P SREERAMULU Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
LAWS(APH)-1969-4-21
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on April 15,1969

P.SREERAMULU Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. MORGAN [REFERRED TO]
VENKANNA V. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADES,1968 W. P. NO. 2033 OF 1966 [REFERRED TO]
SAMBAIAH V. GOVT. OF ANDHRA PRDESH,1968 W. P. NO. 1275 OF 1966 [REFERRED TO]
CUNNAMA NAIDU V. SUB-COLLECTOR,GUDUR,1968 W. P. NO. 1566 OF 1967 [REFERRED TO]
PRADYAT KUMAR BOSE VS. HONBLE CHIEF JUSTICE OF CALCUTTA HIGH COURT [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. MOHAMMAD NOOH [REFERRED TO]
KHEM CHAND VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
MOHAN DAS VS. SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE KHAMMAMATH [REFERRED TO]
RALLAPALLI SURYANARAYANA VS. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
A R S CHOUDHURY VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]
HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR INDIA VS. I M LALL [REFERRED TO]
SUBBA RAO V. STATE OF HYDERABAD [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

JANARDAN KAR VS. STATE OF ORISSA [LAWS(ORI)-1972-1-29] [REFERRED]


JUDGEMENT

Jaganmohan Reddy, C.J. - (1.)These second appeals have been referred to a Bench by our learned brother, Parthasarathi, J., in view of the different points of view said to have been expressed in decided cases on some aspects of these appeals, namely whether the expression of any comment upon the alleged actions of the delinquents or of the proposed punishments in the very first show cause notice before enquiry would vitiate the enquiry and the finding. It appears that a head Constable and a police constable filed two suits in the District Munisifs Court Cuddaph, which are the subject-matter of these second appeals impugning the validity of the orders of dismissal dated 13/09/1960. The charges against them related to an incident regarding which their conduct was considered unmeritorious and reprehensible. The District Munisif, Cuddapah, disposed of these suits buy a common judgment and one of the issues he decided was whether the order of dismissal passed by Superintendent of Police, Cuddapah, on 13-9-1960 is illegal, arbitrary, ultra vires of his powers and against the canons of natural justice. he found this issue in favour of the plaintiffs holding that the enquring Officer had prejudged the issue as he had not an open mind at the time he started the enquiry. In the result, the District Munsif decreed both the suits. Against the decrees passed in both the suits, the State of Andhra Pradesh preferred appeals. The Subordinate Judge of Cuddapah allowed the appeals, set aside the judgment and decrees and dismissed the suits.
(2.)The main contentions that are urged in these second appeals on behalf of the appellants (plaintiffs) which were also urged before our learned brother are: (a) The Deputy Superintendent in his charge memo dated 17/06/1960 had prejudged the case against the plaintiffs inasmuch as he expressed, in categorical terms his opinion or verdict that the employees "had abused their position and brought discredit to the department". (b) The charge memo indicated the final punishment of dismissal and such an indication constitutes a violation of the terms of Article 311 of the Constitution, besides manifesting the bias which actuated and vitiated the whole process of inquiry.
(3.)Our learned brother, Parthasarathi, J. has, in a considered order of reference, dealt with several cases pertaining to the aforesaid questions and relying upon certain observations made by the Supreme Court of the United States in United States of America v. Morgan, (1941) 313 US 409 stated "whether these observation can be regarded as laying down a rule which can be applied to all administrative tribunals, is a matter on which considerable doubt may be entertained. But it seems to me that the observations made in the charge-sheet do not vitiate the proceeding in this case, especially because the final order imposing the punishment was made, not by the officer that made the observations, but by a person of a higher rank whose judgment is not shown to have been influenced in any manner by the observations that are complained of." It is true that a person authorised to award a punishment can always entrust an enquriy to a person who is not so authorised Pradyat kumar Bose v. Honble the Chief Justice of Calcutta high Court, 1955- 2 SCR 1331 = (AIR 1956 SC 285). It is equally true that the entire proceedings beginning from the show cause notice, framing of the charges and the conduct of the enquiry and ending with the report and final show cause notice of punishment must conform to certain well accepted principles of natural justice i.e., that the Enquiring Officer must be unbiased and should not prejudge the case, and that the enquiry also must be fair and impartial by giving full opportunity to the delinquent to plead and establish his defence. It appears that even where it is not alleged that the punishing authority is not biased or has not in any way violated the principles of natural justice or has not transgressed any of the accepted principles upon which fair and impartial enquiries have to be held, the fact that he acts upon a report of an enquiry conducted by an officer who is biased or has violated the principles of natural justice or has prejudged the case, would nonetheless vitiate the finding and punishment. In the language of Das C. J., in State of U. P. v. Mohammed Nooth, AIR 1958 SC 86 at p. 91. "If it shocks our notions of judicial propriety and fair play, as indeed it does, it was bound to make a deeper impression on the mind of the respondent as to the unreality and futility of the proceedings conducted in this fashion." It will, in our view, not avail of an answer to allegations of bias that it was not alleged that the punishing officer was not biased even thought he conduct of the Enquiring Officer had given rise to such bias. This principle of natural justice, owe think is equally applicable to enquries under Article 311 as they are to administrative tribunals and administrative enquries. The principle of natural justice would include within it impartiality of hearing process and the conducting of proceedings in good faith.
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