Decided on May 26,1986

Gh Mohd Dar Appellant


- (1.) THE petitioner in the capacity of Senior Assistant in the Education Department of J&K was placed under suspension on 7 -4 -1975 under the orders of Deputy Director, Planning and Colleges. This order was served on the petitioner on 11 -4 -1975. Thereafter the petitioner received the articles of charges which are contained in Annexure 2 and 2/A respectively. The charges were replied by the petitioner on 7 -6 -1975. The reply is contained in Annexure -3 to the petition. It is stated that no action was taken thereafter by the department and the petitioner finally made an application on 2,) -3 -1976 requesting that inquiry into the charges levelled against the petitioner may be conducted forthwith and petitioner be relieved of the agony which he was undergoing due to prolonged suspension. No action was taken on this representation. The petitioner submitted a reminder on 2 -7 -1976 for expediting the inquiry. However on 3 -7 -19 6 petitioner is said to have been reinstated with the direction that the period for which he had repaired under suspension be treated leave of whatever kind was due to him. Petitioner challenges the order whereby his order of suspension has been treated as leave of whatever kind was due to him. It is contended by the petitioner that no inquiry was held against the petitioner nor was he found guilty of any charge, therefore, he could not be treated on leave of whatever kind was due to him, He was reinstated without any stigma, therefore, he could not be deprived of his salary because leave for prolonged period with pay was not due to him. By ordering the period of suspension to be treated as leave whatever kind was due to the petitioner is causing huge loss to him and the same is arbitrary and unjust. To this extent the condition in reinstatement order is challenged.
(2.) ONE Mr. Satya Bhusan, the then Education Commissioner has filed the reply affidavit. The contents of the petition to the extent of petitioners suspension and his subsequent reinstatement is admitted, However it is contended that petitioner made an application for reinstatement and a lenient view was taken in the view of his submission and he was reinstated and the period of suspension was treated on leave whatever kind was due to him. Petitioner is said to have filed review petition before the authorities about the period of the suspension which was dismissed. Petitioner is also said to have filed appeal before the competent authority which was al o rejected. The impugned order so far as it deals with the period of leave is termed as valid and legal.
(3.) THE copy of the application submitted by the petitioner is probably termed as petitioners admission of guilt to the charges framed against him and the respondents have based their contention on the said letter. Therefore it is necessary to examine the contents of the said letter and if it is admission of guilt then petitioner may not have any grievance but if it is not an admission of guilt, petitioner cannot be denied the relief. In his letter the petitioner had requested that he was under suspension from 10 -4 -1975 and he was under financial pressure therefore it was requested to have pity of his miserable condition and save him from further miseries. He had also requested that he may be excused if he was at fault in that event he would remain careful in future. This letter of the petitioner was conditional and cannot be said to be unconditional admission of guilt. The words "I may be excused if I am at fault" do cannot that petitioner wanted his fault to be inquired into and in that event he had sought apology. The petitioners fault" was to be inquired into by the respondents. Without doing into that question they have taken the petitioners letter as letter of admission of guilt and reinstated him by causing him financial loss, After THE CHARGE was framed against the petitioners it was imperative for the respondents to hold an inquiry into the said charges. He was kept under the prolonged suspension which compelled him to make representation for reinstatement on the ground that if at all he was at fault he be excused. It is borne out from record that he was suspended on 7 -4 -1975 and re -instated on 3 -7 -1976. For 15 months no inquiry was held and he had remained under the prolonged suspension and must have suffered miserable agony During the period of suspension in view of the nature of his job and the salary attached to it. When he brought this fact "to the notice of the authorities and demanded inquiry into his fault he was perfectly justified and he could not be said to have made admission to any charge which were levelled against him. The respondents have mis -construed his application which was only for expediting his reinstatement and for holding an inquiry immediately. Petitioner was within his rights to demand inquiry and approach the respondents who seem to have remained in deep slumber for 15 months after having suspended the petitioner. The prolonged suspension by itself his the affect of causing distress and agony to an employee. After an employee is suspended he has to be dealt with under rules immediately and he cannot be kept under suspension for indefinite period. Suspension may not be a punishment but a prolonged suspension is bad because it is repressive and cause distress. No answer is given by the respondents as to why they kept the petitioner under suspension for 15 months without inquiry. The reinstatement order which is unconditional and which does not say that petitioner was guilty of any charge should have provided that petitioners period of suspension be treated period on duty.;

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