Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Supreme Court flays BSF jawan found drunk on duty, turns down his appeal against Meghalaya HC order

The Supreme Court on Friday refused the appeal of an erstwhile Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, who was dismissed after he was found in an inebriated condition during duty hours.

A Bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Aniruddha Bose came down heavily on the security personnel for dereliction of duty.

“You were found intoxicated on duty, the punishment has to be harsh,” opined the Apex Court while upholding the order of Meghalaya High Court which in turn had dismissed the appeal by BSF constable who was dismissed from service after he was found guilty for an act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force and intoxication.

The High Court had noted his appeal is utterly baseless and a complete waste of time by a recalcitrant erstwhile Border Security Force (BSF) Employee.

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Today, Justice DY Chandrachud said,
“You admitted to be guilty, intoxicated, you are border officer.” 

The petitioner said, “The High Court did not follow border force rules.”

Justice Chandrachud said, “You were intoxicated on duty. The punishment has to be harsh. There are offences which we can’t indulge in.”

The High Court had noted that the appellant has been dismissed from service after being found guilty on all four charges levelled against him. The writ petition was made out in such a manner that the papers pertaining to the first set of charges were appended to the writ petition, but the other papers were not. The impression that was sought to be given in the writ petition was that the writ petitioner admitted his guilt in respect of the two minor charges but there may not have been adjudication on the two major charges.

The brief facts of the case are that Ex-Ct A. Murli Krishna of 123 Bn BSF, the petitioner was tried by a SSFC on two charge sheets containing 02 charges each. The trial proceeded first on the 1st charge sheet containing two charges u/s 40 and 26 of the BSF Act, 1968 for an act prejudicial to good order and discipline of the force and intoxication respectively. The particulars of the 1st charge sheet averred that he, on 21.02.2016, at about 2030 hrs visited and entered the house of local female villager namely Romola r/o Village Ryngku and demanded the liquor. The particulars of the 2nd charge are that he, at BOP Ryngku on 21.02.2016 at about 2030 hrs was found in a state of intoxication.

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The particulars of the 1st charge averred that he, at BOP Ryngku on 22.02.2016 at about 1000 hrs when ordered by No.859110718 ASI/GD (CASIM) K K Nayak to appear before Coy Comdr as directed by him, refused to do so stating “MURALI KISI SE NAHI MILTA HAI JO KARNA HAI KAR LO” and did not appear before the Coy Comdr.. The particulars of the 2nd charge are that he at BOP Ryngku of 123 Bn BSF on 21.02.2016 used abusing language to No.859110718 ASI/GD (CASIM) K K Nayak of the same unit by saying “BAHANCHOD MAI YAHI PAR HUN KAUN BOLA AAPKO” or words to that effect. 

After having fully satisfied that the petitioner had understood the same and there was no need for the petitioner to withdraw his plea, the Court accepted his plea and recorded findings of „Guilty‟ on both the charges on 2nd charge sheet also. The Court also recorded his previous convictions, character and reward etc. and sentenced him “to be dismissed from service” on 01.04.2016. The trial proceedings were countersigned by the DIG, SHQ BSF, Jowai on 07.10.2016.”

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The High Court had said,

“What is further evident from the paragraph quoted above is that the writ petitioner also admitted his guilt in respect of the two charges in the second charge-sheet which were far more serious upon the writ petitioner having disobeyed a command to meet the Company Commander and the writ petitioner using abusive and intemperate language in connection therewith.”

The Court said,

“In the present case, a member of a disciplined force was found to be intoxicated and such member was also found on another occasion to have directly refused to obey a command by his Company Commander and used abusive language in course of such refusal. If the superiors within the disciplined force found that it was imperative that such indiscipline be dealt with in the harshest manner, it does not shock the conscience of the court for the court to step in and interfere with the punishment.”

The Court had dismissed the writ petition with a cost of Rs 5000.

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