Monday, 27 October 2014

HC sets aside govt order dismissing employee on theft charge

Terming as "harsh" the Centre's decision to dismiss a government employee from service for stealing government property, the Bombay High Court has set aside the impugned order and instead lowered the punishment to compulsory retirement from service. 

Justices Naresh Patil and BP Colabawalla set aside the July 27, 2010, order of dismissal of Ramchandra Goya Sadhu, who was caught stealing copper rods on May 14, 2010, by the Defence Security Corps Platoon at Tiger Gate here. He was found to have tied the rods around his waist, hiding them inside his clothes. 

The court also set aside the March 15, 2013, order of the Central Administrative Tribunal which had upheld his dismissal from service for committing theft of government property. 

Instead, the bench ordered that the said employee be slapped with the penalty of compulsory retirement under Rule 40 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, and paid pensionary benefits in accordance with law. 

Sadhu had cited a government order wherein four employees who were facing a similar charge of stealing property were not dismissed but given a lesser punishment. Some of them were compulsorily retired from service while others were not given increments for two years. 

"Taking into consideration the period of service of the petitioner and his unblemished record in serving his employer, we are of the view that the punishment meted out... namely dismissal from service, was harsh," the bench noted in its order, which was delivered recently. 

"We find that the interest of justice would be met if the order of dismissal of the petitioner is set aside and, instead, the lesser punishment of compulsory retirement from service is imposed," the bench said. 

"We are not for a moment condoning the actions of the petitioner. The charge of theft is indeed a serious one, but looking to the totality of the facts, we feel that in the present case it would be punishment enough if the petitioner is compulsorily retired from service so that he receives pensionary benefits as per the rules," the judges observed. 

The bench said it had taken a sympathetic view in the case only because the petitioner has an unblemished record of 22 years of service and other similarly-placed employees found guilty on theft charges were slapped with penalties lighter than what was meted out to him.

Government employee can't seek promotion after refusing it: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: A government employee, whose promotion is canceled owing to his refusal to accept it, cannot ask for it at a later stage, the Supreme Court has said.

The apex court set aside the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which had directed the state government to restore the promotion of one of its employees whose promotion was cancelled after he turned down the offer as he did not want to get transfered to some other place.

"As we find that it is the respondent himself who is responsible for cancellation of the promotion order as he did not join the promoted post, the impugned order of the high court is clearly erroneous and against the law," a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Madhya Pradesh government challenging the high court order.

The government had submitted that the high court failed to consider that Ramanand Pandey himself sent back the promotion order and continued on his post and approached the court after two years when it cancelled his promotion.

It said that at the time of promotion, Pandey was posted in Bhind district where he remained for almost 15 years and his intention was to stay at that place only.

The apex court, after hearing both sides, quashed the high court order.

"It is clear that he wanted to remain in Bhind district, where he had continued since 1990, as he was ready to go on leave instead of joining the place of transfer. Moreover, for more than two years from the date of cancellation of the order of promotion, the respondent kept totally mum and maintained stoic silence.

"There was not even a semblance of protest as to why his promotion order was cancelled or that he wanted to join the promotion post after the alleged inquiry into the so-called complaint was over. He filed the writ petition on October 24, 2008, i.e. almost two years after cancellation of his promotion order," it said.