In what could be termed as a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that any employee, sacked due to disciplinary reasons, is not entitled to reinstatement as a “matter of right” after his acquittal by a criminal court in a case based on charges akin to those covered in the disciplinary inquiry.
No reemployment for sacked employees after acquittal, says SC. The bench comprising of justice A K Sikri and justice K S Radhakrishnan, stated: “There is no rule of automatic reinstatement on acquittal by a criminal court even though the charges levelled against the delinquent before the Enquiry Officer as well as the Criminal Court are the same,” DNA India reports.
It also set aside the ruling of the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal and the Calcutta High Court which had ordered the Kolkata Police to reinstate sacked policeman Sankar Ghosh following his acquittal by a criminal court in a case involving dacoity.
Ghosh, a Sepoy in the 2nd Battalion, Kolkata Armed Police, was sacked from service by a disciplinary committee while he was on deputation with the traffic police.
According to the judgment delivered by the bench, the sacked cop from West Bengal failed to provide “any rule or regulation applicable to police force stating that once an employee has been acquitted by a criminal court, as a matter of right, he should be reinstated in service despite all the disciplinary proceedings.”
The bench also referred to a provision in the Police Regulations of Calcutta which clearly states that under no circumstances the punishment awarded to an employee following a departmental proceeding will be affected by the outcome of the criminal trial.
“The Tribunal as well as the High Court have not considered the provision and have committed a mistake in holding that since the respondent was acquitted by a criminal court of same charges, reinstatement was automatic. We find it difficult to support the finding…,” the apex court said while delivering the judgment.