JAMAL AHMAD Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND (AT: NAINITAL)
Jamal Ahmad S/o Late Sri Ashraf Ali Khan
State of Uttarakhand and others
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(1.) Heard Shri Rakesh Thapliyal, the learned counsel for the petitioner and Shri N.S. Pundir, the learned Brief Holder for the State. The facts leading to the filing of the writ petition is, that the petitioner was working as a Naib Nazir in Tehsil Haldwani. A first information report was lodged against the petitioner in the year 1983, on the basis of which, the petitioner was suspended. Based on the investigation, a criminal chargesheet was filed and the criminal proceedings proceeded u/S 218 and 409 I.P.C. Eventually, the petitioner was honourably acquitted by a judgment of the criminal court on 27th June, 2005. However, pursuant to the irregularities in the manipulation of the registers and embezzlement of the State exchequer, departmental proceedings was also initiated against the petitioner and a chargesheet was issued. The petitioner submitted a reply and, since the reply was not found satisfactory, an Inquiry Officer was appointed who conducted the inquiry. It has come on record that the petitioner did not participate in the domestic inquiry which resulted in ex-parte proceedings against him. The Inquiry Officer, on the basis of the evidence collected, submitted an inquiry report holding the petitioner guilty of 21 charges that was levelled against him. Based on the inquiry report, a show cause notice was given by the disciplinary authority. The petitioner filed his reply and, thereafter, the disciplinary authority passed an order of dismissal dated 5th July, 1990. The order of dismissal was not challenged and the same became final. The petitioner accepted the dismissal order.
(2.) Upon his acquittal from the criminal court, the petitioner moved a representation to the disciplinary authority praying that in view of his acquittal from the criminal court, he should be reinstated in service. The said representation was rejected by the Revenue Secretary by an order dated 07/12/2006. The petitioner, being aggrieved, filed the present writ petition in the year 2008 praying for the quashing of the dismissal order dated 5th July, 1990 as well as the order of the Revenue Secretary dated 07/12/2006 rejecting the representation for reinstatement.
(3.) The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted and contended vehemently that the criminal proceedings and the departmental proceedings proceeded on the same set of charges and, since the petitioner has been acquitted from the criminal court, the petitioner was liable to be reinstated in service. In support of his submission, the learned counsel placed reliance upon the decisions of the Supreme Court in Capt. M. Paul Anthony Vs. Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. and another, 1999 3 SCC 679 as well as in G.M. Tank Vs. State of Gujarat, 2006 5 SCC 446 wherein the Supreme Court held that where the departmental inquiry and criminal proceedings are based on the same set of facts, charges, evidence and witnesses and the employee is honourably acquitted in a criminal court, in such view of the matter, the dismissal order pursuant to the domestic inquiry was not sustainable, nor fair nor just and, consequently, the dismissal order was set aside. The learned counsel relying upon the said decisions submitted that the dismissal order was liable to be set aside in view of the decision of the criminal court and that he should be reinstated in service.;
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