RAMA KANT SINGH Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
RAMA KANT SINGH
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) The petitioner, Rama Kant Singh, was a Senior Rakshak of C. & T. E. Co., Sitarampore. Railway Protection Force, Eastern Railway. The Assistant Security Officer, Eastern Railway, Asansol by his order No. R.P. 230/ 81 dated 12th February, 1981, in exercise of his powers under Rule 47 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959 by way of penalty removed the petitioner from service with effect from 15th February, 1981. In this Rule, the petitioner has challenged the order removing him from service without following the procedure prescribed by Rules 44, 45 and 46 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959.
(2.) Mr. Arun Kumar Dutta, learned Advocate for the petitioner, has submitted that the Assistant Security Officer, Railway Protection Force, did not record reasons why it was not reasonably practicable to hold any disciplinary enquiry against the petitioner. Secondly, the facts recited in the said removal order were not relevant for formation of the opinion by the Assistant Security Officer that the petitioner be removed from service without any enquiry and without giving him any opportunity to defend himself. Thirdly, Mr. Dutta has submitted that even assuming that the respondents had power to remove the petitioner under Rule 47 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959, they were bound to give an opportunity to the petitioner to show cause against the proposed penalty of removal from service. According to Mr. Dutta, while Rule 47 has purported to dispense with the enquiry, the respondents are still required to give a show- cause notice against the proposed penalty to a delinquent who is being dealt with under Rule 47 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959.
(3.) Mr. Dutta, learned advocate for the petitioner, is right in his submission that before invoking powers under Rule 47 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959, the Disciplinary Authority is bound to record his reasons as to why it was not practicable for him to hold an enquiry in the manner provided in Rules 44 to 46 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959. Mere recital of the charges or the serious nature of the same would not amount to compliance of the above mandatory requirements of law. The satisfaction required under Rule 47 is not purely subjective and the Disciplinary Authority is required to record why it was not reasonably practicable to follow the prescribed procedure. But at the same time when reasons are recorded which are relevant for forming the opinion that it is not reasonably practicable, the Court cannot review the reasons or determine the sufficiency thereof. The word "practicable' has been defined as 'capable of being carried out'. 'any action "is feasible'. The Disciplinary Authority has to decide whether holding of an enquiry was reasonably practicable having regard to all the facts and circumstances. In other words, the Disciplinary Authority is required to satisfy himself in the light of the gravity of the charge, the nature of evidence in the case, feasibility of holding an enquiry in compliance with the rules. It is not possible to exhaustively enumerate all the facts and circumstances which might make holding of a disciplinary enquiry not reasonably practicable. Such a decision by the Disciplinary Authority ought to be taken bona fide upon consideration of all the facts and circumstances of each particular case.;
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