CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
BANGALORE BENCH : BANGALORE
ORIGINAL APPLICATION NO.162 / 2009
TODAY, THIS THE DAY OF ................. , 2011
HON'BLE SMT. LEENA MEHENDALE ...MEMBER(A)
HON'BLE SHRI V.AJAY KUMAR ...MEMBER(J)
S/o Chinnannan, Aged 59 years,
Working as Chief Accounts Officer (OPC),
O/o the Area Manager (South East),
Bangalore Telecom District,
Bangalore-560 082. ... Applicant
(By Advocate Shri A.R. Holla)
1. Union of India by Secretary,
Ministry of Communications and IT,
Department of Telecommunications,
Sanchar Bhavan, No.20, Ashoka Road,
New Delhi – 110 001.
2. Member (Finance),
Room No.915, Sanchar Bhavan,
No.20, Ashoka Road, New Delhi – 110 001.
3. Chief General Manager, Telecom,
No.1, Swami Vivekananda Road,
Halasuru, Bangalore-560 008. ... Respondents
(By Advocates S/Shri M. Rajakumar, ACGSC for R-1 & 2 and
V.N. Holla, ACGSC for R-3 )
O R D E R
Hon'ble Smt. Leena Mehendale, Member (A) :
This OA has been filed on 01.04.2009 under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. It pertains to a disciplinary proceeding, and imposition of the penalty of reduction by one stage in time scale of pay for one year with cumulative effect. Appeal filed has also been rejected.
2. The impugned orders are at Annexure -A4 Order No.8-159/2001 - Vig.II dated 15.06.2007 by the Disciplinary Authority and at Annexure-A/7 Order No. 1-28/2008-Vig.III dated 09.03.2009 by the Appellate Authority. The prayer is to quash the above said impugned orders and to direct the respondents to expunge Memorandum dated 05.03.2007 (Annexure-A/2) and to grant consequential benefits.
3. The chronology of the case is that the applicant was working in the department of Telecommunication as Senior Accounts Officer in the office of the DGM (Deputy General Manager) Rural, Bangalore Telecom District, during the year 1998 - 1999. It is alleged that he colluded with one Shri Raghu Section Supervisor (S.S) working in the same office and leaked the secret supervisory password (SSP for short) and caused a loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs to the Department of Telecom. The Memo with the above allegation was given to him under Rule 14 of the CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 on 16.03.2006 which itself is after 7-8 years. The single charge is as under:-
That the said Sri C.Nagappan while functioning as Senior Accounts Officer, Office of the Deputy General Manager (Rural), Bangalore Telecom District, Bangalore during period 1998-99 committed gross official misconduct and dereliction of duty in as much as colluded with Sri D.Raghu, Section Supervisor in the same office and leaked the secret supervisory passowrd and thereby caused a loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs to the Department of Telecom. Though he was well aware that using the particular supervisory password allotted to him anybody can amend the urban data without using the system available in computer billing centre, Vijayanagar, he did not take any precaution to check the leakage of this supervisory password and allowed his subordinate officials to operate the system at their own without his presence.
2. Thus, by his above said acts, the said Sri C.Nagappan committed grave misconduct, failed to maintain absolute, integrity and devotion to duty, and acted in a manner unbecoming of a Government servant thereby contravening Rule 3 (1) (i), 3(1) (ii) & 3 (1) (iii) of CCS (CONDUCT) Rules, 1964"
4. The applicant denied the charges and an inquiry was ordered and the report of the Inquiry Officer shows that the charges were held as not proved. A copy of the Inquiry Report was given to the applicant on 05.03.2007 by the Disciplinary Authority (Respondent No.2), mentioning that the Disciplinary Authority has not agreed with the findings of the Inquiry Officer and directs the applicant to submit explanation.
5. The applicant submitted his explanation on 28.03.2007 which was considered by the Disiciplinary Authority who, however, in disagreement with the findings of the I.O. concluded that the charges are proved and the misconduct of the applicant has resulted in the loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs. Therefore, order was passed on 15.06.2007 (Annexure-A/4) imposing penalty of reducing his pay by one stage in the time scale of pay for a period of one year with immediate effect. It also directed that the applicant would not earn his increment during the period of such reduction and, on expiry of the period, the reduction will have the effect of postponing the future increments of his pay.
6. The applicant preferred an appeal (Copy at Annexure-A/5) requesting to set aside the order of punishment. The Appellate Authority is President of India on his behalf Respondent No.1 has to consider and decide the appeal. The said appeal remained pending for a long time which necessiated the applicant to approach this Tribunal in O.A.298/08. The Tribunal directed Respondent No-1, to decide the appeal within 3 months. Finally the Respondent No.-1, after taking the advice from the UPSC, rejected the appeal (Annexure-A/7). Hence this OA is filed. In the meantime, the applicant has retired on 30.06.2008.
7. Before going into the pleadings, we would make following observations of technological nature. The Bangalore Rural Telecom District, consisted of rural areas of Bangalore District, and in addition, 5 urban exchanges namely Whiteffield, Hebbagudi, Electronic City, Yelahanka and K.R.Puram were also allotted to the same rural district. By way of local arrangement, the staff of Bangalore rural was updating the data pertaining to these 5 urban exchanges by coming over to the CBC (Computer Billing Centre), Vijayanagar. This created some problems. So, the two computer systems of the Rural District and the Vijayanagar centre were inter-linked. Thus, both the systems could be accessed, used or modified by any one who had the password for system. Hence, following crucial points emerge:-
7.A. The case of the applicant is that there were in fact, two passwords. One could be used to access the Urban Exchanges along with some of the Rural Exchanges (this was popularly known as ORACLE password) and the second password could access the remaining Rural Exchanges. He claims that he was aware of the existence of the second password and also admits that this was known to some of the subordinate staff who were actually engaged in preparing the bills and updating the data such as previous meter reading, current meter reading, revenue collection, customer care, etc., for rural areas. He, however, denies the knowledge of the first password, namely, the ORACLE password. On the other hand, the Disciplinary Authority appears to be under assumption that there is only one password for the entire combination of all Rural District plus 5 Urban Exchanges. This aspect has not been clarified throughout the inquiry.
7.B. On procedural side, the crux of the case is that the I.O. has come to the conclusion that the charge is not proved. The I.O. has broken the charge in 3 parts, viz., (a) collusion with Shri D. Raghu, S.S., (b) leaking the password and (c) causing a loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs and has held that no evidence was led to substantiate the charge of collusion with Raghu, no modus operandi of manipulation of records was discussed or substantiated despite 81 documents produced by the department during the inquiry, and no details examined to come to the conclusion of a loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs. There is also no record to prove when the password was communicated to the applicant and by whom. Disagreeing with these findings of IO, the Disciplinary Authority has interpreted the deposition of PW-15, PW-3 and PW-1 differently and come to the conclusion of charge being proved.
7.C. The third important question in this case is how a manipulation of the bills is detected. We were informed that the date of possible manipulation is indicated by any bill cancelled or modified on that date. The applicant has been able to point out from the office records produced before the I.O. that some cancellation orders were issued on 1.6.98, i.e., before he joined on 8.6.98 and some on 20.11.99, i.e., after his relief from the post on 27.7.99. Therefore, during the inquiry, he demanded some more records of cancellation going back to earlier dates or later dates. But, this request was rejected in consultation with the D.A.
8. Since 7.A (supra) requires an understanding of technological details, it was agreed by both the counsels during hearing that some senior technical offcials of the Telecom department may be asked to appear before the Tribunal and they may explain the situation. We have recorded on 01.04.2011 as follows:
"Shri P.Janardhana Aithala, DGM and Shri Anand B.Rohidekar, Chief Accounts Officer, both belong to Bangalore Telecom Division and are present to assist the Bench to explain the procedure for giving the Pass Word to the concerned officers. Shri Rohidekar explains that Bangalore has 8 Area Offices out of which one is Rural Area Office and 7 are Urban Area Offices. However, some parts of the Rural Area Office which fall under its functional jurisdiction are not connected with the urban server. This was the position in 1998-99 although this is not the position now. Therefore in those days the in-charge Sr.AO was given one ORACLE pass word with which he can access to rural system and this pass word was given by the IT Administration to the rural system. However for the purpose of billing the other rural areas falling in his jurisdiction but connected to the urban system has a different pass word to be given to him by the IT Administration handling urban system. Shri Rohidekar also explains that when ever a pass word is given to a new comer, an entry is noted in the register. It will not show the actual pass word but will show a mention that such officer has been given a pass word to access the concerned system on such a date. He further explains that he does not know whether those registers pertainiong to 1998-99 will be available now for perusal. He further explains that such registers are maintained and the current register can be seen if any more clarifications are needed. On the question as to how any manipulation can be detected, he explains that every customer is given a hard copy of the bill. Therefore, if on any complaint, it is found that the bills shown in the hard copy is different from the bill amount shown in the computer system, then it will be an indication of any manipulation. After getting these clarifications, the two concerned officers are discharges with thanks".
(Incidentally, Shri Rohidekar is also PW-3 in this D.E. And a technical hand)
9. We have heard both the counsels and gone through the records produced by them and we can quickly come to see how the IO, DA and AA have dealt with the matter. Normally, the Tribunal is not to reappreciate the evidence and sit as Appellate Authority. However, here we are required to look into it because the DA has differed with IO without dealing with relevant issues raised by IO.
10. As discussed in para 7.B supra, the IO has come to the conclusion that the charge not proved for the four reasons mentioned therein. The IO has also discussed in detail the evidence given by 5 prime witnesses viz., PW-14, PW-15, PW-3, PW-1 and PW-4. We find PW-14 Smt. Lakshmi Bai, SS, stating that the post of Sr.AO was held successively by Shri Ramachandra, Shri Ganesh, Shri Krishnamurthy and Shri Nagappan, the applicant. During all this period, Rural billing password was known to her and another SS Smt. Sumana and AO, Rural. The Rural billing password was often changed. However, the billing of the Rural exchanges attached to Bangalore Urban was done at CBC and she did not know who was modifying the data of those exchanges.
11. PW-15 Smt. Sumana, deposed that she was dealing with sub-ledger and all the rent assistants were operating the computer system installed in Rural office. After relief of Shri C.K. Ramachandra, herself and Smt. Lakshmi Bai were logging in the system by typing the password. The password was given to her by the respective AOs.
12. It is further seen from the cross examination of these two, as quoted by the applicant in his representation to the DA - (Annexure-A/3) that
"During cross examination she has stated that two passwords were given to her one for Rural billing and second for herself and stated further that the password for Rural billing had no access to Urban numbers."
PW-1, Shri Ravi, GM, Finance, deposed that AO Rural was given a password for logging into the main computer for billing requirement of Rural areas connected to Urban OMC. Thus, we find the first clue about the possible existence of two passwords from the deposition of PW-14 and PW-15 and PW-1. This tallies with the information supplied to us at para 8 supra.
13. PW-3, Shri Rohidekar, Senior AO, CBC, Vijayanagar deposed that bill processing was done by CBC but other related inputs were being managed by Rural office. This was possible by linking the two systems. Thus, anyone in Rural office knowing ORACLE password could amend the data at CBC. In cross examination (as quoted in Annexure-A/3), he has also stated that he could not tell to whom separate user account was provided. We note that he joined the office two months after the applicant joined. We also note that though a technical hand, he has not given any information to IO about existence or otherwise of two passwords.
14. PW-1 stated that he could not tell the date on which the password was given nor the specific person to whom it was given because the allotment of password to various Accounts Officers was handled not by him but by Chief Accounts Officer of CBC.
15. Thus, we observe that he had no first hand knowledge of the password having been given to the applicant. But, the fact that the AO of Rural Areas was accessing the Urban CBC was a proof that the password was known.
16. The IO has further noted from the evidence of PW-1 that
"To a question by D A regarding assessment of loss to Department was Rs.80,000/- only during the charged official's period whereas the loss for the earlier and later period worked out to Rs.1.64 lakhs. As per Article of Charge loss attributed to the Charged Official was Rs.2.5 lakhs and whether this was verified when the Charged Official was not in charge, he replied that it is not expected at the level of GM (Finance) to verify this."
17. From the report of the IO at Annexure-A/2, the explanation of the applicant given to DA at Annexure-A/3 and order passed by the DA at Annexure-A/4, it seems that apart from PW-14 and 15, who were very junior employees and spoke of a possibility of 2 different passwords for 2 systems, no-one at a senior level has bothered to understand or verify the existence of two passwords and the implication of the same. The IO has rightly assessed the matter on the exact wording of the charge sheet and has concluded the charge as not proved. The DA, who was differinmg from the IO's report, had the onus of discussing this technological issue as to how exactly the billing at the two exchanges was done, whether they were accessed through a single or two passwords, what kind of password protection was available and how and when such password was given to whom. Since the DA has relied so heavily on the evidence of PW-15, it was necessary to look at the full evidence given by PW-15 and the linked evidence of PW-14. The DA has simply relied on one sentence, namely,
"Prosecution witness 15, Smt. Sumanna, in her deposition during inquiry, has deposed that password was given to her by the CO (Charged Officer) and she as well as other staff were working on the system by themselves."
The DA has overlooked remaining part of evidence given by PW-15 that the Rural billing password was known to the Rural billing staff much before and also that when the Urban CBC was linked, the password needed for linking to the Urban system was not given to her and she had no access to the Urban system. The DA therefore, also had the responsibility to go into one more aspect. It is seen from the record that by way of local arrangement, the staff of Bangalore Rural was updating the data pertaining to the 5 Urban Exchanges by coming to the CBC, Vijayanagar. When the AO, Rural, expressed difficulties to send the staff and requested to link the Vijayanagar system to the Rural Exchange, the request was rejected. But, when the Chief Accounts Officer, Rural Exchanges also made same complaint and the same request, the two systems were linked. Hence, the IO has correctly raised questions in the report as to (a) who was the Chief AO who requested the separate password, (b) when the separation order was given, (c) when was the password given anew to the Urban linked Rural Exchange, (d) who was the recipient. Further, (e) who was the AO in the CBC who gave the password, (f) whether the same was given in writing or orally and (g) who was the AO in CBC who gave the password to the applicant and on what date. Despite the IO holding that these questions are crucial but have remained un-answered, the DA has held that the password was given to the applicant and was leaked by him.
18. The DA has also relied on the deposition of PW-3, who is a technically knowledgable person about computers, but, had joined CBC after the applicant started his work at Bangalore Rural District. DA has pointed at -
"anyone in Rural office knowing the ORACLE password could amend the data at CBC. He (PW-3) also states that he being fresh in CBC did not know much details about the management and security of the password"
Thus, we see that the DA has solely relied (as stated in para 5 of Annexure-A/4) on the statement of Smt. Sumana, PW-15 that after relieving of Shri Krishnamurthy, AO, Shri Nagappan, new AO, gave her the new password for Rural billing and this password was different from earlier password but, has ignored other part that this password could not access urban system.
19. On the whole, we find that the order of the DA does not clearly bring out the technicalities involved, nor, as pointed by the IO, the modus operandi of bill cancellation. The DA has also completely missed out to mention anything about Raghu, with whom the applicant is alleged to have colluded. Even assuming that the applicant leaked the password to PW-15, nothing has been brought on record to show how it reached Raghu. We find no attempt of any charge-sheet against Raghu, who is also an employee of the Department and we also find no explanation about the bill cancellation or bill modification done before or after the period of the applicant.
20. As far as the Appellate Authority is concerned, it is seen that the order of Respondent No.1, Secretary to the Department, is extremely short and relies solely on the advice of the UPSC and it has not gone into the details of the case, leave alone the details of technological aspects which has been brought out by the applicant in his Appeal memo dated 16.07.2007 mentioning categorically that the practice of cancellation and changes of the billing that were carried out in those 5 exchanges of Bangalore urban was existing prior to his joining to that post and continued even after his relieving from the post. In the appeal, the applicant has pointed out that PW-1, deposed initially that secret pass word was given to the applicant but has withdrawn that statement during the cross examination and admitted that the whole affair of secret password allotment was handled by CAO, CBC and not by PW-1. To a specific question whether the password was given to Rural AO before the applicant joined the post, the PW-1 had said no, but, the sample data of cancellation revealed that cancellations existed prior to the joining of the applicant. This fact is a pointer that PW-1 had little knowledge about the password management and its security controls. Further, PW-3 has also not deposed that the secret supervisory pass word was given to the applicant. In the Appeal memo at Annexure-A/6. The applicant has once again claimed a distinction between the password for Rural area and a different password for Urban-linked-rural areas. This has also not been examined by the Appellate Authority. We find that the Appellate Authority has not gone into any details but has simply relied on the grounds urged by the Disciplinary Authority and concurred by the UPSC.
21. We therefore, find merit in the OA. The DA, when disagreeing with the finding of the IO, must discuss fully all the reasons on the basis of which the IO has come to the conclusion of not proved. These reasons were suscinctly framed by the IO and discussed as observed by us at para 7.1 (supra). The DA has not bothered to touch upon those discussions at all. Simply coming to the conclusion that since the lower clerks such as PW-14 and PW-15 were in the knowledge of the password, therefore, the charge of collusion, manipulation and loss to the department are proved against the applicant is not sufficient. The AA has also not discussed in detail the issued raised by the applicant. Hence, we have no hesitation to quash both these orders.
22. Before parting, it is worth mentioning that this case revealed that the middle level officers of the department, viz., the AO, Sr.AO, CAO and otehr officers of that rank needed a training from time to time about their supervisory role. In the instant case too, the applicant may or may not have personally received the password and may not have personally leaked it. Yet, it is definitely the supervisory role of him, the CAO and other seniors to find out how the subordinate billing clerks are doing the billing. If there is a password security, how does it function, who has the knowledge of password and how to conduct occassional randon inspections to ensure that there is no misuse. Such understanding of the supervisory role is the essential part of nuts and bolts of the working in the department, and we felt it was lacking.
23. Hence, While holding that the two impugned orders declaring the applicant guilty of charges are not maintainable, we also feel it necessary to mention that a training for proper supervision was ignored. Not just PW-1, who is GM, Finance or Presenting Officer, even the IO, DA and AA have not discussed exactly how the password security worked. To avoid such situations in future, it is necessary that in-service training should be strengthened whenever a new technology is introduced. Even otherwise as a routine maintenance practice of the department training is needed. It is worth stating that adequate regular maintenance is required not only for the machines but also for human resources in the department.
24. In view of the foregoing, the OA is allowed and the impugned orders at Annexures-A/4 and A/7 are quashed. Consequently, the applicant is entitled to all consequential benefits. The respondents are directed to pay all the dues to the applicant within four months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. There shall be no order as to costs.
(V. AJAY KUMAR) (LEENA MEHENDALE)
MEMBER (J) MEMBER (A)
8. The applicant has argued the OA through the learned counsel that his prayer deserves merit on several procedural as well as technical grounds.
(a) First of all the allegation pertains to the period 1998 - 1999 but the charge sheet was served on him on 16.03.2006. In between the applicant had been transferred from Bangalore to Junagadh in 2002 and was brought back to Bangalore in June, 2006.
(b) The applicant has worked as SAO (Senior Accounts Officer) in Bangalore Rural District from 08.06.1998 to 27.06.1999. From the details of enquiry, it can be seen that manipulation of (SSP-secret supervisory password) may have been going on from 01.06.1998 till 22.11.1999 which is 8 days prior to his taking over charge and 5 months after handing over charge and hence the manipulation was not done by the applicant but by some other person. However, there has neither been any inquiry against the said Shri D.Raghu nor any attempt to recover the monetary loss that have been incurred. (Here we note that the date of possible manipulation is indicated if a bill has been corrected by an order passed on that day).
9. In addition to above, the applicant has pleaded a basic technological issue, and we find it necessary to go into its details. The applicant's version of it is as under:- Even though the Inquiry Officer has held the charges as not proved, the D.A (Disciplinary Authority) has disagreed with that finding because the D.A. has failed to appreciate the Inquiry Report as well as the contention of the applicant. Accordingly, the D.A. has asked his explanation on following among other points:-
"Prosecution witness 15, Smt Sumanna, in her deposition during inquiry, has deposed that password was given to her by the CO and she as well as other staff were working on the system by themselves. Further, PW 3 Shri Anand B Rodhikar, SrAO, in his deposition during inquiry has stated that separate user account was provided for rural office through which they were operating. Security control was being done through allotment of password for each user. As rural office account existed on CBC system, all the labels of BGTD were accessible through this. Anyone in the rural office knowing this oracle user password can amend the data at CBC. As per deposition of PW.I, Shri G.Ravi, GM(Finance), the charged Officer was allotted the password. From the statement of these witnesses, it is clear that CO was allotted password for accessing rural office account on CBC system and all levels of BGTD were accessible through this account. CO failed to maintain secrecy of this password and this was made known to the officials working under him. Leakage of password allotted to CO resulted in manipulation of urban telephone bills. Thus charge is proved against Shri C.Nagappan".
10. The applicant has tried to inform this distinction between the SSP which he has not been given and the billing password for rural areas – (para 4.3 of OA).
"There is a distinction between the 'billing password' used for billing of Bangalore Rural exchanges and the 'secret supervisory password' used for billing the 5 Urban telephone exchanges at Computer Billing Centre, Vijayanagar. This 'secret supervisory password' has been referred to as 'oracle password' also in the proceedings. What the applicant has given to his subordinates was the 'billing password' used for Bangalore Rural exchanges, to discharge their duties. There is absolutely no complaint about the same because the applicant was working as Senior Accounts Officer in the Bangalore Rural Telephone District at that point of time. So far as the allegation that he leaked the secret supervisory password' given to billing in the 5 Bangalore Urban exchanges is concerned, the applicant submits that it is not true because he was not aware of the said 'secret supervisory password'. When he is not aware of the 'secret supervisory password' himself, the question of leaking the same to his subordinates does not arise. The applicant submits that the disciplinary authority has not understood the distinction between the 'billing password' given for the purposes of billing in the Bangalore Rural exchanges and the 'secret supervisory password', resulting in erroneous conclusions".
Thus, the applicant's claim is that the Disciplinary Authority was mistaken in concluding that he had given secret supervisory password with particular reference to the depositions of the three witnesses viz.PW1, PW3 and PW15.
It is further pertinent to note that prosecution witnesses including some of the Senior Officer who deposed before the Inquiry Officer could not show that any secret supervisory passwrod was ever been given to the applicant at all.
We find that the whole emphasis of argument by the applicant is on tchnological issue. In addition we have also dealt with the order of the Appellate Authority who rejected the appeal and upheld the order of the Disciplinary Authority. The Appellate Authority has also gone by the advice given by the UPSC which he has considered as mandatory. The applicant challenges the decision of the Appellate Authority as well as the advice of the UPSC on the grounds that
(a) The UPSC has gone strictly on the report of the Disciplinary
(b) In upholding that he disclose the secret supervisory pass word to other official and collude with Shri D.Raghu and causing a loss of Rs.2.5 lakhs to the department. The UPSC has relied on the Disiciplinary Authority who in turn has relied on the deposition of the PW-1,2, and 3. Since these depositions have failed to bring out the distinction between the secret supervisory pass word and the billing password, all other agencies namely the Disciplinary Authority is CBI and the UPSC failed to appreciate the distinction.
The applicant has analysed the deposition of PW-I Shri G.Ravi, GM Finance who had deposed that the Chief Accounts Officer of the computer billing centre had given the SSP to the applicant but could not say when it was given. PW -3 who is a technician dealing with the pass word allocation and was then working in the Computer Billing Centre had stated that the SSP was given to the rural office but has not categorically stated that it was given to the applicant. He also could not categorically state the date on which it was gtiven. Further PW-3 Mr Anand B.Rohidekar himself joined his office in the computer billing centre in the month of August, 1998 whereas the applicant was already working as Senior Accounts Officer with effect from 09.06.1998. It is therefore obvious that PW-3 himself could not have given the secret supervisory pass word to the applicant. Thus all other senior officers who were examined by the Inquiry Officer have not been able to confirm that SSP was given to the applicant or on what date it was given or whether any record is kept for having given.
Adjourned to 11.04.2011"
Against the order passed by the Appellate Authority the applicant contends only that the same was not in accordance with the Rule 27 under CCS(CCA) Rules and was inordinately delayed.
We have perused the Appelalte Authority order para -3 , it equatted the UPSC
..........Shri C.Nagappan ......during the period 1998-1999 committed gross official misconduct and dereliction of duty in as much as he colluded with Shri D.Raghu, Section Supervisor in the same Office and leaked the secret supervisory password and thereby caused a loss of Rs,2.5 lakhs to the Department of Telecom. Though he was well aware that using the particular supervisory password allotted to him any body can amend the data without using the particular supervisory password allotted to him anybody can amend the date ................."
.........After analysis of the case, UPSC has observed that by CO's own admission and depositions of prosecution witnesses, it is established that CO was given supervisory password which he disclosed to his subordinate officials. Further, the Commission has observed that negligence of CO enabled others with criminal intent to manipulate the system and cause loss to Department though the CO did not deliberately act in collusion with the culprits for personal gain. In the concluding part of its advice, the UPSC has observed that appeal is devoid of merits and has advised to reject the appeal.
.....Hon'ble MoS (C&IT), on behalf of Hon'ble President, the Appellate Authority, has accepted the advice of UPSC on the appeal of Shri C.Nagappan, Sr A.O. The Hon'ble MoS (C&IT), on behalf of Hon'ble President has therefore ordered to reject the appeal dated 16.07.07 filed by Shri C.Nagappan, Sr.AO., Karnataka Telecom Circle.
It is seen that
In the reply statement as well as during the arguments the learned counsel for the respondents made the following points:
"Para.4(1): The contention of the applicant in this para is wrong and denied. The disciplinary authority had examined the inquiry report submitted by the Inquiry Officer and disagreed with the IOs report as follows. "Prosecution Witness.15, Smt Sumanna, in her deposition during inquiry has deposed that password was given to her by the CO and she as well as other staff were working on the system by themselves. Further PW-3, Sri Anand B.Rohidkar, Sr, A.O., in his deposition during inquiry has stated that separate user account was provided for rural office through which they were operating, security controlling being done through allotment of password for each user. As rural office account existed on CBC system, all the labels of BGTD oracle user password can amend the data of CBC. As per deposition of PW-I, Sri G.Ravi, GM (Finance), the charged officer was allotted the password. From the statement of these witnesses, it is clear that CO was allotted password for accessing rural office account on CBC system and all labels of BGTD were accessible through this account. CO failed to maintain secrecy of the password and this was made known to the officials working under him. Leakage of password allotted to CO resulted in manipulation of urban telephone bills. Thus, the charge is proved against sri C.Nagappan (applicant)"
The order of this Tribunal in the earlier O.A.No.738/2004 decided on 18.11.2005 in which it was held
"(v)Speaking Order - UPSC Advice-No remarks could be given on UPSC advice as it was supplied only with penalty notice-The order has not discussed points raised by the applicant-Case of ECIL relied upon and held the order as bad in law (Para 27) - Also held the authority was influenced by UPSC advice and has depended on it in his order-Hence bad."(Paras 28,29)
The Chief Accounts Officer, Rural has expressed difficulties to send the staff to Vijayanagar and requested to link the Vijayanagar system with Rural exchanges. This necessaitated allottment of SSP secret supervisory password) to the SAO, Rural, for updating the data pertaining to those 5 urban exchanges. This Password, often referred to as ORACLE Password was different from the usual Password given to SAO for computer billing of the other rural areas.