M L MAKWANA Vs. DISTRICT JUDGE JAMNAGAR
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
M L Makwana
District Judge Jamnagar
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(1.) This appeal is against an order of the learned Single Judge of this Court dismissing the petitioners application challenging the penalty of removal from service passed by the High Court in exercise of its power under Rule 22 of the Gujarat Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules). The petitioner was a Junior Clerk in the Court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) Khambhaliya. While so on 30-8-1976 he is said to have obtained the signatures of three persons Osman Ali Gani Mussa and Noormamad Umar in the Muddamal register in token of their receipt of muddamal articles of Criminal Case Nv. 596 of 1975 but he is said to have failed to actually hand over the muddamal articles to them. A charge was framed against him by the District and Sessions Judge Jamnagar. An inquiry was held into the charge but the disciplinary authority did not find him guilty on the materials before him. No further action was taken against him. The matter was closed by the disciplinary authority by the order dated 18-8-77. But the High Court in exercise of its power under Rule 22 issued a notice on 27-9-78 calling upon the appellant-petitioner to show cause why the order exonerating him passed by the disciplinary authority should not be set aside and why he should not be removed from service. He was given an opportunity to be heard and ultimately by the order dated 30-7-80 the High Court held him guilty of the charges Challenge was made before the learned Single Judge to that order but that challenge did not succeed and hence this appeal.
(2.) Before us the learned Counsel for the appellant contended that there has been misreading of evidence on vital points by the High Court in passing the order of removal; that the finding by the High Court was not on the charge; that on the charge there was no finding; extraneous matters had influenced the decision to impose the penalty of removal and that the order of the High Court was passed on surmises and conjectures. It was the further contention of the learned Advocate for the appellant that even if the action was taken under Rule 22 of the Rules it should be taken within a reasonable time and that is not the case here. It is also said that there is no reason to hold that Rule 22 was invoked when Rule 23 could also have been invoked equally effectively on the same facts.
(3.) In dealing with the contentions relating to merits we must reiterate what has been said by Courts time and again that it is not the function of the Court to sit in judgment over the order of the authority imposing the penalty as if this Court is sitting in appeal. The appreciation of evidence by the inquiring authority or the disciplinary authority does not call for interference by the Court in proceedings under Art. 226 of the Constitution here and merely on the premise that if this Court had been called upon to appreciate such evidence a different view could reasonably have been taken and that should be taken this Court cannot be called upon to review the evidence.;
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