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State of Kerala Vs. P. Achuthan Nair - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1978)ILLJ274Ker
AppellantState of Kerala
RespondentP. Achuthan Nair
Cases ReferredState of Orissa v. Sidyabhyshan
Excerpt:
- - (2) had also necessarily to fail. sidyabhyshan (1963)illj239sc ,it sufficient authority for the proposition that where two or more charges have been found against a person, and one or more of them is/are, found to be unsustainable, the resultant punishment can well be sustained, if the remaining charge is of sufficient gravity and seriousness to justify the punishment inflicted.v.p. gopalan nambiyar, c.j.1. the appeal is by the state against the judgment of a learned judge of this court allowing a writ petition and quashing the two impugned orders, exts. p3 and p4. the writ petitioner was a police constable who was directed to be removed from service for two charges framed against him. broadly stated, the two charges were, disobedience to instructions issued by the superior authorities; and second, absence without permission for a period of 14 hours. these were enquired into and found to have been established; and by ext. p 3 order, the writ petitioner was directed to be removed from service. an appeal to the deputy inspector-general of police was dismissed by ext p 4 order. the learned judge quashed exts.p3 and p 4 on the ground that the misconduct was while.....
Judgment:

V.P. Gopalan Nambiyar, C.J.

1. The appeal is by the State against the judgment of a learned Judge of this Court allowing a writ petition and quashing the two impugned orders, Exts. P3 and P4. The writ petitioner was a police constable who was directed to be removed from service for two charges framed against him. Broadly stated, the two charges were, disobedience to instructions issued by the superior authorities; and second, absence without permission for a period of 14 hours. These were enquired into and found to have been established; and by Ext. P 3 order, the writ petitioner was directed to be removed from service. An appeal to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police was dismissed by Ext P 4 order. The learned Judge quashed Exts.P3 and P 4 on the ground that the misconduct was while the petitioner was on deputation under the Central Service and, therefore, the Commandant of the Malabar Special Police who took the action against the petitioner was not competent to do so, in respect of charge No. 1. In the light of this conclusion the learned Judge proceeded to state that if for charge (1) the proposed action could not be sustained against the petitioner, charge No. (2) had also necessarily to fail.

2. We cannot subscribe either to the reasoning or the conclusion of the learned Judge. Rule 18(b) of the Kerala Police Departmental Inquiries, Punishment and Appeal Rules, 1958, has been relied on to show that the petitioner was on deputation at the relevant time and therefore the Commandant of the Malabar Special Police had no jurisdiction over him. The said Rule reads:

Where a person has been reverted or reduced from a State to a Subordinate service, or from one service to another, or from one class, category or grade of a service to another class, category or grade thereof, no penalty shall be imposed upon him in respect of his work or conduct while he was a member of the service, class, category or grade, as the case may be, from which he was reverted or reduced except by an authority competent to impose the penalty upon a member of such service, class, category or grade as the case may be.

It is obvious that in this case the petitioner was not reverted or reduced from a State to a Subordinate service nor was he reverted or reduced from one service to another. He was merely on deputation and no more. This has been admitted by him in paragraph 2 of his petition. Therefore, the basis on which the learned Judge proceeded to find lack of jurisdiction on the Commandant cannot be sustained.

3. Quite apart from, and independently of, charge (1), and whether the Commandant had jurisdiction to enquire into and enter a finding on charge (1), we are of the opinion that charge No. 2 is, by itself, sufficient to sustain the action. Under Article 226, the learned Judge was not justified in quashing the impugned orders, merely on the ground that charge No. (1) was beyond the jurisdiction of the Commandant. The decision of the Supreme Court in State of Orissa v. Sidyabhyshan : (1963)ILLJ239SC , it sufficient authority for the proposition that where two or more charges have been found against a person, and one or more of them is/are, found to be unsustainable, the resultant punishment can well be sustained, if the remaining charge is of sufficient gravity and seriousness to justify the punishment inflicted. We are of the opinion that the said principle applies to the case on hand, and that even if charge (1) is found to be without jurisdiction, charge No. 2 is sufficient to sustain the action taken and the punishment awarded.

4. We allow this appeal, set aside the judgment of the learned Judge, and direct that O.P. No. 3801 of 1971 will stand dismissed. We make no order as to costs.


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