S.B. Sinha, J. -
(1.)This appeal is directed against a judgment and order dated September 20, 1985 passed by U.C. Banerjee, J. in C.R. No. 3185 (W)/83 whereby and whereunder the said learned Judge dismissed the writ application filed by the writ Petitioner questioning the order of dismissal dated March 16, 1982 as contained in Annexure 'N' to the writ application.
(2.)The fact of the matter lies in a very narrow compass.
The Petitioner joined the service of the Respondent No. 1, Bank, on April 3, 1961. According to him, he was an efficient officer and he took charge as Agent, Howrah Branch, a 'B' category branch, on March 12, 1971. There appears to be a dispute as to whether the said Howrah Branch is a 'B' category Branch or not.
The Petitioner's contention is that during his tenure, the total deposit of Rs. 71 lakhs was raised to Rs. 125 lakhs in the year 1971 and then to Rs. 175 lakhs in 1972. He was awarded a gold medal. He was promoted as Assistant Regional Manager on September 17/18, 1972 and transferred to Jaipur. He was again promoted as Development Manager (SSI & SB) in June 1974 and transferred to Eastern Zone.
The Petitioner wanted to come to Calcutta. In November 1974 he was asked to give certain comments regarding accounts of Howrah Branch during his tenure of agent ship which he did sometime in December, 1974.
The Petitioner submitted his letter of resignation on July 23, 1976, inter alia, on the ground that he was not allowed to keep his house as his daughter was studying. The said resignation was not accepted and the Petitioner was informed that CBI investigation had been started against him. On or about August 28, 1978 the Petitioner received certain charges which are as follows:
(a) that he did not take all possible steps to ensure and protect the interests of the Bank, which amounts to misconduct in terms of sub -regulation 3(1) read with Regulation 24 of the Bank of Baroda Officers Employees' (Conduct) Regulations, 1976.
(b) that he did not discharge his duties with utmost integrity , honesty, devotion and/or diligence, which amounts to misconduct in terms of sub -regulation 3(1) read with Regulation 24 of the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Conduct) Regulations, 1976.
(c) that he did not maintain discipline in all transactions and negotiations which amounts to misconduct in terms of sub -regulation 3(2) read with Regulation 24 of the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Conduct) Regulations, 1976.
(d) that he did not, in the performance of his official duties and/or in the exercise of the powers conferred on him, act in his best judgment, which amounts to misconduct in terms of sub -regulation 3(3) read with Regulation 24 of the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Conduct) Regulation, 1976.
(e) that he did not take all possible steps to ensure the devotion to duty of all persons for the time being under his control and authority, which amounts to misconduct in terms of sub -regulation 3(4) read with Regulation 24 of the Bank of Baroda Officer Employees' (Conduct) Regulations, 1976.
The said charges were related to India Machinery Company Ltd. The Petitioner sent a letter on September 4, 1978 asking for a copy of the CBI report and three months' time to answer the charges. The Petitioner received a copy of the written brief and he was asked to submit written statement by February 15, 1979. On February 14, 1979 he asked for further time and submitted a written brief on February 27, 1979. On September 17, 1979, however, the Petitioner informed the Bank that he was willing to rejoin his service but did not receive any reply whereafter he demanded justice through his Advocate by notice dated February 27, 1980. He was asked to join by letter dated March 6, 1980 and he joined on March 14, 1980. He was placed under suspension on April 18, 1980. On January 12, 1981 he was asked to give his educational and professional qualifications for promotion. According to the Petitioner, he did not sit for the interview as he had already attained the said grade. By reason of the impugned order dated March 16, 1982 as contained in annexure 'N' to the writ application, the service of the Petitioner was terminated.
(3.)Mr. Pal, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the writ Petitioner/ Appellant has raised a number of contentions in support of this appeal. The learned Counsel submits that keeping in view the fact that the internal working of the Bank is different than that the working of the private sector organisation, the Petitioner cannot be held to be guilty of the charges. According to the learned Counsel so far as the banking transactions are concerned two audits took place during his tenure but despite the same, the alleged irregularity of the Petitioner was not noticed for a period of more than four years. The learned Counsel submits that in any event as the Petitioner after his alleged action or in action was promoted twice, the Respondents must be deemed to have waived their right to proceed against him departmentally and in support of the aforementioned submission reliance has been placed on the case of State of Punjab v/s. Diwan Chunilal : A.I.R. 1970 S.C. 2086 and the decision of this Court in the case of Collector of Customs v/s. Rebati Mohan Chatterjee, 1976 C.H.N. 792. The learned Counsel pointed out that the stand taken by the Respondents in the affidavit -in -opposition is not correct, in as much as, no CBI investigation was pending "on the date on which the Petitioner had resigned from service. The learned Counsel in this connection has drawn our attention to the statement made in para. 13 at page 9 of the writ application as welt as his reply as contained in annexure 'F' to the writ application to the Memorandum and Article of charges served on him, from a perusal whereof it appears that the Petitioner had all along been taking a stand that he had resigned from the service.