Saturday, 25 July 2015

Law relating to non supply of documents in departmental enquiry

 It was further submitted that the appellant could not
file the proper reply to all the three memoranda due to non

supply of documents sought by him towards submitting an
effective reply. However, such submission cannot be accepted
in absence of specific pleading as to which were the documents
sought for but not supplied by the respondents and how they
were connected with the charges leveled against the appellant.
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.8224 OF 2012
PROFESSOR RAMESH CHANDRA …APPELLANT
VERSUS
UNIVERSITY OF DELHI & ORS. …RESPONDENTS
Citation;(2015) 5 SCC549
SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J.

This appeal has been preferred by the appellant against
the impugned judgment dated 1st March, 2012 passed by the High
Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Writ Petition (C) No.2547 of
2010. By the impugned judgment, the High Court dismissed the
writ petition, upheld Para 6 of the Annexure to Ordinance XI
of University of Delhi and refused to interfere with the show
cause notice issued on the appellant and the memorandum(s) by
which the appellant was punished and removed from the service
of the Delhi University.
2. The factual matrix of the case is as follows:-
The appellant was a Professor in the University of Delhi
(hereinafter referred to as the, ‘University’). According to
the appellant while serving in the University he wrote a
letter dated 1st December, 1990 addressed to the Union Minister
of State for Welfare requesting sanction of Rs.5 crores for
starting Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research
1Page 2
(hereinafter referred to as the, ‘ACBR’). In response to the
said letter, office of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar Centenary Celebration
under Ministry of Welfare by letter dated 22nd January, 1991
invited the appellant to submit a detailed project report for
the establishment of ACBR commemorating birth centenary of Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar. On 15th March, 1991, the University forwarded
the proposal submitted by the appellant for establishment of
ACBR in the University and necessary certificate was given to
the Government of India by the University, especially in
respect of autonomy of the ACBR. The Central Government
accepted the proposal and the Prime Minister laid down the
foundation stone of ACBR. The Executive Council of the
University vide Resolution dated 13th April, 1991 approved the
project proposal for setting up ACBR and appointed a Committee
to finalize the academic plan and ordinances. Ordinance XX of
the University relates to Colleges and Institutions maintained
by the University including ACBR. A Committee under the
Chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor of the University in its
meeting held on 4th November, 1991 recommended the appellant’s
name to function as Director till a regular appointment is
made. The Academic Council by its decision dated 20th December,
1991 approved the said recommendation and further recommended
the Executive Council to appoint the appellant as Director
till a regular appointment is made. The Executive Council vide
its Resolution No.243 (1) dated 15th February, 1992 accepted
and approved the recommendations of the Academic Council.
Pursuant to the said Resolution, the Assistant Registrar (E-
2Page 3
NT) issued a letter dated 30th May, 1995 informing the
appellant about the decision of the Vice Chancellor,
appointing him as the Director of ACBR till a regular
appointment is made to the said post.
2.1) The appellant was already functioning as Professor in
the Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi. He was Joint
Proctor in the University between 1996 and 1999 and during
this period he was a Visiting Scientist at the Rockefeller
University, Cornell University - Medical College, Oxford
University and several other Universities and institutes. The
appellant was also functioning as Chairman of Board of
Research Studies, Faculty of Science and Chairman of
Publication Advisory Committee, University of Delhi during the
said period.
2.2) Further case of the appellant is that he was appointed as
Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi in March, 1999
and the same was informed to respondent no.3-Governing Body of
ACBR. According to appellant, the Governing Body resolved that
the appellant will continue as Director even after taking
charge as the Vice Chancellor in another University i.e.
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. On 30th July,
1999, the Chairman of the Governing Body, ACBR informed the
Vice Chancellor of the University about the said decision.
2.3) On 20th September, 1999, the Registrar of University
notified that the Vice Chancellor had appointed Professor Vani
Brahmachari as Officiating Director, ACBR during the leave
3Page 4
period of the appellant and specified that the appellant will
continue to provide Academic Leadership to the ACBR.
2.4) On 6th October, 2000, respondent no.3 resolved that the
appellant should continue to provide help and guidance, though
he was functioning as Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University.
However, it was specified that in absence of the appellant,
Dr. Vani Brahmachari will look after the day to day work of
the office. Respondent no.3-Governing Body, ACBR vide its
resolution no.6-74 dated 6th October, 2000 resolved to get the
ACBR registered under Societies Act and then to approach the
UGC and Government of India for declaring the ACBR as
Institute of National importance. It was decided to prepare a
draft and circulate to the members of the Governing Body to
discuss the matter in the next meeting.
2.5) Further case of the appellant is that respondent no.3-
Governing Body of ACBR vide its resolution dated 15th
September, 2001 considered and approved the draft of
Memorandum of Association of ACBR which was forwarded to the
University for information and necessary action.
2.6) In February, 2005, a Search Committee for selection for
the post of Vice Chancellor in University was constituted. The
appellant as well as respondent no.2-Professor Deepak Pental
were candidates whose names were initially short listed by the
Search Committee. In the meantime, the appellant was removed
from the post of Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University,
4Page 5
Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh by order dated 16th July, 2005 fifteen
days prior to the expiry of his tenure.
2.7) The aforesaid order of removal was challenged by the
appellant by filing Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petition No.51370
of 2005 before the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad.
Prof. Deepak Pental was officiating as Pro-Vice Chancellor,
University of Delhi during that time. According to the
appellant, the said officiating Pro-Vice-Chancellor was not in
the office on 18th July, 2005 and the said fact came to his
knowledge when he contacted the officiating Vice Chancellor to
inform him about his removal from the Bundelkhand University.
The appellant also informed the same to the Head, Department
of Chemistry; Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Delhi;
Chairman, Governing Body, ACBR and Dy. Registrar, ACBR.
Further, according to the appellant, on the same day i.e. on
18th July, 2005, he gave his joining report to the University
of Delhi but it was not accepted. The appellant came to know
the same from the Head of Chemistry Department who had
received a letter from the Registrar, Delhi University
regarding removal of the appellant from Bundelkhand University
and hence he was informed that his joining would be subject to
the clearance from the Chancellor of Bundelkhand University.
The Registrar, University of Delhi wrote letters to the
Commissioner of Jhansi, who was acting Vice Chancellor of
Bundelkhand University u/s 12(10) of the U.P. State
Universities Act, 1973, the Principal Secretary to the
Governor of Uttar Pradesh (Chancellor, Bundelkhand University,
5Page 6
Jhansi) and the Registrar, Bundelkhand University requesting
them to supply information regarding curtailment of the tenure
of the appellant. The Principal Secretary to the Governor of
Uttar Pradesh (Chancellor, Bundelkhand University) replied to
the letter on 26th July, 2005 giving details regarding removal
of the appellant from the post of Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand
University. On 28th July, 2005, the Principal Secretary to the
Governor of Uttar Pradesh (Chancellor, Bundelkhand University)
further informed the Registrar, University of Delhi that as
per the directions of the High Court, the appellant stood
relieved from 16th July, 2005 and subsequently, the appellant
was also informed vide letter dated 8th August, 2005 that since
he was relieved from 16th July, 2005 no further action was
required from Chancellor of the Bundelkhand University. The
Registrar, Bundelkhand University also replied to the
Registrar, University of Delhi on 2nd August, 2005 informing
him regarding allegation against the appellant. The Secretary,
UGC addressed a letter to Professor Deepak Pental on 4th
August, 2005 informing him about removal of appellant from
Bundelkhand University with copy to the Chancellor for
information and necessary action. On 4th August, 2005 a note
was endorsed by Prof. Deepak Pental on the letter of UGC to
the effect that “summary of the charges against Prof. Ramesh
Chandra needs to be made”. According to the appellant, such
note was given by Prof. Deepak Pental with a mala fide
intention of involving appellant in some controversy so that
his name would be dropped from the list of the Search
6Page 7
Committee as contender for the post of Vice Chancellor,
University of Delhi. The name of the appellant was dropped
and on 1st September, 2005, Prof. Deepak Pental was appointed
as Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi.
2.8) The appellant has alleged mala fide against Dr. Deepak
Pental and has taken plea that Prof. Pental did not stop
harassing the appellant even thereafter. He further alleged
that after his removal from the Bundelkhand University, his
joining to Delhi University was accepted w.e.f. 18th July,
2005. He also placed reliance on decision of Governing Body of
ACBR wherein it was recorded that the appellant would continue
to function as Acting Director (Hony.), ACBR. The said
resolution of the Governing Body was forwarded to the Vice
Chancellor of the University of Delhi. The Chairman of the
Governing Body, ACBR wrote a letter on 23rd September, 2005 to
the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University regarding its stand on
the position of the appellant in ACBR. The Executive Council
of the University of Delhi passed a resolution no.132 on 17th
October, 2005 that the appellant will not be allowed to hold
any administrative position in Delhi University henceforth and
resolved to issue a show cause notice to the appellant for
(a) suppressing information with regard to allegation on
account of which he was removed from the post of ViceChancellor
University at the time of his premature return to
Delhi University and (b) unauthorisedly assuming the office of
the Director, ACBR, Delhi University for the period from
18.7.2005 to 24.7.2005 in contravention of the statutory
7Page 8
provisions of the University. It was also resolved that the
decision, if any, taken by or at the instance of the appellant
while unauthorisedly occupying the post of the Director, ACBR,
or thereafter, be treated as null and void.
2.9) On 2nd November, 2005 a memorandum was issued to the
appellant containing the allegations set out in the Resolution
dated 17th October, 2005 and calling upon the appellant to
submit his explanation.
2.10) The appellant submitted his reply on 12th December,
2005 and requested for supply of certain documents. According
to him, the documents were not supplied to him.
2.11) Further case of the appellant is that the Governing Body
of ACBR after considering all the communications from the
Registrar, University of Delhi and the Executive Council
Resolution No.132 dated 17th October, 2005 reiterated its
earlier decision authorizing the appellant to act as Director
of the ACBR and to take necessary decisions in that capacity
until a regular appointment is made. The Governing Body of
ACBR further authorized the Chairman and the Director to
complete all formalities for converting it into an autonomous
institution so that ACBR could be converted to a deemed
University and an institution of national importance by the
next academic session.
2.12) On 2nd January, 2006 the Registrar, University of Delhi
issued an office order that consequent upon Dr. Vani
Brahmachari proceeding on leave Dr. Daman Saluja would look
8Page 9
after the day to day work of the office of Director, ACBR
until further orders. On 25th January, 2006 the Registrar of
the University forwarded another memorandum calling upon
appellant’s explanation w.r.t. memorandum dated 2nd November,
2005 within fifteen days. The appellant submitted his final
reply on 8th February, 2006.
2.13) It appears that the appellant in the meantime moved an
appeal before the Executive Council against Resolution dated
17th October, 2005 but no decision appears to have been taken.
The Governing Body of ACBR continued with its efforts towards
registration of the Centre as a Society. On 5th September,
2006, the appellant was instructed by the Governing Body to
file documents for the registration of the ACBR with the
Registrar, Societies, Govt. of NCT, to file an approved
affidavit stating that the ACBR is the legal allottee and is
in possession of the property/premises of the old USIC
Building Delhi University Campus, Delhi and ACBR have no
objection if the registered office of the Society is situated
in the said premises.
2.14) The appellant earlier moved before the High Court in
Writ Petition No.16000 of 2006 challenging the Resolution of
Executive Council dated 17th October, 2005. Allegation of bias
was made against Prof. Deepak Pental therein.
2.15) On 21st March, 2007 Executive Council of the University
passed a resolution to appoint a retired High Court Judge to
hold an inquiry about allegation against the appellant and
9Page 10
pending the inquiry to suspend the appellant. A memorandum
dated 22nd March, 2007 was issued by the University placing the
appellant under suspension and debarring his entry in the
premises of the University.
2.16) Justice ‘X’ – a retired Judge of the High Court was
appointed to inquire into the allegation against the appellant
and vide letter dated 23rd May, 2007 he informed the appellant
of his appointment and called him for the hearing on 4th June,
2007. The appellant moved before the High Court by filing
writ petition praying for stay of all further proceedings
against him.
2.17) In the meantime, the High Court of Allahabad vide its
judgment and order dated 11th June, 2007 in Civil Misc. Writ
Petition No.51370 of 2005 quashed the order dated 16th July,
2007 passed by the Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi
regarding the removal of the appellant from the post of Vice
Chancellor and held that the removal order was contrary to the
provisions of the UP State Universities Act, 1973.
2.18) The aforesaid fact was intimated to the Vice Chancellor
of University of Delhi on 16th June, 2007 with a request to
withdraw the resolutions and memorandum passed against the
appellant.
2.19) A fresh memorandum was issued by the University on 27th
August, 2007 alleging that the appellant has misused the
telephones of the ACBR during the period 1999-2005 though he
was not functioning as Director during the said period.
10Page 11
However, the Inquiry Officer recorded that in view of the
discussions and reply submitted none of the charges were
proved and the appellant was absolved of the charges.
2.20) Another memorandum was issued by the University on 16th
October, 2007 imputing charges of misconduct against the
appellant and the appellant was asked to submit his written
explanation to the said memorandum within fifteen days.
2.21) The writ petition being W.P.C. No.16000 of 2006
preferred by the appellant challenging the Resolution dated
17th October, 205 was dismissed on 11th April, 2008. In the
meantime, the appellant was informed by Justice ‘X’ Inquiry
Officer vide letter dated 5th May, 2008 that another inquiry
was being initiated in respect of memorandum dated 16th
October, 2007 and asked the appellant to take part in the
inquiry. In the meantime, the prayer of the appellant for
review of the order of suspension was also rejected.
Therefore, the appellant filed Writ Petition No.4436 of 2008
challenging the resolution dated 21st March, 2007 and
memorandum dated 22nd March, 2007. The appellant being
aggrieved by the order of learned Single Judge in W.P.C.
No.16000 of 2006 preferred LPA No.229 of 2008. The said LPA
No.229 of 2008 was heard along with Writ Petition No.4436 of
2008 and both were dismissed by the High Court by common
judgment dated 21st May, 2009.
2.22) The appellant challenged the aforesaid judgment by
filing the Special Leave Petition Nos.13753 and 14150 of 2009
11Page 12
before this Court. In the said case the appellant alleged
bias against the Vice Chancellor Prof. Deepak Pental in the
matter of issuance of the charge sheet. This Court initially
vide order dated 18th September, 2009 directed the respondent
to conclude the inquiry against the appellant within two
months. The Inquiry Officer concluded the inquiry pursuant to
Memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005 and submitted his report on
21st October, 2009. A copy of the inquiry report was forwarded
to the appellant. According to the appellant, Inquiry Officer
neither allowed oral evidences nor supplied relevant documents
sought by him. The appellant submitted his reply to the said
report on 28th January, 2010.
2.23) On 19th December, 2009 the Inquiry Officer concluded the
inquiry pursuant to memorandum dated 27th August, 2007 and 16th
October, 2007 and submitted his reports, both dated 23rd
February, 2010. A copy of the inquiry report pursuant to
memorandum dated 16th October, 2007 was forwarded to the
appellant asking him to submit his reply within twenty one
days. The appellant requested the Registrar, University of
Delhi to supply certain documents which were referred to by
the Inquiry Officer and submitted interim reply on 18th March,
2010. Subsequently, the Executive Council passed Resolution
No.281 dated 25th March, 2010 disengaging the appellant from
the services with immediate effect and subsequently a
memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 was issued to the said
effect. The aforesaid decision was communicated to the
appellant by the Registrar.
12Page 13
2.24) This Court on 5th April, 2010 dismissed the SLP(C)
Nos.13753 of 2009 and 14150 of 2009 filed by the appellant
challenging the High Court order dated 21st May, 2009 in LPA
No.229 of 2008 but granted the liberty to the appellant to
challenge the punitive orders. The appellant was permitted to
take all the pleas taken in the SLP including the challenge to
the validity and propriety of the inquiry proceedings
conducted by the University of Delhi. Pursuant to the said
order, the appellant filed Writ Petition No.2547 of 2010
before the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi which was
dismissed by impugned judgment dated 1st March, 2012.
3. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there
was illegality and unfairness in the initiation and conduct of
inquiry in regard to the allegations which led to the removal
of appellant. It was also submitted that the Chancellor
(Bundelkhand University) has not written to Delhi University
suggesting action to be taken against the appellant. Despite
the same, information regarding contents of charges was
solicited unilaterally by the Registrar of Delhi University
based on newspaper reports and the communication dated 4th
August, 2005 sent by the UGC to the Vice Chancellor of
University. Learned counsel further contended that in the
absence of Chancellor, Bundelkhand University suggesting
action against the appellant, the UGC need not have, even sent
the above communication.
However, the aforesaid submission cannot be accepted as
it was always open to the competent authority to initiate
13Page 14
departmental proceeding against its employee, with regard to
any misconduct or dereliction of duty if found during
performance of duty while posted in the office or on
deputation. In the present case, it was well within the
jurisdiction of the university to initiate such a departmental
inquiry when it is noticed that its employee was prematurely
removed from an office to which he was deputed to on account
of certain charges against him.
4. It was further submitted on behalf of the appellant that
none of the memoranda relating to disciplinary action were
ever placed before the Executive Council, therefore, memoranda
cannot be said to be charges or allegations considered or
approved by the Executive Council (Disciplinary Authority).
The aforesaid submission cannot be accepted in view of
the stand taken by the University and the material on record.
The counsel for the respondents was directed to produce
the original record relating to all the proceedings/memoranda,
all articles of charges including the office note and inquiry
report. However, only the record relating to memorandum dated
16th October, 2007 has been provided. We have perused the
original record produced by the respondents and find no
illegality in the manner of initiation of departmental
proceeding as the same was initiated as per Executive Council
Resolution No. 188 dated 21st March, 2007.
5. It was further submitted that the appellant could not
file the proper reply to all the three memoranda due to non

supply of documents sought by him towards submitting an
effective reply. However, such submission cannot be accepted
in absence of specific pleading as to which were the documents
sought for but not supplied by the respondents and how they
were connected with the charges leveled against the appellant.
6. Another ground taken by the learned counsel for the
appellant was that there were illegalities in the conduct of
the inquiry. According to him the appellant requested the
assistance of a legal practitioner as the presenting officer
as well as the Inquiry Officer was legally qualified person
regularly engaged in disciplinary proceedings but the said
request was declined. It was further submitted that the
appellant was not given opportunity for examination of witness
and there was no legal evidence before the Inquiry Officer to
bring home the charges.
We have gone through the inquiry report(s) submitted by
the Inquiry Officer and other records. The aforesaid
submission advanced on behalf of the appellant will be
discussed at an appropriate stage.
7. With regard to appellant’s allegation of mala fide
against Prof. Deepak Pental, it was rightly contented on
behalf of the respondents that in view of earlier decision of
this Court in special leave petition preferred by the
appellant and in absence of any specific evidence, plea of
mala fide cannot be raised.
15Page 16
8. Learned counsel for the appellant further contended that
the service of the appellant was terminated without providing
any notice as provided for in para 6 of the Annexure to
Ordinance XI which reads as follows:-
“6.(1)Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore
contained, the Executive Council of the University
shall be entitled summarily to determine the
engagement of the teacher on the ground of
misconduct in accordance with the provisions
hereinafter set forth.
(2) The Vice-Chancellor may, when he deems it
necessary, suspend the teacher on the ground of
misconduct. When he suspends the teacher, he
shall report it to the next meeting of the
Executive Council.
(3) The Executive Council shall investigate all
matters reported to it by the Vice-Chancellor
about the misconduct of the teacher whether he has
been suspended or not. The Executive Council may
appoint a Committee for the purpose. The teacher
shall be notified in writing of the charges
against him and shall be given not less than three
weeks’ time to submit his explanation in writing.
The Executive Council or the Committee may hear
the teacher and take such evidence as it may
consider necessary. The Executive Council may
determine the engagement of the teacher where it
deems that the misconduct of the teacher deserves
to be dealt within that manner, after it has
considered the explanation and the evidence, if
any, and/or the report of the Committee, if one
has been appointed.
(4) Where the termination of the service on the
ground of misconduct is after suspension by the
Vice-Chancellor as aforesaid, the termination of
service may be from the date of suspension, if the
Executive Council so directs.”
9. In the present case, as noticed above, detailed procedure
is followed in terms of said provision. The appellant was
suspended by the Vice-Chancellor on the ground of misconduct.
Notice was served upon the appellant and the Executive Council
16Page 17
resolved to conduct an inquiry giving opportunity to the
appellant to appear before the inquiry officer. Disciplinary
authority terminated the service of the appellant after
following all the due procedures. Therefore, the said
submission as advanced on behalf of the appellant cannot be
accepted.
10. Before the High Court and this Court, one of the pleas
taken was that the charges as shown in the memoranda do not
constitute any misconduct. The High Court observed that
misconduct though not defined in the Act or in Ordinance XI or
in the Annexure thereto, is a well understood term and
paragraph 6 of Ordinance XI cannot be held to be bad and
liable to be struck down merely for the reason of misconduct
having not been defined.
11. On behalf of appellant, it was further contended that the
departmental proceeding was conducted in violation of rules of
natural justice and extraneous matters were taken into
consideration to hold the appellant guilty. But such
submission was disputed by learned Senior Counsel for the
university.
12. Before dealing with rival contentions made by the learned
counsel for the parties, we deem it proper to deal with the
chargesheet – procedure followed in the departmental
proceedings and order of punishment.
17Page 18
A) 1st Chargesheet - memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005
The charges levelled against the appellant can be
summarized as follows:
(i) The appellant wilfully suppressed the material
fact that the appellant was removed from the post
of Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi
before the completion of term of his deputation, to
mislead the University.
(ii) The appellant wrote letter dated 8th August,
2005 to the Vice Chancellor in which he signed as
Founder Director of ACBR knowing well that the term
‘Founder Director’ gave a misleading impression
that he was the founder and was continuing as its
Director. Further there is no such post as Founder
Director
(iii) He has written other letters that gives
misleading impression about his status.
Before dealing with the correctness of the above
allegations, we would like to discuss the background events
which took place prior to the issuance of the said memorandum.
13. The Executive Council of the University of Delhi by its
Resolution dated 17th October, 2005 first decided to punish the
appellant for his alleged acts and to issue a show-cause
notice to the appellant. This is apparent from the Resolution
No.132 dated 17th October, 2005 which reads as follows:
“132. The Executive Council considered
letters received from (a) the Principal
Secretary to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh
dated 26.7.2005, (b) the Registrar,
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi dated 2.8.2005,
and (c) the Joint Secretary, UGC dated
4.8.2005 forwarding therewith a copy of the
order of the Chancellor of Bundelkhand
18Page 19
University dated 16.7.2005 indicating removal
of Prof. Ramesh Chandra from the post of the
Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand University. After
due deliberations on the above mentioned
letters, the Council resolved that:
(i) Prof. Ramesh Chandra be not allowed to
hold any administrative position in
Delhi University henceforth:
(ii) A show cause notice be issued to Prof.
Ramesh Chandra for (a suppressing
information with regard to allegation on
account of which he was removed from the
post of Vice-Chancellor University at
the time of his premature return to
Delhi University and (b) unauthorisedly
assuming the office of the Director,
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical
Research, Delhi University for
the period from 18.7.2005 to 24.7.2005
in contravention of the statutory
provisions of the University; and
(iii)The decision, if any, taken by or at
the instance of Prof. Ramesh Chandra,
while unauthorisedly occupying the post
of the Director, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research, or
thereafter, be treated as null and
void."
It is only after such decision to punish the appellant
the formal chargesheet was issued by memorandum dated 2nd
November, 2005 as quoted hereunder:
“UNIVERSITY OF DELHI
No. Estab. V(T)/2005/2083
November 2, 2005.
MEMORANDUM
Whereas it is noted that Prof. Ramesh
Chandra, Department of Chemistry, vide his
letter dated 18thJuly, 2005 addressed to the
Vice-Chancellor conveyed that after completing
his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand
University, he had returned back and reported
for duty as Professor in the Department of
Chemistry with effect from 18.7.2005 by this
statement. Prof. Ramesh Chandra willfully
suppressed the material fact that he was
removed from the post of Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University before the completion of
19Page 20
the term of his deputation, to mislead the
University authority.
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra, on
reporting for duty in the University,
unauthorisedly tried to join as Director, ACBR
as is evident from the notification No.
ACBR/05/743 dated 18.7.2005 issued by the
Deputy Registrar, ACBR which stated that Prof.
Ramesh Chandra had joined back as fulltime
Director of ACBR in the afternoon of 18.7.2005
after completing the tenure as Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi. This
notification (a) conveyed a misleading
impression that he had joined there after
completion of tenure as Vice-Chancellor of
Bundelkhand University whereas he was actually
removed from the post on charges of abuse of
power before completion of his tenure; and (b)
misleadingly referred to Establ.
V(T)/99/ACBR/35657 dated 20th September, 1999 to
wrongly convey that as per this order he could
join as full-time Director. The Order
No.Estab. (T)V/99/ACBR/35657 dated 20.9.1999
deals with appointment of Prof. Vani
Brahamchari as officiating Director and
specified the period of her office as the
period during the leave of Prof. Ramesh Chandra
and merely permitted Prof. Ramesh Chandra to
provide academic leadership to ACBR. This
arrangement at that point of time and
consequently ATTEMPT OF Prof. Ramesh Chandra to
join as Director of ACBR was ultra vires, and
therefore, null and void ab initio. Then at the
instance of this University’s letter dated
19.7.2005 clarified that the notification for
Prof. Ramesh Chandra’s joining as Director
stands withdrawn:
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra wrote a
letter dated 8.8.2005 to the Vice-Chancellor,
in which he signed as Founder Director, ACBR,
knowing well that the term ‘founder director’
gave a misleading impression that he was the
‘founder director of the Centre or was the
founder and was continuing as its Director.
When Prof. Ramesh Chandra was placed in
additional charge of the post of Director of
ACBR vide letter No. Estab.III/BRAC/95 dated
30.5.2005, his substantive post was that of a
professor of Chemistry in the University. All
incumbent moves away from his substantive post
on deputation/EOL. Further, there is no such
post as founder director. Therefore, signing
a letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor on
8.8.2005 as founder director ;was clearly to
give a misleading impression about its position
in ACBR which besides being non-existent, was
neither legally sustainable nor
20Page 21
administratively proper because Prof. Ramesh
Chandra was appointed in the Chemistry
Department of the Delhi University and not
appointed/deputed to ACBR as Professor;
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra had further
written letters dated 9.9.2005 and 26.9.2005
on the letter pad of ACBR signing as Director
which seeks to convey a misleading impression
about his status. He wrote to the Chairman of
the Governing Body, ACBR vide his letter dated
30.8.2005. In which he had referred to some
decisions of the governing body to resume as
Director of ACBR. This act of Prof. Ramesh
Chandra tantamount to seeking perpetuation of
the same misleading impression as indicated
above.
And whereas the University had clarified the
position with regard to the post of
Director, ACBR vide its letter no.
SPA/R2005/2007 dated 29.8.2005 addressed to
the Chairman of the Governing body of ACBR with
copy to the officiating Director of ACBR in
which it was clearly stated that there was no
provision of retaining lien on the additional
charge and that Prof. Vani Brahmachari continue
to be the officiating Director until a regular
director was appointed.
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra’s
unauthorized and irregular attempts of
usurpation to the post of Director ACBR
tantamount to creation of false records and
tampering with other records of ACBR which is a
serious misconduct on his part.
And whereas the above acts of Prof. Ramesh
Chandra on irregularly insisting on his
position as additional charge of the Director
in the ACBR without having undergone the
process of selection prescribed in clauses 4 of
sub-heading 6 on ACBR contained in Ordinance
XX tantamount to gross misconduct within the
meaning of clause 6 of Annexure to Ordinance XI
of the University.
And whereas some of the examples of
misconduct on the part of Prof. Ramesh Chandra,
particularly, the suppression of facts of his
removal from the post of Vice Chancellor of
Bundelkhand University to convey misleading
impression that he repatriated from Bundelkhand
University after completing his tenure and the
unauthorized claim about directorship of ACBR
were discussed by the Executive Council in its
meeting on 17th October, 2005 and the Executive
Council decided that his explanation be called
21Page 22
for his above mentioned acts of serious
misconduct;
Now, therefore, Prof. Ramesh Chandra is
hereby directed to submit in writing an
explanation to this memorandum within 15 days
of its date of issue, failing which it shall
be presumed that he has no explanation to offer
and the matter shall be placed before EC for
consideration/action in accordance with Clause
6 of Ordinance XI of the University of Delhi.
Registrar
Prof. Ramesh Chandra
Department of Chemistry
University of Delhi
Delhi.”
14. The retired Judge of Delhi High Court, Justice ‘X’,
Inquiry Officer, by the report dated 24th November, 2009 held
as follows:
“For all these reasons, I am of the
opinion that the charges against the delinquent
that he had concealed the fact of his removal
from the post of Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand
University with a view to mislead the
University and that despite his not being
Director of ACBR, he continued to describe
himself as Founder Director or Director, ACBR
with a view to give a misleading impression,
stand proved.
‘X’
Dated: 24.11.2009 Inquiry Officer
//TRUE COPY//”
Thereafter the formal order of punishment was issued by
memorandum dated 22nd February, 2010 communicating displeasure
of the Executive Council, holding the act of the appellant to
be unbecoming of a teacher of the University and prohibiting
the appellant from being associated with any affairs of ACBR
in any capacity whatsoever. The relevant portion of the said
memorandum reads as follows:
22Page 23
“And, therefore, Prof. Ramesh Chandra
(under suspension) is hereby communicated
the displeasure of the Executive Council
and that the act is unbecoming of a
teacher of the University. Prof. Ramesh
Chandra (under suspension) is further
communicated the decision of the Executive
Council that he shall not be associated
with any affairs of the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research in any
capacity whatsoever and that he shall not
be considered for any administrative
position in the University. Prof. Ramesh
Chandra shall continue to be under
suspension till further orders.”
From the aforesaid facts it is clear that the respondent
first decided to punish the appellant and only thereafter
memorandum of charges was framed, show-cause notice was
issued and inquiry was conducted, just to give it a colour of
legal procedure.
15. There is nothing on the record to suggest that the
appellant ‘wilfully’ suppressed the material fact that he was
removed from service before completion of term of his
deputation to mislead the respondents. It is true that the
appellant in normal course should have informed the Delhi
University before rejoining that he has been removed from the
post of Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi before
the completion of his deputation period. Such action can be
termed to be “dereliction of duty” but cannot be held to be
misconduct for the purpose of restraining the appellant
permanently from appointment to the post of Director, ACBR.
16. It is not in dispute that the appellant was the First
Director of the ACBR. The same was also accepted by the Delhi
University in its memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005.
23Page 24
Therefore, in his letter-head he has shown him as Founder
Director of ACBR, that cannot be said to be against the Code
of Conduct to hold the same as ‘misconduct’ on the part of the
appellant.
17. This apart, as there is no provision in the concerned
statute to withhold appointment permanently, it was not open
to the University to pass such order.
For the reasons aforesaid, the order of punishment
contained in Memorandum dated 22nd February, 2010 cannot be
upheld. The said memorandum is accordingly declared illegal
and cannot be upheld.
24Page 25
B) 2 nd Chargesheet – Memorandum dated 27 th August, 2007:
18. A fresh memorandum was issued by the University on 27th
August, 2007 alleging that the appellant caused ACBR to pay an
amount of Rs.16,63,284/- towards unauthorized expenditures
incurred by him like telephone bills and bills of security
guards and peon, during the period 1999-2005 though he was not
functioning as Director of ACBR during the said period.
The appellant denied the allegation and again retired
Judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice ‘X’ was appointed as
Inquiry Officer who by his report dated 23rd February, 2010
held that none of the charges against the appellant has been
proved. Relevant portion of the said inquiry report reads as
follows:
“In view of the above discussion,
none of the charges against the delinquent
has been proved and he is, therefore,
absolved of all the charges against him
leveled vide the memorandum dated 27th
August, 2007.
Justice ‘X’, (Retd.)
Dated: 23.02.2010 Inquiry Officer”
C) 3 rd Chargesheet – Memorandum dated 16 th October, 2007:
19. In the memorandum dated 16th October, 2007 the appellant
was imputed with the charge which can be summarized as
follows:
By acting as a signatory who subscribed his name to the
registration of ACBR as a society and by verifying the
affidavit which affirmed that he has no objection towards the
location of the registered office of ACBR in the University
25Page 26
Campus, the appellant attempted to misappropriate the assets
of the University. Such act was alleged to be a misconduct.
The memorandum dated 16th October, 2007 reads as follows:
“MEMORANDUM
Whereas it has come to the notice of the
University that Prof. Ramesh Chandra is
one of the signatories who subscribed
their names to the proposed formation of a
Society by the name “Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research” with the
description of its office as “old USIC
Building Delhi University Campus, Delhi-
7”. As per the records of the Registrar
of Societies Delhi this society has been
registered on 7.9.2006 vide Registration
No.56511. This is in violation of rules
and regulations of the University. Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical
Research (ABCR) is an institution
maintained by the University. The
University has not resolved or
contemplated to form a society out of the
existing ACBR. Since the proposal in the
society registered on 7.9.2006 has shown
the existing ACBR under the University of
Delhi as its address it tantamount to
misappropriation of the assets of
University maintained institution for an
unauthorized purpose. Thus, such a move is
fraudulent.
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra had given
an affidavit which was verified by him on
5.9.06 which he had solemnly affirmed
that
“I shall have no objection if the
registered office of the society named
“Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical
Research’ shall be situated at my above
said premises.” The building in which
the ACBR of the University of Delhi is
situated is the property of the
University and no one has any right
whatsoever to appropriate it for any
purpose other than what the Executive
Council of the University authorizes.
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra had no
locus standi to give any such affirmation
still had solemnly affirmed in the same
affidavit that “ACBR is the legal
allottee and in possession of the
property bearing no. Old USIC building
Delhi University Campus Delhi-7” which is
26Page 27
contrary to the facts. The fact is that
the premises where the ACBR of the
University of Delhi is presently located
(i.e. old USIC building University of
Delhi, Delhi-7) was not allotted by
University of Delhi to the proposed
society which was fraudulently registered
on 7.9.2006.
And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra verified
the above mentioned affidavit on 5.9.2006
saying “that the contents of the above
affidavit are correct, true and to the
best of my knowledge and belief nothing
has been concealed therefrom”. But while
verifying this affidavit on 5.9.2006 he
fraudulently concealed a material fact
that the authorized body of the
University of Delhi i.e. the Executive
Council had not resolved to convert ACBR
into a registered society. He also
concealed the fact that he being a
Professor in the Department of Chemistry
had no official position to furnish such
affidavit and therefore this act of Prof.
Ramesh Chandra tantamount to fraudulent
misrepresentation of facts with a
malafide motive.
And whereas the above acts of Prof.
Ramesh Chandra constitute misconduct by
misleading the Registrar of societies
Govt. of NCT Delhi and also the general
public by fraudulently attempting to
convert an University of Delhi as a
registered society and clandestinely
declaring Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Centre for
Biomedical Research as a Society and its
building as its registered office which
tantamounts to misappropriation of the
University’s property.”
20. The appellant submitted his explanation denying the
allegation and requested for supply of documents towards
submitting an effective reply. But the same were not supplied.
He also sought aid of a lawyer but it was also denied. Nothing
is on the record to suggest that any list of witnesses or list
of documentary evidence was supplied to the appellant or to
the Inquiry Officer. We have gone through the original records
supplied by the University. Even therein, we find no list of

witnesses or list of evidence available to bring home the
charges.
(Retd.)Justice ‘X’ who was again appointed as the Inquiry
Officer with regard to said charges, submitted a report dated
23rd February, 2010, holding that the acts of the appellant
giving an affidavit that he had no objection towards the
registration of the ACBR as a Society situated at the said
premises, and getting the Society registered without the
approval of the University of Delhi, are clearly the acts of
misconduct. The relevant extract of the inquiry report dated
23rd February, 2010 (relating to the third chargesheet) reads
as follows:
 x x x x x
“The delinquent in the year 1992 was
working as UGC Research Scientist attached
to the Department of Chemistry, University
of Delhi. The Executive Council of the
University of Delhi in its meeting held on
15th February, 1992 approved the setting up
of B.R.Ambedkar Centre for Bio-medical
Research (in short referred to as ACBR)
and the delinquent while working as UGC
Research Scientist was allowed to function
as officiating Director of ACBR vide order
dated 30th May, 1995 till regular
appointment of the Director of the Centre
was made. With effect from 25th June, 1996
the delinquent is serving as Professor in
the Department of Chemistry, University of
Delhi, even after his appointment as
Professor in the Department of Chemistry,
he continued to work as Director, ACBR
till he was relieved from the post of
Professor in Chemistry to take up the
appointment of Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi on 31st
July, 1999. On his appointment as ViceChancellor,
Bundelkhand University, the
delinquent sought extraordinary leave with
a lien in his substantive post of
Professor, Department of Chemistry to
enable him to join as Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand Univesity and his request was
28Page 29
allowed by the Executive Council of the
University. On his taking over as ViceChancellor,
Bundelkhand Univesity, the
University of Delhi vide notification
dated 20th September, 1999 appointed Prof.
Vani Brahmachari as the Officiating
Director, ACBR.
In accordance with his request dated
26th July, 2002 the extraordinary leave of
the delinquent was converted into
deputation service. The period of
deputation was to expire on 31st July 2005.
On 13th July, 2005, however, the delinquent
came back and wrote a letter to the
University that after completing his
tenure as Vice-Chancellor, he had returned
back and reported for duty as Professor,
Department of Chemistry, University of
Delhi. It appears that on 18th July, 2005
itself, a news item appeared in the
newspaper according to which the
delinquent was removed as Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University and the Registrar,
Delhi University, therefore, on the same
day, wrote a letter to the Commissioner,
Jhansi and Principal Secretary to the
Governor of Uttar Pradesh regarding the
authenticity of the newspaper report. It
is the case of the University that though
the delinquent had joined his substantive
post as Professor, Department of Chemistry
but he tried to clandestinely work as full
time Director, ACBR under the garb of
notification dated 18th July, 2005 of ACBR
issued under the signatures of the Deputy
Registrar of the said Centre. On coming to
know of the notification, a note was put
up by the Registrar to the Acting ViceChancellor
about the same and on the same
day, the Registrar asked the Deputy
Registrar, ACBR to withdraw the
notification dated 18th July, 2005 whereby
the delinquent was asked to work as
Director, ACBR. In the meantime, Principal
Secretary to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh
vide letter dated 26th July, 2005 informed
the University confirming the removal of
the delinquent as Vice-Chancellor in
pursuance of the order dated 16th July,
2005 passed by the Governor of Uttar
Pradesh in his capacity as Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University. This was pursuant
to some departmental proceedings initiated
against the delinquent for his having
allegedly committed financial
29Page 30
irregularities etc. during his tenure as
Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand University.
The aforesaid acts of delinquent in not
informing the University that he was
removed as Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand
University and his allegedly usurping the
post of Director, ACBR were considered to
be acts of misconduct by the University
and memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005
was, accordingly, issued to him to show
cause why disciplinary proceedings be not
initiated against him. Not being satisfied
with the reply of the delinquent, the
University decided to hold an inquiry and
appointed the undersigned as the Inquiry
Officer. In the said inquiry it was held
that the delinquent had concealed the fact
of his removal from the post of ViceChancellor,
Bundelkhand University with a
view to mislead the University and that
despite his not being Director, ACBR, he
continued to describe as founder Director
or Director, ACBR with a view to give a
misleading impression.”
 x x x x x
“By their unauthorized acts, the Governing
Body as well as the delinquent had
illegally attempted to convert a
University-maintained institution into a
registered society and its building as
registered office of the society. Out of
the signatories to the memorandum of
association of the society, it is only the
delinquent who is under the employment of
the University and disciplinary
proceedings can, therefore, be initiated
only against the delinquent. In any case
it cannot be the defence of the delinquent
that no action can be initiated against
him as no action is taken against other
signatories to the memorandum of
association of the society. It is only the
delinquent who has given a wrong affidavit
with a view to mislead the authorities.
The delinquent knowing fully that he was
not the Director, ACBR at the relevant
time as he was not appointed to the said
post in accordance with Ordinance XX of
the Ordinances of the University of Delhi
and there were already incumbents on the
post, there was no occasion for him to
describe himself as Director, ACBR. It was
totally illegal and unjustified on his
part to get a society registered even on
the basis of the resolutions of the
30Page 31
Governing Body and describe the building
where ACBR is located as his office as his
office and to convert it into the
registered office of the society. The
delinquent could not, in any manner, give
an affidavit that he had no objection if
the registered office of the society is
situate at the premises where ACBR was
located. The delinquent was only a
Professor in the Department of Chemistry
and he was not authorised to give any such
affidavit by the University or even by the
Governing Body to depose that the premises
where the registered office was proposed
to be situated was “his premises”, I am,
therefore, firmly of the opinion that all
these acts of the delinquent giving an
affidavit that he had no objection if the
registered office the society was situated
at the said premises and getting the
society registered without the approval of
the University of Delhi are clearly the
acts of misconduct. Charges against the
delinquent stand proved.”
After supplying a copy of the inquiry report to the
appellant for his response, the University issued impugned
memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 holding that the charges
against the appellant are grave and the same are in a way an
attempt to challenge the powers of the Executive Council with
regard to the general control and supervision of the ACBR, as
an institution established and managed by the University of
Delhi under Ordinance XX(6) of the University. It was further
held that such acts amounts to gross misconduct on the part of
the appellant and the same is unbecoming of a teacher of the
University and thereby disengaged the appellant, with
immediate effect, in terms of Para 6 of Annexure to Ordinance
XI of the University. Relevant portion of the order of
punishment and memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 reads as
follows:
31Page 32
“And whereas the Council, vide its
above resolution, noted that the charges
leveled against Prof. Ramesh Chandra are
grave and the same are in a way an attempt
to challenge the powers of the Executive
Council with regard to the general control
and supervision of the Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research, as an
institution established and manageUniversity
of Delhi under Ordinance XX(6)
of the University, are acts of gross
misconduct on his part and unbecoming of a
teacher of the University.
And whereas the Executive Council
further resolved that the services of
Prof. Ramesh Chandra (under suspension),
as Professor in the Department of
Chemistry be disengaged, with immediate
effect, in terms of clause 6 of Annexure
to Ordinance XI of the University for his
grave misconduct.
And therefore, the services of Prof.
Ramesh Chandra (under suspension) as
Professor in the Department of Chemistry,
University of Delhi stand disengaged, with
immediate effect, in terms of clause 6 of
Annexure to Ordinance XI of the
University.
A copy of the Executive Council
Resolution No.281 dated 25.3.2010 is
enclosed herewith.
Encl: As above(2 pages).
Registrar.”
21. In the inquiry report, the background of appointment of
the appellant since 1992 has been referred, though it had no
connection with charges. No such fact or evidence was brought
regarding the background history of the appellant was
mentioned in the (third) chargesheet nor any such evidence is
on record produced by the University.
The Inquiry Officer noticed the letter of the Principal
Secretary of the Governor of Uttar Pradesh (Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University) dated 28th July, 2005 confirming the
removal of the appellant as the Vice-Chancellor of the
32Page 33
University and the order dated 16th July, 2005 passed by the
Governor of U.P. in his capacity of Chancellor, Bundelkhand
University though it was not part of the charges nor such
evidence was cited in the imputed charges or list of evidence.
Similarly, though the memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005
or allegation levelled therein was not the part of the third
chargesheet nor cited as evidence by the University, the same
were also relied upon.
Influenced by the aforesaid extraneous facts and
consideration, which are not the part of the chargesheet or
the evidence cited by the University and without intimating
such facts to the appellant the Inquiry Officer held the
appellant guilty.
22. It appears from the record that the ACBR was established
within the premises of Delhi University on an initiative by
the Central Government according to the proposal submitted by
the appellant. The appellant being Director of ACBR, acted in
terms of decision of Governing Body of ACBR, towards making
the ACBR autonomous within the premises of University. In view
of clash of interest between the officials of the University
and the ACBR, one or other action appears to have been taken
against the appellant, as apparent from the memorandum of
punishment dated 26th March, 2010, as quoted below:
“And whereas the Council, vide its
above resolution, noted that the charges
leveled against Prof. Ramesh Chandra are
grave and the same are in a way an attempt
to challenge the powers of the Executive
Council with regard to the general control
and supervision of the Dr.B.R.Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research, as an
institution established and manage-
33Page 34
University of Delhi under Ordinance XX(6)
of the University, are acts of gross
misconduct on his part and unbecoming of a
teacher of the University.”
23. We are not concerned about the bias as alleged against
the 2nd respondent- Prof. Deepak Pantal, Ex-Vice Chancellor as
it was not accepted in the first round of litigation.
However, action of the University can be held to be mala
fide and illegal for the reasons as detailed below.
24. Though there was no allegation leveled against the
appellant in the (third) chargesheet that he attempted to
challenge the powers of the Executive Council with regard to
the general control and supervision of the ACBR, as an
institution established and managed by the University of Delhi
but such charge was held to be proved by memorandum dated 26th
March, 2010, as noticed and quoted above.
25. Further one ‘note’ given by the Registrar and approved by
the Vice-Chancellor in regard to the departmental inquiry
being relevant, it is desirable to refer and discuss the same.
The original ‘note’ relating to engagement of a retired
Judge of the High Court for conducting inquiry was given by
Registrar of the University on 3rd April, 2007. From the said
note dated 3rd April, 2007 as approved by the Vice-Chancellor,
we find that Justice ‘X’ a retired Judge of the Delhi High
Court was appointed as the Inquiry Officer to conduct the
Departmental Inquiry against the appellant as prior to his
elevation to High Court as a Judge, he was the counsel for the
Delhi University. The relevant portion of the note reads as
follows:
34Page 35
“Justice ‘X’ (name changed), retired
Judge of Delhi High Court had, prior to
the elevation to High Court as a Judge,
handled Delhi University cases. He is well
versed with the Delhi University Acts,
Statutes and Ordinances.”
It was in this background the University decided to
engage him as Inquiry Officer.
26. We are of the opinion that if an Hon’ble retired Judge of
a Court before his appointment as a Judge was a lawyer of any
of the party (Delhi University herein), the Disciplinary
Authority should not engage such retired Judge as an Inquiry
Officer, as the other party may allege bias against the
Inquiry Officer and the reputation of the Hon’ble Judge may be
at stake.
The University is directed not to engage any Hon’ble
retired Judge of any Court, who was earlier a counsel of the
University as an Inquiry Officer to hold an inquiry against
any of its employee.
27. The Inquiry Officer herein being a retired Judge of the
High Court is a person of vast legal acumen and experience.
The Presenting Officer also would be a person who had
sufficient experience in presenting case before Inquiry
Officer. In this background, it is also required to consider
whether an application of a delinquent employee seeking
permission to be represented through a legally trained and
qualified lawyer should be allowed or not.
28. In Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay vs. Dilipkumar
Raghvendranath Nandkarni and others, (1983) 1 SCC 124, this
Court observed:
35Page 36
“10…….Now if the rules prescribed for
such an enquiry did not place an embargo
on the right of the delinquent employee to
be represented by a legal practitioner,
the matter would be in the discretion of
the Enquiry Officer whether looking to the
nature of charges, the type of evidence
and complex or simple issues that may
arise in the course of enquiry, the
delinquent employee in order to afford a
reasonable opportunity to defend himself
should be permitted to appear through a
legal practitioner…….
12………In our view we have reached a stage
in our onward march to fair play in action
that where in an enquiry before a domestic
tribunal the delinquent officer is pitted
against a legally trained mind, if he
seeks permission to appear through a legal
practitioner the refusal to grant this
request would amount to denial of a
reasonable request to defend himself and
the essential principles of natural
justice would be violated……”
29. In J.K. Aggarwal v. Haryana Seeds Development
Corporation, (1991) 2 SCC 283, this Court held that the denial
of the assistance of a legal practitioner in inquiry
proceedings would be unfair. This Court held as follows:
“8. It would appear that in the inquiry,
the respondent-Corporation was represented
by its Personnel and Administration
Manager who is stated to be a man of law.
The rule itself recognises that where the
charges are so serious as to entail a
dismissal from service the inquiry
authority may permit the services of a
lawyer. This rule vests a discretion. In
the matter of exercise of this discretion
one of the relevant factors is whether
there is likelihood of the combat being
unequal entailing a miscarriage or failure
of justice and a denial of a real and
reasonable opportunity for defence by
reasons of the appellant being pitted
against a presenting officer who is
trained in law. Legal Adviser and a lawyer
are for this purpose somewhat liberally
36Page 37
construed and must include “whoever
assists or advises on facts and in law
must be deemed to be in the position of a
legal adviser”. In the last analysis, a
decision has to be reached on a case to
case basis on the situational
particularities and the special
requirements of justice of the case. It is
unnecessary, therefore, to go into the
larger question “whether as a sequel to an
adverse verdict in a domestic enquiry
serious civil and pecuniary consequences
are likely to ensue, in order to enable
the person so likely to suffer such
consequences with a view to giving him a
reasonable opportunity to defend himself,
on his request, should be permitted to
appear through a legal practitioner” which
was kept open in Board of Trustees of the
Port of Bombay v. Dilipkumar8. However, it
was held in that case (SCC p. 132, para
12)
“… In our view we have reached a stage
in our onward march to fair play in action
that where in an enquiry before a domestic
tribunal the delinquent officer is pitted
against a legally trained mind, if he
seeks permission to appear through a legal
practitioner the refusal to grant this
request would amount to denial of a
reasonable request to defend himself and
the essential principles of natural
justice would be violated….”
30. In view of the law laid down by this Court, we are of the
view that if any person who is or was a legal practitioner,
including a retired Hon’ble Judge is appointed as Inquiry
Officer in an inquiry initiated against an employee, the
denial of assistance of legal practitioner to the charged
employee would be unfair.
31. For the reasons aforesaid, we hold that all the
Departmental inquiries conducted against the appellant were in
violation of rules of natural justice. This apart as the third
inquiry report is based on extraneous facts and first part of
the charge held to be proved in memorandum dated 26th March,
37Page 38
2010 being not the part of the charges shown in the (third)
chargesheet, the order of punishment, including Resolution by
memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 cannot be upheld.
32. For the reasons aforesaid, we set aside both penal
memoranda dated 22nd February, 2010 and 26th March, 2010. In
effect, the appellant stands reinstated to the post of
Professor but in the facts and circumstances, we allow only
50% of back wages (salary) to appellant for the intervening
period i.e. from the date of his disengagement till the date
of this judgment. However, the aforesaid period shall be
treated ‘on duty’ for all purposes including seniority,
increment, fixation of pay, retrial benefits, etc. The
respondents are directed to pay the appellant arrears within
two months, failing which they shall be liable to pay interest
@ 6% from the date of this judgment.
33. The appeal is allowed with aforesaid observations and
directions. No costs.
………………………………………….J.
 (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)
………………………………………….J.
 (C.NAGAPPAN)
NEW DELHI;
FEBRUARY 06, 2015.
38Page 39
39
Print Page

No comments:

Post a Comment