Rama Jois, J.
1. The petitioner, an employee of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, has questioned the legality of the notice issued by the Regional Manager of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Mysore Region, under Regulation 35 (2) of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Servants (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations, 1971, ('the Regulations' for short), proposing to enhance the penalty.
2. The facts of the case, in brief, are as follows : The petitioner is a Conductor in the service of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. Disciplinary proceedings were instituted against the petitioner on certain charges by the Disciplinary Authority. An order dated 10-11-1984 was made by the Disciplinary Authority imposing a fine of Rs. 25/- and a punitive suspension for 20 days. (Vide: Annexure 'C'). By notice dated 7.1.1985 (Annexure 'D'), the Regional Manager, who is the Appellate Authority, called upon the petitioner to show cause as to why the order made by the Disciplinary Authority should not be revised. Questioning the legality of the said notice, the petitioner has presented this petition.
3. Shri V. Lakshminarayana, learned Counsel for the petitioner, urged the following contentions:
(i) The order imposing the penalty was served on the petitioner by registered post on 12-1-1985 as required under Regulation 36 of the Regulations. The petitioner had 45 days time for preferring an appeal from the said date in view of Regulation 32 of the Regulations. In view of Regulation 35(2) of the Regulations, no proceeding for revision could be commenced until after the expiry of the period of limitation fixed for the appeal. As the petitioner bad 45 days time to prefer appeal from 12-1-1985, the impugned notice issued on 7-1-1985 was without jurisdiction.
(ii) As under proviso to Regulation 35(1) of the Regulations, no order imposing any penalty could be made without notice to the employee concerned, it was obligatory on the part of the Revisional Authority to have specified the penalty which he proposed to impose substituting a lower penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Authority. As no higher penalty was proposed to be inflicted on the petitioner, the impugned notice was contrary to Regulation 35 of the Regulations.
4. Both the contentions urged for the petitioner are unexceptionable. Regulation 35(2) of the Regulations expressely states that no proceeding for revision shall be commenced until after the expiry of the period of limitation for appeal. Regulation 36 provides that every order made under the Regulations should be communicated to the party concerned by registered post Regulation 32 provides that the period of 45 days is the period of limitation for preferring an appeal against an order from the date on which it is delivered to the concerned party. Therefore, there can be no doubt that the period of limitation commenced only from 12-1-1985 on which date the order imposing penalty was served on the petitioner through registered post. Therefore, the Revisional Authority had no jurisdiction to issue the notice until after the expiry of 45 days from 12-1-1985. Even thereafter it had jurisdiction only in the event of the petitioner not preferring an appeal. Therefore, the impugned notice is liable to be set aside.
5. The Second contention urged for the petitioner is also veil founded. Proviso to Regulation 35(1) of the Regulation states that no enhanced penalty could be imposed against an employee of the Corporation substituting a lower penalty inflicted by the Disciplinary Authority without giving in opportunity to the employee concerned. Therefore, it is not sufficient for the Revising Authority to simply state in the notice that it proposes to revise the Order. Unless the penalty proposed to be inflicted, which in the opinion of the Revisional Authority is necessary having regard to the gravity of the charges, is indicated in the notice there would be no opportunity for the concerned employee to make representation against the penalty. On this ground also, the notice is liable to be set aside;
6. It is not disputed by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that he had not preferred any appeal within 45 days from 12-1-1985. Therefore, it should be made clear, though the impugned order is liable to be set aside, it does not preclude the Revisional Authority to exercise its power to revise the order under Regulation 35(1) and (2) of the Regulations within six months from 12-1-1985 if it considers that it is expedient to do so. 7. In the result, 1 make the following: