JAMMU, Dec 21: In a major-set back to the State, High Court today quashed the Government orders regarding premature retirement of six officials including Incharge Chief Engineer and directed the State to reinstate them within a period of one month.
These officials are Prem Nath, Incharge Chief Engineer, Javed Iqbal, AEE, Dr Manoj Bhagat, the then Superintendent Medical Hospital Kathua, Tarsem Lal, the then CEO Jammu, Padam Dev Sharma, Patwari and Parshotam Kumar Sharma, Village Level Worker (VLW).
After hearing battery of lawyers appearing for the petitioners whereas Senior AAG Seema Shekhar appearing for the State, Justice Alok Aradhe quashed the orders of compulsorily retirement and directed the State to reinstate the petitioners and award all consequential benefits within a period of one month from today.
While quashing the Government orders, Justice Aradhe observed, “it is well settled law that if the statute prescribes to do certain thing in a certain way that thing must be done in that way or not at all. Similarly the decision relied upon by Senior Additional Advocate General in case of Posts and Telegraphs Board and Others has no application to the fact situation of the case as in this case, conclusion to compulsorily retire an employee in public interest was based on two adverse APRs”.
“It is pertinent to reiterate that in the instant case, the APRs have not been taken into consideration at all. Similarly, the decision in the case of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corp and Others is an authority for the proposition that the decision to compulsorily retire an employee has to be arrived at after considering the entire service record of an employee and ‘Washed Off Theory’ relating to adverse entries does not apply to compulsory retirement”, High Court said.
“This decision has also no application to the obtaining factual matrix of the case. Similarly, the decision in the case of Jugal Chander Saikia does not apply to the fact situation of the case as in this case, decision to compulsorily retire an employee was taken on the recommendations of screening committee which took into account the entire records including the report of one man committee constituted to enquire into a scandal”, Justice Aradhe further said, adding “in the instant case, the decision, therefore, does not apply to the obtaining factual matrix of the case”.