At, Central Administrative Tribunal Guwahati Bench Guwahati
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. MOHD. HALEEM KHAN
By, ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBER
For the Applicants: S. Sarma, H.K. Das, P. Dutta, Advocates. For the Respondents: C. Choudhury, Ld. Sr. Standing Counsel.
Mohd. Haleem Khan, Administrative Member:
1. By this O.A., applicant makes a prayer for setting aside the punishment order dated 31.03.2015 by which recovery of Rs. 2,57,400/- (Rupees two lakh fifty seven thousand four hundred) only at the rate of Rs. 4,290/- (Rupees four thousand two hundred ninety) only per month imposed upon the applicant.
2. Mr. H.K. Das, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the applicant submitted that a disciplinary proceeding was initiated against the applicant vide memorandum of charge dated 07.01.2015. It was submitted by Mr. Das that applicant replied to the said memorandum. Thereafter, the disciplinary authority imposed penalty of recovery Rs. 2,57,400/- (Rupees two lakh fifty seven thousand four hundred) only at the rate of Rs. 4,290/- (Rupees four thousand two hundred ninety) only per month from the salary of the applicant. According to learned counsel, the disciplinary authority in clear non application of mind, recorded perverse finding of guilt of the applicant and issued the said punishment order.
3. Learned counsel further submitted that 6 (six) indent of false bill were produced before the Post Master’s office at Nalbari HO where the applicant was discharging his duties and same were withdrawn by the account holder where the complaint was lodged by the Block Development Officer of that area. After scrutiny, it was found that the account holders defrauded the aforesaid money. According to learned counsel, there is no intention to fraud the Govt. money by the applicant.
4. On the other hand, Mr. C. Choudhury, learned Sr. standing counsel representing the respondents submitted that the applicant has already admitted in his reply that due to over loaded in the domestic work as well as official, some mistake was done by the applicant which is apparent that applicant knew the rules and provisions of the POSB Manual Vol. 1. However, he was not carefully done his job for which Rs. 2,57,400/- (Rupees two lakh fifty seven thousand four hundred) only has been lost by the Govt. in which the applicant is liable and responsible.
5. I have heard the rival submission. I have seen the punishment order dated 31.03.2015. However, as per 20 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, applicant has not yet exhausted the alternative remedies for filing appeal before the authority i.e. respondent No. 2 (Chief Postmaster General, Assam Circle, Meghdoot Bhawan, Panbazar, Guwahati). Accordingly, I direct the applicant to make an appeal before the respondent No. 2 within a period of 1 (one) month by ventilating his grievances to the punishment order dated 31.03.2015 passed by the disciplinary authority i.e. Superintendent of Post Offices, Nalbari Barpeta Division, Nalbari (respondent No. 3). On receipt of such appeal, respondent No. 2 shall dispose of the same
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by giving personal hearing to the applicant within a period of three months thereafter. Till the decision arrives by the appellate authority i.e. respondent No.2, no such recovery shall be made. 6. O.A. stands disposed of accordingly at the admission stage. There shall be no order as to costs.