Government servants: India (legal issues, rules)

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The government’s power to retire government servants in the public interest; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, January 28, 2016

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Is not misconduct or deserving of dismissal

February 16, 2022: The Times of India

Ahmedabad: An extra-marital relationship might be “an immoral act” in the eyes of society, but it can’t be construed as “misconduct” from the prism of police service rules and treated as an offence deserving of dismissal, the Gujarat high court said while ordering the reinstatement of an Ahmedabad constable sacked for adultery.

“It is true that the petitioner is a part of a disciplined force. However, it would be difficult for this court to bring his act within the purview of misconduct, considering the fact that it was a private affair and not the result of any coercion or exploitation,” Justice Sangeeta Vishen said, quashing the dismissal order. The court directed the police to reappoint the constable within a month and pay 25% back wages.

HC: Police brass just cut, copied &pasted rules for dismissal

The petitioner used to live with his family in the police quarters at Shahibaug, where he met and developed a relationship with a widow living in the same colony. The woman’s family installed CCTV cameras in the quarters to gather evidence of the relationship, based on which they complained to the police brass in 2012.

The couple admitted to their relationship, following which the police issued a showcause notice to the policeman and dismissed him from service in 2013 on grounds of “moral turpitude” amounting to erosion of public faith in the police.

The constable moved court against his dismissal, saying no procedure of inquiry was followed before his sacking. He also argued that the relationship was consensual and, therefore, there was no question of him exploiting the woman.

Citing various judgments on government employees charged with adultery, Justice Vishen said, “To term the act ‘misconduct’ as per the Conduct Rules, 1971, would be too far-fetched.”

The court also pulled up the police department for instituting an inquiry on the pretext of avoiding “embarrassment”. It said the police brass issued the dismissal order without legal reasons, and by citing service rules that were “cut, copied and pasted”.

Compassionate appointments

See Compassionate appointments: India

Conduct of govt. servants

Joining rallies, posting views on social media/ 2020

Biswendu Bhattacharjee, Sep 11, 2020: The Times of India

AGARTALA: Dismissing an inquiry against a retired employee of the state fisheries department, the chief justice of Tripura high court on Friday said that government employees can take part in political programmes, including meetings, and freely post their opinions on social media platforms, without attracting punitive measures under Rule 5 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules.

Justice A Kureshi said that attending a political rally would not be considered as involvement in politics and government employees should have the personal liberty to post their opinions on social media.

Lipika Paul was dismissed from service on April 25, 2018, four days before her retirement, for taking part in a political programme in December 2017 and making a social media post against BJP. "During election times, as is well known, political parties and their leaders as well as nominated candidates take out rallies and address public gatherings. Every person who is present in the audience during such addresses cannot be stated to have participated in the rally. The presence of a person does not either establish his or her political affiliation. A student of politics, an enthusiastic young man, a reporter or just a curious bystander - all are likely to be present in any political gathering. Even an opponent or a critic of a political party may also attend the gathering. Her mere presence at a gathering, therefore, without any further allegation, would not amount to her participation in such political gathering," the court order stated.

"I have taken note of the contents of the said post which originally was in Bengali and has been translated and presented before me. Nothing contained in the said post suggests canvassing for or against any political party. It only expresses certain beliefs of the petitioner in general terms. As a government servant the petitioner is not devoid of her right of free speech, a fundamental right which can be curtailed only by a valid law. She was entitled to hold her own beliefs and express them in the manner she desired of course subject to not crossing the borders laid down in sub-rule (4) of Rule 5 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules."

Corrupt. criminal government servants

SC: Assets of corrupt can be seized before conviction

The Times of India, Dec 11 2015

AmitAnand Choudhary

Assets of graft accused can be seized before conviction

 The Supreme Court ruled that the government can bring special laws to control corruption, which it said was eating away the fundamental core of elective democracy and Constitutional governance. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant upheld laws passed by Bihar and Odisha assemblies authorising the probe agencies to confiscate ill-gotten properties, including houses of corrupt public officials, even before their conviction in graft cases. The law was framed to deal with cases involving those occupying high public or political office.

The bench held that there were no infirmities in the law and turned down a bunch of petitions filed by those whose properties had been confiscated. “In a way , corruption becomes national economic terror. This social calamity warrants a different control, and hence, the legislature comes up with special legislation with stringent provisions,“ it said. The accused pleaded that they could not be treated as a `special class' for alleged involvement in corruption cases and should be treated like other accused.

“ the context of the present Orissa Act, it is associated with high public office or with political office that are occupied by people who control the essential dynamics of power -which can be a useful weapon to amass wealth adopting illegal means. In such a situation, the argument that they were being put in a different class and should be tried in a separate special court solely because of the alleged offence, if nothing else, is a self-defeating one,“ the bench said.

“We are unable to accept the submission of the learned counsel for the appellants that the words high public or political office not being defined creates a dent in the provision. The said words, we are absolutely certain, con vey a category of public ser vants which is well under stood and there is no room for arbitrariness,“ it said.

Referring to its earlier ver dicts, the SC said immoral ac quisition of wealth destroys the energy of the people be lieving in honesty , and history records with agony of how they suffered. It said there should be zero tolerance to wards any kind of corruption “A democratic republic polity hopes and aspires to be governed by a government which is run by the elected representatives who do not have any involvement in seri ous criminal offences or offences relating to corruption casteism, societal problems affecting the sovereignty of the nation and many other offences,“ the bench said.

It said corruption should not be judged by degree as corruption causes disorder destroys societal will to progress and paralyses the eco nomic health of a country.

Recovery of bribe money not enough to convict a government servant: Supreme Court

The Times of India, Sep 17, 2015

Amit Anand Choudhary

A government official cannot be convicted under corruption charges merely on the basis of recovery of bribe money and it is essential to prove that he had demanded money, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices V Gopala Gowda and Amitava Roy said the proof of demand is an "indispensable essentiality" for establishing an offence of bribe and acquitted an assistant director of technical education department of Andhra Pradesh despite allegedly being caught red-handed for taking Rs 500 bribe in 1996.

"The proof of demand of illegal gratification, thus, is the gravamen of the offence under Sections 7 and 13(1) (d)(i)&(ii) of the Act and in absence thereof, unmistakably the charge therefore, would fail. Mere acceptance of any amount allegedly by way of illegal gratification or recovery thereof ... would thus not be sufficient to bring home the charge under these two sections of the Act," it said.

The court said mere recovery of money would not prove the charge and it has to be proved that the accused had demanded the bribe and had voluntarily accepted the money.

"Mere possession and recovery of currency notes from an accused without proof of demand would not establish the offence. It has been propounded that in the absence of any proof of demand for illegal gratification, the use of corrupt or illegal means or abuse of position as a public servant to obtain any valuable thing or pecuniary advantage cannot be held to be proved," the court said while referring to its verdict.

"As a corollary, failure of the prosecution to prove the demand for illegal gratification would be fatal and mere recovery of the amount from the person accused of the offence under Sections 7 or 13 of the Act would not entail his conviction thereunder," said Justice Roy, who wrote the judgement for the bench.

While acquitting the accused in the 19-year old case, the bench said the anti-corruption bureau, which had laid a trap and caught the official with phenolphthalein powder-coated currency notes, failed to prove that demand for the money was made by him.

"Though, a very spirited endeavour has been made by state counsel to co-relate statement of witness to the attendant facts and circumstances including the recovery of this amount from the possession of the appellant by trap team, identification of currency notes used in the trap operation and also the chemical reaction of the sodium carbonate solution qua the appellant, we are left unpersuaded to return a finding that the prosecution in the instant case has been able to prove the factum of demand beyond reasonable doubt," the court said.

Criminal offences by government servants

Criminal offences by babus should draw life term: HC

Shibu Thomas | TNN

From the archives of The Times of India 2007, 2009

Mumbai: A tougher law is needed to punish corrupt babus, Bombay High Court has said in an important order. Justice AB Chaudhari has recommended to the Union government to bring about changes in the Prevention of Corruption Act to provide for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for criminal offences committed by government officials.

‘‘Offences by public servants, bankers of various types of banks/financial institutions holding public money or those holding key posts in important public organisations have increased in unimaginable proportion as there is hardly any deterrent punishment,’’ said Justice Chaudhari, adding in exceptionally strong words, ‘‘Looking at the upsurge in the cancer of corruption in the country, the only way to have deterrent is now to provide life imprisonment in the Prevention of Corruption Act.’’

As per existing provisions in the PCA, a government officer held guilty can be awarded a maximum imprisonment of seven years, which the HC felt was not enough. The court’s remarks came during the hearing of a petition filed by an IAS officer, Akola municipal commissioner Giridhar Kurve (54), who had urged the court to quash a criminal complaint against him. Dismissing his plea, the HC asked the police to investigate the alleged fraud.

The court further asked the Centre to have a relook at the procedures where offences under IPC involving criminal breach of trust committed by a public servant (Section 409) go to the magistrate’s court. Since the magistrate cannot award a prison term of more than three years, the HC has directed the government to consider sending such matters to the sessions court which has the powers to award life imprisonment.

The case relates to a decision by Kurve to deposit Rs 1.30 crore in the Vidarbha Urban Cooperative Bank in March 2009. A month later the bank shut down. A private complaint was lodged against the commissioner and following the court’s intervention an FIR was registered against Kurve. The municipal commissioner claimed he had followed rules, but the court refused to accept this pointing out that the Vidarbha bank was not in the list of banks where a commissioner was allowed to deposit public funds.

‘‘Prima facie, there appears to be a clear cut nexus between Kurve and somebody to dupe Akola Municipal Corporation,’’ said the judge. The judge also asked the state to reconsider its decision to allow public money to be parked in cooperative banks.

Convicted Government officials to pay compensation from salaries

The Times of India, Nov 08 2015

Sana Shakil

Babus can be told to pay damages from salary 

Government officials convicted of wrongdoing can be told to pay compensation from their own salaries, a court has ruled. Government institutions have often been sued for lapses or inaction and made to compensate victims, but it is unprecedented for individual officials to be told to pay the aggrieved parties from their own pockets.

The Delhi court gave the order on a petition filed by two Burari residents against the Delhi chief secretary and sub-divisional magistrate of Civil Lines after the administration demolished their farm's boundary wall, citing “non-agricultural activity“.

While giving its verdict, the court referred to various Supreme Court judgments that state action can be taken against public servants if they abuse their office. “It is time that public servants be held personally responsible for their mala fide acts in the discharge of their functions. Public servants have to be made liable for damages for malicious, deliberate or injurious wrong-doing,“ additional district judge Kamini Lau said.

The case referred to authorities bringing down a wall on a property though permission had been taken from the SDM. atpal and Yashpal told the court that they built the wall in December 1993 -after taking permission from the SDM -to protect their property from encroachment and save their crops from animals. The administration pulled it down without serving a notice, they said.

The accused officials alleged that Satpal and Yashpal broke the law when they built the wall and cited an inspection by a revenue director to accuse them of using their agricultural land for industrial purposes.Satpal and Yashpal contested this version and told the court that they filed an RTI in 2010 to know why their wall was razed but got no reply . In response to the RTI, the officials had said that the files were missing. The court found merit in the petitioners' submissions and termed the allegations levelled by the officials as “vague“. “The construction of a boundary wall cannot be treated as nonagricultural use of the property. The allegations (of running a factory on farmland) are vague... that the land in question was being put to non-agricultural use,“ the court said, noting the officials withheld information from the duo despite being asked by the chief information commissioner to reply to them.Also, if the files were indeed missing, there was no effort to trace them, the court said.

“There was total departmental reluctance... The relevant file and documents went missing and... have not even been placed before this court,“ the judge said, ordering the government to file an FIR and identify the officials were responsible for misplacing the file. The judge granted a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the petitioners “to be paid from the public funds and then recovered from the erring officers...“

Court summons

Supreme Court guidelines 2024

Dhananjay.Mahapatra, January 4, 2024: The Times of India

Can’t summon bureaucrats at drop of a hat: SC to HCs

Frames Norms, Sets Aside ‘Illogical Orders’

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday framed a procedure to restrain courtsfrom summoning bureaucrats at the drop of a hat and set aside illogical orders of Allahabad high court such as taking into custody UP’s finance secretary in contempt proceedings and issuing bailable warrants against the chief secretary for not implementing its orders to provide domestic helps to retired chief justices and judges.

The UP government moved the SC challenging the HC’s orders, prompting a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra to examine the contentious issue keeping in mind the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.

Writing the judgment, CJI Chandrachud said the chief justice of a HC did not have the power under Article 229 of the Constitution to make rules relating to post-retiral benefits for former CJs and judges of the HC. Hence, the Allahabad HC CJ could not have framed rules provisioning domestic helps for retired CJs and judges, the bench said.

The SC said it noticed Allahabad HC frequently summoning bureaucrats and held that orders requiring presence of government officials in the court should be issued in rare circumstances.

The CJI said courts must refrain from summoning officials as the first resort.
“While the actions and decisions of public officials are subject to judicial review, summoning officials frequently without just cause is not permissible. Exercising restraint, avoiding unwarranted remarks against public officials, and recognising the functions of law officers contribute to a fair and balanced judicial system,” he said.

Departmental proceedings/ inquiries

Cannot investigate staff after 4 years of retirement

Ajay Sura, Dec 19, 2022: The Times of India

CHANDIGARH: Making it clear that departmental proceedings cannot be initiated against a retired government employee, the Punjab and Haryana high court has observed that after the statutory period of four years, a retired employee should be left to live in peace.

The HC has passed these orders while setting aside the departmental proceedings initiated by Haryana government against a retired police officer under the Haryana Civil Service Rules.

“The apparent object behind these rules seems to be that a retired employee, after the statutory period of four years, should be left to live in peace in the twilight zone of his life,” Justice Deepak Sibal maintained while allowing a plea filed by Raj Pal, a retired inspector of Haryana police.

Pal who had sought quashing of the order dated October 5, 2021. Dropping the proceedings, the HC has held that a harmonious reading of Rules 12.2(b) and 12(5)(a) of Haryana Civil Service Rules leads to only one irresistible conclusion that after an employee has retired from service there is a complete embargo on the initiation of departmental proceedings against him in respect of event(s) which may have taken place more than four years prior to the initiation of the departmental proceedings.

Adepartmental inquiry against him under Rule 12.2(b) of the Haryana Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 2016 (for short, the Rules), was ordered on the ground that between 1986 and 1988, while he was posted as an inspector in Karnal, he had also passed his LLB course from Rajasthan and therefore could not have been present at two places at the same time.

His counsel senior advocate B S Rana contended that the petitioner retired from service on June 30, 2019, and even the extension of his service for one year ended on June 30, 2020, and since after his retirement he was sought to be departmentally proceeded against for an alleged misconduct which took place in 1986-88, which was well beyond four years from the date of the petitioner’s retirement.

He argued that the impugned departmental proceedings were barred under Rule 12.2(b) read with Rule 12(5)(a) of the Rules. After hearing the plea, the HC ordered to set aside the departmental proceedings against the petitioner observing that the alleged misconduct by the petitioner is prior to four years from the date of issuance of the charge-sheet.

“Since by that time he had retired, such action on the part of the state is barred under Rule 12.2(b) read with Rule 12(5)(a) of the Rules and therefore unsustainable. Resultantly, the impugned departmental proceedings against the petitioner are quashed,” observed the HC in its December 7 orders.

Dismissal from service 

Acquittal does not mean one can’t be sacked: SC

Dhananjay Mahapatra, January 4, 2022: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: In an important ruling, the Supreme Court said that an employee can be dismissed from service on the basis of findings of a disciplinary proceedings for misconduct even though he has been acquitted of the charges by a court of law citing lack of clinching evidence.

The fortunes of the employee, a driver with Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, went through a roller coaster after the bus he was driving met with an accident in October 1992 in which four persons died. In a disciplinary proceeding, he was found guilty of negligent driving. MSRTC took into account his service record and dismissed him. The Labour court upheld the dismissal despite acquittal in the criminal case by the trial court. The Industrial court reversed it and ordered his reinstatement. The Bombay HC went a step further and directed payment of backwages. MSRTC appealed in the SC.

Setting aside the orders of Industrial court and the HC and upholding the dismissal, a bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said, "As per the cardinal principle of law, an acquittal in a criminal trial has no bearing or relevance on the disciplinary proceedings as the standard of proof in both the cases are different and the proceedings operate in different fields and with different objectives."

Writing the judgment, Justice Shah said, "The workman has been held to be guilty for a particular charge and particular misconduct. Even the past record of service of the respondent has not been considered by the Industrial Court. As per MSRTC the workman was in service for three years and during three years’ service tenure he was punished four times. Therefore, it cannot be said that the order of dismissal was without having any regard to the past record of the service of the workman."

The bench said when in the departmental enquiry, it has been specifically found that due to rash and negligent driving on the part of the driver, the accident took place in which four persons died, and when the punishment of dismissal is imposed it cannot be said to be shockingly disproportionate punishment.

On October 23, 1992 when he was driving the bus, it met with an accident with a jeep coming from the opposite direction. It was said that instead of taking the bus to the left side, he took the bus to the extreme right which was the wrong side and as a result, the jeep and the bus collided. The accident resulted in the death of four passengers on the spot and six passengers were seriously injured. The jeep was completely damaged. The impact of the collision was so high that the jeep was pushed back by about 25 feet. The bumper of the bus was also crushed.

The SC said, "It is required to be noted that in the departmental proceedings the misconduct alleged against the driver of driving the vehicle rashly and negligently due to which the accident occurred in which four persons died has been proved. Thereafter, the disciplinary authority passed an order dismissing the workman from service. The Labour Court did not interfere with the order of dismissal by giving cogent reasons and after re-­appreciating the entire evidence on record including the order of acquittal passed by the criminal (trial) court."

"Even from the judgment and order passed by the criminal trial court, it appears that the acquittal was based on the hostility of the witnesses; the evidence led by the interested witnesses; lacuna in examination of the investigating officer; panch for the spot panchnama of the incident, etc. Therefore, the criminal court held that the prosecution has failed to prove the case against the accused workman beyond reasonable doubt. On the contrary in the departmental proceedings the misconduct of driving the vehicle rashly and negligently which caused the accident and due to which four persons died has been established and proved," the SC said.

Termination for unauthorised leave is too harsh: SC

AmitAnand Choudhary, July 1, 2022: The Times of India

New Delhi: In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court on Thursday held that terminating a government employee for going on unauthorised leave is too harsh and disproportionate punishment and suggested that some “lesser but major penalty” should be imposed instead of removing him from service.

A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala set aside the termination order issued by the ministry of mines in 2000 to one of its employees who had gone on unauthorised leave for more than 100 days. The court converted the termination into “compulsory retirement with pension benefits”. 

The SC bench passed the order on an appeal filed by the Centre challenging a Delhi HC order that had directed reinstatement of the employee. Additional Solicitor General Jayant K Sud and senior advocate R Balasubramanian, appearing for the government, argued that the employee was a perpetual offender, who repeatedly went on unauthorised leaves. They also contended that the HC committed an error in passing the order in the favour of the employee.

However, the bench said that going on unauthorised leave is surely a misconduct and could be a valid ground for termination of job in defence services and paramilitary forces, but the same rule cannot be enforced in civil jobs. The bench also remarked that it would not have thought twice in upholding the dismissal order if the employee was in the defence forces.

The SC bench upheld the HC order quashing the government order to terminate the employee’s job but refrained from reinstating him as more than two decades have passed since he was sacked. The court converted the sacking order into compulsory retirement and allowed the employee and his family to avail pension benefits.

Education of children

2015: UP HC: Send officials' children to govt schools

The Times of India, Aug 19 2015

Send officials' kids to govt schools: HC

The Allahabad high court took a serious note of the pathetic condition of primary schools in the state and directed the chief secretary to ensure that childrenwards of government officialsservants, those serving in the local bodies, representatives of people and judiciary , etc., send their wards to these schools. Only then would they be serious enough to look into the requirements of these schools and ensure that they are run in good condition, the court observed.

Hearing a slew of writ petitions filed by Umesh Kumar Singh and several others, Justice Sudhir Agarwal directed the chief secretary to take steps within six months so as to make the aforesaid directions effective from the next academic session of primary schools.

The court also directed him to submit a compliance report immediately after the lapse of six months.

The issue involved in the writ petitions was with regard to appointment of assistant teachers in state's primary schools.

During the course of hearing, the court noticed the deplorable condition of these schools and observed that although they are catering to the needs of 90% population of children, their condition could be described as shabby.

The court further observed that as the officials responsible for running these primary schools are treating them in a shabby manner, these schools have given rise to multiple litigations.

Foreign assignments

Not for those who fail to join as CVO’s : Centre

Daily Excelsior , No foreign job for babus who fail to join as CVO’s : Centre "Daily Excelsior" 18/11/2015

Failure to take up the appointment as Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs), who act as distant arm of CVC to check corruption in a Government organisation, will debar an officer for five years from being considered for foreign assignments, the Centre said today.

It has sought nominations of suitable officers for posting as CVOs in central public sector enterprises and in other Government organisataions against the existing vacancies and those likely to arise in next fiscal.

The CVOs are authorised to decide upon the existence of vigilance angle in a particular case at the time of registration of complaint besides screening them before they are referred to CBI. They also monitor corruption, malpractices and misconduct on the part of employees and to take remedial action.

“Failure to take up the appointment on the part of the officer will lead to debarment for 5 years along with its attendant consequences. It is also pointed out that it is not only the failure to take up the appointment, but also withdrawal after a panel has been drawn up by the Department, that leads to debarment for 5 years.

“It is, therefore, important that only applications of willing officers are forwarded,” an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to all secretaries of Central Government ministries and chief secretaries of states said.

If an officer does not join within one month of issue of his appointment order, his appointment would be treated as cancelled and the officer concerned would stand debarred from central deputation for a period of five years from the date of issuing of orders of his appointment, it said.

“Further, the officer would also be debarred from being considered for deputation on foreign assignments or consultancies abroad during the period of debarment.

“The officers who are debarred from central deputation should not be sponsored for consideration for these posts till they complete their debarment period and become eligible for re-consideration,” the order said.

The nominations have been sought for 25 posts of CVOs, at the level of Joint Secretary and Director, which are likely to fall vacant in 2016-17.

On selection, the officer would be eligible for an initial deputation tenure of three years in a CPSE or in an organisation which is extendable – for a further period of two years in the same organisation (total 5 years) or for a further period of three years on transfer to another organisation on completion of initial tenure. (PTI)

Income from lawful sources

Gifts are not lawful income

Dhananjay Mahapatra, Public servants can't show gifts as income from legal sources, says SC, Feb 16, 2017: The Times of India

In its judgment deflating Sasikala's ambition to become CM of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court has dealt a blow to gift-loving public servants by ruling that presents could not be counted as income from lawful sources.

A bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Amitava Roy said: “Gifts to Jayalalithaa, a public servant in the context of Sections 161 to 165A of Indian Penal Code now integrated into the Prevention of Corruption Act, are visibly illegal and forbidden by law.The endeavour to strike a distinction between `legal' and `unlawful' as sought to be made to portray gifts to constitute a lawful source of income is thus wholly misconstrued.“

The bench added: “With the advent of the PC Act, 1988, and consequent upon the expansion of the scope of definition of `public servant' and the integration of Section 161 to 165A IPC in the said statute, the claim of the defence to treat the gifts offered to Jayalalithaa on her birthday as lawful income, thus cannot receive judicial imprimatur.“

The court was informed by the counsel for Jayalalithaa that the income tax department did not view receipt of gifts as crime if one disclosed them and paid tax. The counsel had requested the court to take a similar view.

Rejecting the contention, the SC said: “To reiterate, disclosure of such gifts in the I-T returns of Jayalalithaa and orders of the I-T authorities on the basis thereof do not validate the said receipts to elevate the same to lawful income to repel the charge under Section 13(1)(e) of the PC Act.“ RELATED REPORTS: P 18 While dealing with the nexus between Jayalalithaa as the kingpin and associates Sasikala, V N Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi, the SC said: “The unimpeded, frequent and spontaneous inflow of funds from the accounts of Jayalalithaa to those of the other co-accused and the firms companies involved overwhelmingly demonstrate the collective culpable involvement of the respondents in the transactions in the face of their overall orientation so as to render the same to be masked banking exchanges though involving several accounts but mostly of the same bank. No other view is possible.“

The SC accepted the trial court finding that although Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Elavarasi claimed to have independent sources of income, “but the fact of constitution of firms and acquisition of large tracts of land out of the funds provided by Jayalalithaa indicate that all the accused congregated in the house of Jayalalithaa neither for social living nor Jayalalithaa allowed them free accommodation out of humanitarian concern“.

“The facts and circumstances proved in evidence undoubtedly point out that Sasikala, Sudhakaran and Elavarasi were accommodated in Jayalalithaa's house pursuant to the criminal conspiracy hatched by them to hold Jayalalithaa's assets,“ the SC said.

Leave: for women

As in 2023 Feb

Ashutosh Shukla, March 10, 2023: The Times of India

Extra leave to women in MP, March 2023
From: Ashutosh Shukla, March 10, 2023: The Times of India

Bhopal : The Madhya Pradesh government will give seven more days of casual leave (CL) a year to women government employees in addition to the 13 they are entitled to already. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced this on Women’s Day, saying female employees deserve extra leave because they multi-task, managing both household and office work. 

Leave: maternity

For having children via a surrogate

Now, maternity leave for having kids via surrogate, February 8, 2018: The Times of India

Implement Delhi HC’s ’15 Order: DoPT To Govt Depts

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has instructed all central ministries and departments to implement a 2015 order of the Delhi high court for granting maternity leave to women employees who choose to have a child by commissioning a surrogacy. Such leave would include both the pre-natal and postnatal period.

The Delhi HC had in July 2015 pronounced a judgement on plea by a Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher who had a pair of twins through a surrogate mother but was denied the 180-day maternity leave on the ground that she was not the biological mother.

Reasoning that the commissioning mother is legal mother of the child, HC laid down guidelines and filled a vacuum in law since the Centre or state governments have no maternity benefit policy for women employees who opt to have children through a surrogate pregnancy.

As instructed by the court, the commissioning mother would be entitled to apply for maternity leave under sub rule (1) of Rule 43 of CCS (Leave) Rules. The competent authority would decide the timing and period for which the maternity leave is to be granted to the commissioning mother, based on material placed before it.

Under Rule 43(1), female government employees are entitled to maternity leave up to 180 days. While the scrutiny would be keener and detailed when leave is sought by the commissioning mother in the pre-natal stage and a reasoned order would be passed were the leave to be declined, the competent authority would ordinarily grant leave sought at the post-natal stage, except where there are substantial reasons for declining the request.

A DoPT officer told TOI that until the CCS(Leave) Rules are amended to lay down a clear and uniform policy based on the Delhi HC order, the central ministries and departments would have to implement the order in letter and spirit while processing applications for maternity leave from commissioning mothers opting for the surrogacy route. “All ministries/departments are advised to give wide publicity of its (Delhi HC order’s) contents to the concerned officers,” the DoPT said in an office memorandum dated January 29, 2018.

 No maternity leave for having 3rd child: U’khand HC

Sep 19, 2019: The Times of India

Uttarakhand high court has passed an order which makes employees of the state government ineligible for maternity leave after their second child.

In delivering the order, the double bench of Chief Justices Ramesh Ranganathan and Alok Kumar Verma set aside an earlier order passed in July 2018 by a single bench of the HC . The single bench of Justice Rajeev Sharma in its order dated July 30, 2018 had struck down a state government rule that denied maternity leave for women after their third pregnancy claiming that it went against Article 42 of the Constitution which provides for “just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief” and also Section 27 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

The Act protects the employment of a woman during the time of her maternity and entitles her full pay during her absence from work to take care of her child.

The single bench had pronounced the order in 2018 while hearing a writ petition filed by Haldwani resident Urmila Masih, a nurse at a government hospital, who was denied maternity leave on the grounds that she already has two children and could not be granted leave for her third child in consonance with “the second provision of fundamental rule 153.” The second provision of fundamental rule 153 of the financial handbook of the Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rules, which had been adopted by Uttarakhand at the time of creation of the state in November 2000, denies maternity leave to women for their third child.

Citing this provision, the Uttarakhand government had challenged the single bench’s order in the double bench of the court further arguing that “Article 42 of the Constitution is under directive principles of state policy and its provisions cannot be enforced.”

Govt staffer can get 3rd maternity leave if she remarries: HC

May 11, 2022: The Times of India

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh high court said in a recent order that a government employee is entitled to maternity leave for a third time if she divorces her first husband, remarries and conceives. In normal circumstances, maternity leave is allowed only twice. Schoolteacher Priyanka Tiwari moved the HC, seeking an order to the school education department to grant her maternity leave for the third child conceived after she married following her divorce. She has two children from her earlier marriage and according to civil service rules, women employees are entitled to maternity leave only twice. Tiwari’s petition said if a woman employee remarries following divorce, she should be entitled to maternity leave more than twice. In view of the urgency of the situation, the court asked the school education department to grant her maternity leave for a third time. TNN

‘Woman joining service just after delivery can get maternity leave’

May 6, 2021: The Times of India

The Rajasthan HC has ruled that a woman who joins service just after delivery is entitled to maternity leave. The recent order followed the education department’s refusal to grant a woman maternity leave, claiming it is only for those in service.

Petitioner’s counsel said the woman was selected as school lecturer on March 18 this year and had to join before April 10. She joined the service on March 22 at the school in Badgaon, Jalore district. Then the woman applied for maternity leave as she had given birth on January 4 this year. TNN

Leave: study leave

Will not be granted if institution’s interest at stake

Ashutosh Shukla, Sep 22, 2023: The Times of India

BHOPAL/JABALPUR: The Madhya Pradesh high court has "reluctantly" turned down the petition of a doctor, who sought an order to the authorities of a medical college to grant her three years of study leave to complete her PG course.

The petitioner, Dr Sheetal Soni, had moved HC, saying she wanted to pursue higher studies to "equip herself to serve patients better". However, the Shahdol Government Medical College management denied her leave, saying that it might put at risk their recognition from the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The bench of Justice Sujoy Paul acknowledged that the petitioner had a "legitimate aspiration", but noted that the reason given by the medical college was also a plausible explanation, and that the "interest of the institution, or public interest, should take precedence over individual aspiration".

Dr Soni is a demonstrator/tutor in the physiology department of the medical college. She said that she appeared in the NEET-PG exam in February 2023 with the permission of the management. She cleared the exam, went through the counselling, and sought study leave of three years, but was turned down, prompting her to move court.

The government counsel said she couldn't be given leave due to "unavoidable circumstances". He said that there are four posts of demonstrators/tutors in the college, one of which is vacant. If she were granted study leave for three years, MCI could cancel recognition to the college, he said.

The court noted that when Dr Soni was granted permission to appear in the NEET-PG exam, it was made clear that it wasn't a permission to take admission in a PG course. Referring to MP civil service rules, the judge said that it's clear that leave is not the right of an employee and it can be refused or cancelled in case of administrative exigencies.

Militants, former

Can't get govt jobs back on surrender

The Times of IndiaDec 23 2015


The Jammu & Kashmir HC has dismissed a plea seeking reemployment of former government employees who turned to militancy but subsequently surrendered under the state's 2004 rehabilitation policy .

Chief justice N Paul Vasanthakumar on Monday said the employees can't get their jobs back under the policy . Petitioner Irshad Ahmad Bhat had left his job as a junior government engineer to join militants in 1999. He surrendered in 2004, and was allowed by the executive engineer to join the service again despite his over 5-year absence, considered “abandoning of service“ in J&K. He was eventually dismissed.

Overtime allowance

2018: only operational employees entitled

June 27, 2018: The Times of India


The government has decided to discontinue overtime allowance (OTA) except in the case of ‘operational staff ’

DoPT has asked all ministries and departments to prepare a list of such ‘operational staff ’ with full justification based on the above parameters

The plan is to link OTA to biometric attendance

Govt limits overtime pay to ‘operational employees’ NEW DELHI: The Modi government decided to discontinue overtime allowance (OTA) except in the case of ‘operational staff ’ involved in smooth functioning of an office or maintenance jobs, besides freezing the rates of overtime allowance at the levels in force since March 1991.

“It has been clarified by the department of expenditure that the government has decided that given the rise in pay over the years, the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission to discontinue OTA for categories other than operational staff and industrial employees who are governed by statutory provisions may be accepted. Accordingly, it has been decided to implement the aforesaid decision... across all ministries/departments and attached and subordinate office of the government of India,” the department of personnel and training said in an office memorandum issued on June 19.

DoPT officials said all non-ministerial, non-gazetted central government employees directly involved in smooth operation of the office, including those tasked with operation of some electrical and mechanical equipment, may be deemed ‘operational staff ’ eligible for overtime allowance.

DoPT has asked all ministries and departments to prepare a list of such ‘operational staff ’ with full justification based on the above parameters. The list must be approved by the joint secretary (administration) and the financial adviser of the ministry/department concerned.

The plan is to link OTA to biometric attendance. Also, OTA should be paid only when the senior officer directs the employee concerned in writing to stay back in office for urgent work. OTA for drivers may be calculated either based on biometric attendance or from log books.

Field officers’ OTA must be calculated based on biometric attendance with the eligible staff required to report to office before going to the field. If they must go directly to the field, OTA may be given based on log book of the official transport availed by the employee.

Govt staffers are not entitled: SC

AmitAnand Choudhary, April 23, 2023: The Times of India

New Delhi: Observing that unlike contractual workers, government employees enjoy the benefit of automatic wage revision through periodic pay commission recommendations bes ides certain other privileges, the S C has said the latter can’t claim compensation for overtime work as such provisions are not part of the Rules which regulate their service. Adjudicatingadispute between the Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India and its employees on the issue of overtime allowance, a bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj M ithal said that unlike those employed in factories and industrial establishments, persons in public service who are holders of civil posts or in the civil services of the Union o r the states are required to place themselves at the disposal of the government all the time as per the Rules and they cannot ask for overtime allowance.

The bench set asi de the orders passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Bombay HC which had held that even those employees working with the Corporation were entitled for o vertime allowance. Referring to the government Rule, the bench said, “. . . there was actually no scope for the respondents (employees) to seek payment of double overtime allowance. It is needless to say that no benefit can be claimed by anyone dehors the statutory Rules. Unfortunately, the Central Administrative Tribunal completely lost sight of those Rules, and the distincti on between employment in a factory and employment in government service. ”

As the employees claimed that they were required to perform manual work and are entitled for overtim e allowance, the court examined their ACRs and said their contention was not right.

“Persons holding civil posts or in the civil services of the state enjoy certain privileges and hence, the claim made by the respondents ought to have been tested by the Tribunal and the HC,” the top court said. Rule 11 of the Fundamental Rules and Supplementary Rules (1922) says, “Unless in any case it be otherwise provided, the whole time of a government servant is at the disposal of the government which pays him, and he may be employed in any manner required by proper authority, without claim for additional remuneration. . . ”


Adopted children won’t get family pension not for \ SC

Dhananjay Mahapatra, January 18, 2023: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a child adopted by the widow of a government servant is not qualified to get the family pension under the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules but clarified that a child born to the wife of the deceased government servant after his death is entitled to it.

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna said, “Family pension was devised as a means to help the dependents of a deceased government servant tide over the crisis and to extend to them some succour. Therefore, the definition of the term ‘family’ cannot be extended to include those persons who were not even dependents of the government servant, at the time of his death.”

The case related to a person who was adopted as a son by the widow two years after the death of her government servant husband, from whom she had no children. The adopted son had claimed the right to receive a family pension citing the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, which does not differentiate between a blood-related child and an adopted one.

Rejecting the claim, the bench said the Rules rightly restrict the family pension to the sons and daughters of the deceased government employee. Writing the judgment, Justice Nagarathna said the definition of ‘family’ is narrowly worded under the Rules.

“Therefore, the word “adoption” in Rule 54(14)(b)(ii) of the CCS (Pension) Rules, in the context of grant of family pension, must be restricted to an adoption made by a government servant during his/her lifetime and must not be extended to a case of adoption made by a surviving spouse of the government servant after his/her death,” she said.

However, the bench qualified its ruling by saying that a child born to the widow from the deceased husband after the latter's death would be entitled to family pension.

“A case where a child is born to the deceased government servant after his death has to be contrasted with a case where a child is adopted by the widow of a government servant after his death. The former category of heirs is covered under the definition of family since such a child would be a posthumous child of the deceased government servant. The entitlement of such a posthumous child is wholly distinct from a child being adopted after the demise of the government servant by the surviving spouse,” it said.

The SC said, “The reason for the same is not far to see. This is because the deceased government servant would have had no relationship with the adopted child which would have been adopted after his demise, as opposed to a posthumous child.”

Right to pension can't be taken away pending proceedings: SC

PTI | Aug 20, 2013

NEW DELHI: Observing that gratuity and pension are hard earned benefits of an employee and right to receive pension is in the nature of "property", the Supreme Court has held that this right cannot be taken away from a government employee pending departmental or criminal proceedings.

"It is an accepted position that gratuity and pension are not the bounties. An employee earns these benefits by dint of his long, continuous, faithful and un-blemished service. It is thus hard earned benefit which accrues to an employee and is in the nature of "property".

"This right to property cannot be taken away without the due process of law as per the provisions of Article 300 A of the Constitution of India," a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri said.

The court passed the judgement while dismissing the appeal of Jharkhand government against the state's high court order directing it to release the withheld dues of its retired employee Jitendra Kumar Srivastava, who had criminal cases pending against him.

"We are of the opinion that the right of the petitioner (Srivastava) to receive pension is property under Article 31(1) (of the Constitution) and by a mere executive order the State had no power to withhold the same."

"...the order dated June 12, 1968 denying the petitioner right to receive pension affects the fundamental right of the petitioner under Articles 19(1)(f) and 31(1)of Constitution, and as such the writ petition under Article 32 is maintainable," the bench said.

It also said "a person cannot be deprived of this pension without the authority of law, which is the Constitutional mandate enshrined in Article 300 A of the Constitution. It follows that attempt of the appellant to take away a part of pension or gratuity or even leave encashment without any statutory provision and under the umbrage of administrative instruction cannot be countenanced."

Pensions for children of divorced/ illegally wedded wives

Children of divorced, illegally wedded wives of deceased officers entitled to pension

PTI | Aug 29, 2013

The Times of India

Children of divorced, illegally wedded wives of deceased officers entitled to pension Earlier, children born outside wedlock had no claim on family pension and the legally wedded wife was the sole recipient of the post-retirement benefit.

NEW DELHI: Children of divorced or those born to illegally wedded wife of a deceased all India services officer are entitled to get family pensions, according to new rules notified by the central government.

"Where the deceased member of service or pensioner is survived by a widow but has left behind eligible child or children from a divorced or an illegally wedded wife or wives, the eligible child or children shall be entitled to the share of family pension which the mother would have received at the time of the death of the member of service or pensioner had she not been so divorced or had she been legally wedded," they say.

All India services comprise IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service.

Earlier, children born outside wedlock of a government servant had no claim on family pension and the legally wedded wife was the sole recipient of the post-retirement benefit.

Pensions for additional wives

The amended All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefits) Rules, 1958, also have provisions to provide equal share of pension to more than one widow of a deceased officer.

The rules have a provision to recognise marriage and family of a member of the services after his or her retirement and have made such family member eligible to receive pension after the death of an officer.

They also provide for monetary support to mentally retarded children of an officer of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).

"If the son or daughter of a member of service is suffering from any disorder or disability of mind including the mentally retarded or is physically crippled or disabled so as to render him or her unable to earn a living even after attaining the age of twenty-five years, the family pension shall be payable to such son or daughter for life," the rules said.

If there are more than one such son or daughter suffering from disorder or disability of mind or who are physically crippled or disabled, the family pension shall be paid in the order of their birth and the younger of them will get the family pension only after the elder next above him or her ceases to be eligible, the rules clarified.

In case both wife and husband are members of service and are governed by the provisions of the rules and one of them dies while in service or after retirement, the family pension in respect of the deceased shall become payable to the surviving husband or wife and in the event of the death of the husband or wife, the surviving child or children shall be granted the two family pensions in respect of the deceased parents, they said.

Pension after age 80/ 95/ 100

Retired all India service officials will also get additional pensions after completing 80 years of age, according to them.

Such retired government officials will get 20 per cent of additional pension after they complete 80 years of age, 30 per cent of after completing 85 years, 40 per cent after crossing 90 years of age, 50 per cent after reaching 95 years and 100 per cent of additional pension after completing 100 years of age, the rules said.

If there are more than one such son or daughter suffering from disorder or disability of mind or who are physically crippled or disabled, the family pension shall be paid in the order of their birth and the younger of them will get the family pension only after the elder next above him or her ceases to be eligible, the rules clarified.

In case both wife and husband are members of service and are governed by the provisions of the rules and one of them dies while in service or after retirement, the family pension in respect of the deceased shall become payable to the surviving husband or wife and in the event of the death of the husband or wife, the surviving child or children shall be granted the two family pensions in respect of the deceased parents, they said.

Retired all India service officials will also get additional pensions after completing 80 years of age, according to them.

Such retired government officials will get 20 per cent of additional pension after they complete 80 years of age, 30 per cent of after completing 85 years, 40 per cent after crossing 90 years of age, 50 per cent after reaching 95 years and 100 per cent of additional pension after completing 100 years of age, the rules said.

Widow, not dead man's mother, to get pension

Dhananjay Mahapatra, Widow, not dead man's mom, will get pension: SC The Times of India Sep 30 2016

Deciding a long and bitter `saas-bahu' fight over a dead man's pension, the Supreme Court stood behind the daughter-in-law and ruled that a widow alone was entitled to pension after death of an employee and not his mother.

A bench of Justices A R Dave and L Nageshwar Rao faced a tricky question while deciding this dispute between the mother and wife of deceased Haryana government employee Yash Pal.While the widow laid claim to her late husband's pension, the mother cited the Hindu Succession Act to stake her claim.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Dave said so far as provisions of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 were concerned, the properties of a Hindu who dies intestate (without writing a will) would first of all go to persons categorised as class-I heirs.

“Therefore, so far as the properties of late Yash Pal are concerned, they would be divided among the mother and widow, provided no other family member of Yash Pal is alive who would fall within class-I heirs,“ Justice Dave said.

But the position on pension was different, the SC said. Citing an earlier judgment, the court said family pension did not form part of the deceased employee's property to be divided among his family members categorised as class-I heirs.

“Even the employee has no right to dispose of family pension in his will by giving direction that someone other than the one entitled to it should be given the same,“ the bench said and set aside Punjab and Haryana High Court's order entitling the mother to 50% of family pension.

On the fight between the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law over Yash Pal's pension, the bench said, “Under the family pension scheme, widow is the only family member entitled to the pension and, therefore, the mother of the deceased would not get any right in the pension. Of course, it cannot be disputed that if there are other assets left by late Yash Pal, his mother would get 50% share if he had not prepared any will and it appears that late Yash Pal had died intestate and no will had been executed by him.“

Widow can get family pension if she marries brother in law\ HC

Ajay Sura, January 18, 2023: The Times of India

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana HC has made it clear that the widow of an ex-civilian employee of the military would be entitled to an ordinary family pension if she remarries her late husband's brother and continues to "live a communal life and contributes to the support of other living eligible heirs.”.

It also clarified that there must not be any distinction between a widow of a person who died because of reasons attributable to or aggravated by military service and a person who died in service. This applies even in the instant case if we substitute the word 'government service' for the word 'military service', said a division bench of justices MS Ramachandra Rao and Sukhvinder Kaur.

It passed the orders while allowing a plea filed by Sukhjeet Kaur, a resident of Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, challenging a 2016 order passed by CAT, Chandigarh, rejecting her claim for family pension. Her first husband Mohinder Singh had enrolled in IAF in January 1964, but was discharged from service on November 21, 1971 on medical grounds and was granted a disability pension. Later, he joined IAF as a civilian employee. Kaur married him in 1974, but he died a year later, while in service. She was granted a family pension after his death. Later, she married his younger brother. In April 1982, her family pension was stopped by Centre on grounds that she had remarried.

Women can nominate children over husband

January 3, 2024: The Times of India

Govt: Women can now nominate kids over husband for pension

New Delhi : A woman employee can now nominate her child or children for family pension in precedence over her husband in case of marital discord, the Centre said.

Rule 50 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 2021 allows the grant of family pension following the death of a government servant or retired government servant.

If a deceased government servant or pensioner is survived by a spouse, family pension is first granted to the spouse. Other family members become eligible for family pension, on their turn, on ly after the spouse of the deceased government servant/ pensioner becomes ineligible for family pension or dies, according to the rules.

The department of pension and pensioners’ welfare (DoPPW) has now amended the rules and allowed a woman employee to nominate her child/children over her husband for the family pension.

“The amendment allows disbursement of family pension of a female government servant to an eligible child in precedence to her husband, in all cases where she has filed a divorce petition or a petition under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act or cases under Indian Penal Code,” DoPPW Secretary V Srinivas said.

He said the amendment was formulated by DoPPW in consultation with the ministry of women and child development taking into consideration representations received.

“The amendment is progressive in nature and empowers women employees in family pension cases,” said Srinivas, a 1989-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre. PTI

Pensioner need not visit bank to activate pension

No need for govt employees to visit bank to start pension: Government, Aug 6, 2017: The Times of India


No need for central govt employees to visit banks to start pension.

The copy of the pension payment order will be handed over to them at the time of retirement.

There are about 48 lakh central government employees and about 53 lakh pensioners.

There is no need for central government employees to visit banks to start pension as their copy of the Pension Payment Order (PPO) will be handed over to them at the time of retirement, the Personnel Ministry has said.

Citing existing rules in this regard, the ministry, in a recent order issued to all central government departments, has said, "The pensioner is no longer required to visit the bank to activate the first payment of pension."

The rules also provide for an undertaking to be submitted by the retiring government servants or pensioners to the disbursing banks before the commencement of their pensions. After ascertaining that the bank's copy (of PPO) has been dispatched by the Central Pension Accounting Office, the pensioner's copy is to be handed over to him at the time of retirement along with other retirement dues, the order said.

An employee posted at a location away from the head of office, or who for any other reasons feels that it would be more convenient to him to obtain his copy of the PPO from the bank, may inform the head of office of his option in writing while submitting his pension papers, it said.

In the recent past, many instances have come to the notice wherein the pensioner's copy of the PPO had not been handed over to him/her and instead had been sent to the bank and was lost in transit sometimes, thereby causing hardship to the pensioner, the order issued on August 1, said.

In view of these, all ministries/departments are once again requested to strictly follow the procedure henceforth and hand over the copy of the PPO to the pensioner at the time of retirement along with other retirement dues, except if the pensioner specifically requests for delivering his/her copy of the PPO through the bank, it said.

There are about 48 lakh central government employees and about 53 lakh pensioners.

The pension gets delayed either due to the delay in receipt of intimation by the pensioner that relevant papers have reached the bank or because of delay on the part of the pensioner in approaching the bank for submission of undertaking, the personnel ministry had said in one of its earlier orders.

Personal misconduct, grave

IPS officer dismissed for affair without divorcing wife/ 2019

March 7, 2019: The Times of India

Controversial IPS officer Pankaj Kumar Choudhary has been dismissed from service due to “grave personnel misconduct” on grounds that he had got into a relationship with another woman without legally separating from his wife.

The order of Union ministry of home affairs dated February 19 was put up outside Pankaj Kumar Choudhary’s official residence in Gandhi Nagar on Wednesday as he is currently on leave due to medical reasons.

The MHA order states that the 2009-batch officer married Sudha Gupta on December 4, 2005, and legally separated from her on May 5, 2018. According to the order, during the intervening period while Choudhary was not legally separated from his wife, he entered into a physical relation with another woman and fathered a child from her.

Politics, elections

Rajasthan HC allows doctor to contest elections: 2023

Intishab Ali, Nov 9, 2023: The Times of India

Jaipur : Dr Deepak Ghogra, a gynaecologist at the government hospital in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur, is taking his Hippocratic oath to the next level — seeking to not only heal his patients but also the ills of society. The 43-year-old doctor from a scheduled tribe is contesting the November 25 elections as a Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) candidate for Dungarpur constituency.

This is a novel concept for Rajasthan, as government doctors had to take voluntary retirement from service before taking part in elections. But Ghogra has been granted permission by the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan high court to run for office, with the comforting cushion that even if he loses, he can still retain his job as a government healthcare professional.

Before filing his nomination, Dr Ghogra had filed a writ petition. “The HC ordered that even if I lose, I can rejoin the post of medical officer,” he said.

His campaign is unique in that he is using his stethoscope as a symbol of his commitment to the community. “I want the people in this tribal area to be educated, have a healthy life, and ample opportunities for employment, but I have an agenda of saving jungles as without jungles and nature, the existence of tribes is difficult,” said Ghogra, walking around with a stethoscope around his neck.

Ghogra is a household name in Dungarpur, a constituency reserved for scheduled tribes. He graduated from RNT Medical College in Udaipur and has been working at the Dungarpur hospital for over 10 years. He has handled over 20,000 deliveries and is also known for his work with children, having distributed over 20,000 boxes with pencils, erasers, and sharpeners in rural government schools — earning him the nickname, “Box-man”.

“I sought a ticket from BTP as the party is quite popular here. Being a doctor, I wanted to join politics as this is the area where we need educated people. Doctors work as social workers too,” Ghogra said.

He is the founder of a “Save the Jungle” campaign in Dungarpur, and a member of the Dungarpur Adivasi Sanskritik Manch, which works to promote tribal culture.


From the archives of The Times of India 2007, 2009 2010

OK to sack Muslim cop for having 2 wives: SC


New Delhi: After 23 years in court, a Muslim constable’s plea that he did not fall afoul of a bigamy charge as this was permissible in his religion, has been decisively quashed by Supreme Court which dismissed his special leave petition against a high court ruling.

The SC decision not to entertain the petition clearly establishes that those in government jobs cannot get around service rules that stipulate dismissal from service for bigamous employees. The SC said that religion-based personal laws cannot be invoked to prevent government rules from being enforced.

Former Rajasthan police constable, Liyakat Ali challenged the termination of his services under the Rajasthan Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1971, banning second marriage without divorcing the first wife.

The Supreme Court upheld the HC ruling against Ali on the ground that he had contracted a second marriage without divorcing his first wife. Ali contended that Muslim personal law did not prohibit a second marriage even as the relation with the first wife remained legally binding.

Constable’s first marriage not annulled

New Delhi: The former Rajasthan constable, who was dismissed from service on a bigamy charge had taken a plea that he had divorced his first wife before contracting the marriage with Maksuda. However, the inquiry reportedly revealed that the first marriage had not been annulled when he married for the second time.

The law did not mandate taking permission of the government and Liyakat Ali married Maksuda Khatun without divorcing his first wife Farida Khatun.

On January 25, an apex court bench comprising Justices V S Sirpurkar and Aftab Alam dismissed Ali’s appeal against the HC judgment prima facie accepting the stand of the Rajasthan government that the 1971 rules were applicable to all government servants, irrespective of the religion, to enforce strict discipline.

Praising government schemes

Guidelines, 2024

January 6, 2024: The Times of India

HC: Officials can extol govt schemes, if…

...Political Party’s Name Or Insignia Is Not Used


New Delhi : The Delhi high court said that one cannot have a grievance with the use of defence officers and civil servants to highlight the schemes and achievements of an incumbent government if the name of a political party or political insignia is not used.

The remark came from a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora while hearing a PIL against using defence officers and civil servants for propagation of government schemes launched in the last nine years as it amounts to political propaganda.The matter will now be heard on January 30.

The petition was filed by former civil servant EAS Sarma and Association of Democratic Reforms president Jagdeep S Chhokar challenging an order issued by the Controller General of Defence Accounts on October 9, 2023 regarding the deployment of defence officers at “selfie points” to showcase MoD works.
The petitioners sought a direction that no political party, either at the Centre or in the states, can use any public servant for any campaign or promotion of its schemes, which is intended for the benefit of the governing party.

They also challenged the office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training in October to deploy joint secretaries, directors and deputy secretaries as “District Rath Prabharis” to showcase the Centre’s achievements of the last nine years.

Additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, submitted that features of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra as well as selfie points have been launched for the betterment of the people at the grassroots and to reach out to the vulnerable.

The ASG argued that selfie points encourage women’s participation in defence, promote self-reliance, and inspire and instil a sense of pride among the people.


HC: Merit has edge over seniority

Ajay Sura, August 31, 2019: The Times of India

The Punjab and Haryana HC has ruled that suitability of an employee for promotion has to be determined on the basis of merit-cum-seniority and not seniority-cum-merit. Explaining that merit was predominant and seniority was subordinate, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina while dismissing petitions filed by senior-scale stenographers of the high court against a committee decision to hold a test for their promotion to the next level, said “merit-cum-seniority” put greater emphasis on merit and ability, and seniority played a less significant role.

Rejection of promotion rules out Assured Career Progression Scheme

January 4, 2022: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court held that a government employee who refuses to accept promotion and prefers to remain on the same post for years cannot claim benefit of the Assured Career Progression Scheme for financial upgradation to the next higher pay grade which is granted to those who could not get promotion after 12 years of service.

Holding that a government employee cannot “eat his cake and have it too”, a bench of Justices R Subhash Reddy and Hrishikesh Roy allowed the plea of the Centre and set aside the order of Delhi high court which had held that the government cannot deny the benefits of the scheme in those cases where employees refused to accept promotion.


Decide on sanction of prosecution in 6 months: HC

March 28, 2023: The Times of India

Bengaluru: The competent authorities in the state government must decide within six months the requisitions sent by investigating agencies under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code for prosecuting public servants, the Karnataka HC has said. 
“The state or the competent authority can’t sit over the files for sanction for months together and ‘contend not taking any decision is also a decision’,” Justice M Nagaprasanna said while pointing out that as per the Supreme Court’s orders, prior sanction is mandatory even in graft cases. 
“If the government wants to curb corruption, such intention should be reflected in swift action, particularly in cases concerning corruption or any act of a public servant in discharge of his official duty. On the other hand, the government advocates put up vehement opposition before this court contending that sanction is not required for offences punishable under sections 408, 409 and 420 IPC. Instead of the government expressing objection through its counsel, it would be imperative for the competent authority to pass orders on the requisitions for such sanction, either granting or refusing the same. And, the investigating agencies must send requisitions wherever necessary,” the judge said.

In the case on hand, Justice Nagaprasanna quashed the proceedings in about 25 cases against MS Faneesha, an employee of the rural development and panchayat raj department. The authorities had registered those cases against him alleging misappropriation of funds vis-a-vis works under MGNREGS in Hassan during 2009-10 when he was working as the executive officer of Arkalgud taluk panchayat. Faneesha claimed that in the departmental inquiry, he was absolved as the charges were not proved and also, no loss was caused to the state exchequer and hence, criminal proceedings cannot be continued.

Sanction (prior) for probe into corruption allegations

SC verdicts of 2014, 2023

AmitAnand Choudhary, Sep 12, 2023: The Times of India

New Delhi : The Supreme Court held that its 2014 order striking down Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, under which it was mandatory for the CBI to secure sanction from the relevant authorities before prosecuting officers of the rank of joint secretary and above, would apply retrospectively.

A five-judge bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, Abhay S Oka, Vikram Nath and J K Maheshwari held that when a law is declared unconstitutional by the court it means void ab initio (from the beginning) and the verdict would have retrospective application. The court said its 2014 verdict would be applied retrospectively from Sept 11, 2003 when Sec 6A was inserted in the Act.

Madras HC/ 2016

The Times of India, Jul 03 2016

A Subramani  HC: No need for govt nod to probe babus

In a landmark ruling, Madras high court has quashed a Tamil Nadu government order making prior permission or `remarks' from the government mandatory for probing corruption allegations against all `public servants' irrespective of category and rank. “The powers of a police officer are sought to be restricted by superimposing a requirement of a mandatory prior remarks `before ordering an appropriate inquiry by the directorate of vigilance and anticorruption (DVAC),“ said the first bench comprising justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice R Mahadevan on Friday .The term `government servants' was also replaced with a new term `public servants' thereby bringing even elected representatives under the protective umbrella of prior nod.

No sanction required for officials transferred out of a post

The Times of India, Sep 08 2016

Dhananjay Mahapatra

`Tainted' officials lose anti-prosecution shield when transferred: SC  Providing investigating agencies a significant handle to go after officials accused of corruption, the Supreme Court has ruled that no sanction will be required to prosecute government servants who have been transferred out of a post where they allegedly indulged in such activities. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana gave the ruling while answering the question -“whether a public servant who is not in the same post and is transferred loses the protection under Section 19 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, though he continues to be a public servant, albeit on a different post?“ Section 19(1) prohibits courts from taking cognisance of an offence under various provisions of the PC Act without sanction from the government concerned. This means a designated court cannot take cognisance of a chargesheet filed under the Act against a government servant unless the investigating agency has obtained sanction for prosecution before filing of the charge-sheet.

The shield to protect the bureaucracy from malicious prosecution and help them take bold decisions will no longer be available to officers if they get transferred from the station where they they committed the alleged corrupt act. Civil servants are already restive over the prosecution proceedings against some of their colleagues.

Expanding apex court's ruling in Parkash Singh Badal case, the bench said: “If the public servant had abused entirely different office or offices than the one which he was holding on the date when cognisance was taken (by the designated court), there was no necessity of sanction under Section 19 of the PC Act.“

“Where the public servant had abused the office which he held in the check period, but had ceased to hold `that office' or was holding a different office, then sanction would not be necessary . Likewise, where the alleged misconduct is in some different capacity than the one which is held at the time of taking cognisance, there will be no necessity to take sanction,“ Justice Sikri, who wrote the judgement for the bench, said.

Upholding a Karnataka high court order allowing prosecution of one L Narayana Swamy , the SC said since the appellant had allegedly abused entirely different office than the one which he was holding on the date on which cognisance was taken, there was no necessity to take sanction under Section 19 of the PC Act.

DoPT’s say to be final

May 17, 2019: The Times of India

Will a babu be probed? DoPT’s say to be final

New Delhi:

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) led by the PM will have a final say on granting sanction to prosecute grafttainted central government employees where his/her respective department and central vigilance commission hold a different opinion.

In an order issued after amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, last year, DoPT laid down guidelines to deal with disagreement between disciplinary authority (any central government department) and the CVC in cases of granting the prosecution sanction.

CBI recommends sanction of prosecution of persons only in cases where probe conducted by it finds sufficient justification for the same.

As per the guidelines, in cases where the CVC advises grant of sanction for prosecution but the ministry/department concerned proposes not to accept such advice, the case should be referred to the DoPT, which is headed by PM, for final advice.

The cases, where the CVC declines sanction for prosecution but the ministry/department concerned proposes not to accept such advice, should also be referred to the DoPT.

In cases where the CBI has sought sanction for prosecution and the CVC has recommended grant of sanction and yet the authority proposes not to, the decision of DoPT would be final, the guidelines said.

FIR against govt staff only after probe

KP Saikiran, January 9, 2021: The Times of India

FIR against govt staff in Kerala only after probe

In an order that seeks to interpret the law separately for government servants and common citizens, Kerala police chief Loknath Behera issued an advisory to all officers asking them to register criminal cases against government servants only after conducting a preliminary inquiry in which their explanation is also sought, reports KP Saikiran.

The instructions, which supersede provisions contained in criminal procedure code, were told to be followed in the case of ‘non-specific allegations’ against government and PSU employees.

“If a non-specific complaint is received against a government employee, it must be inquired into before registering a criminal case,” said the advisory.


‘During probe, must take staffer’s version into consideration’

It is desirable that in such cases, a verification or a preliminary inquiry is conducted before registering a formal FIR. During inquiry, the government servant or PSU employee must be examined and his/her explanation must be taken into consideration,” says the advisory, which was addressed to all district police chiefs, SHOs and other unit heads last Tuesday. It said several government servants, during the discharge of their duties, ‘might have done something, which is neither mala-fide, nor with any personal interest, but may have affected some other persons’. It said when cases are registered on the basis of such complaints, it is likely to adversely affect their reputation or career. Legal experts cited the instruction as “grossly illegal”.

As per CrPC Section 197, protection is provided to government employees at the stage of prosecuting them after a probe, and is not applicable while registering an FIR.


Age limit

UP abolishes it for widows, divorced women

Subhash Mishra, No age bar for widows, divorced women applying for UP govt jobs, Oct 29 2016 : The Times of India

In a major policy decision, UP government has done away with the upper age limit for widows and divorced women applying for government jobs.

Verification of character, antecedents

Prior police verification replaced by self-declaration

The Times of India, Jul 02 2016

Verification by cops dropped for govt jobs  After promoting self-attestation in government documentation, the Narendra Modi government has now done away with mandatory completion of police verification prior to the issuance of appointment letters for government jobs. Instead, a self-declaration by the candidate selected for recruitment stating that he she has no criminal case pending against himher, or, if any , with details of the case(s), will suffice for the issuance of a provisional appointment letter. Though police verification will still be carried out, the issuance of the provisional letter need not be withheld pending the procedure.

Once the verification report is received, the provisional appointment letter will be confirmed. Of course, the candidate must give a commitment in the self-declaration that in case any false information is given, heshe will be rendered unfit for employment. The candidate will also be liable for criminal action.


Reinstatement not a right in absence of honourable acquittal: HC

February 14, 2022: The Times of India

New Delhi: Delhi High Court has said that reinstatement in government service cannot flow as a matter of right in the absence of an “honourable acquittal” of a person.

The court refused to reinstate an accountant in a public sector entity after he cited his acquittal in a corruption case. Justice V Kameswar Rao observed that the petitioner was let off on a technical ground that the offence could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt and his reinstatement would effectively amount to turning a blind eye towards the employer’s concerns regarding his integrity, honesty and trustworthiness.

The employer’s concern cannot be ignored merely because the petitioner was accorded the benefit of doubt in a criminal case, the high court noted. “he nature of the offence for which the petitioner was proceeded against and the conviction having been set aside only on a technical ground, it must be held that the reinstatement of the petitioner cannot flow as a matter of right,” the court noted.

Justice Rao relied on a Supreme Court decision to note that a mere acquittal in a cri- minal case was not conclusive of the suitability of a candidate and even if a person is acquitted or discharged, it cannot always be inferred that he was falsely implicated or that he had no criminal antecedents.

The court was hearing the plea of a former accountant of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited, challenging his dismissal from service despite acquittal in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act where he was acquitted from all charges. The plea claimed that apart from reinstatement, he was also entitled to the benefits of the sixth and seventh pay commissions and promotion to the higher rank of senior accountant in the revised pay scale.



Forced early retirement: Bad reputation sufficient grounds

Bad reputation can justify forced early retirement: HC

Ajay Sura TNN

Chandigarh: An employee may be forced to retire in public interest if his/her “general reputation” is not good even without tangible material to substantiate it, the Punjab and Haryana HC has said.

A division bench passed the order on Friday while upholding the HC decision on premature retirement of Haryana Superior Judicial Services judicial officer Chaman Lal Mohal.

Mohal was entitled to work till the age of 60, but was forced to prematurely retire on January 29 after the court’s administrative judge declared his integrity as “doubtful”.

Involuntary retirement after age 50/55 years, 30 years service/ 2020

Central staffers have no shield against early retirement: Govt, September 2, 2020: The Times of India

The Centre has made it clear it can, in public interest, prematurely retire its employees at any time even after they have attained the age of 50/55 years or completed 30 years of qualifying service, and not limit their ‘performance review’ to these two set milestones laid down in the pension rules.

Moreover, even government employees who were cleared to be retained in service as per FR 56(j) and Rules 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, may face further review at any time during their remaining service if the appointing authority feels it is expedient on account of the changed circumstances, reports Bharti Jain. Gover nment sources said the new rules seek to remove any ambiguity in interpretation of orders issued.

‘Order clears ambiguity over performance review system’

The orders issued earlier were regarding Fundamental Rule 56(j)/l and Rule 48 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, which provide for review of performance of a government servant after attaining 50/55 years of age or on completion of 30 years of qualifying service, with a view to ascertain if he should be retained in service or retired in public interest. For instance, if a review can’t be undertaken due to administrative exigencies, the new norms state such review can be undertaken at any time during his remaining service.

An officer told TOI that the August 28 O M eliminates any ambiguity in interpretation of instructions on whether the government servant is immune to a performance review and premature retirement after he was found fit to continue based on review at 50/55 years or after finishing 30 years of service.


Cooling-off period for post-retirement employment

The Times of India Dec 22 2015

The cooling-off period for bureaucrats seeking commercial employment post-retirement has been cut, by half, to one year.

New rules formulated recently by the personnel ministry say that to take up jobs at private firms, officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others, will only have to seek prior permission from the Centre if it's within a year from the date ofretirement.

However, they need to declare clear service records, particularly with respect to integrity and dealings with non-government organisations (NGOs), and also mention that the proposed emoluments and pecuniary benefits offered to them conform to industry standards.

The reduction follows a demand by officers that the cooling-off period be brought down from two years.

The officials need to make the following declaration in a revised application form: “The organisation in which I am seeking employment is not involved in activities which are in conflict with or prejudicial to India's foreign relations, national security and domestic harmony . The organisation is not undertaking any activity for intelligence gathering.“

Pensioners need to affirm that in the last three years of service, they were not privy to sensitive or strategic information directly related to the areas of interest or work of the organisation that they propose to join or to the areas in which they propose to practise or consult.

Seniority: not a fundamental right: CAT

From the archives of The Times of India 2010

New Delhi: Central Administrative Tribunal has refused to set aside an order by the MCD revising the seniority list of its junior stenographers saying that it cannot be claimed as a “fundamental right”. “As per the law, seniority is not a fundamental right of a public employee. It is only a civil right. There cannot be any change in this contrary to the principles of natural justice,” the Tribunal bench, said. PTI

Sexual harassment

Shift staff for probe

The Times of India, September 13, 2016

Vacancies as % of sanctioned strength in high courts and districts and subordinate courts; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, September 13, 2016

The country needed more judges to counter the increase in per capita litigation, which he said was bound to rise further with improved literacy rates and incomes. The shortage of judges in our courts is laid bare by the fact that there are glaring vacancies even in the sanctioned posts

Sexual harassment victims allowed three months paid leave : Govt

Daily Excelsior , Sexual harassment victims allowed three months paid leave : Govt "Daily Excelsior" 18/7/2015

A complainant in sexual harassment case will be allowed three months paid leave and she or the charged Government employee can be transferred to other department during the inquiry, according to a fresh set of strict instructions by the Centre in such cases.

The disciplinary authority has been directed not to dispense with the inquiry in complaints of sexual harassment lightly, arbitrarily or with ulterior motive or merely because the case against the Government servant is weak.

The committees for checking sexual harassment at work place will have the powers to recommend transfer of the aggrieved woman or the charged officer to any other workplace, and to grant leave to the aggrieved woman up to a period of three months. “The leave will not be deducted from her leave account,” it said.

Complaints committees have been set up in all ministries and organisations under them in pursuance to the judgement of the Supreme Court in the Vishakha case. These committees are to be headed by a woman and at least half of its members should be women.

“In case a woman officer of sufficiently senior level is not available in a particular office, an officer from another office may be so appointed. To prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels, such complaints committees should involve a third party, either an NGO or some other body which is familiar with the issue of sexual harassment,” the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in its instructions.

The aggrieved woman or complainant is required to make a complaint within three months of the incident and in case there has been a series of incidents, three months of the last incident, it said.

The complaints committee may, however, extend the time limit for reasons to be recorded in writing, if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the complainant from filing a complaint within the stipulated period, the DoPT guidelines said.

Sexual harassment includes physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favours, sexually coloured remarks, showing any pornography and any other unwelcome physical, verbal, non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Besides, implied or explicit promise of preferential or detrimental treatment in employment; implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; interference with her work, creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment for her; and humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety may also amount to sexual harassment, it said. The committee may make recommendations including deduction from the salary or wages of the charged officer such sum as it may consider appropriate to be paid to the aggrieved woman or to her legal heirs.

“Committee may recommend action to be taken against complainant, if the allegation is malicious, or the complainant knows it to be false, or has produced any forged or misleading document. The Committee may also recommend action against any witness if such witness has given false evidence or produced any forged or misleading document,” the DoPT instructions read. (PTI)

Spouses’ postings

One cannot be posted with spouse forever

Pankul Sharma, April 17, 2023: The Times of India

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand high court, while refusing to stay the transfer order of a PWD employee, observed that "the place of posting of spouses cannot be at the same location throughout their career”.

An HC division bench observed this while hearing a petition by Nirmala Singh, an administrative officer in PWD, who had been posted in Dehradun for the last 30 years, on April 10. Deputy advocate general KN Joshi informed the court Singh was transferred to Bageshwar on February 14 but she refused to join. She resisted the order at the state scheduled caste commission, which stayed her transfer. Expressing displeasure, the HC cautioned the SC commission "not to pass orders" without having the jurisdiction to do so.

The court observed that Singh had served in "accessible areas" continuously for the last 30 years on the basis of her husband also being a government servant working in Dehradun.

Singh's counsel Hari Mohan Bhatia argued that the transfer was decided without placing her case before the transfer committee, "as is required under the Public Servants Act". To this, the court said according to the Act, employees' participation during the enquiry is not necessary, "since transfer is an incident of service." It added that an inquiry would delay the transfer process, defeating its purpose.


Limited to 90 days

The Times of India Feb 17 2015

SC fixes 90-day limit for suspension of govt employees

Amit Choudhary

Protracted period of suspension of delinquent government employee has become a norm and such practice must be curbed, the Supreme Court on Monday said while fixing a period of ninety 90 days for authorities to complete proceedings against such an employee. The court said that an employee suffered ignominy and scorn of society due to prolonged period of suspension. “We, therefore, direct that the currency of a suspension order should not extend beyond three months... if within this period the Memorandum of ChargesChargesheet is not served on the delinquent officeremployee,“ a bench headed by Justice Vikaramajit Sen said. It said suspension, specially preceding the formulation of charges, is essentially transitory or temporary in nature, and must be of short duration.

“If it is for an indeterminate period or if its renewal is not based on sound reasoning contemporaneously available on the record, this would render it punitive in nature,“ the bench said.

“Protracted periods of suspension, repeated renewal thereof, have regrettably become the norm and not the exception that they ought to be. The suspended person suffering the ignominy of insinuations, the scorn of society and the derision of his department, has to endure this excruciation even before he is formally charged with some misdemeanour or offence,“ the bench said The court passed the order on a petition filed by defence estate officer Ajay Kumar Choudhary who was kept suspended for a long time.

Temporary staff

Should be paid on a par with regular staff

AmitAnand Choudhary, SC: Temporary staff should be paid on par with regular ones, Oct 27 2016 : The Times of India

`Follow Equal Pay For Equal Work Principle'

In what comes as a relief for lakhs of temporary employees who have been hired by government departments and agencies across the country on contractual basis, the Supreme Court held on Wednesday that they are entitled to wages on par with permanent staff under the `equal pay for equal work' principle.

A bench of Justices JS Khehar and SA Bobde said the principle of `equal pay for equal work' constitutes a clear and unambiguous right vested in every employee, whether engaged on regular or temporary basis.

“In our considered view, it is fallacious to determine artificial parameters to deny fruits of labour. An employee engaged for the same work, cannot be paid less than another ... Certainly not, in a welfare state. Such an action besides being demeaning, strikes at the very foundation of human dignity ,“ the bench said.

The bench said the principle had been expounded through a large number of judge ments rendered by the apex court and constitutes law declared by the Supreme Court.

“Any act of paying less wages as compared to others similarly situated, constitutes an act of exploitative enslavement, emerging out of a domineering position. Undoubtedly, the action is oppressive, suppressive and coercive as it compels involuntary subjugation,“ Justice Khehar said.

The court passed the verdict on petitions filed by temporary employees working for Punjab seeking wage parity with regular employees. They approached the SC after the Punjab and Haryana HC held that temporary employees were not entitled to the minimum of the regular pay-scale.

Setting aside the HC order, the SC held that the principle of `equal pay for equal work' must be followed as India is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. “ There is no escape from the above obligation, in view of different provisions of the Constitution and in view of the law declared by this court under Article 141 of the Constitution. The principle of `equal pay for equal work' constitutes a clear and unambiguous right and is vested in every employee -whether engaged on regular or temporary basis,“ it said.


From the archives of The Times of India 2010

Courts shouldn’t meddle in routine transfers: HC

A Subramani | TNN

Chennai: A government servant holding a transferable post has no vested right to remain posted at one place and courts should not interfere with a transfer order made for administrative reasons, Madras High Court has ruled.

A bench of chief justice H L Gokhale and Justice V Dhanapalan, concurring with the submissions of senior counsel A L Somayaji, said, ‘‘It is the cardinal principle that a transfer is ordinarily an incident of service. The court should not interfere with a transfer order, which is made for administrative reasons, unless the orders are made in violation of any mandatory or statutory rule or on the ground of malafide.’’

The matter relates to a writ appeal filed by National Insurance Company Limited, which challenged a single judge order quashing the transfer of S Ashok Kumar, who was transferred to Tuticorin as divisional manager. Ashok Kumar challenged the transfer, stating that his father had been diagnosed with malignant rectal cancer and that he required constant medication and monitoring, including chemotherapy and radiation.

In 2008, Ashok Kumar had been transferred to Hyderabad, which was later put on hold in view of his father’s health condition.

Senior counsel Somayaji, however, pointed out that Ashok Kumar was in Chennai for 17 years without a transfer, and that the earlier transfer too had been cancelled on humanitarian grounds.

'Sack workers who do not deliver'

Sack sweepers if they can't deliver: HC The Times of India Nov 27 2014

If 60,000 conservancy workers can't keep the city clean they must be removed, the Delhi high court said on Wednesday , taking to task municipal corporations for wasting public money, reports Abhinav Garg. If things remained as such, the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not going to kick off...“ the judges observed.

“If they aren't working why waste public money on them.Just leave them,“ the bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul said. Their reference was to the city's invisible army of safai karmacharis. The bench was hearing a petition filed by an NGO seeking details of daily conservancy work.

Transfer mala fide when not for professed purpose: HC 2023

Dec 11, 2023: The Times of India

Shimla : The high court of Himachal Pradesh has observed that a transfer is mala fide when not made for professed purpose in the normal course, public or administrative interest, or exigencies of service, but based on written recommendation of someone not connected with the state government’s affairs.

The bench of justice Ranjan Sharma said that even when a transfer is made on the written recommendation of a minister or a legislator, there must be some cogent and convincing reason of public interest or administrative exigency to justify it. Transfers on the mere asking of these functionaries are unfair, unjust, and against the test of Articles 14 (equality before law) and 16 (equal opportunity) of the Constitution.
The verdict suggests that in those cases where an order of transfer appears to be innocuous and against the pre-requisites, “the court is competent to examine its actual foundation and nullify the order for the sake of fairness, reasonableness, non-arbitrariness, and uniform application of transfer rules, besides preventing perversity and mala fide arbitrariness in the state action”.

Voluntary retirement 

Not a right: SC/ 2018

VRS is not a right, rules SC, August 24, 2018: The Times of India

‘UP Right In Rejecting Plea Of Doctors’

The Supreme Court has said a government employee cannot seek voluntary retirement as a matter of right and the government can frame rules to deny pleas for quitting prematurely in larger public interest.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazeer upheld Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to reject the request for voluntary retirement of four senior doctors of the rank of joint directors and senior consultants and said the decision was justified due to severe shortage of doctors in the state. It said the concept of public interest could be invoked by the government when voluntary retirement was sought by an employee.

“The government’s decision caters to the needs of human life and carries the objective of public interest. The doctors are claiming the right to retire under Part III of the Constitution, such right cannot be supreme than right to life. It has to be interpreted along with the rights of the state government in Part IV of the Constitution as it is obligatory upon it to make an endeavour to look after the provisions for health and nutrition. In case all the doctors are permitted to retire, in that situation, there would be chaos and no doctor would be left in government hospitals, which would be against the concept of the welfare state and injurious to public interest,” the bench said.

The court set aside the Allahabad High Court verdict directing the state to grant voluntary retirement to the doctors. The prayer for voluntary retirement was rejected by the state on the ground of lack of specialised doctors in government hospitals.

“The concept of public interest can also be invoked by the government when voluntary retirement sought by an employee would be against public interest. The provisions cannot be said to be violative of any of the rights. There is already paucity of doctors as observed by the HC, the system cannot be left without competent senior persons and particularly, the HC has itself observed that doctors are not attracted to join service and there is an existing scarcity of doctors. Poorest of the poor obtain treatment at government hospitals. They cannot be put at peril,” the bench said.

See also

Corruption: India

Family planning: India

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