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Deepak Nilkanthrao Nagdive Vs. General Manager (DP) & Competent Authority Baroda Corporate Centre - (High Court of Bombay) (28 Mar 2022)

Disciplinary proceeding initiated prior to the retirement of a bank employee would continue even after his retirement



In facts of present case, the Petitioner who was lastly working as Senior Branch Manager with the Respondent-Bank, has retired on 31 May 2013 on attaining the age of superannuation. On 16 November 2015, a show cause notice came to be issued by the Respondent to the Petitioner, calling upon him to submit his comments on the irregularities allegedly committed by him while working as Senior Branch Manager, during the period from 26 July 2009 to 31 May 2013. The Petitioner submitted his response vide communication and denied all the allegations.

Thereafter, a Memorandum dated 13 July 2017 along with Articles of Charge and statement of allegations came to be served upon the Petitioner, which admittedly has been served after more than four years of the date of superannuation. The said Memorandum of Charges has been impugned before present Court. The primary contention of the Petitioner is that, the Respondent could not have initiated disciplinary proceedings after four years of his superannuation in absence of any Rule.

Regulation 20(3)(iii) of the Bank of Baroda (Officers') Service Regulations, 1979 is a stand alone provision and what is contemplated thereunder is not in continuation of what is contemplated under Regulations 20(3)(i) and 20(3)(ii). It would thus follow that disciplinary proceeding initiated prior to the retirement of a bank employee would continue even after his retirement in terms of Regulation 20(3)(iii) of the Regulations, 1979. The disciplinary proceeding stands initiated only after issuance of chargesheet in the form of charge-memo.

In the present case, the chargesheet has been issued after more than four years of retirement of the Petitioner. Thus, the disciplinary proceeding has been initiated after four years of retirement which falls beyond stipulation of Regulation 20(3)(iii) of the Regulations, 1979, so also Regulation 48(2) of the Employees' Pension Regulation, 1995. It cannot be, therefore, said that the departmental proceedings were initiated against the Petitioner as stipulated under Regulation 20(3)(iii) of the Regulations, 1979. Further, the said proceedings were not initiated within four years as contemplated under Regulation 48(2) of the Regulation, 1995. In turn, the bar thereunder will be attracted.

The issuance of show cause notice after retirement will not give rise to fresh cause of action. Consequently, the disciplinary proceeding in the form of Memorandum of Charges dated 13 July 2017 could not be initiated after four years of superannuation, rather after superannuation. The Memorandum of Charges dated 13 July 2017 is, therefore, liable to be quashed and set aside. Petition allowed.


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