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Khubi Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 2038/74
Judge
Reported in1983WLN(UC)519
AppellantKhubi Lal
RespondentState of Rajasthan and ors.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredState v. Satya Narain. In
Excerpt:
.....by the p.i. to conduct the case of state v. dunga and he had no concerned with the case state v. satya narain and merely because he was incidently present in the court of sessions judge, bhilwara at the time when the bail application was being argued, the petitioner could not have been penalised for the alleged non-disclosure of those facts which did not relate to the work assigned to him. the disciplinary authority and the appellate authority and the reviewing authority were not justified in giving a finding that the petitioner was guilty of committing a misconduct and in imposing a penalty.;writ allowed - section 2(k), 2(1), 7 & 40 & juvenile justice (care and protection of children) rules, 2007, rule 12 & 98 & juvenile justice act, 1986, section 2(h): [altamas kabir & cyriac joseph,..........act of indiscipline when it is one's duty to speak. if the petitioner would have been instructing malamsingh in the case, then it would have been his duty to disclose all facts about the case which were within his knowledge. but no such circumstance has been found by the concerned authorities. further, a reference in the charge-sheet about the absconding of abdul hakim co-accused could never be interpreted or relating to absconding of satya narain accused. a charge about non-disclosure of absconding of abdul hakim could not result in coming to the finding that satya narain accused had absconded. if the charge-sheet initially given was incorrect or was erroneous, it was the duty of the superintendent of police, who was the disciplinary authority, to annul the charge-sheet and to serve a.....
Judgment:

Dwarka Prasad Gupta, J.

1. The petitioner has come before this Court as his grade increments were ordered to be withheld, as a result of disciplinary proceedings conducted against him Under Rule 17 of the Rajasthan Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules').

2. The petitioner was appointed as a Prosecuting Sub-Inspector (hereinafter referred to as 'the PSI') in the service of the State Government and was posted at Bhilwara in the year 1971.0n 23-10-1971 the Prosecuting Inspector directed the petitioner to cross-examine the defense witnesses in the court of District and Sessions Judge, Bhilwara in Sessions Case No. 45/71 (State v. Dunga), as the Public Prosecutor attached to the Sessions Court, Bhilwara was on leave on that day. After the defence witnesses were examined in the aforesaid Sessions Case, the learned Sessions Judge directed the parties to argue the case, but the petitioner prayed for an adjournment as he was not prepared with the arguments in the case. An objection was also raised at that time that the petitioner was a PSI and was not competent to conduct any case before the Sessions Court.

3. The petitioner, therefore, with the permission of the learned Sessions Judge went to fetch the Prosecuting Inspector, Malam Singh. When Malam Singh Singh came to the court of the Sessions Judge, arguments were being heard by the learned Sessions Judge in Misc. bail application No. 94/ 1971 State v. Satya Narain. Accused Satya Narain was ordered by the Sessions Judge to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 40,000/- with two sureties of Rs. 20,000/- each. The case against Satya Narain related to alleged embazzlement of approximately Rs. 28,000. A charge sheet was served upon the petitioner Under Rule 17 of the Rules relating to the aforesaid incident. The specific charge against 1 he petitioner was that in the case of State v. Satya Narain, he failed to point out to the learned Sessions Judge that the co-accused Abdul Hakim was absconding for 8 months and that the petitioner should not have indicated his consent to the granting of bail of a heavy amount to Staya Narain. It was presumed by the Superintendent of Police, who was the disciplinary authority, that in case the fact that the co-accused in that case was absconding would have brought to the notice of the learned Sessions Judge, accused Staya Narain would not have been released on bail. The conduct of the petitioner was considered as amounting to breach of discipline and as such actionable. The petitioner submitted a detailed reply dated May 1, 1972 to the notice issued to him Under Rule 17 and clearly stated that the Public Prosecutor i.e. PI Malam Singh had conducted the case on behalf of the State, in the matter of bail application of Satya Narain and that the petitioner had nothing to do with the said case nor he made any statement before the learned Sessions Judge expressing no objection to the granting of bail of heavy amount. Inspite of the reply of the petitioner, the Superintendent of Police, Bhilwara by his order dated June 23, 1972 held the charge against the petitioner proved on the ground that Khubi Lal petitioner was present in the court of Sessions Judge, Bhilwara at the time when arguments regarding bail application of Satya Narain were being heard and it was his duty to bring it to the notice of PI, Bhilwara, who was arguing the case on behalf of the State and also of the Sessions Judge that a co-accused was absconding for 8 months before his arrest and there was likelihood of his absconding again. The Superintendent of Police also observed that inspite of the fact that PSI had looked into the case file, he did not oppose the bail application. The petitioner was, therefore, found guilty and a penalty of stoppage of two grade increments with cumulative effect was imposed upon him. An appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Udaipur Range, Udaipur by his order dated September 6,1973. By a strange line of reasoning adopted by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, he held that reference to the accused in the charge-sheet should have been understood by the petitioner as relating to Abdul Hakim, who was said to be asconded for 8 months prior to his arrest. According the Deputy Inspector General of Police, it was the duty of the petitioner to bring the fact that one of the accused had absconded for 8 months, to the notice of the PI who had argued the bail application before the learned Sessions Judge. He presumed that the petitioner had full knowledge about the facts of the case and it was his duty to disclose the facts to the PI. The review petition filed by the petitioner was also dismissed by the Governor by his order dated June 13, 1974.

4. It is not in dispute that Malam Singh, PI had argued the bail application in the case of Satya Narain before the Sessions Judge. The petitioner was neither authorised nor he was Incharge of the case State v. Satya Narain. Merely because the petitioner incidently happened to be present in the court of Sessions Judge, Bhilwara on October 23, 1971, in connection with some other case, did not impose upon the petitioner a duty to instruct the PI. As a matter of fact, it was the duty of the arguing counsel for the State, Malam Singh, to look into the case file. If the petitioner bad conduced the case before the Magistrate, it was open to Malam Singh to consult the petitioner and then certainly it would have been his duty to disclose to Malam Singh the fact that accused Satya Narain has absconded for a period of 8 months before his arrest. But when the petitioner had nothing to do with the bail application of Satya Narain pending before the Sessions Judge, he could not have been charged and found guilty merely because he was incidently present in the Sessions Court at the time when the bail application of Satya Narain was being argued. Moreover, the charge-sheet discloses that co-accused Abdul Hakim had absconded, while the finding is that Satya Narain had absconded for a period of 8 months before his arrest. The departmental authorities have not stated that Malam Singh had alleged that he had consulted the petitioner before arguing the bail application of Satya Narain before the Sessions Judge on October 23, 1971. If Malam Singh did not consult the petitioner, but argued the bail application of Satya Narain on his own and if he stated before the Sessions Judge that he had no objection if the bail was granted to Satya Narain on his furnishing sureties for heavy amount, then how could the petitioner be held guilty of any dereliction of duty of breach or discipline? It is surprising that the senior police officers, who acted as the disciplinary authority and the appellate authority strangely tried to put the cap of 'A' on head of 'B'. If there was any lapse on the part of Malam Singh in discharging his duty in the case, as he had argued that bail application before the learned Sessions Judge on behalf of the State, the petitioner cannot be penalised for such lapse on the part of Malam Singh. It was his duty to look into the case file and find out the facts before giving his consent to the granting of bail to Satya Narain. Of course, it was open to Malam Singh to consult the petitioner even if he happened to be incidentally present in the court of Sessions Judge, Bhilwara at the relevant time, as the petitioner had conducted the case previously in the Magistrate's court. But no such finding has been recorded by any of the competent authorities that Malam Singh had either consulted the petitioner or that the petitioner was instructing Malam Singh in the bail matter. No doubt, suppression of a fact may amount to derelection of duty or may amount to an act of indiscipline when it is one's duty to speak. If the petitioner would have been instructing Malamsingh in the case, then it would have been his duty to disclose all facts about the case which were within his knowledge. But no such circumstance has been found by the concerned authorities. Further, a reference in the charge-sheet about the absconding of Abdul Hakim co-accused could never be interpreted or relating to absconding of Satya Narain accused. A charge about non-disclosure of absconding of Abdul Hakim could not result in coming to the finding that Satya Narain accused had absconded. If the charge-sheet initially given was incorrect or was erroneous, it was the duty of the Superintendent of Police, who was the disciplinary authority, to annul the charge-sheet and to serve a duly modified charge-sheet, so that the petitioner would have got an opportunity to explain fully about the allegation relating to Satya Narain having absconded for 8 months before his arrest. Tie petitioner had no occasion to meet the charge that he failed to disclose that Satya Narain had absconded for 8 months before his arrest, as the charge-sheet related to the alleged absconding of Abdul Hakim. Thus, the result of the disciplinary proceedings is not referable to the chargesheet and the findings arrived at by the disciplinary authority and the appellate authority are at variance from the charge which the petitioner was called upon to answer. A perusal of the order-sheet date 1 October 23,1971 of the court of Session Judge, Bhilwara shows that it was Abdul Hakim who was granted bail by the learned Sessions Judge on that date. Now, the question as to whether Abdu-Hakim had absconded earlier or Satya Narain had absconded then, still remains unresolved in as much as the Deputy Inspector General of Police in his order dated September 6, 1973 observed that reference to Abdul Hakim in the charge-sheet should be considered as referring to Satya Narain, whom the petitioner knew very well. It appears from the order-sheet was correctly dated October 23, 1971 that the charge-sheet framed as Abdul Hakim was described to have absconded. But the Deputy inspector General of Police, while hearing the appeal, made a mess and observed that Satya Narain was the only accused and there was no other accused in the case and a reference 10 Abdul Hakim in the charge-sheet ought to have been considered as a reference to Satya Narain accused. It shows that the Deputy inspector General of Police did not apply his mind to the facts of the case while deciding the appeal of the petitioner. Although the sessions case related to Satya Narain and others, the bail application which was heard by the learned Sessions Judge on October 23, 1971 was that of accused Abdul Hakim and it was he who was ordered to be released on bail (hat day by the learned Sessions Judge. In any view of the matter, the charge has not been brought home to the petitioner and the disciplinary authority as well as the appellate authority both have been unable to show as to how the petitioner could be held guilty of the charge, while Malam Singh argued the bail application on behalf of the State before the learned Sessions Judge. The petitioner, therefore, appears to be right in urging that he did not argue the bail application nor he made any concession before the learned Sessions Judge nor he had a duty to say anything in the matter as he was not instructing the P.I. Malam Singh in that case before the learned Sessions Judge. In these circumstances, it cannot be held that it was the duty of the petitioner to disclose any tacts relating to the case and he could not be punished for the alleged suppression or non-disclosure of fects. The petitioner was only authorised by the P.I. to conduct the case of State v. Dunga and he had no concern with the case State v. Satya Narain and merely because he was incidently present in the court of Sessions Judge, Bhilwara at the time when the bail application was being argued, the petitioner could not have been penalised for the alleged non-disclosure of those facts which did not relate to the work assigned to him. Moreover, there is no reason to presume that the learned Sessions Judge would not have granted bail if the alleged fact that the accused had absconded for 8 months before his arrest would have been disclosed. According to the petitioner it was not even the P I. Malam Singh who made a concession, but the learned Sessions Judge himself thought it fit to pass an order of bail after bearing the learned counsel for the accused and the Public Prosecutor. Even if Malam Singh had given his consent, as mentioned in the order-sheet, how could the petitioner be held responsible for the concession alleged to have made by Malam Singh? Malam Singh was a responsible officer of the State and it was for him to decide for himself as to what arguments he had to advance in the bail matter, particularly as the petitioner was not instructing Malam Singh in the case of State v. Satya Narain. In view of the aforesaid discussion, I hold that the disciplinary authority and the appellate authority and the reviewing authority were not justified in giving a finding that the petitioner was guilty of committing a misconduct and in imposing a penalty of stoppage of two grade Increments upon him.

5. In the result, the writ petition is allowed, the orders passed by the Superintendent of Police dated June 23, 1972, Deputy Inspector General Police, Udaipur Range, Udaipur dated September 6, 1973 and the order passed by the State Government dated June 13, 1974, in connection with the disciplinary enquiry against the petitioner Khubi Lal are quashed.

6. The parties are left to bear their own costs of this writ petition.


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