Tuesday, January 8, 2013

**Imp MA in OA 524/2009





S/o Shri Dogu,
aged about 60 years,
working as Superintendent,
New Customs House,
Mangalore – 575 010. ...Applicant

(By Advocate Shri Izzhar Ahmed)


1. Union of India,
through the Secretary,
Ministry of Finance,
Department of Revenue,
North Block,
New Delhi – 110 001.

2. The Commissioner of Customs,
Ministry of Finance,
O/o Commissioner of Customs,
New Customs House,
Mangalore-575 010.

3. The Additional Commissioner(P&V),
O/o Commissioner of Customs,
New Customs House,
Mangalore 575 010. ...Respondents

(By Senior Central Government Standing Counsel Shri M.V.Rao)



Once again this MA No.409/2010 in OA No.524/2009 has come before us compelling us to express our displeasure at the way the department has lost the sense of efficient working.
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2. The brief genesis of this MA is that the applicant who  is an employee of the Government of India, Department of Revenue was promoted to the post of Superintendent on 25.2.1993 and given adhoc promotion as Assistant Commissioner Custom and Central Excise on 16.10.2009.  He retired on 30.4.2010.  The department found certain cases of misconduct and found a prima facie reason of involvement of the applicant who was working as a Superintendent in March, 2008.  The department reported to the Vigilance Commission for advise stating therein that the part attributable to the applicant was only by way of procedural irregularity in his capacity as Superintendent.  However, they received a recommendation from Vigilance authorities to initiate departmental inquiry since there was a loss of revenue.

3. Accordingly, the applicant was charge sheeted for major charges on 1.9.2009 thus this is a peculiar contradiction that a person who is given a charge sheet for major penalty  on 1.9.2009 is also given adhoc promotion as Assistant Commissioner on 16.10.2009.  Consequently as is mentioned in the OA the stand of the department from the very beginning was that the applicant working as Superintendent had no major role in the particular case of loss of revenue.   It is claimed that in a letter dated 2.4.2009 to  the Vigilance authority, Respondent-2 herein state that the applicant can be exonerated from  his part as there was only a small procedural irregularity on his part.  The Vigilance has of course not agreed with this opinion of the department and have asked the department to charge sheet him alongwith the other Superintendents who were also supervising the said event concerning M/s.Freight Wings and Travels (P) Ltd., in respect of his bill entry No.703741.    In view of these the relief sought for in OA NO.524/2009 was:

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i. set aside C.No.II/10A/1/2008 Vig dated 01.09.2009 (Annexure A5) and vide No.C.No.II/3/4/09E-1 dated 19.10.2009 (Annexure A9.

ii) to direct the respondents to drop the departmental inquiry.

3. The said OA came up for hearing and an order was passed on 10.6.2010 by this Tribunal.  It was observed therein that the respondent department has already began  the departmental enquiry consequent upon the charge sheet given to the applicant and which charge sheet itself was the matter of agitation in the said OA.  Hence the respondents were directed that decision in the inquiry proceedings may be taken within one month from the receipt of the order as it was also pertinently observed that already 5 months have passed since the Disciplinary Authority has received the report of the employee from the Inquiry Officer.

4. We find to our great surprise that even when the Inquiry report has been received by the Disciplinary Authority no final order is yet passed, thus creating unnecessary harassment to the employee by withholding his pensionary benefits after his retirement.

5. Unable to comply with the directions and time frame given by this Tribunal on 10.6.2010, the respondent department filed an MA No.317/2010 requesting  for grant of more time to comply with the directions, upon which an order came to be delivered on 11.8.2010.  While the MA No.317/2010 prayed for extension of time by 2 months from 10.6.2010 i.e., the date of order of this Tribunal in OA No.524/2009,  the respondent department was allowed 6 weeks time.  That also have elapsed long since and now this MA No.409/2010 has been filed once again,  this time asking for a period of 6 months.  We are not only surprised and shocked but also pained at this type of inefficiency.  The time of 6 months has already elapsed from the date of order of OA in June, 2010 and also a time of 4
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months have elapsed from the date of extension of time granted in MA No.317/2010.  With every new MA the department seems to be requiring more time to finalise the matter than requested by them in the previous MA.  It only shows  that the senior officers in the department have no clue as to what is going on in the department.  We do not want to say any thing further at this stage.

6. The MA is partly allowed at cost, Respondent-2 shall pay a cost of Rs.2000/- (Rupees Two thousand ) personally to the applicant in one month.  In addition the department of Revenue shall also pay a cost of Rs.2000/- (Rupees Two thousand)  to the applicant within one month of this order.  Time granted to complete the departmental inquiry though already over and not acted on by the department is extended upto end of February, 2011 with the great   hope that this time the Department will not fail in completing the DE within time limit.    Ordered accordingly.   MA is thus allowed partly with the above directions.



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