CASE: V K MALHOTRA v. UNION BANK OF INDIA AND ORS.
The Petitioner filed this case before the Delhi High Court to issue a writ like certiorari, quash the three charge-sheets and direct the Respondents to grant full pension and leave encashment and gratuity w.e.f. 12.12.09 with interest or any other benefits.
Issues before the Court
- Whether the High Court of Delhi will have territorial jurisdiction?
- Whether the Petitioner is entitled to full pension and other retiral benefits including leave encashment and gratuity w.e.f. 12.12.09 with interest?
Facts of the Case
Three charge sheets were issued to the Petitioner resulting in an order of dismissal from service which was served 20 days before his actual superannuation on December 31, 2009. The Petitioner appealed against the order of dismissal and the penalty of dismissal from service was converted into the penalty of compulsory retirement. During the intervening period, the Petitioner did not receive a pension nor encashment of earned leave and gratuity. Based on the charge sheets a common order was passed on January 6, 2015, and decided to withhold the pension of the Petitioner permanently.
Arguments before the Court
The counsel for the Appellant by relying on “National Bank v. Kunj Bihari Mishra (1998) 7 SCC 84” and Regulation 48 (2) of the Pension submitted that a show-cause notice along with the note of disagreement should be shown before inflicting the penalty.
The Rules of the Bank does not provide any provision to conduct an inquiry in a charge sheet after dismissal / compulsory retirement of the Petitioner nor the same has been justified by the Respondents in their counter-affidavit.
The counsel for the Respondent submitted that this petition is not maintainable as the present Court has no territorial jurisdiction as no part of the cause of action has arisen in Delhi.
The counsel further added that the charge sheet dated May 31, 2013, had taken place four years before the issuance of the charge sheet is wrong for the reason that one of the charge sheets was issued on September 11, 2009. The Petitioner was involved in serious irregularities as a resulted the pension was permanently withheld.
Observation of the court
The Court observed that no charge sheet can be issued for events that had taken place four years before the issuance of the charge sheet. Based on the allegations, since there was no criminal case initiated against the Petitioner, therefore, the forfeiture of gratuity on the said ground is not justified. There is no provision that the imposition of penalty of compulsory retirement denies the payment of leave encashment. The Petitioner is also entitled to the arrears of pension till March 06, 2012, with interest @ 9% per annum.
The Court quashed the charge sheet dated May 31, 2013, along with the order passed by the Disciplinary Authority. The court directed the Disciplinary Authority to pass a fresh order on the charge sheet dated November 11, 2009, within twelve weeks from the day of the judgment.
The Court held that the Petitioner is entitled to gratuity as of December 12, 2009, with 9% interest per annum along with leave encashment as of December 12, 2009, with 9% interest per annum. The Petitioner is also entitled to the arrears of pension w.e.f December 12, 2009, till March 06, 2012, with interest @ 9% per annum.
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