Disciplinary Proceedings V

Learned Counsel, Kunal Chatterji relied on Sher Bahadur v. Union of India, (2002) 7 SCC 141 and Narinder Mohan Arya v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2006) 4 SCC 713 to urge, High Court could interfere with findings of an enquiry which were not based on any evidence.

Union of India v. H.C. Goel, (1964) 4 SCR observed, where a public servant is punished for misconduct after a departmental enquiry is conducted, a clear case where interference under Article 226 is warranted is when there is no evidence to establish guilt. H.C. Goel onwards, Court has consistently ruled, where findings of disciplinary authority are not based on evidence, or based on a consideration of irrelevant material, or ignoring relevant material, are mala fide, or where findings are perverse or could not have been rendered by any reasonable person placed in like circumstances, remedies under Article 226 are available.

Biswanath Bhattacharjee, who did not admit his guilt, or confess to it, and in respect of whom there was no credible evidence, even going by lower standards of acceptable proof in departmental inquires, was held to be guilty.

United Bank of India is directed to ensure, Biswanath Bhattacharjee’s services are deemed to be reinstated, and calculate all his benefits, including arrears of salary, pay increase (as applicable), increments, and all consequential benefits, and calculate his terminal benefits, and fix his pension, if admissible to him.

Hon’ble Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, United Bank of India v. Biswanath Bhattacharjee, [Civil Appeal No. 8258 of 2009].