1. The writ petition seeks to quash the memorandum of charges proposing to hold an enquiry into certain delinquencies stated to have been committed by the writ petitioner under Regulation 58 of S. 5 of the Food Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations, 1971. It is not necessary to detail out the charges, because of the point that requires to be considered in the writ petition boils down to this.
2. The admitted facts in the case are that originally the writ petitioner was convicted for certain offences in the criminal Court. Based on that conviction, he was called upon to show cause as to why he should not be dismissed from service. After receiving the reply to the show cause notice, the Food Corporation of India dismissed him from service. Ultimately, the criminal conviction was set aside by this Court. As a result, he was restored to the old position with all the back wages. It is thereafter the present memorandum of charges had come to be issued on 19th April, 1981, which is sought to be quashed in this writ petition by a certiorarified mandamus. It is urged on behalf of the petitioner that inasmuch as he was acquitted by this Court, it is not open to the Department to resurrect the same old charges and proceed against him departmentally. This is the only contention urged on behalf of the writ petitioner.
3. In meeting this submission, the learned counsel appearing for the Food Corporation of India draws my attention to the ruling in Corporation of Nagpur City, Civil Lines v. Ramachandran : (1981)IILLJ6SC . It is contended that there is no bar to proceed against the petitioner afresh departmentally notwithstanding the acquittal of the petitioner. I am unable to agree. The Supreme Court case cited was a case wherein the criminal charge was pending at that time and no charges were framed. Under those circumstances, the question arose as to what would be the consequence of acquittal in a criminal case. It was observed that if ever the charge fails, there is sufficient evidence and good ground to proceed with the enquiry, it could certainly do so. This statement cannot mean that in a case as the one on hand, it will be open to the Department to resurrect the same old charges on which petitioner faced a criminal trial and was acquitted, to proceed departmentally. It is not denied before me that the charges in the criminal Court and memorandum of charges now served on the petitioner are identical. If this be so, I see absolutely no jurisdiction on the part of the respondents to proceed departmentally.
4. The writ petition will stand allowed. There will be no order as to costs.