Service Law – Disciplinary Proceedings – Back Wages – Any amount of suspicion cannot be equated to proof.
The respondent was not given any opportunity to defend his case at all. The grant of 50% of back-wages is just and fair in the facts and circumstances of the case. The High Court has correctly granted 50% of the back wages to the respondent. The Court does not find any good ground to interfere with the impugned order passed by the High Court. Accordingly, this Civil Appeal is dismissed, with no order as to costs.
Service Law – Disciplinary Proceedings – Payment of back-wages would depend on result of the inquiry – Reinstatement with back-wages, fully or partially, is a matter of discretion of the Tribunal – In the case of wrongful termination of service, reinstatement with continuity of service and back-wages is normal rule and the adjudicating authority to take into consideration the length of service of the employee, nature of misconduct, financial condition of the employer and similar other factors.
Service Law – Dismissal of a regular member of Force, is a drastic measure.
Rule 161 of Railway Protection Force Rules, 1987, which prescribes dispensing with an inquiry and to pass order against a member of Force, cannot be invoked in a routine and mechanical manner, unless there are compelling and valid reasons. The dismissal order dated 22.10.1998 does not indicate any reason for dispensing with inquiry except stating that the respondent had colluded with the other Head Constable for theft of Non Judicial Stamp Papers. Though, it is alleged that the respondent had conspired with the main accused for commission of theft of Non-Judicial Stamp Papers nearly worth of Rs.1 Crore, but not even a police complaint was filed for reasons best known to the appellants.
Service Law – By merely repeating the language of the Rule in the order of dismissal, will not make the order valid one, unless valid and sufficient reasons are recorded to dispense with the inquiry. When the Rule mandates recording of reasons, the very order should disclose the reasons for dispensing with the inquiry.
Service Law – When Rules contemplate method and manner to adopt special procedure, it is mandatory on the part of the authorities to exercise such power by adhering to the Rule strictly.
Railway Protection Force Rules, 1987 – Rule 161 – Special Procedure in certain cases – to pass an order as disciplinary measure, by adopting special procedure in certain cases, Rule 161 itself mandates recording of reasons. The normal rule for conducting an inquiry is governed by Rules 132, 148 and 153 of the RPF Rules. If the Authorities invoke special procedure, unless they record reasons, as contemplated in the Rule itself, no order could have been passed by invoking Rule 161.
Case Law Reference
- Deepali Gundu Surwase v. Kranti Junior Adhyapak Mahavidyalaya (D.Ed.), 2013 (10) SCC 324
- Commissioner of Police, Delhi & Others v. Jai Bhagwan, 2011 (6) SCC 376
- Tarsem Singh v. State of Punjab, 2006 (13) SCC 581
- Sahadeo Singh v. Union of India, 2003 (9) SCC 75
- Jaswant Singh v. State of Punjab, 1991 (1) SCC 362
- Hindustan Tin Works Pvt. Ltd. v. Employees of Hindustan Tin Works Pvt. Ltd., (1979) 2 SCC 80