Writ Appeal preferred by Deputy Director of health services against dismissal of writ petition challenging order of penalty allowed with directions by Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.Subbiah& Hon’ble Mr.Justice C. Saravanan..M.Ravi appeared for the writ appellant& AAG appeared for the Respondent Government.

[9/18, 07:32] Sekarreporter 1: [9/17, 18:06] M Ravi Priya: Writ Appeal preferred by Deputy Director of health services against dismissal of writ petition challenging order of penalty allowed with directions by Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.Subbiah& Hon’ble Mr.Justice C. Saravanan..M.Ravi appeared for the writ appellant& AAG appeared for the Respondent Government.
[9/18, 07:31] Sekarreporter 1: 🌹🌹
[9/18, 07:33] Sekarreporter 1: WA No. 2130 of 2019
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
Dated : 21.08.2020
CORAM :
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. SUBBIAH
and
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE C. SARAVANAN
Writ Appeal No. 2130 of 2019

Dr. R. Meera .. Appellant
Versus
1. The Principal Secretary to Government
Health and Family Welfare Department
Government of Tamil Nadu
Fort St. George
Chennai – 600 009
2. The Director of Public Health
and Preventive Medicine
No.359, Anna Salai
Teynampet, Chennai – 600 006
3. Dr. P. Vadivelan
Inquiry Officer
Additional Director of Public Health
and Preventive Medicine
formerly Joint Director of Public Health
and Preventive Medicine
O/o. The Director of Public Health
and Preventive Medicine
No.359, Anna Salai, Teynampet
Chennai – 600 009 .. Respondents
Appeal filed under Clause 15 of The Letters Patent against the Order
dated 08.04.2019 passed in WP No. 10741 of 2018 on the file of this Court.
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For Appellant : Mr. M. Ravi
For Respondents : Mr. S.R. Rajagopal
Additional Advocate General
assisted by
Mrs. A. Srijeyanthi, Special Govt. Pleader
JUDGMENT
(Judgment of the Court was delivered by R. SUBBIAH, J)
The appellant herein has come forward with this writ appeal aggrieved
by the order dated 08.04.2019 passed by the learned single Judge dismissing
her writ petition No. 10741 of 2018 inter alia refusing to quash the order
passed by the first respondent in G.O. (D) No. 208 dated 08.02.2018, as prayed
for by her.
2. The appellant was initially appointed as Health Officer in Tamil
Nadu Public Health Subordinate Service during 1995 as Filaria Officer at
Chidambaram. Subsequently, she was transferred and posted as Municipal
Health Officer at Karaikudi. While working in the post of Municipal Health
Officer, the appellant was also transferred and worked at Cuddalore and
Villupuram Municipalities. In the year 2005, the appellant was promoted as
Deputy Director of Health Services and posted at Udhagamandalam. While
she was serving as Deputy Director, a charge memo was issued to her
containing five charges, however, after a preliminary enquiry, charge Nos. 2,
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3, 4 and 5 were dropped by the first respondent by G.O. (D) No.233 dated
10.03.2011 and a fresh charge memo dated 15.09.2011 was issued to the
appellant by the second respondent. The lone charge against the appellant is
as follows:-
“That Dr. R. Meera while working as Deputy Director
of Health Services, Udhagamandalam. During the year 2007,
as scheme implementing authority for the scheme Rogi
Kalyan Samidhi (Patient Welfare Society) has violated the
guidelines for use of funds allotted to the Primary Health
Centres under the said Scheme and caused purchase of
unapproved items like TV, DVD, UPS and VKT OP cards to
the tune of Rs.10.35 lakhs, by way of getting false quotations
and directly dealt with suppliers in violation of guidelines and
purchased the products, thereby committing criminal
misconduct and misappropriation of government money.”
3. On receipt of the charge memo, the appellant submitted her
explanation dated 27.09.2011 contending that during her tenure as Deputy
Director, Udhagamandalam, several audits were conducted to scrutinise the
financial transactions and there was no objection raised by the audit. The
funds allotted under the scheme was properly utilised during her tenure and
there was no mismanagement, as alleged. The appellant has given a detailed
account together with documentary evidence to show that the charge levelled
against her is unsustainable. In and by the explanation dated 27.09.2011, the
appellant also sought for certain documents, which were permitted to be
perused by her on 08.03.2012. Notwithstanding the explanation offered by the
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Reasons are the live links between the mind of the decision-taker to the
controversy in question and the decision or conclusion arrived at.
14. Applying the aforesaid observations made by the Honourable
Supreme Court to this case, we find that even in this case, the report of the
enquiry officer is bereft of any material reasons as to how the charge against
the appellant is held proved, what was the material considered for arriving at
such a conclusion or whether such a material is relevant for consideration.
None of the above are available in the report of the enquiry officer. There is no
discussion in the report of the enquiry officer as to what was the evidence
considered by him, in what way such an evidence is relevant to hold that the
charge against the appellant is proved or whether the defence raised by the
appellant to disprove the charge is probable. The report of the enquiry officer
runs into pages which only contain the re-production of the statement of
witnesses and nothing more. The disciplinary authority also simply concluded
that the report of the enquiry officer deserves to be accepted to hold that the
charge against the delinquent is proved and consequently to impose the
punishment of stoppage of increment. As the enquiry officer did not assign any
reason for his conclusion, which was also mechanically accepted by the
second respondent, we find it difficult, as an appellate authority, to test the
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[9/18, 07:34] Sekarreporter 1: WA No. 2130 of 2019
correctness or otherwise of the orders under appeal before us. It is in those
circumstances, we are inclined to interfere with the order passed by the
disciplinary authority, which was confirmed by the learned single Judge.
15. In the result, we set aside the order dated 08.04.2019 passed in
WP No. 10741 of 2018, confirming the order passed by the first respondent in
G.O. (D) No.208, Health and Family Welfare (D2) Department dated
08.02.2018. Consequently, we allow the writ appeal with a direction to the
third respondent/enquiry officer to pass an order afresh by assigning reasons
for his conclusion. Such an exercise shall be done by the third respondent
within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
No costs.
(R.P.S.J.,) (C.S.N.J.,)
21-08-2020
rsh
Index : Yes / No
Internet : Yes / No
Note : Issue order copy within a week
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