July 30, 2021 4:08:29 am
In an order, the Allahabad High Court has said departmental proceedings can be initiated against a government employee only if sanctioned by the Governor. Justice Pankaj Bhatia passed the order on July 23 after hearing a petition filed by a retired Power Corporation employee who had alleged he was “not being paid his retiral dues and thus, is being denied” of his Constitutional rights under Article 300-A “without any authority of law”.
The court said, “The sanctioning authority specified as ‘Governor’ in the CSR Regulations cannot be read as ‘Managing Director’ of a corporation except when it is amended in accordance with the law.”
The judge added that “in the present case, there being no sanction of Governor and no delegation of power by Governor in favour of Managing Director, the sanction by Managing Director cannot be accepted as sanction as mandated” in the provision of Civil Service Regulations 351-A.
The court said a government order dated July 28, 2009, “is not worthy of acceptance in as much as the CSR Regulations have been framed in pursuance to the powers conferred under Article 309 of the Constitution of India and have been adopted and made applicable to the State and can be modified/amended only by the amendment in Regulations in respect of services in the State and not by issuance of Circular or a Company resolution as is being contended by the Counsel for Respondents”.
During proceedings, petitioner Anil Kumar Sharma’s counsel told the court that he was appointed in 1974 on a “permanent and regular post of petrol man”, and was promoted to the post of Junior Engineer in 2014. The lawyer said he discharged his duties till he retired on December 31, 2018.
The respondents’s counsel submitted in court that “on November 5, 2018, while the petitioner was in service, a report was received regarding involvement of the petitioner in various acts of theft of electricity”. Another complaint nine days later alleged that “the petitioner and his brother had obtained appointment under the dying in harness rules while only one of the brothers was entitled for the appointment,” the respondents claimed.
Based on a preliminary inquiry dated “14.11.2018 which was based upon a report, the service of the petitioner was placed under suspension vide order dated 22.11.2018”, said the respondents’ counsel.
The lawyer argued that based on CSR Regulation 351-A, the petitioner was not entitled to payment of pension and “at best the petitioner may apply for provisional pension”.
The court, however, held that the denial of pension was “wholly arbitrary and bad in law and contrary to the provisions of Article 300-A as well as CSR Regulation 351-A”. The court held that Sharma was entitled to relief from the court by the “issuance of a mandamus”.
The court directed the Power Corporation “to pay all the retiral dues of the petitioner, including the gratuity, along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of retirement till actual payment”.
The court said “the stand taken by the respondents… is arbitrary on the face of record” and awarded a “cost of litigation to the petitioner for being harassed for a period of three years, which is quantified at Rs. 25,000”.
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