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Friday, February 6, 2015

if any person who is or was a legal practitioner, including a retired Hon'ble Judge is appointed as Inquiry Officer in an inquiry initiated against an employee, the denial of assistance of legal practitioner to the charged employee would be unfair.

   if any person who is or  was  a  legal  practitioner,  including  a  retired
Hon'ble Judge is appointed  as  Inquiry  Officer  in  an  inquiry  initiated
against an employee, the denial of assistance of legal practitioner  to  the
charged employee would be unfair.
 For  the  reasons  aforesaid,  we  hold  that  all  the  Departmental
inquiries conducted against the appellant were  in  violation  of  rules  of
natural justice.
This  apart  as  the  third  inquiry  report  is  based  on
extraneous facts and first  part  of  the   charge  held  to  be  proved  in
memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 being not the part of  the  charges  shown
in the (third) chargesheet, the order of  punishment,  including  Resolution
by memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 cannot be upheld.
 For the reasons aforesaid, we set aside  both  penal  memoranda  dated
22nd February, 2010 and 26th March, 2010. In effect,  the  appellant  stands
reinstated to the post of Professor but in the facts and  circumstances,  we
allow only 50% of back wages  (salary)  to  appellant  for  the  intervening
period i.e. from the date  of  his  disengagement  till  the  date  of  this
judgment.
 However, the aforesaid period shall be treated 'on duty'  for  all
purposes including seniority, increment, fixation of pay, retrial  benefits,
etc. The respondents are directed to pay the appellant  arrears  within  two
months, failing which they shall be liable to pay interest  @  6%  from  the
date of this judgment.
  The appeal is allowed with aforesaid observations and  directions.  No
costs.    

                                                          REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.8224 OF 2012

PROFESSOR RAMESH CHANDRA                                 ...APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

UNIVERSITY OF DELHI & ORS.                         ...RESPONDENTS

                               J U D G M E N T


SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J.


      This appeal has been preferred by the appellant against  the  impugned
judgment dated 1st March, 2012 passed by the High  Court  of  Delhi  at  New
Delhi in Writ Petition (C) No.2547 of 2010. By the  impugned  judgment,  the
High Court dismissed the writ petition, upheld Para 6  of  the  Annexure  to
Ordinance XI of University of Delhi and refused to interfere with  the  show
cause notice issued on the appellant and  the  memorandum(s)  by  which  the
appellant  was  punished  and  removed  from  the  service  of   the   Delhi
University.

2.    The factual matrix of the case is as follows:-

      The appellant was a Professor in the University of Delhi  (hereinafter
referred to  as  the,  'University').   According  to  the  appellant  while
serving in the University  he  wrote  a  letter  dated  1st  December,  1990
addressed to the Union Minister of State for Welfare requesting sanction  of
Rs.5 crores for starting Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Centre  for  Biomedical  Research
(hereinafter referred to as the, 'ACBR').  In response to the  said  letter,
office of Dr. B.R.Ambedkar Centenary Celebration under Ministry  of  Welfare
by letter dated 22nd  January,  1991  invited  the  appellant  to  submit  a
detailed project report for the establishment of  ACBR  commemorating  birth
centenary of  Dr.  B.R.  Ambedkar.  On  15th  March,  1991,  the  University
forwarded the proposal submitted by the appellant for establishment of  ACBR
in the University and necessary certificate was given to the  Government  of
India by the University, especially in respect  of  autonomy  of  the  ACBR.
The Central Government accepted the proposal and  the  Prime  Minister  laid
down the foundation stone of ACBR.  The Executive Council of the  University
vide Resolution dated 13th April, 1991 approved  the  project  proposal  for
setting up ACBR and appointed a Committee to finalize the academic plan  and
ordinances.   Ordinance  XX  of  the  University  relates  to  Colleges  and
Institutions maintained by the University including ACBR. A Committee  under
the Chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor of the University in  its  meeting  held
on 4th November, 1991  recommended  the  appellant's  name  to  function  as
Director till a regular appointment is made. The  Academic  Council  by  its
decision dated 20th December, 1991  approved  the  said  recommendation  and
further recommended the  Executive  Council  to  appoint  the  appellant  as
Director till a regular appointment is made. The Executive Council vide  its
Resolution No.243 (1) dated 15th February, 1992 accepted  and  approved  the
recommendations of the Academic Council.  Pursuant to the  said  Resolution,
the Assistant  Registrar  (E-NT)  issued  a  letter  dated  30th  May,  1995
informing  the  appellant  about  the  decision  of  the  Vice   Chancellor,
appointing him as the Director of ACBR till a regular  appointment  is  made
to the said post.

2.1)   The appellant was already functioning as Professor in the  Department
of Chemistry, University of Delhi. He was Joint Proctor  in  the  University
between 1996 and 1999 and during this period he was a Visiting Scientist  at
the Rockefeller University, Cornell University  -  Medical  College,  Oxford
University and several other Universities and institutes. The appellant  was
also functioning as Chairman  of  Board  of  Research  Studies,  Faculty  of
Science and Chairman of Publication Advisory Committee, University of  Delhi
during the said period.

2.2)  Further case of the  appellant  is  that  he  was  appointed  as  Vice
Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi in March, 1999 and the  same  was
informed to respondent no.3-Governing Body of ACBR. According to  appellant,
the Governing Body resolved that the appellant  will  continue  as  Director
even after taking charge as the Vice Chancellor in another  University  i.e.
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, Uttar  Pradesh.  On  30th  July,  1999,  the
Chairman of the Governing Body, ACBR informed the  Vice  Chancellor  of  the
University about the said decision.

2.3) On 20th September, 1999, the Registrar of University notified that  the
Vice Chancellor had appointed  Professor  Vani  Brahmachari  as  Officiating
Director, ACBR during the leave period of the appellant and  specified  that
the appellant will continue to provide Academic Leadership to the ACBR.

2.4)  On 6th October, 2000, respondent  no.3  resolved  that  the  appellant
should continue to provide help and guidance, though he was  functioning  as
Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University. However, it was specified  that  in
absence of the appellant, Dr. Vani Brahmachari will look after  the  day  to
day work of the  office.  Respondent  no.3-Governing  Body,  ACBR  vide  its
resolution no.6-74  dated  6th  October,  2000  resolved  to  get  the  ACBR
registered under Societies Act and then to approach the UGC  and  Government
of India for declaring the ACBR as Institute of National importance. It  was
decided to prepare a draft and circulate to the  members  of  the  Governing
Body to discuss the matter in the next meeting.

2.5) Further case of the appellant is that  respondent  no.3-Governing  Body
of ACBR vide its  resolution  dated  15th  September,  2001  considered  and
approved the draft of Memorandum of Association of ACBR which was  forwarded
to the University for information and necessary action.

2.6) In February, 2005, a Search Committee for selection  for  the  post  of
Vice Chancellor in University was constituted.  The  appellant  as  well  as
respondent no.2-Professor Deepak Pental were  candidates  whose  names  were
initially short listed by  the  Search  Committee.   In  the  meantime,  the
appellant  was  removed  from  the  post  of  Vice  Chancellor,  Bundelkhand
University, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh by order dated  16th  July,  2005  fifteen
days prior to the expiry of his tenure.

2.7)  The aforesaid order of removal was  challenged  by  the  appellant  by
filing Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petition No.51370 of 2005  before  the  High
Court of Judicature at Allahabad. Prof. Deepak  Pental  was  officiating  as
Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi during that time. According to  the
appellant, the said officiating Pro-Vice-Chancellor was not  in  the  office
on 18th July, 2005  and  the  said  fact  came  to  his  knowledge  when  he
contacted the officiating Vice Chancellor to inform him  about  his  removal
from the Bundelkhand University. The appellant also  informed  the  same  to
the Head, Department of Chemistry; Dean, Faculty of Science,  University  of
Delhi; Chairman, Governing Body, ACBR and  Dy.  Registrar,  ACBR.   Further,
according to the appellant, on the same day i.e.  on  18th  July,  2005,  he
gave his joining report to the University of Delhi but it was not  accepted.
 The appellant came to know the same from the Head of  Chemistry  Department
who had received a letter from the  Registrar,  Delhi  University  regarding
removal of the appellant  from  Bundelkhand  University  and  hence  he  was
informed that his joining  would  be  subject  to  the  clearance  from  the
Chancellor of Bundelkhand University. The  Registrar,  University  of  Delhi
wrote letters to the Commissioner of Jhansi, who was acting Vice  Chancellor
of Bundelkhand University u/s 12(10) of the  U.P.  State  Universities  Act,
1973, the Principal Secretary to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh  (Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi) and the  Registrar,  Bundelkhand  University
requesting them to supply information regarding curtailment  of  the  tenure
of the appellant. The Principal Secretary to the Governor of  Uttar  Pradesh
(Chancellor, Bundelkhand University) replied to the  letter  on  26th  July,
2005 giving details regarding removal of the  appellant  from  the  post  of
Vice Chancellor, Bundelkhand University. On 28th July, 2005,  the  Principal
Secretary  to  the  Governor  of  Uttar  Pradesh  (Chancellor,   Bundelkhand
University) further informed the Registrar, University of Delhi that as  per
the directions of the High Court, the appellant  stood  relieved  from  16th
July, 2005 and subsequently, the appellant was  also  informed  vide  letter
dated 8th August, 2005 that since he was relieved from 16th  July,  2005  no
further action was required from Chancellor of the  Bundelkhand  University.
The  Registrar,  Bundelkhand  University  also  replied  to  the  Registrar,
University of Delhi on 2nd August, 2005 informing him  regarding  allegation
against the appellant. The Secretary, UGC addressed a  letter  to  Professor
Deepak Pental on 4th August, 2005 informing him about removal  of  appellant
from Bundelkhand University with copy to the Chancellor for information  and
necessary action. On 4th August, 2005 a note was endorsed  by  Prof.  Deepak
Pental on the letter of UGC to the  effect  that  "summary  of  the  charges
against  Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  needs  to  be  made".   According  to   the
appellant, such note was given by Prof.  Deepak  Pental  with  a  mala  fide
intention of involving appellant in some controversy so that his name  would
be dropped from the list of the Search Committee as contender for  the  post
of Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi.  The  name  of  the  appellant  was
dropped and on 1st September, 2005, Prof. Deepak  Pental  was  appointed  as
Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi.

2.8)  The appellant has alleged mala fide against Dr. Deepak Pental and  has
taken plea that Prof. Pental did  not  stop  harassing  the  appellant  even
thereafter. He further alleged that after his removal from  the  Bundelkhand
University, his joining to Delhi University was accepted w.e.f.  18th  July,
2005. He also placed reliance on decision of Governing Body of ACBR  wherein
it was recorded that the appellant would  continue  to  function  as  Acting
Director (Hony.), ACBR.  The said  resolution  of  the  Governing  Body  was
forwarded to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi.   The  Chairman
of the Governing Body, ACBR wrote a letter on 23rd September,  2005  to  the
Vice Chancellor of Delhi University regarding its stand on the  position  of
the appellant in ACBR.  The Executive Council of  the  University  of  Delhi
passed a resolution no.132 on 17th October, 2005  that  the  appellant  will
not be allowed to hold  any  administrative  position  in  Delhi  University
henceforth and resolved to issue  a show cause notice to the  appellant  for
(a) suppressing information with regard to allegation on  account  of  which
he was removed from the post of Vice-Chancellor University at  the  time  of
his premature return to Delhi University  and  (b)  unauthorisedly  assuming
the office of the Director,  ACBR, Delhi  University  for  the  period  from
18.7.2005 to 24.7.2005 in contravention of the statutory  provisions of  the
University.  It was also resolved that the decision, if any, taken by or  at
the instance of the appellant while unauthorisedly  occupying  the  post  of
the Director, ACBR, or thereafter, be treated as null and void.

2.9)   On 2nd November, 2005  a  memorandum  was  issued  to  the  appellant
containing the allegations set out in the  Resolution  dated  17th  October,
2005 and calling upon the appellant to submit his explanation.

2.10)  The  appellant  submitted  his  reply  on  12th  December,  2005  and
requested for supply of certain documents. According to him,  the  documents
were not supplied to him.

2.11) Further case of the appellant is  that  the  Governing  Body  of  ACBR
after considering all the communications from the Registrar,  University  of
Delhi and the Executive Council Resolution No.132 dated 17th  October,  2005
reiterated  its  earlier  decision  authorizing  the  appellant  to  act  as
Director of the ACBR and to take necessary decisions in that capacity  until
a  regular  appointment  is  made.   The  Governing  Body  of  ACBR  further
authorized the Chairman and the Director to  complete  all  formalities  for
converting  it  into  an  autonomous  institution  so  that  ACBR  could  be
converted to a deemed University and an institution of  national  importance
by the next academic session.

2.12)  On 2nd January, 2006 the Registrar, University  of  Delhi  issued  an
office order that consequent upon Dr. Vani Brahmachari proceeding  on  leave
Dr. Daman Saluja would look after the day to  day  work  of  the  office  of
Director, ACBR until further orders. On 25th January, 2006 the Registrar  of
the  University  forwarded  another  memorandum  calling  upon   appellant's
explanation w.r.t. memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005 within fifteen  days.
 The appellant submitted his final reply on 8th February, 2006.

2.13)  It appears that the appellant in the meantime moved an appeal  before
the Executive Council against Resolution dated 17th  October,  2005  but  no
decision appears to have been taken. The Governing Body  of  ACBR  continued
with its efforts towards registration of the Centre as  a  Society.  On  5th
September, 2006, the appellant was instructed by the Governing Body to  file
documents for the registration of the ACBR with  the  Registrar,  Societies,
Govt. of NCT, to file an approved affidavit stating that  the  ACBR  is  the
legal allottee and is in possession of  the  property/premises  of  the  old
USIC Building Delhi University Campus, Delhi and ACBR have no  objection  if
the registered office of the Society is situated in the said premises.

2.14) The appellant earlier moved before the High  Court  in  Writ  Petition
No.16000 of 2006 challenging the Resolution of Executive Council dated  17th
October, 2005. Allegation of bias  was  made  against  Prof.  Deepak  Pental
therein.

2.15)  On 21st March, 2007 Executive Council  of  the  University  passed  a
resolution to appoint a retired High Court Judge to hold  an  inquiry  about
allegation against the appellant and pending  the  inquiry  to  suspend  the
appellant. A memorandum dated 22nd March, 2007 was issued by the  University
placing the appellant under  suspension  and  debarring  his  entry  in  the
premises of the University.

2.16)  Justice 'X' - a retired Judge of the  High  Court  was  appointed  to
inquire into the allegation against the  appellant  and  vide  letter  dated
23rd May, 2007 he informed the appellant of his appointment and  called  him
for the hearing on 4th June, 2007.  The  appellant  moved  before  the  High
Court by filing writ petition praying for stay of  all  further  proceedings
against him.

2.17)  In the meantime, the High Court of Allahabad vide  its  judgment  and
order dated 11th June, 2007 in Civil Misc. Writ Petition  No.51370  of  2005
quashed  the  order  dated  16th  July,  2007  passed  by  the   Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi regarding the removal of the  appellant  from
the post of Vice Chancellor and held that the removal order was contrary  to
the provisions of the UP State Universities Act, 1973.

2.18) The aforesaid fact was intimated to the Vice Chancellor of  University
of Delhi on 16th June, 2007 with a request to withdraw the  resolutions  and
memorandum passed against the appellant.

2.19)  A fresh memorandum was issued by the University on 27th August,  2007
alleging that the appellant has misused the telephones of  the  ACBR  during
the period 1999-2005 though he was not functioning as  Director  during  the
said period.  However, the Inquiry Officer recorded  that  in  view  of  the
discussions and reply submitted none of the  charges  were  proved  and  the
appellant was absolved of the charges.

2.20) Another memorandum was issued by the University on 16th October,  2007
imputing charges of misconduct against the appellant and the  appellant  was
asked to submit his  written  explanation  to  the  said  memorandum  within
fifteen days.

2.21) The writ petition being W.P.C.  No.16000  of  2006  preferred  by  the
appellant challenging the Resolution dated 17th October, 205  was  dismissed
on 11th April, 2008. In the meantime, the appellant was informed by  Justice
'X' Inquiry Officer vide letter dated 5th May,  2008  that  another  inquiry
was being initiated in respect of memorandum dated 16th  October,  2007  and
asked the appellant to take part  in  the  inquiry.  In  the  meantime,  the
prayer of the appellant for review of  the  order  of  suspension  was  also
rejected.  Therefore, the appellant filed  Writ  Petition  No.4436  of  2008
challenging the resolution dated 21st March, 2007 and memorandum dated  22nd
March, 2007. The appellant being aggrieved by the order  of  learned  Single
Judge in W.P.C. No.16000 of 2006 preferred LPA No.229  of  2008.   The  said
LPA No.229 of 2008 was heard along with Writ Petition No.4436  of  2008  and
both were dismissed by the High Court by common  judgment  dated  21st  May,
2009.

2.22) The appellant challenged the aforesaid judgment by filing the  Special
Leave Petition Nos.13753 and 14150 of 2009 before this Court.  In  the  said
case the appellant alleged bias against the  Vice  Chancellor  Prof.  Deepak
Pental in the matter of issuance of the charge sheet.  This Court  initially
vide order dated 18th September, 2009 directed the  respondent  to  conclude
the inquiry against the appellant within two  months.  The  Inquiry  Officer
concluded the inquiry pursuant to Memorandum dated 2nd  November,  2005  and
submitted his report on 21st October, 2009.  A copy of  the  inquiry  report
was forwarded  to  the  appellant.   According  to  the  appellant,  Inquiry
Officer neither allowed  oral  evidences  nor  supplied  relevant  documents
sought by him. The appellant submitted his reply to the said report on  28th
January, 2010.

2.23) On 19th December, 2009  the  Inquiry  Officer  concluded  the  inquiry
pursuant to memorandum dated 27th August, 2007 and 16th  October,  2007  and
submitted his reports, both dated  23rd  February,  2010.   A  copy  of  the
inquiry  report  pursuant  to  memorandum  dated  16th  October,  2007   was
forwarded to the appellant asking him to submit his reply within twenty  one
days.  The appellant requested the Registrar, University of Delhi to  supply
certain documents  which  were  referred  to  by  the  Inquiry  Officer  and
submitted interim reply on 18th March,  2010.  Subsequently,  the  Executive
Council passed Resolution No.281 dated  25th  March,  2010  disengaging  the
appellant from  the  services  with  immediate  effect  and  subsequently  a
memorandum dated 26th March,  2010  was  issued  to  the  said  effect.  The
aforesaid decision was communicated to the appellant by the Registrar.

2.24) This Court on 5th April, 2010 dismissed the SLP(C) Nos.13753  of  2009
and 14150 of 2009 filed by the appellant challenging the  High  Court  order
dated 21st May, 2009 in LPA No.229 of 2008 but granted the  liberty  to  the
appellant to challenge the punitive orders. The appellant was  permitted  to
take all the pleas taken in the SLP including the challenge to the  validity
and propriety of the inquiry proceedings  conducted  by  the  University  of
Delhi. Pursuant to  the  said  order,  the  appellant  filed  Writ  Petition
No.2547 of 2010 before the High Court  of  Delhi  at  New  Delhi  which  was
dismissed by impugned judgment dated 1st March, 2012.

3.    Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there was  illegality
and unfairness in the initiation and conduct of inquiry  in  regard  to  the
allegations which led to the removal of appellant.  It  was  also  submitted
that the Chancellor  (Bundelkhand  University)  has  not  written  to  Delhi
University suggesting action to be taken against the appellant. Despite  the
same, information regarding contents of charges was  solicited  unilaterally
by the Registrar of Delhi University based  on  newspaper  reports  and  the
communication dated 4th August, 2005 sent by the UGC to the Vice  Chancellor
of University.  Learned counsel further contended that  in  the  absence  of
Chancellor, Bundelkhand University suggesting action against the  appellant,
the UGC need not have, even sent the above communication.

However, the aforesaid submission cannot be accepted as it was  always  open
to the competent authority to initiate departmental proceeding  against  its
employee, with regard to any misconduct or  dereliction  of  duty  if  found
during performance of duty while posted in the office or on deputation.   In
the present case,  it was well within the jurisdiction of the university  to
initiate such a departmental inquiry when it is noticed  that  its  employee
was prematurely removed from an  office  to  which  he  was  deputed  to  on
account of certain charges against him.

4.    It was further submitted on behalf of the appellant that none  of  the
memoranda relating to  disciplinary  action  were  ever  placed  before  the
Executive Council, therefore, memoranda cannot be  said  to  be  charges  or
allegations considered or approved by the  Executive  Council  (Disciplinary
Authority).

The aforesaid submission cannot be accepted in view of the  stand  taken  by
the University and the material on record.

The counsel for the respondents was directed to produce the original  record
relating  to  all  the  proceedings/memoranda,  all  articles   of   charges
including the office note and  inquiry  report.  However,  only  the  record
relating to memorandum dated 16th October, 2007 has been provided.  We  have
perused the  original  record  produced  by  the  respondents  and  find  no
illegality in the manner of initiation of  departmental  proceeding  as  the
same was initiated as per Executive Council Resolution No.  188  dated  21st
March, 2007.

5.    It was further submitted that the appellant could not file the  proper
reply to all the three memoranda due to non supply of  documents  sought  by
him towards submitting an effective reply.  However, such submission  cannot
be accepted in absence of specific pleading as to which were  the  documents
sought for but not supplied by the respondents and how they  were  connected
with the charges leveled against the appellant.

6.    Another ground taken by the learned  counsel  for  the  appellant  was
that there were illegalities in the conduct of the  inquiry.   According  to
him the appellant requested the assistance of a legal  practitioner  as  the
presenting officer as well as the  Inquiry  Officer  was  legally  qualified
person regularly engaged in disciplinary proceedings but  the  said  request
was declined. It was further submitted that  the  appellant  was  not  given
opportunity for examination of witness  and  there  was  no  legal  evidence
before the Inquiry Officer to bring home the charges.

We have gone through the inquiry report(s) submitted by the Inquiry  Officer
and other records. The  aforesaid  submission  advanced  on  behalf  of  the
appellant will be discussed at an appropriate stage.

7.    With regard to appellant's  allegation  of  mala  fide  against  Prof.
Deepak Pental, it was rightly contented on behalf of  the  respondents  that
in view of  earlier  decision  of  this  Court  in  special  leave  petition
preferred by the appellant and in absence of any specific evidence, plea  of
mala fide cannot be raised.

8. Learned counsel for the appellant further contended that the  service  of
the appellant was terminated without providing any notice  as  provided  for
in para 6 of the Annexure to Ordinance XI which reads as follows:-

"6.(1)Notwithstanding  anything  hereinbefore   contained,   the   Executive
Council of the University shall  be  entitled  summarily  to  determine  the
engagement of the teacher on the ground of  misconduct  in  accordance  with
the provisions hereinafter set forth.

(2) The Vice-Chancellor  may,  when  he  deems  it  necessary,  suspend  the
teacher on the ground of misconduct.   When  he  suspends  the  teacher,  he
shall report it to the next meeting of the Executive Council.

(3) The Executive Council shall investigate all matters reported  to  it  by
the Vice-Chancellor about the misconduct of the teacher whether he has  been
suspended or not.  The Executive Council may appoint  a  Committee  for  the
purpose. The teacher shall be notified in writing  of  the  charges  against
him and shall be given not  less  than  three  weeks'  time  to  submit  his
explanation in writing.

The Executive Council or the Committee may hear the teacher  and  take  such
evidence as it may consider necessary. The Executive Council  may  determine
the engagement of the teacher where it deems  that  the  misconduct  of  the
teacher deserves to be dealt within that manner,  after  it  has  considered
the explanation  and  the  evidence,  if  any,  and/or  the  report  of  the
Committee, if one has been appointed.

(4) Where the termination of the service on  the  ground  of  misconduct  is
after suspension by the Vice-Chancellor as  aforesaid,  the  termination  of
service may be from the date of suspension,  if  the  Executive  Council  so
directs."



9. In the present case, as noticed above, detailed procedure is followed  in
terms of said provision. The appellant was suspended by the  Vice-Chancellor
on the ground of misconduct. Notice was served upon the  appellant  and  the
Executive Council resolved to conduct an inquiry giving opportunity  to  the
appellant to appear before  the  inquiry  officer.   Disciplinary  authority
terminated the  service  of  the  appellant  after  following  all  the  due
procedures. Therefore, the said submission as  advanced  on  behalf  of  the
appellant cannot be accepted.

10. Before the High Court and this Court, one of the pleas  taken  was  that
the charges as shown in the memoranda do not constitute any misconduct.  The
High Court observed that misconduct though not defined  in  the  Act  or  in
Ordinance XI or in the Annexure thereto,  is  a  well  understood  term  and
paragraph 6 of Ordinance XI cannot be held  to  be  bad  and  liable  to  be
struck down merely for the reason of misconduct having not been defined.

11. On behalf of appellant, it was further contended that  the  departmental
proceeding was conducted in  violation  of  rules  of  natural  justice  and
extraneous matters were taken  into  consideration  to  hold  the  appellant
guilty. But such submission was disputed by learned Senior Counsel  for  the
university.

12.   Before dealing with rival contentions made by the learned counsel  for
the parties, we deem it proper to deal  with  the  chargesheet  -  procedure
followed in the departmental proceedings and order of punishment.

A) 1st Chargesheet  -  memorandum  dated  2nd  November,  2005  The  charges
levelled against the appellant can be summarized as follows:

(i) The appellant wilfully suppressed the material fact that  the  appellant
was removed from  the  post  of  Vice  Chancellor,  Bundelkhand  University,
Jhansi before the completion of term  of  his  deputation,  to  mislead  the
University.

(ii) The  appellant  wrote  letter  dated  8th  August,  2005  to  the  Vice
Chancellor in which he signed as Founder Director of ACBR knowing well  that
the term 'Founder Director' gave a misleading impression  that  he  was  the
founder and was continuing as its Director. Further there is  no  such  post
as Founder Director

(iii) He has written other letters that gives  misleading  impression  about
his status.

      Before dealing with the  correctness  of  the  above  allegations,  we
would like to discuss the background events which took place  prior  to  the
issuance of the said memorandum.


13.   The Executive Council of the University of  Delhi  by  its  Resolution
dated 17th October, 2005 first decided  to  punish  the  appellant  for  his
alleged acts and to issue a show-cause notice  to  the  appellant.  This  is
apparent from the Resolution No.132 dated 17th October, 2005 which reads  as
follows:

 "132.      The Executive Council considered letters received from  (a)  the
Principal Secretary to the Governor of Uttar Pradesh  dated  26.7.2005,  (b)
the Registrar, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi dated 2.8.2005,  and  (c)  the
Joint Secretary, UGC dated 4.8.2005  forwarding  therewith  a  copy  of  the
order  of  the   Chancellor  of  Bundelkhand  University   dated   16.7.2005
indicating removal of Prof. Ramesh  Chandra  from  the  post  of  the  Vice-
Chancellor, Bundelkhand University. After due  deliberations  on  the  above
mentioned letters, the  Council resolved that:

Prof. Ramesh Chandra be not allowed to hold any administrative  position  in
Delhi University henceforth:

A show cause notice be issued to Prof. Ramesh  Chandra  for  (a  suppressing
information with regard to allegation on account of  which  he  was  removed
from the post of Vice-Chancellor University at the  time  of  his  premature
return to Delhi University and (b) unauthorisedly  assuming  the  office  of
the Director,  Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Centre  for  Bio-medical  Research,   Delhi
University for the period from 18.7.2005 to 24.7.2005  in  contravention  of
the statutory  provisions of the University; and

The decision, if any, taken by or at the instance of Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra,
while unauthorisedly occupying the post of the Director, Dr.  B.R.  Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research,  or  thereafter,  be  treated  as  null  and
void."

It  is  only  after  such  decision  to  punish  the  appellant  the  formal
chargesheet was issued by memorandum dated  2nd  November,  2005  as  quoted
hereunder:

                            "UNIVERSITY OF DELHI

                                                   No. Estab. V(T)/2005/2083

                                                           November 2, 2005.

                                 MEMORANDUM

Whereas it is noted that Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra,  Department  of  Chemistry,
vide his letter  dated  18thJuly,  2005  addressed  to  the  Vice-Chancellor
conveyed that after completing his tenure  as  Vice-Chancellor,  Bundelkhand
University, he had returned back and reported for duty as Professor  in  the
Department of Chemistry with effect from 18.7.2005 by this statement.  Prof.
Ramesh Chandra willfully suppressed the material fact that  he  was  removed
from  the  post  of  Vice-Chancellor,   Bundelkhand  University  before  the
completion of  the  term  of  his  deputation,  to  mislead  the  University
authority.

      And whereas Prof. Ramesh  Chandra,   on  reporting  for  duty  in  the
University,  unauthorisedly tried to join as Director, ACBR  as  is  evident
from the notification No. ACBR/05/743 dated 18.7.2005 issued by  the  Deputy
Registrar, ACBR which stated that Prof. Ramesh Chandra had  joined  back  as
fulltime Director of ACBR in the afternoon  of  18.7.2005  after  completing
the tenure as  Vice-Chancellor,   Bundelkhand  University,   Jhansi.    This
notification (a) conveyed a misleading impression that he had  joined  there
after completion of tenure  as  Vice-Chancellor  of  Bundelkhand  University
whereas he was actually removed from the post on charges of abuse  of  power
before completion of his tenure; and (b) misleadingly  referred  to  Establ.
V(T)/99/ACBR/35657 dated 20th September, 1999 to wrongly convey that as  per
this order he  could  join  as  full-time  Director.   The  Order  No.Estab.
(T)V/99/ACBR/35657 dated 20.9.1999 deals  with  appointment  of  Prof.  Vani
Brahamchari as officiating Director and specified the period of  her  office
as the period during the leave of Prof. Ramesh Chandra and merely  permitted
Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  to  provide  academic  leadership  to  ACBR.    This
arrangement at that point  of  time   and   consequently  ATTEMPT  OF  Prof.
Ramesh Chandra to join as Director of ACBR was ultra vires,  and  therefore,
null and void ab initio. Then at the instance of  this  University's  letter
dated 19.7.2005 clarified that the notification for Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra's
joining as Director stands withdrawn:

And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra wrote a letter dated 8.8.2005 to the  Vice-
Chancellor, in which he signed as  Founder  Director,   ACBR,  knowing  well
that the term 'founder director' gave a misleading impression  that  he  was
the 'founder director of the Centre or was the founder  and  was  continuing
as its Director.  When Prof. Ramesh Chandra was placed in additional  charge
of the post of Director of ACBR  vide  letter  No.  Estab.III/BRAC/95  dated
30.5.2005, his substantive post was that of a professor of Chemistry in  the
University.   All  incumbent  moves  away  from  his  substantive  post   on
deputation/EOL.  Further,  there  is  no  such  post  as  founder  director.
Therefore, signing a letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor on 8.8.2005  as
founder director ;was clearly to give  a  misleading  impression  about  its
position in ACBR which  besides  being  non-existent,  was  neither  legally
sustainable nor administratively proper because  Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  was
appointed in the Chemistry Department   of  the  Delhi  University  and  not
appointed/deputed to ACBR as Professor;

      And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra had  further  written  letters  dated
9.9.2005 and  26.9.2005 on the letter pad of ACBR signing as Director  which
seeks to convey a misleading impression about his status.  He wrote  to  the
Chairman of the  Governing Body, ACBR vide his letter dated 30.8.2005.    In
which he had referred to some decisions of the governing body to  resume  as
Director of ACBR.  This  act  of   Prof.   Ramesh    Chandra  tantamount  to
seeking perpetuation of the same misleading impression as indicated above.

      And whereas the University had clarified the position with  regard  to
the  post          of     Director,    ACBR    vide     its    letter    no.
SPA/R2005/2007 dated 29.8.2005  addressed to the Chairman of  the  Governing
body of ACBR with copy to the officiating Director of ACBR in which  it  was
clearly stated that  there  was  no  provision  of  retaining  lien  on  the
additional charge and  that  Prof.  Vani  Brahmachari  continue  to  be  the
officiating  Director until a regular director was appointed.

And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra's unauthorized and  irregular  attempts  of
usurpation to the post of Director ACBR  tantamount  to  creation  of  false
records and  tampering with  other  records  of  ACBR  which  is  a  serious
misconduct on his part.

      And whereas the above acts of  Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  on  irregularly
insisting on his position as additional charge of the  Director in the  ACBR
without having undergone the process of selection prescribed  in  clauses  4
of sub-heading 6 on ACBR  contained in  Ordinance  XX  tantamount  to  gross
misconduct within the meaning of clause 6 of Annexure  to  Ordinance  XI  of
the University.

      And whereas some of the examples of misconduct on the  part  of  Prof.
Ramesh Chandra,  particularly, the suppression of facts of his removal  from
the post of Vice Chancellor of Bundelkhand University to  convey  misleading
impression that he repatriated from Bundelkhand University after  completing
his tenure and the  unauthorized  claim  about  directorship  of  ACBR  were
discussed by the Executive Council in its meeting on 17th October, 2005  and
the Executive Council decided that his explanation be called for  his  above
mentioned acts of serious misconduct;

      Now,   therefore, Prof. Ramesh Chandra is hereby  directed  to  submit
in writing an explanation to this memorandum within 15 days of its  date  of
issue,  failing which it shall be presumed that he  has  no  explanation  to
offer and the matter shall be placed before EC for  consideration/action  in
accordance with Clause 6 of Ordinance XI of the University of Delhi.

                                                                   Registrar

Prof. Ramesh Chandra
Department of Chemistry
University of Delhi
Delhi."


14.   The retired Judge of Delhi High Court, Justice 'X',  Inquiry  Officer,
by the report dated 24th November, 2009 held as follows:

"For all these reasons, I am of the opinion that  the  charges  against  the
delinquent that he had concealed the fact of his removal from  the  post  of
Vice-Chancellor,  Bundelkhand  University  with  a  view  to   mislead   the
University and that despite his not being Director of ACBR, he continued  to
describe himself as Founder Director or Director, ACBR with a view  to  give
a misleading impression, stand proved.

                                     'X'
Dated: 24.11.2009                  Inquiry Officer

                               //TRUE COPY//"


      Thereafter the formal order of punishment  was  issued  by  memorandum
dated  22nd  February,  2010  communicating  displeasure  of  the  Executive
Council, holding the act of the appellant to be unbecoming of a  teacher  of
the University and prohibiting the appellant from being associated with  any
affairs of ACBR in any capacity whatsoever.  The  relevant  portion  of  the
said memorandum reads as follows:

"And,  therefore,  Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  (under  suspension)   is   hereby
communicated the displeasure of the Executive Council and that  the  act  is
unbecoming of a teacher of  the  University.  Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  (under
suspension) is further  communicated the decision of the  Executive  Council
that he shall not be associated with any affairs of the  Dr.  B.R.  Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical Research in any capacity whatsoever and that he  shall
not be considered for any administrative position in the  University.  Prof.
Ramesh Chandra shall continue to be under suspension till further orders."

      From the aforesaid  facts  it  is  clear  that  the  respondent  first
decided to punish the appellant and only thereafter memorandum   of  charges
was framed, show-cause notice was issued and inquiry was conducted, just  to
give it a colour of legal procedure.

15.   There  is  nothing  on  the  record  to  suggest  that  the  appellant
'wilfully' suppressed the material fact that he  was  removed  from  service
before completion of term of his deputation to mislead the  respondents.  It
is true that the appellant in normal course should have informed  the  Delhi
University before rejoining that he has been removed from the post  of  Vice
Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi  before  the  completion  of  his
deputation period.  Such action can be termed to be  "dereliction  of  duty"
but cannot be held to be misconduct  for  the  purpose  of  restraining  the
appellant permanently from appointment to the post of Director, ACBR.

16.  It is not in dispute that the appellant was the First Director  of  the
ACBR. The same was also accepted by the Delhi University in  its  memorandum
dated 2nd November, 2005. Therefore, in his letter-head he has shown him  as
Founder Director of ACBR, that cannot be said to  be  against  the  Code  of
Conduct to hold the same as 'misconduct' on the part of the appellant.

17.   This apart, as there is no  provision  in  the  concerned  statute  to
withhold appointment permanently, it was not open to the University to  pass
such order.

      For the reasons  aforesaid,  the  order  of  punishment  contained  in
Memorandum dated 22nd February, 2010 cannot be upheld. The  said  memorandum
is accordingly declared illegal and cannot be upheld.

B) 2nd  Chargesheet - Memorandum dated 27th August, 2007:

18.   A fresh memorandum was issued by the University on 27th  August,  2007
alleging that the appellant caused ACBR to pay an amount  of  Rs.16,63,284/-
towards unauthorized expenditures incurred by him like telephone  bills  and
bills of security guards and peon, during the  period  1999-2005  though  he
was not functioning as Director of ACBR during the said period.

The appellant denied the allegation and again retired  Judge  of  the  Delhi
High Court, Justice 'X' was appointed as Inquiry Officer who by  his  report
dated 23rd February,  2010  held  that  none  of  the  charges  against  the
appellant has been proved. Relevant  portion  of  the  said  inquiry  report
reads as follows:

      "In view of the above discussion, none  of  the  charges  against  the
delinquent has been proved  and  he  is,  therefore,  absolved  of  all  the
charges against him leveled vide the memorandum dated 27th August, 2007.


                                                        Justice 'X', (Retd.)
Dated: 23.02.2010            Inquiry Officer"


C) 3rd  Chargesheet - Memorandum dated 16th October, 2007:

19.   In the memorandum dated 16th October, 2007 the appellant  was  imputed
with the charge which can be summarized as follows:
By acting as a signatory who subscribed his  name  to  the  registration  of
ACBR as a society and by verifying the affidavit which affirmed that he  has
no objection towards the location of the registered office of  ACBR  in  the
University Campus, the appellant attempted to misappropriate the  assets  of
the University. Such act was alleged to  be  a  misconduct.  The  memorandum
dated 16th October, 2007 reads as follows:
"MEMORANDUM

      Whereas it has come to the notice of the University that Prof.  Ramesh
Chandra is one  of  the  signatories  who  subscribed  their  names  to  the
proposed formation of a Society by the name "Dr. B.R.  Ambedkar  Centre  for
Biomedical Research" with  the  description  of  its  office  as  "old  USIC
Building Delhi University Campus, Delhi-7".   As  per  the  records  of  the
Registrar of Societies Delhi this society has been  registered  on  7.9.2006
vide  Registration  No.56511.     This  is  in  violation   of   rules   and
regulations of the University.  Dr. B.R.   Ambedkar  Centre  for  Biomedical
Research  (ABCR)  is  an  institution  maintained  by  the  University.  The
University has not resolved or contemplated to form a  society  out  of  the
existing ACBR.  Since the proposal in the  society  registered  on  7.9.2006
has shown the existing ACBR under the University of Delhi as its address  it
tantamount to  misappropriation  of  the  assets  of  University  maintained
institution for an unauthorized purpose. Thus, such a move is fraudulent.

      And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra had  given  an  affidavit  which  was
verified by him on 5.9.06 which  he  had solemnly affirmed that

"I shall have no objection if the registered office  of  the  society  named
"Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research' shall  be  situated  at  my
above said premises."  The building in which the ACBR of the  University  of
Delhi is situated is the property of the  University  and  no  one  has  any
right whatsoever to appropriate it for  any  purpose  other  than  what  the
Executive Council of the University authorizes.

      And whereas Prof. Ramesh Chandra had no locus standi to give any  such
affirmation still had solemnly affirmed in the same affidavit that "ACBR  is
the legal allottee and in possession of the property bearing  no.  Old  USIC
building Delhi University Campus Delhi-7" which is contrary  to  the  facts.
The fact is that the premises where the ACBR of the University of  Delhi  is
presently located (i.e. old USIC building University of Delhi, Delhi-7)  was
not allotted by University of  Delhi  to  the  proposed  society  which  was
fraudulently registered  on 7.9.2006.

       And  whereas  Prof.  Ramesh  Chandra  verified  the  above  mentioned
affidavit on 5.9.2006 saying "that the contents of the above  affidavit  are
correct, true and to the best of my knowledge and belief  nothing  has  been
concealed therefrom". But while verifying  this  affidavit  on  5.9.2006  he
fraudulently concealed a material fact  that  the  authorized  body  of  the
University of Delhi i.e. the Executive Council had not resolved  to  convert
ACBR into a registered society. He also concealed the fact that he  being  a
Professor in the  Department  of  Chemistry  had  no  official  position  to
furnish such affidavit and therefore  this  act  of  Prof.   Ramesh  Chandra
tantamount to fraudulent misrepresentation of facts with a malafide motive.

And  whereas the above acts of Prof.  Ramesh Chandra  constitute  misconduct
by misleading the Registrar of societies Govt. of NCT  Delhi  and  also  the
general public by fraudulently attempting to convert an University of  Delhi
as a registered  society  and  clandestinely  declaring  Dr.  B.R.  Ambedkar
Centre for Biomedical  Research  as  a  Society  and  its  building  as  its
registered office which tantamounts to misappropriation of the  University's
property."

20.   The appellant submitted his explanation  denying  the  allegation  and
requested for supply of documents towards  submitting  an  effective  reply.
But the same were not supplied.  He also sought aid of a lawyer but  it  was
also denied. Nothing is on the record to suggest that any list of  witnesses
or list of documentary evidence was supplied to  the  appellant  or  to  the
Inquiry Officer. We have gone through the original records supplied  by  the
University. Even therein, we find no list of witnesses or list  of  evidence
available to bring home the charges.
      (Retd.)Justice 'X' who was again  appointed  as  the  Inquiry  Officer
with regard to said charges, submitted a report dated 23rd  February,  2010,
holding that the acts of the appellant giving an affidavit that  he  had  no
objection towards the registration of the ACBR as a Society situated at  the
said premises, and getting the Society registered without  the  approval  of
the University of Delhi, are clearly the acts of  misconduct.  The  relevant
extract of the inquiry report dated 23rd February,  2010  (relating  to  the
third chargesheet) reads as follows:
                  x     x      x      x      x
      "The  delinquent  in  the  year  1992  was  working  as  UGC  Research
Scientist attached to the Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi.  The
Executive Council of the University of Delhi in its  meeting  held  on  15th
February, 1992 approved the setting  up  of  B.R.Ambedkar  Centre  for  Bio-
medical Research (in short referred to as ACBR)  and  the  delinquent  while
working as UGC Research Scientist was allowed  to  function  as  officiating
Director of ACBR vide order dated 30th May, 1995  till  regular  appointment
of the Director of the Centre was made.  With effect from  25th  June,  1996
the delinquent is serving as  Professor  in  the  Department  of  Chemistry,
University of  Delhi,  even  after  his  appointment  as  Professor  in  the
Department of Chemistry, he continued to work as Director, ACBR till he  was
relieved from the post of Professor in Chemistry to take up the  appointment
of Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi on 31st  July,  1999.  On
his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Bundelkhand University,  the  delinquent
sought  extraordinary  leave  with  a  lien  in  his  substantive  post   of
Professor,  Department  of  Chemistry  to  enable  him  to  join  as   Vice-
Chancellor, Bundelkhand  Univesity  and  his  request  was  allowed  by  the
Executive Council of the University. On his taking over as  Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand Univesity, the University of Delhi vide notification dated  20th
September,  1999  appointed  Prof.  Vani  Brahmachari  as  the   Officiating
Director, ACBR.

In accordance with his request  dated  26th  July,  2002  the  extraordinary
leave of the delinquent was converted into deputation  service.  The  period
of deputation was to  expire  on  31st  July  2005.   On  13th  July,  2005,
however, the delinquent came back and wrote a letter to the University  that
after completing his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, he  had  returned  back  and
reported for duty as  Professor,  Department  of  Chemistry,  University  of
Delhi. It appears that on 18th July, 2005 itself, a news  item  appeared  in
the newspaper according  to  which  the  delinquent  was  removed  as  Vice-
Chancellor, Bundelkhand University  and  the  Registrar,  Delhi  University,
therefore, on the same day, wrote a letter to the Commissioner,  Jhansi  and
Principal  Secretary  to  the  Governor  of  Uttar  Pradesh  regarding   the
authenticity of the newspaper report. It is the case of the University  that
though  the  delinquent  had  joined  his  substantive  post  as  Professor,
Department of Chemistry but he tried to  clandestinely  work  as  full  time
Director, ACBR under the garb of notification dated 18th July, 2005 of  ACBR
issued under the signatures of the Deputy Registrar of the said  Centre.  On
coming to know of the notification, a note was put up by  the  Registrar  to
the Acting  Vice-Chancellor  about  the  same  and  on  the  same  day,  the
Registrar asked the Deputy Registrar,  ACBR  to  withdraw  the  notification
dated 18th July, 2005 whereby the delinquent was asked to work as  Director,
ACBR. In the meantime, Principal Secretary to the Governor of Uttar  Pradesh
vide letter dated 26th July, 2005 informed  the  University  confirming  the
removal of the delinquent as  Vice-Chancellor  in  pursuance  of  the  order
dated 16th July, 2005 passed  by  the  Governor  of  Uttar  Pradesh  in  his
capacity as Chancellor, Bundelkhand University. This was  pursuant  to  some
departmental proceedings initiated against the  delinquent  for  his  having
allegedly committed financial irregularities etc. during his tenure as Vice-
Chancellor, Bundelkhand University.  The aforesaid  acts  of  delinquent  in
not informing  the  University  that  he  was  removed  as  Vice-Chancellor,
Bundelkhand University and his allegedly  usurping  the  post  of  Director,
ACBR were considered  to  be  acts  of  misconduct  by  the  University  and
memorandum dated 2nd November, 2005 was, accordingly, issued to him to  show
cause why disciplinary proceedings be not initiated against him.  Not  being
satisfied with the reply of the delinquent, the University decided  to  hold
an inquiry and appointed the undersigned as the  Inquiry  Officer.   In  the
said inquiry it was held that the delinquent had concealed the fact  of  his
removal from the post of  Vice-Chancellor,  Bundelkhand  University  with  a
view to mislead the University and that  despite  his  not  being  Director,
ACBR, he continued to describe as founder Director or Director, ACBR with  a
view to give a misleading impression."

      x      x      x     x    x

"By their unauthorized acts, the Governing Body as well  as  the  delinquent
had illegally attempted to convert a University-maintained institution  into
a registered society and its building as registered office of  the  society.
Out of the signatories to the memorandum of association of the  society,  it
is only the delinquent who is under the employment  of  the  University  and
disciplinary proceedings can,  therefore,  be  initiated  only  against  the
delinquent. In any case it cannot be the defence of the delinquent  that  no
action can be initiated against him as no  action  is  taken  against  other
signatories to the memorandum of association of the society. It is only  the
delinquent who has given a wrong  affidavit  with  a  view  to  mislead  the
authorities. The delinquent knowing fully that  he  was  not  the  Director,
ACBR at the relevant time as he was  not  appointed  to  the  said  post  in
accordance with Ordinance XX of the Ordinances of the  University  of  Delhi
and there were already incumbents on the post, there  was  no  occasion  for
him to describe himself as  Director,  ACBR.  It  was  totally  illegal  and
unjustified on his part to get a society registered even  on  the  basis  of
the resolutions  of  the  Governing  Body  and describe the  building  where
ACBR is located as his office as his office  and  to  convert  it  into  the
registered office of the society. The delinquent could not, in  any  manner,
give an affidavit that he had no objection if the registered office  of  the
society is situate at the premises where ACBR was  located.  The  delinquent
was only a  Professor  in  the  Department  of  Chemistry  and  he  was  not
authorised to give any such affidavit by  the  University  or  even  by  the
Governing Body to depose that the premises where the registered  office  was
proposed to be situated was "his premises", I am, therefore, firmly  of  the
opinion that all these acts of the delinquent giving an  affidavit  that  he
had no objection if the registered office the society was  situated  at  the
said premises and getting the society registered  without  the  approval  of
the University of Delhi are clearly the acts of misconduct. Charges  against
the delinquent stand proved."


After supplying a copy of the  inquiry  report  to  the  appellant  for  his
response, the University issued impugned memorandum dated 26th  March,  2010
holding that the charges against the appellant are grave and  the  same  are
in a way an attempt to challenge the powers of the  Executive  Council  with
regard  to  the  general  control  and  supervision  of  the  ACBR,  as   an
institution established  and  managed  by  the  University  of  Delhi  under
Ordinance XX(6) of the University.  It  was  further  held  that  such  acts
amounts to gross misconduct on the part of the appellant  and  the  same  is
unbecoming of a  teacher  of  the  University  and  thereby  disengaged  the
appellant, with immediate  effect,  in  terms  of  Para  6  of  Annexure  to
Ordinance XI of the University. Relevant portion of the order of  punishment
and memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 reads as follows:
"And whereas the Council, vide its above resolution, noted that the  charges
leveled against Prof. Ramesh Chandra are grave and the same are in a way  an
attempt to challenge the powers of the Executive Council with regard to  the
general  control  and  supervision  of  the   Dr.B.R.Ambedkar   Centre   for
Biomedical Research, as an institution established and manage-University  of
Delhi under Ordinance XX(6) of the University, are acts of gross  misconduct
on his part and unbecoming of a teacher of the University.

And whereas the Executive Council further  resolved  that  the  services  of
Prof. Ramesh Chandra (under suspension), as Professor in the  Department  of
Chemistry be disengaged, with immediate effect, in  terms  of  clause  6  of
Annexure to Ordinance XI of the University for his grave misconduct.

And therefore, the services of Prof. Ramesh Chandra  (under  suspension)  as
Professor  in  the  Department  of  Chemistry,  University  of  Delhi  stand
disengaged, with immediate effect, in terms  of  clause  6  of  Annexure  to
Ordinance XI of the University.

A copy of  the  Executive  Council  Resolution  No.281  dated  25.3.2010  is
enclosed herewith.

Encl: As above(2 pages).
                                                                 Registrar."


21.   In the inquiry report, the background of appointment of the  appellant
since 1992 has been referred, though it had no connection with  charges.  No
such fact or evidence was brought regarding the background  history  of  the
appellant was mentioned in the (third) chargesheet nor any such evidence  is
on record produced by the University.
The Inquiry Officer noticed the letter of the  Principal  Secretary  of  the
Governor of Uttar Pradesh (Chancellor, Bundelkhand  University)  dated  28th
July, 2005 confirming the removal of the appellant  as  the  Vice-Chancellor
of the University and  the  order  dated  16th  July,  2005  passed  by  the
Governor of U.P. in  his  capacity  of  Chancellor,  Bundelkhand  University
though it was not part of the charges nor such evidence  was  cited  in  the
imputed charges or list of evidence.
Similarly, though the memorandum dated  2nd  November,  2005  or  allegation
levelled therein was not the part of the  third  chargesheet  nor  cited  as
evidence by the University, the same were also relied upon.
Influenced by the aforesaid extraneous facts and  consideration,  which  are
not the part of the chargesheet or the evidence cited by the University  and
without intimating such facts to the appellant the Inquiry Officer held  the
appellant guilty.
22.   It appears from the record that the ACBR was  established  within  the
premises of Delhi University on an  initiative  by  the  Central  Government
according to the proposal submitted by the appellant.  The  appellant  being
Director of ACBR, acted in terms of decision  of  Governing  Body  of  ACBR,
towards making the ACBR autonomous within the  premises  of  University.  In
view of clash of interest between the officials of the  University  and  the
ACBR, one or other action appears to have been taken against the  appellant,
as apparent from the memorandum of punishment dated  26th  March,  2010,  as
quoted below:

"And whereas the Council, vide its above resolution, noted that the  charges
leveled against Prof. Ramesh Chandra are grave and the same are in a way  an
attempt to challenge the powers of the Executive Council with regard to  the
general  control  and  supervision  of  the   Dr.B.R.Ambedkar   Centre   for
Biomedical Research, as an institution established and manage-University  of
Delhi under Ordinance XX(6) of the University, are acts of gross  misconduct
on his part and unbecoming of a teacher of the University."

23.   We are not concerned  about  the  bias  as  alleged  against  the  2nd
respondent- Prof. Deepak Pantal, Ex-Vice Chancellor as it was  not  accepted
in the first round of litigation.
However, action of the University can be held to be mala  fide  and  illegal
for the reasons as detailed below.
24.   Though there was no allegation leveled against the  appellant  in  the
(third) chargesheet that  he  attempted  to  challenge  the  powers  of  the
Executive Council with regard to the general control and supervision of  the
ACBR, as an institution established and managed by the University  of  Delhi
but such charge was held to be proved by memorandum dated 26th March,  2010,
as noticed and quoted above.
25.   Further one 'note' given by the Registrar and approved  by  the  Vice-
Chancellor in regard to the  departmental  inquiry  being  relevant,  it  is
desirable to refer and discuss the same.
      The original 'note' relating to engagement of a retired Judge  of  the
High Court for conducting inquiry was given by Registrar of  the  University
on 3rd April, 2007. From the said note dated 3rd April, 2007 as approved  by
the Vice-Chancellor, we find that Justice 'X' a retired Judge of  the  Delhi
High Court was appointed as the Inquiry Officer to conduct the  Departmental
Inquiry against the appellant as prior to his elevation to High Court  as  a
Judge, he was the counsel for the Delhi University. The relevant portion  of
the note reads as follows:
"Justice 'X' (name changed), retired Judge of Delhi High  Court  had,  prior
to the elevation to High Court as a Judge, handled Delhi  University  cases.
He is well versed with the Delhi University Acts, Statutes and Ordinances."

It was in this background the University decided to engage  him  as  Inquiry
Officer.
26.   We are of the opinion that if an Hon'ble  retired  Judge  of  a  Court
before his appointment as a Judge was a lawyer of any of  the  party  (Delhi
University herein),  the  Disciplinary  Authority  should  not  engage  such
retired Judge as an Inquiry Officer, as the  other  party  may  allege  bias
against the Inquiry Officer and the reputation of the Hon'ble Judge  may  be
at stake.
The University is directed not to engage any Hon'ble retired  Judge  of  any
Court, who was earlier a counsel of the University as an Inquiry Officer  to
hold an inquiry against any of its employee.
27.   The Inquiry Officer herein being a retired Judge of the High Court  is
a person of vast legal acumen and experience. The  Presenting  Officer  also
would be a person who had sufficient experience in  presenting  case  before
Inquiry Officer. In  this  background,  it  is  also  required  to  consider
whether an application of a delinquent employee  seeking  permission  to  be
represented through  a  legally  trained  and  qualified  lawyer  should  be
allowed or not.
28.    In  Board  of  Trustees  of  the  Port  of  Bombay   vs.   Dilipkumar
Raghvendranath Nandkarni and others, (1983) 1 SCC 124, this Court observed:

"10.......Now if the rules prescribed for such an enquiry did not  place  an
embargo on the right of the delinquent  employee  to  be  represented  by  a
legal practitioner, the matter would be in the  discretion  of  the  Enquiry
Officer whether looking to the nature of charges, the type of  evidence  and
complex [pic]or simple issues that may arise in the course of  enquiry,  the
delinquent employee in order to afford a reasonable  opportunity  to  defend
himself should be permitted to appear through a legal practitioner.......

12.........In our view we have reached a stage in our onward march  to  fair
play in action that where in an  enquiry  before  a  domestic  tribunal  the
delinquent officer is pitted against a legally trained  mind,  if  he  seeks
permission to appear through a legal practitioner the refusal to grant  this
request would amount to denial of a reasonable  request  to  defend  himself
and the essential principles of natural justice would be violated......"

29.   In J.K. Aggarwal v. Haryana Seeds Development  Corporation,  (1991)  2
SCC 283, this Court held that the  denial  of  the  assistance  of  a  legal
practitioner in inquiry proceedings would be  unfair.  This  Court  held  as
follows:

"8. It would appear that in  the  inquiry,  the  respondent-Corporation  was
represented by its Personnel and Administration Manager who is stated to  be
a man of law. The rule itself recognises  that  where  the  charges  are  so
serious as to entail a dismissal from  service  the  inquiry  authority  may
permit the services of a lawyer.  This  rule  vests  a  discretion.  In  the
matter of exercise of  this  discretion  one  of  the  relevant  factors  is
whether there  is  likelihood  of  the  combat  being  unequal  entailing  a
miscarriage or failure of justice and a denial  of  a  real  and  reasonable
opportunity for defence by reasons of the appellant being pitted  against  a
presenting officer who is trained in law. Legal Adviser  and  a  lawyer  are
[pic]for  this  purpose  somewhat  liberally  construed  and  must   include
"whoever assists or advises on facts and in law must be deemed to be in  the
position of a legal adviser". In the last analysis, a  decision  has  to  be
reached on a case to case basis on the situational particularities  and  the
special requirements of justice of the case. It is  unnecessary,  therefore,
to go into the larger question "whether as a sequel to  an  adverse  verdict
in a domestic enquiry serious civil and pecuniary  consequences  are  likely
to  ensue,  in  order  to  enable  the  person  so  likely  to  suffer  such
consequences with a view to giving him a reasonable  opportunity  to  defend
himself, on his request, should be  permitted  to  appear  through  a  legal
practitioner" which was kept open in  Board  of  Trustees  of  the  Port  of
Bombay v. Dilipkumar8. However, it was held in that case (SCC p.  132,  para
12)
"... In our view we have reached a stage in our onward march  to  fair  play
in  action  that  where  in  an  enquiry  before  a  domestic  tribunal  the
delinquent officer is pitted against a legally trained  mind,  if  he  seeks
permission to appear through a legal practitioner the refusal to grant  this
request would amount to denial of a reasonable  request  to  defend  himself
and the essential principles of natural justice would be violated...."

30.   In view of the law laid down by this Court, we are of  the  view  that
if any person who is or  was  a  legal  practitioner,  including  a  retired
Hon'ble Judge is appointed  as  Inquiry  Officer  in  an  inquiry  initiated
against an employee, the denial of assistance of legal practitioner  to  the
charged employee would be unfair.
31.    For  the  reasons  aforesaid,  we  hold  that  all  the  Departmental
inquiries conducted against the appellant were  in  violation  of  rules  of
natural justice. This  apart  as  the  third  inquiry  report  is  based  on
extraneous facts and first  part  of  the   charge  held  to  be  proved  in
memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 being not the part of  the  charges  shown
in the (third) chargesheet, the order of  punishment,  including  Resolution
by memorandum dated 26th March, 2010 cannot be upheld.
32.   For the reasons aforesaid, we set aside  both  penal  memoranda  dated
22nd February, 2010 and 26th March, 2010. In effect,  the  appellant  stands
reinstated to the post of Professor but in the facts and  circumstances,  we
allow only 50% of back wages  (salary)  to  appellant  for  the  intervening
period i.e. from the date  of  his  disengagement  till  the  date  of  this
judgment. However, the aforesaid period shall be treated 'on duty'  for  all
purposes including seniority, increment, fixation of pay, retrial  benefits,
etc. The respondents are directed to pay the appellant  arrears  within  two
months, failing which they shall be liable to pay interest  @  6%  from  the
date of this judgment.
33.   The appeal is allowed with aforesaid observations and  directions.  No
costs.


                         .................................................J.
                                (SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)


                         .................................................J.
                                         (C.NAGAPPAN)
NEW DELHI;
FEBRUARY 06, 2015.
















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