Diwan Singh Versus Life Insurance Corporation of India




Diwan Singh … Appellant


Life Insurance Corporation of India and others …Respondents


The facts are that the appellant was a cashier with Life Insurance Corporation of India (hereinafter referred to as “LIC”) and posted at Bilaspur, District Rampur in U.P. A policy holder, Bhograj Singh, deposited with the appellant an amount of Rs.533/- towards half yearly insurance premium on 13.8.1990 but the same was not deposited with LIC nor credited in the account of the policyholder till 27.11.1990, though a receipt was issued on 13.8.1990 by the appellant. It appears that when the LIC agent did not get his commission out of the premium deposited, and made enquiries in this regard, aforesaid amount of Rs.533/- was shown deposited by the appellant with late fee of Rs.15.90/-, and entry was made in the cash register on 28.11.1990. Also, a forged entry was made in ledger sheet on back date. In connection with the above misconduct on the part of the appellant, a charge-sheet was served on him on 29.4.1991 on two counts, namely, temporary embezzlement of Rs.533/- for the period 13.8.1990 to 27.11.1990, and forging entry of Rs.533/- in the carbon copy of the ledger sheet dated 13.8.1990 between entry Nos. 12 and 13. On conclusion of the departmental enquiry, the appellant was found guilty, and served with copy of enquiry report, where after he was removed from service vide order dated 21.1.1992. The departmental appeal appears to have been dismissed by the authority concerned on 22.2.1992. Challenging the order of removal from service and that of the appellate authority, the appellant filed Civil Miscellaneous Writ Petition No. 10308 of 1999 before the High Court which was allowed by the learned Single Judge on 6.9.1999. Aggrieved by said order of the learned Single Judge, Special Appeal was filed before Division Bench of the High Court, by the employer (i.e. – L.I.C.). The Division Bench, after hearing the parties, came to the conclusion that the appellant appears to have committed the forgery to cover his mistake, and partly allowed the appeal by substituting punishment of compulsory retirement in place of removal from service. The appellant-employee has challenged the order of the Division Bench of the High Court by way of Special Leave Petition mainly on the ground that the punishment of compulsory retirement is disproportionate, unreasonable and harsh. Leave was granted by this Court on 19.4.2010….read more