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Canara Bank and Ors. Vs. Kameshwar Singh - (Supreme Court) (08 Jan 2020)

General Manager being an authority higher to Disciplinary Authority can exercise power of Disciplinary Authority to impose penalty



Canara Bank and its functionaries have filed present appeals challenging the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court, whereby the order of punishment passed against the Respondent by the Appellate Authority, namely, the General Manager of the Bank, was quashed and the matter was remitted to the Disciplinary Authority, namely, the Deputy General Manager to proceed with the inquiry from the stage of receipt of the inquiry report and to conclude the proceedings in accordance with law.

The Division Bench has interfered with the order of the learned Single Judge on the ground that the General Manager being an authority higher to Disciplinary Authority cannot exercise the power of the Disciplinary Authority. Therefore, the Division Bench quashed the order of punishment and remitted the matter to the Disciplinary Authority, namely, the Deputy General Manager for fresh consideration in accordance with law.

It is clear from the Regulation 5(3) of the Discipline and Appeal Regulations, 1976, the Disciplinary Authority or any other authority higher than it, may impose any penalties specified in Regulation 4 on any officer employee. In the instant case, the departmental proceedings against the Respondent were initiated by the Deputy General Manager being the Disciplinary Authority. But the order of punishment has been passed by the General Manager, who was higher than the Disciplinary Authority. Having regard to Regulation 5(3), the Division Bench was not justified in holding that, General manager has no authority to pass the order of punishment.

The order of the Division Bench impugned herein is set aside and the order of the learned Single Judge remitting the matter to the authorised Appellate Authority for reconsideration of the appeal is restored. The appeals are accordingly allowed.


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