The Bombay High Court observed that knocking on a female neighbour’s door at midnight for getting a lemon is preposterous and that such conduct is unbecoming of the officer of the force such as CISF (Central Industrial Security Force).

The Court was dealing with a writ petition preferred by a man whose revision petition was dismissed by the Inspector General, CISF West Zone and it confirmed the orders passed earlier against him.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice M.M. Sathaye held, “In these facts of the case, the action of Petitioner of knocking on neighbor’s door knowing that the man in the house is absent, the same being occupied by a lady with her six year old daughter and that too for a frivolous reason of getting a lemon for so called medical emergency of stomach upset, is preposterous to say the least. The conduct of the Petitioner is certainly unbecoming of the officer of the force such as CISF. In our considered view, the intention of the Petitioner is certainly not found to be as genuine and clear as alleged. We stop at that and say nothing more.”

The Bench took note of the fact that already a departmental enquiry has taken place and the petitioner has been punished with a minor penalty, which is confirmed not only before the appellate authority but also in the revisional jurisdiction.

Facts of the Case -

The petitioner was working as Constable/GD with CISF and he had challenged the order passed by the Senior Commandant CISF Unit, BPCL, Mumbai (Disciplinary Officer), the order of the Deputy Inspector General, and a revisional order of the Inspector General. A minor penalty was imposed upon him and his pay was reduced by three stages from Rs.27,600/- (Level-3/Cell-9) to Rs.25,200/- (Level-3/Cell-6) for the period of 3 years.

The charge against him was that in 2021, he knocked the door of his neighbour’s house in which a woman was residing with her six-year-old daughter and her husband being Constable, was posted in West Bengal for election duty. As per the charge, the woman got frightened and upset when she opened the door, at the odd hours around midnight. After she warned and threatened him, he left for his residence. The counsel for the petitioner contended that he knocked the door due to stomach upset at night and to ask for a lemon for making sugar and salt syrup.

The High Court after hearing the arguments from both sides said, “The submission that the Petitioner was not in the course of duty and therefore, the incident does not amount to misconduct under governing Rules is devoid of merits. We say so because perusal of the said Rules clearly shows otherwise. Rule 1.3(1) of the said Rules requires the Petitioner to maintain integrity and do nothing which is unbecoming of a Government servant ‘at all times’. In that view of the matter, there is no merit in the said submission.”

The Court, therefore, concluded that there is neither perversity in the impugned orders, nor they suffer from any error apparent on the face of the record, nor there is any jurisdictional transgression.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the writ petition and refused to interfere in the case.

Cause Title- Arvind Kumar v. Laxmi Sanjay Nikam & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:BHC-AS:11712-DB)


Petitioner: Advocates Pankaj Vijayan and Shyamdhar Upadhyay.

Respondents: Advocate R.R. Shetty

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