L.P.A. No. 29 of 2011. Case: Onkar Pandey Vs The State of Jharkhand and Ors.. Jharkhand High Court

Case NumberL.P.A. No. 29 of 2011
CounselFor Respondents: Kumar Sundaram, J.C. to A.A.G.
JudgesDhirubhai Naranbhai Patel and Ratnaker Bhengra, JJ.
IssueConstitution of India - Articles 14, 226, 227
Judgement DateFebruary 02, 2017
CourtJharkhand High Court


Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel, J.

1. When the matter is called out, learned counsel for the appellant is absent.

2. We have heard learned counsel for the respondent-State, at length, who has submitted that for the grossest misconduct committed by this appellant, chargesheet was issued on 16th April, 2008 (Annexure-1). The charges levelled against this appellant were about dereliction on duty and absenteeism from the place of employment though he is a member of disciplined Force-Jharkhand Armed Police-VII, District- Hazaribagh. He was posted at very sensitive area at Hunterganj Police Station, District- Chatra and he was found absent on 22nd March, 2008 when checking was done between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Another police man viz. Shri Sudeshwar Mahto was to be deputed at the place of this appellant and thereafter the appellant joined his duties on the next day i.e. on 23rd March, 2008 at 12:00 noon. He had also not taken care of his fire arm and live cartridges. Thereafter enquiry officer was appointed, who gave enquiry report on 24th June, 2008. Adequate opportunity of being heard was given to this appellant and charges levelled against him have been held as proved by the enquiry officer and, thereafter, before imposing punishment again opportunity of being heard was given and the disciplinary authority-Commandant of Jharkhand Armed Police-VII finally imposed punishment upon this appellant and his pay scale was reduced to the lowest pay scale of the cadre for three years vide order dated 9th August, 2008, against which, departmental appeal was preferred by the appellant and the same was dismissed vide order dated 12th January, 2009 (Annexure-6). Against this concurrent finding of facts, writ petition being W.P.(S) No. 1827 of 2009 was preferred by this appellant, which was dismissed by the learned Single Judge and, hence, the present Letters Patent Appeal has been preferred by the original petitioner.

Learned counsel appearing for respondent-State further submitted that no error has been committed by the enquiry officer in holding the enquiry. Adequate opportunity of being heard was also given to this appellant. The enquiry officer's report is based upon the evidences taken during the course of enquiry and the charges levelled against this appellant have been held as proved. Once the enquiry is held as legal and valid, the only question is left out about the quantum of punishment.

Learned counsel for respondent-State also submitted that looking to the nature of misconduct and the fact that this appellant is serving in a disciplinary force i.e. Jharkhand Armed Police Force, the punishment imposed by the disciplinary authority is much lesser than what he deserves. In fact, this appellant could have been dismissed by the State for the dereliction on duties instead of that bare minimum punishment has been imposed i.e. reduction of the pay scale to the lowest of the cadre and that too only for three years. Thus, the punishment is absolutely reasonable and commensurate with the nature of misconduct. It cannot be labelled as shockingly disproportionate nor it can be said as unreasonably excessive.

Learned counsel appearing for the respondent-State has relied upon the following decisions:

(a) (2011) 10 SCC 244

(b) AIR 2011 SC 1790

On the basis of the aforesaid decisions, it is submitted by the learned counsel for the respondent-State that this Letters Patent Appeal may not be entertained by this Court as no error has been committed by the learned Single Judge in dismissing W. P. (S) No. 1827 of 2009 vide judgment dated 10th August, 2010.


3. Having heard learned counsel for the respondent-State and looking to the facts and circumstances of the case, we see no reason to entertain this Letters Patent Appeal mainly for the following facts and reasons:

"(i) This appellant is an original petitioner, who had preferred W.P.(S) No. 1827 of 2009...

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