HC quashes disengagement of SPO

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, July 26: High Court observed that when an employer intends to discharge his employee from services for delinquency, there must be adoption of procedural safeguard for such action in order to retain a foothold on the decision taken by the employer and quashed the disengagement of a Special Police Officer (SPO).
Justice Rahual Bharti has given these findings in a plea filed by an SPO challenging the order whereby his service were disengaged as SPO and directed he be restored on his post with all consequential benefits within three months period.
Justice Bharti recorded that when an administrative action taking or decision making in discharging or dismissing a person from position of public employment for any delinquency on his part, then most elementary procedural safeguard which an employer has to keep in guiding service attending his action and decision is the observance of the rules of natural justice so that a well meaning action and decision to be taken maintains and retains its foothold in the event of being posed with a legal challenge at the instance of an aggrieved employee.
Petitioner, Sanjay Sharma challenged his order of disengagement on the ground that he came to be discharged from his services without affording him any right of hearing against his dismissal. He in his plea submited that the impugned order has been passed in contravention of the rules of natural justice having been issued without any show-cause notice to him to defend his position.
It has been contended that civil consequences (disengagement) was supposed to be passed after a regular enquiry but it was not so conducted thereby dispensing with by a stroke of pen five years of unblemished service of the petitioner as SPO to a waste bearing a long life stigma.
Court said the mere video footage against the aggrieved official in reference of his delinquency is beyond any doubt against the elementary principal of natural justice that cannot condemn a person to suffer an adverse consequence in the context of his public position and employment without affording him an opportunity of knowing the basis upon which a purported adverse action is aimed to be taken against him.
Court came to the conclusion that the impugned order passed by the higher ups of the aggrieved-employee is in direct conflict with the Rules of Natural Justice. Court added that if the same is allowed to stand would compound the injustice against the petitioner Sharma. Court as such, allowed his plea and set aside the order under challenge.
Court with the direction to restore the services of the petitioner has clarified that he would not be entitled for the payment of emoluments for the period with effect from the date of his disengagement till the date of restoration of his service as Special Police Officer (SPO).