O.A. No. 174/2008 with OAs 309/2008, 2769/2008, 2770/2008 & 2387/2007. Case: 1. Ct. Surinder Singh S/o Prem Singh, 2. Head Ct. Munshi Lal S/o Ram Bharose, 3. Constable Banwari Lal S/o Ram Sahai Meena, 4. Constable Ram Singhasan S/o Ram Chander Prasad, 5. Ex. Constable Shrimant Vs 1. Commissioner of Police, 2. Joint Commissioner of Police, 3. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, 4. Enquiry Officer, Through Commissioner of Police, 5. Union of India, Through Ministry of Home Affairs, 6. Government of NCT of Delhi, Through Commissioner of Police, 7. Ravinder Kumar, Inquiry Officer, 8. Deputy Commissioner of Police. Central Administrative Tribunal

Case Number:O.A. No. 174/2008 with OAs 309/2008, 2769/2008, 2770/2008 & 2387/2007
Party Name:1. Ct. Surinder Singh S/o Prem Singh, 2. Head Ct. Munshi Lal S/o Ram Bharose, 3. Constable Banwari Lal S/o Ram Sahai Meena, 4. Constable Ram Singhasan S/o Ram Chander Prasad, 5. Ex. Constable Shrimant Vs 1. Commissioner of Police, 2. Joint Commissioner of Police, 3. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, 4. Enquiry Officer, Through Commissioner of Police, 5. Union of India, Through Ministry of Home Affairs, 6. Government of NCT of Delhi, Through Commissioner of Police, 7. Ravinder Kumar, Inquiry Officer, 8. Deputy Commissioner of Police
Counsel:Arun Bhardwaj, Ram Kawar, Avnish Ahlawat, R. N. Singh, Anil Singal, Sumedha Sharma
Judges:M. Ramachandran (Judicial Member) & Veena Chhotray (Accountant Member)
Issue:Constitution of India, 1950 - Article 226; Indian Evidence Act, 1872
Judgement Date:January 06, 2010
Court:Central Administrative Tribunal
 
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Judgment:

Dr. Veena Chhotray (Accountant Member), (Principal Bench, New Delhi)

1. As all these five OAs have originated out of a common incident and a joint inquiry with identical/closely related facts, they are being disposed by this common order. The lead case is being taken as OA 174/2008 (Surinder Singh vs. Commissioner of Police & Ors) with references therefrom unless otherwise specified.

The OA No. 174/2008 (Ct. Surinder Singh Vs. Commissioner of Police & Ors.), OA No. 309/2008 (Head Ct. Munshi Lal vs Commissioner of Police & Ors) would be defended by the learned counsel Shri Arun Bhardwaj; OA No.2769/2008 (Shri Banwari Lal vs. UOI & Ors), OA No.2770/2008 (Shri Ram Singhasan vs UOI & Ors) would be defended by the learned counsel Ms. Avnish Ahlawat and OA 2387/2007 (Shrimant vs. GNCTD & Ors) would be defended by the learned Counsel Shri Anil Singal. On behalf of the respondents, the learned counsels Shri Ram Kanwar would appear in OAs 174/2008, 309/2008 and 2769/2008; and the learned counsels Shri R.N. Singh and Ms. Sumedha Sharma would appear for the respondents respectively in OA 2770/2009 and 2387/2007.

We have heard at length the learned counsels appearing on both sides and also carefully perused the material on record.

2. The charge in question pertained to an incident in the night on 1-2.1.2005 when as a night patrolling party, the five delinquents were proceeded against in a joint enquiry for exhorting money from the complainants. As per the facts emerging before us, subsequently after a prompt action by the senior officials, this money was returned to the complainants. On the charge being proved in the inquiry, the Disciplinary Authority (DA) vide its order dated 6.10.2006 awarded punishment of forfeiture of 10 years approved service permanently entailing reduction in the pay in all the four Constables i.e. Ct. Surinder Singh, Ct. Ram Singhasan, Ct. Banwari Lal and Ct. Srimant. Since Head Constable Munshi Lal had not completed 10 years' service in the rank of Head Constable, the punishment of reduction in rank from Head Constable to Constable for a period of 10 years was awarded to him with immediate effect. Besides, the suspension period of all of them was treated as not spent on duty (Annexure A/2).

The aforesaid penalty was enhanced after a show cause notice by the Appellate Authority (AA) to that of dismissal of all the five delinquents with the treatment of the suspension period being allowed to remain as before. The relevant order dated 23.11.2007 has been annexed as Annexure A/1 with the OA.

By way of relief, the OAs seek the following reliefs:-

1. Impugned orders passed by Appellate Authority dt 23.11.07 and passed by Disciplinary Authority dt 6.10.06 and Show Cause Notice Dt 6.9.07 may kindly be quashed and set aside being illegal and applicants may be reinstated.

Enquiry Officer's findings dt 14.5.05 be quashed and set aside.

Applicants be granted all consequential benefits.

Period of suspension be treated as spent on duty for all purposes.

Costs of the OA be also awarded to the applicant.

Any other relief be also granted to the applicant.

3. Pending an inquiry, all the five delinquents were placed under suspension for the alleged misconduct vide the order dated 10.1.2005 (Annexure A/6). This was followed by an order dated 22.2.2005 to deal with the allegations departmentally under the provisions of the Delhi Police (Punishment & Appeal) Rules, 1980 (Annexure A/5) with the summary of allegations dated 2.3.2005 (Annexure A/7). The 'charge' was framed by the Inquiry Officer (IO) after examination of the prosecution witnesses with the opportunity to the charged officials to cross examine, and after approval of the Disciplinary Authority. This was served on the delinquents on 19.5.2005. The charge ran as under:

I, Inspector Ravinder Kumar, Enquiry Officer, charge you HC Munshi Lal No.408/ND CONST. Surender Singh No.590/ND, CONST. Ram Singhasan No.1303/ND, CONST. Shrimant No.1296/ND and CONST. Banwari Lal No.766/ND that while posted at P.S. Connaught Place, you were detailed for night patrolling duty on the night intervening 01/02.01.2005. During your patrolling duty you stopped a motorcycle No.UP-14-U-8187 at outer circle, Connaught Place near Minto Road when the riders Mr. Varun Gupta were talking to a TSR to enquire about way to I.T.O. The Policemen made Mr. Varun Gupta to sit in the TSR with a Constable in which a girl was already sitting. Another Constable took the motorcycle and made Mr. Bhupinder Tiwari to sit on the pillion seat. After driving for about half an hour, you stopped at dark area and threatened put the motorcyclist in jail. Later the remaining three policemen also reached there and demanded all the money they have. The Policemen then took Rs.8000/- from Mr. Varun Gupta and Rs.6000/- from Mr. Bhupinder Tiwari. The above act on the part of you HC Munshi Lal No.408/ND, CONST. Surender Singh No 590/ND, CONST. Ramsinghasan No.1303/ND, CONST. Shrimant No.1296/ND and CONST. Banwari Lal No.766/ND. amounts gross misconduct, indiscipline and dereliction in the discharge of your official duties which render your liable for punishment under the provision of Delhi Police (Punishment & Appeal rules:-1980)

4. Subsequently, while the disciplinary proceedings continued, all the delinquents were reinstated in service i.e. Const. Shrimant on 10.3.2005 and the others on 4.6.2005. After conducting a regular inquiry in which all the five delinquents participated and had been assisted by the defence assistant; The I.O. vide his report dated 14.5.2005 held the charge as substantiated against all the delinquents (Annexure A/3). Tentatively agreeing with the IO s findings and considering the written representations besides giving oral hearings (except to Ct. Shrimant due to an accident), the DA vide the order dated 6.10.2006 imposed the aforesaid penalty of 10 years of forfeiture of service in case all the four Constables and reduction in rank in the case of H.C. Munshi Lal (Annexure A/2).

While considering the appeal, the Appellate...

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