10 June 2024


High Court of Patna

Ashok Kumar Mandal Vs. The State of Bihar and Ors.




Departmental inquiry can continue despite acquittal of delinquent in a criminal case

The present writ petition has been filed for quashing the order issued by the District & Sessions Judge, whereby and whereunder, the Petitioner has been held guilty of charges leveled against him and he has been inflicted with the punishment of compulsory retirement. The Petitioner has further prayed for quashing of the consequential order, whereby the Petitioner has been ordered to be compulsory retired from the service with immediate effect on invoking the suspension of the petitioner herein.

There may be situations wherein, in case charges and the evidence adduced in the criminal trial and the disciplinary proceeding are one and the same, acquittal in the criminal trial could lead to exoneration in the disciplinary proceedings, however in the present case, not only the charges are different but the evidence led by the prosecution is also different as far as the criminal trial and disciplinary proceedings are concerned.

Since the charges and the set of evidence are different in the criminal trial from those in the disciplinary inquiry pertaining to the Petitioner herein, the Petitioner cannot derive any benefit in the present proceeding from his acquittal in the criminal trial. It is equally a well settled law that, departmental inquiry can continue despite acquittal of delinquent in a criminal case. In the connected disciplinary proceedings, there has been no irregularity or illegality and the order of punishment has been passed only after the Inquiry Officer has held the Petitioner guilty, after affording full opportunity to the Petitioner to defend his case and infact, the Petitioner has been let-off lightly, as he has been compulsorily retired and not dismissed from service for the proved charge of gross misconduct. There is no merit in the present petition, hence the same is dismissed.

Tags : Disciplinary proceedings Inquiry Legality

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