Decided on April 01,1983

Union Of India W Rly Respondents


D.C.GHEEWALA - (1.) As these two petitions involve an identical question and as they are challenging the proceedings arising from the same incident they are being disposed of by a common judgment.
(2.) The petitioners were working as Rakshaks in the Railway Protection Force under the Respondents at Kankaria locoshed. They were charge-sheeted under rule 44 of the Railway Protection Force Rules 1959 by the Respondent no. 3 on an allegation that they had failed to prevent and detect the theft of 20 kgs. of steam coal and that they also failed to prevent the entry of a girl who had entered the shed with an intention to steal and who was detected in connection with the said offence of coal theft which occurred during the duty bit and duty hours of the petitioners. This incident took place on 26-8-1979. Both the petitioners were charge-sheeted on 18-9-1979. On 19-4-1980 the Enquiry Officer came to the conclusion that the charges levelled against the petitioners were not proved He therefore exonerated them. However on 15-5-1980 the Assistant Security Officer (Disciplinary Authority) gave a finding that he did not agree with the findings of the Enquiry Officer on the grounds of negligence and prevention. However he agreed with the Enquiry Officer that the charge pertaining to failure of the petitioners to detect the crime was rightly held not to have been proved. He imposed the penalty of stopage of two increments with future effect and issued a show cause notice regarding penalty. Thereafter on 4-10-1980 the Second Respondent namely the Security Officer Baroda issued show cause notices to the petitioners for enhancing the penalty under Rule 60 of the Railway Protection Force Rules as he disagreed with the penalty sought to be imposed by the Disciplinary Authority. The Second respondent proposed a penalty of removal from service. The petitioners filed replies to the above show cause notices and on 21-11-1980 the Second Respondent passed an order of removal from service against the petitioners. On 6-12-1980 the petitioners filed appeals before Respondent no.4 namely the Chief Security Officer. It appears that as the appeals were not disposed of for a long period a Special Civil Application No. 1928 was filed and the High Court directed respondent no. 4 to dispose of the appeals within a month. On 30/07/1981 the appeals were disposed of by respondent no. 4 without giving personal hearing to the petitioners though they had requested for the same and the order of removal from service was confirmed by him. On 10-9-81 the present petitions were filed and on 11-2-1982 the learned Single Judge (N.H. Bhatt J.) disposed of the petition as withdrawn on a statement made by the learned Counsel for the Railway Administration that if the petitioners filed a revision application under Rule 60 of the said rules the Inspector General of Railways Protection Force Delhi will consider the matter sympathetically having regard to the earlier precedents and dispose of the same as early as possible but not latter than four weeks from the date of the receipt of the revision applications. Liberty to revive the petition was reserved to the petitioners. On 8-7-1982 the Inspector General of Railway Protection Force treated the same only as Mercy petitioners and rejected the same. The petitioners therefore revived these petitions.
(3.) On behalf of the petitioners Mr. Sanjaliwala the learned Advocate very frankly conceded than so far as the finding of guilt is concerned he will not be in a position to assail the same. However Mr. Sanjanwala urged that the Disciplinary Authority having imposed a penalty of stopage of two increments with future effect the subsequent proceedings by the superior Officers enhancing the said penalty to the highest extreme was not warranted in the instant case. The offence of the delinquents was not such which would warrant an extreme penalty of economic death and Mr. Sanjanwala urged that while he would concede that the petitioners should be suitably punished this court should interfere when all the attempts of the petitioners to invoke the sympathy of the superior officers have failed and who have mechanically endorsed the order regarding the removal of service without giving due weight to considerations which ought to have been given necessary weight.;

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