• Advise for 'Removal from service'

Q 1	I would like to seek advice in connection with an FIR lodged by SBI against me as the branch manager of a branch of SBI u/s 406,409,471,420,465,120B IPC. I was posted at a branch as branch manager from Feb 2009 to July 2011. There were two officers in the branch including myself. Being a small branch, we both shared our workload to provide better customer service. As in normal course of business, I had carried on the bank’s business including disbursing of KCC loans to the farmers.          
In June 2014 I was questioned by an enquiry officer of the bank regarding 4 KCC accounts. The major issues raised were that the borrowers for 2 KCC a/cs sanctioned by me were not found at the recorded address and in the case of two accounts the persons were dead prior sanction of loan. In reply to which I had said that all documents were executed by the borrowers at the branch. Also in all cases pre sanction inspections were conducted. I had visited the SBI Dhaniakali branch in person during the course of enquiry in June 2014 and had also gone through the loan accounts of the said 4 KCC borrowers, wherein I could see that the loans disbursed during my tenure had been repaid in 2012. To the best of my knowledge I do not appear to have written off any KCC accounts.  As such, there was no pecuniary loss to the bank on the loan sanctioned by me. I learnt that subsequently fresh disbursements were made after fresh appraisals by the then branch manager. I did not receive any communication from the branch thereafter.
 However, in the month of December 2014 I received another letter from SBI seeking clarifications related to the same four KCC accounts (as mentioned earlier) which had been sanctioned by me as the Branch Manager. In response to the above I had given detailed clarifications through my Controller. Since then I had not received any communication from Bank in this regard. The said KCC accounts were sanctioned during my tenure after observing all formalities. It is also seen from the records that the said accounts were repaid in full pursuant to my transfer from that branch. Subsequent renewals of the accounts were not done by me 
I have recently learnt that a FIR had been lodged by SBI against more than 300 defaulters. As per information that I could gather from the said FIR a large number of KCC accounts were found out to be irregular. The defaulters in turn have taken the plea that they never took any loan and the bank officials misled them. Thereafter SBI lodged another FIR alleging the involvement of middleman - both insider and outsider. It is also mentioned that the bank had suffered a huge financial loss due to the conspiracy by three bank officers including myself and others. During my tenure at the branch no such allegations were made and the same are baseless. The same is evident from the fact that nowhere in the enquiry or explanations called from me by SBI there were any such allegations. They had specifically referred to only four KCC loan accounts disbursed during my tenure as the branch manager of the branch. I feel that the mistakes done by officials after I had left the branch are wrongfully being attributed to me. I also feel that the internal investigations by the bank had not been fully completed prior to lodging the FIR as I received the explanation from SBI only in Dec 2014 and replied to it explaining all details. I have not been issued any show cause notice nor has there been any adverse action against me by the bank till date. On the contrary I have served in three different branches after leaving that branch. I would like to highlight that even during the enquiry in June 2014 and subsequently in December 2014 I have not received any adverse remarks nor any action been taken against me by the bank. I believe that this is due to the fact that no wrong doing has been proved against me and hence I was given charge of a big branch as late as in December 2014, where I am still serving with full financial powers and authority. Here it may also be noted that the bank had suspended the branch manager who took charge from me as he was found guilty in the internal investigation. The FIR however was collectively made by the bank for the entire defaulting borrowers and the three officers.
	Based on advice of the Bank Officers association a petition for anticipatory bail was submitted at the High Court, which was rejected. This was due to the fact that all the officers’ petition was filed together on behalf of the association. 
Subsequently an internal investigation was conducted by the bank and they have inflicted 'Removal from service' as punishment.
Kindly advice what are the legal options available to me as I am trying to seek bail in respect of the case filed by the bank in court and now even before the court could decide the case I have been punished by the bank.I feel that I will have to suffer twice for the alleged offences.I have 45 days to appeal against the bank's penalty of Removal from service.
Kindly advice.
Asked 8 months ago in Criminal Law from Panagarh, West Bengal
Religion: Hindu
In Dattatraya Mahadev Nadkarni (Dr.) v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay (1992) 2 SCC 547 it has been explained that removal and dismissal from service stand on the same footing and both bring about termination of service though every termination of service does not amount to removal or dismissal. The only difference between the two is that in the case of dismissal the employee is disqualified from future employment while in the case of removal he is not debarred from getting future employment. 

2) you will have to move courts for declaration  that the termination is invalid and that you be deemed to continue in service. you have to plead that the Appointing Authority acted on extraneous material in passing the order of removal.

3) you have to plead that punishment imposed was severe and disproportionate to the gravity of the   unproven charge 

4) rely uon judgement in case  of UP State Agro Industrial Corporation Ltd. Vs. Padam Chand Jain  1995 SCC (L&S 1011). In that case, the report of the Enquiry Officer was in favour of the employee exonerating him of all charges. The Disciplinary Authority invited the comments of the Accounts Officer and relying on the basis of the adverse comments made by such officer, held the employee guilty and terminated him from service. This Court upheld the view of the High Court that the decision of the Disciplinary Authority was vitiated on account of the same being influenced by some extraneous material in the form of adverse comments of the Accounts Officer.

5) in the enquiry in June 2014 and subsequently in December 2014 you  have not received any adverse remarks nor any action been taken against me by the bank.no show cause notice has been issued to you . hence your removal from service is unjustified 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23206 Answers
1218 Consultations
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Hi, Against the removal from the service you have to file an appeal to the appellate authority or the High Court which ever is applicable.

2. Secondly as far as filing FIR against you, you have to file a petition in the Hon'ble High Court for quashing the same and also seek stay of the FIR.
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
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133 Consultations
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if you have prima facie evidence to show that all dishonest things were not happened in your tenure then you should file a case before the high court for quashing of FIR. it will be quashed by the high court. this instant remedy is available under section 482 crpc.   
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2737 Answers
41 Consultations
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It was foolish for all the accused persons to join to file a single petition for anticipatory bail. Separate petitions ought to have been filed if they were to stand any chance of success. File a fresh bail petition individually. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18088 Answers
448 Consultations
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Kindly advice what are the legal options available to me as I am trying to seek bail in respect of the case filed by the bank in court and now even before the court could decide the case I have been punished by the bank.I feel that I will have to suffer twice for the alleged offences.I have 45 days to appeal against the bank's penalty of Removal from service.

As far as the removal from service by bank, you may have to file an appeal before the higher officials or file a writ before the high curt seeking relief.
For anticipatory bail, you can once again apply before the district and sessions court in individual capacity.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13985 Answers
127 Consultations
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