M.L. Chauhan, J.
1. The applicant has filed this OA against the impugned order 25.3.2009 (Annexure A-1) passed by the disciplinary authority, order dated 11.8.2009 passed by the appellate authority whereby the appeal of the applicant was rejected and order dated 30.3.2011 (Annexure A-3) dismissing the review application, and has prayed that these impugned orders may be quashed and set aside.
2. Briefly stated, facts of the case are that the major penalty proceeding was initiated against the applicant under Rule 14 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1964 (for short ‘Rules 1964’) by issuing a charge sheet dated vide OM dated 28.12.2007. Allegations against the applicant were that he misbehaved with one Smt. Kumud Gautam, LDC and created panic at working place and spoiled the official decorum and discipline. Inquiry was held and the charges against the applicant were proved. Ultimately the disciplinary authority vide impugned order dated 25.3.2009 (Annexure A-1), for the reasons recorded therein, imposed the penalty of reduction by two stages for a period of two years with immediate effect, i.e., w.e.f. 1.4.2009 with cumulative with a stipulation that the applicant will not earn increment of pay during the period of reduction and that on the expiry of the period, the reduction will have no effect on postponing his future increment of pay. Aggrieved by this, applicant preferred appeal as well as review application, which were also dismissed vide order dated 11.8.2009 (Annexure A-2) and order dated 30.3.2011 (Annexure A-3) respectively. It is these orders, which are under challenge before this Tribunal.
3. Notice of this application was given to the respondents, who have filed their reply affidavit, thereby justifying their action.
4. The applicant has filed rejoinder affidavit, thereby reiterating the submissions made in the OA. It is further stated in the rejoinder that the respondents are now bringing the statements of some employees stated to have been recorded in the fact finding inquiry for the purpose of determining the alleged guilt of the applicant, which has not been proved in the inquiry.
5. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the material placed on record.
6. Learned counsel for applicant by drawing our attention to the order passed by the appellate authority dated 11.8.2009 (Annexure A-2) and order dated 30.3.2011 (Annexure A-3) argued that neither the applicant was accorded personal hearing by the appellate authority, nor have the appellate and the revisional authorities disclosed any reason as to why the version of the applicant cannot be accepted. Thus, according to the learned counsel for applicant, the orders passed by the appellate as well as the revisional authorities are required to be quashed on this sole ground. In order to appreciate the aforesaid contention raised by the applicant, it will be useful to quote the order passed by the appellate authority dated 11.8.2009 (Annexure A-2), which thus reads:-
Sh. Madan Pal, Mechanic, AC&R while working in Hindan Central Electrical Division has committed certain lapses for which he was issued charge sheet by Disciplinary Authority i.e. Superintending Engineer (E), Outer Delhi Electrical Circle, vide No.7(4)/EC-II/ODEC/2007/3302-H, dated 28.12.07 and penalty imposed by him vide No.7(4)/ODEC/E-II/2008-09/112, dated 25.3.09.
The said Sh. Mohan Pal, Appellant, preferred an appeal dated 8.05.2009 to the undersigned to quash the penalty given by the Disciplinary Authority in above mentioned order.
I have gone through the case carefully and am convinced that the charges are proved. There is no need to hear the charged officer and hence his request made to me as Appellate Authority is rejected.
Further action be taken by the Disciplinary Authority.'
7. Thus, as can be seen from the appellate order, as extracted above, the appellate authority has not given any reason as to why the contention raised by the applicant in his appeal cannot be accepted and according to us, while deciding the appeal, the appellate authority has not taken into consideration the contention of the applicant and without applying its mind with regard to the factor enumerated in sub-Rule 2 of Rule 27 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1964 the appellate authority passed the cryptic order. At this stage, it will be useful to quote the relevant portion of Rule 27 (2) of the said Rules, which thus reads:-
'27 (2) In the case of an appeal against an order imposing any of the penalties specified in Rule 11 or enhancing any penalty imposed under the said rules, the Appellate Authority shall consider-
(a) whether the procedure laid down in these rules has been complied with and if not, whether such non-compliance has resulted in the violation of any provisions of the Constitution of India or in the failure of justice;
(b) whether the findings of the Disciplinary Authority are warranted by the evidence on the record; and
(c) whether the penalty or the enhanced penalty imposed is adequate, inadequate or severe;
and pass orders-
(i) conforming, enhancing, reducing, or setting aside the penalty; or
(ii) remitting the case to the authority which imposed or enhanced the penalty or to any other authority with such direction as it may deem fit in the circumstances of these cases.'
8. As already stated above, there is no indication in the impugned order dated 11.8.2009 (Annexure A-2) that the appellate authority was satisfied as to whether the procedure laid down in the rules has been complied with and if not, whether such non-compliance has resulted in the violation of any provisions of the Constitution of India or in the failure of justice or whether the findings are justified in the light of the contentions raised by the applicant in his appeal. The appellate authority does not indicate whether the penalty imposed by the disciplinary authority is adequate or severe. Further the reviewing authority in its order dated 30.3.2011 (Annexure A-3) has not given any reason in dismissing the review application of the applicant and the same has been rejected simply on the ground that no new material or evidence has been produced by him in the review application. It was incumbent upon the appellate as well as reviewing authorities to give at least some reasons while rejecting the appeal as well as review application, even though they were not required to give elaborate reason while affirming the order passed by the disciplinary authority. At this stage, we wish to quote the relevant portion of the judgment of the Apex Court in Divisional Forest Officer, Kothagudem & others v. Madhusudhan Rao, (2008) 1 SCC (L&S) 788, which thus reads:-
'19. No doubt, the Divisional Forest Officer dealt with the matter in detail, but it was also the duty of the appellate authority to give at least some reasons for rejecting the appeal preferred by the respondent. A similar duty was cast on the revisional authority being the highest authority in the Department of Forests in the State. Unfortunately, even the revisional authority has merely indicated that the decision of the Divisional Forest Officer had been examined by the Conservator of Forests, Khammam wherein the charge of misappropriation was clearly proved. He too did not consider the defence case as made out by the respondent herein and simply endorsed the punishment of dismissal though reducing it to removal from service.
20. It is no doubt also true that an appellate or revisional authority is not required to give detailed reasons for agreeing and confirming an order passed by the lower forum but, in our view, in the interests of justice, the delinquent officer is entitled to know at least the mind of the appellate or revisional authority in dismissing his appeal and/or revision. It is true that no detailed reasons are required to be given, but s
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ome brief reasons should be indicated even in an order affirming the views of the lower forum.' 9. The ratio as laid down by the Apex Court in the aforesaid case is squarely applicable in the facts and circumstances of the present case. Accordingly, the impugned orders 11.8.2009 (Annexure A-2) and dated 30.3.2011 (Annexure A-3) passed by the appellate as well as revisional authorities respectively are quashed and set aside. Since there being no compliance of Rule 27 (2) of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1964, the matter is remitted back to the appellate authority to pass fresh order keeping in view the mandate of Rule 27 (2) of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1964 and the contentions raised by the applicant in his appeal and pass a reasoned and speaking order within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. 10. With this, the OA shall stand disposed of. No costs.