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Allahabad HC Imposes 21K Fine On District Judge For Rejecting Resignation Of A Court Clerk Who Joined Indian Railways

Sparsh Upadhyay
12 Nov 2021 1:04 PM GMT
Allahabad HC Imposes 21K Fine On District Judge For Rejecting Resignation Of A Court Clerk Who Joined Indian Railways
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The Allahabad High Court recently imposed a fine of Rs 21,000/- on a District Judge, who rejected the resignation of a court clerk as his resignation was not preceded by a three months' notice. On account of his failure to give a three months notice under Rule 4 of the Government Service Rules, 2000, he was also subjected to a disciplinary inquiry.Observing that subjecting him to...

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The Allahabad High Court recently imposed a fine of Rs 21,000/- on a District Judge, who rejected the resignation of a court clerk as his resignation was not preceded by a three months' notice. 

On account of his failure to give a three months notice under Rule 4 of the Government Service Rules, 2000, he was also subjected to a disciplinary inquiry.

Observing that subjecting him to a disciplinary inquiry would amount to mental harassment, the Bench of Justice Suneet Kumar imposed the fine on the District Judge of Jalaun Suneet Kumar and also directed him to accept the employee's resignation.

Case in brief 

The petitioner, Khoob Singh was working as a Clerk in the judgeship of Jalaun at Orai in the year 2015. Thereafter, on being selected for the post of Stenographer (Railway Recruitment Board), he tendered his resignation on 17 July 2020, clearly stating therein that since he has been selected on the post of Stenographer (Hindi) with the Railways, he may be relieved from the post of the court clerk to join the said post. 

On submitting the resignation letter, the petitioner joined the Railways on 14 August 2020, on an impression that his resignation would have been accepted from w.e.f. 13 August 2020 (as desired by him).

However, the District Judge passed the impugned order dated 20 August, 2020, noting that under Rule (4) of the Uttar Pradesh Government Service Rules, 2000, since the petitioner had not tendered his resignation from service on three months notice, consequently, his resignation was rejected.

It was argued by the Petitioner that he can't be compelled to render services at the judgeship against his wishes and that he had duly informed the authorities before the examination and on being furnished N.O.C., petitioner had appeared in the examination, as well as, medical examination, conducted by the Railways.

Thereafter, it was contended that proviso to Rule (4) clearly provides that the appointing authority can allow the government servant to resign without any notice or a shorter notice.

Court's observations 

Calling the conduct of the second respondent (District Judge, Jalaun) as not only arbitrary but highly unreasonable, the Court observed thus:

"An employee is entitled to seek the betterment of his career by applying in any government organization. It is not the case of the respondents that petitioner had not informed or taken prior permission from the competent authority (second respondent) before appearing in the examination. N.O.C was duly issued to the petitioner for appearing in the examination."

Against this backdrop, the Court opined that an enquiry should have been initiated against the District Judge as to why impediment was created in not allowing the petitioner to resign forthwith in the exercise of power under proviso 2 of Rule 4. 

Further, stressing that Petitioner has been subjected to mental harassment and made to suffer for the conduct of the second respondent, the Court noted thus:

"Petitioner is not at fault, but has been subjected to disciplinary enquiry only for the reason that the resignation was not preceded by three months notice. It does not qualify to bring the conduct of the petitioner within the ambit of misconduct."

With this, the impugned order dated 20 August 2020, and the consequential inquiry initiated against the petitioner was set aside and quashed and the District Judge was directed to issue a letter for acceptance of the resignation and relieving order w.e.f. 13 August 2020, within a week.

Lastly opining that the petitioner had suffered harassment and inconvenience at the hands of a judicial officer, the petitioner is entitled to cost assessed @Rs. 21,000/- to be paid by the second respondent within a week.

Case title - Khoob Singh v. High Court Of Judicature At Allahabad And 2 Others

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