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One cannot claim a right to post, if he has usurped the post meant for a reserved candidate. : Jharkhand High Court

One cannot claim a right to the position because he usurped the position meant for a reserved candidate by committing fraud and producing a false caste certificate. Unless the appellant can lay a claim to the post based on his appointment, he cannot invoke the constitutional guarantee provided by Article 311 of the Constitution, which was referred by Justice Deepak Roshan in the matter of Rajgrih Pal versus Central Coalfield Limited [W.P.(S) No. 5564 of 2009]

Facts considered for passing the order were the petitioner was initially appointed on 05.09.1980 to the post of Piece Rated Employee under the VRS for male workers, wherein there is a provision for employment of the dependent in case of male employee applied for VRS. When the petitioner was performing his duties as Munshi, he was served with a charge-sheet dated 10.12.1998, alleging that he obtained employment by claiming to be the son-in-law of one “Sado,” despite the fact that he had no such family relationship with him.

Mrs M.M.Pal, learned senior counsel, challenged the dismissal order as well as the appellate order, claiming that the appointment order was issued by the Personnel Manager and that the charge-sheet was issued 18 years after the petitioner’s appointment. She also claimed that the inquiry officer conducted the investigation properly, found the petitioner not guilty, and concluded that the charges were not proven.

Mr A.K.Das, learned counsel for the respondent-company, raised a preliminary objection at the outset, stating that the petitioner is a workman within the meaning of Section 2(S) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and that the proper remedy on the subject would lie before the appropriate authority and the forum established under the Industrial Disputes Act. Mr Das also referred to the enquiry report, which states that during the course of cross-examination of Management witness M.W.(1), the defendant asked to prove from the said Management witness that the petitioner is not Sado Munda’s son-in-law, to which the Management witnesses satisfactorily replied explaining the particulars of Sado’s family members and furthers The petitioner did not deny the management witness’s categorical statement.

In Bank of India v. Degala Suryanarayana, after referring to H.C. Goel case, this Court held “ Strict rules of evidence are not applicable to departmental enquiry proceedings. The only requirement of law is that the allegation against the delinquent officer must be established by such evidence acting upon which a reasonable person acting reasonably and with objectivity may arrive at a finding upholding the gravamen of the charge against the delinquent officer. Mere conjecture or surmises cannot sustain the finding of guilt even in departmental enquiry proceedings. The court exercising the jurisdiction of judicial review would not interfere with the findings of fact arrived at in the departmental enquiry proceedings excepting in a case of mala fides or perversity i.e. where there is no evidence to support a finding or where a finding is such that no man acting reasonably and with objectivity could have arrived at that finding. The court cannot embark upon appreciating the evidence or weighing the same like an appellate authority. So long as there is some evidence to support the conclusion arrived at by the departmental authority, the same has to be sustained.”

Considering R. Vishwanatha Pillai vs. State of Kerala & Ors reported in (2004) 2 SCC 105 the Hon’ble Court has mentioned Aside from that, the appellant was appointed to the service because he belonged to the Scheduled Caste community. When the Scrutiny Committee discovered that he did not belong to the Scheduled Caste community, the very basis of his appointment was revoked. In the eyes of the law, his appointment was not an appointment.

Based on the foregoing discussions, it is clear that there was no procedural lapse in conducting the investigation against this petitioner, and as previously discussed, the findings are based on evidence and are not perverse; therefore, no relief can be granted to this petitioner.

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