17 Jun 2022 3:00 PM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has made it clear that when the service of an employee is dismissed in culmination of disciplinary inquiry on account of misconduct, the plea moved by him for regularization of the period of suspension cannot be considered in isolation.It added that since the Petitioner had challenged the dismissal before the High Court, the two proceedings will go hand in hand."The Court...
The Gujarat High Court has made it clear that when the service of an employee is dismissed in culmination of disciplinary inquiry on account of misconduct, the plea moved by him for regularization of the period of suspension cannot be considered in isolation.
It added that since the Petitioner had challenged the dismissal before the High Court, the two proceedings will go hand in hand.
"The Court is not inclined to entertain this petition as the claim of the petitioner with regards to the regularization of the period of suspension as prayed for now before this Court, cannot be examined in isolation, pending the challenge to the order of dismissal which the petitioner has already made in a separate petition," Justice AY Kogje said.
The Court was dealing with a plea moved by a Tax Inspector, formerly employed in the Karamsad Municipality, suspended from service for allegations of serious misconduct and misappropriation of funds. Ultimately, he was dismissed from service.
The Petitioner-Inspector had sought that his order of suspension of 2014 be declared illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and contrary to the provisions of the Gujarat Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1971. Further, he prayed for full back wages for period of suspension. It was shown that the High Court, vide an interim order of 2017, had directed reinstatement of the Petitioner and therefore, he was entitled to reinstatement in the instant case.
Per contra, the Nagarpalika showed that in its interim order, the High Court had granted liberty for conducting departmental inquiry, as a consequence of which, he was he was held guilty and dismissed from service. Against this, the Petitioner had filed a separate petition which was pending. Thus, it was argued that the present petition ought not to be entertained since the Court will have to decide the order of dismissal passed by the Nagarpalika.
Noting that the Petitioner was suspended by invoking Sec 48 of the Gujarat Municipalities Act, 1963, the Court found that the Executive Committee had narrated 11 charges against the Petitioner and an inquiry was initiated against him. Till the time the inquiry was over, the Petitioner was ordered to be suspended. Additionally, the charges against the Petitioner for misconduct, negligence and misappropriation of funds were grave in nature which had caused financial loss to the Nagarpalika. Further, the order of dismissal of August 2021 was a subject of challenge vide a Special Civil Application which was pending.
Hence, the High Court was not inclined to entertain the petition as the claim regarding regularisation of the period of suspension could not be examined in isolation since the challenge of the order of dismissal was already pending in a separate petition. Consequently, the High Court vacated the interim relief which was granted vide an earlier order.
Case No.: C/SCA/5372/2016
Case Title: AMRISHBHAI NATUBHAI PATEL v/s STATE OF GUJARAT & 2 other(s)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 222
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment