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Ganganarasaiah Vs. the Managing Director, K.S.R.T.C. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. 18590 of 1983
Judge
Reported inILR1985KAR2758
ActsKarnataka State Road Transport Corporation Servants (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations, 1971
AppellantGanganarasaiah
RespondentThe Managing Director, K.S.R.T.C.
Appellant AdvocateV. Lakshminarayana, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateB.M. Chandrasekharjah and ;T.R. Rangaraju, Advs. for Kesvy and Co.
DispositionWrit petition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....or;;(ii) where the revisional authority proposes to enhance the penalty in substitution of lesser penalty imposed by the disciplinary authority.;the express provision made as above necessarily implies that in respect of other types of order which the revisional authority is competent to pass, there is no requirement to give opportunity to the employee concerned.;the express provision to give opportunity before passing the two types of orders unless the regulations by necessary implication exclude such opportunity in other cases. it is well settled, that the principles of natural justice only supplement the law but not supplant it.;it is clear that where by law, either expressly pr by accessary implications, the giving of opportunity is excluded, the rules of natural justice cannot be..........may -(a) confirm, modify or set aside the order ; or(b) confirm, reduce, enhance or set aside the penalty imposed by the order, or impose any penalty where no penalty has been imposed ; or(c) remit the case to the authority which made the order or to any other authority directing such authority to make such further enquiry as it may consider proper in the circumstances of the case ; or(d) pass such other orders as it may deem fit.provided that no order imposing or enhancing any penalty shall be made by any revising authority unless the corporation servant concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity of making a representation against the penalty proposed and where it is proposed to impose any of the penalties specified in clause (ix) or (x) of regulation 18 or to enhance the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Rama Jois, J.

1. In each of these Petitions, the petitioners have questioned the legality of the order made by the Appellate Authority under the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Servants (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations, 1971, ('Regulations' for short), setting aside an order ofexoneration made in the disciplinary proceedings instituted against each of the petitioners, by the Disciplinary Authorityconcerned, and directing the holding of a de novo inquiry.

2. As the facts of the cases are similar and question of law arising for consideration is identical, they are disposed of by this common order.

3. For considering the question of law, it is sufficient to set out the facts in one of the petitions. The facts of the case, in brief, in Writ Petition No. 18590 of 1983 are as follows: Disciplinary proceedings were instituted against the petitioner on five charges. The Divisional Controller, the Disciplinary Authority, on consideration of the enquiry report, made an order dated 13-6-1983, Annexure 'D' exonerating him of all the charges levelled against him. The above order was taken up for revision suo moto by the Regional Manager, who is the competent authority to revise the order under Regulation 35 of the Regulations. He made the order dated 8-9-1983. It reads;

'The order under reference issued by the Divisional Controller, KSRTC, Bangalore Division, Bangalore, (Disciplinary Authority), is reviewed by the undersigned as per powers vested with me under Regulations 35(ii)(a) of KSRTC Servants' (C & D) Rgulations, 1971, in respect of Sri Ganganarasaiah, Conductor, B. No. 836, of Tumkur Depot, Bangalore Division.

It is observed that the Disciplinary Authority has issued an articles of charges and reply obtained. Enquiry Officer was appointed and enquiry was held. Enquiry Officer has given his findings holding him guilty.

It is observed that the Enquiry Officer has discussed only charges No. I, III, IV & V in a consolidated manner and not individually and has not even touched the charge No. 11 which is a clear violation of C & D Regulations.

With a view to meet the ends of justice, 1, Sri G. G. Tavarkhed, Regional Manager, KSRTC, Bangalore Rural Region, Bangalore, set aside the order under reference, with directions to hold enquiry afresh and action deemed fit taken,'

Aggrieved by the said order, Ganganarasaiah has presented Writ Petition No. 18590 of 1983. Other petitioners are aggrieved by similar orders.

4. Shri V. Lakshminarayana, Learned Counsel for the Petitioners, contended that as by the Orders made by the Disciplinary Authority, the Petitioners were exonerated of the charges and that favourable orders were being reversed by the Revisional Authority, the principles of natural justice demanded that the Authority should have given anopportunity to the petitioners to show cause against the setting aside of the orders and remitting the matters to theDisciplinary Authority for de novo enquiries.

5. In order to find out whether there is substance in the contention, it is necessary to set out Regulation No. 35 of the Regulations under which the power is exercised. It reads:

'Revision - (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this regulation -

(i) the Corporation, or

(ii) the Appellate Authority, within six months of the date of the order proposed to be revised, or

(iii) any other authority specified in this behalf by the Corporation by a general or special order, and within such time as may be prescribed in such general or special order ; may at any time earlier on its own motion or otherwise, call for the records of any inquiry and revise any order made under these regulations or under the rules standing orders or other provisions repealed by Regulation 29 from which an appeal is allowed but from which no appeal has been preferred or from which no appeal is allowed, and may -

(a) confirm, modify or set aside the order ; or

(b) confirm, reduce, enhance or set aside the penalty imposed by the order, or impose any penalty where no penalty has been imposed ; or

(c) remit the case to the authority which made the order or to any other authority directing such authority to make such further enquiry as it may consider proper in the circumstances of the case ; or

(d) pass such other orders as it may deem fit.

Provided that no order imposing or enhancing any penalty shall be made by any revising authority unless the Corporation Servant concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity of making a representation against the penalty proposed and where it is proposed to impose any of the penalties specified in clause (ix) or (x) of Regulation 18 or to enhance the penalty imposed by the order sought to be revised to any of the penalties specified in these clauses, so such penalty shall be imposed except after the enquiry in the manner laid down in Regulation 14.(2) xx xx xx xx xx

6. It may be seen from the above Regulation that the Revisional Authority has, inter alia, the power to remit the case to the authority which made the order with a direction for making further enquiry. It has also the power to impose penalty where no penalty had been imposed. Or to enhance the penalty where a lesser penalty had been imposed, on the Corporation employee concerned.

The proviso to Regulation 35(1) of the Regulations expressly provides that opportunity to make representation should be given in two cases, namely.

(i) where the Revisional Authority proposes to impose a penalty where no penalty had been imposed ; or

(ii) where the Revisional Authority proposes to enhance the penalty in substitution of lesser penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Authority.

The express provision made as above necessarily implies that in respect of other types of order which the Revisional Authority is competent to pass, there is no requirement to give opportunity to the employee concerned.

7. Counsel for the petitioner, however, maintained that as the giving of opportunity in other cases is not expressly excluded, principles of natural justice has to be complied with. The effect of acceptance of the contention of the Learned Counsel for the petitioners would be that the proviso requires the giving of opportunity only beforepassing the two types of orders referred to above, in respect of other orders also the Authority would be required to give opportunity. In other words, the proviso would be rendered otiose. Therefore, it appears to me, the express provision to give opportunity before passing the two types of orders unless the Regulations by necessary implication exclude such opportunity in other cases. It is well settled, that the principles of natural justice only supplement the law but not supplant it (see A.K. Kraipak and others v. Union of India and others, : [1970]1SCR457 , Union of India v. J.N. Sinha and another, : (1970)IILLJ284SC and N.V. Puttabhatta -v.- State of Mysore, : (1972)IILLJ191SC ).

8. From the above decisions, it is clear that where by law either expressly or by necessary implications, the giving of opportunity is excluded, the rules of natural justice cannot be invoked in such cases.

9. The reason is also obvious. For instance, if the penalty imposed is sought to be set aside or reduced inexercise of revisional power, the employee concerned would not in any way be adversely affected. On the other hand, he would bebenefited and no opportunity need be given. Similarly, in cases where the Revisional Authority finds that the procedure adopted or the enquiry held is defective and on that ground the Revising Authority sets aside such an order and remits the case for enquiry, the employeeconcerned will have full opportunity of defending himself before the Disciplinary Authority. It is for this reason, for setting aside an order for procedural irregularity, no opportunity is contemplated.

10. In the circumstances, I find no substance in the contention urged for the petitioners.

11. In the result, I make the following :


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