10 June 2024


Judgments

Supreme Court

Ram Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan and Ors.

MANU/SC/1305/2023

04.12.2023

Service

If the findings of the disciplinary authorities are arrived at after ignoring the relevant material, the court in judicial review can interfere

The Appellant was a Constable with the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary, 9th Battalion, Jodhpur. He was appointed on 15th December, 1991. A First Information Report (F.I.R.) was registered against him Under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). Soon thereafter, a chargesheet in a departmental enquiry was also issued.

At the criminal trial, the trial Court convicted the Appellant for the offence under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the Appellate Judge, vide judgment, allowed the criminal appeal and acquitted the Appellant. The Appellant, thereafter, represented for his reinstatement. Subsequently, he filed a writ petition in August, 2008 for quashing the dismissal order, the order of the Appellate Authority, and the orders refusing to review and reconsider the above-said orders.

The learned Single Judge, by his judgment dismissed the writ petition by holding that the standard of proof in a criminal proceeding and departmental proceeding is different. The learned Single Judge found no infirmity in the order of the Disciplinary Authority. The writ appeal filed by the Appellant has also been dismissed by reiterating the findings of the learned Single Judge and by further elucidating as to how the parameters for a judicial review against an order in a departmental proceeding are limited and circumscribed. Being aggrieved, the Appellant is in appeal.

It is well settled that if the findings of the disciplinary authorities are arrived at after ignoring the relevant material the court in judicial review can interfere. The disciplinary proceedings are vitiated and deserves to be quashed. The Appellant was acquitted after full consideration of the prosecution evidence and after noticing that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the charge. The court in judicial review is obliged to examine the substance of the judgment and not go by the form of expression used.

It is not the case of department that the Appellant sought employment based on 10th standard marksheet. It is their positive case that the Appellant sought employment on the basis of his 8th standard marksheet. Shravan Lal-PW-4 in the departmental enquiry had also furnished the 10th standard marksheet procured from the Secondary Education Board, Ajmer. In cross-examination, on being asked, he admitted that the Appellant was recruited on the basis of 8th standard marksheet, and he admitted that there was no alteration in the 8th standard marksheet.

The order of termination; the order of the Appellate Authority; the orders refusing to reconsider and review the penalty respectively, are all illegal and untenable. The Appellant shall be reinstated with all consequential benefits including seniority, notional promotions, fitment of salary and all other benefits. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Termination Penalty Legality

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