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MISTAKE OF FACT = The appellant challenged the order of punishment in Writ Petition No.2942 of 2010. He also filed an application for withdrawal of the suit which was allowed by the concerned Court on 23.02.2010. In paragraph 10 of the writ petition, the appellant disclosed the factum of pendency of the suit and averred that he had filed a writ petition questioning the order of punishment because the Civil Court had not granted injunction. However, the learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petition by assuming that the appellant had suppressed the fact relating to the suit filed in the Court of Civil Judge (Junior Division), Sonepat. The learned Single Judge relied upon the decision of this Court in Arunima Baruah vs. Union of India and others (2007) 6 SCC 120 and held that the appellant who was guilty of suppressing material facts was not entitled to relief under Article 226 of the Constitution.= Therefore, it must be held that the appellant had not suppressed the facts relating to the civil suit and dismissal of the application for temporary injunction and the learned Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court committed serious error by non-suiting him on the premise that he was guilty of not coming to the Court with clean hands. In the result, the appeal is allowed, the impugned order as also the one passed by the learned Single Judge are set aside and the writ petition filed by the appellant is restored to its original number. The High Court shall now decide the same on merits after giving opportunity of hearing to the parties. ‘

 

Sonepat (Sonipat) Railway Station platform

Sonepat (Sonipat) Railway Station platform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL No.4 OF 2013
(Arising out of SLP(C)No.32533 OF 2011)

CHETAN DEV CHAWLA …….APPELLANT

VERSUS

STATE OF HARYANA & ORS. ……RESPONDENTS

O R D E R

Leave granted.
The only question which requires consideration in this appeal is
whether the learned Single Judge and the Division Bench of the Punjab and
Haryana High Court were justified in non-suiting the appellant on the
ground that he had not approached the Court with clean hands.
While he was holding the post of Assistant in the Directorate of
Sports and Youth Affairs, Haryana, a departmental enquiry was initiated
against him vide Memo dated 6.11.2008 issued under the Haryana Civil
Services (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1987 on the allegations that he had
helped his wife in fraudulently withdrawing the House Rent Allowance (HRA)
and that he had failed to submit a certificate about the employment of his
wife in Agriculture Department and drawal of HRA by her.
The Enquiry Officer submitted report with the finding that the
allegations levelled against the appellant have been proved. The
disciplinary authority accepted the report and issued show cause notice
dated 2.1.2010 to the appellant proposing the imposition of punishment of
reduction to the lower post of Clerk.
In the meanwhile, the appellant filed Civil Suit No.1338/2009
questioning the very initiation of enquiry vide memo dated 6.11.2008. He
also filed an application under Order XXXIX, Rules 1 and 2 CPC, which was
dismissed by Civil Judge (Junior Division), Sonepat vide order dated
4.2.2010.
After 5 days of dismissal of the application for temporary
injunction, the disciplinary authority passed order dated 9.2.2010 and
confirmed the proposed punishment.
The appellant challenged the order of punishment in Writ Petition
No.2942 of 2010. He also filed an application for withdrawal of the suit
which was allowed by the concerned Court on 23.02.2010.
In paragraph 10 of the writ petition, the appellant disclosed the
factum of pendency of the suit and averred that he had filed a writ
petition questioning the order of punishment because the Civil Court had
not granted injunction. However, the learned Single Judge dismissed the
writ petition by assuming that the appellant had suppressed the fact
relating to the suit filed in the Court of Civil Judge (Junior Division),
Sonepat. The learned Single Judge relied upon the decision of this Court
in Arunima Baruah vs. Union of India and others (2007) 6 SCC 120 and held
that the appellant who was guilty of suppressing material facts was not
entitled to relief under Article 226 of the Constitution.
In the memo of Letters Patent Appeal filed by him, the appellant
adverted to the averments contained in paragraph 10 of the writ petition
filed by him and also pointed out that the suit had been dismissed as
withdrawn vide order dated 23.02.2010. However, the Division Bench of the
High Court did not feel convinced with the explanation given by the
appellant that he had not concealed any fact from the Court and negatived
his challenge to the order of the learned Single Judge.
We have heard learned counsel for the parties and carefully perused
the record. The respondents have not controverted that in paragraph 10 of
the writ petition filed by him, the appellant had unequivocally disclosed
the facts relating to the civil suit, dismissal of the injunction
application and submission of application for withdrawal of the suit. They
have also not disputed that in the memo of Letters Patent Appeal, the
appellant had referred to the averments contained in paragraph 10 of the
writ petition. Therefore, it must be held that the appellant had not
suppressed the facts relating to the civil suit and dismissal of the
application for temporary injunction and the learned Single Judge and the
Division Bench of the High Court committed serious error by non-suiting him
on the premise that he was guilty of not coming to the Court with clean
hands.
In the result, the appeal is allowed, the impugned order as also
the one passed by the learned Single Judge are set aside and the writ
petition filed by the appellant is restored to its original number. The
High Court shall now decide the same on merits after giving opportunity of
hearing to the parties.

………………………J.
(G.S.SINGHVI)

………………………J.
(GYAN SUDHA MISRA)

NEW DELHI;
JANUARY 02, 2013.

ITEM NO.49 COURT NO.4 SECTION IVB

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).32533/2011

(From the judgement and order dated 26/08/2011 in LPA No.586/2011 of The
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH)

CHETAN DEV CHAWLA Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

STATE OF HARYANA & ORS. Respondent(s)

(With prayer for interim relief)

Date: 02/01/2013 This Petition was called on for hearing today.

CORAM :
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. SINGHVI
HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE GYAN SUDHA MISRA

For Petitioner(s) Mr.T.N.Tripathi, Adv.
Mr.Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, Adv.
Mr. Rameshwar Prasad Goyal, Adv.

For Respondent(s) Ms.Rokokieno Mor, Adv.
Ms. Naresh Bakshi, Adv.

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R

Leave granted.

The appeal is allowed in terms of the signed order.

(Satish K.Yadav) (Phoolan Wati Arora)
Court Master Court Master
( Signed order is placed on the file )

 

 

 

 

 

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