STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. MADHUKAR NARAYAN MARDIKAR
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
MADHUKAR NARAYAN MARDIKAR
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Ahmadi, J. -
(1.)The respondent, Madhukar Narayan Mardikar, was serving as a Police Inspector, Bhiwandi Town Police Station in District Thana of Maharashtra State in November, 1965. On 13th November, 1965, between 8.15 and 8.45 p.m. he allegedly visited the hutment of one Banubi w/o Babu Sheikh in uniform and demanded to have sexual intercourse with her. On her refusing he tried to have her by force. She resisted his attempt and raised a hue and cry. Her husband and neighbours collected outside the hutment. The hutment was about a furlong away from the Police Station and about 100 yards from Kuwari's Bungalow. After people from the vicinity collected at the place of occurrence the respondent rushed to Kuwari's Bungalow and telephoned the Police Station to rush police aid. PSI Ghosalkar who received the phone call rushed to the place of occurrence in a police jeep accompanied by PSI Wadekar and other policemen. On reaching the scene of occurrence they found the respondent in uniform standing at some distance from the hutment of Banubi. They also saw an agitated Banubi near her hutment. The respondent directed that the woman be taken to the Police Station as he had abused him. She was taken on foot to the Police Station by Head Constable Kulkarni and Police Constable Desale. The respondent and others returned to the Police Station in the jeep.
(2.)It appears that on 15th November, 1966 Banubi made a written complaint about the incident to the District Superintendent of Police. A preliminary enquiry was instituted. In the course of the preliminary enquiry detailed statements of several witnesses including Banubi were recorded. The statement of the respondent was also recorded. On the conclusion of the preliminary enquiry the respondent was charge-sheeted. The charge of perverse conduct was levelled against him on the following two grounds, namely:
"(1) On 13-11-1965 between 20.15 to 20.45 hours, you, Police Inspector Shri M.N. Mardikar, then attached to Bhiwandi Town Police Station (Thana District) visited alone the house of one Banubi w/ o Babu Sheikh for the purpose of having illicit intercourse with her.
(2) In order to suppress the above fact, you prepared false documents and made entries in the Station Diary with the help of your subordinates to show that you had carried out a prohibition raid in and near her house around that time."
The superintendent of Police, Thana was appointed an Inquiry Officer to conduct the Departmental Enquiry. The respondent filed a detailed written statement in answer to the charges levelled against him. Oral as well as documentary evidence was adduced by the department as well as the respondent. On the conclusion of the said proceedings the Inquiry Officer submitted a detailed report holding both the charges as proved and recommended the dismissal of the respondent. The Inspector General of Police on an examination of the report prima facie concurred with the findings recorded by the Inquiry Officer and directed notice to issue to the respondent to show cause why he should not be dismissed from service. The respondent filed a detailed reply to the second show cause notice. After taking the same into consideration the Inspector-General of Police ordered his dismissal. The respondent filed an appeal against the said order of dismissal which was partly allowed. It was held that having regard to the length of service put in by the respondent, the punishment of dismissal from service should be replaced by removal from service. It was also stated that if the respondent so desired he could apply for compassionate pension. Feeling aggrieved by this order the respondent approached the High Court of Bombay. Nagpur Bench, Nagpur, with a writ petition, Special Civil Application No. 300 of 1968, under Art. 226/227 of the Constitution. The Division Bench of the High Court quashed the impugned order of removal on the ground that the respondent was denied a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges levelled against him as the department had failed to supply him with copies of certain important documents having a bearing on the charges levelled against him. The Division Bench also observed:"on the material on record it does not appear to us that reasonably a finding of guilt in respect of the charges framed against the petitioner could be arrived at". The impugned order of removal was thus quashed. The State of Maharashtra feeling aggrieved by the said order has approached this Court by way of Special Leave under Art. 136 of the Constitution.
(3.)As stated earlier the case against the respondent was that he had visited the hutment of Banubi on the night of 13th November, 1965 all alone in police uniform and had tried to ravish her. The respondent's version was that he had raided her hutment on receipt of information that she was dealing in illicit liquor and although nothing incriminating was found from her house, some articles like a rubber tube, a bottle, etc., containing country liquor were found from a nearby place which were attached as unclaimed property. In the course of evidence recorded at the Departmental Enquiry it was also brought out that Banubi was a woman of easy virtue and was having extra marital relationship with one Behram Irani, the Manager of Bhiwandi Talkies. She admitted that she was the mistress of that person. Evidence was also led to show that she was known as an 'awara' (vagrant) in the locality. The find of liquor from near her hutment had upset her and in order to escape from the clutches of law she had filed a false complaint against him on 15th November, 1965. The respondent further contended that a woman with such antecedents could stoop to any level and it would be hazardous to rely on her version.
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