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ishwar Pratap Gautam Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1969)ILLJ5All
Appellantishwar Pratap Gautam
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....form. a copy of the form was annexed to this circular. the petitioner applied for selection to the police training college. he filed a copy of the certificate granted by the tahsildar along with his application. he was called for an interview where it transpired that the certificate furnished by the petitioner was not proper. the certificate actually showed that the petitioner's grandfather was a displaced goldsmith. the chairman of the board then asked the petitioner to submit another certificate relating to himself. the petitioner obtained a certificate from the tahsildar concerned on 11 april 1966 and sent it to the selection board. the matter of exemption of the petitioner's age-limit was, it appears, referred by the selection board to the government for decision. it may be noticed.....
Judgment:

Satish Chandra, J.

1. This petition under Article 226 of the Constitution prays that the order dated 6 March 1967 expelling the petitioner from the Police Training College he quashed.

2. On 31 July 1964, the State Government issued a circular to all heads of departments in this State stating that the Government have decided to give concession to bona fide displaced goldsmiths for purposes of appointment to services and posts under the State Government, recruitment to which is made otherwise than through the Public Service Commission. One of the concessions given was that the upper age-limit in their case shall be relaxed up to the extent of five years. Persons desirous of having these concessions were to produce identification certificates from the tahsildar concerned in the prescribed form. A copy of the form was annexed to this circular. The petitioner applied for selection to the Police Training College. He filed a copy of the certificate granted by the tahsildar along with his application. He was called for an interview where it transpired that the certificate furnished by the petitioner was not proper. The certificate actually showed that the petitioner's grandfather was a displaced goldsmith. The chairman of the board then asked the petitioner to submit another certificate relating to himself. The petitioner obtained a certificate from the tahsildar concerned on 11 April 1966 and sent it to the selection board. The matter of exemption of the petitioner's age-limit was, it appears, referred by the selection board to the Government for decision. It may be noticed that the petitioner was over-age by nine months. The Government informed the respondents by a telegram that call notice may be issued to the candidate Ishwar Pratap Gautam, the petitioner. On 11 May 1966, the State Government informed the petitioner that he has bean directed to be admitted to the training course. Thereupon, the Senior Superintendent of Police issued an order to the petitioner to present himself for training at the Meerut College by 15 May 1966. Paragraph 2 of this letter stated that the petitioner's character and antecedents had been found satisfactory. It farther stated that:

Your admission to the Police Training College will be liable to removal from the college, if on enquiry your character and antecedents are reported to be unsatisfactory.

3. The petitioner continued his training at the college, when on 11 January 1937, the Principal of the college served on the petitioner a notice to show cause why he should not be expelled from the college under Para. 23 (ii) (a) of the Uttar Pradesh Police Training-College Manual for gross misconduct in submitting a false certificate that he was a displaced goldsmith. It was stated in. this notice that the certificate was obtained by the petitioner by misrepresentation of facts to the authorities concerned for securing age exemption. It was mentioned that on enquiry by the Additional District Magistrate, Agra, it was established beyond all reasonable doubts that the petitioner was not a displaced goldsmith under the Gold Control Order and was not entitled to the exemption of age. On 23 January 1967, the petitioner sent a request for furnishing a copy of the report of the Additional District Magistrate and also the statements on which the Additional District Magistrate based his report. The Principal replied that there was no provision for supplying copies of the papers and hence they cannot be supplied to him. The petitioner was asked to submit his explanation by 15 February 1967. The same day the petitioner made an application for time. Ha also made a prayer that he at least be permitted to see the documents, if the copies he had asked for earlier are not supplied to him. On 14 February 1967. the Principal replied that the notice issued to the petitioner was self-contained. The question of seeing the documents does not arise. The petitioner then made another application on 15 February 1967 asking for fifteen days' leave from the college and extension of time for furnishing the explanation, so that he may be able to collect materials in support of his explanation and to prove that he was a displaced goldsmith. On this the petitioner was granted two days' casual leave, i.e., 18 and 17 February 1937 and was asked to submit the explanation by 18 February 1987, latest. The petitioner filed his explanation on 18 February. In this explanation he stated that on 16 and 17 February 1987, he ma/a efforts to get copies of the statements of the, witnesses, reports of the tahsildar patwari and the pradhan as also certificates showing that he had worked as a goldsmith, but found that the direct courts as wall as the tehsil were all closed owing to election work and all the officials were out on duties in connexion with the elections. He could not as such obtain any of the documents. He prayed that he may be given further time to produce his evidence in defence. He also prayed that he may be granted seven days leave from the college to collect the essential proof. It does not appear that this request was granted. By the impugned order passed on 6 March 1967, the petitioner was expelled.

4. The proceeding's and the order of expulsion are challenged on several grounds:

(i) The exemption in the age-limit having been granted by the Government, the Principal of the Training College had no jurisdiction to expel the petitioner on the ground that the exemption was wrongly granted.

(ii) Paragraph 23(ii)(a) of the Uttar Pradesh Police Training College Manual was inapplicable.

(iii) The principles of natural justice were violated.

It is admitted that the selection board did not accept the petitioner's certificate and did not take a decision for granting the exemption in age, The matter was referred to the Government, It has not been stated by the respondents what actually the decision of the Government was, but it is clear that the Government issued directions to admit the petitioner to the training college. The respondents have not indicated that the Government has since then revised its order or changed its decision on the question of granting exemption to the petitioner in respect of his age. No material has been adduced to show that the Government had delegated this function to the Principal, Training College, at any time. In these circumstances the Principal would have no authority to set aside or go behind the order of exemption granted by the State Government.

5. Rule 23(ii)(a) of the Police Training College Manual gives the grounds upon which a cadet can be punished. It says that the cadet guilty of disobedience of orders, misconduct subversive of discipline or remissness or negligence in the performance of their duties shall be liable to any or all of the followingpunishments. In Clause (a) suspension and expulsion from the college are mentioned, Clause (a) then says that this punishment shall be reserved for gross misconduct or flagrant and repeated breaches of discipline. Under Clause (b) another punishment that can be awarded is removal from the college with the prior sanction of the Inspector-General, Clause (i) of Rule 23 says that every cadet shall obey all rules of the college and all orders issued by the Principal or any member of the staff and shall apply himself with diligence and punctuality to the performance of his duties. In the context of the various provisions of Rule 23, it appears that the word ' misconduct' in Clause (ii) has been used to signify species of the same nature which are mentioned by other matters dealt with by Clause (ii), namely, disobedience of orders, subversive of discipline or remissness or negligence in the performance of their duties. All these arise in the course of the cadet's conduct at the training college. The charge against the petitioner did not relate to his conduct as a cadet. It related to his action in making a false certificate prior to the admission in the training college. In my opinion, that matter would not bring this case within the purview of Rule 23.

6. Under Rule 23, the Principal has been conferred a limited power of expulsion of a, cadet on the mentioned grounds alone. It does not deal with cancellation of an individual's admission to the college. Assuming that the authorities had such power, they have not exercised it, They have not cancelled the admission, but expelled him. So, the question whether such a power existed really does not arise for decision in this case.

7. The third point that the principles of natural justice were violated is equally sound. There is a controversy between the parties whether the petitioner participated in the enquiry held by the Additional District Magistrate, Agra. The petitioner denies it. The respondents assert that the petitioner participated in it. Be that as it may, it is clear that the report made by the Additional District Magistrate, Agra, was not shown or furnished to the petitioner in spite of his making repeated requests for it. It has been stated by the respondents that the Additional District Magistrate, Agra, examined witnesses and made his report on a consideration of thosestatements. The petitioner was not given a copy of those statements either. The Deputy Inspector-General of Police has in his impugned order expelling the petitioner, heavily relied upon the report of the Additional District Magistrate, Agra. On every aspect of the matter, he has considered the explanation of the petitioner by the touch-stone of the report of the Additional District Magistrate, Agra. He has mentioned in his order that the report of the Additional District Magistrate, Agra, was kept as a confidential document. The position, therefore, is that the petitioner was not made aware of the materials that were to be used against him. The petitioner's case is that the proceedings for expelling a cadet from the Police Training College, are quasi-judicial in nature. In the manual there is no rule expressly saying that the enquiry officer must act judicially, but it is clear that he must base his decision on materials placed before him which are capable of being proved or established objectively. The enquiry officer has not been given the power to act to his satisfaction alone. The effect of expulsion of a cadet has serious consequences on him. His career is liable to be jeopardized. These factors induce me to accept the petitioner's submission that the proceedings for expelling a cadet are quasi-judicial in nature. The case is covered by the dictum of the Supreme Court in Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Uttar Pradesh v. Ghanshiam Dass : AIR1962SC1110 . The petitioner was charged with having committed a fraud and obtained a certificate on misrepresentation of facts. The charge was found to have been proved objectively on the report of the Additional District Magistrate, Agra, The Principal had to comply with the principles of natural justice which are attracted to a quasi-judicial proceeding.

8. Natural justice requires that the charged person ought to be informed of the charges levelled against him and also the grounds upon which they are based. Since the charges would have to be proved by oral or documentary evidence, the charged person must be told what the evidence, which will be used against him, is. He must be given an adequate opportunity to correct or contradict the evidence by cross-examination and if necessary to meet it by leading evidence in rebuttal. See Union of India v. T. R, Varma 1958-II L.L.J. 259 and Khem Chand v. Union of India and Ors. 1959--I L.L..J. 167. It has been stressed in these cases that no material should be relied on against a person without affording him an adequate opportunity of meeting the same. These provisions were in the present case violated. The report of the Additional District Magistrate was not furnished to the petitioner though it was used against him. The petitioner was not, in my opinion, afforded adequate opportunity to collect material to rebut the charges, The request of the petitioner for further time because he was unable to collect the materials within two days' leave given to him owing to general elections, was eminently reasonable. Nonetheless the request was refused. The impugned order violated the principles of natural justice, and was void.

9. For all these reasons, the petition succeeds and is allowed. The impugned order passed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police expelling the petitioner is set aside. The petitioner will be entitled to his costs.


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