Decided on October 29,2002

Devaraj Mishra Respondents


- (1.)THIS appeal is directed against the order of the Orissa State Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal has interfered with an order of compulsory retirement, which order was passed in exercise of power under Rule 71(a) of the Orissa Service Code.
(2.)THE impugned order of the Tribunal itself indicates that the entry for the years 1979, 1980, 1982 and 1983 were damaging to the employee concerned. It may be stated that the adverse remarks recorded in the confidential character roll from 1/7/1979 to 20/11/1979 was to the effect that the respondent had no zeal for work and had spoiled the atmosphere of work and his integrity was highly doubtful. For the year 1980 -1981 the remark was that he lacked supervisory control and that his performance was below average. For the year 1978 -1979 i.e. from 13/9/1978 to 31/3/1979 the report was that he lacked drive, initiative and zeal and was thoroughly incompetent and slipshod officer and his integrity was doubtful. Apart from the aforesaid entries in the confidential report, the respondent had been charged in a criminal proceeding for having taken bribe, but ultimately he was acquitted of the aforesaid charges.
The review committee, which considered the confidential character roll of the officer concerned, was of the view that no action for compulsory retirement be taken, but when the review committee placed the confidential report before the State Chief Secretary, he, on the basis of the aforesaid entries in the confidential report, was of the opinion that public interest demands that the officer concerned should be compulsorily retired and the Govt. being the final authority accepted the recommendation of the Chief Secretary and ordered compulsory retirement.

(3.)THE Tribunal, however, was persuaded to take the view that the remarks about doubtful integrity stand wiped off the moment the officer was acquitted of the criminal proceedings. The Tribunal was also of the opinion that reliance on the character roll for three years and not relying on the entire character roll vitiates the ultimate conclusion. The Tribunal further opined that the views of the Chief Secretary must be held to be arbitrary as the same was taken without considering the opinion of the review committee. Against that order the State has come in appeal.

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