Friday, 30 October 2020

Disciplinary authority should impose punishment of dismissal from service in exceptional circumstances

While dismissing the appeal, we would like to observe that the

government authorities must be quite sensitive while imposing

the severe punishment of dismissal as a consequence to

disciplinary action. 

ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

 Chief Justice's Court

Case :- SPECIAL APPEAL DEFECTIVE No. - 898 of 2020

 Board Of Basic Education Vs Arvind Prakash Dwivedi And 2 Others

CORAM:

Hon'ble Govind Mathur,Chief Justice

Hon'ble Siddhartha Varma,J.

Order Date :- 21.10.2020

This appeal is preferred to question correctness of the judgment

dated 25th August, 2020 passed by learned single Bench in

Writ-A No.5210 of 2020.

Succinctly, facts of the case are that the respondent-petitioner

entered in service of the appellant-respondent being appointed

as Assistant Teacher by an order dated 4th January, 2006. While

in service he was also promoted to the post of Head Master of a

Junior High School. The petitioner was placed under suspension

by an order dated 7th December, 2019 and was subjected to

disciplinary action under a chargesheet dated 13th January,

2020. In the chargesheet aforesaid, it was alleged that in the

year 1984 the delinquent employee appeared in an examination

of Purva Madhyama held by the Sampurnanand Sanskrit

Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi and in the same year he also

obtained high school certificate from U.P. Board of High

School and Intermediate Education. After holding an inquiry, by

an order dated 11th June, 2020 the Basic Education Officer

imposed a penalty of dismissal upon the respondent-petitioner.

Aggrieved by the same, a petition for writ was filed that came

to be accepted under the judgment impugned.

Learned single Bench while accepting the petition for writ

relied upon the law laid down by Supreme Court in Kuldeep

Kumar Pathak Vs. State of U.P. and others reported in (2016)

3 SCC 521. In the case aforesaid, the Supreme Court held as

under:-

"7. We are of the opinion that both the submissions of the learned Senior

Counsel are valid in law and have to prevail. The High Court has been

influenced by the argument of the respondents that simultaneous

appearance in two examinations by the appellant in the same year was

"contrary to the Regulations". However, no such Regulation has been

mentioned either by the learned Single Judge or the Division Bench.

Curiously, no such Regulation has been pointed out even by the

respondents. On our specific query to the learned counsel for the

respondents to this effect, he expressed his inability to show any such

Regulation or any other rule or provision contained in the U.P.

Intermediate Education Act, 1921 or Supplementary Regulations of 1976

framed under the aforesaid Act or in any other governing Regulations.

Therefore, the entire foundation of the impugned judgment of the High

Court is erroneous.

8. It is also pertinent to note that the appellant's intermediate examination

and result thereof was not in question before the U.P. Board. No illegality

in the admission in that class has been pointed out by the respondents. The

alleged charge of simultaneously appearing in two examinations, one of

the U.P. Board and other of the Sanskrit Board, was with respect to Class

X and equivalent examination which did not relate to admission in

intermediate course. The only provision for cancelling the said admission

is contained in Regulation 1 of Chapter VI-B. It details the procedure for

passing the order of punishment cancelling intermediate results and, inter

alia, prescribes that a committee consisting of three different members is

to be constituted and entrusted with the responsibility of looking into and

disposing of cases relating to unfair means and award appropriate penalty

as specified in the Regulations itself. However, there is no allegation of

any unfair means adopted by the appellant in the instant case and,

therefore, that Regulation has no applicability. Even otherwise, no such

committee was constituted. Therefore, having taken admission in

intermediate on the basis of past certificate issued by a separate Board,

which was recognised, and not on the basis of the result of Class X of the

U.P. Board, the appellant derived no advantage from his examination of

the U.P. Board while seeking admission in intermediate course. Thus, from

any angle the matter is to be looked into, the impugned orders dated 20-4-

2011 and 10-5-2011 passed by the respondents are null and void, apart

from the fact that they are in violation of the principles of natural justice."

Learned single Bench also held that before imposing the severe

punishment, no opportunity of hearing was given to the

respondent-petitioner and that is in flagrant violation of

principles of natural justice.

In appeal, the argument advanced by learned counsel appearing

on behalf of appellant-respondent is that the respondentpetitioner

could have not availed benefit of two educational

certificates while he obtained higher education on basis of one

specific certificate of high school issued by U.P. Board of High

School and Intermediate Education.

We do not find any merit in the argument advanced.

It is not in dispute that at the relevant time the respondentpetitioner

could have obtained two qualification simultaneously

and the respondent-petitioner as such possessed requisite

qualification to hold the post of Assistant Teacher as well as the

further promotional post.

Learned single Bench in view of it, has not committed any error

that may warrant interference in appellate jurisdiction.

While dismissing the appeal, we would like to observe that the

government authorities must be quite sensitive while imposing

the severe punishment of dismissal as a consequence to

disciplinary action. It is strange that in the instant matter the

authority competent despite knowing the fact that the

respondent-petitioner is having requisite qualification to hold

the post chose to impose the penalty of dismissal.

With the observations as above, the appeal stands dismissed

accordingly.

Order Date :- 21.10.2020

Bhaskar

(Siddhartha Varma, J.) (Govind Mathur, C.J.)

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