Repeated acts of overstaying leave by paramilitary force personnel would send a “wrong signal” to other members causing “serious indiscipline”, the Delhi High Court has observed while dismissing a petition filed by a CISF constable challenging his dismissal from service.
A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani said that members of the paramilitary forces were required to maintain discipline and such acts, if condoned, might lead to a situation where others may feel tempted to do such an act of misconduct.
The court’s observation came while rejecting a plea filed by Pankaj Kumar Parihar, who had joined CISF in 1996, in which he had sought quashing of the June 2003 order of disciplinary authority dismissing him from service and orders by appellate and revisional authorities dismissing his appeal and revision.
He was dismissed from service on the ground that he was habitual in overstaying the leave.
“Repeated acts of overstaying leave if condoned are capable of sending wrong signal to other members which may lead to a situation that other members of force may also feel tempted to commit such an act of misconduct. This may cause serious indiscipline in paramilitary forces,” the bench said in its recent order.
“Taking into consideration that the petitioner (Parihar) was habitual in overstaying the leave, the penalty of dismissal from service cannot be termed as disproportionate to the misconduct committed as during the said period he was already under suspension,” it said.
The court also observed that there was nothing on record to even remotely suggest that inquiry against the petitioner was not properly held or was conducted against the principles of natural justice.
The court was told that during his service of above six years, the petitioner had overstayed leave four times.
The petitioner told the court that there were reasons which compelled him to overstay and claimed that he was not given a fair opportunity to defend himself during proceedings before the authority.
The bench, however, said that instances of overstaying the leave show that Parihar, despite being member of a disciplined force, had treated his service with “utmost casualness which falls in the zone of zero tolerance”.
“The paramilitary force cannot brook indiscipline of this kind,” it noted.