1. There is no substance in this appeal. The first point urged by the appellant's learned counsel was that there was no reasonable opportunity accorded to him, after he had been served with ft 'show cause' notice and the provisions of Article 311 of the Constitution were therefore infringed. The appellant was only suspended from service for one year. We agree with the learned Judge, Rajagopalan, J. against whose order the appeal is preferred; that a mere suspension would not fall within Article 311(2) of the Constitution.
The decision of the Nagpur High Court in Provincial Govt. C. P. and Berar v. Shamsul Hussain , was relied upon in which it is observed that a mere suspension may amount to reduction in rank. With great respect to the learned Judges, we do not agree with this! interpretation. A mere suspension does not involve necessarily a reduction in rank.
2. The next point taken is that the appellant was not given an opportunity of establishing his defence. There was no complaint made before the Collector, or the Board, that the appellant was not given an opportunity to lead evidence which he wanted to in support of his case. We also agree with the learned Judge that it is difficult to understand what further oral enquiry could have been sought.
The observations of the learned Chief Justice in State of Bombay v. Gajanan Mahadev : AIR1954Bom351 do not have any bearing. All that the learned Chief Justice said was that it was for the State to show that the officer who has been punished had a sufficient opportunity to defend himself. In the present case we are quite satisfied that the appellant has had such an opportunity.
3. Connected with this point, another new point was taken that there should have been two stages of enquiry. We see no foundation in support of that contention.
4. Lastly it was said that mere detention of money for a period of about two months would not amount to a temporary misappropriation in all cases. It is quite true that if the detention could be satisfactorily explained, there would be no question of misappropriation. Indeed, the appellant did attempt an explanation; but that explanation was not accepted by the Revenue Divisional Officer and it is not open to us to canvass his decision.
5. The appeal is therefore dismissed.