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Harilal vs The Regional Inspectress Of Girls ...

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad|27 November, 1995

JUDGMENT / ORDER

JUDGMENT R.K. Mahajan J.
1. By this petition, the petitioner prays for quashing the orders dated April 22, 1981; June 6, 1981 and February 26, 1983, contained in annexures, 8, 9 and 10 respectively to the writ petition. He also prays that a writ in the nature of mandamus be also issued commanding the principal and the Committee of Management of Carmel Inter College, Gorakhpur to pay the past salary to the petitioner together with all privileges and benefits.
2. The petitioner was a Chowkidar in the Carmel Inter College, Gorakhpur (sic.) from June 1, 1971. The college is being run and managed by Christians. The petitioner's grievance is that he was suspended on the charge of being absent from duly and also that he was negligent in his duties as a result of which a then was committed in the store of the college. The complicity of the petitioner in the alleged theft was suspected. The management terminated the services of the petitioner on January 20, 1981 without holding enquiry and this fact came in the knowledge of the petitioner later on when the matter was taken up by way of appeal to the Regional Inspectress of Girls Schools 7th Region, Gorakhpur. The matter was again investigated and he was given a charge-sheet. The Enquiry Officer one Sri N. Andereyas was appointed fay the Principal. The grievance of the petitioner is that he was not given sufficient time to file written statement in support of the allegations and even time to substantiate the case was not given. As such the entire proceedings has been vitiated. The other ground of the petitioner is that the enquiry had been conducted not in accordance-with regulations so much so the copy of the proceedings were not given. The management again held the enquiry and found him guilty which the petitioner asserts is based on no evidence. So in short the case of the petitioner was that he was terminated without notice or enquiry but later on when the matter went to Appellate Authority another Enquiry Officer was appointed, notice was given but he was not allowed to lead evidence.
3. The actual impugned order is February 26, 1983, which is relevant and for the petitioner's main relief is confined. The writ petition is of 1983. The respondents' Counsel was given time to file counter affidavit but no counter affidavit has been filed. However the respondents' Counsel is present at the time of arguments.
4. We have heard the learned Counsel for the parties. Sri Ravi Kant Jain, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner, submits that the charges were vague; the impugned orders are without substance, the petitioner was not given full opportunity to defend the case. The entire proceedings were full of bias and prejudice. The respondents' Counsel justified the termination orders.
5. We are of the view that the order of termination suffers procedural infirmities and flaws. The petitioner was terminated initially without affording any opportunity of hearing and later on when he went to the Appellate Authority, this fact came into notice and the defects were then rectified and the petitioner was again dismissed. It has been mentioned that that was the result of the F.I.R. lodged regarding the theft. We are informed during the course of arguments that the police could not detect the case. The petitioner was only a Chowkidar and he may be careless in not reporting the matter immediately to the management but it cannot be described as a case of gross negligence. Taking in view of the procedural infirmities; the enquiry and other surrounding circumstances, we are of the opinion that the termination order is bad in law and deserves to be set aside. We are of the view that the penalty is also extreme. However, the incident happened in 1971 and the petitioner must have been gainfully employed during that period and in the natural course of events. It cannot be said that he remained unemployed or could not earn sufficiently.
6. In the result the petition succeeds and is allowed. The impugned order dated February 26, 1983 to which the main relief is confined, is set aside, However, while setting aside the order, we do not think it a fit case in the peculiar circumstances of the case on the principle of no work no pay to pass orders against management to pay the past salary. The learned Counsel for the respondents had also agreed that post retirement benefits would be given to him, if permissible under the law and rules. To this effect, we issue the direction granting all post retirement benefits to the petitioner permissible under the law. It be made clear that the entire period of service would be counted for retirement benefits.
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Title

Harilal vs The Regional Inspectress Of Girls ...

Court

High Court Of Judicature at Allahabad

JudgmentDate
27 November, 1995
Judges
  • B Lal
  • R Mahajan