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P. Vembadimuthu Vs. Director of Medical Services and Family Welfare and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectService
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1985)2MLJ499
AppellantP. Vembadimuthu
RespondentDirector of Medical Services and Family Welfare and anr.
Cases ReferredDivisional Personnel Officer v. T.R. Chellappa
Excerpt:
.....failed to appreciate that the release of the petitioner by this court under section 4(1) of the probation of offenders act is not an automatic disqualification to hold the post. 500/- with one surety for a like sum to the satisfaction of the sub divisional judicial magistrate, ulundurpet, under section 4 (1) of the probation of offenders act, with an observation, that the petitioner will not suffer any disqualification attached to the conviction by virtue of section 12 of the probation of offenders act, the petitioner cannot be dismissed from service under the impugned order. if a store keeper like the petitioner, who was employed in a primary health centre, stoops to attack a doctor of the same department and threatens him with a knife and grapples his neck thereby causing injuries..........be of good behaviour for a period of one year by invoking the provisions of section. 4(1) of the probation of offenders act. so far as the sentence under sections 332 and 506, part ii of the indian penal code are concerned, they were set aside. the learned judge has also observed that the petitioner will not suffer any disqualification attached to his conviction.4. the second respondent herein, on the basis of the judgment of the sub divisional judicial magistrate, ulundurpet and in view of his conviction by the trial court, issued a memo to the petitioner on 3.1.1981 and has asked the petitioner to show cause as to why he should not be dismissed from civil services of the state government on the basis of the judgment of the criminal courts. the petitioner was asked to submit his.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.A. Sathar Sayeed, J.

1. The petitioner has filed the above writ petition seeking to issue a writ of certiorarified mandamus calling for the records relating to Ref. No. 88521/S.C./4/83, dated 16.8.1983 on the file of the first respondent and to quash the same and to reinstate the petitioner in service with continuity of service, back wages etc., on the following grounds:

2. According to the petitioner, he was appointed as a Store Keeper on 9.12.1966 at a Government Primary Health Centre in Coimbatore District. He was transferred later to Vadakkankulam in Tirunveiveli District and thereafter to Thenthiruperai and other places. While he was serving at, Valathi, the second respondent, namely, the District Family Welfare Maternity and Child Health Officer, Cuddalore, issued a suspension order alleging that there were grave charges against the petitioner, and an enquiry into the said charges was in contemplation. On 27.8.1979, the second respondent issued a charge-memo to the petitioner, wherein it was stated, that the petitioner had attempted to murder the Medical Officer Dr. Sarvalogam by strangulation and threatened the said doctor with a knife with the intention to murder him. The second charge against the petitioner was, that he had not handed over a cash of Rs. 10,091/- encashed by him at the Treasury on 31.7.1979 to the Medical Officer, Primary Health Centre, Mangalur, but had handed over it only the next day, namely, 1.8.1979, and has thereby delayed the disbursement of the salary and has thus temporarily misappropriated the Government money. There is yet another grave charge against the petitioner that in June, 1979, on the date of disbursement of salary, he has encouraged groupism and advised and induced certain individuals not to receive their salary and he had drawn a sum of Rs. 200/- towards advance of T.T.A. after six months which is highly irregular. There are other several charges against the petitioner which I need not dilate here.

3. Thus I find from the same memo sent to the petitioner that the petitioner had committed several irregularities and malpractices besides the misappropriation apart from the act of threatening Dr. Sarvalogam with death. The petitioner was asked to appear for an enquiry before the District Family Welfare Maternity and Child Health Officer, Cuddalore, but he did not turn up. An explanation was called for by the second respondent by his memo dated 27.8.1979 from the petitioner. The petitioner submitted his explanation on 7.11.1979 denying the allegations. That apart, in view of the acts committed by the petitioner in attempting at the life of the Medical Officer, police has also registered a case against the petitioner under Sections 332 and 506, Part II, Indian Penal Code. The Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet, finding that there was prima facie evidence against the petitioner, convicted him under the said sections and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months under each count. Against this order of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet, the petitioner preferred an appeal before the Sessions Judge of South Arcot at Cuddalore. The Sessions Judge confirmed the conviction and the sentence imposed upon the petitioner by the trial Court. Thereafter, the petitioner preferred a revision before this Court against, his conviction and the sentence. Maheswaran, J., by his judgment dated 25.11.1982 in Crl.R.C. No. 124 of 1981, rendered a finding that there were injuries on the person of the doctor as evidenced by the wound certificate Exhibit P-3. Nevertheless, the learned Judge modified the conviction of the petitioner into one under Section 323, Indian Penal Code, and ordered the release of the petitioner on his executing a bond for Rs. 500/- with one surety for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of one year by invoking the provisions of Section. 4(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act. So far as the sentence under Sections 332 and 506, Part II of the Indian Penal Code are concerned, they were set aside. The learned Judge has also observed that the petitioner will not suffer any disqualification attached to his conviction.

4. The second respondent herein, on the basis of the judgment of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet and in view of his conviction by the trial Court, issued a memo to the petitioner on 3.1.1981 and has asked the petitioner to show cause as to why he should not be dismissed from civil services of the State Government on the basis of the judgment of the criminal Courts. The petitioner was asked to submit his explanation within thirty days from the receipt of the memo. The petitioner submitted his explanation to the second respondent on 7.1.1981 denying the allegations and contending that no action could be taken against him till the disposal of the appeal preferred by him to the Sessions Judge of South Arcot at Cuddalore against the judgment of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet. After receiving the explanation sent by the petitioner and considering the same, the second respondent, by his proceedings R.Dis. No. 5692/A2/79 dated 31.1.1981 dismissed the petitioner from service for the grave charges levelled against him. The petitioner thereafter preferred an appeal to the first respondent, namely, the Director of Medical Services and Family Welfare, Madras, which was also dismissed by the first respondent, under the impugned order dated 16.8.1983. It is against this, the above writ petition is filed by the petitioner contending that the impugned order is violative of Article 311 of the Constitution of India and that the respondents failed to appreciate that the release of the petitioner by this Court under Section 4(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act is not an automatic disqualification to hold the post.

5. No counter has been filed by the respondents.

6. The learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner, after narrating the facts, contended before me that when once this Court has directed the petitioner to be released on his executing a bond for a sum of Rs. 500/- with one surety for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet, under Section 4 (1) of the Probation of Offenders Act, with an observation, that the petitioner will not suffer any disqualification attached to the conviction by virtue of Section 12 of the Probation of Offenders Act, the petitioner cannot be dismissed from service under the impugned order. No doubt, Maheswaran, J., set aside the convictions imposed on the petitioner under Sections 332 and 506, Part II, Indian Penal Code and instead convicted the petitioner under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code. The learned Judge has, however, released the petitioner under the provisions of Section 4 (1) of the Probation of Offenders Act, by observing that the petitioner will not suffer any disqualification attached to the conviction under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code, by virtue of Section 12 of the Probation of Offenders Act. But yet it has to be considered whether the petitioner is a person who can be kept in service in view of his conduct. The fact remains that the Medical Officer was manhandled by the petitioner as a result of which the Medical Officer sustained injuries on his person as could be seen from the wound certificate Ex.P-3. It is also seen from the judgment of Maheswaran, J., that as per the evidence of P.W.3 and P.W.1, it is clear that the petitioner took a knife from his person and threatened P.W.3, a cook in the house of another doctor. If a Store Keeper like the petitioner, who was employed in a Primary Health Centre, stoops to attack a doctor of the same department and threatens him with a knife and grapples his neck thereby causing injuries as found in the wound certificate, Ex.P-3, then such a person should not be retained in service. Just because the petitioner was acquitted by this Court under the Probation of Offenders Act, the factum of guilt of the petitioner remains, and cannot be obliterated and brushed aside nor does the criminal act of the petitioner towards the doctor of the dispensary be swept away merely by the observation of this Court that the petitioner will not suffer any disqualification attached to his conviction under Section 323, Indian Penal Code. In considering the matters of this type, as pointed out by the Supreme Court in Divisional Personnel Officer v. T.R. Chellappa : (1976)ILLJ68SC :

the disciplinary authority will have to take into account the entire conduct of the delinquent employee, the gravity of the misconduct committed by him, the impact which his misconduct is likely to have on the administration.

This fact was taken into consideration by the second respondent and it issued a show cause memo to the petitioner to show cause, as to why he should not be dismissed from service, in view of the judgment of the criminal Courts below. It must be noted that the explanation sent by the petitioner was taken into consideration by the respondents and considering the behaviour, and the act of the petitioner to the Doctor of the dispensary, the services of the petitioner were terminated by the second respondent.

7. The contention of the Counsel appearing for the petitioner that the dismissal of the petitioner was wholly based on the conviction of the petitioner by the Courts below cannot be accepted. It is true that the petitioner was released by this Court invoking the provisions of Section 4(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act, on his executing a bond for Rs. 500/- with one surety for a like sum to the satisfaction of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ulundurpet, to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of one year. But the factum of guilt of the petitioner remains on the character of the petitioner. In a case of this type, we have to consider whether the respondents have considered the explanation of the petitioner, and have applied their mind before passing the impugned order. As pointed out by the Supreme Court in the decision mentioned supra at page 2225:

The disciplinary authority has the undoubted power after hearing the delinquent employee and considering the circumstances of the case to inflict any major penalty on the delinquent employee without any further departmental inquiry if the authority is of the opinion that the employee has been guilty of a serious offence involving moral turpitude.

As stated already, the respondents have fully considered the representations of the petitioner and considering the gravity of the offence committed by the petitioner, who was only a Store Keeper, against the Doctor of the Dispensary, the services of the petitioner were terminated. A reading of the entire records shows that the Department has come to the conclusion that due to the acts committed by the petitioner, it is not desirable and conducive in the interests of the administration to retain the petitioner in service. In fact, I find that even the Government, before whom a revision was filed by the petitioner, has considered the case of the petitioner and confirmed the order of the dismissal. After considering the entire facts of the case and after hearing the arguments of the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner and the Government Advocate, I am of the view that this writ petition deserves to be dismissed and it is accordingly dismissed. No costs.


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