Decided on October 05,1983



- (1.)The petitioners who were head constables were awarded the punishment of forfeiture of two years approved service permanently by the Dy. Commissioner of Police, Delhi, on 19-7-1979. The present petition is mainly directed against the said order, although incidentally two other orders regarding adverse reports and order reverting them to the posts of constable are also challenged.
(2.)On an F.I.R. lodged by ore Srnt. Chandra Kumari on 15-4-2977, prosecution was launched against head constables Rama Shanker, Sant Raj and Sahib Singh under Section 342, read with Section 34 and Section 376 read with Section 511, I.P.C. The case of the prosecution was that the three constables took her to the police lines and in the quarter allotted to one Jaipal Singh committed sexual intercourse with Chandra Kumari on the night of 14-4-1977 T. S. Oberoi, Addl. Sessions Judge, Delhi, found that the prosecution had not been able to prove its case and, therefore, acquitted all the accused on 26-4-1979. The accused were put on suspension and a departmental proceeding was started against them under Section 21, Delhi Police Act. 1978. The charge was that they committed grave misconduct unbecoming of a member of a police force. Rule 16.3, Punjab Police Rules, enables the authorities to initiate a departmental proceeding against the members of the force acquitted of a criminal charge under certain conditions.
(3.)In this writ petition the validity of the said departmental proceedings is challenged on the ground that the case of the petitioners is not covered by any of the exceptions mentioned in Rule 16.3, Punjab Police Rules. The said Rule reads;
"16.3 (1) When a Police Officer has been tried and acquitted by a criminal court he shall not be punished departmentally on the same charge or on a different charge upon the evidence cited in the criminal case, whether actually led or not, unless :

(a) the criminal charge has failed on technical grounds; or

(b) in the opinion of the court or of the Superintendent of Police, the prosecution witnesses have been won over; or

(c) the court has held in its judgment that an offence was actually committed and that suspicion rests upon the police officer concerned; or,

(d) the evidence cited in the criminal case discloses facts unconnected with the charge before the court which justify departmental proceedings on a different charge; or ,

(e) additional evidence admissible under Rule 16.25 (1) in departmental proceedings is available.

(2) Departmental proceedings admissible under sub-rule (1) may be instituted against lower subordinates by the order of the Superintendent of Police but may be taken against upper subordinates only with the sanction of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police; and a police officer against whom such action is admissible shall not be deemed to have been honourably acquitted for the purpose of Rule 7.3 Civil Services Rules (Punjab), Volume-I, Part-I."


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