The Supreme Court upheld dismissal of a police constable for drunkenness and misbehavior with the public.
Constable Prem was found in an inebriated state on 1 November 2006 and was misbehaving with the public. After conducting the enquiry, the Superintendent of Police, Pithoragarh passed an order of dismissal, holding that the charge of drunkenness and misbehavior was proved.
He unsuccessfully challenged this order of dismissal before various forums including the single bench of the High Court. Finally, the Division Bench, on his plea, observed that his past conduct should not have been taken into consideration and that since he had completed 25 years of satisfactory service in the police department, the punishment of dismissal seems to be excessive. The High court converted the punishment to compulsory retirement.
In the appeal filed by the state, the bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta observed:
“The charge against the respondent was of a serious act of misconduct involving drunkenness and misbehavior with the public. The fact of intoxication was duly proved in the medical report. Having regard to the seriousness of the charge of misconduct and the fact that the respondent was a member of the police service, we find no justification for the High Court to interfere with the order of dismissal.”
The court then set aside the High Court order, and restored the order of dismissal imposed on Prem.