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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

service - “whether his suspension was wholly justified or wholly unjustified or partly justified and to what extent, he was entitled for salary and/or full salary during period of suspension?”whether the petitioner would be entitled only to the subsistence allowance as already paid to him or full salary and allowances, in view of his acquittal in the criminal case and the exoneration in departmental proceedings. Related to the aforesaid issue would be a consequential issue of notional promotion from the date an officer junior to him was promoted in the Rajasthan Judicial Service and the consequential entitlement to the emoluments on the promotional post, which in turn would determine the amount of suspension allowance and the other retiral benefits. We, however, hold that the continued suspension of the petitioner during the pendency of the departmental proceedings was wholly unjustified. The petitioner is, therefore, held entitled to full pay and allowances from 27th September, 2005, i.e. the date of the judgment rendered by the Delhi High Court onwards. We further hold that the petitioner was entitled to be considered for promotion notionally from the date when an officer junior to him was promoted. We, therefore, direct the High Court to consider the case of the petitioner for promotion (if he otherwise satisfies the requirements as per the rules) from the date when a person junior to him was considered and promoted to the next higher post. Let such a decision be taken by the High Court within a period of three months from the date of receipt of this order. We further direct that the petitioner would be entitled to all consequential benefits, such as salary and other allowances by treating him on duty with effect from the date the appeal against acquittal was dismissed by the Delhi High Court and after fixing his last pay drawn correctly. The consequential benefits shall be paid to him with 6% interest from the date of the dismissal of the appeal by the High Court on 27th September, 2005. The enhanced retiral benefits shall be released to him within three months of the receipt of a copy of this order.


                                   REPORTA
                                     BLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION


                    WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 200 OF 2006




           Gurpal                                              Singh
            ...Petitioner
           VERSUS
           High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan
           ...Respondent


                               J U D G M E N T
           SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, J.
           1. In this petition, under Article 32 of the  Constitution
              of India, the petitioner seeks a writ in the nature  of
              Certiorari for quashing the order of  suspension  dated
              20th December, 1985 by declaring the same to be void-ab-
              initio.  
The petitioner also claims a declaration  that
              the order dated 24th January, 2009 is void and that the
              petitioner is entitled to all benefits for  the  period
              of suspension from 20th December, 1985 till 26th March,
              2008, when he was reinstated in service.


           2. We may briefly advert to  the  relevant  facts  on  the
              basis of which  the  petitioner  claims  the  aforesaid
              relief.


           3. On 28th December, 1979, the petitioner was selected  by
              the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (R.P.S.C.)  for
              the post of Assistant Public Prosecutor Grade  II.
 He
              served on the said post till 28th July, 1980.
 On  the
              very next day,               i.e. 29th July,  1980,  he
              was selected for appointment to the Rajasthan  Judicial
              Service and joined as Judicial Magistrate First  Class.
              For  sometime,
 he  remained  posted  at  Banswara   as
              Judicial Magistrate. 
During this period, his  judgments
              were graded as above average and integrity  as  “beyond
              doubt”.      
 In the inspection report, it was  further
              remarked that “his behaviour with members of  the  Bar,
              litigants and the persons coming  to  the  Court  needs
              improvement”.
 It appears that he was  not  on  best  of
              terms with the local Bar, which led to his transfer.


           4. On 24th November, 1985, at about  10.30  p.m.,  a  dead
              body was found near Ajmer Pulia on the railway track in
              the city of Jaipur. 
 The dead body  was  identified  as
              that of one   Mr.  Suresh  Chand  Gupta,  Advocate.  
 A
              ‘Marag’ (death) case was registered on  24th  November,
              1985, at  Serial  No.  35/85  at  Police  Station  GRP,
              Jaipur. 
 It appears that the local bar  association  of
              which the deceased was a member protested  that  proper
              investigation was not being conducted about the  manner
              in which Mr. Suresh Chand Gupta was found dead  on  the
              railway track.  
The  members  of  the  Bar  Association
              insisted that his death was result of some  foul  play.
                           On 11th December, 1985, that is  about  20
              days after the incident, wife of the  deceased  gave  a
              written complaint,
 alleging  that  the  Petitioner  was
              involved in the murder of her husband.
In her  written
              complaint, she alleged that her  husband  had  informed
              her about three months prior to the incident  that  the
              petitioner  had  demanded  a  sum  of  Rs.1   lac   for
              exercising his influence with the high-ups, in securing
              the appointment of the deceased as a member of Board of
              Revenue.
 She claimed that the money which was  paid  to
              the petitioner was arranged by her deceased husband  by
              selling a plot of land.  He  had  also  borrowed  money
              from her father and other relatives.
 Inspite of having
              paid the aforesaid money, her husband was not  provided
              any appointment.
Consequently,  her  husband  had  been
              insisting  that  the  petitioner  return   the   amount
              unnecessarily  paid  to  him.
  She  claimed  that  the
              petitioner had agreed to return the money and asked her
              husband to meet at a pre-arranged place.
 Her  husband
              left home at 5.00 p.m. on 24th November, 1985  and  did
              not  return.  
 She,  therefore,  concluded  that  the
              petitioner must have killed her husband on  account  of
              the dispute over money.


           5. Upon coming to know about the  complaint  made  by  the
              wife of the deceased,
 the petitioner  himself  went  to
              the Police Station on 18th December, 1985  and  offered
              to join the investigation.
He requested the  police  to
              complete the investigation as soon as possible,  as  in
              the meantime, he has been transferred and had  to  join
              at  Vallabhnagar.
 In  the  meantime,  the  local  bar
              association  continued  the   agitation   against   the
              inaction of the police.
The lawyers resorted to strike
              and the work at the Courts was paralysed for many  days
              to come.
The situation was  so  grave  that  when  the
              application of the  petitioner  for  anticipatory  bail
              came up for hearing  before  the  High  Court  on  20th
              December, 1985, members of the Bar Association did  not
              allow the advocate of the petitioner to argue the case.
             
The petitioner relies on  the  order  passed  by  M.B.
              Sharma, J. on 20th December, 1985, which is as under:-
                 “20.12.1985


                       Mr. M.I. Khan, Public Prosecutor for the State.


                       The bail application was fixed for  orders  at  2.00
                 p.m. and the Public Prosecutor had sought time to get the
                 case diary from the Investigating Officer.  I am  in  the
                 court for last 15 minutes, but the entry to the Court has
                 been blocked by the advocates and others.  It is for  the
                 members of the August profession to consider how  far  it
                 is justified.  The advocate for the petitioner could  not
                 come to the court because of that  blockade.   Hence  the
                 case cannot be taken up.  I have no option but to  retire
                 to the Chamber.  The case  is  adjourned  to  January  2,
                 1986.


                                                          Sd/- Sharma, M.B.”


           6. Thereafter, the High Court was closed for winter  break
              on 21st December, 1985.
 On 20th  December,  1985,  the
              petitioner was formally arrested and taken into custody
              by the police  (CBI,  Jaipur).
He  was  placed  under
              suspension                     on 22nd  December,  1985
              w.e.f. 20th December, 1985.  Since the  petitioner  had
              already   been   arrested,   the   anticipatory    bail
              application was dismissed as having become  infructuous
              on  2nd  January,  1986.
 In  view  of   the   volatile
              atmosphere, the petitioner apprehended  that  he  would
              not get a fair trial in  the  Criminal  Case  No.  3/86
              pending before the Sessions Judge, Jaipur against  him.
              He, therefore, approached this Court with a prayer  for
              transfer   of   the   criminal   trial.  
 By    Order
              dated 4th August,  1986,  this  Court  transferred  the
              trial in the aforesaid criminal  case  to  a  Court  of
              competent jurisdiction in Delhi.
 Thereafter, the trial
              was  duly  conducted  at  Delhi.                  
 By
              judgment and order dated 1st May, 2002, the  petitioner
              was acquitted by the Additional Session Judge, Delhi.


           7. Upon acquittal  by  the  trial  court, 
 the  petitioner
              submitted a joining report on  6th  May,  2002  to  the
              Registrar General, Rajasthan High Court.  
 The  request
              made by the petitioner remained under consideration  of
              the High Court from the said date.  
 The  decision  was
              deferred to await the result of  the  appeal,  if  any,
              preferred against the acquittal of the  petitioner. 
 It
              appears that an appeal was filed  by  the  CBI,  which,
              however, came to be dismissed by a  Division  Bench  of
              the Delhi High Court on 27th September, 2005.

           8.   The   petitioner   submitted   his   joining   report
                          on 3rd October, 2005. 
 However,  no  action
              was taken by the  High  Court.  
It  was  only  on  17th
              November,  2005  that  he  was  directed  to  mark  his
              attendance at the office of the  District  and  Session
              Judge, Jaipur.  
By this time, the petitioner  had  been
              under  suspension  for  a  period  of  20  years. 
  He,
              therefore,  submitted  another  representation  on  2nd
              March, 2006 setting  out  the  grievances  and  seeking
              permission  to  appear  in  person  before  the   Chief
              Justice.


           9. In the meantime, 
 the  petitioner  came  to  know  that
              instead of revoking the order of suspension,  the  High
              Court may  initiate  disciplinary  proceedings  against
              him.  
At that stage, the petitioner was  only  about  2
              years  short  of  the  age   of   superannuation.
 He,
              therefore, moved the  present  Writ  Petition,  seeking
              immediate revocation of the  order  of  suspension  and
              consequential benefits.
 On  8th  May,  2006,  it  was
              brought to the notice of this Court that  after  filing
              of the writ petition, the High Court has initiated  the
              departmental proceedings against the petitioner,
 but no
              fresh order of suspension has  been  passed.
 It  was,
              therefore, submitted that direction be  issued  to  the
              High Court to reinstate the petitioner forthwith.
This
              Court issued notice on the Writ Petition  and  also  on
              the application for ex-parte stay.
Subsequently,  the
              matter came up for  hearing                          on
              25th January, 2007 when this Court  directed  that  the
              matter be posted for final disposal in the last week of
                         March, 2007.
On 4th January, 2008,  it  was
              submitted on behalf of the respondent that the  enquiry
              proceedings were in progress  against  the  petitioner.
              Therefore,  this  Court  directed  the  High  Court  to
              complete the enquiry within a period of eight weeks and
              submit its report.


          10. The enquiry was duly completed.
 In the Enquiry  Report
              dated  27th  February,   2008,   the   petitioner   was
              exonerated of the charges levelled against him. 
 It was
              only  at  that  stage,  that  he  was  reinstated  with
              immediate effect, by order dated 26th March, 2008. 
 The
              orders passed by the  respondent  were  placed  on  the
              record of these proceedings with  the  affidavit  dated
              22nd April, 2008 filed by the Registrar  (Writs).  
 The
              petitioner was, thereafter, given the posting order  at
              Vijai Nagar on 12th May, 2008.  
He retired from service
              on attaining the age of superannuation  on  30th  June,
              2008.


          11. It appears that 
the  trials  and  tribulations  of  the
              petitioner  did  not  come  to  an  end,   even   after
              retirement.
 In  fact                 on  24th  January,
              2009,  an  order  was  issued  on  the  basis  of   the
              resolution passed by the Full Court in its meeting held
                                 on 29th November, 2008,  wherein  it
              was resolved as under:-
                       “RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, JODHPUR
                                    ORDER
                 No. Estt. (RJS) 15/2009         Date :- 24.01.2009
                       WHEREAS SHRI GURPAL SINGH, RJS presently retired was
                 placed under suspension vide this office Order No.  Estt.
                 (RJS) 199/85 dated 22.12.1985.


                       AND WHEREAS it was decided that regular disciplinary
                 proceedings under rule 16 of the Rajasthan Civil  Service
                 (Classification,  Control  &  Appeal)  Rules,   1958   be
                 initiated  against  Shri  Gurpal  Singh,  RJS   presently
                 retired.


                       AND WHEREAS Hon’ble the Chief Justice in exercise of
                 the powers conferred by Rule 13 of  the  Rajasthan  Civil
                 Service (Classification, Control &  Appeal)  Rules,  1958
                 read with Full Court Resolution dated  October  30,  1971
                 was pleased to order that on account of initiation  of  a
                 regular enquiry under rule 16 of Rajasthan Civil  Service
                 (Classification,  Control  &  Appeal)  Rules,  1958   the
                 suspension of Shri Gurpal Singh shall continue.


                       AND WHEREAS Departmental Enquiry under  rule  16  of
                 the Rajasthan Civil Service (Classification, Control  and
                 Appeal) Rules,  1958  was  initiated  against  said  Shri
                 Gurpal Singh vide Memorandum No. Estt.  B2(iii)         /
                 /2006/1544 dated 20.04.2006.


                       AND WHERAS in the above  departmental  enquiry  said
                 Shri Gurpal Singh has  been  exonerated  vide  order  No.
                 Estt. (RJS) 25/2008 dated 26.03.2008.


                       AND WHEREAS, Shri Gurpal Singh has  been  reinstated
                 with  immediate  effect  as  Civil  Judge  (Jr.  Div.)  &
                 Judicial Magistrate in the RJS vide order No. Estt. (RJS)
                 26/2008 dated 26.03.2008.


                       AND WHEREAS the matter regarding  regularization  of
                 suspension period of Shri Gurpal Singh was considered  by
                 the Hon’ble Full Court in its meeting held on  29.11.2008
                 and it was resolved as under:-


                       “Perused office note and relevant record.   RESOLVED
                 that period of his  suspension  shall  be  treated  as  a
                 period  spent  on  duty,  but   without   salary   except
                 subsistence allowances already  paid  to  him.   However,
                 this will not effect (sic) his pensionary benefits but he
                 will not be entitled for any promotion.”


                       NOW THEREFORE, the period of his suspension shall be
                 treated as a period spent on  duty,  but  without  salary
                 except  subsistence  allowances  already  paid  to   him.
                 However,  this  will  not  effect  (sic)  his  pensionary
                 benefits but he will not be entitled for any promotion.


                                                        BY ORDER


                                                           Sd/
                                 24.01.2009
                                                          REGISTRAR (ADMN.)”




          12. The petitioner, therefore, sought amendment of the writ
              petition through I.A. No. 6  of  2009.   The  aforesaid
              application for amendment was allowed by this Court  on
              27th February, 2009.
After the amendment, the  counter
              affidavit was filed by the respondents to  the  amended
              writ petition.
The matter was heard by this Court on a
              number of occasions.
On 5th April,  2011,  this  Court
              passed the following order:-
                 “Having regard to the facts of the case, this Court is of
                 the opinion that interest of justice would be  served  if
                 the  High  Court  is  given  an   opportunity   to   pass
                 appropriate orders  under     Rule     54      of     the
                 Rules.      
Therefore,     the matter is remitted to  the
                 High Court on its administrative side to pass appropriate
                 orders under Rule 54.  The  High  Court    shall    issue
                 notice    to    the petitioner   and   afford   him    an
                 opportunity   of hearing by  calling  upon  him  to  file
                 reply to the notice.
 The  High  Court  shall  thereafter
                 consider      the     reply   and     pass    a  reasoned
                 order under Rule 54 of the Rules of 1951.  This  exercise
                 shall be  completed  as  early    as    possible      and
                 without       any    avoidable delay but in any case  not
                 later than six weeks from today. The High Court  to  file
                 the order which may  be  passed  by  it  in  the  present
                 proceedings.”




          13. Pursuant to the aforesaid direction, it appears that  a
              Committee was constituted by the Rajasthan  High  Court
              (hereinafter referred to as ‘Committee’) to examine the
              case of the petitioner, in terms  of  Rule  54  of  the
              Rajasthan Service Rules, 1951 (hereinafter referred  to
              as  “1951  Rules”)   for   determining
“whether   his
              suspension was wholly justified or  wholly  unjustified
              or partly justified and to what extent, he was entitled
              for  salary  and/or  full  salary  during   period   of
              suspension?”


          14. In this respect, a notice dated 25th  April,  2011  was
              sent  to  the  petitioner  by  the  Registrar  (Admn.),
              directing him to  file  a  reply,  and  remain  present
              before the aforesaid Committee on  5th  May,  2011.
  In
              response to the said notice, the petitioner submitted a
              detailed reply dated 2nd May, 2011 and appeared  before
              the   Committee   on   5th   May,   2011.    Thereafter
                   on  16th  May,  2011,  the  Committee  passed  the
              following order:
                 “THEREFORE,  in  the  present  facts   &    circumstances
                 (Supra), period during which Shri Gurpal  Singh  remained
                 under Suspension cannot be said to be wholly  unjustified
                 and sub-rule (2) of R. 54 of RSR in negative  form  where
                 the authority has to examine as to whether suspension was
                 wholly  unjustified.   However,   after   going   through
                 complete material on record (supra), the Court is of  the
                 view that in the given  facts  &  circumstances  (supra),
                 suspension of Shri Gurpal Singh  cannot  be  said  to  be
                 wholly unjustified and what he was entitled for under law
                 has been paid to him in terms of Resolution of Full Court
                 dt.29.11.2008   (supra)   conveyed   vide    order    dt.
                 24.01.2009.”




          15. It becomes clear from  the  perusal  of  the  aforesaid
              order that the Rajasthan High  Court  after  giving  an
              opportunity of hearing to  the  petitioner,  reiterated
              the Resolution of the Full Court dated  29th  November,
              2008, communicated vide order dated 24th January, 2009.


          16. We have heard the learned counsel for  the  parties  at
              length.


          17. Very  elaborate  submissions  have  been  made  by  the
              learned counsel  for  the  parties.  We  may,  however,
              briefly notice the very crux of the submissions.


          18. Mr. M.R. Calla, learned senior  counsel  appearing  for
              the petitioner, submitted 
that the  respondent  has  to
              justify the suspension order on the day it was  passed,
              i.e.                        on  20th  December,   1985.
              Further,
 since the suspension  of  the  petitioner  had
              continued for 22  years,  3  months  and  7  days,  the
              respondent would have to satisfy the court that such  a
              prolong suspension was also justified.
 Whether  or  not
              the order of suspension was justified, partly justified
              or wholly unjustified would have  to  be  seen  in  the
              light of result of not only the trial in criminal  case
              but  also  of  the  departmental  enquiry   where   the
              petitioner was proceeded  against  by  the  department.
              According to the learned senior counsel, 
whilst  taking
              a decision  under  Rule  54  of  the  1951  Rules,  the
              disciplinary authority was required to keep in mind the
              outcome of the  criminal  trial  and  the  departmental
              proceeding.


          19. Relying on some judgments of this Court, Mr. Calla  had
              submitted
 that an employee who is suspended due to  the
              pendency of the criminal investigation/trial has to  be
              reinstated upon acquittal.
Further upon  reinstatement,
              he would be entitled to full salary and allowances  for
              the period he is kept under  suspension.
According  to
              the learned senior  counsel,  an  acquittal  either  by
              trial court or by the appellate court would relate back
              to the date  on  which  the  order  of  suspension  was
              passed.
Mr. Calla then submitted that in the facts  of
              this case, the petitioner  was  suspended  due  to  the
              registration of the criminal case against him.
 At  the
              time when the petitioner was acquitted he was  entitled
              to be reinstated. However, since an  appeal  was  filed
              against the acquittal by the CBI,  the  petitioner  was
              neither reinstated nor his suspension was revoked.
 Even
              when the aforesaid appeal was  dismissed  by  the  High
              Court, the request of the petitioner for  reinstatement
              was not considered.
This,  according  to            Mr.
              Calla, was  a  second  stage  when  the  appellant  was
              entitled to reinstatement and to the  payment  of  full
              salary and allowances.
Mr. Calla  further  pointed  out
              that even after acquittal, the appellant  was  unjustly
              subjected to a departmental enquiry.
The charges in the
              departmental enquiry were based  on  the  facts,  which
              were alleged to be the motive for the murder. Since the
              petitioner was acquitted in  the  criminal  trial,  the
              departmental  proceedings  against  him   were   wholly
              unjustified.
Therefore, according  to  Mr.  Calla,  the
              continuation of suspension was also wholly unjustified.




          20. Even at this stage, the respondent  did  not  pass  any
              order under Rule 54 of the 1951 Rules.
 It was  only  on
              the directions issued by this Court on 5th April,  2011
              that the respondent examined the case under Rule 54 and
              passed the necessary order on 16th May,  2011.
 It  was
              also submitted that the order passed on the  directions
              of this Court on 16th May,  2011  is  contrary  to  the
              order passed by the High Court                       on
              24th January, 2009.
 The latter order was  passed  after
              the petitioner was reinstated in service on  26th  May,
              2008, regarding regularization of the suspension period
              of the petitioner.
 In the order passed under  Rule  54,
              the High Court had concluded  that  the  period  during
              which the appellant was kept under suspension shall  be
              treated as a period spent on duty, but  without  salary
              except subsistence allowance already paid to him.
 Even
              this order  was  passed  during  the  pendency  of  the
              present petition.
 Mr. Calla then  submitted  that  not
              only the petitioner has been deprived of full  pay  and
              allowances during the period of  suspension,  but  even
              his case for promotion was not considered  with  effect
              from the date a person junior to him was considered for
              promotion and promoted.
                 In support of his submission, Mr. Calla  had  relied
           on a number of judgments which are as under :
                 Shri Manni  Lal  Vs.  Shri  Parmai  Lal  &  Ors.[1],
                 Muhammad Ayoob Khuhro Vs. Emperor[2], Robert  Stuart
                 Wauchope Vs. Emperor[3],  Vidya  Charan  Shukla  Vs.
                 Purshottam Lal Kaushik[4], O.P. Gupta Vs.  Union  of
                 India & Ors.[5], R.P. Kapur Vs.  Union  of  India  &
                 Anr.[6],  Commissioner  of  Police,  New  Delhi  Vs.
                 Narender  Singh,[7]  Corporation  of  the  City   of
                 Nagpur, Civil Lines, Nagpur & Anr. Vs. Ramchandra  &
                 Ors.[8], Jasbir Singh  Vs.  Punjab  &  Sind  Bank  &
                 Ors.[9],  The  Divisional  Superintendent,  Northern
                 Railway & Anr. Vs. R.B.  Hanifi[10],  Govind  Prasad
                 Vs. Union of India,[11] Union of India  &  Ors.  Vs.
                 K.V. Jankiraman & Ors.[12], Union of  India  &  Ors.
                 Vs. Sangram Keshari Nayak[13], Sulekh Chand &  Salek
                 Chand Vs. Commissioner of Police &  Ors.[14],  State
                 of Kerala &  Ors.  Vs.  E.K.  Bhaskaran  Pillai[15],
                 Union of India & Ors. Vs. Lt.  Gen.  Rajendra  Singh
                 Kadyan & Anr.[16]


          21. Mr. Pallav Shishodia, learned senior counsel on  behalf
              of Respondent No.1, sought  dismissal  of  the  present
              writ petition, inter-alia, on the ground of  delay.  It
              was pointed out that there is a delay of more  than  20
              years in challenging the order of suspension dated 20th
              December,  1985.   The  learned  senior   counsel,   in
              response to submissions of Mr.  Calla,  submitted  that
              the initial suspension of the  petitioner  and  further
              continuation of the same, during  the  criminal  trial;
              during pendency of the appeal  against  acquittal;  and
              during the pendency of the  departmental  enquiry;  was
              not “only justified, but imperative,” in  the  view  of
              “sensitive nature of judicial  work”  which  was  being
              undertaken by him. It was also submitted that since  it
              is never  possible  to  anticipate  the  outcome  of  a
              criminal trial or disciplinary  proceedings  which  may
              eventually lead to acquittal  or  exoneration,  as  the
              case may be, suspension of  the  petitioner  cannot  be
              termed  as  “wholly  unjustified”.  In  addition,   Mr.
              Shishodia pointed out that the petitioner was acquitted
              by the trial court on  “benefit  of  doubt”.   Further,
              dismissal of the appeal against acquittal does  not  in
              any manner affect the legal position.


          22. It had also been pointed  out  by  Mr.  Shishodia  that
              since there is no allegation of suspension being “mala-
              fide, vindictive or otherwise motivated”, there remains
              no reason to interfere with the  impugned  order  dated
              24th January, 2009, as affirmed by the order dated 16th
              May,  2011.   The  learned  senior  counsel  had   also
              submitted that there is no challenge to the order dated
              16th May, 2011 in the present writ  petition,  nor  the
              petitioner had made a submission that  his  prosecution
              by the CBI was malicious or otherwise vitiated. In  the
              light of aforesaid submissions, it was  contended  that
              suspension   pending   criminal   proceedings    and/or
              departmental  enquiry   was   fully   justified.    Mr.
              Shishodia has also argued that the order  denying  full
              pay to the petitioner was passed by the High Court,  in
              bonafide exercise of its powers and  on  the  basis  of
              well settled interpretation of  Rule  54  of  the  1951
              Rules.

          23. The learned senior counsel, relying upon  a  number  of
              judgments of this Court,  had  further  contended
 that
              matters relating to the grant of salary, promotions and
              other benefits to an employee during the period of  his
              suspension  are  subject  to  the  discretion  of   the
              employer.
The employer has to strike a balance between
              the rights of the employee and the  imperatives  of  an
              institution. He submitted that the High  Court,  acting
              in a fair, objective and reasonable manner,  has  drawn
              the line so as to avoid any  disproportionate  penalty.
              It has struck a balance between the entitlement of  the
              petitioner and imperatives of the  institution  charged
              with public duty of administration of justice.


          24.  The  learned  counsel  had  further  submitted   that
              whatever amount was legally due to the petitioner  has
              already been paid to him.
 It  had  been  stated  that
              Rupees Twelve Lac Seventy Three Thousand Eight Hundred
              Forty Two Only,  i.e.                Rs.  12,73,842/-,
              have been paid to the petitioner under various  heads,
              like dearness allowance, subsistence  allowance,  etc.
              Also, the petitioner gets a  monthly  pension  to  the
              tune of  Rupees  Twenty  Two  Thousand  Three  Hundred
              Eighty Five Only, i.e. Rs. 22,385/-.
                 The counsel relied upon the following  judgments  to
           substantiate his contentions:
                 Management of Reserve Bank of India, New  Delhi  Vs.
                 Bhopal  Singh  Panchal[17],  Krishnakant   Raghunath
                 Bibhavnekar Vs. State of Maharashtra  and  Ors.[18],
                 K. Ponnamma (Smt.) Vs. State of Kerala  &  Ors.[19],
                 Dhananjay  Vs.  Chief   Executive   Officer,   Zilla
                 Parishad, Jalna[20],  Union  of  India  &  Ors.  Vs.
                 Jaipal Singh[21], Baldev Singh Vs. Union of India  &
                 Ors.[22], N. Selvaraj Vs. Kumbakonam City Union Bank
                 Ltd. & Anr.[23], Banshi Dhar Vs. State of  Rajasthan
                 & Anr.[24], Divisional Controller, Gujarat SRTC  Vs.
                 Kadarbhai J. Suthar[25], Union  of  India  Vs.  B.M.
                 Jha.[26]


          25. We have considered the submissions made by the  learned
              senior counsel for the parties.
          26.  The only issue that needs to be resolved at this stage
              is as to
whether the petitioner would be entitled  only
              to the subsistence allowance as already paid to him  or
              full salary and allowances, in view of his acquittal in
              the criminal case and the exoneration  in  departmental
              proceedings.
Related to the aforesaid issue would be a
              consequential issue of notional promotion from the date
              an officer junior to him was promoted in the  Rajasthan
              Judicial Service and the consequential  entitlement  to
              the emoluments on the promotional post, which  in  turn
              would determine the amount of suspension allowance  and
              the other retiral benefits.


          27. In our opinion, it is not really  necessary  to  notice
              the ratio in each of the judgments  cited,  as  all  of
              them reiterate certain well known principles of law. We
              may, however, notice some of the principles highlighted
              in the judgments cited by the learned counsel.
 In  the
              case of Corporation of the City of Nagpur  (supra),  it
              is observed
that it may not be expedient to continue  a
              departmental  inquiry  on  the  very  same  charges  or
              grounds  or  evidence,  where  the  accused  has   been
              acquitted honourably and completely exonerated  of  the
              charges. At the same  time,  it  is  pointed  out  that
              merely because the accused is acquitted, the  power  of
              the authority concerned to  continue  the  departmental
              inquiry is not taken away nor is its discretion in  any
              way fettered.


          28. The  same  principle  is  reiterated  in  the  case  of
              Commissioner of Police, New Delhi  Vs.  Narender  Singh
              (supra).

          29. In Jasbir Singh’s case (supra),
the  appellant  was  a
              confirmed peon in the respondent Bank. On an allegation
              that he had forged the signature of a depositor  R  and
              fraudulently withdrawn a certain  sum,  a  departmental
              proceeding was initiated against him. A  criminal  case
              was  also  initiated  simultaneously   under   Sections
              409/201 IPC. He was acquitted  in  the  criminal  case.
              However,   despite    acquittal,    the    departmental
              proceedings continued and ultimately  ended  in  an  ex
              parte report to the effect that the  charges  had  been
              proved. The respondent Bank also filed a  suit  against
              the appellant for recovery of the said  sum.  The  suit
              was decreed but the appellate court held that the  Bank
              failed to prove that the  appellant  had  withdrawn  or
              embezzled the said sum. It was held that the  Bank  was
              not entitled to recover the said amount. That  judgment
              was not challenged. Thus, the same  attained  finality.
              However, the writ  petition  filed  by  the  appellant,
              challenging the disciplinary proceedings and the  order
              of punishment was dismissed by the Punjab  and  Haryana
              High Court.  Without taking note  of  the  decision  of
              civil court and relying on a provision of the Bipartite
              Settlement, the High Court held that  the  departmental
              proceedings could have been initiated  even  after  the
              judgment  of  acquittal  in  the  criminal  case.   The
              appellant employee then filed an appeal in this Court.
                 Allowing  the  appeal,  this  Court  held  that  the
            respondent Bank invited findings  of  a  competent  civil
            court on the  issue  as  to  whether  the  appellant  had
            committed any embezzlement or not. Embezzlement  of  fund
            was the principal charge against the appellant in all the
            proceedings. The respondent Bank failed to prove  any  of
            the charges before any court  of  law.  The  judgment  in
            civil matter having attained finality, was binding on the
            respondent Bank.
                 It was further observed  that  in  a  case  of  this
            nature, the High Court should have applied  its  mind  to
            the facts of the matter with reference to  the  materials
            brought on record. It failed to do so and  did  not  take
            note of the decision of the civil  court.  It  could  not
            have refused  to  look  into  the  materials  on  record.
            Therefore, the impugned judgment was set aside.


          30. In O.P. Gupta’s case (supra), this Court emphasised the
              principle that any  order  which  would  cause  adverse
              civil consequences, can only be passed upon  observance
              of the rules of Natural Justice.  There is,  therefore,
              insistence upon requirement of a “fair hearing”. It was
              also emphasised that long, continued suspension affects
              the government servant injuriously. Since the order  of
              suspension entitles the  government  employee  only  to
              “subsistence    allowance”,    resulting    in    penal
              consequences, it should  not  be  lightly  passed.  The
              court also emphasised that the expression  “life”  does
              not merely connote  animal  existence  or  a  continued
              drudgery  through  life.  These  are  all  well   known
              principles of law. We only  make  a  reference  to  the
              same, since the cases have been cited.
          31.   Similarly  the  judgments  cited  by  Mr.   Shishodia
              reiterate the principle that
“no hard  and  fast  rule”
              can be laid down as to  whether  on  reinstatement  the
              employee is entitled to full  back  wages  or  no  back
              wages at all.
All the  cases  reiterate  the  principle
              that the facts and circumstances of each case  have  to
              be examined by the concerned authority.  It has to take
              an informed decision on the basis of  the  material  on
              record. These judgments also reiterate  that  acquittal
              of an employee would not automatically entitle  him  to
              reinstatement or to payment of  full  back  wages.  The
              power  is  normally  vested   with   the   disciplinary
              authority to hold a  departmental  enquiry,  even  upon
              conclusion of the criminal trial where the employee  is
              acquitted.


          32. We have examined the entire issue keeping the aforesaid
              principles in mind.
 In order  to  determine  the  issue
              relating to the entitlement of petitioner to the salary
              and other allowance(s) upon reinstatement,
 the  matter
              needs to be examined at the different  stages/point  of
              time. 
The first stage commenced at the  time  when  the
              petitioner was initially suspended  on  22nd  December,
              1985 w.e.f. 20th December, 1985. 
The petitioner, in our
              opinion,  cannot  legitimately  protest   against   his
              suspension, at the initial stage, when he had  remained
              in police custody for  more  than  forty  eight  hours,
              though unfortunately for circumstances for which he was
              not  responsible.  
This   suspension   was   naturally
              continued when he was facing the trial for murder.

          33. The next stage is
when he was acquitted  by  the  trial
              court on 1st May, 2002.
The observations made  by  the
              Additional Session Judge, Delhi whilst  acquitting  the
              petitioner are as follows:-
                 “285. The case in hand does not  pass  the  muster.   The
                 circumstances that can be  safely  held  as  duly  proved
                 would  include  only   that   there   was   long-standing
                 friendship between the  accused  and  the  deceased,  and
                 discovery of dead body of  the  latter  in  circumstances
                 indicating unnatural death.  The prosecution  has  failed
                 to prove beyond  all  reasonable  doubts  the  theory  of
                 accused having  taken  an  amount  of  Rs.  one  lakh  20
                 thousand from the deceased on the promise of helping  him
                 in securing appointment as Member in Board of Revenue, or
                 upon failure faced by the deceased in  getting  the  said
                 appointment refusing to, or haggling over, return of  the
                 said amount of  money.   The  theory  of  accused  having
                 returned Rs. one lakh to  PW  1  after  the  incident  is
                 suspect.  There is a inordinate delay in the  lodging  of
                 FIR which, seen against the backdrop of claims by all and
                 sundry that they suspected  involvement  of  the  accused
                 from the very beginning, has remained unexplained and  is
                 bound to prove fatal to the case (AIR 1996 SC 607).


                 286.        The evidence regarding “last seen”  does  not
                 inspire  confidence  and  has  rather  come  out   as   a
                 fabricated one.  Efforts  to  cook  up  evidence  in  the
                 course of investigation,  for  example  the  recovery  of
                 blood stained clothes of the  accused  at  his  instance,
                 coupled  with  unauthorized  handling  of  the   material
                 exhibits recovered from the scene where the dead body had
                 been found, have given the impression that the same might
                 have  been  doctored.   This  erodes  confidence  in  the
                 prosecution case.  The investigation conducted smacks  of
                 bias and prejudice under influence  of  certain  elements
                 inimically placed vis-à-vis the accused.  The benefit  of
                 doubts arising as a result must accrue in favour  of  the
                 accused, since suspicion, however strong, cannot take the
                 place of proof in the final analysis.”


                 These observations would  indicate  that  the  trial
           court disbelieved the very foundation of the  prosecution
           case.  The alleged motive has been found  to  be  without
           any basis.  The  judgment  of  the  trial  court  clearly
           indicates that the evidence produced does not reach  even
           the bare minimum standard required for  establishing  the
           guilt of the petitioner.  The theory of  the  prosecution
           that petitioner had demanded  or  taken  money  from  the
           deceased was not supported by any  independent  evidence.
           The trial court also noticed that there was an inordinate
           delay in the registration of the FIR,  which  had  to  be
           seen against the backdrop of claims, by all  and  sundry,
           that they suspected the  involvement  of  the  petitioner
           from the very beginning. The  trial  court  categorically
           observed that in the peculiar circumstances of the  case,
           the delay in registration of the FIR  was  fatal  to  the
           case of the prosecution.  The trial court  also  observed
           that  the  evidence  with  regard  to  “last  seen”   was
           fabricated and, therefore, did not inspire confidence. It
           is also observed that the investigation in the  case  had
           not been conducted fairly.  The Trial Court was left with
           a  definite  impression  that  the  evidence   had   been
           “doctored”.  The Court categorically observed  that  “the
           investigation conducted smack of bias and prejudice under
           influence of certain elements inimically placed vis-à-vis
           the accused”.  These observations, in our opinion,  would
           bring the present case within the realm  of  those  cases
           which are often described  as  cases  of  “no  evidence”.
           Merely because the Court ultimately used  the  term  that
           prosecution  has  failed  to  prove  the   case   “beyond
           reasonable doubt” would not  raise  the  stature  of  the
           evidence, produced by the prosecution, in this case  from
           the level of being thoroughly unreliable.


          34. As noticed above, Mr.  Calla  has  submitted  that  the
              suspension of the petitioner should have  been  revoked
              at this stage. 
It will not be possible  to  accept  the
              proposition  that  as  soon  as  the  trial  court  had
              acquitted the petitioner, the Rajasthan High Court  was
              required to forthwith revoke the order  of  suspension.
              Undoubtedly,
the petitioner could have been given a non-
              sensitive posting, not  involving  judicial  functions.
              But, it was not imperative for the High Court to revoke
              the suspension, at that  stage.
 It  is  a  matter  of
              record, that the prosecution agency decided to file  an
              appeal against the judgment and  order  passed  by  the
              trial court,  acquitting  the  petitioner.  The  appeal
              filed by the CBI was admitted by the Delhi  High  Court
              and remained  pending  till  it  was  decided  on  27th
              September, 2005. Therefore, the conclusions recorded by
              the trial court, were not final.  They were  liable  to
              be reversed in appeal by the High Court.
 Thus,  during
              the said period/stage,  it  cannot  be  said  that  the
              continuance of the suspension  of  the  petitioner  was
              wholly unjustified.
Merely because the High Court could
              have revoked  the  suspension,  would  not  render  the
              decision   to   continue   the    suspension,    wholly
              unjustified.


          35. The Rajasthan High Court was placed in a  very  piquant
              situation   till   the   petitioner’s   acquittal   was
              reiterated by the Delhi High Court.  
The  High  Court,
              literally, had no option but  to  place  and  keep  the
              petitioner under suspension.  It  was  not  as  if  the
              petitioner   had   unwittingly   breached   a   traffic
              regulation, which may not invite, even a frown from the
              general public. It was also not  where  he  may  had  a
              minor  altercation  with  someone  which  may  well  be
              overlooked by a reasonable man, as it would not involve
              any moral turpitude. He was  facing  a  trial  for  the
              offence of murder, a crime of highest moral  turpitude.
              Since time immemorial, Judges have  been  placed  on  a
              very high pedestal in every  civilized  society.   Such
              high   status   is   accompanied    by    corresponding
              responsibility of a judge maintaining an unusually high
              standard of dignity, poise and integrity.  There can be
              no two ways about it! Therefore, the  decision  of  the
              High Court to continue the suspension of the petitioner
              can not be said  to  be  wholly  unjustified  till  his
              acquittal by the Delhi High Court.


          36. At this stage, we may just mention observations of this
              Court in two decisions of this Court in relation to the
              high standards of behaviour expected from a Judge.  For
              instance, in Daya Shankar Vs. High Court of Allahabad &
              Ors. Through Registrar & Ors.[27], this court  observed
              as under:
                 “Judicial officer cannot have two standards, one  in  the
                 court and another outside the court. They must have  only
                 one standard of rectitude, honesty  and  integrity.  They
                 cannot act even remotely  unworthy  of  the  office  they
                 occupy.”


                 Further, in the case of  C.  Ravichandran  Iyer  Vs.
           Justice  A.M.  Bhattacharjee  &  Ors.,[28]  again   while
           elucidating the nature of the position held by a judicial
           officer, this Court observed as under:
                 “21. Judicial  office  is  essentially  a  public  trust.
                 Society is, therefore, entitled to expect  that  a  Judge
                 must be a man of high integrity, honesty and required  to
                 have moral vigour, ethical  firmness  and  impervious  to
                 corrupt or venial influences. He is required to keep most
                 exacting standards of propriety in judicial conduct.  Any
                 conduct which tends to undermine public confidence in the
                 integrity  and  impartiality  of  the  court   would   be
                 deleterious to the efficacy of judicial process. Society,
                 therefore,  expects  higher  standards  of  conduct   and
                 rectitude from a Judge......It  is,  therefore,  a  basic
                 requirement that a Judge's official and personal  conduct
                 be free from impropriety; the same must be in  tune  with
                 the  highest  standard  of  propriety  and  probity.  The
                 standard of conduct is higher than  that  expected  of  a
                 layman and also higher than that expected of an advocate.
                 In fact, even  his  private  life  must  adhere  to  high
                 standards of probity and  propriety,  higher  than  those
                 deemed acceptable for others. Therefore,  the  Judge  can
                 ill-afford to seek shelter from the  fallen  standard  in
                 the society.”




          37. The decision of the High Court to keep  the  petitioner
              under suspension  has  to  be  judged  by  keeping  the
              aforesaid standards in mind. Therefore, we  are  unable
              to  accept  the  submission  of  Mr.  Calla  that   the
              suspension of the  petitioner  was  wholly  unjustified
              after he was acquitted of the criminal charges  by  the
              trial court.


          38. We now come to
the stage after the appeal  against  the
              acquittal was dismissed by the High Court.
 It  appears
              that a Division Bench  of  the  Delhi  High  Court  re-
              appreciated  the  entire  evidence  and  dismissed  the
              appeal filed by the CBI.      In its judgment, the High
              Court has clearly held that the prosecution had  failed
              to prove any motive  for  the  alleged  murder.  It  is
              noticed by the High Court that the  entire  prosecution
              case  is  based  on  circumstantial  evidence.   It  is
              further observed that  the  injuries  suffered  by  the
              deceased were not inconsistent with the  plea  that  it
              was a case of accidental death.  The  High  Court  also
              disbelieved  the  witnesses  of  the  prosecution  with
              regard to the deceased having been  “last  seen”  alive
              with the petitioner. Having  disbelieved  the  evidence
              with regard to the motive and with regard to the victim
              being “last seen” alive with the petitioner,  the  High
              Court proceeded to examine the evidence with regard  to
              the disclosure  statement  under  Section  27  and  the
              recoveries of incriminating pieces of  evidence.   Upon
              examination of each issue, the High Court observed that
              the facts brought on the record “put a question mark on
              the genuineness of the story of the  recoveries  made”.
              The High Court disbelieved the recovery of the  clothes
              allegedly belonging  to  the  deceased.  The  story  of
              recovery  of  blood  stains   was   also   disbelieved.
              Ultimately,  the  High  Court  recorded  the  following
              conclusions:-

                 “43. In the present case, the  major  links  between  the
                 alleged  offence  and  the  accused  are  entirely   non-
                 existent. The above discourse shows positively  that  the
                 prosecution has failed at every step to  bring  home  the
                 guilt of the accused. The first step was to prove that it
                 was a case of murder rather than a case of accident.  The
                 prosecution has failed to prove beyond  reasonable  doubt
                 that it was a case of murder and not that of an accident.


                 44. The second step was to prove that the accused and the
                 deceased  were  last  seen  together  soon   before   the
                 incident. The prosecution has also failed to  prove  this
                 fact beyond reasonable doubt. Apart from what has already
                 been stated above an important fact in this case is  that
                 post-mortem report along with
the  CFSL  report,  Ex.PW-
                 34/DA proves existence of alcohol in the stomach  of  the
                 deceased. This tends to support the accident theory.


                 45. The third step was to prove that the prosecution  had
                 recovered incriminating articles,  either  following  the
                 disclosure  statement  or  on  its  own  initiative.  The
                 prosecution has failed even at doing the  same.  In  this
                 situation, even if  the  prosecution  is  able  to  prove
                 existence of motive, the same by itself would not  be  of
                 any value. The trial court has disbelieved the  story  of
                 motive. However, for us it is not necessary  to  go  into
                 those details.


                 46. ………..The prosecution has failed to prove firstly that
                 there was any murder and secondly that the accused is the
                 one who committed it. There is absolutely no merit in the
                 appeal and the same is accordingly dismissed.”





          39. The acquittal of the petitioner having been affirmed by
              the High  Court  of  Delhi,  in  our  opinion,  it  was
              necessary for the High Court of  Rajasthan  to  take  a
              decision: 
(a) whether to revoke the order of suspension
              and  permit  the   petitioner   to   perform   judicial
              functions; 
b) whether to hold a  departmental  enquiry
              with regard to the receipt of money allegedly  received
              by him from the deceased;
 (c) as to how the  period  of
              suspension  was  to  be  treated; 
  (d)   whether   the
              petitioner was entitled to full salary, part salary  or
              no salary at all for the period of suspension.

          40. It appears to us that given the  findings  recorded  by
              the trial court, subsequently reiterated  by  the  High
              Court of Delhi, the decision to continue the petitioner
              under suspension, thereafter, was rather harsh.
 It  is
              true  that  the  suspension  of  the   petitioner   was
              continued as the High  Court  had  decided  to  hold  a
              departmental enquiry  against  the  petitioner  on  the
              charges that he had  wrongly  extracted  certain  money
              from the deceased. But it is a matter  of  record  that
              both the trial court as well  as  the  High  Court  had
              found the entire  story  with  regard  to  the  alleged
              receipt of money to be false. The enquiry  was  founded
              on the same facts and the same evidence which have  had
              been examined by the trial court as well  as  the  High
              Court. In such circumstances, it was necessary for  the
              High Court to examine the findings of the  trial  court
              as well as the High Court in  detail  before  taking  a
              decision to initiate departmental  proceedings  against
              the petitioner, founded on the same set  of  facts  and
              the evidence. It is apparent from the  record  that  no
              such examination of the judgment was undertaken by  the
              High Court. Even after taking a  decision  to  initiate
              departmental proceeding against the petitioner, it  was
              no longer imperative to continue the  petitioner  under
              suspension. The petitioner was no longer  charged  with
              any criminal offence as both the trial court as well as
              the High Court had literally concluded that the charges
              against  the  petitioner  had   been   concocted.   The
              petitioner had been subjected to  continued  suspension
              since  22nd  December,  1985.  During  the  period   of
              departmental proceedings, even if  the  petitioner  was
              not to be assigned any judicial work,  the  High  Court
              could have conveniently given him suitable  posting  on
              the administrative side. In our opinion, from the  time
              of dismissal of the appeal by the Delhi High Court, the
              continued  suspension  of  the  petitioner  was  wholly
              unjustified.


          41. Again it is a  matter  of  record,  that  even  in  the
              departmental enquiry the charges against the petitioner
              were not proved and he was exonerated of the  same.  It
              was only at that  stage  that  the  suspension  of  the
              petitioner was  revoked.  The  petitioner  had  already
              moved the present writ petition immediately  after  the
              order of acquittal was upheld by the Delhi High  Court.
              The  enquiry  proceedings  were  completed  during  the
              pendency of the writ petition.  Undoubtedly, the  order
              of  suspension  was   revoked   by   the   High   Court
                 on 26th March, 2008 but without giving any direction
              as to how the period of suspension was to  be  treated.
              It was only subsequently that the matter with regard to
              regularization  of  his  period   of   suspension   was
              considered by the Full Court in  the  meeting  held  on
              29th November, 2008. Even at that stage though the Full
              Court passed a resolution  that  period  of  suspension
              shall be treated as period spent on duty, but it was to
              be  without  payment  of  any  salary  except  for  the
              subsistence allowance already paid to him. On the basis
              of the aforesaid resolution, the High Court passed  the
              order dated 24th January, 2009. So even by order  dated
              24th January, 2009, the  petitioner  was  granted  only
              partial relief. This necessitated the amendment of  the
              writ  petition  by  the  petitioner   questioning   the
              legality of the aforesaid order. It was  only  at  that
              stage that this Court by order dated  5th  April,  2011
              directed the High  Court  to  pass  appropriate  orders
              under Rule 54 of the Rules. It  appears  even  at  that
              stage the High Court did not consider it  necessary  to
              grant any further relief to the petitioner.


          42. We are of the considered opinion, having regard to  the
              sequence of events narrated above,  that  it  would  be
              unjust to deny the salary to the petitioner with effect
              from  the  date  the  appeal  against   acquittal   was
              dismissed by the High Court of Delhi. We see no  cogent
              reason as to why  it  was  necessary  to  continue  the
              suspension of the petitioner during the pendency of the
              departmental  proceedings.  There  was  no  distinction
              between the facts or the evidence relied  upon  in  the
              criminal trial as well as the  department  proceedings.
              This apart, the petitioner had been  acquitted  of  any
              involvement in the crime of murder.  Whilst  exercising
              its jurisdiction under Rule 54, it  was  necessary  for
              the High Court to pass a detailed and reasoned order as
              to  whether  the  period  of  suspension   was   wholly
              unjustified. Undoubtedly, the power under  Rule  54  is
              discretionary but such discretion has to  be  exercised
              reasonably  and  by  taking  into   consideration   the
              material relevant to the decision.  Upon  acquittal  of
              the petitioner from the criminal  charges,  it  was  no
              longer necessary to keep him  under  suspension  during
              the  pendency  of  the  departmental  enquiry.  In  our
              opinion,  the  High  Court  failed  to   exercise   its
              jurisdiction properly under Rule  54,  as  directed  by
              this Court in the order dated 5th April, 2011.  In  our
              opinion, the suspension of the petitioner ought to have
              been revoked upon acquittal  by  the  High  Court  even
              during the pendency of the departmental enquiry.


          43. This now leads us to the last submission of  Mr.  Calla
              that upon exoneration in the departmental  proceedings,
              the  petitioner  was  required  to  be  considered  for
              promotion from the date a  person  junior  to  him  was
              promoted.

          44.  In view of the authoritative judgment rendered by this
              Court  in  the  case   of   Jankiraman   (supra),   the
              submissions  made  by  Mr.  Calla  would  have  to   be
              accepted. In the aforesaid judgment it was held that:-
                 “26.  We are, therefore, broadly in  agreement  with  the
                 finding  of  the  Tribunal  that  when  an  employee   is
                 completely exonerated meaning  thereby  that  he  is  not
                 found blameworthy in the least and is  not  visited  with
                 the penalty even of censure,  he  has  to  be  given  the
                 benefit of the salary of the higher post along  with  the
                 other benefits from the  date  on  which  he  would  have
                 normally been promoted but for the  disciplinary/criminal
                 proceedings.”

          45. In this case, it  is  a  matter  of  record  that  upon
              exoneration in the departmental enquiry, the petitioner
              was reinstated in service.  No punishment was inflicted
              on him at all.  However, during  the  pendency  of  the
              criminal trial as also the departmental proceedings, he
              was not considered for promotion,  when  the  cases  of
              persons junior to him were considered. In our  opinion,
              the High Court erred in directing  in  the  Full  Court
              Resolution  dated  29th   November,   2008,   and   the
              communication  dated  24th  January,  2009   that   the
              petitioner shall not be entitled for any promotion.


          46. We, therefore, partly  allow  the  writ  petition.   We
              reject the submissions of Mr. Calla that the suspension
              of the petitioner was rendered wholly unjustified  upon
              acquittal by the  trial  court.   We  also  reject  the
              submissions of Mr. Calla that  the  suspension  of  the
              petitioner was wholly unjustified during  the  pendency
              of the appeal before the High Court.  We, however, hold
              that the continued suspension of the petitioner  during
              the pendency of the departmental proceedings was wholly
              unjustified.  The  petitioner   is,   therefore,   held
              entitled  to  full  pay  and   allowances   from   27th
              September, 2005, i.e. the date of the judgment rendered
              by the Delhi High Court onwards.  We further hold  that
              the  petitioner  was  entitled  to  be  considered  for
              promotion notionally from  the  date  when  an  officer
              junior to him was promoted.  We, therefore, direct  the
              High Court to consider the case of the  petitioner  for
              promotion (if he otherwise satisfies  the  requirements
              as per the rules) from the date when a person junior to
              him was considered and  promoted  to  the  next  higher
              post.  Let such a decision be taken by the  High  Court
              within a period  of  three  months  from  the  date  of
              receipt of this order.   We  further  direct  that  the
              petitioner  would  be  entitled  to  all  consequential
              benefits,  such  as  salary  and  other  allowances  by
              treating him on duty with  effect  from  the  date  the
              appeal against acquittal was  dismissed  by  the  Delhi
              High  Court  and  after  fixing  his  last  pay   drawn
              correctly. The consequential benefits shall be paid  to
              him with 6% interest from the date of the dismissal  of
              the appeal by the High Court on 27th  September,  2005.
              The enhanced retiral benefits shall be released to  him
              within three months of the receipt of a  copy  of  this
              order.


          47. Assuming that,  the  Rajasthan  High  Court  wanted  to
              conduct  its  own  departmental   enquiry   after   the
              acquittal of the  petitioner  being  confirmed  by  the
              Delhi High Court, his suspension during that period was
              wholly uncalled for because of which  he  unnecessarily
              suffered and had to litigate further.   We,  therefore,
              award costs of Rs. 25,000/- to  the  petitioner  to  be
              borne by the respondent High Court.
                                                         ..………………….….…....J.
                                                     [Surinder Singh Nijjar]




                                                         ..………………….….…....J.

           [H.L.Gokhale]
           New Delhi;
           November 27, 2012.










           -----------------------
[1]    (1970) 2 SCC 462
[2]    AIR (33) 1946 SIND 121
[3]    (1933) 61 ILR 168
[4]    (1981) 2 SCC 84
[5]    (1987) 4 SCC 328
[6]    (1964) 5 SCR 431
[7]    (2006) 4 SCC 265
[8]    (1981) 2 SCC 714
[9]    (2007) 1 SCC 566
[10]   (1976) Lab. I.C. 1403
[11]   (1980) RLW 258
[12]   (1991) 4 SCC 109
[13]   (2007) 6 SCC 704
[14]   1994 Supp (3) SCC 674
[15]   (2007) 6 SCC 524
[16]   (2000) 6 SCC 698
[17]   (1994) 1 SCC 541
[18]   (1997) 3 SCC 636
[19]   (1997) 9 SCC 36
[20]   (2003) 2 SCC 386
[21]   (2004) 1 SCC 121
[22]   (2005) 8 SCC 747
[23]   (2006) 9 SCC 172
[24]   (2007) 1 SCC 324
[25]   (2007) 10 SCC 561
[26]   (2007) 11 SCC 632
[27]   (1987) 3 SCC 1
[28]    (1995) 5 SCC 457

-----------------------
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