Sunday, 24 July 2016

Whether employer can continue departmental enquiry against employee even if employee has applied for voluntary retirement?

In our considered opinion, the Bank was within
its rights to issue a charge-sheet to the appellant on
02.03.2001 because firstly, on 02.03.2001, the
appellant was in the employment of the Bank and,
therefore, he could be subjected to face disciplinary

proceedings as per the Rules. Secondly, since the
memo was served on the appellant prior to
introduction of the Scheme, the disciplinary
proceedings were rightly initiated by serving a
charge-sheet on the appellant after coming into force
of the Scheme on 01.11.2000. Thirdly, in terms of the
Scheme, the appellant's application could be
considered only after conclusion of disciplinary
proceedings and, therefore, the Bank was right in
considering the application and eventually accepting it
on 19.06.2001. Fourthly, the relationship of employee
and employer between the appellant and the Bank
continued till 19.06.2001 and, therefore, the Bank was
within its rights to take any action under the service
rules against the appellant up to 19.06.2001. It is not
in dispute that the Bank took all the disciplinary
actions prior to 19.06.2001 and then accepted the

application for voluntary retirement on 19.06.2001.
Such action, in our view, was just, legal and proper.
46) In the light of foregoing reasons, we cannot
accept the submission of learned counsel for the
appellant when he contended that the appellant stood
deemed retired on 31.12.2000 because no order was
passed or/and communicated to him by the Bank on
or before 31.12.2000 on his application for voluntary
retirement and, therefore, the Bank had no right to
initiate any disciplinary proceeding and pass the
punishment order against the appellant after
31.12.2000. This submission is devoid of any merit
and is accordingly rejected.
Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL No.5038 OF 2009
Surjeet Singh Bhamra ……Appellant(s)
VERSUS
Bank of India & Ors. ……Respondent(s)
Citation:2016(3) ALLMR 403 SC
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

1) This appeal is filed against the final judgment
and order dated 09.05.2007 passed by the High Court
of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur in Writ Appeal No. 171
of 2006 whereby the Division Bench of the High Court

dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant preferred
against the judgment and order dated 20.04.2006 of
the Single Judge of the High Court in Writ Petition No.
3842 of 2002 by which the Single Judge dismissed the
writ petition of the appellant wherein the challenge
was to the order dated 20.03.2001 passed by the Chief
Manager, Bank of India (respondent No.3 herein)
imposing the punishment of reduction of his basic pay
by five stages on the appellant.
2) In order to appreciate the issue involved in this
appeal, it is necessary to set out the relevant facts in
brief infra.
3) The appellant was an employee of the Bank of
India. He was posted as Branch Manager, Panagar
Branch, Jabalpur Region from 04.07.1996 to
26.05.1999. According to the appellant, during his
tenure, the profits of the said Branch were increased
2Page 3
from 2 lakhs to 30 lakhs, deposits were increased from
6 crores to 11 crores and advances were increased
from 2 crores to 4 crores. The appellant also claimed
that the NPA of the Branch fell down from 57 lakhs to
20 lakhs. The appellant claimed that due to his good
performance, his Branch won the award of Best
Branch of the Year.
4) On 08.09.2000, a memo was issued by the Chief
Regional Manager, Bank of India, Jabalpur to the
appellant mentioning therein that during his tenure as
Manager of Panagar Branch, certain
irregularities/lapses were reported in disbursement of
loans. The details of several irregularities alleged to
have been committed by the appellant were mentioned
in the memo. The appellant was asked to submit his
reply. On 18.10.2000, the appellant submitted his
reply to the Chief Regional Manager, Jabalpur.
3Page 4
5) On 01.11.2000, the respondent-Bank announced
Voluntary Retirement Scheme, 2000 (in short
‘Scheme’) with a view to lay off approx. 6000 extra
employees. Accordingly, offers were made to the staff
in general for opting voluntary retirement pursuant to
the Scheme on or before 31.12.2000.
6) In response to the said Scheme, the Bank
received 7600 applications as against 6000. The
appellant also applied for voluntary retirement on
16.11.2000. The appellant on 05.01.2001 was
informed that his application is in the process.
7) On 02.03.2001, the appellant was served with
the charge-sheet. The charges were in relation to the
irregularities which were mentioned in the memo
dated 08.09.2000.
4Page 5
8) The appellant filed his reply on 13.03.2001 to the
charge-sheet and accepted all the charges contained
therein unconditionally.
9) By order dated 20.03.2001, the Chief Manager,
Dewas Branch and Disciplinary Authority, passed an
order awarding the consolidated penalty of reduction
in the pay of the appellant by five stages in the time
scale for a period of 3 years and on the expiry of such
period, the reduction was to have the effect of
postponing the future increments of his pay to the
extent in terms of Regulation No.4(1) of Bank of India
Officer Employees’ (Discipline & Appeal) Regulations,
1976 ( in short “the Regulations”).
10) After passing of the order of punishment, the
Chief Regional Manager accepted the appellant’s
application for voluntary retirement by letter dated
5Page 6
19.06.2001. In this way, the appellant stood retired
from the services of Bank w.e.f. 19.06.2001.
11) Being aggrieved by the said order of punishment,
the appellant preferred a departmental appeal before
the Zonal Manager, Bank of India, Ujjain Zone. By
order dated 21.06.2002, the Appellate Authority
dismissed the appeal.
12) Challenging the said order, the appellant
preferred writ petition being W.P. No.3842 of 2002
before the High Court. The Single Judge of the High
Court by order dated 20.04.2006, dismissed the writ
petition.
13) Against the order of the Single Judge, the
appellant filed an intra court appeal being W.A. No.
171 of 2006 before the High Court. The Division
Bench of the High Court by impugned order dated
6Page 7
09.05.2007 dismissed the appeal and upheld the
findings of the Single Judge.
14) Aggrieved by the said order, the
appellant-employee has preferred this appeal by way of
special leave before this Court.
15) Heard Mr. Mehul M. Gupta, learned counsel for
the appellant and Mr. S. Gopakumaran Nair, learned
senior counsel for the respondents.
16) Mr. Mehul M. Gupta, learned Counsel for the
appellant-employee while assailing the legality and
correctness of the impugned order urged many-fold
submissions. In the first instance, learned counsel
contended that the High Court erred in dismissing the
appellant's writ petition and his intra court appeal
thereby erred in upholding the punishment order
dated 20.03.2001 passed by the Bank.
7Page 8
17) It was his submission that once the appellant
applied for voluntary retirement by ensuring
compliance of the requirements of the Scheme then it
was obligatory on the part of the Bank to have passed
an order either by accepting or rejecting the
appellant’s application on or before 31.12.2000 as
prescribed in the Scheme.
18) Learned counsel pointed out that since the Bank
failed to pass any order on the appellant's application
on or before 31.12.2000, its effect was that the
appellant's application was deemed accepted by
“deeming fiction” and as a consequence thereof, the
appellant stood retired from the services of the Bank
on 31.12.2000.
19) Learned counsel contended that in these
circumstances, the relationship of employer and
employee between the appellant and the Bank came to
8Page 9
an end on 31.12.2000 and, therefore, the Bank had no
right to take any action against the appellant much
less to serve any charge-sheet and hold an inquiry into
those charges and impose a punishment by passing
order dated 20.03.2001.
20) Learned counsel further urged that though the
order of voluntary retirement was issued by the Bank
on 19.06.2001 yet according to him such order was
deemed to have been passed on 31.12.2000 because in
terms of the Scheme, an order of acceptance or
relieving or rejection of voluntary retirement was
required to be passed by the Bank on or before
31.12.2000. In other words, the submission was that
since the compliance of several clauses of the Scheme
was mandatory for the Bank and, therefore, if the
Bank failed to pass any order on the application by
31.12.2000, it only meant that either the application
9Page 10
stood automatically allowed on 31.12.2000 or the
order passed on 19.06.2001 by which the appellant’s
application had been accepted was deemed to have
been passed on 31.12.2000. In either way, therefore,
the appellant’s retirement, according to learned
counsel, came into force w.e.f. 31.12.2000 and not
from 19.06.2001.
21) Learned counsel then submitted that the
punishment imposed on the appellant is not legally
sustainable because the disciplinary proceedings
which culminated in passing the punishment order
were initiated by the Bank after 31.12.2000, i.e. on
02.03.2001, when the relationship of employee and
employer between the parties had already ceased due
to acceptance of appellant’s application for voluntary
retirement on 31.12.2000 and hence the Bank had no
10Page 11
right to initiate any disciplinary proceedings on and
after 31.12.2000 against the appellant.
22) Learned counsel lastly submitted that since on
assurance of the Bank, the appellant admitted the
charges and, therefore, the Bank ought not to have
imposed any punishment on acceptance of appellant’s
application for voluntary retirement. It was also urged
that in any case, looking to the past performance and
unblemished career of the appellant and having regard
to the gravity of the charges, the punishment inflicted
on the appellant is excessive and, therefore, liable to
be quashed.
23) In reply, learned counsel for the respondent
(Bank) while supporting the impugned order urged
that no interference in the impugned order is called for
and the grounds on which punishment was upheld by
the High Court deserve to be upheld by this Court and
11Page 12
lastly, the grounds urged by the learned counsel for
the appellant in support of this appeal also have no
merit.
24) Learned counsel elaborated his submission by
contending that the reading of the Scheme as a whole
would go to show that firstly, the appellant was not
eligible for consideration because disciplinary
proceedings were in contemplation against him and
later initiated also and even if, he was held eligible to
apply pursuant to the Scheme yet according to learned
counsel, the Bank was within their rights to pass
orders on his application made for voluntary
retirement only on conclusion of disciplinary
proceedings and which the Bank also rightly passed by
accepting the application on 19.06.2001.
25) Learned Counsel further pointed out that the
Scheme did not provide any consequence in case if the
12Page 13
applications submitted by employees remain pending
on 31.12.2000. It was urged that in the absence of
any specific consequences not being provided in the
Scheme in relation to pending applications on
31.12.2000, there could be no deemed acceptance of
such applications on 31.12.2000 as was urged by the
learned counsel for the appellant. It was more so as
the learned counsel pointed out that the Scheme had
provided that no voluntary retirement of any employee
would come into force unless an order is passed by the
Bank on his application. In other words, the
submission was that every application made by the
employee was required to be disposed of by passing an
order by the Bank and, therefore, so long as the order
had not been passed, the applications would remain
pending.
13Page 14
26) Learned counsel urged that the Scheme was
directory in its compliance insofar as the Bank was
concerned and, therefore, the Bank was within its
rights to decide the pending applications even after
31.12.2000 regardless of any time constraint on the
Bank in deciding such applications. Learned counsel
urged that the principle of “deeming fiction” in these
circumstances had no application to the Scheme for
want of any specific clause in the Scheme providing
such fiction.
27) Learned counsel further pointed out that since
the appellant was in services of the Bank till
19.06.2001, the Bank was within their rights to issue
charge-sheet and conclude the disciplinary
proceedings before 19.06.2001 and which the Bank
did when it served the charge-sheet on the appellant
on 02.03.2001 and passed the punishment order on
14Page 15
20.03.2001 on the basis of admission made by the
appellant admitting the charges leveled against him.
28) Lastly, learned counsel submitted that in the
light of his above-mentioned submissions coupled with
the fact that there was no challenge to the order dated
19.06.2001 by which the appellant’s application for
voluntary retirement was accepted, no case is made
out by the appellant for quashing the punishment
order dated 20.03.2001 which was rightly confirmed
by the Appellate Authority, Writ Court and lastly by
the Division Bench.
29) Having heard the learned counsel for the parties
and on perusal of the record of the case, we find no
substance in the submissions of learned counsel for
the appellant.
30) In our considered opinion, the fate of the appeal
largely depends upon answering three questions, viz.,
15Page 16
firstly, whether the Scheme in question and, in
particular, its relevant clauses are mandatory or
directory for ensuring their compliance by the
appellant and the Bank; Secondly, what is the effect of
the Scheme on the rights of the appellant and the
Bank for deciding the legality of the punishment order
impugned in these proceedings; and lastly, whether
any case is made out to set aside the punishment
order.
31) At the outset, we may state that the appellant did
not challenge the order dated 19.06.2001 passed by
the Bank, by which his application for voluntary
retirement was accepted but confined his challenge in
these proceedings only to the order dated 20.03.2001
by which he was awarded punishment of reduction of
his basic salary in five stages in time scale for a period
16Page 17
of 3 years and its consequential effect in pay fixation
as detailed in the order.
32) Since the learned counsel for the parties have
extensively referred to the various clauses of the
Scheme to show its object and effect for deciding the
legality of the punishment order, we consider it
apposite to refer to these clauses infra:
“BANK OF INDIA VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT
SCHEME-2000
A. ELIGIBILITY:
All permanent employees of the Bank
with 15 years of service or 40 years of age, as
on 01.11.2000.
The following employees are not eligible for
Voluntary Retirement under the Scheme:-
a) Specialists Officers/Employees who
have executed service bonds and have not
completed it, Employees/Officers serving
abroad under Special Arrangements/Bonds,
will not be eligible for VRS (the Board of
Directors may however waive this, subject to
fulfillment of this bond/other requirements).
b) Employees against whom disciplinary
proceedings are contemplated/pending or are
under suspension.
17Page 18
c) Employees appointed on contract basis.
d) Any other category of employees as
may be specified by the Board.
F) The Competent Authority may accept
or reject the application of an employee for
voluntary retirement keeping in view the
organizational requirements or any
administrative reason and the decision of the
Competent Authority shall be final. No
voluntary retirement shall come into effect
unless the Competent Authority has passed
orders accepting the application of the
employees to retire voluntarily under the
Scheme.
G) Acceptance and Relieving/Rejection:
On acceptance of the application for
voluntary Retirement of an employee by the
Competent Authority, the acceptance as well
as the date of relieving shall be
communicated to the employee through for
controlling office/s. the employee shall stand
relieved on the date stipulated in the above
communication. The entire process of
acceptance and relieving shall be concluded
not later than 31.12.2000.
In case, the application for voluntary
Retirement of an employee is rejected by the
Competent Authority, an order giving reasons
for the same shall be passed by the
Competent Authority and communicated to
the employee through the controlling office,
on or before 31.12.2000.
18Page 19
I. EFFECTIVE DATE:
The Scheme will be effective from
15.11.2000 and will be in operation for a
period of 1 month i.e. up to 14.12.2000 and
can be withdrawn at the discretion of the
Bank at any time without assigning any
reason.
J. RIGHT TO AMEND/ALTER :
The Bank reserves the right to alter
and/or amend the above conditions of the
Scheme. The applications made under the
Scheme will be irrevocable and the employees
will not have the right to withdraw the
application once submitted.”
33) Mere perusal of the afore-quoted clauses would
go to show that the application for voluntary
retirement was to be filed by the employee on or before
14.12.2000 and on such application being filed, the
employee had no right to withdraw the application.
The Scheme provided that any employee against whom
some disciplinary proceedings are contemplated or
pending or if he is under suspension then he is not
eligible to apply for voluntary retirement under the
19Page 20
Scheme. The Scheme further provided that the Bank
is required to pass orders on the application (accepting
or rejecting) and complete all proceedings arising
therefrom on or before 31.12.2000. The Scheme also
provided that no voluntary retirement of an employee
would come into effect unless the Bank passes an
order on the application.
34) Before we examine the questions arising in the
case, it is necessary to see the law, which applies to
the case in hand.
35) A three-Judge Bench of this Court in Balwant
Singh & Ors. vs. Anand Kumar Sharma & Ors.,
(2003) 3 SCC 433 while examining the provisions of
Bihar Buildings (Lease, Rent and Eviction) Control Act
explained as to under what circumstances, the duty
cast upon a private party is said to be mandatory and
why it is said to be directory for any public
20Page 21
functionary. This is what was held in paragraph 7 of
this decision:
“7. Yet there is another aspect of the matter
which cannot be lost sight of. It is a
well-settled principle that if a thing is
required to be done by a private person
within a specified time, the same would
ordinarily be mandatory but when a public
functionary is required to perform a public
function within a time-frame, the same will
be held to be directory unless the
consequences therefor are specified. In
Sutherland’s Statutory Construction, 3rd
Edn., Vol. 3, at p. 107, it is pointed out that a
statutory direction to private individuals
should generally be considered as mandatory
and that the rule is just the opposite to that
which obtains with respect to public officers.
Again, at p. 109, it is pointed out that often
the question as to whether a mandatory or
directory construction should be given to a
statutory provision may be determined by an
expression in the statute itself of the result
that shall follow non-compliance with the
provision. At p. 111 it is stated as follows:
“As a corollary of the rule outlined
above, the fact that no
consequences of non-compliance
are stated in the statute, has been
considered as a factor tending
towards a directory construction.
But this is only an element to be
considered, and is by no means
conclusive.”
21Page 22
36) Later, a question arose in the case of Visitor,
AMU & Ors. vs. K.S. Misra, (2007) 8 SCC 593 as to
whether a clause in a Statute of the Benaras Hindu
University which inter alia provided for doing certain
act within a specified time by the party concerned, if
it is not done within the time specified in a particular
clause of the Statute then whether such clause would
be construed as being directory or mandatory in
nature and secondly, what would be the effect if the
Statute did not provide for any consequence to accrue
in the event of non compliance of such clause or when
the Statute provided for some consequence in the
event of non-compliance.
37) Justice GP Mathur speaking for the Bench
examined the issue in the light of the aforementioned
principle laid down in the case of Balwant Singh
(supra) and after quoting the principle in paragraph 12
22Page 23
applied the same to examine the relevant clause of the
case and held as under:
“12. A three-Judge Bench in Balwant Singh
v. Anand Kumar Sharma has explained in
what circumstances the duty cast upon a
private party can be said to be mandatory
and para 7 of the Report reads as under: (SCC
p. 436, para 7)
………..“Principle quoted”…………………………
Therefore, in accordance with the law
laid down in the above authority, the
provisions of Statutes 61(6)(iv)(b) and (c)
should be treated as mandatory as it is a
private party who has to do a particular act
within a specified time.”
38) When we apply the aforesaid principle of law for
interpreting the clauses of the Scheme in question
then we find that the Scheme is partly mandatory and
partly directory. In other words, it is mandatory in
compliance of some clauses so far as the employee is
concerned, whereas it is directory in compliance of
some clauses so far as the Bank is concerned.
23Page 24
39) This is clear when we see the clause, which
provides for filing an application by the employee by a
particular date. This clause is mandatory in its
compliance for the employee because if an employee
does not file the application before the due date then
he has no right to file the application thereafter,
whereas the clause which requires a Bank to pass the
orders on the application by a specified date and
complete all the formalities, it is directory in its
compliance.
40) In other words, it is not mandatory for the Bank
to necessarily complete all the formalities before the
due date specified in the clause and if the Bank fails to
do it within the time but completes the formalities
after the specified date, it would be permissible for the
Bank to do so and the act so done would be regarded
24Page 25
as being in conformity with the requirement of the
Scheme.
41) This we say for several reasons. Firstly, the
Scheme does not provide any consequence as to what
would follow, if the Bank does not ensure compliance
within the time fixed in the clause. Secondly, the
appellant being a private individual, if he is required to
do some act within a specified time prescribed in the
Scheme then it is mandatory for him to do so within
the time specified. Thirdly, the Bank being a public
functionary is required to perform public functions
and hence while discharging such functions, if the
Scheme has not provided any consequence for
non-compliance of the act within time, then the
Scheme would not be construed as mandatory but it
would be construed as directory insofar as the Bank is
concerned. Fourthly, since the Scheme has not
25Page 26
provided for accrual of any benefit in employee's
favour by "deeming fiction” in the event of
non-compliance on the part of the Bank then no such
benefit can accrue in favour of an employee
automatically by fiction as a result of any
non-compliance. In other words, in order to enable an
employee to claim any benefit by "deeming fiction" on
account of non-compliance of any act by the Bank
under the Scheme, it is necessary for the employee to
show that the Scheme contains a clause for conferral
of such benefit on the employee by “deeming fiction”.
There is no such clause in the Scheme and lastly,
when the Scheme has provided that the voluntary
retirement of any employee would come into effect only
when the order is passed on the application of an
employee then there is no question of any application
being accepted by "deeming fiction". In other words,
26Page 27
when the Scheme has provided passing of a specific
order by the Bank for accepting the application for
voluntary retirement then the application cannot be
held as accepted by “deeming fiction”.
42) In view of foregoing reasons, we are of the
considered opinion that the Scheme in question is
partly mandatory for its compliance so far as the
employee (appellant) is concerned whereas it is
directory for its compliance so far as the Bank
(respondent) is concerned. There can be no dispute for
the legal proposition that the Scheme can be partially
mandatory and partially directory.
43) In the light of what we have held above, we find
from the facts of this case that on 08.09.2000, the
Bank issued a memo to the appellant wherein the
Bank set out the irregularities alleged to be committed
by the appellant. They were replied by the appellant
27Page 28
on 18.10.2000. The Scheme, however, came into force
on 01.11.2000 which, inter alia, provided that the
application for voluntary retirement can be made
before 14.12.2000. The cut-off date for the Bank for
completing all the formalities was 30.12.2000.
44) The appellant applied for voluntary retirement on
16.11.2000 whereas he was served with the
charge-sheet on 02.03.2001. He, however, admitted
the charges on 13.03.2001. This resulted in imposition
of punishment on the appellant on 20.03.2001. It was
followed by acceptance of his application for voluntary
retirement by the Bank on 19.06.2001.
45) In our considered opinion, the Bank was within
its rights to issue a charge-sheet to the appellant on
02.03.2001 because firstly, on 02.03.2001, the
appellant was in the employment of the Bank and,
therefore, he could be subjected to face disciplinary

proceedings as per the Rules. Secondly, since the
memo was served on the appellant prior to
introduction of the Scheme, the disciplinary
proceedings were rightly initiated by serving a
charge-sheet on the appellant after coming into force
of the Scheme on 01.11.2000. Thirdly, in terms of the
Scheme, the appellant's application could be
considered only after conclusion of disciplinary
proceedings and, therefore, the Bank was right in
considering the application and eventually accepting it
on 19.06.2001. Fourthly, the relationship of employee
and employer between the appellant and the Bank
continued till 19.06.2001 and, therefore, the Bank was
within its rights to take any action under the service
rules against the appellant up to 19.06.2001. It is not
in dispute that the Bank took all the disciplinary
actions prior to 19.06.2001 and then accepted the

application for voluntary retirement on 19.06.2001.
Such action, in our view, was just, legal and proper.
46) In the light of foregoing reasons, we cannot
accept the submission of learned counsel for the
appellant when he contended that the appellant stood
deemed retired on 31.12.2000 because no order was
passed or/and communicated to him by the Bank on
or before 31.12.2000 on his application for voluntary
retirement and, therefore, the Bank had no right to
initiate any disciplinary proceeding and pass the
punishment order against the appellant after
31.12.2000. This submission is devoid of any merit
and is accordingly rejected.
47) Coming to the next question as to whether the
punishment imposed on the appellant was legal or not.
Learned counsel for the appellant was not able to point
out any illegality or perversity in the disciplinary

proceedings or in the punishment order dated
20.03.2001.
48) As a matter of fact, since the appellant admitted
the charges leveled against him in the charge-sheet,
there was no need for the Bank to have held any
inquiry into the charges. When the charges stood
proved on admission of the appellant, the Bank was
justified in imposing punishment on the appellant as
prescribed in the Rules. We, therefore, find no ground
to interfere in the punishment order as we also find
that having regard to the nature and gravity of the
charge, the punishment imposed on the appellant
appears to be just and proper, calling no interference
therein.
49) The next submission of the learned counsel for
the appellant that since the appellant had
unblemished career throughout in his service period,

the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the
appellant were not called for and deserve to be
quashed also have no substance.
50) Suffice it to say, once the appellant admitted the
charges, appropriate punishment as prescribed in the
Rules could be inflicted on him. It was for the
Appointing Authority to have taken into account the
seriousness of the charge and overall performance of
the appellant while imposing punishment. It was done
by the authorities concerned in this case as would be
clear from mere perusal of the punishment order. The
relevant para of the punishment order reads as under:
 “The acts of misconduct committed by
you are serious in nature but keeping in view
facts and circumstances of the case, I have
decided to take a lenient view in the matter
and to impose upon you Consolidated Major
Penalty of reduction in pay by five stages in a
time scale for a period of three years with the
further direction that you will not earn your
normal increments of pay during the period
of such reduction and reduction will have the

effect of postponing your future increments
to that extent in terms of clause 4(f) of Bank
Of India Officer Employees’ [Discipline and
Appeal] Regulations, 1976.
 I have considered your past record and all
other extenuating/mitigating circumstances
of the case. After a careful consideration, I
find that the ends of justice would meet by
imposition of the aforesaid consolidated
penalty on you. I order accordingly.”
51) In the light of foregoing, the submission of the
learned counsel for the appellant on the question of
imposition of punishment and on the issue of
quantum has no substance and is accordingly
rejected.
52) In view of the foregoing discussion, all the three
questions framed above are answered against the
appellant and in favour of the Bank.
53) The appeal thus fails and is accordingly
dismissed. As a consequence, the impugned order is

upheld though on reasons other than the one given by
the High Court. No costs.
 .……...................................J.
 [J. CHELAMESWAR]

 ………..................................J.
 [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]
New Delhi,
February 08, 2016.

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