Using cuss words no crime, rules Delhi HC
New Delhi: Using expletives and abuses while talking to a colleague is common among jawans and is, therefore, not a valid ground for dismissal from service, the Delhi High Court has ruled and ordered reinstatement of a CISF trooper who was dismissed for using cuss words with a senior.
The ruling was given by a division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Suresh Kait on a petition of Krishna Pal Singh, a constable dismissed from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Unit IOC, Panipat.
"The experience of life resolves more than the logic of the law. Our experience guides us that the jawans do speak street language while communicating with each other and liberally spice queries with abuses," the bench observed in its ruling Wednesday.
The ruling came relating to an incident Dec 16, 2002, when Krishna Pal Singh was involved in a spat with his senior, Sub Inspector RL Pandit, who was the shift in-charge of the CISF Unit IOC, Panipat.
While Singh alleged that Pandit triggered the spat and slapped him, the latter has alleged that it was Singh who abused and assaulted him.
A preliminary inquiry was conducted and Singh was suspended with immediate effect Dec 17, 2002.
Singh told the inquiry panel that on Dec 16, 2002, he was not feeling well and when his duty was over at 2100 hours and his reliever did not arrive he contacted Pandit over the telephone and wanted to know why the reliever had not come.
"Krishna (Pal Singh) was told by Pandit that he had requested head constable Davender Kumar to look after his post till a reliever was sent," states the petition.
Accordingly he left the duty place when Kumar came and went to Gate No 1 where Pandit abused him by swearing in the name of his mother, he alleged.
However, after an inquiry, Singh was given the penalty of compulsory retirement with full pensionary benefits.
The Delhi High Court bench, in its observation, said: "In the backdrop of the facts noted by us which has preceded the spat, the greater probability rests in the probable fact that when the petitioner reported at gate No 1, Sub Inspector RL Pandit, with the usual pleasantry uttered expletive language."
"Being unwell, the petitioner was in a little foul mood and did not accept the dialogue as the usual customary exchange of pleasantries, and this triggered off the spat followed by jostling," the bench said in its order.
"We find that neither the Disciplinary Authority, nor the Appellate Authority nor the Revisional Authority have analyzed the facts keeping in view the backdrop circumstances and the facts. The sub inspector had deposed incorrect facts," the bench said.
"Evidence suggests a mutual fight between Pandit and the petitioner which was triggered at the instance of Pandit," said the bench.
"The penalty levied upon the petitioner has to be set aside and the question would be as to what should be the penalty levied for the petitioner to indulge in a mutual fight with Pandit," the bench adds.
The court dismissed the opinion of the inquiry officer as "purely surmises and conjectures" and ruled that Singh should be reinstated in service immediately and given full wages from March 10. The pension he had been getting since his dismissal would be treated as compensation.