VINOD KUMAR Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND (AT: NAINITAL)
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) By a stroke of pen, engagement of the petitioner has been brought to an end. Challenging the said action, petitioner went before the Tribunal and lost. In the present writ petition, it is being contended, that:
(i) according to the appointment letter of the petitioner, his probation period was two years, without any indication that the same may be extended and, accordingly, after expiry of two years, petitioner became an employee of the Union of India and, as such, his engagement/employment could not be brought to an end without complying with the provisions contained in Article 311 of the Constitution of India;
(ii) assuming the period of probation could be extended, but, of the own showing of the respondents, the same could not be extended beyond double the period of probation, i.e. beyond four years, and since the petitioner was appointed on 14th November, 1998, the termination effected on 20th August, 2004 could not be said to have been effected during the probation period; and
(iii) the order of termination contained stigma.
(2.) We have read the order of termination with great difficulty since the same is in Hindi and we have found that the averments contained therein cannot be said to contain even a single stigma. A look at the letter would show that the petitioner remained absent without any intimation for a considerable period of time, which resulted in the petitioner being awarded the minimum scale of pay for three years. It was stated that, despite that, frequent absence without intimation continued. It was stated that the petitioner was asked in writing not to do so. It was stated that, despite that, petitioner remained absent without intimation. It was stated that the last absence of the petitioner, which was still continuing, prevented the departmental committee to consider the case of the petitioner to bring the petitioner in the permanent establishment and, consequentially, his services are being terminated. The facts, as depicted in the order, are not in dispute. The facts, as were stated in the order, did not cast any aspersion against the petitioner. In the circumstances, it cannot be said that the order was stigmatic.
(3.) We think that inasmuch as the appointment letter of the petitioner did not indicate that his period of probation can be extended and inasmuch as Rules governing his service conditions also did not expressly or impliedly authorised the same, the same could not be extended. The respondents, though have contended that they could do so and, for that matter, placed reliance on Chapter 20 to the Establishment and Administration Manual; did not make any endeavour to establish that the directions contained therein had any legal force. In any event, assuming the probation could be extended, the same, according to the own showing of the respondents, could not be extended until the date the services of the petitioner were terminated.;
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