Departmental proceedings after acquittal

Acquittal under Prevention of Corruption Act:

Acquittal by a criminal court would not debar an employer from exercising the power to conduct departmental proceedings in accordance with the rules and regulations. The two proceedings, criminal and departmental, are entirely different. They operate in different fields and have different objectives. In the disciplinary proceedings, the question is whether the Respondent is guilty of such conduct as would merit his removal from service or a lesser punishment, as the case may be, whereas in the criminal proceedings, the question is whether the offences registered against him under the PC Act are established, and if established, what sentence should be imposed upon him. The standard of proof, the mode of inquiry and the rules governing inquiry and trial in both the cases are significantly distinct and different. Continue reading “Departmental proceedings after acquittal”

Back wages for the period of suspension.

Back wages after set aside of conviction:

This Court in Ranchhodji Chaturji Thakore (supra) considered the case of an employee who sought back wages for the period he was kept out of duty during the pendency of a criminal case for his involvement in an offence under Section 302, IPC. The claim of the Petitioner therein was that he was entitled to full wages on his acquittal by the Criminal Court. This Court rejected the said submission by holding that the question of payment of back wages would arise only in case of termination of service, pursuant to findings recorded in a departmental enquiry. In the event of the dismissal order being set aside by the Court, the delinquent employee would be entitled to claim back wages as he was unlawfully kept away from duty by the employer. This Court was of the opinion that an employee against whom criminal proceedings are initiated would stand on a different footing in comparison to an employee facing a departmental inquiry. The employee involved in a crime has disabled himself from rendering his services on account of his incarceration in jail. Subsequent acquittal by an Appellate Court would not entitle him to claim back wages.

Continue reading “Back wages for the period of suspension.”

What is the meaning of “experience as company secretary”?

Facts:

Appellant was working as Assistant Company Secretary for the period between June 2008 to May 2010 in Utkal Investments Limited and that she was working as Management Trainee in the Delhi Stock Exchange Association Limited for the period between April 2005 to June 2006, and as the Management Trainee in ONGC for the period between May 2003 to June 2004.

It was held that: Her appointment as Management Trainee cannot be equated and/or considered as appointment ‘as’ a Company Secretary.

Continue reading “What is the meaning of “experience as company secretary”?”

Marriage does not change the caste.

Marriage of a Vaishya with a Jatav.

Appellant was born in “Agarwal” family. She married Dr. Veer Singh, who happens to belong to “Jatav” Community (said to be one of the Scheduled Castes). A caste certificate dated 29.11.1991 was issued by District Magistrate/Collector, Bulandshahar certifying the appellant as of Scheduled Caste (Jatav). Based on the academic qualifications and the caste certificate, she was appointed initially as a Post Graduate Teacher (Hindi) vide letter dated 16.12.1993 at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Pathankot, Punjab. During the course of her service, she completed her M.Ed and served the institution for about 21 years as teacher.
Continue reading “Marriage does not change the caste.”

Appointment of persons with criminal background in police forcce

Acquittal by itself not enough for appointment:

The question involved in these appeals is whether the candidature of the respondents who had disclosed their involvement in the criminal cases and also their acquittal could be canceled by the Screening Committee on the ground that they are not suitable for the post of constable in Chandigarh Police and whether the court can substitute its views for the decision taken by the Screening Committee.

Screening Committee examined each and every case of the respondents and reasonings for their acquittal and taken the decision. While deciding whether a person involved in a criminal case has been acquitted or discharged should be appointed to a post in a police force, nature of offence in which he is involved, whether it was an honourable acquittal or only an extension of benefit of doubt because of witnesses turned hostile and flaws in the prosecution are all the aspects to be considered by the Screening Committee for taking the decision whether the candidate is suitable for the post. As pointed out earlier, the Screening Committee examined each and every case and reasonings for their acquittal and took decision that the respondents are not suitable for the post of Constable in Chandigarh Police. The procedure followed is as per guideline 2(A)(b) and object of such screening is to ensure that only persons with impeccable character enters police force. While so, the court cannot substitute its views for the decision of the Screening Committee.

In a catena of judgments, the importance of integrity and high standard of conduct in police force has been emphasized. As held in Mehar Singh case, the decision of the Screening Committee must be taken as final unless it is mala fide. In the case in hand, there is nothing to suggest that the decision of the Screening Committee is mala fide. The decision of the Screening Committee that the respondents are not suitable for being appointed to the post of Constable does not call for interference.

[Source: Union Territory, Chandigarh  vs Pradeep Kumar, decided by SC on 8 January, 2018]

Jurisdiction of Court created under Kerala Cooperative Societies Act

Industrial or Labour Court vs. Cooperative Court

Whether a service dispute arising between the Cooperative Society’s Employee and his Employer is capable of being tried by the forum prescribed under the KCS Act or by the machinery provided under the ID Act or it is capable of being tried under both the Acts leaving the aggrieved person to select one forum under any of the Acts of his choice out of the two for getting his/her service dispute decided by such forum?

First, the language of Section 69 of the KCS Act as it originally stood is materially different from the language used in its counter part Sections of two earlier repealed Kerala Co-operative Societies Acts of 1932 and 1951. This departure made in the language employed in Section 69 of the KCS Act qua language of earlier two repealed Acts is significant and has a material bearing while answering the questions. Continue reading “Jurisdiction of Court created under Kerala Cooperative Societies Act”

Reservation procedure when Reserved candidate selected on merits.

Reserve candidate qualifying on merits

Often, in a competitive examination held for the purpose of admission in technical and medical institutions etc. some candidates belonging to reserved category/categories, qualify for the higher ranking on the basis of their own merit and depending on their performance in the common entrance test, are placed in the general merit list. Such class of candidates belonging to reserved categories who qualify on their own merit, to be placed in general merit list, are described, for the purpose of convenience, as Meritorious Reserved Candidate (MRC). It is by now well settled that a MRC who goes on to occupy a general category seat is not counted against the quota reserved for a reserved category candidates, but is treated as an open competition candidate or general merit candidate. This Court in the case of Indra Sawnhey v. Union of India, 1992 Supp (3) SCC 217 has observed thus: Continue reading “Reservation procedure when Reserved candidate selected on merits.”

Opportunity of hearing before penalty of dismissal

Does principles of natural justice would require an opportunity to be given to the delinquent employee before imposition of penalty?

The Disciplinary Authority after supplying the Report of the Inquiring Authority had given an opportunity to the Respondent to submit his explanation, which he did. In view of the disability of the Disciplinary Authority in passing an “order of removal” under Rule 68 (2), the entire record was sent to the Appointing Authority who examined the matter and passed an “order of removal”.

In State Bank of India v. Ranjit Kumar Chakraborty (supra) which is the basis of the judgment of the High Court, it was held that the Appointing Authority could not pass an order imposing a major penalty. In that case, the Disciplinary Authority sent the Records to the Appointing Authority who passed order of “dismissal from service”. It is not clear from the judgment as to whether the delinquent officer in that case was given a notice by the Disciplinary Authority before the records were sent to the Appointing Authority. Continue reading “Opportunity of hearing before penalty of dismissal”

Non supply of Enquiry Report does not vitiate order of dismissal

Effect of non-supply of Enquiry Report to dismissed employee:

Test of prejudice:

When the employee is dismissed or removed from service and the inquiry is set aside because the report is not furnished to him, in some cases the non-furnishing of the report may have prejudiced him gravely while in other cases it may have made no difference to the ultimate punishment awarded to him. Hence to direct reinstatement of the employee with back-wages in all cases is to reduce the rules of justice to a mechanical ritual.

Continue reading “Non supply of Enquiry Report does not vitiate order of dismissal”

Termination of retainer of Government Pleaders

Termination of appointment of Pleaders without stating any reason:

In Maharashtra the relevant Rules governing the appointment and termination of Government pleaders is Rules 30 (5) and (6) of the which reads as under:

“30. Period of Appointment.

(5) A Law Officer shall be liable to be removed from his office at any time, if he is guilty of any act or conduct which, in the opinion of Government, in the Law and Judiciary Department, is incompatible with his duties as such Law Officer. The decision of Government in the Law and Judiciary Department in such cases shall be final.

Continue reading “Termination of retainer of Government Pleaders”