Decided on March 10,1983

R K Tiwari Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.)By this petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner, who had been a Naik in the Central Reserve Police Force for a period of almost 10 years, challenges his dismissal from service and the validity of orders of the appellate and other higher authorities upholding the same on the grounds of bias, illegalities and irregularities in the course of disciplinary proceedings, denial of opportunity to defend and harshness of the penalty.
(2.)The petitioner was charged with "disobedience", "neglect of duty", "remissness in the discharge of duty or other misconduct in his capacity as a member of the Force", in that,
a) while escorting 4 recruits from Delhi to Hyderabad, he "detrained of his own on 27th July, 1973 at 1200 hrs from "Dakshin Express" leaving 4 Recruit Constables en route at Itarsi Junction and remained absent without prior permission of the Competent Authority till 29th July, 1973 and did not disclose this act to any superior officers until he was questioned on 12th August, 1975"; and

b) "he collected unauthorisedly Rs. 150/- from Recruit Ct. No. 730280080 Shiv Pujan, D. Coy 28th Bn. CRPF on 26th July, 1973 and has not returned the amount of the individual concerned in full so far despite repeated requests"

The petitioner denied that he was guilty of any misconduct. On the first charge, he admitted that he reached Hyderabad with the party late by one day but explained that on account of the fault of the Unit, which provided transport, the party reached the New Delhi Station after the Hyderabad mail had already left Station. He further explained that the party then boarded Bombay mail under the mistaken belief that this train would go to Hyderabad and detrained at Itarasi from where they took the train for Hyderabad after 24 hours. He, therefore, attributed the delay to the default in transport arrangement and his mistaken belief as to the route of Bombay mail. On the second charge, he admitted that he had received Rs. 150/- belonging to Shiv Pujan Singh but alleged that this amount had been given to him by ASI Gurmit Singh for safe custody to be handed over to the recruit at Hyderabad. He further explained that at Hyderabad, he discovered that he had lost the money and told the recruit that the money would be paid to him when he returned to the unit in Delhi. It was further pointed out that "though I could not pay the entire amount at lump sum in one instalment but I have paid the entire amount one after another. The evidence of payment of money to Shiv Pujan is already established by Shiv Pujan himself for Rs. 50/-, P/W4 Shri Kuldip for Rs. 20/- and P/W 5 S. I. Dara Singh for Rs. 100/- to Shiv Pujan Singh to which he cannot deny." It was further stated that in any event, full amount had been paid to Shiv Pujan before the preliminary enquiry. It was, however, not disputed' that the amount was not paid for a fairly long time and: was paid eventually in driblets and part of the amount was paid by deduction from salary after the complaint had been received from the recruit. On the conclusion of the Enquiry, the Enquiry Officer returned the finding that the petitioner was guilty of both the charges and agreeing with the finding of the Enquiry, the punishing authority imposed the penalty of dismissal from service. The appellate authority, however, exonerated the petitioner of the first charge but upheld the penalty on the ground that the second charge had been established. The penalty has since been upheld in revision by the other authorities to whom representations were made.

(3.)The first ground of attack is based on the allegation that Lt. Col. V. K. Sahni, Commandant of the Battalion, in which the petitioner was working at the material time, and who initiated the departmental proceedings against the petitioner, issued to him the show cause notice proposing the penalty of dismissal and eventually imposed the penalty, was hostile to the petitioner in that the petitioner had in a representation to the higher authorities against his suspension made serious allegations against the said Commandant to the effect that the said Commandant had asked for illegal favour from the petitioner when the petitioner was Mess Commander of the Battalion. The petitioner was, however, unable to produce a copy of the representation or to point to any material which may justify the allegation that he had made any such allegations against the Commandant or to otherwise point out the circumstances which may justify the allegation of hostility or bias. It is not without significance that the allegation of hostility or bias was made by the petitioner for the first time in this Court ard there was no reference to it or to the allegations on which it was based in any of the departmental proceedings, including the appeals and the revisions to the various authorities. There is, therefore, no substance in this ground.

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