. Accordingly, the impugned order is set aside. The appeal is allowed.

Relevant : Suresh Pathrella vs. Oriental Bank of Commerce, MANU/SC/8561/2006: (2006) 10 SCC 572, Narendra Nath Bhalla vs. State of Uttar Pradesh


Share :        

Disclaimer | Copyright 2023 - All Rights Reserved