The Bombay High Court denied relief to a CISF constable, who was found sleeping on duty, calling his petition devoid of any merit. The court said the petitioner was a member of a disciplined force entrusted with guarding a plant of public importance and he was found to be in deep slumber while on night duty.
The division bench of Justices Dipankar Datta and Abhay Ahuja denied relief to the constable. The petitioner was dismissed by the disciplinary authority by an order dated March 22, 2021. The petitioner had then preferred an appeal against the order and the appellate authority confirmed the order of the disciplinary authority on July 1, 2021.
The petitioner then filed a revision application and the revision authority also confirmed the order of the appellate authority. The petitioner was also charged with seven other minor punishments and a major punishment.
However, he was issued warnings and opportunities and, while dismissing the petitioner, the adjudicating authority had said the petitioner was a habitual offender. The petitioner was found sleeping on duty by the deputy commandant and another constable. Both were prosecution witnesses in the case.
The petitioner had tried to make out a case of ill will and bias against him. However, the bench rejected the argument and said the same was not raised before the revision authority or the appellate authority by the petitioner. The court also rejected the argument that the two witnesses were acting under the pressure and influence as well as both had cooked up the story of the petitioner falling asleep on duty.
The petitioner then argued that the punishment of dismissal is disproportionate to the gravity of the offence committed by the petitioner. The bench rejected his arguments and said, “We have found from the defense statement of the petitioner to the charge sheet that no case has been made out that for reasons beyond his control the petitioner fell asleep. If indeed that were the case, a sympathetic view could have been taken. However, the facts found to be proved are quite glaring. The petitioner, a member of a disciplined force entrusted to guard a plant of public importance, was found to be in deep slumber while on night duty. This was not the solitary case of negligence on the part of the petitioner while discharging his official duty.”
The bench said the finding that the petitioner is a habitual offender is not perverse on facts and circumstances. The court said. “The second charge refers to previous six instances when the petitioner was found to be negligent in the discharge of his duty and was let off with warnings by the disciplinary authority, who took a lenient view of the misconduct. Hence, the finding that the petitioner was a habitual offender cannot be said to be a perverse finding, on facts and in the circumstances,” the bench said dismissing the petition and calling it devoid of any merit.
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