BAL KRISHNA MISHRA Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
BAL KRISHNA MISHRA
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) The petitioner was a Travelling Ticket Examiner in Group -'C' in the Howrah Division of the Eastern Railway. The Divisional Railway Manager, Eastern Railway, Howrah by his order dated 26th February, 1982 in exercise of the power conferred by Rule 14(ii) of the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968 removed him from service with immediate effect. The Divisional Railway Manager, Eastern Railway, Howrah has, inter alias, stated that the petitioner was guilty of carting passengers, unauthorisedly in a three ties coach of 5-UP on 11th December, 1981 and thereby caused loss to the Administration. Further in the interest of Railway as well as the general public, the retention of the petitioner was considered undesirable and it was also considered that " The circumstances of the case were such that it is not reasonably practicable to held an enquiry in the manner provided for in the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968".
(2.) The petitioner has challenged his removal order on the ground that the Divisional Railway Manager, Eastern Railway, Howrah was not his Appointing Authority. The General Manager, Eastern Railway had appointed him as a Trainee Ticket Collector under his special power from the sports quota. Secondly, the petitioner has contended that in any view of the matter the Divisional Railway Manager, Eastern Railway, Howrah did not state in the impugned removal order the reasons why he considered that it was not reasonably practicable to hold an enquiry in the manner provided for in the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968. It has been next contended that the alleged circumstances disclosed in the respondent's affidavit-in-opposition were not at all relevant for recording the opinion that it was not reasonably practicable to hold any such enquiry against the petitioner. Lastly, it has been submitted on behalf of the petitioner that even in case Rule 14(ii) of the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968 is invoked the Disciplinary Authority in considering the circumstances of the case is bound to give an opportunity to the petitioner to show-cause why he shall not be removed from service.
(3.) The petitioner himself has annexed to his petition Order No. B-890/Trainee/T.C/R & R/Apptt. Dated 5th February, 1969 issued by the Senior Personnel Officer (T.R.) Eastern Railway, Calcutta. The Senior Personnel Officer, Eastern Railway, Calcutta informed the petitioner that he had been selected to undergo training at Sealdah as the Trainee Ticket Collector subject to his passing prescribed medical examination. After the petitioner completed his said training, the Divisional personnel Officer, Eastern Railway, Howrah by his office order dated 17th April, 1969 posted him against an available vacancy. For the reasons presently indicated, I accept the contention of the respondents that the petitioner's appointing authority was the Senior Personnel Officer (T.R.) Eastern Railway, Howrah and not the General Manager of the Eastern Railway, Howrah. The respondents produced the original Service Book of the petitioner which contained entries made in his own hand-writing. According to the said Service Book, the Senior Personnel Officer, Eastern Railway Board in pursuance of Rule 136(2) of the Indian Railway Establishment Code, Vol I had authorized the General Manager of the zonal Railways to make direct appointments to class-III posts against sports quota. I am unable to accept the contention of the learned Advocate on behalf of the petitioner that the said special power of the General Manager could not be delegated. The General Manager need not always himself exercise his said special power of appointment and he could authorize another officer to make appointments on his behalf from the sports quota. In the instant case, the Senior Personal Officer in fact appointed the petitioner as Trainee Ticket Collector and had thereafter confirmed him. The real question in this Rule is whether the Divisional Railway Manager, Eastern Railway, Howrah could exercise the powers of the Disciplinary Authority and remove the petitioner in accordance with Rule 14(ii) of the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968. The respondents have disclosed a circular dated 4th April, 1970 issued by the General Manager, Eastern Railway. The General Manager Eastern Railway by the same decided that the powers under Rules 14(ii) of the Revised Disciplinary action Rules, 1968 could also be exercise by the Heads of the department and divisional Superintendence only (Annesure R 5 to the A.O). The divisional superintendents have been now re-designated as divisional Railway Manager.;
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