DEBOTOSH PAL CHOUDHARY Vs. PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
DEBOTOSH PAL CHAUDHARY
PUNJAB NATIONAL BANK
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Rajendra Babu, J. -
(1.)The petitioner before us was employed on the establishment of the first respondent-Bank. He was dismissed from service by an order made on October 8, 1988 on the basis of an enquiry conducted by an Enquiry Officer and the report made on September 26, 1988. In challenging by way of a writ petition the order of dismissal the petitioner contended that the enquiry is vitiated as he did not have any reasonable opportunity to have the copies of the documents or inspection thereof; that he was not afforded an opportunity to adduce oral evidence by examining two witnesses - Shri S.C. Tandon and Shri A.K. Dey; that under Regulation 6(18) of the Punjab National Bank Officer Employees' (Discipline and Appeal) Regulations, 1977 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Regulations') 15 days' time should have been given to him for furnishing a written brief after completion of the production of evidence, but the Enquiry Officer gave him only two days' time; that the copy of the enquiry report was not given to him before imposing the punishment of dismissal.
(2.)The stand of the respondents is that full opportunity was given to the petitioner by either furnishing copies of documents or inspection thereof; that the production of oral evidence through Shri S.C. Tandon and Shri A.K. Dey was denied as such request was made at a belated stage and their evidence would be irrelevant to the enquiry; that the petitioner having been dismissed by an order made on October 8, 1988 before the decision of this Court Union of India vs. Mohd. Ramzan Khan, (1991) 1 SCC 588, non-furnishing of a copy of the enquiry report would not affect the order of dismissal; that the petitioner having made oral submissions pleaded for grant of time to file written brief only in case the Presenting Officer also did so; that when the Presenting Officer did not file any written brief, question of petitioner filing the same would not arise; that even otherwise, the petitioner did not ask for more time than granted and hence, cannot make a grievance of the same.
(3.)The learned single Judge, inter alia, held that the disciplinary authority did not forward to the Inquiring Authority the documents and lists of witnesses before commencing the enquiry against the petitioner and accepted each one of the contentions raised by the petitioner and allowed the writ petition. On appeal, the Division Bench reversed the decision of the learned single Judge and dismissed the writ petition. Hence, this appeal by special leave.
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