Decided on June 06,1972

State of West Bengal and Others Respondents


Salil Kumar Datta, J. - (1.)This Rule is directed against the order dated 26.8.1967 passed by the Additional Superintendent of Police, (H.Q.), Burdwan dismissing the petitioner, a constable from service. The facts stated by the petitioner in short are as follows : The' petitioner, a citizen of India, was a constable in the Bengal Police Force since 1946 and at the relevant time posted Purbasthali Police Station deputed to Nandanghat check-post. On 19.7.66, the petitioner with other constables while in anti-smugling duty in Gokarna field found three bags of unclaimed rice ; one bag was seized by the petitioner while the other bags were seized by the other constables. The petitioner came to the camp with the bag of rice seized by him and deposited the same at the check-post with the Sub-Inspector of Police-in-Charge. The other constables who seized the other two bags of rice were late in arriving at the check-post and the petitioner believed that the two bags of rice were similarly deposited by other constables there. Next morning the two bags were found in the malkhana but were not entered into the general diary and were as such seized by the said Sub-Inspector-in-Charge on 20.7.1966.
(2.)Thereafter a departmental proceeding started against the petitioner and he was served with the following charge-sheet:-
"He is charged with gross misconduct in that on 19.7.66 at about 21.00 Hrs. he with other NVF/HG's while on patrol duty at Gokarna field, seized three bags of rice and deposited only one bag containing 25 Kgs. of rice while he returned to the check-post keeping the other two bags of rice weighing about 50 kgs. for mis-appropriation which was later recovered on his identification."
Alongwith the charge-sheet, copies of certain documents were forwarded to him. It may be mentioned here that no copy of the command certificate was forwarded to him alongwith the said documents. It appears that the petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge and was given a personal hearing by the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Kalna who held the enquiry. At the said enquiry, evidence was adduced on behalf of the prosecution as also by the petitioner and the Enquiry Officer by his order dated 3.7.1967 found that the charge of mis-appropriation of two bags of rice has not been proved against the petitioner. The Enquiry Officer recommended that the petitioner be exonerated from the charge and the proceeding be filed.
(3.)The Superintendent of Police, Burdwan, being the Disciplinary Authority, however did not agree with the finding of the Enquiry Officer and on a consideration on materials on record came to the conclusion that the petitioner, who was the leader of the patrol party, submitted a report about the seizure of one bag of rice from one person only which was supported by the command certificate Exhibit 5 before the Enquiry Officer, while in fact two more bags of rice were seized. It would also appear that there were interpolations and erasures in the said certificate which removed all doubts about the responsibility of the petitioner in the matter. On a consideration of the evidence as adduced the Superintendent of Police found that the charge against the delinquent had been proved beyond all reasonable doubts. He called upon the petitioner to show cause why he should not be dismissed from service for the charge proved against him.

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