THANGLIANA Vs. H.K. BAWICHHUAKA AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
H.K. Bawichhuaka And Ors.
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P.K. Goswami, C.J. -
(1.) THIS Rule is directed against an order dated 26th April, 1969, removing the Petitioner from his service under the Mizo District Council (hereinafter called the 'Council'). It is stated that the Petitioner was held to be guilty of the offences charged and disqualified for future employment. The amount of revenue defalcated by him, viz Rs. 646.80 was ordered to be written off from the accounts of the Council.
(2.) THE Petitioner joined the Counsel as a Lower Division Assistant on 7th May, 1955'and thereafter was promoted to the post of Upper Division Assistant on 6th. May 1961. He was placed under suspension under Rule 29 of the Mizo District Council Service Rules (hereinafter called -the Rules') with effect from 11th September, 1965 pending departmental proceedings against him - On 8th January, 1966 he was' asked to show cause against five heads of charges. The Petitioner replied to the charges on 14th January, 1966 and denied the same. An enquiry was conducted by the Secretary; Mizo District Council in which it appears only the delinquent employee was subjected to a series of "questions' on 15th February and 19th February, 1966. No other witnesses were examined in order to establish the charges framed against him, The first two charges were with reference to the defalcation of Rs. 611.10 and misappropriation of service stamps of the value of Rs. 35.70 Respectively. Charges Nos. 3 and 4 relate to his direct correspondence with the Government of Assam which was considered an act of disobedience of authority and subservient (sic) activities against the Mizo District Council". Charge No. 5 need not be mentioned as that was dropped. On 1st July, 1966, the Petitioner was handed over the preliminary findings recorded by the Secretary and the Petitioner showed cause against those by his letter dated 4th July, 1966. Finally on 26th April, 1969, the Chief Executive Member passed the impugned order. The Petitioner preferred an appeal which was not entertained by the authority and hence this application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The Petitioner contends that he was not given a reasonable opportunity to show cause against the proposed punishment. He submits that Rule 26 of the Rules has not been complied with his case Rule 26 runs as follows:
No permanent employee of the Council shall be dismissed or otherwise punished without giving him a reasonable opportunity to show cause against the punishment proposed to be awarded. Provided that it may not be necessary to give the opportunity to temporary employee or to a person whose dismissal or other punishment is the re suit of a conviction on a criminal charge, or where there are grounds, to be recorded in writing to the effect that it is not practicable to give the person such an opportunity.
For the purpose of this rule punishment includes dismissal, removal, reduction of pay or transfer to a lower grade or post.
(3.) MR . Lahiri contends that only a permanent employee of the Council is entitled to a reasonable opportunity to show cause against punishment under Rule 26 and as the Petitioner is a temporary employee he is not entitled to the reasonable opportunity as envisaged under Rule 26. Alternatively he submits that reasonable opportunity all the same, has been afforded to the Petitioner to meet the charges and there is no violation of the principles of natural justice.;
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