GULAM AHMAD PAUL Vs. STATE OF J AND K
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
GULAM AHMAD PAUL
STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
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BHAWANI SINGH, C.J. -
(1.) This group of eleven Appeals (LPA No. 300/1997, Ghulam Ahmad Paul v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 292/1997, Gh. Nabi Shah v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 293/1997, Mohammed Amin v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 294/1997, Bashir Ahmad v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 295/1997, Abdul HamidNaikv. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 296/1997, Mohammed Tayoob v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 297/1997, Shamraz Ahmad Khan v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 298/1997, Ct. Mohammed Yousuf v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 299/1997, Gh. Mohammed Wani v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 301/1997, Gh. Mohammed v. State of Jammu and Kashmir; LPA No. 302/1997, GH. Mohi-ud-Din v. State of Jammu and Kashmir) is proposed to be decided by common Judgment, since they arise out of the same Judgment of single Judge dated July 15, 1997. Before adverting to the question involved for determination in these cases, desirability would be to narrate essential facts of the case.
(2.) Petitioners were Constables, Sg. Constables and Head Constables in the Police Department. While on guard duty at Yaripor Bridge, militants appeared and damaged the Bridge during night intervening March 30 & 31, 1994. Consequently, the petitioners were charged of negligence. Petitioners submit that they did their best to save the Bridge, in the process, they fired. 437 rounds of ammunition, besides reporting the matter to the Police at Anantnag on March 31, 1994. However, respondent 3 directed respondent 4 to dismiss the petitioners from service. Before that, they were suspended on April 1, 1994 and directed to remain available at the Office of District Police, Anantnag to face the enquiry. Ultimately, they were discharged from service in exercise of power under Section 126 of J. and K. Constitution (corresponding to Art. 311 of the Constitution of India).
(3.) Petitioners challenged the termination order inter alia on the ground that the same suffers from non application of mind, passed at the instance of respondent 3 and that the same did not indicate the relevant provisions under which the power was exercised nor there was any justification for dispensing with the enquiry against them. Respondent asserted that Order was passed under Section 126(2)(b) of the State Constitution for valid reasons. Petitioners were assigned the duty to guard the Bridge which was life-line for the people of the far flung area. They failed to discharge the duty. It is also contended that it was not practicable to hold the enquiry against them, since no person would be willing to give statement against Police personnel for fear of reprisal by militants nor would any civil witness be available to depose against the militants, who could not possibly be identified. Further, initiation of normal departmental enquiry would result in delay which in turn would promote negligence and dereliction of duty in the Police Force.;
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