Prem Chandra Thakur vs. Central Industrial Security - (High Court of Delhi) (03 Mar 2021)
In case the employee is confirmed in service, holding Departmental enquiry is necessary before passing of termination order
Present writ petition has been filed challenging the termination order and the order in appeal passed by the Respondent Nos.1 and 3 respectively. Petitioner also seeks directions to the Respondent Nos.1 and 3 to reinstate the Petitioner in service to the post of Constable in CISF with all the consequential benefits. The Petitioner states that, the Petitioner was selected for appointment to the post of constable in CISF on 6th August 2015 and upon successfully completing the basic training, he was given posting at URI, J&K as a Constable on permanent basis on 15th February, 2016.
Further, on the basis of the report submitted by the learned District Magistrate, regarding criminal antecedent of the Petitioner, the Respondent No. l terminated the service of the Petitioner by way of the impugned order. The Petitioner states that, in the termination order, Respondent no. l alleged that, while filling up the questionnaire and attestation form on 11th September, 2014, the Petitioner had suppressed his involvement in a criminal case that had been registered against him under Section 366A of IPC.
The Respondents failed to appreciate that, vide judgment passed by the Sessions judge, the Petitioner had been acquitted of all the charges even prior to applying for the post of constable with the Respondents. He states that, due to lack of legal knowledge, the Petitioner had inadvertently not disclosed about the criminal case filed against him in the past. He emphasises that on the date of filling the application, no case was pending against the Petitioner.
Present Court finds that, the Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in Avtar Singh vs. Union of India and Ors. considered the difference of opinion between various Benches of the Supreme Court and laid down guidelines as to when suppression of information or submitting false information in the verification form with regard to criminal prosecution, arrest or as to pendency of a criminal case would warrant termination of services.
In the present case, though the Petitioner has suppressed the information with regard to his involvement in a past criminal case, yet this Court finds that, the Petitioner had been acquitted prior to filling of the questionnaire and attestation form and the acquittal was not on any technical ground but was a clean acquittal.
In view of clean acquittal, the present case is squarely covered by paragraph 38.4.3 of the Supreme Court Judgment in Avtar Singh vs. Union of India And Ors., wherein it has been held that, in case there is suppression of involvement in a criminal case, where acquittal had already been recorded before filling of the application/verification form and such fact later comes to knowledge of employer, the employer may, in its discretion, ignore such suppression of fact or false information by condoning the lapse.
Since in the present case, no departmental inquiry was held prior to termination of services of the Petitioner, even when he was a confirmed employee, present Court is of the view that, the impugned order cannot be sustained. It has also been held in Avtar Singh vs. Union of India and Ors. that, in case the employee is confirmed in service, holding Departmental enquiry would be necessary before passing of termination/removal or dismissal order on the ground of suppression or submitting false information in verification form. Consequently, the orders are quashed and the Petitioner is directed to be reinstated in service.
The Petitioner shall be entitled to continuity in service and he shall be treated to have been notionally in service all throughout. Since the Petitioner has not worked between the date of termination and till his reinstatement, he shall not be entitled to any salary on the principle of 'No Work, No Pay'. Writ petition disposed off.
Tags : DEPARTMENTAL INQUIRY TERMINATION VALIDITY