Balwant Rai S/o Late Atma Ram v Union of India and others

Balwant Rai S/o Late Atma Ram v Union of India and others

Central Administrative Tribunal

JABALPUR BENCH

6 August 2013

Original Application No. 681 of 2009

The Judgment was delivered by : Dhirendra Mishra (Judicial Member)

1. Through this Original Application the applicant has prayed for following

(i) Issue a writ order or direction in nature of certioral quashing the order dated 14.09.2009, 28.11.2008 and 12.05.09, passed by respondent No.3 Annexure A/3, A/12 (A/11) & A/17 (A/16).

(ii) Issue a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondents to follow the order dated 17.10.2006 and the entire disciplinary proceedings against the applicant be dropped.

(iii) Issue any other writ order or direction which this Hon ble Court may deem fit and proper under the circumstances of the case.

(a) Set aside the order dated 24.11.2006 (Annexure P/1) and direct the respondents to pass a reasoned and speaking order upon the representation dated 10.09.2007 submitted by the applicant.

(iv) Any other order/orders, which this Hon ble Court deems, fit proper.

(v) Cost of the petition may also kindly be awarded.

2. Shri Nandy, learned counsel for the applicant submits that the applicant, while working as Assistant Administrative Officer, was served with a charge sheet dated 22.12.1995.

The said charge sheet was challenged by the applicant by filing Original Application No.449 of 1996 and the said Original Application was disposed of vide order dated 19.02.2002 without dealing with the issue relating to the competence of the Secretary, Indian Council of Agricultural Research to issue the said charge sheet, and applicant s Writ Petition No.477 of 2003 was disposed of vide order dated 24.01.2003 with liberty to the applicant to seek review of the order and while doing so to seek interim relief as well. Thereafter, applicant s Review Application No.2 of 2003 and Original Application No.449 of 1996 were allowed by the Tribunal vide order dated 28.03.2003 and the disciplinary proceedings against the applicant were quashed with liberty to the respondents to proceed from the stage of charge sheet and the order passed by the Tribunal was upheld by the Hon ble High Court, as Writ Petition (S) No.1958 of 2003 filed by the respondents was dismissed vide order dated 15.03.2005.

As per the orders of the Tribunal dated 28.3.2003, the Director, National Research Centre for Weed Science (for brevity NRCWS ), Jabalpur was required to proceed in the matter keeping in view the instructions and guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (for brevity DOPT ) as detailed in document of Annexure-4 annexed with the written arguments. However, the respondents issued the impugned charge sheet on 02.06.2006 (Annexure A-1) after a lapse of three years and three months from the order of the Tribunal dated 28.3.2003 though they ought to have issued the same within one month of the receipt of first day advice of the CVC.

3. Shri Nandi further submits that thereafter the applicant filed another Original Application No.1123/2005 before this Tribunal. However, the said Original Application was dismissed vide order dated 02.08.2006. Since copy of the order of said Original Application No.1123/2005 was not filed by either of the parties, we had called for the records of the said Original Application from the Registry. However, WP No.11158/2006 filed by the applicant against the above order was disposed of by the Hon ble High Court vide order dated 05.10.2006 (Annexure A-7). Consequent to the order passed by the Hon ble High Court, charge sheet issued to the applicant on 02.06.2006 was withdrawn and the appointment of the Enquiry Officer and Presenting Officer was also withdrawn. After withdrawal of the charge sheet dated 02.06.2006, the disciplinary authority of the applicant was Director, NRCWS, and the President ICAR had no authority to institute departmental proceedings.

However, the respondents are proceeding with the enquiry and new enquiry officer has been appointed in place of Shri Sanjeev Kumar Sinha vide impugned order dated 28.11.2008 (Annexure A-11), and applicant s representation dated 1.4.2009 against continuance of departmental proceedings, has been rejected by the impugned order dated 12.5.2009 (Annexure A-16).

4. On the other hand learned counsel for the respondents submits that after passing of the order dated 5.10.2006 by the Hon ble High Court the ad-hoc disciplinary authority has issued the letter dated 17.10.2006 (Annexure A-2), whereas he ceased to be the disciplinary authority after the passing of the order by the Hon ble High Court, and only the regular disciplinary authority could proceed with the enquiry from the stage of issuing the charge sheet, and thus the letter dated 17.10.2006 issued by the previous ad-hoc disciplinary authority has no sanctity in terms of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules,1965. The continuance of the departmental proceedings against the applicant is strictly in accordance with the directions of the Hon ble High Court and the instant Original Application is without any merit. The President of the ICAR, vide order dated 24.11.2006 (Annexure R-1) decided that the Director, NRCWS shall function as disciplinary authority and the enquiry shall be conducted on the basis of charge sheet issued to the applicant by the erstwhile ad-hoc disciplinary authority and the applicant has resorted to dilatory practice by filing frivolous applications one after the other.

5. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the pleadings of the respectively parties and the documents annexed there

6. During the pendency of this Original Application No.1123 of 2005, the applicant brought to the notice of this Tribunal that a regular disciplinary authority has been appointed by the department w.e.f. 10.5.2006 to initiate disciplinary proceedings afresh from the stage of charge sheet. However, no fresh charge sheet had been issued by the disciplinary authority.

However, applicant s challenge to the order dated 16.9.2005, whereby the applicant s case was forwarded to the Director NRCWS for initiating departmental proceedings afresh from the stage of issue of charge sheet was rejected, and the applicant s Writ Petition No.11158/2006 (S) against the order of this Tribunal dated 2.8.2006 passed in OA No.1123/2005 was disposed of vide order dated 05.10.2006 ( filed as Annexure IX with written synopsis), with an observation that We only clarify that as the regular authority has joined, he shall be disciplinary authority for all purposes in respect of inquiry that has been initiated against the petitioner .

7. From perusal of the above order dated 05.10.2006 of the Hon ble High Court, we also find that the statement of counsel for the applicant has been recorded that he had no intention to challenge the issue of charge sheet or the appointment of enquiry officer. His singular prayer is that as the regular disciplinary (disciplinary authority) at Jabalpur, he should have full control over the disciplinary authority .

8. In view of the above discussions, we find no substance in the arguments of the learned counsel for the applicant that the previous disciplinary authority vide order dated 17.10.2006 (Annexure A-2) had withdrawn the charge sheet dated 02.06.2006, as also the appointment of enquiry and presenting officer, and thereafter the appropriate disciplinary authority has also not issue any fresh charge sheet and, therefore, continuation of the disciplinary proceedings against the applicant is illegal.

The respondents are wholly justified in ignoring the order dated 17.10.2006, which has been admittedly passed by the erstwhile disciplinary authority, who ceased to be the disciplinary authority after the order dated 05.10.2006 of the Hon ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh.

9. Accordingly, we find no merit in this Original Application, the same deserves to be and is accordingly dismissed, however, without any order as to costs.

Application dismissed

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