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'Intention of not returning loan is misconduct'

The Central Administrative Tribunal has refused the plea of a policeman to quash departmental actions of forfeiture of increments for not paying back the loans taken from a moneylender.

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The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has refused the plea of a policeman to quash departmental actions of forfeiture of increments for not paying back the loans taken from a moneylender, saying it amounts to grave "misconduct" on his part.

"The charge against the policeman was that while taking the money from a moneylender..., he never had the intention to pay it back. This act by the delinquent was alleged to be amounting to a gross misconduct, carelessness and unbecoming of a member of the police force," the Tribunal, comprising Members Shanker Raju and Veena Chhotray, said.
     
The order was passed by declining the plea of Mukesh Kumar, a Delhi police constable, who had challenged the decision of the authorities making him liable for punishment of forfeiture of three increments on the ground of misconduct.
     
The tribunal referred the service rules, saying that the person shall maintain absolute integrity, devotion to duty and do nothing which is unbecoming of a government servant.

While rejecting the contention of the constable regarding the legitimacy of conducting dual proceedings against him, the
tribunal said that there was no bar in conducting departmental proceedings against the delinquent official where he is also facing a criminal trial in court.

The CAT also rejected the allegations of arbitrariness on the part of the enquiry officer, saying that the authorities duly considered the pleas of self-defence by the delinquent.
     
Kumar was found guilty of misconduct in departmental proceedings, conducted after a case under section 138 (Cheque bounce due to insufficiency of funds) of the Negotiable Instruments Act was registered against him by the moneylender accusing him of taking money with the intention of not paying back to him.

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