STATE OF GUJARAT THROUGH JOINT SECRETARY Vs. MAHENDRA VALLABHDAS SAMPAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
State Of Gujarat Through Joint Secretary
Mahendra Vallabhdas Sampat
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VIPUL M.PANCHOLI, J. -
(1.) This Letters Patent Appeal is filed under Clause 15 of the Letters Patent against the judgment dated 19.01.2016 passed by the learned Single Judge in Special Civil Application No.15297 of 2010,
by which the learned Single Judge allowed the petition quashing and setting aside the order of
compulsory retirement dated 18.10.2010.
(2.) Brief facts leading to filing of the present appeal are as under:
2.1. The petitioner - respondent herein appointed as a Medical Officer, Class -II by the Director of Medical Sciences and Medical Education on 14.11.1988. Thereafter, he passed the examination conducted by the Gujarat Public Service Commission in 1995. A charge -sheet came to be issued on 13.01.1997 wherein it has been alleged that petitioner has violated the provisions of Rule 3(1)(iii) of the Gujarat Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the Conduct Rules). The said charge -sheet contains 5 charges. Charge No.4 was to the effect that the petitioner was running a factory in the name of Mahendra Cotton while he was serving as a Government Servant, which is prohibited by Rule 15(1)(a) of the Conduct Rules. The petitioner submitted his defence statement on 31.03.1997 to the aforesaid charge -sheet. The inquiry officer was appointed. He conducted the departmental inquiry and thereafter submitted his report on 14.09.2001. In the said inquiry report, the inquiry officer has specifically observed that charges levelled against the petitioner including charge No.4 were not proved. The Disciplinary Authority was not in agreement with the report submitted by the inquiry officer and therefore the Disciplinary Authority served a show cause notice dated 24.12.2001 in which he has stated the reasons for disagreement with the findings given by the inquiry officer. On receipt of the said show cause notice, petitioner filed his reply on 07.01.2002. However, thereafter no further order was passed by the Disciplinary Authority with regard to the said inquiry.
2.2. It is further the case of the petitioner that during the pendency of the aforesaid departmental inquiry and before the inquiry officer submitted his report exonerating the petitioner, another charge -sheet was issued on 12.05.2000 containing only one charge. It was alleged that the petitioner had violated the provisions of Rule 15 of the Conduct Rules as he was engaged in the private business despite he being a Government Servant. It was further alleged that petitioner was selling the manufactured goods to the State Government. It is the case of the petitioner that though the second charge -sheet was issued on 12.05.2000, for a period of six years, no action was taken pursuant to the issuance of the said second charge -sheet. However, the inquiry pursuant to the first charge -sheet dated 13.01.1997 was continued.
2.3. It is further the case of the petitioner that he also submitted his reply to the second charge - sheet and denied the allegations made therein. It was specifically pointed out that he was already facing a departmental inquiry with regard to the same charge. However, so far as second charge - sheet is concerned, the inquiry was initiated in the year 2005. Thereafter, on 03.12.2005 order of compulsory retirement was passed against the petitioner so far as second charge -sheet is concerned. Petitioner, therefore, filed Special Civil Application No.319 of 2006 on the ground that he had been denied the opportunity of cross - examining the witnesses examined by the respondents. The said petition came to be rejected and the order of compulsory retirement was upheld. Against the said order, petitioner preferred Letters Patent Appeal No.1118 of 2006 and the Division Bench of this Court, by an order dated 10.10.2006, quashed the order of compulsory retirement and remanded the matter back to the inquiry officer. Petitioner was, therefore, reinstated in service on 26.10.2006. Inquiry was thereafter proceeded further and ultimately the impugned order dated 18.10.2010 came to be passed by the respondent authorities by which the petitioner was retired compulsorily.
2.4. The petitioner filed the petition before this Court challenging the said order and the learned Single Judge by the impugned judgment allowed the said petition and thereby quashed and set aside the order of compulsory retirement impugned in the said petition. The present appeal is, therefore, filed by the appellants - original respondents.
(3.) Heard learned AGP Mr. Dhawan Jayswal for the appellants and learned Senior Counsel Mr. Shalin Mehta with learned advocate Mr. Harshil C. Dattani for the respondent.;
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