JAI PRAKASH Vs. MANAGING DIRECTOR
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
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KALYAN JYOTI SENGUPTA, J. -
(1.) THE writ petition was filed initially for direction upon the respondents to release the amount of terminal benefit including gratuity
and leave encashment with interest which might be adjudged by this Court.
Difference of salary from 1st January, 1996 to 31st December, 1998
admissible to the petitioner on account of pay revision and difference of
salary between 17th August 2002 to 31st August, 2004 admissible to the
petitioner on account of his suspension.
(2.) DURING pendency of the writ petition, there has been subsequent development as the punishment order was issued on 31st
December, 2005. The short fact of the case is as follows :
The petitioner at the relevant point of time was Assistant Law
Officer of U.P. State Road Transport Corporation. He was placed under
suspension vide order dated 12th August, 2002. The said order of
suspension might have been passed in contemplation of disciplinary
proceedings. Notwithstanding the same, the petitioner challenged the said
order of suspension before Honble Allahabad High Court by filing Writ
Petition No. 50921 of 2003. The said writ petition was disposed of by an
order dated 24th November, 2003 with direction to the competent authority
to complete the inquiry expeditiously preferably within six months.
Thereafter, the first chargesheet was served upon the petitioner on 23rd
November, 2002 and the second chargesheet followed on 24th December,
2002. The petitioner replied to the charges and the inquiry proceedings in respect of the first chargesheet was completed in March, 2003. Inspite
of completion of enquires, no decision was taken. In the meantime, the
petitioner retired from services but all terminal benefits were not
released. The reason behind for not releasing may be pendency of the
disciplinary proceedings. Ultimately, the impugned order of punishment
was passed forfeiting the salary which was due and payable to the
petitioner otherwise and also the amount of gratuity. There was no order
of punishment as regard leave encashment.
(3.) I think leave encashment should have been released as it is not covered by the order of punishment. Learned counsel for the
petitioner contends that under the relevant Rules, the respondents
authority is not empowered either to continue with disciplinary
proceedings or impose punishment under service Rules. In any event, Rule
provides for some other punitive measure and not to take any action which
Learned counsel for the respondents submits that the petitioner has not challenged the finding of Inquiry Officer as the
disciplinary authority has accepted the report. He, however, fair to say
Rule does not envisage to impose the punishment of this nature. He
submits that the Apex Court has approved of the concept of imposing
punishment to deprive the employee of the benefit of gratuity when the
employer suffers loss. Therefore, this portion of forfeiting of gratuity
by the impugned order is not totally illegal.;
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