4 May 2023 5:08 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has observed that a termination order of an employee in a tenure employment is untenable in law if it is issued without giving an opportunity to the employee to defend against the accusations.Referring to various judgments on the subject, Justice Jyoti Singh said:“…if an order is founded on allegations, the order is stigmatic and punitive and services of an...
The Delhi High Court has observed that a termination order of an employee in a tenure employment is untenable in law if it is issued without giving an opportunity to the employee to defend against the accusations.
Referring to various judgments on the subject, Justice Jyoti Singh said:
“…if an order is founded on allegations, the order is stigmatic and punitive and services of an employee cannot be dispensed with without affording him an opportunity of defending the accusations/allegations made against him in a full-fledged inquiry.”
The court made the observation while quashing the order dated April 24, 2018, terminating the services of Managing Director of National Film Development Corporation, Nina Lath Gupta, who was in her third five-year tenure.
The services were terminated with immediate effect while giving three months salary to her in lieu of three months notice period.
Gupta challenged the termination order alleging that her services was illegally terminated as being “cloaked as an order simplicitor” although its foundation was based upon allegations of misconduct, without affording her an opportunity of hearing or conducting an inquiry.
She contended that the process was in total contravention of the Service Rules of National Film Development Corporation which were duly applicable on her as per a clause in her appointment letter.
Granting relief to Gupta, the court quashed the termination order and directed the Union of India to pay all outstanding dues to her and other allowances for balance tenure of about two years eleven months.
The court also held Gupta entitled to refund of all amounts recovered from her towards HRA etc. during the period in question and ordered that payments shall be released within a period of eight weeks.
“It is thus trite that in a tenure employment, if the termination order of the employee is an order simplicitor and casts no stigma, it warrants no interference by the Court, however, if the attendant circumstances lead to a conclusion that termination is founded on allegations, then being penal in nature, the order would be untenable in law, if issued without affording an opportunity to the employee to defend the accusations,” the court observed.
Senior Advocate Gurminder Singh and Advocates Harshvardhan Jha, Abhishek Chaudhary, Aman Pathak and Gurnoor Sandhu, appeared for the petitioner.
Advocate Archana Gaur represented Union of India.
Title: NINA LATH GUPTA v. UNION OF INDIA, THROUGH SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING & ANR.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 370
Click Here To Read Order