The Madhya Pradesh High Court has set aside an order by the state of Madhya Pradesh removing Dr. KS Dubey as the Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, Bhopal. The single bench of Justice Sujoy Paul has held that the principles of natural justice should have been followed while ordering cancellation of Dubey’s appointment.
Dr. Dubey was appointed on February 21, 2014 and he was removed via an order dated December 28, 2015. His tenure lasted less than two years. It was stated in the termination order that the working style of the petitioner was “improper and was not in consonance with the requirement of the Juvenile Justice (care and Protection) Act, 2000. Also that local newspapers periodically published news of the petitioner’s misbehaviour, like he misbehaved with a lady for which an FIR has been registered against him under Section 354 IPC. The December 28 order also states that the petitioner is not competent to discharge the functions of the committee and complaints have been received against him saying that “he did not permit the family members of the children to meet them” and that he “permitted one child to be adopted by somebody despite the fact that his parents were alive”. Finally, as per an inquiry conducted by the divisional commissioner and the collector “the petitioner is not working in the best interest of the children.”
However, petitioner’s counsel Mahendra Pateriya argued that the JJ Act of 2000 “prescribes the method by which any member of the committee may be terminated. In the present case, the petitioner's appointment was cancelled without following the principles of natural justice and without permitting him to participate in the inquiry.”
Section 29(4) of the Act prescribes that appointment of any member may be terminated after holding inquiry by the government. After relying on the apex court judgement in Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India and in the Swadeshi Cotton Mills v. Union of India the bench observed- “It does not matter whether the impugned order is outcome of a quasi judicial act or an administrative act in both the situations, principles of natural justice and fair play in action were the requirement of law. In other words, the impugned order could have been passed only after following the principles of natural justice and fair play in action. Fairness is an integral part of good administration.”
Finally, after setting aside the termination order Justice Kaul directed the concerned state authorities “to issue specification notice containing allegations and provide opportunity to the petitioner and then take appropriate decision in consonance with Section 29 (4) of the Act within 45 days from the date of communication of this order. During these 45 days and till a fresh decision is taken, the petitioner shall not be permitted to perform the duties of Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Bhopal.”
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has set aside an order by the state of Madhya Pradesh removing Dr. KS Dubey as the Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee, Bhopal. The single bench of Justice Sujoy Kaul has held that the principles of natural justice should have been followed while ordering cancellation of Dubey’s appointment.
Read the Order here.