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Jagdish Lal Chanda Vs. Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Appeal No. 3942 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1984(6)DRJ150; 1983LabIC1518; 1983RLR417; 1983(2)SLJ564(Delhi)
ActsC.C.I.C. (Conduct and Disciplinary) Rules, 1977 - Rule 32
AppellantJagdish Lal Chanda
RespondentCentral Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd. and ors.
Advocates: M.K. Ramamurthi,; M.A. Krishanamurthy and; Vinay Bhasin
Cases Referred(See Delhi Cloth & General Mills Ltd. v. Kushal Bhan
Excerpt:
.....telling the petitioner the reasons for not holding the enquiry. the respondents pleaded that since criminal proceedings were pending it was not possible to hold any enquiry.; that in the face of the averment that rs. 2,39,675 were recovered from the residence of the petitioner, rs. 65,304 were lying in the bank and rs. 1,70,000 had been invested in purchasing land and building the board was justified in exercising its power under rule 32 for dispensing with the enquiry. - - besides, it will be a problem to arrange the evidence witnesses like employees of the banks with which shri chanda operated accounts. (ii)where the board is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the corporation, it is not expedient to hold any inquiry in the manner provided in these rules; (iii)where..........pleaded that in view of the criminal proceedings the management found that it 'was not possible to hold an enquiry against the petitioner and, thereforee, looking to all the facts and circumstances the corporation resorted to rule 32(iii) of the c.c.i.c. (conduct and disciplinary) rules, 1977 and terminated the services of the petitioner. the respondent stated that the board in taking the decision have taken into consideration the following facts :- '(i)records concerning this case are with cbi/court. it will not be possible to hold an enquiry without these records. (ii)domestic enquiry proceedings may adversely affect the criminal case pending in the court against shri chanda. (iii)enquiry is likely to be prolonged. besides, it will be a problem to arrange the evidence witnesses like.....
Judgment:

R.N. Aggarwal, J.

(1) The challenge in this petition is to the order dated 15th October 1982 by which the petitioner was dismissed from service without holding the usual enquiry. The petitioner Shri J.L. Chanda at the relevant time was posted as Senior Accounts Assistant in the Central Cottage Industries Corporation Limited. Earlier to the above order on 28th July 1979 the petitioner was placed under suspension. The order dated 15th October 1982 is a brief one and it reads as under :

'YOU are hereby informed that you are dismissed from service with immediate effect on account of gross misconduct including fraud cheating, forgery and embezzlement of Corporation's fund to the true of Rs. 11.34 lakhs (approximately) and thus causing wrongful loss to the Corporation. On account of the nature of the charges, you have forfeited the confidence of the Management and it is not desirable to keep you in service any longer.'

(2) The respondents in their counter affidavit pleaded that in 1979 an embezzlement/forgery in the amount of over Rs. Ii lakhs was detected by the management and it was found that the petitioner was directly involved with the embezzlement and forgery and consequently a report was made to the police and subsequently the matter was handed over to the C.B.I, and that during investigation the house of the petitioner was raided and a sum of Rs 2,39,675.00 was recovered from his house, Rs. 65,304.00 were lying in the bank in the current account of the petitioner which was frozen and the petitioner was further found to have invested a sum of Rs. l,70,000.00 for purchase of land and building. A case was registered against the petitioner and few others and which is pending. The respondent further pleaded that in view of the criminal proceedings the management found that it 'was not possible to hold an enquiry against the petitioner and, thereforee, looking to all the facts and circumstances the Corporation resorted to rule 32(iii) of the C.C.I.C. (Conduct and Disciplinary) Rules, 1977 and terminated the services of the petitioner. The respondent stated that the Board in taking the decision have taken into consideration the following facts :-

'(I)Records concerning this case are with CBI/Court. It will not be possible to hold an enquiry without these records.

(II)Domestic enquiry proceedings may adversely affect the criminal case pending in the Court against Shri Chanda.

(III)Enquiry is likely to be prolonged. Besides, it will be a problem to arrange the evidence witnesses like employees of the Banks with which Shri Chanda operated Accounts.

(IV)Till such time the enquiry is completed the Corporation will have to pay subsistence allowance which will be further an unnecessary financial burden on the Corporation.

(V)There is a possibility of Shri Chanda raising a plea that enquiry proceedings shall cause prejudice to the criminal proceedings against him and, thereforee, he will be justified in requesting the Management to stay the domestic proceedings till such time the criminal case is decided.'

(3) Shri Ramamurthi, learned counsel for the petitioner, contended that the impugned order does not mention that it was not possible to hold the enquiry and also the order does not mention the reasons for terminating the services under rule 32(iii).

(4) Rule 32 reads as under: 'Notwithstanding anything contained in rule 27 or 28 or 29, the Board may impose any of the penalties specified in Rule 25 in any of the following circumstances :

(I)The employee has been convicted on a criminal charge, or on the strength of facts or conclusions arrived at by a judicial trial;

(II)where the Board is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the Corporation, it is not expedient to hold any inquiry in the manner provided in these rules;

(III)where the Board is satisfied for reasons to be recorded by it in writing that it is not reasonably practicable to hold an inquiry in the manner provided in these rules.'

(5) Shri Bhasin, learned counsel for the respondents, contended that the non-communication of the reasons for dispensing with the enquiry did not render the impugned order invalid. We find that the point under discussion was considered by a learned single Judge of this Court in R.K. Misra v. General Manager, Northern Railway, New Delhi, 1977 Labour & Industrial Cases 643. In the above cited authority it was held that the mere non-communication of the reasons for dispensing with the enquiry could not be said to render the order invalid or that the enquiry had not been validly dispensed with. However, it was held that rule 14 (on pan materia with rule 32 in the present case) has to be construed strictly since it has the effect of depriving a public servant of a valuable right and it is, thereforee, necessary to insist that before the enquiry is dispensed with the requirements of the provisions are strictly complied with.

(6) The respondents before passing the impugned order recorded their reasons for resorting to the special procedure for dispensing with the holding of the enquiry. The respondents in paras 11 and 12 of the counter have stated that it was not possible for the Corporation to hold the enquiry in view of the fact that the criminal proceedings were pending before the trial court. There ca.n be little doubt that to hold a parallel enquiry pending trial of the charges in a criminal court would prejudice the petitioner. (See Delhi Cloth & General Mills Ltd. v. Kushal Bhan : (1960)ILLJ520SC ).

(7) The averment that Rs. 2,39,675.00 were recovered from the residence of the petitioner, Rs. 65,304.00 were lying in the Bank in the current account of the petitioner and Rs. l,70,000.00 had been invested in purchasing land and building has not been disputed. The Explanationn of the petitioner is that the amount recovered from his residence belonged to him. The said Explanationn is not plausible.

(8) In this case, in our view, there are some glaring facts and to ignore them would be overlooking the reality and forcing on the employer an employee wholly undeserving of confidence.

(9) On the facts of this case we are of the view that the Board of Corporation was justified in exercising its power under rule 32. The petition is dismissed.


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