13 Sep 2022 5:15 AM GMT
The Patna High Court recently set aside the termination of an 'Anganwadi Sevika' and observed that mere satisfaction of the Child Development Project Officer cannot be the basis for declaring that the food served in the Anganwadi centre is of substandard quality. The observation came from a division bench of Justice P. B. Bajanthri & Justice Rajiv Roy: "We have gone through the...
The Patna High Court recently set aside the termination of an 'Anganwadi Sevika' and observed that mere satisfaction of the Child Development Project Officer cannot be the basis for declaring that the food served in the Anganwadi centre is of substandard quality.
The observation came from a division bench of Justice P. B. Bajanthri & Justice Rajiv Roy:
"We have gone through the facts of the case. Admittedly, there is nothing on record to show the satisfaction of the 'the CDPO' to arrive at the conclusion that the 'halwa' is of sub-standard quality. Mere satisfaction of 'the CDPO' cannot be the basis for declaring it to be of sub-standard quality."
The appellant-petitioner had argued that there was no occasion for the CDPO to declare the food served by her as sub-standared in absence of the same having been taken, sealed, sent to the Lab and/or a report of the government Lab stating it to be of sub-standared quality.
She further contended that neither the time of surprise visit nor the inspection was mentioned in the show cause.
Moreover, no inquiry as per guidelines was held into the alleged charges.
The Court recorded that admittedly, the CDPO did not take into account the written statements of concerned beneficiaries including the appellant-petitioner before making recommendation against her. Further, the DPO had sought an explanation from her on the very next day and though the Appellant submitted her explanation, ignoring the same, the termination order was passed on the same day, "thus completely showing non application and prejudiced mind".
"It is further surprising that the Collector overlooked all these matters and in a routine manner rejected the claim of the appellant-petitioner vide an order dated 3.5.2013," the Court said.
The Court after taking into account all the circumstances was of view that the respondent authorities have completely erred in removing the appellant-petitioner on vague alleged charges which was never enquired into before coming to the conclusion. The DPO in a deliberate and whimsical manner ignored the government guidelines while removing the appellant-petitioner from the post while the Collector too, sitting in appeal, did not applied his mind and only followed the observations made by the DPO to reject the appeal preferred by the Appellant, the Court observed.
Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the Collector was directed to take a decision to reinstate the appellant-petitioner forthwith. For the period she was out of job, she will be entitled to 50% of the salary.
Case Title: Smt. Sima Devi Versus The State of Bihar
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Pat) 30
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment