ASHOK KUMAR Vs. THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
THE STATE OF BIHAR AND ORS.
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(1.) The petitioner has put to challenge an order dated 09.05.2020, issued vide Memo No. 554 under the signature of the District Magistrate, Gaya (Annexure-9 to the writ application), whereby he has directed for a de novo disciplinary proceeding in respect of the charges framed against him by appointing a new Enquiring Authority.
(2.) Shorn of unnecessary details, short facts of the case, necessary for determination of the core issue involved in the present writ application, are that a disciplinary proceeding was decided to be initiated against the petitioner under the provisions of Bihar Government Servants (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules') on the charge of misconduct of having demanded gratification in discharge of his official duties when he was working as a Lower Division Clerk in Prakhand Office at Khizarsarai in the district of Gaya. The charge memo has been brought on record by way of Annexure-7 to the writ application. The Sub-Divisional Grievance Redressal Officer, Nimchakbathani, Gaya was appointed as the Enquiring Authority, who submitted his report on 20.03.2020, recording his finding to the effect that the charge against the petitioner could not be established during the departmental inquiry. On receipt of the report of the Enquiring Authority, the District Magistrate, Gaya, who is the Disciplinary Authority, has passed the impugned order dated 09.05.2020 whereby he has appointed the Additional Collector cum District Public Grievance Redressal Officer, Gaya as the new Enquiring Authority for enquiring into the charge of misconduct afresh.
(3.) Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner has argued that Rule 18(1) of the Rules lays down the procedure for action to be taken by the Disciplinary Authority on an inquiry report, if the Disciplinary Authority itself is not the Enquiring Authority. She has contended that the impugned order has the effect of causing a second departmental inquiry in respect of the same charge by a different Conducting Officer. She has submitted that even if the Disciplinary Authority was of the view that there has been no proper inquiry because some serious defect had crept into the inquiry, he could have remitted the case back to the Enquiring Authority for further inquiry and report. She has argued that it is impermissible under the Rules for the Disciplinary Authority to direct for an inquiry afresh by appointing another Enquiring Authority merely because the finding recorded by the Enquiring Authority was not to his desire/ satisfaction. She has further argued that the impugned order does not at all disclose any defect in the inquiry report or discrepancy in the procedure adopted by the Enquiring Authority.;
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