Says applicant wilfully made false proceedings

Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6
In an unprecedented order, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Ashok Kumar, station superintendent, Chhan Arorian in Kathua district, for wilfully filing a frivolous application before the tribunal.

The CAT, headed by judicial member D.P. Sharma and Promilla Issar, observed: “The applicant has knowingly and wilfully made false proceedings and committed an offence against administration of justice. He had rendered himself liable to initiate not only criminal proceedings but also contempt proceedings.”

The applicant, Ashok Kumar, had challenged the order of the tribunal pronounced on May 20, 2008, wherein the respondents proposed to recover Rs 2,11,640 by way of penal rent for a government accommodation.

Ashok stated in the application that he was appointed as a stationmaster at Jalandhar in 1991. While he was transferred as a station superintendent to Kapurthala in May 2004, he was allowed to retain a railway quarter for a period of two months on a normal rent. Thereafter, he was allowed to retain the same quarter on double the rent from May 22, 2004, to July 21, 2004.

He claimed that on March 31, 2005, he vacated the said accommodation and one Subash Chander Sharma occupied the same. Furthermore, the accommodation continued in the name of the station superintendent, Kapurthala, till February 28, 2008, when Subash Chander retired on his retirement.

Ashok asserted that he had estranged relations with his wife and a divorce case is pending in the courts. Subsequently, the applicant was served with a chargesheet under the provisions of the Railway Servant (discipline & appeals) Rules, 1968, for giving false vacation of the accommodation on March 31, 2005. The respondents further asked Ashok to pay the penal rent amounting to Rs 2,11,640 for a period from April 1, 2005.

Contesting the application, the respondents stated that the applicant did not handover the possession on or before March 31, 2005, and his family members have continued to stay in the said accommodation without any authorisation. The respondents stated that the applicant got married to one Geeta for the second time by converting to Islam.

Disclosing a statement made by the applicant, the respondents stated that Ashok had admitted that he could not vacate the accommodation due to some unavoidable circumstances and was mentally disturbed due to a family dispute.

Revealing a confessional letter written by the applicant, the CAT held: “In a letter addressed to the senior divisional operation manager, Northern Railways, Firozepur Cantt, dated April 4, 2008, the application admitted that he and his family had been residing in the railway accommodation in an unauthorised manner since March 31, 2005, but actually this quarter was not physically vacated by him and false vacation of quarter was also given by him.”

Commenting on the applicant’s act, the CAT stated: “While denouncing such an act on the part of the applicant in strongest possible terms, we are of the view that interest of justice would be adequately met by imposing exemplary cost on him.”