STATE OF RAJASTHAN Vs. SUJATA MALHOTRA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: RAJASTHAN)
STATE OF RAJASTHAN
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(2.)The State of Rajasthan is in appeal against the judgment of the division bench of Rajasthan High Court. The respondent who was an employee remained unauthorisedly absent from 1983 till 1987 and for such unauthorised absence without permission, a regular disciplinary proceeding was initiated and ultimately on the basis of the findings arrived at in the inquiry, the disciplinary authority directed termination of her service on 28.2.1992.
(3.)Against the said order of termination, she approached the High Court by filing a writ petition. By the impugned judgment, the High Court being of the opinion that the punishment of termination is grossly disproportionate to the delinquency in question, set aside the order of termination and directed reinstatement and payment of 50 per cent as back-wages with the further direction that the period of absence would be treated as extraordinary leave which, according to the High Court, is itself a punishment for over-stay. The aforesaid conclusion of the High Court, on the face of it, is erroneous inasmuch as the order of an employer to treat a particular period of absence as extraordinary leave when the employee has no leave due, by no stretch of imagination can be held to be an order of punishment.
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