1. The petitioner, an Ex-Assistant Works Superintendent of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (Corporation for short) has presented this Writ Petition praying for quashing the order made by the Deputy General Manager and Divisional Controller imposing the penalty of removal from service against the petitioner.
2. The facts of the case, in brief, are as follows : A departmental inquiry was instituted against the petitioner on 24th March 1971 alleging that certain irregularities has been committed by the petitioner which had resulted in the loss of tyres in Mercara Depot. The petitioner was also prosecuted before the Court of the Additional Munsiff and First Class Magistrate, Mercara. The subject matter of the charge against the petitioner in the said criminal case was the same as the one in respect of which the departmental inquiry was commenced against the petitioner. By the order dated 8th April, 1971 passed by the Magistrate (Annexure-B) the petitioner was acquitted of the charge. After the petitioner was acquitted, the General Manager of the Corporation made an order dropping the proceedings, a copy of which is produced as Annexure-C. It reads :
'In view of the acquittal of the delinquent Sri A. G. Kamath, Depot Manager, in the Court by the Hon'ble Additional Munsiff and I Class Magistrate, Mercara, before the departmental enquiry could be proceeded into the alleged report against him, the enquiry ordered No. MST CO EST DFL. 1808 dated 24th March, 1971 is hereby dropped. The suspension period undergone by the delinquent is treated as duty.'
After about 9 months thereafter, once again a departmental inquiry was instituted against the petitioner on the same charge as per order dated 13th March, 1973 (Annexure-D). In the inquiry the petitioner filed his final statement on 27th May, 1974. Thereafter nothing was communicated to the petitioner for over four years about the further steps taken on the basis of the inquiry report. By the order of the General Manager dated 9th May, 1979 (Annexure-A) the petitioner was promoted as Assistant Works Superintendent. The promotion order reads :
'K.S.R.T.C. CENTRAL OFFICE, BANGALORE No. KST : CO : EST : E2 : 1464 : 79-80, dated 9th May, 1979. GENERAL ESTABLISHMENT