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Chatrapal vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 115) - (Supreme Court) (15 Feb 2024)

When the finding of guilt recorded by the Inquiry Officer is based on perverse finding the same can always be interfered

MANU/SC/0113/2024

Service

The District Judge placed the appellant under suspension vide order and initiated a departmental inquiry. The Inquiry Officer vide memorandum served the charge sheet on the Appellant on the charges firstly, the appellant vide communication had used inappropriate, derogatory and objectionable language and made false allegations against the officers including the District Judge as well as against the Presiding Officer of Court and secondly, the Appellant communicated letters and representations to the Registrar General of High Court and other officials of the State Government including the then Chief Minister without routing the same through proper channel.

The Inquiry Officer, upon completion of enquiry, recorded in his report that the charges levelled against the appellant are duly established. The District Judge accepted the inquiry report and vide order dismissed the appellant which was challenged in appeal before the High Court and the same was dismissed vide order while affirming the order passed by the Disciplinary Authority imposing punishment of dismissal. Being aggrieved by the order passed by the Administrative Judge of the High Court, the appellant filed the Writ Petition before the High Court which attained the same fate as that of the appeal. Hence, the present appeal.

With regard to the allegation that the appellant made false allegations of discrimination on caste basis, it is significant to notice that the appellant himself has not made any such allegation in his letter. Another charge against the appellant concerns directly sending the representations to the High Court and Hon’ble Chief Minister/Minister without routing the same through proper channel. In this regard, it is suffice to observe that Class-IV employee, when in financial hardship, may represent directly to the superior but that by itself cannot amount to major misconduct for which punishment of termination from service should be imposed. Even otherwise, the appellant has cited examples of other employees of the District Court, Bareilly who have sent representations directly to the superiors, but no action has been taken against them.

It is trite law that ordinarily the findings recorded by the Inquiry Officer should not be interfered by the appellate authority or by the writ court. However, when the finding of guilt recorded by the Inquiry Officer is based on perverse finding the same can always be interfered.

In view of facts that, the Appellant is a Class-IV employee against whom charge no. 1 was found proved on the basis of perverse finding and charge no. 2 is only about sending the representation to the High Court directly without availing the proper channel, present Court deem it appropriate to set-aside the impugned judgment of the High Court as well as the order whereby the appellant was terminated from service. Consequently, the Appellant is reinstated in service with all consequential benefits. Appeal allowed.

Tags : TERMINATION   CHARGES   PROOF  

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