Decided on March 22,1999

Mohd Ayaz Clerk Appellant
J And K High Court Respondents


- (1.) The facts of the case in brief are these. The appellant was suspended by the District Judge. Kathua on the report of Munsiff Basohli who complained about his negligence. After holding a departmental enquiry, the District Judge Kathua exonerated him by treating the period of suspension as on duty. The Chief Justice, it appears, did not agree with the enquiry report and directed the Vigilance Commissioner (Judicial) to hold fresh enquiry. On enquiry, the Vigilance Commissioner (Judicial) found both the appellant as well as one Sudarshan Kumar guilty of negligence. The report was accepted by the then Chief Justice and the appellant was asked to show cause why a penalty of dismissal from service should not be imposed upon him for negligence in respect of loss of two Criminal files pending in the court of Munsiff. Basohli in February. 1974. After considering his explanation, penalty of fine equivalent to one month's pay was imposed upon the appellant by order dated 20-08-1976 and the period of suspension of near about two years was treated on leave of whatever kind was due to him and the other delinquent. This order was challenged by the petitioner/appellant in writ petition No: 25 of 1978 which was dismissed on 164)2-1987 by a learned Single Bench of this court.
(2.) The appellant challenges the judgment impugned on the ground that the District Judge, Kathua being a disciplinary authority having exonerated the appellant, a fresh inquiry by the Vigilance Commissioner (Judicial) was incompetent and the order of punishment illegal being contrary to law and the rules.
(3.) Mr. Dutta. learned advocate appearing for the appellant, argued that the Chief Justice being the appellate authority could not have exercised disciplinary powers which has the effect of depriving the appellant of the remedy of appeal. Mr. PC Sharma, appearing for the respondents, however, contends that the order impugned is valid because the petitioner had challenged the order in a Review which was also dismissed He also pointed out that no appeal was provided under the rules and, therefore, the appellant is in noway prejudiced by the impugned order.;

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