New Delhi: Observing that the dismissal was
"shockingly disproportionate," the Supreme Court Thursday modified "compulsory retirement the punishment of a head constable sacked earlier after police recovered from his quarters a car robbed by his son and the latter`s accomplices.
A bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik felt
that while head constable Surendra Prasad Shukla was certainly
guilty of allowing the looted car, his son and accomplices to
take shelter in the official quarters, he could not be held
liable for abetting the crime.
The bench said the fact that Shukla had rendered 34 years
of service to Jharkhand could not be overlooked and if the
dismissal order was upheld he would not be entitled to even
"The question which however arises for our decision is
whether such negligence of the appellant was sufficient for
the disciplinary authority to dismiss him from service.
"There was no charge against the appellant that he had in
any way aided or abetted the offence under Section 392 IPC
(robbery) or that he knew that his son had stolen the car and
yet he did not inform the police," the bench said.