1. Rule heard. Mr. Godhamgaonkar for the petitioner and Mr. Choudhary, Government Pleader, for the respondents. Mr. Choudhary waives service on behalf of the respondents. By consent of the parties, petition taken up today.
2. Admittedly, the petitioner was working as Police Patil at village Illegaon, Taluka Billoli, District Nanded, with effect from 10th September, 1980 and his appointment was initially for a period of five years. Respondent No. 2 is the competent authority of the petitioner. There is no dispute the Crime No. 41 of 1982 under Ss. 323, 448, 504 & 506, I.P.C. was registered against the petitioner at Dharmabad Police Station and during the stage of investigation, he was arrested on 27th July, 1982 and was released on bail. A charge-sheet against him has also been filed in the relevant Court. The intimation regarding the registration of offence was sent to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. i.e., respondent No. 2, by the P.S.I. and vide order dated 14th September, 1982 the petitioner came to be suspended as the complaint came to be filed against him.
3. It was the grievance of the petitioner that before suspending him from the post of Police Patil, he was got given any hearing by the competent authority nor had the competent authority used the power judicially before passing the impugned order of suspension against him. This point was considered by Division Bench of this Court in writ Petition No. 203-A of 1982, Dhondiraj Vithalrao Patil v. State of Maharashtra, decided on 5th July, 1982. In that writ petition the order of suspension in similar circumstances was quashed and it was held that in cases of this kind suspension works as a penalty and the rules of natural justice require hat the petitioner must be heard before any such order of suspension is passed.
4. Mr. Choudhary, learned Government Pleader, fairly conceded before us that no hearing was given before the impugned order of suspension was passed against the petitioner. He also fairly conceded before us that the papers received from respondent No. 2 did not indicate that the competent authority had perused the papers of investigation for his subjective satisfaction before the order of suspension was passed against the petitioner.
5. In these circumstances, the order of suspension dated 14th September, 1982 passed by respondent No. 2 against the petitioner is hereby set aside. It will, however, be open to respondent No. 2 to pass a fresh order according to law after giving an opportunity to the petitioner of being heard in the matter in the light of the judgment of the Division Bench referred to above.
6. Accordingly, the rule is made absolute with no order as to costs.