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Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Plea By A Lady Civil Judge From Uttarakhand Against Termination , Directs To Approach The High Court

Srishti Ojha
5 March 2021 12:09 PM GMT
Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Plea By A Lady Civil Judge From Uttarakhand Against Termination , Directs To Approach The High Court
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Supreme Court has refused to entertain plea against dismissal of a lady Civil Judge from service in Uttarakhand for allegedly holding a minor girl captive at her residence and mistreating her. A three-judge Bench of CJI Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian has given the petitioner the liberty to withdraw and approach the High Court. The plea sought directions to...

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Supreme Court has refused to entertain plea against dismissal of a lady Civil Judge from service in Uttarakhand for allegedly holding a minor girl captive at her residence and mistreating her.

A three-judge Bench of CJI Bobde, Justice Bopanna and Justice Ramasubramanian has given the petitioner the liberty to withdraw and approach the High Court.

The plea sought directions to the Uttarakhand government and High Court to reinstate the Petitioner with all consequential benefits including promotion as Additional District Judge with effect from 23rd February 2018.

The Uttarakhand High Court had suspended the petitioner Civil Judge for allegedly holding a minor girl captive at her residence and mistreating her, and after conclusion of the investigation against her, an order dismissing her from service was issued against her on October 14th 2020 by a full Bench of the High Court. This decision of the Uttarakhand High Court was accepted by the Government and she was thereafter dismissed from service. The Plea has therefore challenged Uttarakhand government's order dated 28th October 2020 removing the petitioner Civil Judge from service and recommendations of Uttarakhand High Court's Full Court.

The plea sought quashing of Uttarakhand government's order removing the petitioner from service under Rule 3(b)(iii) of the Uttarakhand Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 2003, and order passed by the Uttarakhand High Court of Uttarakhand resolving to impose a punishment of removing the Petitioner from Service under the rules.

In her plea before the Supreme Court, the petitioner has alleged that there are allegations of Institutional Bias and Victimisation of petitioner due to her act of raising questions and challenging propriety on the non-appreciation of material available on record, by the High Court while neglecting petitioner and some other batchmates in promotion as Additional District Judge.

The plea stated that the petitioner is aggrieved by the gross violation of her right to life, along with right to dignity and reputation by the illegal acts of the officers/ subordinates working at the High Court in tarnishing her reputation in the eyes of general public by gross misuse of media, in complete abuse of power and contravention of the laws of the land.

"It is respectfully submitted that the petitioners' grievances are both on account of her personal loss in view of the violation of her rights under Article 21 and also her right to livelihood which has been deprived under arbitrary, irrational proceedings which were void ab initio. " the plea read.

According to the petitioner, , it is a classic case where the High Court directs inquiry on an anonymous complaint against the petitioner and on submission of the enquiry report calls for the objections. The Full Court, without recording any reasons whatsoever passed a short resolution that it resolved to accept the findings recorded in the inquiry report by the Inquiry Officer.

"It is clear on record that the initiation of Disciplinary Proceedings, its findings and the Order based on the Report are void ab initio and non-est in the eyes of law." the plea stated.

According to the petitioner, the High Court before taking cognizance of the anonymous complaint sent on email, did not even think it proper to inquire into the credentials of the complainant as provided in its own notification in compliance with the guideline issued by the Chief Justice of India, laying down that no action should be taken against members of the subordinate judiciary in the State unless complaint making allegations is accompanied by a duly sworn affidavit and verifiable material is placed to substantiate the allegations therein.

The plea has contended that the email /complaint was sent anonymously by the next-door neighbour of the petitioner, who himself in his deposition has stated that he did not know anything about the alleged victim except having seen her once or twice in the premises of the petitioner. Therefore, the initiation of enquiry proceedings on the basis of anonymous complaint is unsustainable in the eyes of law.

The plea further argued that once the State Govt of Uttarakhand by order its dated 19th August 2019 allowed withdrawal of the criminal case under section 321 CrPC then no disciplinary proceedings could have been proceeded on the same and similar facts.

"More so in the case in hand, the Court of Revision had carefully gone through the record and accepted the plea of public prosecutor that it was a case of fabricated evidence and the girl was used as a pawn. In view of the above findings, proceeding further with the enquiry is not only contrary to law, rules and constitutional provisions but in clear violation of the law laid down by this Court." - the plea stated.

According to the petitioner, the order of withdrawal of prosecution on 5th Sept 2020 was informed to High Court by the petitioner on 10th September pleading that when on same set of facts and evidence an order has been passed on the judicial side allowing withdrawal of prosecution then no departmental inquiry on same facts could have been allowed or any order on that basis be passed.

Further, the plea stated that the Disciplinary Authority, in this case the High Court, neither passed a reasoned order, nor granted opportunity of showing cause against the proposed imposition of penalty which is completely violative of the mandate of Article 235 read with Article 309 of the Constitution.

"The Government was under statutory obligation to consult the Public Service Commission before taking the drastic decision particularly in view of the discharge of the Petitioner in criminal proceedings and the allegations of bias and unfairness in the entire proceedings and failure on the part of the government to consult the Public Service Commission before passing the impugned order dated 20.10.2020 has resulted in grave injustice to the petitioner and as such the impugned order is liable to be set aside. " - the plea read.

The present plea before the Apex Court was filed by Advocate Daya Krishan Sharma on behalf of the petitioner


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