17 Oct 2023 8:10 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has held that promotion to a government employee cannot be denied on the ground that a criminal case was pending against him wherein the chargesheet is not filed, or in cases where Articles of Charge are not issued, on the date of Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) Meeting.A division bench of Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar and Justice G Basavaraja allowed the...
The Karnataka High Court has held that promotion to a government employee cannot be denied on the ground that a criminal case was pending against him wherein the chargesheet is not filed, or in cases where Articles of Charge are not issued, on the date of Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) Meeting.
A division bench of Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar and Justice G Basavaraja allowed the petition filed by Jayashree and set aside the order dated 30th March 2023 passed by the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal, Belagavi Bench, whereby the application filed by the petitioner questioning the denial of promotion by the authorities, was dismissed by the Tribunal.
The petitioner had argued that mere pendency of criminal proceedings cannot be made the basis or come in the way of the promotion of a person who is otherwise eligible. It was also pointed that on 14.03.1993 itself, the State Government has issued a Circular stating that as on the date of DPC Meeting if charge sheet is not filed or if the Articles of Charge is not issued, mere pendency of criminal proceedings in the absence of charge sheet being issued, the sealed cover procedure cannot be adopted and the same can be adopted only after issuance of Charge Sheet or Articles of Charge.
The bench agreed with the submission of the petitioner and said, “A perusal of the State Government circular dated 14.07.1993 will indicate that the procedure of maintaining a sealed cover and refusing promotion can be adopted by the respondent only in case where charge sheet has already been filed or Articles of Charge has already been issued as against the alleged delinquent official as on the date of DPC Meeting. In the case on hand, the material on record indicates that as on the date of DPC Meeting which was held on 20.12.2021, neither Charge Sheet had been filed nor Articles of Charge had been issued to the petitioner, and the charge sheet was filed subsequently on 01.02.2022.”
Following which it held “Under these circumstances, there was no warrant for the respondents to adopt a sealed cover procedure and deny promotion to the petitioner in its meeting held on 20.12.2021 particularly in the absence of either the Articles of Charge being issued or the Charge Sheet being filed against the petitioner.”
Reliance was also placed on the Apex court judgments in the case of Union of India Vs. K.V.Janakiraman, (1991)4 SCC 109 and in the case of Union of India Vs. Anil Kumar Sarkar, (2013)4 SCC 161.
Accordingly the court allowed the petition and said, “The respondents are hereby directed to consider the petitioner-applicant for promotion to the post of FDA/Revenue Inspector together with all consequential benefits within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.”
Appearance: Advocate Surabhi Ravindra Kulkarni for Petitioner.
AGA G.K.Hiregoudar for Respodents.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 396
Case Title: Jayashree And State of Karnataka & Others
Case No: WRIT PETITION NO. 102595 OF 2023
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