SrinagarThe Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed an order dismissal of a Constable in the Railway Protection Force in 2012 as the inquiry against him was conducted in Hindi, the language unfamiliar to him.
In his plea, Mushtaq Ahmad Rather stated he was appointed as a Constable in the Railway Protection Force in 1993. On the 16 July 2012, he was deputed at Railway Protection Force at Pampore and his duty shift was 1600 to 2400 hours at post. On the same day (July 16) at around 1400 hours, he while taking rest in his Barrack, heard some children crying and came out. He saw two children of Constable Jagad SinghKumari Riva, (5) and another male child (3). Mushtaq said he enquired reason from the kids about their visiting the Barrack and reply was told that they have come to watch some TV programme. Mushtaq said he advised them not to go there at that point of time, as the road outside the Barrack was too congested and busy. Subsequently, at around 1500 hours, the father of the children came to the Barrack and took them to their quarter. At the time the kids visited the Barrack, he said, besides him, Constables Abdul Rehman and Nazir Ahmad Thakur were on duty. Mushtaq said once the kids left the Barrack, he went to perform his duty and at about 1900 hours, Jagad Singh left the post in order to take diner at his residential quarter and returned back at 2130 hours. Mushtaq said he raised a strong objection regarding his absence from duty, to which Singh replied to him that he was neither his Brigadier nor was he answerable to him and, raised a hue and cry and abused him. After two days, Mushtaq said, Singh filed a frivolous complaint against him before the higher authorities alleging that he misbehaved with his daughter. The authorities initiated an enquiry in the matter against Mushtaq and, on the 13 August 2012, Roshan Lal Nagi was appointed as the Investigating Officer. He conducted a formal enquiry into the matter and issued the charge sheet against Mushtaq in the Hindi language, the language which Mushtaq was unable to read and understand.
Mushtaq stated that the whole proceedings the charge sheet, enquiry as well as the statements of the witnesses were recorded and conducted in the Hindi language. On 9 February 2013, the Investigating Officer completed the enquiry and submitted the final report to the disciplinary Authority. Mushtaq submitted that the disciplinary Authority demoted him by reducing him to the lowest stage of Constable RPF. Aggrieved, Mushtaq filed an appeal before the competent Authority. However, the appellate Authority enhanced the punishment and removed him from service, which decision was upheld in the second appeal filed by him.
In his plea before the high court, Mushtaq challenged the order and sought quashment of the same.
In view of the factual position, coupled with the statement of the counsel for the parties, this writ petition is allowed, as a consequence of which, the impugned order of dismissal of (Mushtaq) bearing No. 26/RPF/DAR/153/2013 dated 22nd of July, 2013 is quashed, a bench of Justice M K Hanjura said and also directed the respondents to conduct a fresh enquiry against (Mushtaq) in a language with which (he) be well versed and conclude the same within a period of twelve weeks.
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