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2016 (4) TMI 773 - PATNA HIGH COURT

2016 (4) TMI 773 - PATNA HIGH COURT - 2016 (336) E.L.T. 272 (Pat.) - Imposition of penalty - Assessing and granting wrong refunds and then not seeking its repayment and/or not recovering refund - Held that:- an officer, who has been conferred with statutory jurisdiction to adjudicate matters, acts in a quasi-judicial capacity. Unless it can be shown that the decision was taken malafide or with ulterior motive, for a wrong decision taken there cannot be disciplinary proceedings as it is not a mis .....

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conduct cannot be initiated, much less officer penalized. - The petitioner is again correct in holding that he was not negligent in not pursuing the matter of recovery in spite of audit objection. As the assessments were in between 19.05.1993 to 22.09.1993 and the last date within which demands for recovery of excess refund could be made, in terms of Section 11-A of the Act being 18.11.1992 to 21.03.1994, the audit objection having been made only on 05.05.1994 was clearly after the six mont .....

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rrect but we cannot take note of this because there was no such charge against the petitioner in the departmental proceedings. If this was the opinion of the U.P.S.C. after the enquiry had concluded, this cannot form basis of any action. Therefore, the impugned order of the disciplinary authority as also the order of the Tribunal not interfering with the order of punishment, 30% reduction of pension for 5 years is set aside and any deduction that has already been made on this count has to be ref .....

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as been filed, being aggrieved by the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Patna Bench, Patna dated 13.03.2014, passed in O.A. No. 695/2012 filed by the applicant before it. Heard Sri Dinu Kumar for the petitioner and Sri Sanjay Kumar, learned Assistant Solicitor General for the Union of India and with their consent, we are disposing of this writ petition at this stage itself. The writ petitioner was Range Officer in the Central Excise Department. A departmental proceeding was initiated .....

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dit objection was that it was wrongly refunded and a demand ought to have been raised in terms of Section 11-A of the Central Excise Act (for short the Act). The Enquiry Officer found that the audit objection itself was much after the six months limitation as prescribed in Section 11-A of the Act. The Enquiry Officer thus concluded that the petitioner was helpless in the matter and could not have sought to recover the alleged wrong refund. The Department then sought advice and opinion from the U .....

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advice, Department served the Enquiry Officer's report with a note of dissent to the petitioner and part of the report of U.P.S.C. Petitioner protested. He sought that the report of the Enquiry Officer exonerating him be accepted in full and no action could be taken at all but the Disciplinary Authority rejected his explanation and imposed a penalty of withholding 30% pension for a period of 5 years for negligence in granting refund not to the buyer but to the seller/manufacturer. The Tribun .....

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the matter of recovery in spite of audit objection. (iii) Negligence, as noticed by U.P.S.C., cannot be subject matter because there was no charge in this regard at all nor was any explanation in this regard called for with the intent to punish. We have heard learned counsels and considered the matter. In our view, the contentions raised are correct. An officer, who has been conferred with statutory jurisdiction to adjudicate matters, acts in a quasi-judicial capacity. Unless it can be shown tha .....

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