Decided on August 10,1979

J.B.JHALA Respondents


G.T.NANAVATI, S.H.SHETH - (1.) The petitioner was a Head Constable serving at Mehsana in 1975. From Mehsana he was sent on deputation to Ahmedabad. On 31st May 1975 he was found drunk. He was prosecuted under the Bombay Prohibition Act. The learned Magistrate acquitted him on 23rd February 1976. Thereafter a departmental enquiry was instituted against him after serving upon him a chargesheet. The chargesheet cited two charges against him. The first charge was that he was found drunk and had thereby committed breach of the relevant provisions of the Bombay Prohibition Act. The second charge was that when he was asked to disclose his name and address he gave false name and false address He gave his name as Gajendrasing Savanth Rathod which is not his real name. The Enquiry Officer found that the charges against the petitioner were not proved. He accordingly reported to the District Superintendent of Police the disciplinary authority. The disciplinary authority after having considered the report and the evidence tentatively came to the conclusion that the report could not be sustained. Therefore on 20th August 1976 a notice was issued to the petitioner to show cause why charges levelled against him should not be held to have been proved. The petitioner filed his reply. On 12th November 1976 the disciplinary authority made an order holding the petitioner guilty of the charges levelled against him. Since the charges were held proved against him by the disciplinary authority he was dismissed from service. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ...
(2.) The second ground which Mr. Supehia has raised is that since the learned Magistrate acquitted the petitioner no departmental enquiry could be held against him. We have seen the judgment recorded by the learned Magistrate. He has in course of his judgment staled that he was not accepting the prosecution evidence because there was no independent corroboration for it. Want of independent corroboration when it is made a ground for acquittal does not lead to an honourable acquittal. In this case therefore there was no honourable acquittal. It was therefore open to the department to institute a departmental enquiry against the petitioner. Mr. Supehia has invited our attention to the decision of Mr. Justice Thakkar in ABDUL HAKIM AHMAD V. DIST. SUPDT. OF POLICE AND OTHERS IS G.L.R. 210 in that behalf. The learned Judge has tried in that decision to spell out the circumstances under which a departmental enquiry can be held against a delinquent who has been acquitted by a criminal Court for a criminal offence. The principle which has been laid down in that decision is that the departmental proceedings cannot be instituted as a matter of course when a Court of law has acquitted the delinquent. It can be instituted only if there are special circumstances. He has then illustrated five circumstances which are as follows:
(3.) If the Court has acquitted the accused on the ground of failure to obtain the requisite sanction.;

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