1. The applicant was formerly employed in the Police Department as a Sub-Inspector. In 1955 when he was posted at Jabalpur an enquiry was held against him on a charge of making a false entry in police rojnamcha about keeping of surveillance on one Nonelal who was actually in jail on the date of the entry. The enquiry was held by the City Superintendent of Police, Jabalpur, and at the end of the enquiry the petitioner was asked to show cause why he should not be fined Rs. 15.
In response to this notice the petitioner represented that the enquiry should be held afresh by some other authority. Subsequently, the notice to show cause why he should not be fined was cancelled and a second enquiry was held by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jabalpur on a charge framed by the District Superintendent of Police; On the basis of his report the District Superintendent of Police made a recommendation that having Regard to the previous bad record of the petitioner he should be dismissed from service. The report of the District Superintendent of Police was forwarded to the Inspector General of Police through the District Magistrate, Jabalpur.
It appears that in the meantime the Petitioner was transferred to Raigarh. On 31st March, 1956 a notice was issued by the Inspector General of Police to the applicant asking him to show cause why he should not be dismissed from service. The notice also mentioned that it was proposed to take into consideration his past record of service which was discreditable and unsatisfactory. In reply to this notice the applicant commented on the evidence and said that the wrong entry in the rojnamcha was through some mistake; that he had actually checked the movements of Kalloo; and that the moharrir by mistake had entered the name of Nonelal in the diary as the person under surveillance.
The petitioner further said that his previous record was satisfactory and the proposed punishment of dismissal was severe. The Inspector General of Police did not find the petitioner's explanation convincing. Accordingly he made an order removing the petitioner from service. The applicant now prays that the order of the Inspector General or Police removing him from service be quashed by a writ of certiorari.
2. Shri Sen, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, first urged that as before the submission of the report by the District Superintendent of Police, Jabalpar, the applicant had been transferred to Raigarh, the enquiry and the report should have been made by the District Superintendent of Police, Raigarh. There is no substance in this contention. The authority competent to remove the petitioner from service being the Inspector General of Police, the enquiry could be held by any responsible and competent official deputed by him. It was not necessary that the enquiry should have been held by the District Superintendent of Police of the district in which the petitioner happened to be serving at the time of the punishment or at the time of the making of the report (see Pradyat Kumar v. C. J. of Calcutta High Court, (S) AIR 1956 SC 285).
In fact, Regulation 229 of the Police Regulations itself contemplates the possibility of an enquiry, being held by the District Superintendent of Police of a district in which the Sub-Inspector or the Assistant Sub-Inspector proceeded against is not serving. That regulation is to the effect that if the District Superintendent of Police is not empowered to pass the final order in the case, then the papers containing all proposals for the dismissal, removal, etc., of an officer of and above the rank of Sub-Inspector or an Assistant Sub-Inspector should be forwarded to the proper authority through the District Magistrate except in cases where an officer is not serving in a district.
In regard to this regulation it was argued that as at the time of forwarding the report the petitioner was in Raigarh district, the report should have been forwarded by the District Superintendent of police, Jabalpur., direct to the Inspector General of Police and not through the District Magistrate, Jabalpur. Learned counsel suggested that the recommendation of the District Magistrate that the petitioner should be removed from service because of his privious record considerably influenced the decision of the Inspector General of Police about provisional punishment.
We are unable to accede to the contention that a breach of Regulation 229 vitiates the order of the petitioner's removal from service. It is quite true that under Regulation 229 (b) it was not necessary for the District Superintendent of Police, Jabalpur, to send his report through the District Magistrate, Jabalpur, is the applicant at that time was serving in Raigarh district. But the regulation is not mandatory.
It only lays down a procedure for the trans-mission of papers concerning dismissal, removal, compulsory retirement etc., of an officer of and above the rank of Sub-Inspector or an Assistant Sub-Inspector. It only says 'All proposals should be forwarded to the proper authority through.' The regulation does not even say that they 'shall be forwarded '. A violation of such a procedural rule cannot clearly give to the applicant any ground for contending that the order of removal from service is bad.
3. The Inspector General of Police must, have no doubt taken into consideration the opinion recorded by the District Magistrate, Jabalpur, while forwarding the report of the District Superintendent of Police. But there is no ground for thinking that in deciding upon the provisional punishment the Inspector General of Police did not form his own opinion. There is nothing even to suggest that the Inspector General of Police altogether abdicated his responsibility in the exercise of his power of punishment and surrendered his judgment completely to the opinion recorded by the District Magistrate.
4. The Other contention advanced by learned counsel for the applicant was that copies of certain material statements and documents were not made available to the petitioner. As to this it is sufficient to say that the applicant never made such a grievance before the Inspector General of Police in his reply to the show cause notice. He cannot, therefore, be now heard to say for the first time that he was not given a reasonable opportunity of defending himself because of this omission in the supply of material documents.
5. There does not seem to us any ground on which the order of the Inspector General ofPolice removing the applicant can be assailed.The result is that this petition is dismissed withcosts. Counsel's fee is fixed at Rs. 50. The outstanding amount of the security deposit afterdeduction of costs shall be refunded to the petitioner.