The Supreme Court in Ram Kishan v. Union of India & Ors. on 1st September 1995, had observed that when abusive language is used by anybody against a superior, it must be understood in the environment in which that person is situated and the circumstances surrounding the event that led to the use of the abusive language.
Facts: The appellant was a constable and was charged with two-fold grave misconduct. (i) while he was in charge of the sub-jail, he facilitated on an undertrial Prisoner, to drink alcohol before being taken to the Court; and (ii) he had abused the superior officer and created an ugly scene in their presence.
The inquiry officer who examined the above charges, found that the second charge was partly proved, and the first charge had not been proved. The disciplinary authority disagreeing with the conclusions reached by the inquiry officer, issued a show cause notice as to why both the charges should not be taken to have been proved. He was removed from his service. After an unsuccessful appeal and revision, he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal dismissed the O.A. Thus, this appeal by special leave.
- Unless the disciplinary authority gives specific reasons in the show cause on the basis of which the findings of the inquiry officer in that behalf is based, it would be difficult for the delinquent to satisfactorily give reasons to persuade the disciplinary authority to agree with the conclusions reached by the inquiry officer.
- The only charge which was found to have been accepted is that the appellant had used abusive language on the superior authority. Since the disciplinary authority has said that it has agreed partly to that charge, the provisional conclusion reached by the disciplinary authority in that behalf even in the show cause notice, cannot be said to be vague.
- When abusive language is used by anybody against a superior, it must be understood in the environment in which that person is situated and the circumstances surrounding the event that led to the use of the abusive language. What was the nature of the abusive language used by the appellant was not stated.
- The imposition of punishment of dismissal from service is harsh and disproportionate to the gravity of charge imputed to the delinquent constable. Accordingly, the Court set aside the dismissal order
– Esha Shah, Paralegal – POSH at Work