BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE S.M.SUBRAMANIAM
W.P.(MD) No.9151 of 2012
M.P.(MD) No.1 of 2012
Manikandan … Petitioner
1.The Director General of Police
2.The Deputy Inspector General of Police
Trichy Range, Trichy
3.The Superintendant of Police
Thanjavur, Thanjavur District … Respondents
PRAYER: Writ Petition filed under SectionArticle 226 of the Constitution of India for
issuance of writ of certiorarified mandamus to call for the records pertaining to
the order passed by the third respondent in D.No.479 of 2012 in
K1/PR354/2011 dated 28.03.2012 and quash the same and consequently
direct the respondents to reinstate the petitioner into service forthwith and
further to direct the respondents to pay the arrears of salary and all other
service benefits from 15.09.2011 to till date.
For Petitioner : Mr.S.Chellapandian
For Respondents : Mr.S.Dhayalan
The order of removal from service issued by the third respondent in
proceedings dated 28.03.2012 is under challenge in the present writ petition.
2. The writ petitioner was working as Police Constable Grade-II and
on account of registration of a criminal case, he was placed under suspension
and departmental proceedings were initiated against him. The criminal Court
of law, by Judgment dated 09.10.2013 passed in S.C.No.449 of 2012,
convicted the writ petitioner for the offence under Section 376 I.P.C., and
sentenced him to undergo seven years rigorous imprisonment and to pay a
fine of Rs.10,000/- and for the offence under Section 417 I.P.C., he was
sentenced to undergo one year rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.
5,000/-. Based on the said conviction, the writ petitioner was removed from
service in proceedings dated 28.03.2012 issued by the third respondent. The
writ petitioner preferred an appeal in Crl.A.No.697 of 2013 and this Court
allowed the criminal appeal on 08.04.2014 and set aside the order of
3. This Court is of the considered opinion that mere acquittal in a
criminal case would not confer any right on the employee to claim exoneration
from the departmental disciplinary proceedings. Even in case of acquittal, the
departmental disciplinary proceedings can be continued in accordance with
the Discipline and Appeal Rules.
4. A conviction under the Criminal Law requires a high standard of
proof. However, no such strict proof is required to punish the employee under
the Discipline and Appeal Rules. Even preponderance of probabilities are
enough to punish an employee under the Discipline and Appeal Rules. Thus,
discharge or acquittal of an employee from the criminal case will not grant him
an automatic exoneration from the departmental disciplinary proceedings.
This being the legal principles settled, the order of removal from service
impugned dated 28.03.2012 issued solely based on the order of conviction is
liable to be set aside. However, the same will not prevent the competent
Disciplinary Authority to restore the departmental disciplinary proceedings
and proceed with the same in accordance with the procedures contemplated
under the Discipline and Appeal Rules.
5. The allegations against the writ petitioner were undoubtedly
serious in nature. Though he was convicted by the Trial Court for the offences
under Sections 376 and Section417 I.P.C., he was granted with an order of acquittal
in the criminal appeal. In respect of the misconduct or otherwise, the
Disciplinary Authority is empowered to conduct an independent enquiry by
following the procedures contemplated under the Discipline and Appeal Rules.
6. A public servant has to maintain good conduct throughout his
service. A Policeman, who is in uniformed services, is bound to maintain good
conduct both on duty as well as not in duty. Every public servant has to
maintain good conduct and in the event of misconduct or otherwise, the
authorities competent are empowered to invoke the provisions of the Conduct
Rules and institute departmental disciplinary proceedings. Thus, the order of
acquittal now granted in favour of the writ petitioner in the criminal appeal
will not prevent the competent Disciplinary Authority to institute departmental
disciplinary proceedings under the provisions of the Discipline and Appeal
Rules. The initiation of disciplinary proceedings can be done, if sufficient
materials are available on record. In the event of non-availability of material,
the departmental disciplinary proceedings can be dropped and all suitable
actions can be taken to issue further orders with reference to the Judgment of
the High Court passed in the criminal appeal.
7. This being the factum of the case, the impugned order of removal
from service passed by the third respondent, in proceedings dated 28.03.2012
is quashed. The respondents are directed to review the case of the writ
petitioner with reference to the Judgment, dated 08.04.2014, passed by this
Court in Crl.A.No.697 of 2013 and consider the materials available on record
in the matter of departmental disciplinary proceedings and accordingly, pass
suitable orders either to continue the departmental disciplinary proceedings or
drop the same in accordance with the procedures contemplated, within a
period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
8. Accordingly, the writ petition stands allowed. No costs.
Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
Index : Yes / No
Internet : Yes / No
1.The Director General of Police,
2.The Deputy Inspector General of Police,
Trichy Range, Trichy.
3.The Superintendant of Police,
Thanjavur, Thanjavur District.
W.P.(MD) No.9151 of 2012
M.P.(MD) No.1 of 2012