Gajendragadkar, J. -
(1.)This appeal by special leave arises out of a petition filed by the appellant Jagdish Prasad Saxena against the respondent, the State of Madhya Pradesh, in the High Court of Madhya Bharat, in which he prayed that a writ of certiorari or mandamus or any other appropriate writ or direction should be issued against the respondent quashing the order passed by it on December 3, 1953, terminating the services of the appellant as from October 2, 1951, when he had been suspended. A chargesheet in regard to the proceedings taken against the appellant was furnished to him on October 17, 1951; but it is common ground that no fresh enquiry had been subsequently held before the impugned order was passed against him. The High Court has, however, held that in the enquiry which had been held before the appellant was furnished with the chargesheet he had substantially admitted the material facts on which the chargesheet was framed, and so failure to hold a formal enquiry after giving him the chargesheet had not caused any prejudice to him; that is why the High Court refused to issue a writ as claimed by the appellant and dismissed his petition. In his present appeal by special leave the appellant challenges the correctness and propriety of the said decision.
(2.)The appellant was permanently employed in the department of Customs and Excise by the respondent as a distillery inspector, and at the material time he was posted at Barwaha in the district of Khargone. It is admitted that he was governed by the rules and regulations of the State Civil Service. At Barwaha there is a distillery as well as a warehouse in a separate building within the same premises. Kethulekar was a warehouse clerk in charge of the warehouse and Narona was the distiller. On July 12, 1951, at about 5 P. M., when the appellant was about to leave the distillery Narona asked for the key of the receiver for taking flow readings, and the appellant gave the key with instructions to Kethulekar to supervise the distillation. It appears that Kethulekar, who was then on duty, issued liquor to Nathu, Contractor of Piplia, to whom a permit had been issued in respect of one gallon of Narangi (of strength 25 U. P.), 20 gallons of Rasi (of strength 60 U. P.) and two gallons of Dubara (of strength 25 U. P.) for which the contractor had deposited in the treasury Rs. 180-6-0. At the time of the said issue of liquor, however, the contractor was given one gallon of Narangi and 32 gallons of Dubara, that is to say, an excess quantity of 30 gallons of Dubara was illegally given to him thereby causing a loss of Rs. 305-10-0 to the government. According to the appellant, Kethulekar acting in concert with Narona transferred some liquor from the receiver to the warehouse Vat in order to make up the deficiency consequent upon the illegal issue of liquor to the contractor. Some informer reported this matter to the Superintendent of Customs and Excise who immediately rushed to the place and seized the entire stock of liquor from Nathu contractor.
(3.)On July 13, 1951, the Superintendent along with the appellant held a preliminary enquiry in the case; at this enquiry all the three persons admitted their guilt, and the Superintendent eventually recovered Rs. 305-6-0 from Kethulekar to compensate the department for the loss caused by the illegal delivery of 30 gallons of Dubara, and he was suspended from July 17, 1951.