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Judiciary

Asking lady neighbour for lemons at midnight ‘preposterous’, unbecoming of CISF Officer: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      14 March, 2024 04:46 PM      0 Comments
Asking lady neighbour for lemons at midnight preposterous unbecoming of CISF Officer Bombay HC

BOMBAY: Can a CISF officer knock at a neighbour’s door at midnight asking for lemons? While deciding a case, the Bombay High Court has termed this act as “preposterous” and said that this is “unbecoming” of a CISF officer. 

While hearing a plea of a CISF officer challenging a minor penalty is imposed for his misconduct, a Division Bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice MM Sathaye noted that the petitioner knocked his neighbour’s door fulling aware that her husband wasn’t at home. 

“In these facts of the case, the action of Petitioner of knocking on neighbor’s door knowing that the man in the house is absent, the same being occupied by a lady with her six year old daughter and that too for a frivolous reason of getting a lemon for so called medical emergency of stomach upset, is preposterous to say the least. The conduct of the Petitioner is certainly unbecoming of the officer of the force such as CISF. In our considered view, the intention of the Petitioner is certainly not found to be as genuine and clear as alleged. We stop at that and say nothing more”.

Further, the court noted that a departmental enquiry had already taken place and the petitioner had been punished with a minor penalty, which was confirmed by both the appellate authority and the revisional jurisdiction.

In his defence, the petitioner put forward the following arguments; 

That he was not in the course of his duty and does not amount to misconduct under the Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules, 1964. The High Court didn’t accept his reasoning. 

“The submission that the Petitioner was not in the course of duty and therefore, the incident does not amount to misconduct under governing Rules is devoid of merits. We say so because perusal of the said Rules clearly shows otherwise. Rule 1.3(1) of the said Rules requires the Petitioner to maintain integrity and do nothing which is unbecoming of a Government servant ‘at all times’. In that view of the matter, there is no merit in the said submission.”

Further, it was contended that the Petitioner was wrongly implicated and punishment awarded is disproportionate to the nature of allegation made against him. It is submitted that no case of misconduct or misbehaviour is made out against the Petitioner. And, knocking on door of a person living in the neighbourhood belonging to the same fraternity cannot be considered as misconduct. 

The Court further highlighted that in the defence statement, the petitioner had admitted that he had consumed alcohol before the incident. 

The petitioner also claimed that he had knocked on the door of one Mr. Hanumanta Rao on the same floor before going to the Respondent’s residence. 

“This has been found unbelievable since witness Hanumanta Rao has clearly stated that his door was not knocked at all by the Petitioner that night”, the Court said. 

On these grounds, the Court rejected the petitioner’s appeal. 

“In the net result, there is neither perversity in the impugned orders, nor they suffer from any error apparent on the face of the record, nor there is any jurisdictional transgression. No interference is called for in the facts of this case, under our extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction”.

 

[Read Judgment]



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