|11196 of 2011
|High court of Karnataka
|State Bank of India
|10th August 2023
|ILR 2004KAR 609
|HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE J.K. MAHESHWARI HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K.V. VISWANATHAN
FACTS OF THE CASE
• Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the respondent for certain acts of misconduct allegedly committed by him when he was working as Field Officer of the Mahadevapura Branch of the Bank.
• He extended the credit limits and permitted excess drawings, did not report to the controlling office the excess drawings permitted.
• Respondent had recommended and obtained credit limit to m/s rajeshwari enterprises and the did not submitted the control return.
• As part of the charge, it was further alleged that he purchased agricultural land ad-measuring 21.36 acres and got it registered in his name for a nominal amount, using the influence of one Shri Ramamurthy of M/s Bindu Enterprises who are enjoying credit facilities with the branch and he failed to declare to the Bank the purchase of immovable property as per the extant instruction.
o Whether penalty should be imposed or not?
o Whether approvalable evidence of investigation officer is evitable or not?
▪ Appellant:- respondent had allegedly committed the misconduct of the credits of the bank. And he didn’t inform the controlling officer about the same. And on the other hand bought immovable property from that credit.
▪ Respondent:- He didn’t accept the allegations and denied all the allegations of the bank.
❖ The Court said that the finding of the Enquiry Officer that the respondent, by his negligence, did not stipulate anything regarding taking of collateral security in his recommendation to the Branch Manager and, as such, the advance could not be collaterally secured by creation of equitable mortgage cannot be said to be perverse or based on no evidence. The Court held that on non-submission of control form, the transgression of the area of operation and non-declaration of the immovable property and certain other charges, the order of penalty can be sustained.
❖ The Court said that the scope of judicial review against a departmental enquiry proceeding is very limited. The Court explained that the scope of the enquiry is to examine whether the decision- making process is legitimate and to ensure that the findings are not bereft of any evidence
❖ The Court held that it cannot be said that the report was based on no evidence or that it was perverse. The Court said that the Single Judge had transgressed the limits of judicial review in setting aside the enquiry proceedings and the punishment imposed. The Court
found the Division Bench to be non- sustainable for confirming the Single Judge’s judgment.
❖ Therefore, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned orders of the Single Judge and Division Bench, Thus, the Court maintained the penalty as imposed in the order of the Appointing Authority.
We have no hesitation in holding that both the learned Single Judge and the Division Bench were in error in allowing the writ petition and interfering with the findings of the Enquiry Officer, the decision of the Disciplinary Authority, the order of the Appointing Authority and the decision of the Appellate Authority”, concluded the Court.
➢ https://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/judgments/announcemen t.php?WID=16730#:~:text=The%20penalty%20imposed%20in%20 this,officer%20under%20suspension%20from%2018.08 ➢ https://www.the
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