HC upholds termination of delinquent employee

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, June 2: The High Court today upheld the termination of an official from the services for his absence from duty for about six months.
The erring official-Mushtaq Ahmad Khan was dismissed from services on the charge that he remained absent from his duties and challenging the same on the ground that no enquiry was conducted before passing of dismissal order as was required under the provisions Rules of law.
Justice V C Koul said that all the requirements as required to be complied with as per the Act and Rules have been followed while conducting the enquiry in this case. Sufficient and reasonable opportunity granted to the delinquent-petitioner to defend his case, but he has overstayed the leave and remained unauthorizedly absent from the duties for about 177 days. “The order of dismissal, therefore, cannot be said to be harsh or excessive. Thus, the instant writ petition is dismissed”, Court concluded.
Court while passing the elaborate judgment on the order of dismissal said the jurisdiction of Court of judicial review is limited as the disciplinary proceedings are being quasi criminal in nature. The charges in departmental proceedings, court observed, are not required to be proved like criminal trial.
Court, however, said that it cannot lose sight of the fact that the enquiry officer performs a quasi judicial function, who upon analyze the documents must arrive at a conclusion that there had been preponderance of probability to prove the charges on the basis of material on record and in the instant case the requirements of provision have been complied with while conducting enquiry into the matter.
Court said the evidence after having been appreciated by the enquiry officer was held to be sufficient to prove the charges which otherwise have not been denied by the petitioner-employee and there is no dispute with regard to the effect that he has remained absent after availing 22 days leave which was sanctioned in his favour.
Court added that after end of leave the delinquent employee overstayed and despite letters sent to him by the respondent-authorities, he did not report back to his duty. “The enquiry officer has appreciated and considered the evidence in this matter. The petitioner has not avail remedy of appeal or revision which was available to him under the provisions of relevant Act and Rules and instead of challenging is dismissal from the services in appeal/revision, he has approached this Court seeking an order quashing of order of dismissal which is based upon the proof of the charges in the enquiry conducted that too on the evidences produced”, read the judgment.