The Writ of Mandamus was filed before The High Court of Orissa under Article 226 and 227 of The Constitution of India, 1949, praying to direct the authorities to reinstate the petitioner forthwith and grant all consequential service benefits to him.
Brief Facts of the Case
The petitioner joined as a Branch Manager in the Kalahandi Anchalika Gramya Bank, Sagada Branch, Kalahandi. During his service career, petitioner dependant on a departmental proceeding was already imposed with a major penalty and while continuing as such, petitioner was served with charge-sheet on the premises of violation of provisions under Regulation 19, 22(2), 30(1) of Kalahandi Anchalika Gramya Bank (Staff) Service Regulation, 1980. Based on the enquiry report the disciplinary proceeding has concluded the participation of the petitioner and hence the Chairman as Disciplinary Authority passed an order of dismissal of the petitioner from Bank Service under Regulation 30(1) of the KAGB Regulation, 1980.
At the time of Review Application, the Disciplinary Authority kept the final order of punishment in abeyance asking the petitioner to submit his written statement of defence of the enquiry report, which order was again recalled by the Chairman asking the petitioner to file an appeal before the Appellate Authority. Petitioner preferred appeal. In the meantime for non-disposal of the appeal, the petitioner preferred the appeal before this court. The said writ petition was disposed of with a direction to the Appellate Authority for early disposal of this appeal within a period of four months.
Arguments before the Court
It is argued by the learned Advocate of the petitioner that the petitioner had already been superannuated requesting the Hon’ble Court instead of entering into the merit involving the enquiry proceeding, vis-à-vis, the order of the Disciplinary Authority for converting the punishment by order of dismissal to that of compulsory retirement, more particularly keeping in view the fact that petitioner is suffering throughout his life for the dismissal order on his head. The learned Advocate attempted to justify his request for modification of the final order of dismissal.
It is argued by the learned Advocate of opposite parties – the petitioner being a bank employee and allegations involving misappropriation and misutilization of funds as well as power being established. Referring to the decision in the case of South Indian Cashew Factories Workers’ Union v. Kerala State Cashew development Corporation Ltd. [AIR 2006] contended that for the involvement of a bank employee in serious allegations, being established through enquiry not only this court had limited scope to interfere in such matter but for the decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court, no leniency should be shown involving such allegations.
Looking to the gravity of the allegations, most of the charges are fully proved against the petitioner. For this nature of allegation involving, this court finds not only there was serious allegation involving the Bank Officer but there had been also establishment of serious allegations through a duly constituted Departmental Proceeding.
This Court here from the support of the case of Union Bank of India v. Sardar Bahadur [AIR 1972], contended that if the authority accepted the reasonable materials which support the conclusion that the Officer is guilty, it is not the function of the High Court exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 to review the materials and to arrive at an independent finding on the materials.
Thus, from the above cases, the HC found in a proceeding under Article 226 of the Constitution, the High Court does not sit as an appellate authority over the findings of the disciplinary authority.
The High Court here found the involvement of Bank employees itself. The Hon’ble Apex Court already had given the view that there should be heavy punishment to prevent such offences being taken place in the financial institution. For the establishment many of the serious charges against the petitioner through the enquiry report, for support of the decision referred to hereinabove to the case of opposite parties, this court here finds no scope for showing leniency in such cases and accordingly there is no scope of interfering in the order of punishment as well as in the order of Appellate Authority. The Writ Petition thus stands dismissed.
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