advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Friday, October 25, 2013

Whether the DGP can reverse the adverse remaks in the matter of integrity recorded in ACR after the lapse of 9 years ? NO. Whether the successor D.G.P. CAN CANCEL THE SAME - yes - High court dismissed the writs filed by aggerieved persons - Apex court confirmed the same. - VINOD KUMAR …..... APPELLANT(S) VERSUS STATE OF HARYANA & ORS. ….......RESPONDENT(S) - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40896

Whether the DGP  can reverse the adverse remaks in the matter of integrity recorded in ACR after the lapse of 9 years ?  NO. Whether the successor D.G.P. CAN CANCEL THE SAME - yes - High court dismissed the writs filed by aggerieved persons - Apex court confirmed the same.
after almost 9 years,  he  made  another
       representation to the Director General of Police, Haryana. 
This  was
       accepted by the DGP vide orders dated 15.7.2002  and  the  aforesaid
       remarks were expunged. 
The operative part of the order of  the  DGP,
       Haryana, in this behalf, is as under:-
           “Mercy Petition of ASI Vinod Kumar  NO.  345/SR5S  (now  SI  No.
           56/H) against the adverse remarks in  the  matter  of  integrity
           recorded his ACR for the period from 14.11.89 to 31.3.1990,  has
           been  considered  on  the  basis  of   available   record.   The
           departmental  enquiry  was   conducted   on   the   charges   of
           carelessness  and  indiscipline  in  which  he  was  awarded   a
           punishment of censure. No advice/ warning was awarded to him  in
           the matter of integrity. But the reporting officer  has  doubted
           his integrity. Thus, the adverse remarks are  uncalled  for  and
           without any basis and will not stand scrutiny of the  judiciary.
           The mercy petition is accepted and adverse remarks are  expunged
           in  the  interest  of  principles  of   natural   justice.   The
           representationist may be informed accordingly.” 

It was argued that 
a representation was permitted  to  an
    employee in addition to the prescribed representations as per para  (b)
    of the Policy Instructions dated 28.8.62 and 
the second  representation
    of the appellant which was accepted by the DGP was  thus,  permissible.
    
However, this argument was brushed aside by the High Court, and rightly
    so,  taking  note  of  the  fact  that  as  per  clause  (b),   further
    representation could be made only on the ground that certain new  facts
    have come to light. 
Further, whereas the period  specified  for  making
    this representation as  per  1962  Instructions  was  six  months,  the
    appellant had made the second representation almost  after  nine  years
    which  was  clearly  not  permissible  as  reiterated  even   in   1999
    instructions

 “13.17.     Annual Confidential Reports.--
               1) Superintendents shall prepare and submit annually to  the
                  Deputy Inspector-General, after  obtaining  the  District
                  Magistrate's remarks thereon, reports in  form  13.17  on
                  the working of all Upper Subordinates serving under them.
                  These reports shall be  submitted  to  reach  the  Deputy
                  Inspector-General on or before 15th April.


                  Deputy Inspectors-General and Assistant Inspector-General,
                    Government Railway Police, will add  their  own  remarks
                    and retain reports on Assistant Sub-Inspectors and  Sub-
                    Inspectors who are not on list 'F' and Sergeants will be
                    forwarded by  Deputy  Inspectors-General  and  Assistant
                    Inspector-General, Government Railway Police, so  as  to
                    reach the Inspector-General on or before the  15th  May.
                    In the cases of Indian Inspectors of the  General  Line,
                    Sub-Inspectors on list 'F'  and  all  Sergeants,  Deputy
                    Inspectors-General  and   Assistant   Inspector-General,
                    Government Railway Police, will attach with each  report
                    so submitted  a  duplicate  copy  thereof.  Any  remarks
                    recorded by the Inspector-General on the original report
                    will be copied in his office on the duplicate  prior  to
                    the return of the latter  report  for  record  with  the
                    duplicate personal file maintained  in  accordance  with
                    Rule 12.38 (1).


               2) Reports shall be of three kinds, A, B and C, and shall be
                  marked as such:--


                  A reports.-- Reports in which for special  reasons  it  is
                    recommended that  promotion  be  given  irrespective  of
                    seniority.
                  B reports.-- Reports  in  which  it  is  recommended  that
                    promotion be given in the ordinary course of seniority.


                  C reports.-- Reports in which it is recommended  that  the
                    officer be passed over for promotion or that the  taking
                    of   departmental   action   on   general   grounds   of
                    inefficiency or unsatisfactory conduct be considered.


    15.    This Rule only states the manner in which ACR is to be  written.
    We also have Rule 14.7 which may be relevant  to  the  context  and  is
    reproduced below:-
           “14.7 Comments on remarks of superior officer.--
                      A police officer shall not  record  comments  on  the
               remarks      made by a superior officer. If a police officer
               considers that    an erroneous view has been  taken  of  his
               conduct or of any       matter affecting his  administration
               he may refer the  question in a temperate manner through the
               proper       channel.”


    16.    Thus, these Rules only pertain to recording of ACRs. There is no
    provision in the  Rules  containing  any  procedure  for  dealing  with
    representations against the ACRs. 

powers of the successor DGP, Haryana in over turning the decision of
       his predecessor who had accepted the representation and expunged the
       adverse remarks in a petition which was not maintainable and  wholly
       unwarranted.  =

In the present case we find that  not  only  the  order
       passed by earlier DGP, Haryana was ultra  vires,  as  that  was  not
       backed by any  authority  vested  in  it  under  the  Rules  as  the
       representation/ mercy petition  was  not  maintainable,  even  while
       exercising its  discretion  in  passing  that  order,   the  alleged
       reasons are abhorrent to the good administration/ governance and  in
       fact there was no valid reason or justification shown in exercise of
       the non existent power. 
It was, thus, not a case of mere  discretion
       which the DGP was empowered to exercise or the exercise of power  on
       rational basis.  Undue sympathy,  that too without stating any  such
       sympathetic grounds would be anathema to fairness.  There has to  be
       fairness in the administrative action and it  should  be  free  from
       vice of arbitrariness. 

We, therefore, do not find any merit in  this  appeal  which  is
    accordingly, dismissed.

                                                                  REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 392 OF 2008




    VINOD KUMAR                             …..... APPELLANT(S)


                                   VERSUS


    STATE OF HARYANA & ORS.            ….......RESPONDENT(S)


    WITH


    CIVIL APPEAL Nos. 393 of 2008;  396 of 2008; 405 of 2008; 395 of 2008;
    400 of 2008; 402 of 2008; 1811 of 2008; 1721 of 2008; 592 of 2009; 459
    of 2008;
    SLP(C)No. 5080 of 2008;
    C.A. 9455/2013 (@SLP(C)No. 3932 of 2008)
    C.A. 9456/2013 (@SLP(C)No. 32653 of 2011)




                               J U D G M E N T




    A.K. SIKRI, J.




    1. Though all these appeals were directed to be heard together,  during
       the course of  hearing, it transpired that on facts all these  cases
       are not identical or of similar  nature.
At  the  same  time  these
       appeals can be categorized  in  three  groups.
These  appeals  have
       arisen from the judgments of Punjab and Haryana  High  Court.  First
       judgment in point is dated 4.4.2007, which  is  the  main  judgment,
       passed by the High Court in batch of writ  petitions  with  CWP  No.
       9805 of 2006 as the lead case. Appeal in the said case is  C.A.  No.
       392 of 2008.
Therefore, we propose to start from this appeal so that
       the veracity or the legality of the main judgment is discussed. Some
       of other appeals fall in this group and discussions in other  groups
       of appeals would also flow from this case. In this manner, we  would
       be in a position to proceed systematically and coherently.
     Ist Group Cases
     C.A. No. 392 of 2008
    2. The appellant in this appeal was recruited into the  police  service
       in the State of Haryana as a Constable in  the  year  1971.
 He  got
       promotion to higher ranks from time to time and became Inspector  of
       Police in the year 2002.
During the course  of  his  employment,  an
       adverse  entry  was  recorded  in  his  Annual  Confidential  Report
       (hereinafter to be referred as 'ACR') for the period  11.10.1989  to
       31.3.1990. 
Though the exact report was not placed on  record  either
       before the High Court or this Court, it is  a  common  case  of  the
       parties that the ACR for this period related to adverse comments  on
       his “integrity”. It was  acknowledged  by  the  appellant's  counsel
       before the High Court that the said adverse remarks pertained to his
       character and antecedents.
    3. These remarks were recorded by the then  Superintendent  of  Police,
       Hisar Range, Hisar.
As he wanted these remarks to be  expunged,  the
       appellant made a representation to the Deputy  Inspector-General  of
       Police,  Hisar.  
His  representation  was  rejected  on   26.5.1993.
       Initially, there was a stoic silence on the part  of  the  appellant
       who did not pursue the matter further for quite some time.  However,
       he woke up from slumber and
after almost 9 years,  he  made  another
       representation to the Director General of Police, Haryana. 
This  was
       accepted by the DGP vide orders dated 15.7.2002  and  the  aforesaid
       remarks were expunged.
The operative part of the order of  the  DGP,
       Haryana, in this behalf, is as under:-
           “Mercy Petition of ASI Vinod Kumar  NO.  345/SR5S  (now  SI  No.
           56/H) against the adverse remarks in  the  matter  of  integrity
           recorded his ACR for the period from 14.11.89 to 31.3.1990,  has
           been  considered  on  the  basis  of   available   record.   The
           departmental  enquiry  was   conducted   on   the   charges   of
           carelessness  and  indiscipline  in  which  he  was  awarded   a
           punishment of censure. No advice/ warning was awarded to him  in
           the matter of integrity. But the reporting officer  has  doubted
           his integrity. Thus, the adverse remarks are  uncalled  for  and
           without any basis and will not stand scrutiny of the  judiciary.
           The mercy petition is accepted and adverse remarks are  expunged
           in  the  interest  of  principles  of   natural   justice.   The
           representationist may be informed accordingly.”


    4. As would be seen in
almost all these appeals before us, the DGP  had
       expunged adverse remarks of many such police officials  during  this
       period namely from 1999-2002. 
After the change of  regime  when  new
       Director General of Police took over the  charge,  he  noticed  this
       phenomena where the adverse remarks were expunged after  substantial
       lapse of time and/ or for no valid reasons and in  some  cases  even
       after all the departmental remedies  had  been  exhausted  by  those
       officials,  unsuccessfully.  
The   new   DGP,   therefore,   issued
       Instructions dated  9.6.2005  to  all  Range  Inspector  General  of
       Police, Railways and Technical Services, Haryana and  the  Inspector
       General of Haryana Armed Police, Madhuban. 
In these Instructions, it
       was stated that he had come across  some  old  cases  where  remarks
       related  to  integrity   were   expunged   after   obtaining   fresh
       representations, despite the fact that their earlier representation/
       mercy  petition/  memorial/  writ  petitions  had   been   rejected/
       dismissed by the competent authority/ State  Government  or  Courts.
       Many such cases were even accepted after a lapse of  10/  12  years.
       Opinion of the Legal Remembrancer, Haryana was taken who had  opined
       out that in such  cases  expunction  of  remarks  of  the  concerned
       employees was wrongful and  the  adverse  remarks  recorded  earlier
       should be reconstructed, after issuing show-cause  notice  to  these
       officials. Vide these Instructions, the DGP ordered a review of  all
       such cases.
    5. Show cause notice was issued to  the  appellant.  
He  submitted  his
       reply dated 22.5.2006. 
After  considering  the  same,  DGP,  Haryana
       passed the orders  dated  21.6.2006  restoring/  reconstructing  the
       earlier adverse remarks and recalled orders dated 15.7.2002  of  the
       DGP, Haryana vide which the aforesaid remarks were expunged.
    6. The appellant filed petition challenging the aforesaid Orders  dated
       21.6.2006. 
This petition was heard alongwith some other cases  where
       similar orders were passed and vide common judgment dated  4.4.2007,
       the writ petition of the appellant has been dismissed.
    7. Since  this  is  the  main  judgment  giving  detailed  reasons  for
       dismissing the writ petitions, it would be apt to  traverse  through
       the same to find out the grounds of challenge laid by the  appellant
       and other writ petitions before  the  High  Court  as  well  as  the
       reasons given by the High Court while rejecting those submissions.
    JUDGMENT OF THE HIGH COURT
    8. The argument of the appellant before the High Court was that  second
       representation was permissible having  regard  to  the  instructions
       contained in Standing Order No. 65/ 1998 dated  8.2.1999  issued  by
       the DGP, Haryana.
These instructions referred to the earlier  policy
       instructions issued by the State Government  dated  28.8.1962  which
       lays down  procedures  for  the  guidance  of  all  departments  for
       entertaining the representations against the adverse remarks.
In the
       Government's  Instructions dated 28.8.1962, it was  emphasized  that
       in  the  absence  of  specified  procedure  for   entertaining   the
       representations against ACR, the authorities had noted that whenever
       any officer in a key position  is  transferred,  certain  government
       servants think that it is a  good  opportunity  to  re-open  finally
       settled  cases  connected  with  their  conditions  of  service   or
       disciplinary matters, which may be even several years old. There was
       also a tendency of sending advance copies of representations to  all
       the higher authorities which was leading to unnecessary work at  all
       levels.
At the same time, it was also necessary  to  ensure  a  fair
       chance of representation to the government employee. Going by  these
       considerations  the  detailed  procedure  was  laid  down  in  those
       Instructions dated 28.8.1962.
 It  inter  alia  provided  that  if  a
       government servant wishes to press his claim or to seek  redress  of
       his grievance, the  proper  course  was  to  address  his  immediate
       official superior, or the head of office or such other authority  at
       the lowest level, who is competent to deal  with  the  matter.
Once
       that authority decides the case, one representation  be  allowed  to
       the next higher authority.
When the lowest  competent  authority  is
       the  Government itself, one representation is allowed asking  for  a
       review of Government orders.
These instructions  also  categorically
       stipulate that no further  representations  are  allowed  except  in
       those cases where new facts have come to light and representation on
       such ground would be considered by the original deciding  authority.
     
Period of six months is provided for making such  a  representation.
       There is also a provision for allowing one memorial which is  to  be
       decided  at  Government  level  in  terms  of   Instructions   dated
       12.2.1952.
Second  memorial  is  permissible  if  it  furnishes  new
       material grounds requiring re-consideration.
 Relevant  portions  of
       these Instructions, stating the  aforesaid  position,  is  extracted
       below:
           “ After Careful consideration the following  procedure  is  laid
           down for the guidance of all departments:-

                (a)          Whenever  in  any  matter  connected  with  his
                service rights or conditions, a government servant wishes to
                press his claim or to  seek  redress  of  a  grievance,  the
                proper course for him is to address his immediate   official
                superior, or the Head of Office or such other  authority  at
                the lowest level, as it competent to deal with  the  matter.
                When a case has thus been decided  by the  lowest  competent
                authority one representation should be allowed to  the  next
                higher authority. Where the lowest  competent  authority  is
                government itself, one  representation  should  be  allowed,
                asking for a review or government orders.


                (b)          If an official sends  up  a  representation  in
                addition to those permitted under (a) above, on  the  ground
                that  certain  new  facts   have   come   to   light,   that
                representation will be considered by the  origianl  deciding
                authority, who will be competent to withhold it  and  reject
                it if finds  that in fact no new data has been  given  which
                would  provide any material grounds for reconsideration.”


    9.   In  nut-shell  as  per  Policy   Instructions   dated   28.8.1962,
       representations can be made, if it is a case of adverse remarks,  in
       the following manner:
           1. Representation to immediate official superior,  or  the  head
              of office or such other authority at the lowest level who  is
              competent to deal with the matter.


           2.  If  it  is  rejected  by  the  lowest  authority  one   more
              representation is allowed to the next higher authority.


                                 OR
                      If the lowest competent authority is  the  Government
                itself       then representation by way of review is allowed
                to the       Government.


           3. No further representation is to be entertained except on  the
              ground that certain new facts have come to light.  If  it  is
              found by the competent authority that no new  fact  has  been
              given he would be competent to reject it.


           4. After the representations  are  made  in  the  manner  stated
              above, one memorial is allowed which  is  to  be  decided  at
              Government level.


           5. Second memorial is allowed only on furnishing new    material
              grounds.


    10.    As already pointed  above,  Instructions  dated  28.8.1962  were
    referred to in Standing Order No.  65/1998  dated  8.2.1999.
In  these
    Instructions, reliance was placed on the  earlier  Standing  Order.  
It
    reiterated  the  tendency  to  entertain  belated  representations  qua
    seniority or seeking ante-dated  promotion  or  expunction  of  adverse
    remarks in ACR or appeals against punishments after lapse of number  of
    years that too whenever any officer in key position is transferred. 
 It
    condemned and  deprecated  this  practice  in  strong  words.  
It  also
    highlighted that entertainment of such representations after long lapse
    of time is not  only  in  contravention  of  Rules  and  settled  legal
    position on the subject but it also creates unnecessary  complications/
    litigations and unsettles the settled inter se relativities.
Apart from
    issuing mandate to the effect that  such  delayed  representations  qua
    seniority,  promotion,  ACR's  etc.  be  not  entertained  ,  following
    instructions were  specifically  issued,  which  are  relevant  in  the
    context of entertaining representations against ACR:-
           1. If any personnel is not satisfied with  the  decision  of  the
              competent authority or next higher authority, he may  approach
              next higher authority to get justice as per settled law within
              six months.


           2.    No competent authority shall consider  any  representation
                against an order, if the order against which  the  personnel
                is aggrieved is more than 5 years old.


    11.    It was argued before the High Court, which  was  the  submission
    before us as well, that these  instructions  were  applicable  only  in
    those cases which were not covered or governed by  the  Punishment  and
    Appeal Rules.
It was argued that 
a representation was permitted  to  an
    employee in addition to the prescribed representations as per para  (b)
    of the Policy Instructions dated 28.8.62 and 
the second  representation
    of the appellant which was accepted by the DGP was  thus,  permissible.
    
However, this argument was brushed aside by the High Court, and rightly
    so,  taking  note  of  the  fact  that  as  per  clause  (b),   further
    representation could be made only on the ground that certain new  facts
    have come to light. 
Further, whereas the period  specified  for  making
    this representation as  per  1962  Instructions  was  six  months,  the
    appellant had made the second representation almost  after  nine  years
    which  was  clearly  not  permissible  as  reiterated  even   in   1999
    instructions.
In fact, it is this mischief of  re-opening  the  settled
    cases,  by  making  belated  representations  which  these   government
    instructions aimed curbing at.
The High Court in the impugned judgment,
    in this behalf, aptly remarked as under:
           “Although,  the  contention  of  the  learned  counsel  for  the
           petitioner seems to be attractive on  first  blush,  however,  a
           perusal of clause (c)  takes  the  wind  out  of  the  aforesaid
           contention. It is clearly and emphatically pointed out, that any
           such  representation  permitted  to  be  made  under  the   1962
           instructions, has to be made within a period of six  months.  It
           is not the case of the petitioner, that the representation  made
           by him was within the ambit of  the  instructions  of  1962.  In
           fact, from the facts narrated hereinabove, it is apparent,  that
           after the  first  representation  made  by  the  petitioner  was
           rejected on 26.5.1993, whereafter the second representation  was
           allegedly made by the petitioner only on  25.2.2002  i.e.  after
           almost nine years.”


   12. It is manifest that after the change of guards, the appellant took a
       chance by making another representation  to  the  new  DGP  and  got
       favourable orders.


    13.    Even the punishment under Appeal Rules are of  no  help  to  the
    appellant.
Reliance was placed on  Rules  16.28  and  16.32  of  Punjab
    Police Rules, 1934. These Rules read as under:
           “16.28.     Powers to review proceedings.--
               1)     The Inspector-General,  a  Deputy  Inspector-General,
                  and a superintendent of Police may call for  the  records
                  of  awards  made  by  their  subordinates  and   confirm,
                  enhance, modify  or  annul  the  same,  or  make  further
                  investigation or direct such to be  made  before  passing
                  orders.


               2)     If an award of dismissal  is  annulled,  the  officer
                  annulling it shall state whether it is to be regarded  as
                  suspension followed by reinstatement, or not.  The  order
                  should also state whether service previous  to  dismissal
                  should count for pension or not.


                (3)          In all  cases  in  which  officers  propose  to
                    enhance an award they     shall,  before  passing  final
                    orders, give the defaulter    concerned  an  opportunity
                    of showing cause, either      personally or in  writing,
                    why     his punishment should not be      enhanced.


          32. Review.-  An  officer  whose  appeal  has  been  rejected  is
              prohibited  from  applying  for  a  fresh  scrutiny  of   the
              evidence. Such officer may, however, apply, within a month of
              the date of despatch of  appellate  orders  to  him,  to  the
              authority next above the prescribed appellate  authority  for
              revision  on  grounds  of  material   irregularity   in   the
              proceedings or on  production  of  fresh  evidence,  and  may
              submit to the same authority a plea for mercy: provided  that
              no application for the revision of an order by the Inspector-
              General will be entertained. An officer whose appeal has been
              heard by the Inspector-General may, however,  submit  to  the
              Inspector-General a plea  for  mercy  or  may  apply  to  the
              Inspector-General for a review of his appellate order only on
              the ground that fresh evidence has become available since the
              appellate order has  been  pronounced.  This  Rule  does  not
              affect the provisions of Rule 16.28. Such application or plea
              must be in English”.


    14.    However, these are part of Rule 16 which falls  in  Chapter  XVI
    relating to “punishment”.
This Rule 16  prescribes  the  procedure  for
    conducting  departmental  inquiries   and   imposition   of   penalties
    consequent thereto.
It has nothing to do with the confidential reports.
    In fact, provision relating to Confidential  Reports  is  contained  in
    Rule 13.17 of the aforesaid Rules. 
Relevant portion of Rule 13.17 reads
    as under:-
           “13.17.     Annual Confidential Reports.--
               1) Superintendents shall prepare and submit annually to  the
                  Deputy Inspector-General, after  obtaining  the  District
                  Magistrate's remarks thereon, reports in  form  13.17  on
                  the working of all Upper Subordinates serving under them.
                  These reports shall be  submitted  to  reach  the  Deputy
                  Inspector-General on or before 15th April.


                  Deputy Inspectors-General and Assistant Inspector-General,
                    Government Railway Police, will add  their  own  remarks
                    and retain reports on Assistant Sub-Inspectors and  Sub-
                    Inspectors who are not on list 'F' and Sergeants will be
                    forwarded by  Deputy  Inspectors-General  and  Assistant
                    Inspector-General, Government Railway Police, so  as  to
                    reach the Inspector-General on or before the  15th  May.
                    In the cases of Indian Inspectors of the  General  Line,
                    Sub-Inspectors on list 'F'  and  all  Sergeants,  Deputy
                    Inspectors-General  and   Assistant   Inspector-General,
                    Government Railway Police, will attach with each  report
                    so submitted  a  duplicate  copy  thereof.  Any  remarks
                    recorded by the Inspector-General on the original report
                    will be copied in his office on the duplicate  prior  to
                    the return of the latter  report  for  record  with  the
                    duplicate personal file maintained  in  accordance  with
                    Rule 12.38 (1).


               2) Reports shall be of three kinds, A, B and C, and shall be
                  marked as such:--


                  A reports.-- Reports in which for special  reasons  it  is
                    recommended that  promotion  be  given  irrespective  of
                    seniority.
                  B reports.-- Reports  in  which  it  is  recommended  that
                    promotion be given in the ordinary course of seniority.


                  C reports.-- Reports in which it is recommended  that  the
                    officer be passed over for promotion or that the  taking
                    of   departmental   action   on   general   grounds   of
                    inefficiency or unsatisfactory conduct be considered.


    15.    This Rule only states the manner in which ACR is to be  written.
    We also have Rule 14.7 which may be relevant  to  the  context  and  is
    reproduced below:-
           “14.7 Comments on remarks of superior officer.--
                      A police officer shall not  record  comments  on  the
               remarks      made by a superior officer. If a police officer
               considers that    an erroneous view has been  taken  of  his
               conduct or of any       matter affecting his  administration
               he may refer the  question in a temperate manner through the
               proper       channel.”


    16.    Thus, these Rules only pertain to recording of ACRs. There is no
    provision in the  Rules  containing  any  procedure  for  dealing  with
    representations against the ACRs. 
That is provided  in  1962  and  1999
    Instructions, already taken  note of above. Therefore, the  High  Court
    rightly rejected the contention of the appellant  predicated  on  these
    Rules.
Thus, we find that on the face of it, the second  representation
    preferred by the appellant, in which the ACRs  were  expunged  was  not
    permissible. 
It was not only contrary to 1962  and  1999  Instructions,
    but was made after 9 ½ years from the date  when  first  representation
    against the ACR   was rejected.
   17. We would like to make certain comments, at  this  juncture,  on  the
       powers of the successor DGP, Haryana in over turning the decision of
       his predecessor who had accepted the representation and expunged the
       adverse remarks in a petition which was not maintainable and  wholly
       unwarranted.  
The general principle is that merely because there  is
       a change in the regime or when the successor assumes the office,  he
       would not be entitled to review and reopen the cases decided by  his
       predecessor.
That would apply in those cases where  the  predecessor
       had passed the orders which he was empowered to pass under the Rules
       and had exercised  his  discretion  in  taking  a  particular  view.
     
Therefore, this proposition applies in a situation  where  order  of
       the predecessor resulted in legal, binding and conclusive  decision.
     
However, the position would be different when it is found  that  the
       order of the predecessor was without jurisdiction or when a palpably
       illegal  order  was  passed  disregarding   all   the   cannons   of
       administrative law  viz. when the predecessor’s decision was without
       jurisdiction or ultra vires  or  when  it  was  exfacie  an  act  of
       favoritism.
In the present case we find that  not  only  the  order
       passed by earlier DGP, Haryana was ultra  vires,  as  that  was  not
       backed by any  authority  vested  in  it  under  the  Rules  as  the
       representation/ mercy petition  was  not  maintainable,  even  while
       exercising its  discretion  in  passing  that  order,   the  alleged
       reasons are abhorrent to the good administration/ governance and  in
       fact there was no valid reason or justification shown in exercise of
       the non existent power. 
It was, thus, not a case of mere  discretion
       which the DGP was empowered to exercise or the exercise of power  on
       rational basis.  Undue sympathy,  that too without stating any  such
       sympathetic grounds would be anathema to fairness.  There has to  be
       fairness in the administrative action and it  should  be  free  from
       vice of arbitrariness. 
We may usefully refer to the judgment of  the
       English Court in the case of Roberts v. Hopwood; 1925  All  E.R.  24
       laying down the law in the following terms:
           “.... A person in whom is vested a discretion must exercise  his
           discretion  upon  reasonable  grounds.  A  discretion  does  not
           empower a man to do what her likes merely because he  is  minded
           to do so – he must in the exercise of his discretion do not what
           he likes but what he ought. In other words, he must, by  use  of
           his  reason,  ascertain  and  follow  the  course  which  reason
           directs. He must act reasonably.....”


     18.      The matter can be looked into from another angle as well.  In
    those cases where Courts are concerned with the judicial review of  the
    administrative  action,  the  parameters  within  which  administrative
    action can be reviewed by the courts are well settled.  No  doubt,  the
    scope  of  judicial review is limited and the courts do not go into the
    merits of the decision taken by the administrative authorities but  are
    concerned with the decision  making  process.   Interference  with  the
    order of the administrative authority is permissible when it  is  found
    to be irrational, unreasonable  or  there  is  procedural  impropriety.
    However,  where  reasonable  conduct  is  expected,  the  criterion  of
    reasonableness is not subjective but  objective;  albeit  the  onus  of
    establishment of unreasonableness rests upon the person challenging the
    validity of the acts.  It is also trite that while  exercising  limited
    power of judicial review on the grounds mentioned above, the court  can
    examine whether administrative decisions in exercise of powers, even if
    conferred in subjective terms are made in good faith  and  on  relevant
    considerations.  The courts inquire whether a reasonable man could have
    come to the decision in question without misdirecting  himself  on  the
    law or facts in a material respect.(See:  M.A.Rasheed  &  Ors.  v.  The
    State  of  Kerala;  (1974)  2  SCC  687).    
The   decision   of   the
    administrative authority must be related to the purpose of the enabling
    provisions of Rules or Statutes, as the  case  may  be.   If  they  are
    manifestly unjust or outrageous or directed  to  an  unauthorized  end,
    such  decisions  can  be  set  aside  as  arbitrary  and  unreasonable.
    Likewise, when action taken is ultra vires, such action/decision has no
    legal basis and can be set aside on that ground.   When there are Rules
    framed delineating the powers of the authority as well as the procedure
    to be followed while exercising those powers, the authority has to  act
    within the limits defined by those Rules.
A repository of  power  acts
    ultra vires either when he acts in excess of his power  in  the  narrow
    sense or when he abuses his power by acting in  bad  faith  or  for  an
    inadmissible purpose or on irrelevant  grounds  or  without  regard  to
    relevant considerations or with gross unreasonableness.   This  was  so
    explained in Shri Sitaram Sugar Co.Ltd. v. Union of India (1990) 3  SCC
    223 in the following manner:
           “A repository of power acts ultra vires either when he  acts  in
           excess of his power in the narrow sense or when  he  abuses  his
           power by acting in bad faith or for an inadmissible  purpose  or
           on  irrelevant   grounds   or   without   regard   to   relevant
           considerations or with gross  unreasonableness.  See  Associated
           Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. v. Wednesbury Corporation, [1948]
           1 K.B. 223. In the  words  of  Lord  Macnaghten  in  Westminster
           Corporation v. London and North Western Railway, [1905] AC 426:

                “...It is well settled that  a  public  body  invested  with
                statutory  powers  such  as   those   conferred   upon   the
                Corporation must take  care  not  to  exceed  or  abuse  its
                powers. It must keep within  the  limits  of  the  authority
                committed to it. It must act in good faith. And it must  act
                reasonably. The last proposition is involved in the  second,
                if not in the first....”

           In Barium Chemicals Ltd. and Anr. v. The Company Law  Board  and
           Ors., : [1966] Supp. SCR 311, this Court states:

               “...Even if (the statutory order) is passed  in  good  faith
               and with the best of intention to further the purpose of the
               legislation which confers the powers,  since  the  Authority
               has to act in accordance with and within the limits of  that
               legislation, its order can  also  be  challenged  if  it  is
               beyond those limits or is passed on  grounds  extraneous  to
               the legislation or if  there  are  no  grounds  at  all  for
               passing it or if the  grounds  are  such  that  no  one  can
               reasonably arrive at the opinion or  satisfaction  requisite
               under the legislation. In any one of these situations it can
               well be said that the authority did not  honestly  form  its
               opinion or that in forming it, it did not apply its mind  to
               the relevant facts.”

           In Renusagar, AIR1988SC1737 , Mukharji,  J.,  as  he  then  was,
           states:

                “The exercise of power whether legislative or administrative
                will be set aside if there is manifest error in the exercise
                of such power or the exercise of  the  power  is  manifestly
                arbitrary. Similarly, if the power has been exercised  on  a
                non-consideration or non-application  of  mind  to  relevant
                factors the exercise of power will be regarded as manifestly
                erroneous.   If   a   power    (whether    legislative    or
                administrative) is exercised on the basis of facts which  do
                not exist and which are patently erroneous, such exercise of
                power will stand vitiated”.

           The true position, therefore, is that any act of the  repository
           of  power,  whether  legislative  or  administrative  or  quasi-
           judicial, is open to challenge if it is  in  conflict  with  the
           Constitution or the governing Act or the general  principles  of
           the law of the land or it is so arbitrary or  unreasonable  that
           no fair minded authority could ever have made it.”



    19.     Thus,  if  wrong  and  illegal  acts,  applying  the  aforesaid
    parameters of judicial review can be set aside by the courts, obviously
    the same mischief can  be  undone  by  the  administrative  authorities
    themselves by reviewing such an order if found to be ultra  vires.   Of
    course, it is to be done after  following  the  principles  of  natural
    justice.  This is precisely the position in the instant case and we are
    of the considered opinion that it was open to the respondents  to  take
    corrective measures by annulling the  palpably  illegal  order  of  the
    earlier DGP, Haryana.
    20.    We, therefore, do not find any merit in  this  appeal  which  is
    accordingly, dismissed.
    C.A. No. 393 of 2008
    21.    This appeal arises out of decision in Civil Writ  9805  of  2006
    which was decided by the common judgment dated 4.4.2007 already taken a
    note of above. In  this  case,  ACR  is  for  the  period  25.4.1994  –
    31.3.1995. It  was  inter  alia  recorded  that  there  was  report  of
    corruption against this officer. The appellant made the  representation
    which was rejected in the year 1995 itself. After a lapse of  almost  7
    years, the appellant gave another representation in the year 2002 which
    was accepted by the DGP, Haryana  who  expunged  the  adverse  remarks,
    giving following reasons:
           “Representation of  SI  Swantanter  Singh  No.  225/H  has  been
           examined in depth. Keeping in view the improvement shown by  the
           SI especially in view of good entries against  major  punishment
           nil, adverse remarks so recorded in his ACR for the period  from
           25.4.1994 to 31.3.1995, are  hereby  expunged  and  upgraded  as
           “Good”. The representations may be informed accordingly.”


     22.    Thus, in this case also not only second representation was  made
     after more than 7 years, but there was no new material or facts as well
     which were given in the second representation. Furthermore, the reasons
     given for expunging the remarks on “corruption”  and  substituting  the
     same by “good remarks” is shocking and  untenable  to  say  the  least.
     Simply because the appellant allegedly showed  improvement  and  earned
     good entries in the subsequent years cannot be a ground  to  erase  the
     earlier remarks recorded 7 years ago thereby treating  him  as  a  good
     officer even for the earlier period i.e. 25.4.1994  to  31.3.1995.  The
     petition of the appellant was  thus,  rightly  dismissed  by  the  High
     Court.  Present  appeal  is  totally  bereft  of  any  merits  and   is
     accordingly dismissed.
     CA No. 395 of 2008
     23.    The petitioner  was  communicated  adverse  annual  confidential
     remarks for the period from 24.4.1998 to  31.3.1998.  Relevant  extract
     thereof is reproduced hereunder:-
|1.  |Discipline      |Poor                          |
|2.  |Integrity       |Poor                          |
|3.  |Reliability     |Poor                          |
|4.  |Moral Character |Deserves Improvement          |
|5.  |General Remarks |He was placed under suspension|
|    |                |due to misbehaviour with Smt. |
|    |                |Dhano Devi, DC/FTB was        |
|    |                |requested to accord sanction  |
|    |                |under PPR 16.38 for DE. But   |
|    |                |DC/ FTB refused to accord     |
|    |                |sanction.                     |


    24.    Dissatisfied with  the  aforesaid  annual  confidential  remarks
    communicated  to  the  petitioner,  the  petitioner  made   his   first
    representation for the expunction thereof, on 13.12.1999. The aforesaid
    representation made by the petitioner was partly accepted by  an  order
    dated 22.6.2000 inasmuch as the general remarks recorded in the  annual
    confidential  report  extracted  hereinabove  at  Serial  No.  5   were
    expunged.
    25.     The  petitioner  submitted  a  second  representation  for  the
    expunction of his  other  adverse  remarks  on  13.7.2000.  The  second
    representation made by the petitioner was also rejected on  27.12.2000.
    Dissatisfied with the aforesaid rejection, the petitioner moved a mercy
    petition i.e. the 3rd representation in his series of  representations,
    on 9.8.2001. This mercy petition was rejected  by  the  authorities  on
    22.11.2001. The petitioner, then made a  4th  representation   for  the
    expunction of annual confidential remarks communicated to him  for  the
    period 24.4.1998 to 31.3.1999. This representation  of  the  petitioner
    was accepted by an order dated 12.6.2002 (14.6.2002). Relevant  extract
    thereof is being reproduced hereunder:-
           “The representation dated 1.1.2002of  H.C.  Ram  Kumar  No.  26/
           Fatehabad  against  adverse  remarks  has  been  considered  and
           accepted. The adverse remarks recorded in  his  A.C.R.  For  the
           period from 24.4.98 to 31.3.99 have been expunged. He may please
           be informed accordingly.”


     26.    The respondents, having arrived at the conclusion, that only one
     representation was competent at the hands of  the  petitioner  for  the
     expunction of adverse annual confidential remarks,  acceptance  of  4th
     representation made at the hands of the petitioner on  1.1.2002  by  an
     order dated 12.6.2002 was impermissible in law. Therefore, a show cause
     notice  dated  4.7.2006  was  issued  to  the  petitioner.  After   the
     petitioner submitted his reply thereto, an order  dated  23.8.2006  was
     passed whereby the order  expunging  the  adverse  annual  confidential
     remarks dated 12.6.2002 was  set  aside  and  the  annual  confidential
     remarks for the period 24.4.1998 to 31.3.1999, as originally  recorded,
     subject  to  the  modification  vide   order   dated   22.6.2000,   was
     reconstructed.
     27.    Vide judgment dated 18.4.2007, the Division Bench dismissed  the
     appellant’s challenge to the orders dated 23.8.2006  relying  upon  the
     legal position expressed in Vinod Kumar's Case  (supra).  At  the  same
     time, the Court clarified that the remarks in the ACR  for  the  period
     from  24.4.1998  to  31.3.1999,  which  relate  to  the  allegation  of
     misbehaviour based on his conduct with Smt. Dhano Devi,  were  actually
     and factually expunged (since a regular inquiry was conducted  in  this
     behalf  in  which  he  was  exonerated)  while   deciding   his   first
     representation which was partly accepted on 22.6.2000.
     28.    In so far as  other  remarks  are  concerned,  in  view  of  our
     detailed discussion above, it is clear that such a mercy  petition,  in
     the form of 4th representation,  at  the  hands  of  DGP,  Haryana  was
     impermissible  in  law.  The  writ  petition  of  the  appellant   was,
     therefore,  rightly  dismissed.  This  appeal  also  stands   dismissed
     accordingly.
     C.A. No. 402 of 2008
     29.    From the facts of  this  case  also  it  is  apparent  that  the
     representation against the ACR for the period 1992-1993 was rejected on
     7.5.1996 and thereafter when fresh representation dated  20.6.2000  was
     made after a lapse of more than 4 years. It was  accepted  vide  orders
     dated 12.7.2000 and the adverse remarks were  expunged.  This  case  is
     thus, on the  same  footing  as  Vinod  Kumar's  case.  The  appeal  is
     accordingly dismissed.
     C.A. No. 405 of 2008
     30.    The appeal arises out of C.W.P. NO. 20401 of 2006 which was part
     of batch petitions decided vide common  judgment  dated  4.4.2007  with
     lead matter in the case of Vinod Kumar. Without stating  the  facts  in
     detail, suffice is to mention that adverse reports is  for  the  period
     1.4.2001 to 31.3.2002 which was communicated to him  on  2.7.2002.  His
     first representation was rejected by IGP on 30.9.2002, he filed  second
     representation to the higher authority namely DGP which was rejected on
     28.1.2003. Thereafter, he made another representation (purported to  be
     a review) before the DGP in July, 2003 which was allowed  on  30.9.2003
     by expunging the adverse remarks. After issuance of show cause  notice,
     orders dated 19.10.2006  were  passed  recalling  earlier  order  dated
     30.9.2003 and reconstructing  the  ACR  by  restoring  earlier  adverse
     remarks. As  is  clear  from  the  above,  the  appellant  had  earlier
     exhausted the remedy  of  first  representation  before  the  immediate
     officer and second representation to the  higher  officer  namely  DGP.
     Thereafter, DGP could  not  entertain  any  further  representation  or
     review except on “new facts”. Record reveals that  no  such  new  facts
     were pleaded. Thus, we do not find any merit in this appeal as well and
     dismiss the same.
     SLP(C)No. 5080 of 2008
     31.    No one appeared in this matter to address the  petition  at  the
     time of hearing. Dismissed.
     2nd Group Cases
     C.A. No. 396 of 2008 & SLP(C)No. 32653 of 2011.
     32.    This appeal and SLP are filed by the same  appellant  H.C.  Shiv
     Kumar. Leave granted in SLP.
     33.    On the  basis  of  those  adverse  remarks,  the  appellant  was
     compulsorily retired from service. Vide  orders  dated  17.3.2011,  his
     writ petition challenging the compulsory retirement has been  dismissed
     against which SLP(C)No. 32653/2011 is preferred. Thus, the  outcome  of
     this SLP depends upon the result of C.A. No. 396 of 2008.
     34.    Coming to C.A. No. 396 of 2008, in the case  of  the  appellant,
     adverse remarks relate to the period 1.4.2001 to 2.10.2001  which  were
     communicated to him on 2.7.2002.   He  made  the  representation  dated
     24.8.2002 for expunction of these remarks to the  Inspector-General  of
     Police which was rejected on 10.3.2003. Immediately thereafter, in  the
     month of March itself he filed the revision petition which was  allowed
     on 2.5.2003 expunging the adverse remarks in  toto  and  replacing  the
     same with 'good' rating.
     35.    The appellant was also issued show cause notice dated 30.6.2006,
     in a similar manner as in other cases, stating that as per Government’s
     Instructions dated 28.8.1962, no second representation lies against the
     adverse remarks.  Therefore,  it  was  proposed  to  re-construct   the
     original adverse  remarks  recorded  in  his  ACR  for  the  period  in
     question. The appellant submitted his detailed reply to  the  aforesaid
     show cause notice running into almost 20 pages. However, his reply  did
     not cut any ice with the authorities and vide orders dated  25.10.2006,
     DGP, Haryana recalled earlier order dated  2.5.2003  and  directed  re-
     construction of the ACR by restoring the remarks recorded  earlier  for
     the period in question i.e. 1.4.2001 to 2.10.2001.  His  Writ  Petition
     against the said orders dated 25.10.2006 has met the same fate  at  the
     hands of the High Court which has dismissed a Writ Petition,  following
     Vinod Kumar's Case (supra),  and  holding  that  second  representation
     submitted by a employee is not acceptable in law.
     36.    We would like to point out, at this stage, that it was also  the
     contention of the appellant before the High Court that on the same  set
     of  allegations  on  the  basis  of  which  the  adverse  remarks  were
     communicated to him,  a  regular  departmental  inquiry  was  conducted
     against the appellant and the appellant had been exonerated in the said
     inquiry. It was argued that for this reason adverse remarks  could  not
     remain in his service record and the order of restoring  those  remarks
     was illegal on this ground as well. The High  Court  however,  rejected
     this contention recording a finding that the charge sheet in which  the
     inquiry was held, was dated 13.3.2001, which naturally referred to  the
     allegations preceding the date of charge sheet. On the other hand,  the
     adverse remarks were relatable to the subsequent period and, therefore,
     in the opinion of the High Court, this contention of the appellant  was
     untenable.
     37.     Mr.  Patwalia,  learned  Senior  Counsel  appearing   for   the
     appellant, after drawing our attention to the chronology of events from
     the date of  recording  the  adverse  remarks  to  that  of  expunction
     thereof, made a fervent plea that the  case  was  not  covered  by  the
     principle laid down by the High Court in its earlier judgment in  Vinod
     Kumar's Case (supra) and there was an apparent error in  applying  that
     judgment in the present case as well.  His  first  submission  in  this
     behalf was that it was not a case where the “second representation” was
     made after long lapse of time. Secondly, his first  representation  was
     to the Inspector-General which was rejected and the  purported  “second
     representation” was in fact in the nature of  representation  given  to
     the higher authority namely DGP which was permissible under the  Rules.
     He, thus, argued that the High Court wrongly treated the same as second
     representation to the same authority which became the cause of error on
     the part of the High Court. He referred to the  judgment  of  the  High
     Court in the case of Vinod Kumar itself where such cases as that of the
     appellant, were saved after interpreting the relevant Instructions.
     38.     We  find  the  aforesaid  contention  of  Mr.  Patwalia  to  be
     meritorious.  While discussing C.A. No. 392/2008, we have already taken
     note of the relevant government instructions as well as  Rules  on  the
     subject. In para 9 above, we have summarised the position contained  in
     the  policy  instructions  dated  28.8.1962  as  per  which,   once   a
     representation is rejected by the immediate superior officer, one  more
     representation is permissible and allowed to be made to the next higher
     authority.  This  precisely  happened  in  the  instant   case.   First
     representation  was  to  the  Inspector-General  of  Police  which  was
     rejected on 10.3.2003 and within few days, the  appellant  made  second
     representation which was allowed  on  2.5.2003.  Thus,  not  only  this
     representation was made within stipulated period prescribed  under  the
     Rules namely six months, which is prescribed in the Standing Order,  it
     was made to the higher authority as well.  It  seems  that  this  vital
     difference between the appellant's case  from  the  fact  situation  in
     Vinod Kumar's Case has been overlooked by the High Court.
     39.    Once, we find that the revision or second representation to  the
     higher authority was made within prescribed period (in fact within  few
     days of the  rejection  of  representation  by  the  IGP)  and  such  a
     representation to the higher authority was permissible,  it  cannot  be
     said in this case that the  order  of  the  DGP,  Haryana  was  without
     jurisdiction i.e. on a representation “which was  not  permissible”  in
     law. Once, we find this to be the factual position, we are  constrained
     to hold that three years thereafter, the case could  not  be  re-opened
     and order dated 25.2003 could be interdicted by the successor.
     40.    As a result, this appeal is allowed and the order  of  the  High
     Court is set aside. Result would be to allow the writ petition filed by
     the appellant  before  the  High  Court  and  quash  the  orders  dated
     25.10.2006 passed by the DGP, Haryana.
     41.    The appellant was  given  show  cause  notice  dated  24.10.2010
     proposing  compulsory  retirement.  The  ground  on  which  the  action
     proposed was attached to the show  cause  notice.  On  perusal  thereof
     reveals that the material sought to be put up against the appellant was
     as under:
           1.    Adverse remarks for the period 1.4.2001 to 2.10.2001.


           2. Award of punishment of  “warning”  vide  SP/AMB/OB/218/08  for
              showing negligence in investigation in case FIR NO. 121  dated
              9.7.2008 under Section 279/ 304 A IPC, PS Narayan.


    42.    In reply, the appellant had submitted that his appeal No. 396/08
    is pending against the judgment of the High Court in so  far  as  ACR's
    for the period 1.4.2001  to  2.10.2001  is  concerned  and,  therefore,
    notice in question be withdrawn. However, this plea  of  the  appellant
    was not accepted and vide orders dated 17.3.2011, appellant was ordered
    to be compulsory retired from service with immediate  effect.  In  this
    order also, same two grounds namely, ACR for  the  period  1.4.2001  to
    2.10.2001 and award  of  punishment  of  warning  in  every  case,  are
    mentioned.


    43.    Since, we have allowed C.A. No. 396 of 2008, the effect  thereof
    is that adverse remarks for the period in question no longer remain  in
    the service record of the appellant and for this period his rating  now
    is “good” to which he was upgraded vide orders dated  2.5.2003.  In  so
    far as award of “warning” is concerned, leaned Counsel  for  the  State
    could not dispute that “warning” is not a punishment  prescribed  under
    the Rules.  It  was  not  given  to  him  after  holding  any  inquiry.
    Therefore, such a warning recorded administratively in a service record
    cannot be the sole basis of compulsory retirement.
    44.    The appellant's writ petition has been  dismissed  by  the  High
    Court vide orders dated 26.12.2011. We, thus allow this appeal and  set
    aside the impugned judgment of the High Court. As  a  consequence,  the
    appellant shall be reinstated in service in the same position on  which
    he  was  working  as  on  the  date  of  compulsorily  retirement  with
    consequential benefits in case he has not already attained the  age  of
    superannuation.  However,  if  he  has  already  attained  the  age  of
    superannuation, he  shall  be  treated  as  deemed  to  be  in  service
    throughout as if no compulsory retirement orders were passed  and  will
    be given consequential  benefits  including  pay  for  the  intervening
    period and pensionary benefits on that basis.
    C.A. No. 400 of 2008
    45.    The ACR for the appellant pertains  to  3.11.2002  to  31.3.2003
    which were adverse in nature. These remarks were conveyed to  him  vide
    memo dated 8.6.2003, the appellant made  representation  against  those
    adverse remarks vide  his  communication  dated  30.10.2003  which  was
    rejected by the Inspector-General of Police,  Hisar  Range,  Hisar.  He
    filed “appeal” thereagainst to the Director General of Police within  a
    few days thereafter i.e. 30.10.2003 which  was  accepted  by  the  DGP.
    Adverse remarks were expunged and his ACR was upgraded  to  'good'.  He
    was given show cause notice for reversal of the  good  rating  and  re-
    construction of old ACR on 15.8.2006  and  order  to  this  effect  was
    passed, after eliciting his reply, on 18.10.2006 on the ground that his
    adverse remarks were expunged on his “second representation” which  was
    not permissible in law. The aforesaid facts would demonstrate that  the
    appellant herein is also identically situated as the appellant in  C.A.
    No. 396 of 2008. For the reasons given therein,  this  appeal  is  also
    allowed and the order of the High Court is set aside. As a consequence,
    writ petition of the appellant stands  allowed  and  the  orders  dated
    18.10.2006 of DGP, Haryana are hereby quashed.
    SLP(C)No. 3932 of 2008
    46.    Leave granted.
    47.     The appeal arises out of C.W.P. No. 1249 of 2007 which was part
    of batch petitions decided vide common  judgment  dated  4.4.2007  with
    lead matter in the case of Vinod Kumar. Adverse remarks in the case  of
    this  petitioner  are  for  the  period  1.4.2001  to  31.3.2002.   His
    representation dated 18.7.2002 was rejected.  On  30.4.2003,  he  filed
    revision/ representation against order dated 30.4.2003  to  the  higher
    authority namely DGP which was   by the DGP vide orders dated 6.10.2003
    and the adverse remarks were expunged. He was given show  cause  notice
    dated 8.9.2006 whereafter orders dated 3.12.2006 were passed  reviewing
    the earlier  order  dated  6.10.2003  and  reconstructing  the  ACR  by
    maintaining earlier adverse report which was communicated to him in the
    beginning. From the aforesaid facts it becomes clear that it was not  a
    case  of  second  representation  to  the   same   authority.   Another
    representation to the higher authority was made  which  is  permissible
    under the Rules and that too immediately after his first representation
    by the IGP was rejected. His case is thus para materia  with  C.A.  No.
    396 of 2008.
    48.    The impugned order of  the  High  Court  qua  the  appellant  is
    accordingly set aside and appeal is accordingly allowed.
    C.A. No. 459 of 2009
    49.    This appeal is  filed  by  the  State  of  Haryana  against  the
    judgment  of  the  High  Court  in  the  writ  petition  filed  by  the
    respondent. The respondent was communicated adverse ACR for the  period
    5.11.00 to 31.3.2001. On 13.11.2001  he  submitted  his  representation
    dated 18.12.2001 which was rejected on 14.8.2002.  Thereafter he  filed
    the revision petition dated 4.10.2002 which was allowed  on  13.2.2003.
    However, this order was recalled  vide  orders  dated  18.1.2007  after
    giving show-cause notice dated 21.11.2006. From the  aforesaid,  it  is
    clear that second representation to  a  higher  authority  was  clearly
    maintainable and this aspect has been discussed in detail by  us  while
    dealing with CA 396 OF 2008.
    50.    Additionally, we find that on  the  same  allegations  on  which
    ACR's were recorded, the respondent was also issued  charge  sheet  but
    was  completely  exonerated  therein.   The   High   Court   in   these
    circumstances rightly allowed the writ petition following  its  earlier
    judgment in the case of Randhir Singh, ASI vs. State of Haryana &  Ors.
    (C.W.P. No. 867 of 2007 decided on 29.3.2007) in the following manner:-
           “In our view, the claim of  the  petitioner  was  liable  to  be
           adjudicated upon its merits based on  the  judgment  and  decree
           dated 24.5.1999. in  this  behalf,  it  would  be  pertinent  to
           mention, that the annual  confidential  report  for  the  period
           1.4.1995 to 2.7.1995 ( which has been extracted  herein  above),
           clearly reveals that the  same  was  based  on  the  allegation,
           wherein in a departmental  enquiry  was  conducted  against  the
           petitioner, and  the  petitioner  had  been  found  guilty,  and
           inflicted  with  the  punishment  of  stoppage  of  two   annual
           increments with cumulative  effect.  So  far  as  the  aforesaid
           factual position  is  concerned,  there  was  no  difference  of
           opinion between learned counsel representing the rival  parties.
           However, the aforesaid factual position underwent a change, with
           the passing of the judgment and decree at the hands of the civil
           judge at Sirsa dated 24.5.1999. The  findings  recorded  int  eh
           departmental enquiry which constituted the  foundation  and  the
           basis of the annual confidential report dated 30.9.1995 were set
           aside in the judgment and decree dated  24.5.1999.  In  sum  and
           substance,  therefore,  the  very  basis  on  which  the  annual
           confidential report (under reference)  was  recorded,  had  been
           annulled by the judgment and decree dated  24.5.1999.  Not  only
           that, although liberty was  given  by  the  trial  Court  o  the
           respondents to hold a fresh  enquiry,  yet,  after  a  conscious
           application of mind, the Government by its order dated 11.7.2002
           decided to file the matter. That being so, we have no  doubt  in
           our min, that the allegation contained in the charge sheet  were
           considered to be  unjustified  by  the  respondents  themselves.
           Since, the basis of the aforesaid charge sheet  was  treated  as
           unjustified by the State Government itself, it is apparent, that
           the adverse remarks recorded thereon were wholly unjustified  in
           the facts and circumstances of  this  case.  We  are,  therefore
           satisfied, that the former  Director  General  of  Poki8ce,  was
           fully justified in passing the order dated 26.8.2003,  by  which
           he  ordered  the  expunction  of  remarks  communicated  to  the
           petitioner on 30.9.1995.”

     51.    We thus, do not find any merit in these appeal and is dismissed.
     C.A. No. 592 of 2009
   52. This appeal is also preferred  by  State  of  Haryana.  The  factual
       position in this case is same as in C.A. No. 495 of 2008.  For  same
       reasons, this appeal also stands dismissed.


    3rd Group Cases
    C.A. No. 1721 of 2008
    53.    In this appeal, subject matter is not  the  annual  confidential
    report but the departmental inquiry. Though the orders are shadowed  by
    same set of circumstances, here  the penalty imposed  as  a  result  of
    disciplinary proceedings was set aside on the basis of  mercy  petition
    filed by the appellant, that too after exhausting all the  departmental
    remedies. It happened in the following circumstances:
            The  appellant  was  charge  sheeted  and  departmental  inquiry
     conducted against him related to conduct of  investigation  in  a  case
     wherein he had implicated innocent persons in false cases  getting  the
     accused free from police custody and misusing  his  post  for  ulterior
     motives. Charges were proved in the  inquiry  on  the  basis  of  which
     Superintendent of Police, Faridabad as a disciplinary authority imposed
     the penalty of stoppage of three future annual increments on  permanent
     basis vide order dated 17.1.1999. The appellant  filed  appeal  against
     the said order which was rejected by the  DGP  on  1.3.1999.  He  filed
     revision on 20.6.2000 which was also rejected on 13.2.2001.  Under  the
     disciplinary Rules, there is no further departmental  remedy  provided.
     However, the appellant has preferred mercy petition dated 12.5.2001  to
     the Secretary, Home, Government of Haryana, through proper channel.  On
     this mercy petition, order dated 9.7.2001 was passed  by  DGP,  Haryana
     accepting the said petition thereby setting aside the  penalty  imposed
     upon the appellant.
    54.    A perusal of the orders dated 9.7.2001 would show that  the  DGP
    took note of the facts of the case and holding of the inquiry. He  also
    referred to the departmental remedy of appeal and revision filed by the
    appellant. Thereafter, it is mentioned that being  satisfied  with  the
    order passed in revision the appellant had “preferred the instant mercy
    petition”. Curiously, after examining the records, the  DGP  also  held
    the view that departmental  inquiry  was  properly  conducted.  Inspite
    thereof, without giving any reasons and simply “taking a lenient view”,
    the punishment is set aside as is clear from the following paras of the
    said order.
           “And  whereas,  I  have  carefully  gone  through  the  revision
           petition, departmental enquiry file and  the  relevant  records.
           The instant departmental  enquiry  has  been  conducted  as  per
           prescribed Rules and procedure and  does  not  suffer  from  any
           legal infirmity various pleas taken by the revisionist have been
           examined and could to be devoid of any merit.


           Now, therefore, keeping in view the please of mercy made by  the
           revisionist after taking  a  lenient  view,  the  punishment  of
           stoppage of three future annual increments with permanent effect
           is hereby set aside”.


    55.    When this fact came to light, show-cause notice dated  25.8.2006
    was issued stating that  there  was  no  provision  in  the  Rules  for
    entertaining another petition (Mercy Petition) by the DGP  without  new
    material, once revision petition of  the  appellant  had  already  been
    considered and rejected. It was, therefore,  proposed  to  restore  the
    penalty orders and the appellant was asked to  show-cause  against  the
    proposed action. The appellant submitted his reply and on consideration
    thereof the orders dated 22.10.2006 were passed restoring  the  earlier
    penalty order finding no merit in the lease taken by the appellant.
    56.    Writ petition of the appellant challenging the  said  order  has
    been dismissed by the High Court. However the High Court  has  directed
    the respondent not to make any recovery from the appellant  as  he  did
    not play any fraud or made any mis-representation.
    57.    While dealing with  C.A.  No.  392  of  2008,  we  have  already
    reproduced extract of the relevant Rules i.e. Rule 16.28 and  16.32  of
    the Punjab Police Rules, 1934. Rule 16.28  relates to the review  which
    had already been exhausted by the appellant. As per Rule 16.32 such  an
    officer is prohibited  from  applying  from  a  fresh  scrutiny  of  an
    appliance. He could however apply, within  a  month  of  the  appellate
    order, to the authority next above the prescribed  appellate  authority
    for revision on grounds of material irregularity in the proceedings.
    58.    Thus, such a review under Rule 16.32 is admissible only if  some
    material irregularity  in  the  proceedings  is  found  or  some  fresh
    evidence is surfaced.
    59.    Rule 16.28 is in Chapter XVI which deals with “punishments”  and
    various sub rules of Rule 16 in this Chapter cover all the  aspects  of
    punishment which include the nature of punishments that can be  imposed
    and the circumstances under which such punishments can be imposed  viz.
    either on  the  basis  of  conviction  in  a  judicial  case  or  after
    conducting departmental inquiry into the misconduct.  These  provisions
    also deal with suspension, subsistence grants etc..  Rule  16.24  deals
    with the procedure which is to be adopted  in  departmental  inquiries.
    Thereafter, relevant provision is Rule 16.28 which deals  with  “powers
    to review proceedings”. Next Rule is Rule 16.29 which gives  “right  of
    appeal” to the delinquent employee. Rule 16.30 relates to the manner of
    dealing with these appeals and Rule  16.31  enumerates  the  orders  on
    appeals by prescribing that every  order  shall  contain  the  reasons.
    Thereafter, comes Rule 16.32 which again deals with revision.
    60.    In the scheme of things, as provided,  it  is  clear  that  Rule
    16.28 is different from Rule 16.32. While Rule 16.28 deals with Review,
    Rule 16.32 deals with  Revision  which  is  permissible  under  certain
    specified circumstances, after the  appeal  is  rejected.  It  is  this
    provision in Rule 16.32 which talks  of  Revision  on  certain  grounds
    namely (a) material irregularity in the proceedings or (b) on provision
    of fresh evidence.
    61.    It also stipulates that mercy petition may be submitted  to  the
    same authority. There is no  separate  or  other  provision  for  mercy
    petition which is contained in Rule  16.32  itself.  Thus,  under  Rule
    16.32 an employee can seek Revision either on the  ground  of  material
    irregularity in the proceedings or on provision of fresh  evidence.  In
    the alternative he can submit Revision  Petition  raising  a  plea  for
    mercy. We are  ,therefore,  of  the  opinion  that  when  the  Revision
    Petition is earlier  rejected  on  merits,  another  revision  petition
    raising the plea for mercy would not permissible. Moreover, no  grounds
    for mercy are stated except showing that lenient view be taken.
    62.    In the present case, we also find that the  mercy  petition  was
    not filed within one month. Further, it was not filed on the ground  of
    material irregularity in the proceedings  or  by  producing  any  fresh
    evidence. On the contrary, as pointed out above, the DGP while allowing
    the mercy petition specifically recorded that there was no irregularity
    in the conduct  of  departmental  proceedings.  In  spite  thereof,  he
    cancelled the order of penalty without giving any cogent reasons.  Such
    a order was palpably illegal and was rightly set right  departmentally.
    We thus do not find any merit  in  this  appeal  which  is  accordingly
    dismissed.
    C.A. No. 1811 of 2008
    63.    This is also a case  of  departmental  inquiry  which  was  held
    against the appellant and culminated an order of dismissal from service
    on 2.2.1999. His appeal was rejected by DIG  on  1.7.1999.  Thereafter,
    revision was rejected by the IGP ON 3.9.1999.  More  than  1  ½  years,
    thereafter he preferred  mercy  petition  which  was  allowed  by  DGP,
    Haryana and the punishment of dismissal was reduced to  stoppage  of  5
    increments. This  order  was  also  recalled  after  giving  show-cause
    notice, vide orders dated 16.10.2006. Appellant challenged  this  order
    by filing writ petition in the High Court which has been  dismissed  by
    the High Court on 21.8.2007. Order fo the High  Court  is  the  subject
    matter of the present appeal.
    64.    In view of our discussion in C.A. No. 1721 of 2008, we find that
    here also such a mercy petition was not maintainable which was not only
    filed belatedly but no fresh material was also furnished.
   65. Thus, we are of the view that the order allowing the mercy  petition
       without reason was clearly untenable and was  rightly  recalled.  We
       thus, do  not  find  any  merit  in  this  appeal  either  which  is
       accordingly dismissed.


                                 …..............…..….......................J
                                               [Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya]




                               …................….........................J.
                                                                [A.K. Sikri]




    New Delhi
    October 24, 2013



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.