BHARAT COKING COAL LIMITED Vs. SURENDRA PRATAP NARAYAN SINGH
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
BHARAT COKING COAL LTD
SURENDRA PRATAP NARAYAN SINGH
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ASHOK KUMAR MATHUR, J. -
(1.)This is an appeal directed against order dated September 4, 1998 passed by a learned single Judge whereby the learned single Judge allowed the writ petition and set aside the order of punishment imposed upon the petitioner by the disciplinary authority as well as by the appellate authority. However, the Learned single Judge directed the Chairman-cum- Managing Director of Coal India Limited to initite an appropriate departmental proceedings against the petitioner from the stage of appointing an enquiry officer and a presenting officer and such proceedings would be held de novo. Aggrieved against this order the present appeal has been filed by the Management.
(2.)Brief facts which are necessary for disposal of this appeal are that the petitioner at the relevant time was a Chief Mining Engineer/Project Manager in Kooridih Colliery belonging to Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. He was charge-sheeted on September 15, 1992 for failure to maintain devotion to duty and for acting in a manner prejudicial to the interest and image of the company. That he was negligent in the performance of duty. On the basis of this charge-sheet an enquiry was initiated against the petitioner. But strangely enough no witness was examined by, the department excepting the presenting officer and that too by submitting a statement in writing whereafter the petitioner was asked to cross-examine the presenting officer as a witness. The enquiry was conducted on that basis despite the protest of the petitioner and ultimately the petitioner was dismissed from service. The petitioner filed a writ petition in the Ranchi Bench of Patna High Court bearing no. C.W.J.C. 2625/1993 (R) and that writ petition was allowed by the order dated December 20, 1994 on the ground that no copy of the enquiry report was served on the petitioner. Therefore it was directed that the copy of such report be served on him and he be given an opportunity to file representation. Thereafter the copy of the enquiry report was served on the writ petitioner and he filed a representation. Thereafter the Chairman-cum- Managing Director of the Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. by the order dated June 17, 1995 removed the petitioner from the service of the company with immediate effect. It is alleged that during the pendency of the writ petition an appeal was preferred by the petitioner before the Board of Directors and the Board of Directors also dismissed the said appeal. Aggrieved against the order of removal present writ petition was filed.
(3.)One of the submissions made before the Learned single Judge was that the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Bharat Coking Coal Limited could not have issued the charge-sheet nor could have appointed the presenting officer and the enquiry officer and it was further submitted that no witness was examined nor any document had been proved. It was also submitted that the list of witnesses and list of documents were not annexed to the charge sheet, therefore the petitioner could not file proper written statement. It was contended that the list of documents and list of witnesses along with the charge-sheet were not given nor any opportunity was given to him to inspect the documents, therefore the whole enquiry was conducted in serious violation of the principles of natural justice. In that connection the Learned Judge relied on the decisions of this Court in the case of Sri Swapan Ray v. Indian Airlines Ltd. & Ors, reported in 1996-I-LLJ-1211 (Cal) and Indian Airlines Ltd. v. Amamath Haider reported in 75 F.L.R. 279. The appeal was contested by the respondent and the respondent pointed out that it was not necessary for the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Coal India Ltd. to issue charge-sheet for imposing a major penalty and the charge-sheet could be issued by the Managing Director of the Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. being a subsidiary to the Coal India Ltd. and he was competent to issue charge-sheet. However, the Learned single Judge did not decide this matter as to whether the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. was competent to issue charge-sheet or appoint the presenting officer or enquiry officer.
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