Supreme Court of India
Bilaspur Raipur K.Gramin Bank And … vs Madanlal Tandon on 15 May, 2015Author: M Y Eqbal

Bench: M.Y. Eqbal, S.A. Bobde



Civil Appeal No. 4467 of 2015
(Arising out of SLP(C)No. 22488 of 2012)

Bilaspur Raipur Kshetriya Gramin Bank
and another …..Appellant(s)

Madanlal Tandon …..Respondent(s)



Leave granted.

2. This appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment and
order dated 17th February, 2012, whereby Division Bench of the High Court
of Chhattisgarh in the writ appeal preferred by the appellants upheld the
order of the learned Single Judge and directed payment towards respondent’s
claim of salary up to Rs.5,00,000/- with all consequential benefits.

3. The factual matrix of the case is that the respondent was working as
a Field Supervisor in the appellant Bank since 1981. In February, 1984, a
charge-sheet was issued to him for having committed misconduct and after a
departmental inquiry, an order dated 5.7.1984 was passed by the
Disciplinary Authority imposing punishment of stoppage of his two annual
increments. Thereafter a second charge-sheet was issued to the respondent
in November, 1987 alleging that the respondent had committed several
financial irregularities in various loan cases. An inquiry was conducted,
wherein fourteen charges were found proved against the respondent and three
charges were not found proved. Consequently, the punishment of removal
from service was inflicted against the respondent on 1.10.1991.
Respondent preferred an appeal before the Board of Directors of the
appellant Bank, but the same was dismissed.

4. The respondent, therefore, moved the High Court by way of writ
petition, inter alia contending that both the charge-sheets being
identical, the second inquiry was not competent. It was also contended
that along with the second charge-sheet, neither the list of documents nor
the documents sought to be relied upon were supplied. It was also
contended by the respondent-writ petitioner that appropriate opportunity
was not afforded to him to have inspection of the relevant documents and as
such the respondent was not in a position to reply the said show cause
notice effectively and to defend him in the inquiry. Learned Single Judge
of the High Court rejected his first contention and held that the charges
were not identical and, therefore, the second inquiry was competent.
However, it was held that along with the charge-sheet and imputation of
charges, there was no list of documents and list of witnesses were also not
supplied as such the respondent was not afforded an opportunity to put
forward his case in response to show cause notice along with the charge-
sheet. Observing that the object of rules of natural justice is to ensure
that a government servant is treated fairly in proceedings which may
culminate in imposition of punishment including dismissal/removal from
service, learned Single Judge of the High Court quashed the orders of
removal passed by the appellant and allowed the writ petition of the
respondent with all consequential benefits.

5. Aggrieved by aforesaid decision, the appellants preferred writ
appeal, wherein Division Bench of the High Court, after perusing the
record, found that although the show cause notice was served along with 17
charges, but no documents were supplied along with the show cause to the
respondent. Even the list of documents sought to be relied during the
inquiry was not supplied along with the show cause. The Division Bench
opined that it is trite law that when a delinquent employee is facing
disciplinary proceeding, he is entitled to be afforded with a reasonable
opportunity to meet the charges against him in an effective manner. If the
copies of the documents are not supplied to the concerned employee, it
would be difficult for him to prepare his defence and to cross-examine the
witnesses and point out the inconsistencies with a view to show that the
allegations are false or baseless.

6. The Division Bench of the High Court further observed that in the
instant case neither the list of witnesses nor the list of documents was
supplied to the respondent along with the charge-sheet. Though during the
course of inquiry some documents were supplied to him but those documents,
on which the reliance was placed by the Inquiry Officer for holding various
charges proved, were not supplied to the respondent. The High Court
further observed that the respondent is out of employment since 01.10.1991
and his claim for arrears of salary, as stated by counsel for both the
parties, would be more than 45-50 lakhs. The Bank’s money is public money
and a huge amount cannot be paid to anyone for doing no work. The principle
of “no work no pay” has been evolved in view of the public interest that an
employee who does not discharge his duty is not entitled to arrears of
salary at the cost of public exchequer. By way of impugned judgment, the
High Court, therefore, concluded that in the facts and circumstances of the
case a lump-sum payment of Rs. 5,00,000/- towards the claim of salary,
would be just and proper in this matter. The respondent was also held to
be entitled to all other consequential benefits.

7. Hence, the present appeal by special leave by the appellant Bank and
its Board of Directors. It is worth to mention here that the respondent
has not come to this Court against the impugned judgment passed by the High

8. We have heard Mr. Akshat Shrivastava, learned counsel for the
appellants and Mr. T.V.S. Raghavendra Sreyas, learned counsel for the
respondent. We have also perused the impugned order passed by the Division
Bench of the High Court. The only controversy that falls for our
consideration is as to whether the documents, which were the basis of the
charges leveled against the respondent, were supplied to the respondent or

9. Indisputably, no documents were supplied to the respondent along with
the charge-sheet on the basis of which charges were framed. Some of the
documents were given during departmental inquiry, but relevant documents on
the basis of which findings were recorded were not made available to the
respondent. It further appears that the list of documents and witnesses
were also not supplied and some of the documents were produced during the
course of inquiry.

10. Admittedly, show cause notice was served along with 17 charges, but
all the documents were not supplied to the respondent. A perusal of the
impugned order will show that when the Division Bench, during the course of
arguments, asked the learned counsel appearing for the appellants whether
documents viz. P-21, P-25, P-23, P-19, P-30, P-31 & P-32 were supplied to
the respondent, on the basis of which various charges have been held to be
proved, learned counsel was not able to demonstrate that the above
documents were supplied to the respondent even during the course of
inquiry. The Division Bench then following a catena of decisions of this
Court came to the conclusion that the order of punishment cannot be
sustained in law. However, taking into consideration the fact that the
respondent was out of employment since 1991, a lump sum payment of
Rs.5,00,000/- towards the salary would meet the ends of justice.

11. After giving our anxious consideration, we do not find any reason to
differ with the finding recorded by the learned Single Judge and also the
Division Bench of the High Court in writ appeal. Therefore, this civil
appeal is dismissed.

(M.Y. Eqbal)

(S.A. Bobde)
New Delhi
May 15, 2015


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