1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI W.P.(S) No. 4191 of 2010 ------- Prahlad Singh, son of Ram Pravesh Singh and resident of Bank More, P.O & P.S.-Phusro Bazar, District-Bokaro (Jharkhand) ... Petitioner Versus 1.Central Coalfields Limited through its Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Darbhanga House, Ranchi. 2.Director of Personnel, Central Coalfields Limited, Darbhanga House, Ranchi. 3.Chief General Manager, Dhori Area, Central Coalfields Limited, P.O-Dhori, P.S. Bermo, District-Bokaro. 4.Project Officer, Amlo Project, Dhori Area, Central Coalfields Limited, P.O-Dhori, P.S. Bermo, District-Bokaro. 5.Deputy Chief Personnel Manager, Dhori Area, Central Coalfields Limited, P.O-Dhori, P.S. Bermo, District-Bokaro. 6.Deputy Estate Manager, Dhori Area, Central Coalfields Limited, P.O-Dhori, P.S. Bermo, District-Bokaro. .... Respondents ------ CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE PRAMATH PATNAIK ------ For the Petitioner : M/s Ayush Aditya & Shashank Shekhar, Advocates For the Respondents : Mr. Navneet Sahay, Advocate. ------ C.A.V on 16.06.2016 Delivered on 27/10/2016 Per Pramath Patnaik, J.: In the accompanied writ application, the petitioner has inter alia prayed for quashing original order dated 04.02.2004 whereby the petitioner has been dismissed from services and for quashing appellate order dated 27.04.2010, whereby the appeal preferred by the petitioner has been affirmed.
2. The brief facts, as disclosed in the writ application, is that the petitioner was appointed in the services of CCL on 16.06.1988 under the Land Loser Scheme. After more than a decade, petitioner along with brothers-in-law of the petitioner, who were also appointed in M/s CCL after appointment of the petitioners, 2 received a letter dated 26.09.1999 stating therein that complaints have been received about the land under which they were appointed and were directed to produce original documents. Accordingly, the petitioner submitted genealogy table on 31.3.2001, in which, said Kishori Singh and Anil Kumar Singh were shown as his brothers-in-law of the petitioner. Thereafter, the petitioner was served with a charge-sheet dated 23.07.2001 as under: “You secured employment in CCL during 1988 against land in Tarmi/Turiya village belonging to your father. In the family chart of Sri Ram Pravesh Singh, your father, you had indicated that Sri Kishori Singh, son of Mundrika Singh & Anil Kumar Singh, son of Muniji Singh are the son-in-law of your father i.e. your brother-in-law. Your father, Sri R.P. Singh also submitted affidavit that they are in his sons-in-law. It has been gathered that Sri Kishori Singh and Anil Kumar Singh are not the sons-in-law of your father (your brothers-in-law). Thus you have submitted a false information and misguided the CCL management as well abetted an act which amount to misconduct in terms of Clause 26.1, 26.9, 26.22 and 26.38 of the Standing Orders of CCL by which your services are governed in CCL.” Pursuant thereto, the petitioner submitted a reply dated 10.08.2001, stating that he had not given any false information and even as per charge, the petitioner is not guilty of any misconduct under Clauses 26.1, 26.9, 26.22 and 26.38 of the Standing Orders of CCL in so much so as he did not commit any theft or fraud, and did not violate the discipline and most importantly did not furnish any false information regarding own employment. Thereafter, enquiry commenced, in which, basing on 3 the fact that the service book of said Kishori Singh, in which, one Mathura Singh was named as father-in-law of Kishori Singh and further basing on statement of one Karamdeo Singh, an employee of CCL, the guilt of the petitioner was found proved. The father of the petitioner was also examined wherein he clarified that he was the actual father-in-law of said Kishori Singh and the said Mathura Singh did the Kanyadaan of her daughter, so people call him father-in-law of Kishori Singh. But the enquiry officer did not at all appreciate the aforesaid evidences and in his enquiry report dated 30.08.2003 held the petitioner guilty of submitting false information. Pursuant thereto, vide order dated 04.02.2004, the petitioner was dismissed from services for furnishing false information. Being aggrieved, the petitioner preferred appeal, which was rejected confirming the order passed by the disciplinary authority.
3. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that appointment of the petitioner was not at all under question as his father’s land was acquired and he being the son was given employment in lieu of acquisition. However, the appointment of his brothers-in-law, Kishori Singh and Anil Kumar Singh was under question. It has further been submitted that the petitioner got employment in CCL being the lineal dependent of Ram Pravesh Singh, which has not been disputed or objected to by the management. It has further been submitted that from perusal of the memo of charge, it is evident that there was no specific charge against the petitioner; hence, the punishment of dismissal from services is shockingly disproportionate. In this context, learned 4 counsel for the petitioner referred to a decision rendered in the case of Surendra Prasad Shukla Vs State of Jharkhand & Ors as reported in (2011) 8 SCC536 It has further been submitted that in the enquiry, the enquiry officer did not consider the clear evidence and statements made by the father of the petitioner clarifying that the other appointees, whose appointment is in question are actually brothers-in-law of the petitioner. Learned counsel for the petitioner further submitted that the enquiry is biased and in this regard referred to a decision rendered in the case of Union of India Vs. Sardar Bahadur as reported in (1972) 4 SCC618 It has further been submitted that it is not the case of the respondents that employment was given because of any false/misleading statement made by the petitioner rather employment was given in the year 1988 and the information was supplied by the petitioner in the year 2001.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioner further submitted that even if the charge of giving false information is assumed to be true, then also the punishment is disproportionate to the misconduct. In this context, learned counsel for the petitioner referred to a decision rendered in the case of U.P. State Road Transport Corpn. & Ors Vs. Mahesh Kumar Mishra & Ors as reported in (2000) 3 SCC450 5. Controverting the averments made in the writ application, learned counsel for the respondents submitted that the enquiry officer has relied upon a family chart prepared by the petitioner on 31.03.2001, wherein Sri Kishori Singh and Sri Anil Kumar Singh have been shown as his brothers-in-law, but, on thorough 5 enquiry, it came on surface that they are not the brother-in-laws of the petitioner. Hence, the fact that the petitioner has furnished false information has been fully proved and basing on the proved misconduct, impugned punishment of dismissal from services has been imposed, which has been confirmed in appeal.
6. After hearing learned counsel for the parties at length and on perusal of the documents available on record, I am of the considered view that the petitioner has been able to make out a case for interference for the following facts and reasons: (i).The main charge framed against the petitioner is that his father submitted a wrong affidavit stating that Sri Kishori Singh and Anil Kumar Singh are his sons-in-law and thus, the petitioner submitted a false information and misguided the respondents-CCL. Pursuant to framing of such charge, the matter was enquired into and the enquiry officer came to the conclusion that said Sri Kishori Singh and Anil Kumar Singh are not the sons-in-law of the father of the petitioner. Though, it has been objected to by the learned counsel for the petitioner stating that the enquiry officer did not at all appreciate the evidence of his father, wherein he has in unequivocal terms has deposed that he is the actual father- in-law of said Kishori Singh and since the Mathura Singh did the Kanyadaan of her daughter, so people call his father-in- law of Kishori Singh. Be that as it may be, this Court cannot go into the disputed question of fact and fact findings recorded by the enquiry officer. 6 (ii).Indisputably, the petitioner joined the services of the respondents on 16.06.1988 under Land Loser Scheme and there is no dispute that the land of his father was acquired and petitioner, being the son (dependent) was given employment in lieu of acquisition of land under the said scheme. Furthermore, in the memo of charge, it has been recorded that the petitioner secured employment in CCL during 1988 against the land in Tarmi/Turiya village belonging to his father. Hence, the foundational fact of his employment that his father's land was acquired and under the Land Loser Scheme floated by the respondents, he obtained job remains undisputed. (iii).However, from the discussions made above, even if it is taken to be true that the petitioner furnished false information regarding his genealogy table, as this Court has very limited jurisdiction to interfere with the facts findings recorded by the enquiry officer, the punishment of dismissal from services that too after serving about two decades appears to be shockingly disproportionate and the punishment appears to be grossly disproportionate to the alleged misconduct and hence, hit by doctrine of proportionality so far as quantum of punishment is concerned. In view of the aforesaid facts and reasons, as discussed in the foregoing paragraphs, the impugned order dated 04.02.2004 and appellate order dated 27.04.2010 are hereby quashed and set aside and the matter is remitted back to the respondents- 7 authorities to consider the case of the petitioner afresh mainly on the question of quantum of punishment taking into account the observations made by this Court, within a period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt/production of copy of this order.
7. With the aforesaid observations and directions, the writ petitions stand disposed of. (Pramath Patnaik, J.) Alankar/-