Dismissed employee after acquittal cannot seek re-employment, rules SC

Dismissed employee after acquittal cannot seek re-employment, rules SC

A Supreme Court bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri while setting aside the decisions of the Calcutta High Court and the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal which had asked the Kolkata police to reinstate dismissed cop Sankar Ghosh after his acquittal by a criminal court in a case of dacoity, ruled that an employee, sacked following disciplinary proceedings, cannot seek reinstatement as a "matter of right" after a criminal court acquit him in the case based on the charges similar to the departmental inquiry.

The court further added that even though the charges leveled against the delinquent before the Enquiry Officer as well as the Criminal Court are the same, there is no rule of automatic reinstatement on acquittal by a criminal court.

Citing a provision of the Police Regulations of Calcutta which provides that the result of the criminal trial will have no bearing on the punishment awarded to an employee in departmental proceeding in respect of the same case, the apex court bench stated that the dismissed policeman of West Bengal could not provide any rule or regulation applicable to police force stating that once an employee has been acquitted by a criminal court, as a matter of right, he should be reinstated in service despite all the disciplinary proceedings and it.

Stating that it was difficult to support the finding, the apex court bench stated that the Tribunal as well as the High Court did not consider the provision and therefore committed an error in holding that since the respondent was acquitted by a criminal court of same charges, reinstatement was automatic.