P BALAKRISHNA PILLAI Vs. GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
P. BALAKRISHNA PILLAI
GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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(1.)There was a disciplinary enquiry against the petitioner, a Reserve Inspector, R.P.A.R.Five charges were levelled against him and though the Enquiry Officer found him guilty of charges, 1. 2, and 5, we are now concerned only with charge No. 5, since the Government exonerated him of all the other charges. The punishment imposed on him by the appointing authority and confirmed by the appellate authority and the Government was 'reduction by one stage in the time scale for one year on duty.' Charge No. 5 was as follows : -
"That actuated by malice and wrongful spirit of revenge he conducted himself in the most unworthy and reprehensible manner by submitting a scandalous and frivolous report under dated 24-4-1961 imputing abuse of official vehicles by Superior officers, particularly the Superintendent of Police, in December, 1960, January and February 1961 based on false statements obtained from subordinates under coercion and deception."
(2.)The finding of the Enquiry Officer (Superintendent of Police) Krishna, on this charge was recorded in these terms :-
"The evidence of all the witnesses during the enquiry clearly shows that he recorded the statements from his subordinates under coercion, misrepresentation and threat."
The finding of the appointing authority (Deputy Inspector General of Police, Waltair) was, "I therefore hold the charge of making frivolous allegations against his superiors by extracting uncalled for statements from his subordinates under coercion and deception as proved against the delinquent," Earlier he also observed "PWs 6, 15, 16, 17, 2, 7, 19, 21 and 22 have denied having voluntarily made any such statement to the delinquent alleging misuse of vehicles by the officsrs. Instead these witnesses coroborate each other by maintaining that it was the delinquent R. I. who forced them to sign prepared statements or made them to write out the statements in Telugu to his dictation threatening to put them to trouble if they showed any hesitation to submit to his pressure." The finding of the appellate authority (The Inspector General of Police) was, "as regards charge 5, it was thoroughly wrong on the part of the appellant to have recorded the statements of subordinates containing allegations against the S P. That he obtained these statements by coercion makes it all the more reprehensible." The finding of the Government was "Government have therefore examined the case with reference to the relevant records, in relation to the fifth charge alone and find that it has been established to the extent that the petitioner made frivolous allegations against his superiors by recording uncalled for statements from his subordinates under coercion nd deception. Thus all the authorities found that the petitioner recorded uncalled for statements containing frivolous allegations against Superior officers from his subordinates "under coercion and deception." Sri M. N, Rao, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that there was no evidence to sustain the finding and that, in any case, the conclusion was one at which no reasonable person could have arrived at on the available material. I am inclined to agree with Sri M. N. Rao.
(3.)The circumstances which led to the framing of charge No.5 were as follows :-On the night of 7-2-61 Sri Gopala Rao, Sub Inspector who was on emergency call duty checked the mileage of police jeep bearing No APX 5351: He noticed a discrepancy between the reading of the milometer of the jeep and the entry in the trip-sheet of the jeep. The reading of the milometer was 17771 whereas according to the trip sheet it was 17701. He recorded what was noticed by him in the General Diary of the Police Station. On 12-2-1961 the diary was forwarded to the Superintendent of Police by the D. S. P. Vijavawada with a remark that on the nigbt of 8-2-1961 he also noticed a discrepancy of 100 miles between the reading of the milometer and the entry in the trip sheet. The Superintendent of Police, Krishna thereupon ordered the Reserve Inspector (Petitioner) to enquire into the matter and submit a "detailed report fixing up the responsibility urgently".
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