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Syed Hassan Ali Vs. State of Mysore and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 1253 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1965Kant283; AIR1965Mys283; ILR1965KAR274; (1965)IILLJ583Kant; (1965)1MysLJ422
ActsConstitution of India - Articles 32, 226 and 311; Hyderabad Civil Services (C.C.A.) Rules, 1955 - Rules 22(1) and 35 ; Mysore Civil Service (C.C.A.) Rules - Rule 25
AppellantSyed Hassan Ali
RespondentState of Mysore and ors.
Excerpt:
.....of the petitioners during the proceedings in the lower court. if there had been more detailed and better discussion of the evidence, it would not have given room for the criticism made by sri ayyangar. the contention of the learned high court government pleader is that the government, after carefully going through all the records and the grounds urged, was satisfied that the charges levelled against the petitioner were proved......taken up against the petitioner and sri billimoria, deputy superintendent of police, was appointed enquiry officer. the petitioner objected to the enquiry by sri billimoria on the ground that he was prejudiced against him. then another deputy superintendent of police, sri mallappa, was appointed as the enquiry officer. as the petitioner did not appear before him, the enquiry was proceeded with ex parte. on an appeal filed by the petitioner to the inspector-general of police, the inspector-general of police remanded the matter for fresh enquiry and that all the witnesses should be examined in the presence of the petitioner and he should be given an opportunity to cross- examine them. he directed that the enquiry should be conducted by the deputy superintendent of police, gulbarga.....
Judgment:

Santosh, J.

1. In this application under Art. 226 of the 226, the petitioner prays that this Court may be pleased to quash by the issue of a writ of certiorari or and other appropriate writ or order, as the case may be, the orders of the Inspector-General of Police (respondent 2) dated 17 December, 1960 dismissing the petitioner from service, and the order of the Government (respondent 1) dated 21 March, 1962 confirming the said order of dismissal.

2. The petitioner was a sub-inspector of police at Gogi in Gulbarga district. On 20 November, 1957 a memo of charges was given to the petitioner alleging that he had obtained illegal gratification from villagers. The petitioner I alleged to have taken illegal gratification from the five persons mentioned in the said charge-memo. On 26 June, 1958 a second memo of charges was issued against the petitioner alleging gross negligence in the discharge of his duties and accepting illegal gratification. The first eight counts related to gross negligence of duty and the ninth count was that he demanded and received illegal gratification of Rs. 325 from one Rayappa. When these charges were pending enquiry, the petitioner was dismissed from service by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police on an earlier charge framed against him for having behaved in a high-handed and unmannerly way against one Veeraswami. In the appeal filed by the petitioner, the Inspector-General of Police, however, altered the punishment form dismissal to one of reduction by two stages in the time-scale for a period of two years with adverse effect on future increments. Thereafter the enquiry, in respect of the two memos of charges mentioned above, was taken up against the petitioner and Sri Billimoria, Deputy Superintendent of Police, was appointed enquiry officer. The petitioner objected to the enquiry by Sri Billimoria on the ground that he was prejudiced against him. Then another Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sri Mallappa, was appointed as the enquiry officer. As the petitioner did not appear before him, the enquiry was proceeded with ex parte. On an appeal filed by the petitioner to the Inspector-General of police, the Inspector-General of Police remanded the matter for fresh enquiry and that all the witnesses should be examined in the presence of the petitioner and he should be given an opportunity to cross- examine them. He directed that the enquiry should be conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Gulbarga Division. As this latter officer was transferred, the enquiry was conducted by Sri Dhruva Rao, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Yadgir. Thirty prosecution witnesses were examined before the enquiry officer and the petitioner examined five defence witnesses. The enquiry officer held the petitioner guilty of counts 3 and 4 in the memo of charges dated 20 November, 1957. Count 3 related to accepting illegal gratification of Rs. 100 from Rangappa. With regard to the memo of charges dated 26 June, 1958, he found the petitioner guilty of all the nine counts. Counts 1 to 8 related to gross negligence of duty. Count 9, which was held proved, was that he kept Harijan Rayappa in custody and would not release him unless he paid him Rs. 325; Rayappa had to raise this amount and pay the petitioner by selling his two bullocks and his cart.

3. Under the Hyderabad Civil Services (Classification, control and Appeal) Rules, 1955, the Inspector-General of Police being the authority competent to dismiss the petitioner, the papers were submitted to the Inspector-General of Police. After going through the papers, the Inspector-General of Police, on 23 April, 1960, issued a show-cause notice to the petitioner as to why he should not be dismissed from service. The petitioner submitted his explanation and demanded a personal hearing. The Inspector-general of Police gave him a personal hearing on 24 November, 1960. The petitioner also presented a further written representation. The Inspector-General of Police, after going through the papers, by his order dated 17 December, 1960, found the petitioner guilty on counts 3 and 4 in the memo of charges dated 20 November, 1957 and on all the nine counts in the charge-memo dated 26 June, 1958 He dismissed the petitioner from service. The petitioner went up in appeal to the Government and the Government of Mysore, by its order dated 21 March, 1962, dismissed the appeal and confirmed the order of dismissal of the petitioner. The petitioner has filed this writ petition challenging the said order passed by the Inspector-General of Police dismissing him from service and the order of the Government confirming the same, and prays that the said two orders may be quashed.

4. Sri S. K. Venkataranga Ayyangar, learned counsel for the petitioner, has urged before us four contentions, viz. :

(1) there is no proper discussion at all of the defence evidence, let in by the petitioner, by the enquiry officer;

(2) there were only 28 witnesses referred to in the memo of charges; two more witnesses, who were not mentioned in the chargesheet, were examined and this has vitiated the enquiry;

(3) under the Hyderabad Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, the enquiry officer should be nominated by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police or the Inspector-General of Police. As the District Superintendent of Police had nominated the enquiry officer, the entire enquiry held by the said officer is vitiated; and

(4) the order of the appellate authority (State Government) does not conform to the requirement of law and hence should be struck down.

Taking the first contention, Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar contends that the enquiry officer has not marshalled the evidence properly and there is absolutely no discussion of the defence evidence let in by the petitioner. Referring to the defence witnesses, the enquiry officer has merely stated as follows :

'No doubt the delinquent has examined five defence witnesses. It is a weak-kneed defence.'

5. Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar contends that the enquiry officer should have discussed properly the defence evidence and should have given reasons for rejecting their evidence. Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar also submits that there is also no proper discussion of the defence evidence in the order of the Inspector-General of Police. It has to be remembered that this is not a judgment delivered by a Court of law, but only order passed in a departmental enquiry. The enquiry officer only collects the evidence, records his findings and submits them to the authority which is competent to impose punishment. After receiving the records and the report of the enquiry officer the Inspector-General of Police gave a show-cause notice to the petitioner and the petitioner gave an elaborate statement urging all the points in his favour and thereafter, the Inspector-General of Police gave him a personal hearing and permitted him to file another additional written statement and, after going through all these records, passed the impugned order. It is not the function of the Court in exercising jurisdiction under Art. 226 of the Constitution to go into questions of appreciation of evidence. The Court has to see whether Art. 311 of the Constitution has been contravened and whether the petitioner had reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of the charges framed against him. Unless it is a case of total lack of evidence, the Court will not be justified in interfering in departmental enquiries, on questions of appreciation or discussion of evidence. It is not the contention of Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar that in this case there is total lack of evidence support of the charges framed against the petitioner.

6. Taking next the contention that two witnesses not mentioned in the charge have been examined, Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar has not brought to our notice any provision of law or rule prohibiting an enquiry officer from examining witnesses not mentioned in the chargesheet if he considered that it is necessary to do so. These witnesses have been examined in the presence of the petitioner and he has been given an opportunity to cross-examine them. If the petitioner wanted, he could have asked for some time, to cross-examine the witnesses. The petitioner does not seem to have done so. Hence, it cannot be said that he is in any way prejudiced. It may also be mentioned that these two additional witnesses were examined only with regard to court 9 of the charge-memo dated 26 June, 1958. As stated earlier, even if this count is ignored, the petitioner has been found guilty of ten other counts.

7. Taking the third contention that the enquiry officer has not been nominated by the proper authority, the contention of Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar is that as per the Hyderabad Civil Services Rules, only the Deputy Inspector-General or the Inspector-General of Police should have nominated the enquiry officer. In Para. 6 of his affidavit the petitioner, referring to the Inspector-General setting aside the ex parte order passed by the previous enquiry officer, has stated as follows :

'In the circumstances I had to complaint to the Inspector-General of Police who referred that the enquiry against me should be conducted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police Gulbarga Division. As this latter office was transferred ultimately, the enquiry was conducted by Sri Dhruva Rao Deputy Superintendent of Police, Yadgir, between October, and November, 1959.'

8. It is clear from this that the Inspector-General of Police had nominated the enquiry officer, but since that officer was transferred, the enquiry had to be held by another officer. The contention on behalf of the State is that according to Rule 22(1)(c) of the Hyderabad Civil Service (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, the authority to order an enquiry or to appoint the enquiry officer is the head of the office or the appointing authority or any higher authority. The learned High Court Government Pleader contends that so far as the petitioner is concerned. The Superintendent of Police is the head of the office and, as the he is competent to appoint the enquiry officer. He contends that so far as a district is concerned the Superintendent of Police is the head of the police force and as such, competent to appoint an enquiry officer. Sri Ayyangar's contention is that 'head or the office' refers only to persons working in the clerical department, and so far as a sub inspector of police is concerned, he is a station-house officer and he is himself the head of his office and the Superintendent of Police is not the head of his office. We are of opinion that the words referred to above cannot be given such a narrow and restricted meaning which Sri Venkataranga Ayyangar wants us to give them. The Superintendent of police, who is the head of the district, can be held to be the head of the office of sub-inspector of police. Even assuming that the enquiry officer has not been properly nominated, we are of opinion that the petitioner, having acquiesced and submitted to the jurisdiction and having taken part in the enquiry without objecting to the same, should not be permitted, at This stage, to turn round and contend that the enquiry officer was not competent to hod the enquiry. When the enquiry started, the petitioner should have raised this point and objected to the enquiry being held by the said officer. The petitioner has not done so. The records show that the petitioner objected to the enquiry being held by Sri Billimoria. He never contended that the enquiry. At his not competent to hold the enquiry. At his request another enquiry officer was nominated. The petitioner willingly went through the enquiry without any objection, thirty witnesses were examined for the prosecution and the petitioner, himself examine five defence witnesses. It is not open to the petitioner, after the whole enquiry is over and after the enquiry office has found against him, now to turn round and contend that the officer was not competent to hold the enquiry. The Supreme Court, in Pannalal v. Union of India : [1957]1SCR233 has stated as follows :

'If they (petitioners) acquiesced in the jurisdiction of the Income-tax officers to whom their cases were transferred, they were certainly not entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court under Art. 32. It is well-settled that such conduct of the petitioners would disentitle them to any relief at the hands of this Court.'

9. A Division Bench of this Court in C.R. Gowda v. Mysore Revenue Appellate Tribunal [A.I.R. 1965 Mys. 41] has also held that where the petitioner who must have been aware of the defect in the constitution of the tribunal did not raise any objection on that score, but took a chance of succeeding in the proceeding before it, he is precluded by his own conduct from putting forward the contention that the tribunal had not been properly constituted. In Mannarghat Union Motor Services, Ltd. v. Regional Transport Authority, Malabar : AIR1953Mad59 , Subba Rao, J., has stated that failure to object to jurisdiction before the lower Court is a bar to obtaining a writ of certiorari, whether the objection to jurisdiction is based on a pure point of law or based on facts which were or should have been within the knowledge of the petitioners during the proceedings in the lower Court. We are of opinion that the observations made by Chagla, C. J., in G. M. T. Society v. Bombay state : AIR1954Bom202 apply with full force to the facts of this case and they are as follows :

'Court must tell the petitioner : 'It was open to you to raise that point before the tribunal whose order you are challenging. You have sat on the fence, you have taken a chance of the tribunal deciding in your favour, and it is not open to you now to come to us and ask for a writ'.'

10. Taking the last contention of the petitioner that the appellate order of the Government is not in conformity with law, we must remember, as stated earlier, that these are orders passed in a departmental enquiry. To apply to these orders the standard laid down as to how a judgment of a Court of law should be, would not be correct. In the case of judicial orders, law prescribes that there should be a detailed discussion of the evidence. It must state the points for determination, findings thereon and the reasons for the findings. Sri Ayyangar contends that the Government has not marshalled the evidence nor has it given any reasons for accepting the findings of the Inspector-General of police. His contention is that the order does not conform to either rule 25 of the Mysore Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules or rule 35 of the Hyderabad Civil Services (Classification, control and Appeal) Rules. He also relies on a passage in p. 447 of Basu's Shorter constitution of India (4th Edn.). He contends that the order is not a speaking order. But the passage relied on by him also states what the other requirements are. The administrative authority exercising appellate powers must hear in an objective manner, must be impartial and must give reasonable opportunity to the parties to the dispute to place their respective cases before it. It is not disputed that those requirements have been complied with. There is no doubt the Government order is laconic and not quite satisfactory. If there had been more detailed and better discussion of the evidence, it would not have given room for the criticism made by Sri Ayyangar. The contention of the learned High Court Government pleader is that the Government, after carefully going through all the records and the grounds urged, was satisfied that the charges levelled against the petitioner were proved. He contends that in departmental proceedings, it is not necessary to give elaborate reasons in disposing of appeal. We are of opinion that there is no merit in the contention of the petitioner that the Government order is illegal and should be struck down. The Government, after going through the records, has held that there is no procedural irregularity as would have vitiated the proceedings. The Government also came to the conclusion that the charges framed against the petitioner have been properly proved. It has held, after going through all the materials placed before it, that there are no adequate grounds to interfere with the order passed by the Inspector-General of police. Hence, we are of opinion that there is no merit in this contention.

11. In the result, for the reasons stated above, this writ petition fails and the same is dismissed. In the circumstances of the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs.


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