Dismissal of public servant deserved even if misconduct is minor

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The Madras High Court on Friday declared that if misconduct by a public servant is confirmed then he/ she can be removed from the post or service regardless of the amount of money involved. Even if the misconduct in trivial, if found guilty then the public servant deserves a dismissal.

In setting an example, it upheld the dismissal of N Namachivayam, Bus Conductor, State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) who reissued a used ticket of Rs 20. During the inspection of his bag it was revealed that there was unaccounted cash of Rs 14.

As per TOI reports, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, excerpted, “Whether the amount is big or small, the conduct of the person at the relevant point of time assumes importance…N Namachivayam was a conductor and he has to deal with cash. Being in that position of trust and confidence, he is expected to act diligently and honestly. He has not chosen to offer any plausible explanation as to his acts of misconduct.”

Namachivayam who has been working since 1995, was caught with the unaccounted money by an inspection team in 1997 and a charge memo was issued and inquiry was held. On admitting to the offence, he was removed in 1999, however, a labour court set aside the order on the grounds that the inquiry was not held properly. In 2012, SETC appealed that the reissue of a sold ticket was a serious offense. The present appeal which was filed by Namachivayan was rejected on citing Supreme Court rulings. Also, labour could get his reinstatement as there was a loss of confidence by the management against the employee.