SIBA PRASAD MUKHERJEE Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Siba Prasad Mukherjee
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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Nisit Kumar Batabyal, J. -
(1.)The writ petitioner was appointed as Trainee Amin in May 1974. The copies of the appointment letter are annexed with the petition and marked as Annexure "B". He was confirmed in his post subsequently. On the complaint that the matriculation certificate used by the petitioner for securing his job was forged, the petitioner was suspended from service by an order dated 1.3.1979 by the then Settlement Officer. A copy of the order of suspension is annexed with the writ petition and marked as Annexure "A". Thereafter, the Inquiring Authority (Respondent No. 3) by letter dated 27th June, 1980 withdrew the order of suspension. A copy of the said letter has been annexed with the writ petition and marked as letter Annexure "C". Thereafter a charge-sheet was served upon the petitioner after the lapse of four years informing him that Sri B. Chakraborty, Deputy Commissioner of Departmental Enquiries, Vigilance Commission, West Bengal, had been appointed to hold enquiry into the charges levelled against him. A copy of the charge-sheet has been annexed with the writ petition and marked as letter Annexure "D". The petitioner duly submitted his reply to the said charge-sheet denying the allegations. A copy of the said reply has been annexed with writ petition and marked as Annexure D/1. The writ petitioner filed an application before the Dy. Commissioner of Departmental Inquiries, Vigilance Commission for being represented by a lawyer or by a co-employee in the said proceeding but the Deputy Commissioner by his Memo dated 23.8.84 informed the petitioner that he had no jurisdiction to decide the matter. A copy of the said letter is annexed with the writ petition and marked as Annex-E. On an earlier occasion the Disciplinary Authority refused a prayer of the petitioner for legal assistance on the ground that charges were very simple and the Presenting Officer appointed was not a legal practitioner. A copy of the said letter dated 26.12.83 is annexed with writ petition and marked as Annex-E/1. The charges were relating to forgery and different documents and a number of witnesses had to be examined and intricate questions of law were involved in the case. The Presenting Officer was a highly qualified trained prosecutor being a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Anti-Corruption (Headquarters). The petitioner was informed the same by a letter copy which has been annexed with writ petition and marked as Annex-F. The Presenting Officer examined the witnesses in English. The writ petitioner could not properly understand the examination-in-chief and was prevented from putting questions in cross-examinations. On 28.5.90, the petitioner appeared before the Vigilance Commission and filed an application stating that it was very difficult for him to bring witnesses who were working in a school in Bihar since this school was closed for summer vacation and as such the petitioner wanted adjournment to a date after the reopening of the school for bringing witnesses on his behalf but the prayer was refused. A copy of the said letter is annexed with writ petition and marked as Annexure-J. The petitioner has been served with the second show-cause notice leading to the dismissal from service. According to the petitioner, the findings of the disciplinary authority are vague, indefinite and are not in conformity with the legal provision under the West Bengal Service (C.C.A.) Rules, 1971. Moreover, the enquiry report is vague, indefinite and the findings of Inquiring Authority are perverse. It has been further alleged by the writ petitioner that both the appointing authority and the enquiring authority represented to the petitioner by informing him that the charge was very simple and that there would be no major punishment. The appointing authority also recorded an order to take a lenient view but in another breath he decided to dismiss the writ petitioner from service. Thus, the appointing authority acted in a mala fide and in a vindicative manner. The appointing authority has not considered the record of the enquiry and has not recorded its own findings and the alleged charge-sheet and the second show-cause notice does not comply with Rule 10(2)(b) of the C.C.A. Rules inasmuch as no ground has been for set out for dismissal. In view of the lapse of a period of four years between the
second suspension and charge-sheet and of a period of seven years between charge-sheet and the second show-cause, inordinate delay gives rise to the presumption of abandonment charge-sheet (sic) the petitioner.
(2.)The petitioner has come before this Court for the following reliefs:-
"A. Writ of the mandamus commanding the respondents, their agents and servants forbear from giving effect or further effect and from proceeding further with the charge-sheet enquiry report, suspension order, second show- cause notice, etc. and further forbearing them from dismissing the petitioner from service;
B. Writ of the mandamus commanding the respondents not to proceed further in the matter and to revoke, cancel or drop the entire proceedings and to allow the petitioner to resume his duty;
C. Writ of certiorari directing the respondents, their agents and servants to produce all the records, reports, etc. in connection with the matter so that justice can be administered by this court and other reliefs."
(3.)A supplementary affidavit has been sworn by the writ petitioner containing certain documents. In the affidavit-in-opposition filed on behalf of the respondents No. 1 and 2, it has been stated that the writ petitioner entered Government service on 1.6.74 in the post of Amin in Purulia Revisional Settlement Office. The minimum qualification for the said post of Amin was School Final pass from any Board. The petitioner declared his educational qualification stating that he had passed School Final Examination in the year of 1969 from Bihar School Examination Board. On verification it transpired that the writ petitioner did not pass the said School Final Examination at all and entered Government service by making a false declaration. An enquiry was held by the Commissioner of Departmental Inquiries, Vigilance Commission West Bengal after giving proper opportunities to the petitioner. After completing the enquiry, the Inquiring Authority submitted report to the Disciplinary authority holding that the petitioner used a forged admit card and that he did not actually appear at the Secondary School Examination, 1969 from Government Higher Secondary School, Dhanbad. The Disciplinary authority agreed with the findings of the Inquiring Authority after considering the matter and was of the opinion that the petitioner should be dismissed from service. Second show-cause notice dated 17.8.90 was issued in conformity with the rules. The petitioner has been dismissed from service with effect from 1.11.90. Other allegations of facts made in the writ petition have been denied. It has been further stated that the Settlement Officer being the appointing authority of the petitioner was the competent authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings. It has been further stated that the Director of Land Records of Service, West Bengal is the appointing authority in this case. It has been stated that a considerable time was required to conclude the enquiry as the Inquiry Authority had to examine a good number of witnesses and documents. The material averments made in the supplementary affidavit filed by the writ petitioner have also been denied.
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