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Badri Thakur, Son Of Late Hari Thakur v/s Bihar State Electricity Board


Company & Directors' Information:- BADRI & CO (PVT) LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1948PTC016374

    Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.8390 Of 1998

    Decided On, 01 April 2010

    At, High Court of Bihar

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.N. SINHA

    For the Appearing Parties: R.C. Thakur, Kamal Kishore Singh, Vinay Kirti Singh, Advocates.



Judgment Text

V.N. SINHA, J.

(1.) Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and the counsel for the Bihar State Electricity Board (hereinafter referred to as the Board) who has filed the counter affidavit in compliance of the orders of this Court dated 23.12.2008 which is taken on record.

(2.) Petitioner at the relevant time was serving as a Junior Engineer in the Grid Sub-Station at Begusarai. He has filed this writ application questioning the legality of the resolution of the Board dated 12.5.1997, Annexure-17, whereunder he has been dismissed after concluding a departmental proceeding initiated against him, Sri M.K.Verma, the Assistant Executive Engineer and Sri Braj Kishore Prasad, Senior Store Keeper. The memo of charge is dated 20.12.1988 (Annexure-11) which was served on the petitioner under resolution of the Board bearing No. 1404 dated 21.12.1988 perusal whereof indicates that there was theft of transformer valves and transformer oil from two numbers of 20 MVA transformer at Grid sub-station, Begusarai during the night between 14/15.08.1988. Petitioner along with Sri Verma is alleged to have delayed the lodging of the First Information Report resulting in theft of 16,000 litres of transformer oil from the two transformers valued at Rs. 2.5 lacs. The Enquiry Officer in his report dated 31.5.1995 which is contained in Annexure-14 to this application found the petitioner not guilty of the charge as he noticed that petitioner had lodged the First Information Report through registered post. The disciplinary authority having perused the Enquiry Report differed with the findings reached by the Enquiry Officer as per the contents of second show cause notice dated 27.11.1995, Annexure-15. Perusal of the second show cause notice indicates that petitioner has been held guilty of the charge of delaying the lodging of the First Information Report with reference to the inaction of Sri M.K.Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer who was also found equally responsible for delaying the lodging of the First Information Report. In this connection, the disciplinary authority noted in the second show cause notice that the Enquiry Officer failed to see the negligent act of Sri Verma in not personally lodging the First Information Report and even informing the superior officer on the refusal of the police officer to accept the First Information Report. Having noticed the aforesaid negligent conduct of the petitioner and the Assistant Executive Engineer Sri M.K.Verma the second show-cause notice was served on the petitioner in response whereto petitioner filed his second show cause reply again reporting the same fact that he had lodged the First Information Report through registered post as he apprehended misbehaviour on the part of the police officer in case he had approached them personally. The second show cause reply was not accepted and by passing the impugned resolution dated 12.5.1977, Annexure-17 petitioner was dismissed from service.

(3.) During the hearing of the writ petition learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that charge of delayed lodging of the First Information Report against the petitioner has been proved with reference to the inaction of Sri M.K.Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer who was also proceeded against with the petitioner but he has been given lighter punishment and was allowed to retire after attaining the age of superannuation and, thus, the punishment order passed in the case of the petitioner should also be modified and he should also be given the same punishment which was imposed on Sri Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer as both have been equally held responsible by the disciplinary authority for the delay in lodging the First Information Report.

(4.) Counsel for the Board has opposed the prayer. He states that petitioner was the incharge of the Grid Sub-Station. It was his primal duty to have lodged the First Information Report no sooner he detected the theft of the transformer valves. On account of theft of the valves the Board also suffered theft of 16,000 litres of transformer oil. In this connection, he further submitted that had the petitioner promptly lodged the First Information Report about the theft of the valve, theft of transformer oil to the extent of 16,000 litres could have been saved.

(5.) In this connection, learned counsel for the Board further pointed out that besides the charge of delay in lodging the First Information Report petitioner is also guilty of abnormal delay in informing his superior officers as also for causing delay in blocking flagging of the opening of the valves as also for causing delay to interrogate and seize the documents from the Home Guards stationed hardly 5 yards away from the transformer. According to learned counsel for the Board as the petitioner is also responsible for delay in informing the superior officers and blocking flagging of the opening of the valves and also for failure to interrogate and seize the documents from the Home Guards he cannot be given the same punishment which was imposed on Sri M.K.Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer. He further submitted with reference to letter of the Superintending Engineer dated 23.8.1988, Annexure-9 that petitioner is also guilty of disobeying Mr. M.K.Verma who had asked the petitioner to personally approach Barauni Police Station to lodge the First Information Report but petitioner did not carry out his orders. In the circumstances, his case should not be compared with the case of Sri M.K.Verma.

(6.) Having heard counsel for the petitioner and the Board and having perused the second show cause notice as also the impugned dismissal order, I am of the view that the charge levelled against the petitioner and Sri M.K.Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer is the same as both were found responsible for causing delay in lodging the First Information Report in connection with the theft committed in the Sub-Station during the night between 14/15.8.1988. The charge-sheet issued to the petitioner dated 20.12.1988, Annexure-11/1 also does not indicate that he is alleged to have violated any instruction from his superior Sri M.K.Verma, as such, the attempt of the learned counsel for the Bo

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ard to distinguish the case of the petitioner with that of Sri M.K.Verma, in my opinion has failed. (7.) As in the opinion of this Court the case of the petitioner and that of Sri M.K.Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer stands on similar footing and both are found to be equally responsible for causing delay in lodging the First Information Report in connection with the theft of the transformer valves and 16,000 litres of transformer oil, similar punishment which has been imposed on Sri M.K.Verma, Assistant Executive Engineer should be imposed on the petitioner and with this modification in the punishment order dated 12.5.1997, Annexure-17, the writ application is disposed of.
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