Jammu & Kashmir High Court Reiterates that No Man can be Condemned Unheard

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On 22nd September 2020, Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Sanjay Dhar heard the case of Showkat Ahmad Mir vs Union of India and others, via video-conferencing. The Court allowed the appellant’s Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) and ordered the respondents to reinstate the appellant to his service.

Facts of the Case

The respondents appointed the appellant as a tailor under OBC Category from the Direct Recruitment Quota. On 10th September 2013, the respondents issued an order terminating services of the appellant. Feeling aggrieved, the appellant questioned his termination a certain grounds. Specifically, he had questioned the non-adherence of principles of natural justice by the respondents. The appellant took the ground that his termination order is arbitrary, unconstitutional and illegal as he was not provided with an opportunity to be heard. Further, he was neither served with any charge nor was any enquiry conducted in the matter. Moreover, even a cause notice was not issued to him before issuing the order of termination. The appellant did not know the reasons for termination. Therefore, he sought this Court where his petition was dismissed by the Single Judge Bench. Thus, the appellant filed an LPA before this Court.

Arguments of the Appellant

The appellant’s learned counsel argued that the order of termination is issued on different facts than those projected by the respondents in their counter-affidavit. Therefore, there is a complete non-application of mind on the respondents’ part while issuing the termination order. Further, the termination order was issued on the count that the temporary appointment of the appellant is not made according to rules and regulations. However, the stand taken by the respondents before the writ court is that the temporary appointment had been obtained by resorting to fraud/ tampering of the date of a birth record.

Furthermore, the termination order will affect the appellant’s future prospects. Therefore, the termination order is bad in law and deserves to be quashed. Also, the order of the writ court is unreasoned and thus, should be set aside.

Arguments of the Respondents

The appellant was indulged in fraud by manipulating his date of birth. Thus, he was not entitled to hearing and no enquiry was required to be conducted as he was on probation. Hence, the termination order is well reasoned. Further, the respondents were within their rights to terminate the services of the appellant/ petitioner after having noticed the fraud committed by him. Therefore, the writ court rightly refused relief to the appellant.

Court’s Analysis

It is clear after the perusal of the pleadings that principles of natural justice were violated as the appellant was not given an opportunity of being heard. No man can be condemned unheard. The termination order was issued without following the due procedure of law. The writ court, further only dealt if the termination order was bad in law. It did not discuss all the contents of the termination order. The writ court has failed to appreciate the controversy in its right perspective. It did not deal with the issue directly as to whether the respondents were within their rights to terminate the services of the appellant in view of alleged misconduct.

Court’s Decision

The Court allowed the Letters Patent Appeal. The order passed by the writ court was set aside.  The respondents are directed to reinstate the appellant in service within one month from the date copy of the order is furnished to them. Further, they should give him all consequential benefits including pay, allowances, etc. within one month thereafter.


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