Decided on August 16,2005

Branch Manager, Sbi Bilaspur Respondents


SUNIL KUMAR SINHA,J. - (1.) THIS writ petition has been filed for quashing of the order of dismissal (Annexure P-7) passed on 18-2-1999 by the disciplinary authority, respondent No. 2.
(2.) THE facts of the case are that the petitioner was working as Deputy Head Cashier in the State Bank of India. He was tried for a Criminal Case under sections 3(l)(ii) and 3(1)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") vide Special Case No. 71/1996. The special Court convicted the petitioner under section 3 (1 )(ii) of the Aforesaid Act on 14-10-1998. However he was acquitted of the charges framed u/s 3(1)(v). The petitioner was sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for two years and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/-, in default of payment of fine, to further undergo R.I. for 3 months. This judgment of conviction and sentence awarded to the petitioner was challenged before the High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 2449/1998 in which the sentence awarded to the petitioner was suspended vide order dated 30-10-1998. The appeal is still pending for its disposal. In the meanwhile, the Bank issued a memo to the petitioner calling explanation regarding the aforesaid conviction. The petitioner submitted his reply on 21-1-1999 to the aforesaid memo issued to him. Thereafter the disciplinary authority without conducting any enquiry and without recording any finding regarding the nature and character of involvement passed the impugned order dated 18-2-1999 dismissing the petitioner from service. It is against this order, the petitioner has filed this writ petition. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the impugned order has been shown to have been passed in terms of section 10(1)(b)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 (For short 'Act of 1949) read with para 521 (2)(b) of Shastri Award read with Desai Award with effect from 14-10-1998 i.e., the date of conviction, but none of these provisions give an authority to respondent No. 2 to pass such an order of dismissal on the basis of the conviction without recording a finding about the conviction of the petitioner for an offence involving moral turpitude. He further submits that what is meant by an offence involving moral turpitude, referred to in both of these provisions mentioned in the impugned order, was required to be taken note of by the disciplinary authority. There is no finding that the petitioner was guilty of an offence involving moral turpitude. In fact the offence under section 3(1)(ii) of the Act may not be covered under an offence involving moral turpitude, therefore, this order of punishment is bad in law.
(3.) ON the other hand learned counsel for the respondents submits that after the conviction of the petitioner, he was served with a notice and after considering the reply, the petitioner has rightly been dismissed from service as such the act of the petitioner falls within the ambit of an offence involving moral turpitude.;

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