Patna HC Allows Application Against the Letter of Railway Protection Force

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The petitioner filed a writ petition against a letter dated 24.02.2020 from The Senior Division Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force, East Central Railway Danapur, enclosing a charge memo. The Patna HC allowed the writ petition.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner, who was posted as an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police under Railway Protection Force at Danapur, was arrested by a Central Bureau of Investigation/ACB/Patna, supposedly while taking a bribe. On 05.11.2014 a criminal case was registered against him for the offence punishable under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. He was set under suspension on 05.11.2014 and hence a departmental proceeding was started against him with the framing of charge under Rule 153 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1987.

The Enquiry Officer presented his report dated 15.01.2016 conveyed to the disciplinary authority through a letter dated 07.01.2016. The Inquiry Officer deduced in his report, in the foundation of nature of charge that till the criminal case was chosen by a Court of law, it would not be legally appropriate to record any end in his ability as Inquiry Officer.

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Almost three and half years from that point the Senior Division Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force, East Central Railway, Danapur has issued a letter dated 24.02.2020 to the petitioner enclosing a charge memo and the statement of the imputation of misconduct, and the petitioner has been asked to appear before the Inquiry Officer. On examination of the charge memo earlier issued to the petitioner on 01.04.2015 and the current one it tends to be effectively observed that both identity with a similar event of the candidate’s capture by the CBI group on 05.11.2014. 

Petitioner’s Arguments

Mr. Bindhyachal Singh, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner presented that Rule 153 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1987 endorses the procedure for forcing significant punishments and Rule 154 thereof discloses the actions reveals the moves which can be made on the request report. He argued that issuance of the impugned communication dated 24.02.2020 by the disciplinary authority adds up to differing by him with the report of Enquiry Officer, which was prior acknowledged by the disciplinary position. 

He presented that the disciplinary authority could not audit its previous choice and, if disciplinary authority intended to disagree with the findings of the Enquiry Officer or any article of charge differ with the discoveries of the Enquiry Officer or any article of charge, he was needed to record his finding in regard of such charge, if the proof on record was adequate for the said reason. 

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He presented that as the disciplinary authority had decided to keep the memo of charge in abeyance in the disciplinary proceeding till the conclusion of the criminal trial, there was no basis for the respondent to re-outline the same issue in the garb of re-framing of the of charges emerging from a similar arrangement of claims.

Respondent’s Arguments 

Mr. Kumar Priya Ranjan learned Central Government Counsel submitted concerning the assertion made in passage 20 of the counter affirmation that it conformed to DG/RPF/New Delhi’s order vide Railway Board’s letter No. 2019/Sec(E)/DAR-3/1 dated 14.10.2019 and the Principal Chief Security Commissioner, RPF, East Central Railway, Hajipur’s letter No.-E/p/CBI Trap/HQ/19/2403 dated 16.10.2019 that the above significant punishment charge sheet framed earlier was dropped, in the light of the request for the Superior Officials.

He contended that there is no legitimate bar to start departmental proceedings under the Rules during the pendency of the criminal case in regard to a similar arrangement of claims. He then relied on Rule 219 of the Rules and has presented that it is well within the jurisdiction of any authority superior to the authority making the original order to call for the records of any inquiry and revise any order made under the Rules either on its motion or otherwise. 

He presented that it was in the exercise of power under Rule 219(4)(d) of the Rules that the superior officers had directed the disciplinary authority to frame proper and complete charges which were not appropriately framed in the previous charge-sheet for equity. He contended that specific mistakes were seen in the prior arrangement of charge which has now been taken out by giving an appropriate charge-sheet through correspondence dated 20.02.2020.

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He additionally presented that the past disciplinary authority had wrongly passed the order to keep the procedure in suspension which was discovered to be in opposition to the principles which specify that criminal continuing and the departmental continuing can show side to side.

Judgement

The Court found the impugned order not sustainable and which is, therefore, set aside and the present writ application is allowed.

Click here for the full judgement


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