Decided on July 14,1971



Sriramulu, J. - (1.)The petitioner was appointed in 1955 as Lower Division Clerk in the office of the Collector, Central Excise, Hyderabad. In 1956, he was promoted to the cadre of Steno-Typist and in 1962 as a Sub- Inspector of Central Excise. For want of vacancies, the petitioner was reverted as a Steno-typist and posted at Cuddapah. The first respondent served on the petitioner a no'ice dt. 23-9-1967 alleging that while he was working as a Sub-Inspector at Vizianagaram during the year 1966 he had issued I. P. I. pemit for clearance of I. A. C. (Indian Air Cured) tobacco midribs far in excels of the book balances to four dealers and thus caused loss to the Government and in so doing failed to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty. The Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Sri B. R. Reddy was appointed as Enquiry Officer. After making an oral enquiry, the Enquiry Officer submitted his finding to the punishing authority holding that the charges against the petitioner in respect of the first four persons were proved. The punishing authority then served a second notice on the petitioner alleging therein that he had provisionally agreed with the findings of the Enquiry Officer and asking him to show cause why he should not be dismissed from service. The petitioner submitted his explanation to the punishing authority that he was not guilty of the charge and that there was no evidt nce at all to prove his guilt. The punishing authority refused to accept the petitioner's explanation and by his Order dt. 13-11-1968 dismissed the petitioner from service.
(2.)An appeal against the order of dismissal to the second respondent was rejected on 21-7-1969. The petitioner thereupon filed this writ petition for quashing the order of dismissal passed against him. The learned Counsel, Sri Babul Reddy appearing for the petitioner submitted that this was a case where there was no evidence at all to prove the charge against the petitioner and that no reasonable man would have come to the conclusion on the basis of such evidence that the charge against the 'petitioner had been proved. In support of his argument, the learned Counsel relied upon a decision of the Supreme Court in Union of India Vs. H. C. Gael. The learned counsel for the Government contended that there is some evidence on record in proof of the charge framed against the petitioner. The unreliability or inadequacy of the evidence, would not be a sufficient ground for this Court to interfere with the finding of the disciplinary Tribunal, That would ordinarily be a matter within the jurisdiction of the appellate authority and this Court in exercise of the writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitutio is not sitting in appear over the order passed by the disciplinary authority. Principles of natural justice have rot been violated in this case. Nor is it staled that the disciplinary authority who had passed the order of dismissal had no jurisdiction to pass that order. Hence the court should not T. Vijaya Gopalachetty v. Colitctor, Central Excise (Sriramulu, J.) 27 interfere or upset the finding of the disciplinary authority. In support of the above argument, the learned counsel appearing for the Government relied upon two decisions of the Supreme Court viz., State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. V. Sree Rama Rao and Reilway Board Vs. N. Singh.
(3.)It is, no doubt, true that the order of dismissal passed against a public servant by a Disciplinary Tribunal after enquiry is an administrative order. However, the proceedings held against such a public servant under statutory rules in which he is found to be guilty of the charge framed against him, are in the nature of quasi-judicial proceedings. This court is not a constituted under Article 226 of the Constitution, a Court of appeal over the authorities, holding departmental enquiry against a public servant. Where there is some evidence which the authority entrusted with an authority to hold an enquiry against a public servant has accepted and which evidence may reasonably support the finding that the delinquent officer is guilty of the charge, it is not the function of this court in a petition under Article 226 of the Constition of India, to review the evidence and to arrive at an independent finding on the evidence. But the court will undoubtedly interfere where the Departmental authorities have held the proceedings against the delinquent in a manner inconsistent with the principles of natural justice or in violation of the statutory rules prescribing the mode of enquiry or where the authorities have disabled themselves fromreaching a fair decision by some considerations extraneous to the evidence and the merits of the case or when the Conclusion on the very face of it is so wholly arbitrary and capricious that no reasonable person could ever come to that conclusion. However, if the enquiry otherwise has been properly held, the departmental authorities are the sole judges of facts. If there be some legal evidence on which the finding rests, the adequacy or reliability of Evidence is not a matter which can be permitted to be canvassed before this Court in a Writ proceeding.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.