Decided on February 25,2020

Madhusudan Mallick Appellant


BISWANATH RATH,J. - (1.) This writ petition involves a challenge to the order of punishment of compulsory retirement from service by the disciplinary authority, vide Annexure-7 as well as the order of confirmation of the punishment imposed by the appellate authority, vide Annexure-10 and thereby while seeking quashing both the above orders, the petitioner sought for a direction to the opposite parties to reinstate him in service with all service benefits.
(2.) Short background involving the case is that the petitioner after being selected in due process of selection was appointed as a Clerk in the Syndicate Bank. The petitioner claimed that since the date of his joining in the Bank, he has been discharging his duty to the utmost satisfaction of all concerned. It is because of co-employees became inimical towards him, they went on destroying some relevant documents to put the petitioner into trouble and in the process, the petitioner was shocked to receive an order of suspension, vide Annexure-1 passed by the Assistant General Manger-cum-Disciplinary Authority, Syndicate Bank, O.P.2 on 16.10.2008 on contemplation of disciplinary proceeding. It is about one year of suspension, the petitioner was served with the charge-sheet and on the asking of the disciplinary authority, the petitioner submitted his written statement of defence denying all the allegations on 4.11.2009 disclosing therein that he has been simply victimized for some wrong doings of his co-employees. It appears, the disciplinary authority being not satisfied with the statement of defence filed by the petitioner, vide Annexure-3 appointed one Mr. Ashok Kumar Das, Senior Manager of Nodal IR Cell, Regional Office, Kolkata as Enquiry Officer. During course of enquiry, the petitioner filed an application begging apology indicating therein that in the event any unintentional mistake was committed by him, he may be pardoned/excused. The petitioner also contended therein that since there is no suffering either of the customer or the Bank, the proceeding initiated against him may be dropped. It is alleged that despite such request also the proceeding continued. In the process, the Enquiry Officer submitted the enquiry report with service of copy of the same on the petitioner on 1.2.2010. Based on the enquiry report pointing that "Doing an act prejudicial to the interest of the Bank" stands to be proved against the petitioner and not being satisfied with the explanation of the petitioner dependant on the service of copy of the enquiry report, the disciplinary authority alleged to have not considered all these and even in clear refusal to consider the apology made by the petitioner, passed the order of compulsory retirement of the petitioner from service of the Bank, vide the impugned order at Annexure-7. The petitioner preferred an appeal against the impugned order passed by the disciplinary authority and the appeal at the instance of the petitioner was also dismissed, vide Annexure-10. The petitioner contended that the appellate authority did not consider the grounds raised therein and passed the illegal order of rejection involving the appeal, vide Annexure-10.
(3.) Assailing the impugned orders, Sri Niranjan Lenka, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that when each of the Account Holders, particularly the customers submitted application before the Enquiry Officer and the Branch Manager that they have no complain in respect of their Accounts and their Accounts are intact, the enquiry should have been concluded on being satisfied with the note of the customer. It is also contended that there being no loss either to the customers or to the Bank, the proceeding should have also been dropped otherwise. Sri Lenka, learned counsel for the petitioner also contended that for the petitioner's begging apology, the Enquiry Officer taking into consideration the application of the customers, who have made no complain against the petitioner, could have accepted the apology at the instance of the petitioner and keeping in view that there is no loss to either the customers or the Bank should have closed the enquiry observing in favour of the petitioner. It is in the above circumstance, Sri Lenka, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that there is failure in understanding and/or appreciating the above material aspect by both the Enquiry Officer as well as the disciplinary authority. So far as the order of the appellate authority is concerned, Sri Lenka, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that for there being an allegation of punishment disproportionate to the quantum of allegation even assuming that there was procedural mistake but for having no ill-intention by the petitioner and for the Bank having not faced any loss and there being no involvement of any public money, all these should have weighed in the mind of the appellate authority and the appellate authority should have exonerated the petitioner from the charges. It is in the above premises, learned counsel for the petitioner prayed this Court to interfere with the impugned orders and for passing appropriate orders.;

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