SITANGSHU CHAKRABORTY Vs. STATE OF TRIPURA
LAWS(TRIP)-2021-1-45
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
Decided on January 21,2021

Sitangshu Chakraborty Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF TRIPURA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Akil Kureshi,J. - (1.) Petitioner has challenged an order dated 24th January, 2013 by which he has been visited with the penalty of depositing a sum of Rs.1,50,000/- to the Government and further, his promotion would be withheld for a period of two years from the date of the order.
(2.) At the relevant time, the petitioner was working as an Executive Engineer and was posted at Division No.4, Agartala. It appears that an anonymous complaint was received by the department alleging that in the execution of two works in the nature of rewinding of different capacity of damaged submersible pumps in the Mohanpur Sub-Division, there were gross irregularities and defalcation of Government funds to the tune of Rs.3,04,910 and Rs.2,99,100/- respectively. This charge sheet was framed against the petitioner, an Assistant Engineer, and two Junior Engineers working in the same Division at the relevant time. The petitioner denied the charges and mainly contended that he was working only in the supervisory capacity and even if there was any irregularity in execution of the work, he cannot be held responsible for the same. The department had conducted a preliminary inquiry by appointing one Dipak Chandra Das, Superintending Engineer, who had submitted a detailed report holding prima facie that all four officials were responsible for misappropriation of Government funds. On the basis of these findings in the report, the charge sheet came to be issued in which following charges were levelled against them : 'ARTICLE ' I That the said (i) Shri Sitangshu Chakraborty, while functioning as Executive Engineer (on CDC)(under suspension) of PHE Division No.IV, Agartala during the period from 17-11-04 to 11-12-2006, (2) Shri Pradip Kumar Das, while functioning as Assistant Engineer (under suspension) of PHE Sub-Division No.XXIV, Mohanpur during the period from 18-7-2005 to 1-2- 2006, (3) Shri Othello Dewan while functioning as Junior Engineer under PHE Sub-Division No.XXIV, Mohanpur during the period from 10-8-2005 to 14-7-2006, and (4) Shri Manish Deb Barma while functioning as Junior Engineer under PHE Sub-Division No.XXIV, Mohanpur, West Tripura during the period from 26-4- 2005 to 3-5-2006 failed to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to the Government duties in so far as they misappropriated Government funds amounting to Rs.3,04,910.00 by preparing false/fabricated bills in respect of Basak Engineering Works, Motorstand, Agartala. The above acts of (1) Shri Sitangshu Chakraborty, Executive Engineer (CDC)(under suspension) (2) Shri Pradip Kumar Das, Assistant Engineer(under suspension), (3) Shri Othello Dewan, the then Junior Engineer (now Asstt. Engineer) and (4) Shri Manish Deb Barma, Junior Engineer have been acts of gross misconduct quite unbecoming of a Government servant and thus, violated Rule 3(1) of Tripura Civil Service (Conduct) Rules, 1988. ARTICLE ' II That during the aforesaid period while functioning in the aforesaid offices, the said (1) Shri Sitangshu Chakraborty, Executive Engineer (on CDC)(under suspension) of PHE Division No.IV, Agartala, (2) Shri Pradip Kumar Das, Assistant Engineer(under suspension) of PHE Sub-Division No.XXIV, Mohanpur, (3) Shri Othello Dewan, Junior Engineer under PHE Sub-Division No.XXIV, Mohanpur and (4) Shri Manish Deb Barma, Junior Engineer under PHE Sub-Division No.XXIV, Mohanpur, West Tripura failed to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to the Government duties in so far as they misappropriated Government funds amounting to Rs.2,99,100.00 by preparing false/fabricated bills in respect of Basak Engineering Works, Motorstand, Agartala. The above acts of (1) Shri Sitangshu Chakraborty, Executive Engineer (CDC)(under suspension) (2) Shri Pradip Kumar Das, Assistant Engineer (under suspension) (3) Shri Othello Dewan, the Junior Engineer (now Asstt. Engineer) and (4) Shri Manish Deb Barma, Junior Engineer have been acts of gross misconduct quite unbecoming of a Government servant and thus, violated Rule 3(1) of Tripura Civil Service (Conduct) Rules, 1988.'
(3.) During the course of inquiry the department examined four witnesses including one Sri Dipak Chandra Das and produced several documents. Upon conclusion of the oral inquiry the Inquiry Officer submitted his report dated 29th November, 2011. He held that the charges against all the delinquent officers were proved. A copy of the Inquiry Officer's report was supplied to the petitioner by the Disciplinary Authority under a communication dated 17th January, 2012. The petitioner was given opportunity to make a representation against the findings of the Inquiry Officer. After considering the inquiry report, the petitioner's representation and relevant documents on record, disciplinary authority passed impugned order dated 24th January, 2013 ordering that one-fourth of the total loss caused to the Government which was rounded off to Rs.6,00,000/-, will be recovered through instalments from the petitioner's salary. The petitioner, therefore, would repay a total sum of Rs.1,50,000/- in monthly instalments. He would also be denied promotion for a period of two years from the date of the order by way of punishment. This order the petitioner has challenged in the present petition.;


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