VIJAI SINGH VERMA Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND AND ANOTHER
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Vijai Singh Verma
State of Uttarakhand and another
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(1.) The petitioner is aggrieved by the order dated 30.12.2003 by which a major penalty has been imposed upon him and he has been reduced to a lower post which is a punishment passed after a departmental proceeding. The petitioner was initially appointed as Government Cooperative Supervisor (Grade III) on 27.12.1991 in the office of Assistant Registrar, District Cooperative Societies, Uttarkashi and thereafter he was promoted to the post of Cooperative Inspector (Grade II) /Assistant Development Officer (Co) by respondent no. 2 vide order dated 24.12.2001. During his tenure as such, the petitioner faced a departmental proceeding in which a chargesheet was given to the petitioner, where there were about 10 charges relating to financial impropriety, embezzlement, etc. An enquiry officer was appointed who conducted the enquiry and barring one and two charges, most of the charges were found to be proved against the petitioner and thereafter a major penalty was imposed upon the petitioner vide order dated 30.12.2003, by which the petitioner has been reduced to the lower post of Government Cooperative Supervisor from the post of Cooperative Inspector Grade-II/Assistant Development Officer (Cooperative). It has also been directed that the amount which has been fixed against the petitioner shall be recovered from him in accordance with the provisions given in Uttaranchal Cooperative Societies Act, 2003 read with Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Societies Act, 1965, along with interest. It has further been directed that in future the petitioner will not be sent on deputation to any post in the Government or to any post which has financial responsibilities and for the period during which the petitioner stood suspended, he will not be paid anything over and above the subsistence allowance, and it was also directed to record adverse entry in his service records stating that he had indulged in gross financial responsibility and misuse of powers as Secretary, Cooperative Depot, Uttarkashi. It has further been directed that after the petitioner will be reinstated in service, he will be posted at Government Cooperative Supervisor at district Champawat.
(2.) One of the principle arguments raised by the counsel for the petitioner Mr. B.K. Pal is that the entire departmental proceedings are vitiated for the reason that the enquiry report was not served on the petitioner. This is the main plank of his argument. However, from the perusal of the record, it is absolutely clear that this argument of the petitioner is incorrect inasmuch as the records bear the fact that the enquiry report was given to the petitioner. Moreover, the violation of principle of natural justice and fair play as alleged by the petitioner are not made out as submitted by him.
(3.) What has now to be seen is whether the charges as levelled against the petitioner in the chargesheet have 3 been proved against the petitioner or not. A bare perusal of the charges shows that some of the charges are extremely flimsy such as charge no. 6 where the petitioner has been charged for giving Rs.300/- over and above to what was required to be paid to the lawyer, and charge no. 8 which relates to payment of telephone bill, which is also meagre. However, most of the charges such as charge nos. 2, 4 and 10 are of financial irregularities and have been proved against the petitioner. Since these charges have been proved against the petitioner, it is undoubtedly true that the petitioner was liable to be given a major penalty for the same. The question now only remains about the quantum of punishment.;
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