UNION OF INDIA Vs. AMRIK CHAND
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
UNION OF INDIA
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VIPIN SANGHI, J. -
(1.) Union of India challenges the order dated 21.7.1997 passed in O.A No.2786/1991 by the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal ( for short `the Tribunal'). By the impugned order, the Tribunal quashed the order of penalty passed by the Disciplinary Authority, on the ground that there was no evidence on the basis of which the respondent could have been departmentally punished with the penalty of dismissal from service. Liberty was, however, granted to the petitioner to proceed against the respondent in case evidence is available to prove misconduct of misappropriation alleged against him within three months of his reinstatement.
(2.) Shri Amrik Chand, the respondent, was appointed as L.D.C in 1969 on temporary basis. In 1974 he was posted as Cash Clerk in Delhi Milk Scheme. On 5.2.1976 he was given a cheque of Rs. 3 lakhs for disbursement of money at four milk collection centres. He got the cheque encashed from the Bank at Mathura and proceeded to disburse the money along with another Cash Clerk, Shri Ajit Kumar Sharma in a vehicle driven by a driver, Shri Kalam Singh. Disbursement of cash and maintenance of cash book etc was part of the duties assigned to the respondent. The balance cash was required to be deposited back. However, the respondent did not return to Mathura till 11.30 p.m in the night. He and Shri Ajit Kumar Sharma returned to Mathura only after midnight in the early hours of 6.2.1976. At that point of time they did not inform the Assistant Manager that the cash was short by Rs.10,000/-. On the next morning, to justify his delayed return to Mathura on the previous night, the respondent informed that the petrol of the vehicle had got exhausted. It was then that he informed that the cash was short by Rs.10,000/-. The respondent claimed that perhaps Rs.10,000/- might have been given in excess at one of the four centres. The Manager, other staff and the respondent went from centre to centre to enquire about the missing cash. But on enquiry it did not reveal that excess cash had been paid at any of the centres.
(3.) It appears that the driver of the vehicle that was used by the respondent and Shri Ajit Kumar Sharma viz., Shri Kalam Singh did not corroborate the version of the respondent that the petrol of the vehicle had run out. He disclosed that the respondent along with Shri Ajit Kumar Sharma had left the vehicle with the cash on the outskirts of Agra and had gone to Agra in a rickshaw and after spending about 3-4 hours they had returned back at 9.30 p.m to the vehicle, while he had remained at the vehicle.;
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