Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Division Bench comprising of A. P. Sahi, CJ and Anjana Mishra, J. allowed a civil writ petition seeking direction for release of gratuity to an employee who was accused of an economic offence.

Petitioner was accused of acquiring of assets disproportionate to his income. In a departmental proceeding initiated against him, a final order was passed whereby it was ordered that ten per cent of his pension amount shall be permanently deducted and he would be paid only subsistence allowance during the period of suspension. Even after three and a half years from lodging of the criminal case, neither any sanction was accorded by the department against him nor was any chargesheet submitted by the prosecution – Economic Offence Unit. Thus, the petitioner filed an instant petition seeking the release of full amount of gratuity payable to him and a direction for release of the full amount due to him by way of unutilized leave.

The Court noted that despite the fact that charges of disproportionate income were not established against the petitioner in the departmental enquiry, ten percent of his pension was withheld as per Bihar Pension Rules, 1950. It was opined that no order of punishment had been imposed in relation to gratuity, and therefore withholding of gratuity had no rationale. Relying on Rule 43(b) of the Pension Rules and Full Bench judgment of the Patna High Court in Arvind Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar, 2018 SCC OnLine Pat 749, the present Court directed the amount of gratuity payable to the petitioner to be released forthwith along with interest on the same from the date that amount became payable till the date of payment. [Lakshmi Kant Patel v. State of Bihar, 2018 SCC OnLine Pat 2250, decided on 17-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajasekhar Mantha, J. dismissed an appeal filed against the judgment and order of the Additional District Judge whereby the appellant along with seven others was convicted under Section 395 IPC.

In January 2005, the accused persons committed a dacoity in Samali Primary Block Health Center and took away Rs 6,74,784 by placing a bhojali (large knife) on the throat of one of the official. The accused persons were apprehended and convicted as mentioned above. While challenging the judgment of conviction, it was argued by the appellant that he was not identified by the seizure witness in Court. Also, that he was not identified in TI parade.

The High Court, while rejecting the submission of the appellant, held that in case of the appellant, the TI parade would have been useless. The appellant was absconding in January (when incident occurred) and was apprehended only in September. He was, however, named in the first charge sheet. The Court held that it was useless to conduct any TI parade of the appellant after a period of 9 months of the incident. For such and other reasons, the appeal was dismissed. While concluding, the Court also found that the money involved in the case that was recovered had not been deposited in the treasury which was indeed shocking. As such, the Court recommended departmental enquiry for major penalty and also criminal proceedings against the Investigating Officers concerned. [Madha Rai v. State of W.B.,2018 SCC OnLine Cal 5882, dated 31-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The petitioner was working as the sub-inspector and it had been alleged that he went into the house of a subordinate lady employee in the night, misbehaved with her and acted in a manner that outraged her modesty. Against the same allegation, a criminal case as well as a departmental enquiry was instituted against him.

The contention of the petitioner before the Writ Court was that the allegations made in the departmental enquiry and in the criminal case are identical in nature and, therefore, for the same set of allegation both the proceedings cannot go together. The petition was dismissed by the Court and appeal to the dismissal was presented before the High Court.

After hearing both the parties, the High Court concluded that there was no error in judgment of the Writ Court. The Division Bench observed that the criminal case doesn’t involve any complicated question or any issues pertaining to mixed question of law and fact. The question involved is simple and petition doesn’t need any reconsideration, the Court observed. The appeal was accordingly dismissed. [Chandra Shekhar Kushwaha v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2017 SCC OnLine MP 139, decided on 08.02.2017]