High Court upholds suspension of Registrar of Nursing Council

The Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Mangala Anchan,Resgistrar of Maharashtra Nursing Council,challenging her suspension by the state government contending that the state had no powers to do so.

Written by Mohan Kumar | Mumbai | Published: February 10, 2009 1:59 am

Registrar had contended in the court that state had no powers to axe her

The Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Mangala Anchan,Resgistrar of Maharashtra Nursing Council,challenging her suspension by the state government contending that the state had no powers to do so.

According to her petition,under Section 15 (4) of the Maharashtra Nurses Act,only the council had the power to suspend her upon the recommendation of state government. It was her contention that the state had suo-motu suspended her without recommending her suspension to the council.

As registrar of the nursing council she had to conduct election for the post of president and vice-president. As per procedure,nine members of the council along with four members nominated by the state government have to elect the president and vice president.

However,Anchan without waiting for the nomination of four nominated members by the state government allegedly conducted the election of president and vice president.

Once it came to the notice of the state,the government on December 26,2008 suspended her and proposed to hold departmental enquiry against her under Rule 8 of Maharashtra civil service discipline appeal rules 1979.

Assistant government pleader G W Mattos contended that the government was fully justified in suspending her. On the applicability of Section 15 (4),Mattos said that in her it wasn’t applicable as she was acting in cahoots with the elected members of the council. Hence,the government had suo-motu suspended her,it was argued.

Furthermore,she was a public servant and hence the government had the powers to invoke disciplinary action against her,Mattos contended.

Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud accepted state’s contention that the stand taken by the government was sustainable.

The court also observed that under Section 40 of the Maharashtra Nurses Act the state government had wide powers and accordingly dismissed the petition filed by her. The court has,however,directed the state to take a decision on her reply to the show cause notice within a period of four weeks.

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