1. The present writ petition has been filed by one Sama Rao, who is at present an employee of TANSI, against a show cause notice issued to him by TANSI on 14th May, 1979.
2. The following facts are admitted : The petitioner was originally employed as Category III officer in the Department of Industries and Commerce of the Tamilnadu Government Carpentry and Smithy Work Shop, Cuddalore, from 7th December, 1962 to 9th May, 1964. On 15th June, 1964, a charge memo was issued to him that he was guilty of negligence which resulted in one Karuppiah manufacturing two iron gates unauthorisedly. After some time, the proceedings were dropped. After nearly four years, on 14th July, 1968, another memo containing identical charge was served on the petitioner and the petitioner was called upon to offer his explanation. The petitioner offered his explanation on 20th January, 1969. Thereafter, on 7th August, 1971, a memo was issued by which the Department came to the provisional conclusion that the petitioner should be removed from service and called upon him why the provisional conclusion should not be confirmed. The petitioner submitted his reply on 29th May, 1972. Thereafter in 1974, the Government set aside the proceedings and ordered fresh enquiry Nothing happened for some time thereafter. On 4th May, 1976, the petitioner was asked to exercise his option whether he was willing to be permanently transferred to TANSI. At this stage, it may be mentioned that the Tamilnadu Small Industries Corporation came into existence as early as on 1st December, 1975. Since the petitioner exercised his option for the transfer, he was transferred to TANSI on 4th May, 1976 on permanent basis. The impugned show cause notice has been issued on the basis of the charge as framed against the petitioner as early as on 15th June, 1964.
3. Mr. Sunder, the learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that since the petitioner was transferred to TANSI on a permanent basis as early as in 1976 and since TANSI is an entirely distinct and different entity from that of the State Government, TANSI has no jurisdiction to issue the show cause notice in respect of any misconduct which might have been committed by the petitioner at a time when he was in Government Service. Mr. Sunder further submits that there is absolutely no basis at all now for the TANSI to have issued the show cause notice, even assuming that it has got jurisdiction owing to the long lapse of time, when as early as in 1974 a fresh enquiry was ordered and the Government did not take any further action till 1976, when the petitioner was transferred to TANSI.
4. Mr. Chandrasekhar, the learned counsel for TANSI, very strenuously supported the issue of show cause notice. The learned counsel stated that TANSI had taken over certain units controlled by the Department of Industries and Commerce including the particular unit in which the petitioner was working and consequently TANSI was competent to revive the enquiry and issue the show cause notice. The learned counsel, however, did not dispute the fact that TANSI and the State Government are two different entities. My attention has not been drawn to any precedent or any provision of law, statutory or otherwise, which would clothe TANSI with jurisdiction to proceed with an enquiry against a Government servant, who has long ceased to be a Government servant, for acts of misconduct committed by him when he was in Government service. I am of opinion that when once by his transfer to TANSI in 1976 the petitioner ceased to be a Government servant, the result would be that the Government ceased to have any disciplinary control over the petitioner in respect of acts of misconduct committed by him while in Government service. TANSI is the present employer of the petitioner, which is an entirely different entity from that of the Government. In the absence of any legal power which is vested with TANSI to proceed against its employees for acts of misconduct committed by them while they were in Government service, I am inclined to hold that TANSI will not have any jurisdiction to either initiate any action or revive any action which had originally been initiated by the Government prior to the transfer of the petitioner to TANSI. In the circumstances, I quash the impugned show cause notice and allow the writ petition. There will be no order as to costs.