24 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

CISF and Ors. vs. Santosh Kumar Pandey

MANU/SC/1636/2022

16.12.2022

Service

Judicial review is not akin to adjudication of the case on merits, unless the court finds that the findings recorded are based on no evidence

Present appeal, which has been preferred by Central Industrial Security Force and two others, takes exception to the judgment in Special Civil Application, whereby the High Court has allowed the writ petition preferred by Respondent No.1 – Santosh Kumar Pandey and directed his reinstatement in service with 50% back wages from the date of his removal.

Respondent No. 1 – Santosh Kumar Pandey, who was working as a constable with the CISF, was posted at the Greenbelt Area of the IPCL Township, Vadodara, Gujarat, where he was charge-sheeted vide memorandum dated 28.10.2001 on allegations of misconduct.

Judicial review is not akin to adjudication of the case on merits, and adequacy or inadequacy of evidence, unless the court finds that the findings recorded are based on no evidence, perverse or are legally untenable in the sense that it fails to pass the muster of the Wednesbury principle. Power of the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India enables exercise of judicial review to correct errors of law, including procedural law, leading to manifest injustice or violation of principles of fairness, without normally venturing into reappreciation of evidence.

The writ court, when disciplinary action is challenged, is primarily concerned with examination of the decision making process, which requires satisfaction that the competent authorities have held inquiry as per the prescribed procedure, and have duly applied their mind to the evidence and material placed on record, without extraneous matters being given undue consideration, and the relevant factors have been cogitated. The conclusions of fact, which are based upon evaluation and appreciation of evidence, when meticulously reached by the authorities, should not be interfered with merely because the court may have reached at a different conclusion. Thus, error of law, is apparent in the reasoning vide paragraph 10 of the impugned judgment. The impugned judgment is set aside. The order of removal from service passed by the disciplinary authority is upheld.

Tags : Reinstatement Direction Legality

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