Decided on December 22,1988

Purna Chandra Mishra Appellant
State Of Orissa, Represented By The Secretary, Education And Youth Services Department Respondents


L. Rath, J. - (1.)THE Petitioner, a primary school teacher, who was attached to the Sub. Inspector of Schools has in this petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India assailed the order of his suspension dated 22 -4 -1986. The order of suspension which has been annexed to this writ petition as Annexure - 2 shows the Petitioner to have been placed under suspension pending framing of charges of misconduct for misappropriation of government money and for pendency of the investigation of the same by the State Vigilance Department. It is the Petitioner's case that since the order of suspension nothing further has happened and no charges have been framed against him and that the investigation, if any, by the Vigilance Department has also not proceeded any further and has not ended in filing of any charge sheet against him. A counter affidavit has been filed by the opposite parties Land 2 admitting the facts alleged in the petition but contending that the proceedings against the Petitioner have not been finalised and no charge sheet has been filed since the investigation by the Vigilance Department has not come to an end and is being still carried on. The Petitioner has filed a rejoinder to the counter affidavit today but since the same has not been filed with the permission of the Court and has been filed during the course of bearing, we have thought it better to ignore the same.
(2.)THE learned Standing Counsel has not been able to point out any specific provision relating to the primary school teachers enabling the District Inspectors of Schools to place them under suspension, though in the Government of Orissa, Education Department notification No. 36100(32) -II -EA -280/67 -E, dated 14th December, 1967 providing instructions for the guidance of the Panchayat Samities,. Gramapanchayats and the officers of the Education Department connected with the primary education of the State, the District Inspectors of Schools are authorised to impose either major or minor punishments as enumerated therein on the primary school teachers. Even if it is accepted, as contended by the learned Standing Counsel, that the person who is in control of the service of an employee has inherent authority to place him under suspension, yet it cannot be disputed that such Power cannot be exercised either arbitrarily or in a manner divorced of law. Besides it is well known that power to suspend a servant from service does not necessarily clothe the master with the power also to make reduced payment in lieu of suspension unless such a power is saved either in the contract of employment or under some statutory rules regulating the employment. Nothing of such nature has been brought to our notice by the learned Standing Counsel.
(3.)The very fact that the Petitioner has been placed under suspension since 22 -4 -1986 and as yet, no charges have been drawn up against him nor has there been any tangible outcome of the investigation purported to be conducted by the Vigilance Department speaks volumes against the administration in charge of both matters. An order of suspension, in its very nature, is one made to meet an emergent situation where it is thought best in the interest of the administration for the employee to be kept out of his normal right of discharging duties since his continuance in the office might jeopardise either a departmental proceeding drawn up or to be drawn up against him or any investigation that might be carried on against his conduct. Such excellencies cannot obviously extend for an indefinite time causing inordinate delay and complete dislocation of the normal service prospects of an employee. A prolonged suspension without any justifiable reason severely disturbs an orderly organisation of service rendered by a public servant and would be antithesis of the constitutional mandate of equality in a where society. Such a position cannot be countenanced in a society governed by rule of law. In that view of the matter, we have no hesitation to strike down the order of suspension in this case as having been continued without any well -founded reasons.
In the result, we would allow the writ petition and quash the order of suspension under Annexure -2. and direct reinstatement of the Petitioner, forthwith with consequential benefits. It is, however, made dear that the order of reinstatement of the Petitioner will not in any manner prevent the authorities to proceed with any departmental proceeding against him, if they so choose, and will not in any way affect the result of the investigation, if any, stated to be carried on. Hearing fee is assessed at rupees two hundred.

Writ petition allowed.

A.K. Padhi, J.

I agree.

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