24 April 2023 2:26 PM GMT
The Patna High Court has directed the authorities to consider the case of an employee who was terminated from his service due to alleged forgery of a marksheet but was later acquitted by the trial court in the related criminal case.The division bench of Justices Harish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar observed that,“The engagement of the appellant was dispensed with only on account of discovery...
The Patna High Court has directed the authorities to consider the case of an employee who was terminated from his service due to alleged forgery of a marksheet but was later acquitted by the trial court in the related criminal case.
The division bench of Justices Harish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar observed that,
“The engagement of the appellant was dispensed with only on account of discovery of forgery committed by the appellant by producing incorrect and forged marks-sheet of MBA resulting in institution of a criminal case. However, the said charge has ultimately not been found proved by the trial court and, as such, the cause of action has arisen in favour of the appellant to challenge the same before the appropriate forum, which fact has also suggested by the respondent in filing supplementary counter affidavit, duly sworn by the Civil Surgeon, Jamui, who has submitted before this Court that the appellant/writ petitioner has expeditious alternative remedy available before the District Magistrate, who happens to be the Chairman of District Health Society.”
However, the court also observed that no contractual employee has any right to have his contract renewed from time to time in absence of any statutory rules or other rules in favour of him. It further said that in the modern commercial world, the executives are engaged on account of their expertise in a particular field and those who are so employed are free to leave and asked to leave by the employer.
"Contractual appointment works only if the same are mutually beneficial to both the contracting parties and not otherwise," said the court, adding any contractual employee cannot claim his regularization unless there is any stipulation in the agreement or any rules provide for the same.
However, the court said the engagement of the appellant has been dispensed with only on account of discovery of the alleged forgery. While granting liberty to the appellant to assail the impugned order of termination before the appropriate authority, the court asked the authorities to "consider the same in view of the fact that the appellant has been acquitted from all the charges of obtaining engagement by producing forged and fabricated marks-sheet and others".
The appellant participated in the selection process for a contractual Health Manager position, as advertised on 14.02.2007. The selection process involved a walk-in interview and document verification of the candidates, taking into consideration their work experience.
The terms and conditions of the contractual engagement were stipulated in the advertisement, including a two-year tenure that would automatically terminate upon completion, and a requirement for the candidate to file an Indemnity Bond.
The appellant, who had an MBA qualification, was selected as a Health Manager for a two-year period in Referral Hospital, Jhajha, by the District Magistrate-cum-Chairman District Health Society, Jamui, vide letter no. 07 dated 30.08.2007, with the conditions specified.
The District Health Society subsequently extended the appellant's contract for a further three-year period after a one-day break between the lapse of the earlier contractual service and the commencement of the new contract, in terms of the decision of the District Health Society dated 15.12.2009.
During the appellant's service, it was found during a verification that he had obtained the contractual engagement on the basis of a false and incorrect MBA marks-sheet, resulting in the lodging of a criminal case.
After his acquittal in the criminal case, the appellant moved the high court seeking a positive direction to the respondent authorities for his reinstatement and allowing him to continue to work as Health Manager on a contractual basis. The single bench of the high court dismissed the writ petition. Thus, the appellant filed a LPA after the dismissal of his writ petition by the single bench of the high court.
The respondent argued that the appellant’s marks-sheet was sent for verification to the relevant institution, which reported that the appellant had only scored 1065 out of 1800 marks and that the marks-sheet presented by the appellant had never been issued by the institution.
The appellant, on the other hand, refuted the respondent's claims and stated that he had not submitted any marks-sheet containing 1303 marks out of 1800. The only marks-sheet he submitted showed that he had scored a total of 1065 marks out of 1800 in his MBA course from L.N. Mishra College of Business Management, Muzaffarpur, the court was told. The appellant also argued that since there were only a few candidates with an MBA qualification for so many seats, there was no reason for him to submit a forged and fabricated marks-sheet.
He further contended that he had submitted a duly attested certificate, which was not verified. Lastly, the appellant claimed that he was acquitted of all charges beyond a reasonable doubt by the trial court and that his engagement had been dispensed with only on the basis of unproven allegations of a forged marks-sheet.
Case Title: Kanchan Kumar Mishra vs The State of Bihar Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.14648 of 2018
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Pat) 36
For the Appellant/s: Mr. Kanchan Kumar Mishra ( In Person )
For the Respondent/s: Mr. S. D. Yadav ( AAG- 9 )
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