Dismissal of woman for marrying a married colleague without knowing the fact of first marriage is too harsh a punishment: Allahabad HC

Dismissal of woman for marrying a married colleague without knowing the fact of first marriage is too harsh a punishment: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court recently set aside the dismissal of a woman police constable from service for marrying her colleague, a married constable. “The petitioner has no knowledge regarding the second marriage of her husband at the time of solemnization of the marriage and at this belated stage, the punishment of dismissal from service is too harsh and disproportionate to the conduct of the petitioner,” Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi observed.

The petition, filed by Ms. Aneeta Yadav, had challenged a dismissal order passed in January last year. She had further prayed for a direction to the authorities to reinstate her services.

Ms. Yadav was appointed in March, 1994 as a Constable in U.P. Police Department. She was however dismissed from service on the ground that she had married a constable who was already married to someone else. Since she had solemnized the marriage without seeking permission from the department, she was found guilty by way of a departmental enquiry. While her husband was awarded censure entry, she being a lady Constable, was dismissed from service.

Ms. Yadav had contended before the Court that at the time of marriage, she was not aware about the constable being already married to another woman. She had hence submitted that she had not committed any misconduct.

The Standing Counsel had however opposed the petition on the ground that once the fact of second marriage is accepted by the petitioner, no leniency should be shown to her.

The Court agreed with the arguments put forward by Mr. Yadav and observed that her marriage was null and void under law. Setting aside the order of dismissal, the Court left it open to the authorities to order any minor punishment to Ms. Yadav, after affording her full opportunity of hearing.

Read the Judgment here.