JAYANT H. DIWAN Vs. GUJARAT STATE CIVIL SUPPLY CORPORATION
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
JAYANT H DIWAN
GUJARAT STATE CIVIL SUPPLYCORPORATION LTD
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A.S. Supehia, J. -
(1.) By the present writ petition, the petitioner is seeking directions for quashing and setting aside the order dated 24.11.2005 imposing the penalty of stoppage of one increment without future effect and also ordering recovery of the amount of Rs.3,23,392.32/- by fixing 36 installments of Rs.5,000/- and a last installment of Rs.1,43,392.32/-.
(2.) At the outset, learned advocate Mr.Nisarg Raval has submitted that the issue raised in the petition is squarely covered by the decisions of the Apex Court in the case of Punjab National Bank & Ors. Vs. Kunj Behari Mishra, 1998 7 SCC 84 and in the case of SBI & Ors. Vs. Arvind K. Shukla, 2004 13 SCC 797 and in the case of Yoginath D. Bagde Vs. State of Maharashtra and anr., 1999 AIR(SC) 3734. He has submitted that in the present case, though the inquiry officer has exonerated the petitioner from the charges except one charge, which was partly proved. However, the Disciplinary Authority has reversed the findings of the inquiry officer of exonerating the petitioner from the charges by imposing the aforenoted penalty. He has submitted that the entire procedure followed by the Disciplinary Authority is contrary to the aforementioned decisions of the Apex Court. Learned advocate has thus, submitted that the impugned order of punishment may be set aside.
2.1 As regards the imposition of recovery is concerned, he has submitted that in fact the inquiry officer as well as the Disciplinary Authority have failed to prove the actual loss caused to the Government. He has submitted that there is no findings with regard to the same and hence, the order of recovery is also required to be set aside.
2.2 Learned advocate Mr.Nisarg Raval has submitted that the petitioner has already retired from the service on reaching the age of superannuation on 31.12.2008 and hence, the amount, which is recovered from him may be refunded to him.
(3.) Per contra, learned advocate Mr.H.S.Munshaw, while placing reliance on the affidavit has submitted that the Disciplinary Authority before disagreeing with the findings of the inquiry officer, has taken into consideration all the materials available on record. Learned advocate has also submitted that the petitioner was given the opportunity to explain his case by the Disciplinary Authority before disagreeing with the findings of the inquiry officer and hence, the judgments of the Apex Court, upon which the learned advocate Mr.Raval has placed reliance are not applicable to him.
3.1 Learned advocate Mr.Munshaw has further submitted that in fact the petitioner has committed gross misconduct and hence, when it was found by the Disciplinary Authority that the petitioner was responsible for the shortage of petrol and diesel of 6880 litres from 12.09.2002 in as much as the keys of the petrol pump was with the petitioner from 12.09.2002 and he was in charge of the petrol pump from 12.09.2002 hence, it was decided to initiate proceedings against him.
3.2 Learned advocate Mr.Munshaw has further submitted that after an examination of the entire record, the Disciplinary Authority decided to disagree with the findings of the inquiry officer and found that the petitioner had indulged himself in the serious misconduct. He has finally submitted that looking to the penalty, which is imposed upon the petitioner, the same cannot be said to be disproportionate to the misconduct alleged and proved against the petitioner.;
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