Skip to content


S. Varadarajan Vs. the Special Officer, T.U.C.S. Ltd. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1985)2MLJ359
AppellantS. Varadarajan
RespondentThe Special Officer, T.U.C.S. Ltd. and ors.
Cases ReferredP. Kannan v. Office of
Excerpt:
- - ..he has failed in his duties to have an effective supervision and thus helped to commit serious offences in the distribution of controlled commodities which have been found out by civil supplies department, which tarnished the fair name of the society. the petitioner was not given an opportunity, he was not called to show cause against his alleged failure to have an effective supervision which allegedly helped to commit serious offences in the distribution of controlled commodities, etc......the charges set out in the show cause notice within seven days from the date of its receipt. the charges levelled against the petitioner along with three others were:1. that they issued rationed commodities in excess against the limit fixed in the bills;2. the a register number and the card number were not noted in the bills;3. non-maintenance of registers while they were working in the luz mini supermarket.to this show cause notice the petitioner replied on 6th july, 1983 that he being a sales supervisor, has nothing to do with the charges and it is the accountant who is answerable for the charges. an enquiry was conducted and the enquiry officer, namely, co-operative sub-registrar, submitted his report. the enquiry officer found that all the charge-sheeted employees are responsible.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K. Venkataswamy, J.

1. These two writ petitions are filed by the same individual questioning initially a show cause notice issued by the first respondent in W.P. No. 1598 of 1984 and subsequently questioning the order of dismissal by the respondent in W.P. No. 6703 of 1984.

2. As the matter relates to the same individual and the facts are also common, these two writ petitions are dealt with by this common order.

3. The brief facts leading to the filing of these writ petitions are the following: The petitioner, at the time of the issue of show cause notice was working as Supervisor in the Triplicane Urban Cooperative Society Limited, Madras-5, hereinafter called the 'TUCS'. A show cause notice on 15th June, 1983 was issued calling upon the petitioner to explain the charges set out in the show cause notice within seven days from the date of its receipt. The charges levelled against the petitioner along with three others were:

1. that they issued rationed commodities in excess against the limit fixed in the bills;

2. The A register number and the card number were not noted in the bills;

3. non-maintenance of registers while they were working in the Luz Mini Supermarket.

To this show cause notice the petitioner replied on 6th July, 1983 that he being a Sales Supervisor, has nothing to do with the charges and it is the Accountant who is answerable for the charges. An enquiry was conducted and the Enquiry Officer, namely, Co-operative Sub-Registrar, submitted his report. The Enquiry Officer found that all the charge-sheeted employees are responsible for, the Charges levelled against them and he also held all the charges proved. Based on the report of the Enquiry Officer, the first respondent in W.P. No. 1598 of 1984 issued a second show cause notice on 11th February, 1984 calling upon the petitioner to show cause why he should not be dismissed from service. On receipt of the second show cause notice, the petitioner, aggrieved by that, filed W.P. No. 1598 of 1984 and obtained an order of interim Stay of all further proceedings. Final orders in W.M.P.Nos. 2461 and 9562 of 1984 were passed on 20th June, 1984 vacating the interim stay, initially granted and while vacating the interim stay, S. Natarajan, J., observed that the petitioner has got to meet the show cause notice and if his representation is not accepted and if he is aggrieved with the orders passed against him, the petitioner can then seek the interference of this Court to examine the merits of the case. A copy of this order seems to have been given subsequent to 23rd June, 1984. But on 21st June, 1984, the first respondent passed final orders dismissing the petitioner from service which made the petitioner file W.P. No. 6703 of 1984 challenging the order of dismissal.

4. Mr. G. Viswanathan, learned Counsel appearing for the first respondent raised a preliminary objection as to the maintainability of the writ petition against the first respondent whose orders are under challenge. He places reliance on a recent judgment of this Court reported in P. Kannan v. Office of the Director of Sugars, Madras 1984 W.L.R. 152, wherein Ratnavel Pandian, J., has held that a writ against a co-operative society cannot be granted. As against, this, Mr. Murugesan, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner, contended that, the TUCS stands on a different footing as it is controlled by Government and 85 per cent of the shares are held by Government and he also pointed out various by-laws of the TUCS to support his stand. He also relied on a judgment of the Calcutta High Court in Madan Mohan Sengupta v. State of West Bengal : AIR1966Cal23 , and a Division Bench judgment of this Court against the very same TUCS. He placed reliance on a judgment of the Supreme Court in Ajay Hosia v. Khalid Mujib : (1981)ILLJ103SC . The Division Bench judgment of this Court, in Writ Appeal No. 74 of 19.70, dated 13th November, 1973, seems to be directly in point and that being a case relating to the very same TUCS it is binding on me. The Division Bench judgment reads as follows:

Though the learned Judge found that the disposal of the appeal by the selfsame officer who had passed the order of dismissal was contrary to the principles of natural justice, he took the view that the Special Officer of the Triplicane Urban Co-operative Society Ltd., appointed under Section 72 of the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1961, was not a public authority whose order should be quashed. We are unable to concur in this view. The Special Officer is one appointed under Section 72 and as such, he is a statutory officer and, therefore, he should be regarded as public authority. Apart from that, Article 226 of the Constitution is not confined to issue of writs only to a public authority. The power extends also to issue directions to any person. That being so, the appeal is allowed. The result is, the Board of Directors will dispose of the appellant's appeal petition afresh and in accordance with law. No costs. The appeal will be disposed of by the Board of Directors within two months from the receipt of a certified copy of the order.

In view of the Division Bench judgment relating to the very same co-operative society reliance cannot be placed on the judgment of the learned single Judge in P. Kannan v. Office of the Director of Sugars, Madras, 1984 W.L.R. 152. I, therefore, proceed to consider the cases on merits.

5. In the second show cause notice against which W.P. No. 1598 of 1984 has been filed, it is stated as follows:

As a Sales Supervisor, Thiru S. Varadarajan has to exercise proper control over the staff for running the branch without any complaint. Had he exercised due control over the staff, this sort of complaints would have been avoided. It is clear that he was not vigilant in his duties and totally indifferent in the day-to-day affairs of the branch....

He has failed in his duties to have an effective supervision and thus helped to commit serious offences in the distribution of controlled commodities which have been found out by Civil Supplies Department, which tarnished the fair name of the society. These acts were done with his knowledge. Violation of regulation governing the issue of controlled commodities is a serious offence under items Nos. 4, 26 and 29 of the omissions and commissions as per the Special Bye-laws relating to the service conditions of the employees framed by the Society for which the employees can be suspended and/or dismissed.

The contention is that the charge was one thing and the findings are different. On the basis of the findings, the petitioner cannot be held responsible for the charge. The petitioner was not given an opportunity, he was not called to show cause against his alleged failure to have an effective supervision which allegedly helped to commit serious offences in the distribution of controlled commodities, etc. As could be seen from the second show cause notice itself, the petitioner was not held directly responsible for the various charges levelled against the petitioner and three others. On the other hand, findings, were given against the petitioner on the basis of some other material for which the petitioner was not given any opportunity. In similar circumstances, Ramanujam, J., in W.P. Nos. 1418, 1815 and 1816 of 1984 (order dated 23rd January, 1985), has quashed the show cause notice itself and that decision is pressed into service by the learned Counsel for the petitioner. In that case, the learned Judge observed as follows:

Thus the Enquiry Officer himself has found that the six charges actually levelled against the above two petitioners have not been proved but they are found guilty of abetment and collusion with Govindaswami. But it is significant to note that there is no charge relating to abetment and collusion. Therefore, once the six charges levelled against them have been held not proved on the basis of the evidence, they cannot be proceeded against unless a fresh or separate charge of collusion and abetment is levelled against them and they are given opportunity to disprove the said charge. None of the six charges levelled against them contains an allegation of collusion and abetment. Then, if they are to be held guilty of abetment and collusion, there should be a specific charge in that respect and without such a specific charge and an enquiry on such a charge, they cannot be held guilty of a charge of collusion and abetment.

6. Applying the above principles to the facts of this case, it can be safely held that there is no charge against the petitioner of ineffective supervision which helped to commit serious offences in the distribution of controlled commodities. Therefore, the second show cause notice is not sustainable.

7. Mr. G. Viswanathan, learned Counsel appearing for the first respondent, submitted that the issue of the second show-cause notice itself was unnecessary and therefore, even without that the first respondent can proceed with the matter. But the first respondent having Issued the second show cause notice and when it is found that there is no finding against the petitioner which has direct relevance with the charges already framed, it is not open to the first respondent now to contend that the petitioner can be proceeded with further.

8. As noticed earlier, the interim stay, granted pending disposal of W.P. No. 1598 of 1984 was vacated on 20th June, 1984. Even before the order could be received, the respondent in W.P. No. 6703 of 1984 passed final orders dismissing the petitioner from service. The petitioner challenges the order of dismissal on the grounds that it was passed in utter violation of the principles of natural justice, that the respondent was biased against the petitioner and that, in any event, the findings have no relevance to the charges framed against the petitioner and therefore, the order of dismissal cannot be sustained. In the light of the earlier discussions to hold that the second show cause notice itself is liable to be quashed, the order of dismissal passed on the basis of the second show cause notice also will have to go.

9. For all these reasons, the writ petitions are allowed. No cost.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //