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Rajendra Singh v/s State of U.P. & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- RAJENDRA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999KA1943PLC000306

Company & Directors' Information:- RAJENDRA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17219TZ1948PTC000161

    Writ - A No. 19394 of 2010

    Decided On, 20 September 2018

    At, High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE VIJAY LAKSHMI

    For the Petitioner: Hemendra Kumar, Rajesh Mishra, Advocates. For the Respondents: Ramendra Pratap Singh, C.S.C.



Judgment Text

Vijay Lakshmi, J.

By means of this writ petition, the petitioner has prayed for the following reliefs:

"a) issue a writ, order, direction in the nature of Certiorari quashing the impugned termination order 07.01,2010 (Annexure no.6) passed by the respondent no.2 to this writ petition.

b) issue any other writ, order or direction commanding the respondents to permit the petitioner to function as Junior Engineer (Electrical) New Okhala Industrial Development Authority Sector no.6, Gautam Budha Nagar."

Heard learned counsel for the petitioner, learned Standing Counsel for respondent no.1 and Shri Ramendra Pratap Singh for the respondent nos.2 and 3. Perused the record.

Some background facts in brief are that an advertisement for the post of Junior Engineer (electrical) was published in the newspaper "Amar Ulaja", in pursuance of which the petitioner applied and submitted the application form. Total 480 candidates including the petitioner were interviewed by a duly constituted committee of five persons, the petitioner was finally selected on the said post and an appointment letter was issued to him on 10.2.2009. The petitioner joined his service as Junior Engineer (Electrical) on 20.2.2009 and he was posted in electrical mechanical Part III in Sector-29 Noida subject to probation period for one year. On 24.3.2009, he was transferred to Encroachment Cell Khand-II Sector No. 19 Noida. Vide order dated 09.4.2009 (Annexure No.3 to the writ petition) the work was distributed and the petitioner was allotted the work of removing the encroachments from Sector 42 to Sector 137 Noida. On 30.12.2009, one Brijpal, resident of Sector No.20 Noida submitted an application before the Anti Corruption Organization alleging that the petitioner was demanding Rs.3000/- from him for permitting him to sell fruits on a trolley (Thela) in Sector-82. On the said application, the police team constituted a trap and the petitioner was arrested red handed on 31.12.2009 by the Anti Corruption Department. A First Information Report as Crime No.1666/2009 under LO*IKSections 7/13 (1) D read with 13 (2) Prevention of Corruption Act was registered against the petitioner and the aforesaid criminal case is still pending against him. According to the petitioner, after the police case, all of a sudden, the petitioner was terminated from service vide order dated 07.1.2010.

In the writ petition, the petitioner has challenged the legality and correctness of the order of his termination mainly on the ground that the petitioner has been straight away terminated from service without holding any enquiry against him or without even issuing any notice to him.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has argued that the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority Service Regulations, 1981 (hereinafter called the "Regulations, 1981") provides that no order imposing on an employee any of the major penalty, shall be passed except after an enquiry, whereas in the present case, undisputedly no inquiry was ever held by the department before terminating the services of the petitioner therefore, the termination of his service without any inquiry is illegal. Learned counsel for the petitioner has further submitted that the petitioner has been falsely implicated in the criminal case by the fruit seller due to the reason that he did not permit him to install the fruit trolley in Sector-82 Noida. It is further submitted that bail has been granted to the petitioner in the aforesaid criminal case.

Reliance has been placed by the learned counsel for the petitioner on the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the cases of Madan Mohan Prasad Vs. State of Bihar and Ors and Inder Pal Gupta Vs. The Managing Committee, Model Inder College Thora and Ors.

Per contra, learned Standing Counsel and Shri Ramendra Pratap Singh appearing for the respondent nos.2 and 3 have vehemently opposed the writ petition by contending that by the impugned order dated 7.1.2010 passed by Chief Executive Officer, Noida, the services of the petitioner were not terminated, but he was discharged from service which is evident from the clear language of the order dated 7.1.2010 in which the words used are that "Tatkal Prabhav Se Unmochit (Discharge) Kiya Jata Hai". The order also indicates that on the date when the order was passed, the petitioner was under probation as in the order of his appointment letter dated 10.2.2009, it was clearly mentioned that the petitioner has joined the service on 20.2.2009 and he will be kept under probation for one year from the date of his joining. Thus, the period of his probation was to complete on 20.2.2010, whereas he was discharged on 07.1.2010, when he was still a probationer.

Learned counsel for the respondents have argued that the appointment letter itself shows that at the time of passing of the order impugned, the services of the petitioner were temporary. It was further provided in the appointment order dated 10.2.2009 that the services of the employee could be terminated/discharged without explaining the reason after giving a month's notice or payment of salary of a month. Learned counsel for the respondents have contended that since the work and conduct of the petitioner were not found satisfactory during the probation period and he was caught red handed by the Anti Corruption Department while he was accepting bribe from a fruit seller, he was arrested on 0.1.2010 and was sent to jail for committing an offence, he was rightly discharged from his service by the department. It is further submitted that the trap team recovered six currency notes of denomination of Rs.500/- from the petitioner from the spot. The criminal case against the petitioner is still pending before the Court concerned. More so, the petitioner being a probationer, he could have been discharged from service on the ground of his involvement in criminal case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Learned counsel has submitted that no departmental enquiry is needed before discharging the probationer from service and the petitioner has been discharged by the respondents while exercising the power given under Chapter III Para 20 (1) of the Regulations 1981. It is further submitted that the petitioner was paid Rs.15395/- through cheque dated 5.1.2010 drawn at Union Bank of India, Sector 62 as per the condition of the appointment letter before discharging him from service. It is further contended that paragraph 63 (1) of the Regulations 1981 is not applicable in the case of the petitioner as the petitioner has committed the offence of corruption during his probation period.

On the aforesaid grounds, it has been prayed that the writ petition filed by the petitioner, being devoid of merit be dismissed with cost.

Considered the rival submissions advanced by the learned counsel for the parties.

The copy of the Regulations 1981, is available on record. Chapter-III of which relates to recruitment and appointment, regulation 20 of this Chapter provides as under:

"Discharge During Probation- 20(1) Any employee directly recruited to a post may at any time, during or at the end of the period of probation or, as the case may be, during the extended period of probation, be discharged from the service of the Authority under the orders of the Appointing Officer without assigning any reasons of giving the notice or pay in lieu thereof.

(2) Any employee promoted to a higher post on probation may be reverted by the Chief Executive Officer to his original post any time during or at the end or probation, as the case may be, without assigning any reason therefore."

The petitioner has not disputed the fact that he was under probation at the time when the impugned order was passed.

Regulation 20 of the Rules quoted above provides for discharge from service of an employee without assigning any reasons or without even giving the notice or pay in lieu thereof.

Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Gopal Krishna Potnay Vs. Union of India, A.I.R. 1954 SC 632, has held that when an employee is discharged from service after one month's notice according to the terms of agreement of service, he cannot be heard to complaint that no charge-sheet had been formulated against him and proceedings had not been taken there under.

In the case of H.F. Sangati Vs. Registrar General, High Court of Karnataka A.I.R. 2001 SC 1148, the petitioner was selected as Munsif in the Karnataka Judicial Services and he was discharged from service by the Full Court when the petitioner was under probation period. The said order was challenged by the petitioner in the High Court by means of writ petition on the ground that he was not afforded an opportunity of being heard and was discharged from service without any Departmental Enquiry. His writ petition was dismissed by High Court. Thereafter, the petitioner filed an appeal before the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that the impugned order was in accordance with Rule 6 of KCS (Probation Rules, 1977) and holding of departmental enquiry before passing that order was not necessary and the termination during probation period for unsuitability, does not warrant the applicability of the principles of natural justice.

In the aforesaid case too, before the Supreme Court, it was contended by the petitioner that the order of discharge being stigmatic as the same declared the appellants to be unsuitable to hold the post of Munsif, it was not a decision simplicitor, but is punitive, therefore, the opportunity of hearing should have been provided to the appellants. The Supreme Court held that the appellants have been discharged from service during the period of probation, there was no order confirming the appellants in service. The Administrative Committee of the High Court took into consideration all the relevant materials and thereafter formed an opinion regarding the unsuitability of the appellants to hold the post of Munsif, which opinion was upheld and accepted in the Full Court meeting of the High Court. Pursuant thereto, the State Government issued the impugned order of discharge from service which was upheld by th

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e Apex Court. Now reverting to the facts of case in hand, in view of the above discussion, this Court is of the considered view that the impugned order of discharge has been passed in strict compliance with the requirement of Regulations 1981. The petitioner, during his probation period was found involved in a corruption case for which he was sent to jail. There was, thus, no requirement to comply with the principles of natural justice, much less to hold any formal proceedings of enquiry before passing the order. As the petitioner was aware of the conditions of service while joining the service and as he was under probation at the time when the impugned order was passed and also keeping in view the grave misconduct on his part as he has been found involved in a bribe case at the very initial stage of his service, he has been rightly discharged by the authorities concerned. The judgment relied on by the learned counsel for the petitioner having no application in the present case, there appears no merit in the writ petition which is liable to be dismissed and is accordingly dismissed.
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