REV. FR. JOSEPH Vs. D.E.O. IRINJALAKUDA & OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Rev. Fr. Joseph
D.E.O. Irinjalakuda And Others
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M. Madhavan Nair, J. -
(1.) THE 2nd respondent is the Headmaster and the petitioner the Manager of Alagappa Upper Primary School, Vendore. The 2nd respondent was placed under suspension and charges were framed against him by the petitioner as per direction of the Department under Rule 76 (2) of Chapter XIV (A) of the Kerala Education Rules, 1959. An enquiry, as contemplated in sub -rule (3) thereof, was conducted by the District Educational Officer, Irinjalakuda, whose report is Ext. P. 9 here. Sub -rule (4) of Rule 76 lays down the procedure to be followed on completion of the enquiry in such cases. It says :
(4) (i) After any enquiry held under sub -rule (2) the proceedings containing the record of evidence, the findings and grounds therefore shall be forwarded by the Inquiring Officer to the Manager who shall implement the findings of the Inquiring Officer.
(ii) On receipt of the records of inquiry and the findings therefore, the Manager shall come to a provisional conclusion in regard to the penalty to be imposed, and then obtain the advice of the authority competent to sanction the imposition of the penalty proposed. On receipt of the advice the Manager shall call upon the teacher to show cause within a reasonable time, not exceeding one month, against the particular penalty proposed to be inflicted. The manager shall give to the teacher a copy of the report of inquiry together with the findings thereon. The representations, if any, submitted by the teacher shall be taken into consideration before the final order imposing the penalty is passed by the Manager with the sanction of the competent authority.
(2.) IT is evident that the power and the duty to implement the findings of the Enquiry Officer and to fix the penalty in the first instance is on the Manager. In certain cases his fixation of the punishment has to be with the previous approval of the Department. Nonetheless the provisional fixation of the penalty has to be by the Manager, and not by the Enquiry Officer. But, in the concluding portion of the report, Ext. P. 9, the Enquiry Officer has ordered:
As such I find that his one increment has to be stopped with cumulative effect. It is requested that the manager would take steps to bar his one increment.
Obviously, this fixation of penalty by the Enquiry Officer himself in his report of enquiry is contrary to the procedure laid down in Rule 76 (4). We therefore quash Ext. P. 9 so far as it fixes the penalty and directs the Manager to carry out the same, leaving the rest of the report to stand subject to the result of the appeal, if any, on the matter under the rules. The District Educational Officer will comply with the provisions of Rule 76 (4) and direct the Manager to proceed under that sub -rule. The District Educational Officer as well as the petitioner will see that the proceedings are closed within a period of eight weeks from today. The O. P. is disposed of as indicated above. In the circumstance we make no order as to costs here.;
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