IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI W.P. (S) No. 7819 of 2013 Rajendra Pal, Police No. 188, son of late Ram Dayal, presently residing at Gowalapara, Near Chaurasia Niwas, P.S. RIT, Adityapur -2, District- Seraikela-Kharsawan (Jharkhand).... Petitioner Versus 1. The State of Jharkhand 2. Director General of Police, Jharkhand, P.O.- Dhurwa, P.S.- Jagarnathpur, District-Ranchi.
3. Deputy Inspector General of Police, Singhbhum (Kolhan) Area, Chaibasa, P.O. + P.S.- Chaibasa, District- West Singhbhum.
4. Superintendent of Police, Chaibasa, P.O. & P.S.- Chaibasa, District- West Singhbhum .... Respondents --- CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE PRAMATH PATNAIK --- For the Petitioner : Mr. Amit Kumar Das, Advocate For the Respondents : Mr. Chanchal Jain, JC to AAG ----- 05/19.10.2016 In the accompanied writ application, the petitioner has inter alia, prayed for quashing and setting aside the order dated 30.08.2010 as contained in Memo No.4179 vide Annexure-4 passed by the Superintendent of Police, West Singhbhum, Chaibasa (respondent no.4) pertaining to dismissal from the services and for quashing and setting aside the order dated 10.05.2012 vide Annexure-5, passed by the respondent no.3, the appellate authority, who confirmed the order of the disciplinary authority and the petitioner has further prayed for a direction upon the respondents to reinstate him with all consequential benefits.
2. Sans details, facts as delineated and disclosed in the writ application is that initially the petitioner was appointed as Constable in Bihar Police in the year 1986 and subsequently transferred to Chaibasa in the year 1997 where he worked under the office of Sergeant Major. While continuing in service, an F.I.R. being Sadar (Chaibasa) P.S. Case No.31 of 2001, dated 24.05.2001 was lodged against several persons for committing illegality committed in appointment of Constables in pursuance of advertisement No.1/98 in Chaibasa. It has been alleged in the said F.I.R. that appointment of constables were made on the basis of false and fake certificates with overwriting on several certificates., The petitioner though not named in the F.I.R., was alleged to have prepared and manufactured the fake certificates by doing overwriting for appointment of the Constables. Subsequently, a departmental proceeding was initiated against the petitioner vide Departmental Proceeding No.21/07 and the charges were framed against him alleging that the petitioner made overwriting in the muster chart, candidates register, date of birth in applications, educational qualifications, home-guard columns etc. In pursuance to the charges, the petitioner submitted a detailed reply before the disciplinary authority denying the allegations levelled against him. In reply to the charges, the petitioner submitted that the allegation of overwriting made on certificates and registers can be proved by examination by handwriting expert and by forensic examination. Being dis-satisfied with the reply, the disciplinary authority conducted an enquiry and in the said enquiry, witnesses were examined. In the enquiry, the enquiry officer found all the charges levelled against the petitioner to be proved thereafter, a second show cause notice was issued to the petitioner. The petitioner submitted his reply of second show cause notice. Having dis-satisfied with the reply, the disciplinary authority dismissed the petitioner from the services on the basis of enquiry report vide order dated 30.08.2010, vide Annexure-4, which has been confirmed by the appellate authority vide order dated 10.5.2012, vide Annexure-5. Being aggrieved with the impugned order of dismissal from the services which has been confirmed by the appellate authority, the petitioner has no alternative but to move this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for redressal of his grievance.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner, during course of hearing, submitted that the enquiry report which has been submitted by the enquiry officer is a cryptic one and the disciplinary authority, relying on the same, has passed the impugned order of punishment. He further submitted that the allegation levelled against the petitioner of overwriting made on certificates and registers could have been proved by the handwriting expert and in absence of any proof to that effect, the disciplinary authority has passed the impugned order which cannot be construed to be legitimate and the same appears to be grossly disproportionate.
4. During course of hearing, the learned counsel for the petitioner has referred to supplementary affidavit, vide Annexure- 6, the Judgment passed in G.R. Case No.211 of 2001(S)/T.R. No.02 of 2016, wherein the learned trial Court has acquitted the petitioner from the charges under Sections 419/ 420/ 467/ 468/ 471/ 472/ 475/ 120B of I.P.C. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner has been honourably acquitted by the learned trial Court. The learned counsel for the petitioner further submitted that since the allegations against the petitioner in both the departmental proceedings and criminal proceedings are the same and the petitioner has been acquitted from the Court of evidence by the criminal Court, so in the changed circumstance, the case of the petitioner may be considered afresh by the disciplinary authority.
5. Controverting the averments made in the writ petition, a counter affidavit filed by the respondent no.4. Mr. Chanchal Jain, learned J.C. to Additional A.G., during course of hearing, has referred to paragraph-6 of the counter affidavit. It is submitted that a Departmental Proceeding No.21 of 2007 was commenced against the petitioner, Police 1051- Rajendra Pal. The charge against him was for committing forgery in maintaining the record relating to police appointment candidates of District Bal, West Singhbhum for the year 1998. In the said matter Chaibasa Sadar P.S. Case No.31/01 dated 24/5/2010 under Sections 419/ 420/ 467/ 468/ 471/472/373/120B of I.P.C. was registered, but in the said case the petitioner did not figure as an accused. The petitioner was found guilty in the departmental enquiry, thereafter, the disciplinary authority has dismissed the petitioner from the services. It has further been mentioned in the counter affidavit that a writ petition has been preferred earlier being W.P.(Cr.) No.41 of 2004 wherein there is a reference about the petitioner in the order of this Court dated 1.7.2004 to the effect that Rajendra Pal has played a part in the forgery. The learned counsel for the State reiterating the averments made in the counter affidavit has stated that in the departmental proceeding, petitioner has been found guilty by the enquiry officer, so this Court ought not to interfere in the impugned order of the punishment.
6. Having heard the learned counsel for both the parties at length and on perusal of the documents on record, I am of the considered view that the case of the petitioner is to be reconsidered in view of the following facts and reasons: (i) Admittedly, the allegations levelled against the petitioner pertains to overwriting and forgery. Despite categorical reply by the petitioner, the disciplinary authoritiy did not choose appropriate to prove it by a handwriting expert or forensic examination. In absence of clear cut proof, the disciplinary authority has relied upon the enquiry report submitted by the enquiry officer in a very cryptic manner. (ii) It is true that the facts finding given by the disciplinary authority does not call for any interference by the High Court in its limited scope unless there is a procedural irregularities or the allegations which is based on no evidence. Normally, the Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India does not exercise any judiciary review, but in case in hand, the petitioner has been acquitted from the criminal charges under Sections 419/ 420/ 467/ 468/ 471/ 472/ 475/ 120B of the I.P.C. vide Judgment dated 30.08.2010, passed in G.R. Case No.211 of 2001(S)/T.R. No.02 of 2016 and the charges in both the proceedings, in departmental as well as in criminal cases, are based on overwriting and forgery. In view of the acquittal in criminal case, the case of the petitioner ought to have been considered afresh by the respondent-authorities. The view of this Court gets fortified by the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in (2013)1 SCC598(Deputy Inspector General of Police and Anr. Vrs. S. Samuthiram).
7. In view of the reasons stated in the forgoing paragraphs and as a logical sequitur to the reasons aforesaid, the impugned order of the punishment dated 30.08.2010, vide Annexure-4, passed by the respondent no.4 and the order of the appellate authority dated 10.05.2012, vide Annexure-5, are quashed and set aside and the matter is remitted to the disciplinary authority with a direction to pass appropriate order on the quantum of punishment taking into consideration the fact of the acquittal of the petitioner in the criminal case within a period of 12 weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
8. With the aforesaid direction, this writ petition stands disposed of. (Pramath Patnaik, J.) Sudhir/Shahid