G S SHAMBHANI Vs. STATE BANK OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
G S Shambhani
STATE BANK OF INDIA
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(1.) What is moral turpitude what are the factors which may be taken into consideration while deciding as to whether a particular offence involves moral turpitude or not ? Whether the provisions of Article 311 of the Constitution are applicable to an employee of a nationalised bank which is State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution ? Is the provision of Rule 50(7) of State Bank of India (Supervising Staff) Services Rules (1977) illegal and void? These are some of the questions raised by the petitioner who was an employee of a nationalised bank and who has been discharged from service on the ground that he was involved and convicted for offences involving moral turpitude.
(2.) The petitioner was serving as an Officer Gr. II with the State Bank: of India respondent herein. He has been discharged from service by order dated 7/09/1981 (Annexure E to the petition). He is challenged the legality and validity of be said order on the following grounds.
(1) The in the show cause notice reference to certain false transportation bills which did not form part of the subject matter of the charge was also made and therefore the order suffers fro non-application of mind; (2) That the impugned order of discharge from service is passed by an authority lower in rank than that of the appointing authrity. According to the petitioner the appointing authority was the Local Board while the impugned order has been passed by the Chief General Manager who is a lower authority and (3) That Rule 50(7) of the State Bank of India (Supervising Staff) Service Rules 1977 under which the action is taken and the order is passed is illegal and void and hence the order cannot be sustained; and (4) That the offences for which the petitioner has been held guilty are not offences involving moral turpitude and the provision of Rule 50(7)(i) will not be applicable to his case.
(3.) The petitioner was prosecuted for offences under secs. 420 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code on the allegation that he took treatment from Dr. G.T. Asudani who was running; a dispensary at Kubernagar Ahmedabad on June 20 and 21 1977 (two days) for chronic bronchitis and paid him Rs. 10.00 towards the aforesaid treatment. That he obtained a receipt dated 7/08/1977 from Dr. Asudani for Rs. 101 but while submitting the same for reimbursement of medical expenses he manoeuvred the figure of Rs. 10.00 to Rs. 10.00 only. and also manoeuvred the dates so as to appear to the State Bank authorities that he took treatment from the said Doctor from 2/06/1977 to 21/06/1977 and had paid him Rs. 110.00. As a matter of fact he taken treatment for two days only and paid Rs. 10.00 only. But fraudulently obtained 100/-more and there by cheated the Bank and for the purpose of this cheating he forged then receipts and thereby committed offences under secs. 420 468 and 471 of the Indian penal Code. A criminal case being Criminal Case No. 599 of 1978 was instituted against the petitioner and the petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge. On merits the learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ahmedabad before whom the case was conducted held him guilty of the offences charged against him. The learned Magistrate however took an unduly lenient view of the matter and passed order on 1-6-1979; by which the petitioner was directed to pay an amount of Rs. 750.00 as fine for the offence under sec. 420 of the Indian Penal Code and further to pay an amount of Rs. 250.00 as fine for offence under sec. 468 read with sec. 471 of the Indian Penal Code. No substantive sentence of imprisonment was imposed.;
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