Bombay high court upholds dismissal of CBI constable caught stealing papers from Navi Mumbai office
Aslam Mulla was removed from service in July 2005Updated: Feb 04, 2018 00:49 IST
The Bombay high court recently upheld the dismissal of a constable in the service of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the ground that he had stolen some investigation papers from the special crime branch of the central agency.
Aslam Mulla had approached the high court after the Mumbai bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on March 5, 2013 dismissed his application challenging his removal from service.
On January 28, 2004, Mulla was on night duty when he had purportedly stolen a bunch of documents from the office. A departmental enquiry was initiated against him after this fact came to light and the enquiry officer ultimately concluded that the constable had stolen some papers with some ulterior motive and hidden the bundle outside a window on seventh floor of the special crime branch office at Navi Mumbai.
The enquiry officer ordered Mulla’s removal from service holding that he failed to maintain devotion to duty and acted in a manner unbecoming of a public servant by removing official documents from the office premises when he was duty-bound to protect the documents and ensure security of the office at night. In July 2005, Mulla was terminated from service.
Mulla then approached an appellate authority and then the CAT challenging his removal from service, after the appellate authority rejected his plea. However, the tribunal too junked his plea, prompting him to approach the high court.
Before the high court, it was argued on Mulla’s behalf that he was not given proper notices of the dates of enquiry and the enquiry officer did not even consider his claim that he was falsely implicated for having objected to his colleagues drinking liquor in office and while on duty.
A division bench of acting chief justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani and justice Makrand Karnik, however, did not find any substance in the contentions. The bench said if a person does not attend the enquiry even after being informed about the next date of hearing, it cannot be said that he was not given sufficient opportunity to put forth his side.