Madhya Pradesh High Court
Madhav Anant Rao Gore
State Bank Of India And Ors. on 17 July, 1985
Equivalent citations: (1986) IILLJ 394 MP
Author: C Sen
Bench: C Sen, S Awasthy
ORDER C.P. Sen, J.
1. In this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioner is praying for striking down
Annexure B.26 about the promotion policy of the State Bank as being ultra-vires and void, for
consideration of his case for promotion and giving him seniority to the promoted post from 1980 in the Junior Management Grade Scale I, his order of suspension dated 25th July, 1978 be quashed and he be given suspension allowance after taking into account annual increments and the allowances which he would have drawn from the date of suspension.
2. The petitioner was appointed as a Clerk in the State Bank of India on 9th May, 1973 and he was confirmed in the post after six months. He was posted in the local head-office at Bhopal, then in the Central Office at Bombay and lastly at T.T. Nagar Branch of the Bank at Bhopal. On 20th January, 1978 Draft No. 196506 in favour of Dr. K. B. Singh for Rs 5000/- drawn on the Satna Branch was taken from the T.T. Nagar Branch of the Bank. It appears that the draft was not taken delivery" of and somebody got the repayment by cancellation on 1st August, 1978. Subsequently it was detected that there has been fraudulent encashment of the draft and the matter was enquired into. On 25th July, 1978 the petitioner gave a written confession that he committed the fraud on 1st March, 1978 by cancelling the draft for Rs. 5000/- as he found that the said draft was lying unattended in the undelivered drafts. He was tempted because he needed Rs. 2000/- very badly. He put a revenue stamp on the back of the draft; wrote Recieved payment by cancellation and signed 'Singh'., then he sent a messenger for vouchers fortunately for him that day the vouchers could not be found. He, therefore, pressed his Accountant Joshi to pass it. He refused but the petitioner gave introduction and said that he knew the person, please do it. Keeping full faith in his staff, the Accountant passed it and sent it for payment. He went and received the payment from Agarwal. His confession was forwarded by the Branch Manager to the Regional Manager of the Bank on the same day and on instructions from him, the Branch Manager immediately suspended the petitioner. It appears mat the petitioner deposited the amount in the bank and submitted his resignation on 21st August, 1978. The Branch Manager forwarded his resignation with a recommendation for acceptance keeping in view the services of the petitioner's father who was a retired officer, Grade I, of the Bank and since no monetary loss was involved but immediately thereafter the petitioner resiled from his confession and submitted that it was taken from him under coercion and pressure and he has not committed any fraud. The Bank, therefore, charge-sheeted the petitioner on 30th December, 1978 which was served on him on 12th January, 1979 that on 1st March, 1978 he committed a fraud by encashing the draft of Rs. 5000/- by forging the signature of the drawer. Since then the departmental proceedings against the petitioner is pending. The petitioner was paid suspension allowance 1/3rd of his last pay for the first 3 months, thereafter half the pay and after one year full pay. In the meantime, the petitioner had been writing to the bank that he should be permitted to appear in the written examination for promotion to the post of Junior Management Grade Scale I for which he has become qualified since 1980 and his batchmates have already been promoted. The bank wrote back saying that since he is put under suspension and disciplinary proceedings are pending against him, he is not eligible for promotion. So he has not been permitted to appear in the qualifying examination. The petitioner has also not been paid increments and quarterly allowances payable from time to time but he is being paid the salary which he was drawing when he was put under suspension. It is submitted by the respondents that the disciplinary proceedings are nearing completion and it could not be completed because of the unhelpful attitude of the petitioner, It is not disputed that the petitioner is governed by Sastry Award of 1953 & Desai Award of 1962.
3. The petitioner's contentions are that-
(i) the promotion policy of the bank that an employee shall not be eligible for any promotion during the period of his suspension irrespective of the period involved is arbitrary and unreasonable and violative of petitioner's right under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Not only in the State Bank, but in other nationalised banks also an employee against whom disciplinary action is pending is considered for promotion and the recommendations are kept in sealed cover and withheld pending completion of the disciplinary proceedings but there has been hostile discrimination, so far as the petitioner is concerned and he is not being permitted to appear in the written examination and in the event of his being exonerated from the charges, he would suffer great irreparable injury because it may not be possible to give him promotion from 1980 when it became due.
(ii) Pending disciplinary enquiry against an employee, he can be suspended but the suspension order can only be passed after the employee is charge-sheeted. In the case of the petitioner he was charge-sheeted on 12th January, 1979 but he has been put under suspension from 25th July, 1978. Besides, the order of suspension was passed by the Branch Manager and not by the Regional Manager who was the diciplinary authority. Therefore, the order of suspension is illegal and without jurisdiction,
(iii) Though he is being paid suspension allowance but he is not being paid increments and quarterly allowances which are payable to him from time to time under the awards. In calculating the quantum of subsistence allowance, pay and allowances which he would have got but for suspension, should have been taken into account.
To read the full judgement, find the enclosed attachment