IN THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL HYDERABAD BENCH HYDERABAD O.A. 460/2006 Date of order: 16-07-2009 Between: D. Samuel John, working as Station Master Grade II, Nizamabad Railway Station, S.C. Railway Nizamabad. ... Applicant A N D 1. The General Manager, South Central Railway, Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad. 2. The Divisional Railway Manager, Hyderabad MG Division, South Central Railway, Secunderabad. 3. The Sr. Divisional Personnel Officer, Hyderabad MG Division, South Central Railway, Secunderabad. 4. The Divisional Operating Supdt. Hyderabad MG Division, South Central Railway, Secunderabad. ... Respondents Counsel for the applicant : Ms. P. Lakshmi for Mr. S. Lakshma Reddy Counsel for the respondents : Mrs. A.P. Lakshmi, SC for Railways. C O R A M : THE HON'BLE MRS. BHARATI RAY, MEMBER (J) THE HON'BLE MR. HRIDAY NARAIN, MEMBER(A) O R D E R
(Per Hon'ble Mrs. Bharati Ray, Member (J) This application has been filed by the applicant seeking for the following relief :
To call for the records relating to the impugned proceedings No. P.94/HYB/DAJ/1719 dated 20.11.93 passed by the first respondent confirming the orders of the CCM order dated 30.8.93 and the second respondent's order No. Con/YP/C/26/1 dated 23.6.93 imposing the penalty of reduction to the post of ASM Grade II in the scale of Rs.1200-2040 from the post of ASM Grade.I in the scale or Rs.1400-2300 at a pay of Rs.1680/- for a period of 24 months recurring and with loss of seniority and quash the same as illegal, without jurisdiction and consequently direct the respondents to restore the applicant to the ASM Grade.I with all consequential benefits including seniority, fixation of pay, arrears of salary, promotion etc.
2. It is the case of the applicant that while he was working as LRASM/ Nizamabad during the year 1991 a minor penalty charge sheet was issued for fraudulent use of the privilege pass. Applicant submitted his explanation and based on the same he was imposed with a penalty of "Censure" vide memorandum dated 26.9.1991. When the matter stood thus the Revising Authority on 29.1.1992 proposed to enhance the punishment to that of any of the major penalties by exercising his powers as provided under Railway Servants (D&A) Rules, 1968. Accordingly the applicant was issued with charge memorandum for imposition of Major penalty with the following allegations:
(i) Has misused the privilege pass and cheated the administration by carrying his married sister in first class compartment in place of his son aged 16 years and
(ii) Has allowed his attendant to travel in First class compartment as against his eligibility to travel in II class compartment.
3. An Inquiry Officer nominated by the disciplinary authority conducted a regular enquiry. Applicant participated in the enquiry. The disciplinary authority imposed the punishment of reduction to lower grade for the two years with cumulative effect with loss of seniority. The appeal preferred by the applicant was rejected. Applicant preferred revision petition to the Revising Authority which upheld the penalty imposed by the competent authority duly giving his reasons. The applicant underwent penalty and subsequently retired from service on attaining the age of superannuation.
4. Questioning the order of the revising authority dated 20.11.1993 and the disciplinary authority order dated 23.6.1993 the applicant has approached this Tribunal seeking for the above relief. MA 324/06 filed by the applicant seeking condonation of delay in filing the OA was allowed on 17-08-2006.
5. Respondents have filed a counter reply to contest the application. It is not denied by the respondents that initially the applicant was issued with a minor penalty charge memo and was imposed with minor punishment of Censure. In para (e) of the counter reply the respondents have categorically stated that the Revising Authority, on 29.1.1992, suo-moto proposed to enhance the punishment to that of any major penalty. Accordingly, a major penalty charge sheet was issued against the applicant. It is the contention of the respondents that as per Railway Servants (Pass) Rules, 1993, Annexure B, Point No.2, "deterrent punishment" like dismissal/Removal/Reduction in rank shall be imposed on such railway servants who are detected with misusing/ fraudulently using the privilege pass/PTOs. It is the contention of the respondents that according to the above rule, the Revising Authority proposed to enhance the punishment and major penalty charge sheet was issued. However, no such case has been made out by the respondents that before issuing the major penalty sheet the earlier order of punishment issued in the minor penalty proceedings was cancelled. It is also not stated anywhere as to how the revising authority can suo-moto enhance the punishment by way of revision four months after the earlier order of minor penalty was issued in a minor penalty proceedings.
6. Here is a case where admittedly the applicant was imposed with minor penalty on 26.9.91, whereas the Revising Authority, on 29.1.1992, taken up the matter and proposed to enhance the punishment by way of revision under rule 25 of Railway Servants (D&A) Rules. There is no such provision under Railway Servants (D&A) Rules to enhance the punishment by way of revision after such a long time. Learned counsel for the respondents Mrs. A.P. Lakshmi could not produce any record to show that the order of minor penalty issued in 1991 was ever cancelled and submitted that no other record is available with the department. That being the position when the minor penalty charge memorandum as well as minor penalty order were not cancelled, the action of the respondents in issuing the major penalty charge sheet by way of revision by the revising authority to enhance the punishment and that too after such a long time is not in any way permissible. Respondents have failed to explain as to how the Railway Servants (Pass) Rules, 1993 can be applied herein in this case when the minor penalty was imposed in 1991 for an incident which took place in 1991. We do not find any justification in issuing the major penalty charge memo and awarding major penalty by the impugned order for the above reasons and therefore the same are liable to be quashed and set aside. Accordingly, the impugned order enclosed at page 10 and 13 of the OA are hereby quashed and set aside.
7. In result, the OA is allowed. Respondents are directed to extent all consequential benefits to the applicant that flow from cancelling such impugned orders within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, failing which the respondents shall pay interest on the monitory amount to be paid to the applicant @ 10% per annum with effect from the date of filing of the OA till the date of actual payment.
8. OA is allowed to the extent indicated above with no order as to costs.
(HRIDAY NARAIN) (BHARATI RAY) MEMBER (A) MEMBER(J)