Decided on October 31,2013

MUNNA LAL Appellant
Union of India And Ors. Respondents


Barin Ghosh, J. - (1.) IN the present writ petitions, we are concerned with a charge -sheet dated 1st February, 1993. In the charge -sheet, it was held out that delinquent Munna Lal was working as Store Lineman, Kashipur from 6th October, 1989 to 7th October, 1992. There is no dispute that a First Information Report was lodged by the Department, where it was stated that a theft took place in the Store in the evening of 30th August, 1992. In the First Information Report, Munna Lal was accused along with two others, of which one was named. In the charge -sheet, three charges were levelled against Munna Lal. Those are as follows: "Article 1 That Shri Munna Lal, Gularbhoj, while posted as Store Lineman, Kashipur, during the period 6.10.89 to 7.10.92 could not keep maintenance of stores properly and failed to maintain absolute integrity. Article 2 That Shri Munna Lal, while posted as Store Lineman, Kashipur, during the aforesaid period, store material was not found according to entries made in the stock register in physical verification. Article 3 That Shri Munna Lal, while posted as Store Lineman, Kashipur, during the aforesaid period, deliberately delayed handing over the charge of stores after his transfer." A reply to the charge -sheet was given by Munna Lal on 11th February, 1993. One Inquiry Officer was appointed to inquire into the charges. He held out his inability to continue with the inquiry. Accordingly, a second Inquiry Officer was appointed. The second Inquiry Officer retired. Accordingly, the third Inquiry Officer was appointed. The third Inquiry Officer concluded inquiry and submitted inquiry report on 22nd May, 2006. In the meantime, on 11th November, 1999, Additional C.J.M., Kashipur dismissed the case against Munna Lal and another person, who were arraigned for trial of the charge of theft framed pursuant to the charge -sheet submitted on completion of investigation pursuant to the said First Information Report. The Inquiry Officer, in the report held out that the charges stand proved. He reported that materials worth Rs. 80,202/ - and worth Rs. 18,750/ - were not found. After a copy of the inquiry report was given to Munna Lal and he made a representation against the same, the Disciplinary Authority passed an order and, thereby, concluded the disciplinary proceeding. While doing so, part of the inquiry report to the extent that materials worth 18,750/ - were not found was not accepted. The Disciplinary Authority directed recovery of Rs. 80,202/ - and, in addition thereto, punished Munna Lal by reducing him to two stages from Rs. 4,175/ - to Rs. 4,025/ - in the time scale of pay of Rs. 2750/ - to 4400/ - for a period of four years with effect from 1st September, 2006. Aggrieved by the order of Disciplinary Authority, Munna Lal approached the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Central Administrative Tribunal took notice of Sub -Rule (12) of Rule 11 of CCS Rules and held that, in view of the said Rule, imposition of penalty of recovery without giving particulars of the pecuniary loss caused, while framing the charges, is not sustainable. The Tribunal, accordingly, set aside the order of the Disciplinary Authority to the extent the same directed recovery of Rs. 80,202/ -. While Munna Lal has filed a writ petition challenging the order of the Tribunal, by which it refused to interfere with the punishment by reducing the pay of Munna Lal by two stages, the Disciplinary Authority has also filed a writ petition challenging the order of the Tribunal, by which it interfered with the order of the Disciplinary Authority directing recovery of Rs. 80,202/ -. The writ petitions are heard together and they are disposed of by this common order.
(2.) CHARGE -sheet contained memorandum of charges and imputation of misconduct. In none of them, it was held out that Munna Lal was, as Store Lineman, responsible for stores. In the absence of an allegation to the effect that Munna Lal was responsible for the stores, the question of the petitioner being irresponsible for maintaining the stores with absolute integrity and being responsible for materials not found in the stores did never arise. In those circumstances, charges framed in Articles 1 and 2, under no circumstances, can be said to be proved. The Inquiry Officer, while submitting the inquiry report, did not hold out that he has found, as a fact, that Munna Lal was or made responsible for the store in question. In so far as the third charge is concerned, the finding of the Central Administrative Tribunal, not disputed by the delinquent in the writ petition filed by him, that he remained absent from duty from 2nd September, 1992 to 14th September, 1992, and that, he rejoined his duties on 15th September, 1992 without having obtained sanction to the medical leave applied and furnishing illness as well as fitness certificate on rejoining and there being no dispute that on 1st September, 1992 he was asked to hand over charge to one Shobha Ram, the third charge stands proved. Inasmuch as, the Disciplinary Authority passed the disciplinary order proceeding on the basis that all the three charges stand proved, we have no other option, but to set aside the order of the Disciplinary Authority permitting the Disciplinary Authority to pass a fresh order proceeding on the basis that only charge No. 3 stands proved. The writ petitions are, accordingly, disposed of. The order of the Central Administrative Tribunal is modified to the extent as above.;

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