C LALFELMAWIA Vs. STATE OF MIZORAM
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
STATE OF MIZORAM
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S. Serto, J. -
(1.) This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for issuance of appropriate writ quashing and setting aside the impugned Order No. 4IR/R/PF/C-273/2315, dated 24.08.2015 removing the petitioner from service in consequence of the disciplinary proceedings drawn up against him and also for quashing and setting aside the impugned Order dated 18.11.2015, Memo No. PHQ/AB/6/APPEAL/LMFA/168 dismissing the statutory appeal filed by the petitioner, and also for any order or direction as this Court may deem fit and proper.
(2.) Heard Mr. J.C. Lalnunsanga, learned counsel for the petitioner and also heard Mr. A.K. Rokhum, learned Addl. Advocate General appearing for the State of Mizoram.
(3.) The brief facts of the case leading to the filing of this writ petition are that while the petitioner was posted at Thinghlun BOP of 4th IR Battalion, a fire broke out in the night of 06.04.2015, which burned the house where he and his wife were staying which is stated to be only about 15 meters away from the camp. The fire consumed the whole house and moveable properties of the petitioner and his wife including 100 live rounds of 5.56 mm of INSAS Rifle and 3 magazines. Following the incident, the petitioner was suspended from service vide Order dated 13.04.2015 issued by the Commandant of 4th IR Battalion, Mizoram, in contemplation of holding a departmental enquiry against him. Thereafter, on the same day a memorandum of charge stating that for the misconduct or misbehavior of the petitioner, a departmental enquiry was being conducted was issued by Commandant 4th IR Battalion. Along with that, a statement of imputation was handed over to the petitioner.
As stated in the article of charge, the petitioner was charged of grave misconduct and gross negligence of duty for having loss 100 live rounds of 5.56 mm of INSAS Rifles in the fire that completely burnt his house and properties. To conduct the departmental inquiry, Deputy Commandant of 4th IR Battalion, Sh. B. Laldinpuia was appointed and Inspector Sh. K. Malsawma was appointed as Presenting Officer, but later on Mr. Lalthianghlima, Inspector of 4th IR Battalion was appointed in his place and he continued as such, till the completion of the inquiry.
I am short, during the inquiry, 6 witnesses except for one who were all from the same post of 4th IR Battalion and wife of the petitioner were examined. After the examination of the witnesses, the inquiry officer submitted his final report on 09.07.2015. Based on the report submitted by the inquiry officer, the Commandant 4th IR Battalion passed the first impugned Order dated 24.08.2015 wherein the petitioner was dismissed from service with immediate effect and the period of his suspension was treated as not on duty for all purposes. Operative portion of the impugned order is given herein below:-
"On careful perusal of the written representation of the charged official C/273 C. Lalfelmawia, the excuse made by him for losing 100 (hundred) rds of 5.56 mm ammunitions and 3 (three) nos of INSAS Rifle magazine issued to him for his official duty in a fire due to his ignorance is totally unacceptable and unjustifiable considering the circumstances leading to the incident like his staying outside the B.O.P in violation of the PHQ order No. CB/PHQ/SOP-GUARDS/2014/44 dt. 24.7.2014, not keeping the magazines and ammunitions at Thinghlun B.O.P and fabricating a wholly false story of doing a patrolling duty on 4.4.2015. Hence, the undersigned has no option other than to take stern disciplinary action upon the delinquent as proposed based on the gravity of the misconduct which was PROVED in the Departmental Enquiry held against him.
Now, therefore, the undersigned in exercise of the power conferred under the provisions of Chapter XI [Section 91 (1) (c)] of the Mizoram Police Act, 2011 (Act No. 3 of 2012) read with Rules 1044 and 1029 (1) (b) of the Mizoram Police Manual, 2005 and in the interest of public service, do hereby imposed upon the delinquent C/273 C. Lalfelmawia of 4th IR Bn, a penalty of "Removal from Service" with immediate effect;
The period that he was placed under suspension wef.13.04.2015 till the date of issue of this order is hereby treated as 'not on duty' for all purposes and he will not be entitled to get any other monetary benefit other than the subsistence allowances already drawn and paid to him during his suspension period.
He should deposit back all the Govt. properties issued to him to the Quarter Master and Police ID card to the Reserve Officer, 4th IR Bn.";
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