Decided on October 29,2020

Heem Singh Respondents

Cited Judgements :-



DR.DHANANJAYA Y.CHANDRACHUD, J. - (1.)This judgment has been divided into sections to facilitate analysis. They are:
A. The appeal

B. Murder, trial and disciplinary enquiry

C. Submissions of counsel

D. Proof of misconduct in disciplinary proceedings

E. Findings of the disciplinary enquiry

F. The judgment of the Division Bench

G. Evidence in the disciplinary enquiry

H. On a 'preponderance of probabilities'

I. Judicial review over disciplinary matters

J. The effect of an acquittal

K. Conclusion

A. The appeal

1. This appeal is from a judgment dated 24 April 2019 of a Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jodhpur. The respondent, who was a police constable, filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution to challenge his dismissal from service after a disciplinary enquiry. A Single Judge of the High Court, by a judgment dated 1 February 2018, dismissed the petition. The Division Bench reversed the judgment and concluded that there is no evidence in the disciplinary enquiry to sustain the finding that the respondent committed a murder while on leave from duty. Independently, he has also been acquitted in a Sessions trial on the charge of murder. The Division Bench granted the respondent reinstatement in service with no back wages for the seventeen years that elapsed since his termination. The State comes in appeal.

B. Murder, trial and disciplinary enquiry

(2.)In 1992, the respondent was appointed as a Constable in the police service of Rajasthan. On 13 August 2002, he proceeded on leave and had to report back on duty on 16 August 2002. He failed to do so and eventually reported for work on 19 August 2020. He sought and was granted permission for over-staying his leave on the ground that his brother-in-law, Shankar Singh had died. On 15 August 2002, one Daulat Singh lodged a written complaint at Police Station, Khamnaur in relation to the death of his brother Bhanwar Singh, caused by an accident with an unknown vehicle. The police initially registered a crime under Sections 209 and 304A of the Indian Penal Code[1]. The statements of Daulat Singh, Jodh Singh, Meera and Hamer Singh were recorded under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973[2]. It appeared during the course of the investigation that the death was homicidal. The investigation by the police proceeded for an offence punishable under the provisions of Section 302 of the I PC. The respondent was arrested on 9 September 2002. There were two co-accused, Lokesh Gurva and Iqbal Khan. After the investigation was completed, a charge-sheet was filed under Sections 302, 201 and 120B. Sessions Case 3 of 2003 was committed for trial to the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Nathdwara.
[1] "IPC"

[2] "CrPC"

(3.)The case of the prosecution was that there was a dispute over land between the respondent and Bhanwar Singh. Moreover, the respondent's father had been treated for a snake bite by Bhanwar Singh but his witchcraft did not yield result, leading to the death of the father. According to the prosecution, the respondent bore a grudge towards the deceased due to this incident and had proclaimed earlier that he would kill him.

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