AFTER THE Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) dismissed a driver, 13 years after he was convicted for rash driving, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) came to the rescue and has put a stay on the dismissal orders. The orders were passed on an application filed by Harinder Singh, 56, a native of Ropar, in which he had challenged his suspension orders. The matter is now adjourned for next hearing on August 1.
Harinder had started working as a driver with CTU in January 1988 after he was selected by the Departmental Recruitment Board. During his service, an accident took place on August 21, 1998. He was booked for rash driving and after the trial he was convicted by a local court in 2004. He was sentenced to an imprisonment of two years by the courts. He challenged the said orders in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court modified the quantum on the sentence in March 2010 and pronounced that Harinder has already undergone the sentence.
When the issue was brought to the notice of director transport, CTU, in June 2003, he was suspended and a show-cause notice was issued to him. However, Harinder requested the director CTU to reinstate him and he was reinstated after the High Court granted him bail. Harinder stated that he continued to serve as a driver with the transport department for another 15 years. In January 2016, he sought for pre-mature retirement has he was unwell. However, he was shocked to receive a show-cause notice in March 2016 in which the department had asked him to cite reasons as to why his services should not be dismissed on account of his conviction 13 years back.
Harinder then submitted a reply stating that he was reinstated in 2003 and he cannot be served with a notice at the fag end of his career.
He was, however, dismissed from service in May this year. Harinder further mentioned several instances of drivers who had been convicted for rash driving and were later reinstated in the application.