SUKHEN KONWAR Vs. ASSAM STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
ASSAM STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD
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HRISHIKESH ROY -
(1.) Heard Mr. B. Chakraborty, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner. The Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) and their officials are represented by the standing counsel, Mr. S. Chakraborty. The learned counsel Ms. P. Thapa, appears for the respondent No.9. Relevant Facts
(2.) The challenge here is to the order dated 30.1.2010 (Annexure-J), whereby dismissal of the petitioner is ordered through the Disciplinary Proceeding (DP), drawn up under the ASEB (General Service) Regulations, 1960 (hereinafter referred to as 'the ASEB Regulation'). At the relevant time, the delinquent served as LDA cum Cashier in the Dibrugarh Electrical Sub-Division and the following allegation was leveled against him, under the charge memo dated 31.8.2009:
" .. Charges on theft case of Dibrugarh Electrical Sub-Division-III on 24.06.2009 and also non deposit of a part of Meter security collected at DSED-III. As reported by the Sr. Manager, Dibrugarh Electrical Division and subsequent preliminary enquiry, - on 23.6.09 Sri Sukhen Konwar, LDA-cum-Cashier asked Sri Sankar Rabi Das, Sr. Peon to bring cash of Rs.5,05,217.00 to keep in the chest. Accordingly Sri Sankar Rabi Das kept the amount in the chest and locked the chest and the door of the room where chest was kept, then he handed over the bunch of keys to the Cashier at about 4.00 PM. On 24.6.2009 at around 10.10 AM Sri Sukhen Konwar, LDA-cum-Cashier asked Sri Sankar Rabi Das to bring back the amount and provided him the bunch of keys. As soon as Sri Sankar Rabi Das entered the room opening locks of the door, heavy smoke inside the room were found. The employees of the DSED-III doused small fire inside the room. In the mean time Sri Sukhen Konwar found and disclosed that the chest was empty and it was in unlocked condition. It prima facie, implied involvement of Sri Sukhen Konwar, LDA-cum-Cashier and Sri Sankar Rabi Das, Sr. Peon in that theft case of Rs.5,05,217.00 from the chest of DSED-III discovered on 24.6/.9, as both of them were directly involved in keeping of the amount and the bunch of keys of the chest. In preliminary investigation, it also reveals that you are involved in misappropriating of Board's money by not depositing a part of meter security of Rs.25,270.00 collected at Dibrugarh Electrical Sub- Division-III. .."
(3.) In his reply, given on 12.9.2009, the delinquent denied the charge and explained that the theft incident on 24.6.2009, must be the act of some unknown miscreants and requested for exoneration from the charge. However, the explanation of the delinquent was found to be unsatisfactory and accordingly, one D. K. Boruah was appointed as the Inquiry Officer. He mentioned the three charges under enquiry as follows:
" (i) Fraud and Dishonesty
(ii) Disorderly conduct in connection with business of the UAEDCL/ASEB by your involvement in the theft case of DESD-III on 24/6/09.
(iii) Non deposit of a part of Meter security collected at DSED-III." ;
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