BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PORT OF BOMBAY Vs. DILIPKUMAR RAGHAVENDRANATH NADKARNI
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE PORT OF BOMBAY
DILIPKUMAR RAGHAVENDRANATH NADKARNI
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R. B. Misra, J. -
(1.) Special leave granted.
(2.) We heard Mr. F. S. Nariman for the appellant and Dr. Y. S. Chitale for the first respondent. With the consent of parties we proceed to dispose of the appeal.
(3.) A charge-sheet was drawn-up against the first respondent for the alleged misconduct and an Enquiry Officer was appointed to hold the enquiry against the first respondent. Before the enquiry opened, the first .respondent submitted a request seeking permission to engage a legal practitioner for his defence. The Chairman of the appellant rejected this request and simultaneously appointed two officers, namely, Shri R. K. Shetty and Shri A. B. Chaudhary, Legal Adviser and Junior Assistant Legal Adviser respectively of the appellant as Presenting Officers before the Enquiry Officer. A copy of this letter was endorsed to the first respondent with a foot note that his request for permitting him to appear through a legal practitioner in the enquiry has been rejected by the Chairman. As a sequel to the rejection of his request, the first respondent out of compelling necessity submitted a request that Shri V. V. Nadkarni, be permitted to appear in his defence which appears to have been granted. The enquiry opened on April 13, 1976. On May 8, 1976 Bombay Port Trust Employees' Regulations 1976 came into force. Regulation 12 (8) reads as under:
"12(8):The employee may take the assistance of any other employee or, if the employee is a Class III or a Class IV employee, of an "Office Bearer" as defined in Clause (d) of Section 2 of the Trade Unions Act. 1926 (16 of 1926) of the union to which he belongs, to present the ease on his behalf, but may not engage a legal practitioner for the purpose unless the said Presenting Officer appointed by the disciplinary authority is a legal practitioner, or, the disciplinary authority, having regard to the circumstances of the case, so permits.";
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