(Prayer: Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to issue writ of certiorarified mandamus to call for the records of the first respondent in his G.O.(MD).No.700 Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (E2) Department dated 23.09.2008 and G.O.(D).No.514 Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (E2) Department dated 31.08.2009 quash the same and consequently direct the respondents to pay the stagnation increment from 01.10.2009 to 31.05.2012.)(The case has been heard through video conference)This Writ Petition has been filed by the revision petitioner to challenging the order passed by the first respondent, dated 23.09.2008, imposing a punishment for stoppage of increment without cumulative effect and confirmed by the first respondent in his order dated 31.08.2009. Consequently, seeking the relief of mandamus, directing the respondents to pay the stagnation increment from 01.10.2009 to 31.05.2012.2. This writ petition was posted under the caption “adjourned admission case”.3. Counter has been filed. The learned counsel for the petitioner has filed written arguments.4. Brief facts of the case are as follows:(i) the petitioner is a Pump Fitter in the office of the fourth respondent and retired on 31.05.2012. Whileso, on 31.03.2005, the officials of Vigilance and Anti Corruption Department, Tirunelveli, had inspected the fourth respondent office and found that there are various irregularities and thereby, deducted a sum of Rs.30,486, stating that the petitioner has caused loss to the Government.(ii) Accordingly, after following the necessary procedure under Rule 17(b) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, charge has been framed against the petitioner and in the enquiry, finding has been rendered regarding the charges and thereafter, the show cause notice served and reply from the petitioner was received. Thereupon, punishment was imposed for stoppage of increment for three years without cumulative effect on 23.09.2008.(iii) Aggrieved against the same, the petitioner has preferred an Departmental appeal and the same was rejected. Subsequently, he has filed this writ petition.5. Heard Mr.V.Karthikeyan, learned counsel for the revision petitioner, Mr.J.Gunaseelan Muthiah, learned Additional Government Pleader appearing for the respondents 1 to 3 and Mr.E.Judith, learned counsel for the fourth respondent.6. It is seen that the petitioner who was working as a pump operator in the office of the fourth respondent, the officials of Vigilance and Anti corruption Department had conducted a surprise check in the said office, on 31.03.2005 and had verified the registers and stocks. On verification of stocks, they found that1) excess of 108 bags of cement, 562 kgs of bitumen in the Engineering materials stock and2) storage of 2 G.I. pipes, compressor motor and panel boards in the water supply materials stocks and for these lapses on the part of the officials concerned, charges had been framed against one Tmt.A.Venkateswari, Assistant Engineer and one Thiru.M.Murugan, Pump Fitter, under Rules 17(B) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules. The charges had also been framed against Thiru.N.Deivadoss, Gang Mazdoor, who was also working in the office of the fourth respondent, for having an unauthorized cash amount of Rs.1,590/- in hand at the time of inspection.7. On receipt of the defence statement of the revision petitioner, enquiry officer had been appointed by the appointing authority viz., the District Collector, Tirunelveli/third respondent herein, to enquire into the charges framed against the delinquent officer. Enquiry was conduced on 26.06.2006. Since, more than one government servant is involved in the instant case, the defence statement of the petitioner together with the findings of enquiry officer were remitted to the Government through Director of Rural Development, Chennai for final orders as per Rule 9A of Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules and the Rule 9A of TNCS(D&A) Rules states as follows:“In any case where more than one Government servant of the same Department are jointly involved or whose cases are interconnected, the authority competent to institute disciplinary proceedings shall be immediate higher authority in that Department in respect of the Government servants and the disciplinary proceedings against all of them shall be taken together. Where enquiry is to be conducted in terms of Rule 17(b), the said authority may either himself conduct the enquiry or get the enquiry conducted by an enquiry officer appointed by the authority competent to impose major penalty in respect of the Government servants who holds the highest post among such Government servants. The said authority shall remit the case, at the appropriate stage, to the authority competent to impose any of the penalties specified in rule 8 in respect of the Government servant who holds the highest post among such Government Servants in that Department for passing final orders? The final orders had been passed by the Government based on the above Rule 9A TNCS (D&A) Rule.?8. After examining the charges framed against the Delinquent Officer, the petitioner herein, his defence statement, findings of the Enquiry Officer, petitioner-s further representation and connected records, the Government had concluded that all the charges leveled against the Delinquent Officer were held as proved and for the proved charges, the government had issued final orders inflicting the punishment of stoppage of increment for a period of three years without cumulative effect vide GO (D) No.700 Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (E2) Department, dated 23.09.2008. As aggrieved against the above order, the petitioner had submitted a petition to the Government viz., first respondent herein, with a request to review the punishment awarded on him and the same had been rejected on 31.08.2009.9. The learned counsel for the petitioner though the written arguments has contended that(1) no proper enquiry was conducted in accordance with law(2) Final orders have been passed by the Government which is against the rules applicable to the revision petitioner/servant and(3) stagnation increment ought to have been granted to the petitioner10. As extracted supra, admittedly, after perusing the entire records, the impugned order which is under challenge is passed in the year 2009, the writ petition was filed in the year 2013 and the petitioner retired from the service on 31.05.2012 itself. At the out set, the impugned order dated 31.08.2009 is challenged only in the year 2013 and hence, this Court finds that the relief sought in the writ petitioner is hit by delay and latches.11. After going through the charges, enquiry report, finding rendered by the enquiry officer and the order passed by the Competent Authority, this Court finds that due procedure has been correctly followed in respect of holding charges has proved and the same does not warrant any interference.12. As stated supra as per Rule 9A of Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, where there are more than one Government Servant, final order has to be passed by the Government and hence, in view of the amended Rule 9(a) as extracted supra, which came into force as early as on 23.06.1996 and in the instant case along with petitioner two other officials in the rank of pump fitter and Gang Mazdoor were involved in case registered by anti-vigilance and anti corruption cell and in view of amended Rule 9(a) as extracted supra, the Government is Competent Authority to pass order of punishment. Hence, the impugned order of punishment passed by the Government is perfectly valid and the same legally sustainable.13. In view of Rule 9A of Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, since more than one Government servant are involved in the instant case, defence statement of the petitioner together with the pending of the enquiry officer was remitted to the Government for passing final orders as per the above said Rule and hence, this Court did not find any merit in the above plea. Accordingly Point Nos. 1 & 2 raised by the petitioner cannot stand rejected.14. Next and final point urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner through written argument is that the petitioner is entitle for stagnation increment.15. It is seen from the records that the pay drawn by the petitioner as on 01.01.2006 in the pre-revised sca
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le (4300-100-6000) is 5800+245 PP and the petitioner had not reached the maximum pay (Rs.6000) in this scale during this period. The petitioner exercised option under the Tamilnadu revised scale of pay Rules 2009 and come under revised scale and hence the revision petitioner-s claim that he reached Rs.6000 pay on 01.10.2007 is found to meritless. Since the revision petitioner-s pay has not reached maximum pay scale, at any stage, he is not eligible for stagnation increment.16. In view of the above factual possession, this Court has no hesitation to held that the petitioner is not entitle to stagnation increment since, he is not reached the maximum pay of Rs.6,000/- in the scale during relevant period and hence, even on merits of the case the revision petitioner is not entitle to the relief as sought for since, the writ petition of the year 2013, is not yet admitted.17. Accordingly, this Writ Petition stands dismissed. No costs.