10 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Rajendra Vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:BHC-AUG:308)

MANU/MH/0134/2024

08.01.2024

Service

Punishment to the employee at fault should be proportionate for the fault committed by him

In the facts of the present case, Petitioner was the Gram Sevak. Since he was unauthorizedly absent, the charge sheet was served upon him. The Petitioner admitted his absence and explained that his absence was beyond his control. However, Respondent no.3 holding him guilty for his misconduct, imposed the punishment of termination from the services. The petitioner had impugned the order of respondent no.3 before the Divisional Commissioner.

The Divisional Commissioner set aside the punishment of termination and withheld two increments without back-wages. Against the said order, Respondent no.3 preferred review before the Under Secretary, Rural Development and Water Conservation Department. The Under Secretary reversed the order of the Divisional Commissioner. A small question that arise for determination is whether the punishment of termination is proportionate to the fault of the petitioner.

It is trite that, the punishment to the employee at fault should be proportionate for the faults committed by him. In present case, the Petitioner has fairly admitted his absence and explained that his absence was beyond his control. The Divisional Commissioner also did not accept his explanation and withheld his two increments without back-wages.

The facts of the case of Chairman-Cum-Managing Director, Coal India Limited and Another Vs. Mukul Kumar Choudhuri and Others, which the petitioner relied upon are identical to the facts of the case. Supreme Court has observed that, the doctrine of proportionality is, thus, well recognized concept of judicial review in jurisprudence. Award of punishment which is grossly in access to the allegations cannot claim immunity and remains open for interference under limited scope of judicial review.

Reading the order of the Chief Executive Officer and the Under Secretary, Maharashtra State, it is apparent that, the punishment for the faults of the Petitioner is disproportionate and the punishment imposed by the Divisional Commissioner appears proportionate. The Order of the Under Secretary, Rural Development and Water Conservation Department, stands quashed and set aside. Petition allowed.

Tags : Punishment Imposition Legality

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