IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCIVIL APPEAL NOS.2414-2415 of 2021(@ Special Leave Petition (C)Nos.3747-3748/2019) LAXMAN SINGH VERSUS UNION OF INDIA AND ORS.
O R D E R
The appellant was appointed as ‘Rakshak’ in the Railway Protection Force. While he was on Special Duty in the office of the Chief Train Examiner, Ajmer on 20/21-2-1981 it was found that some articles in the go down were found removed and placed near the fencing. An F.I.R. was lodged on 21.2.1981. Departmental Enquiry was initiated against the appellant for his failure in preventing theft of railway property. The appellant was found guilty of gross negligence in discharge of duties in the Departmental Enquiry. A penalty of reduction of pay to the minimum of time-scale of Rs. 200/- for a period of two years affecting his future increments was imposed. The appellant filed an appeal against the said order of penalty. The Appellate Authority in exercise of powers conferred under Rule 58 of the Railway Protection Force Rules, 1959 enhanced the penalty after issuing a show cause notice to the appellant from reduction of time scale to that of removal from service by an order dated 20.06.1983.The appellant filed a writ petition challenging the order of the appellate authority which was dismissed by the learned Single Judge. The Division Bench of High Court partly allowed the writ appeal filed by setting aside the enhanced penalty of removal. The Division Bench found the penalty of removal to be disproportionate to the delinquency alleged against the writ petitioner. The Division Bench observed that there was no theft of any railway property as the heavy springs were found near the fencing after having been removed from the godown. The Division Bench was of the opinion that the Appellate Authority failed to consider various points raised by the appellant. Having gone through the record and after considering the submissions made on behalf of the appellant and the respondent, we are of the opinion that the penalty of reduction of time scale ofRs.200/- for a period of two years with cumulative effect is also unjustified. The appellant has been out of employment since1983. During the pendency of the matter before the High Court, he attained the age of superannuation and could not be reinstated. The High Court found the appellant to be entitled for all retrial benefits in accordance with the Rules. The High Court granted benefits on notional basis till the date of judgment. In the facts and circumstances of this case, we direct the respondents to pay 33 percent of back wages to the appellant with continuity of service. Needless to say, that the appellant shall be paid full retrial benefits by treating him to be in continuous employment, by giving notional increments and promotion and benefits based on continuity. These arrears shall be paid in 10 weeks. The appeals are accordingly, disposed of. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.....................J(L.NAGESWARA RAO)....................J (S. RAVINDRA BHAT) NEW DELHI;09th July, 2021.