Karnataka HC Allows Writ Against Disciplinary Proceedings initiated by Sahitya Akademi

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The writ petition was filed by Agrahara Krishnamurthy under Article 226 of Constitution of India praying to Call for the Records relating to the disciplinary proceedings against the petitioner conducted by the respondent, “Sahitya Akademi” and its appointees, and to quash the letter which enclosing a copy of the enquiry report passed by Mr. S. K. Chattopadhyay who was the inquiry officer appointed by the respondent.

Facts of the case

“Sahitya Akademi” was formally inaugurated on 12.03.1954 in New Delhi. A ceremony was held in the Indian Parliament’s Central Hall, Petitioner Agrahara Krishnamurthy was appointed as Deputy Secretary for Southern Regional Office in the year 1986. Later, he was appointed as a Secretary. When Petitioner has attained the age of superannuation and retired from service, the Disciplinary Proceedings which was going on earlier when he was in service had attained finality in imposing penalties. Thus, petitioner feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the issues and 2nd show cause notice, Agrahara Krishnamurthy filed the writ petition under Article 226 of the constitution of India.

As per the powers conferred under Article 226 of Indian Constitution, High Courts have the power to issue directions, orders, writs to any person or authority or any governmental authorities (in appropriate cases)”.

Arguments

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Counsel, P. S. Rajagopal for the respondents submitted that the High Court of Karnataka has no territorial jurisdiction to hear the suit. As in respect of charge memo, suspension order, notice, penalty and alleged conduct are all at New Delhi.

Learned counsel for the petitioner pursuant to the statement of objection filed on behalf of the respondents argued issues relating to territorial jurisdiction, maintainability of writ petition to the extent the respondent, Sahitya Akademi does not fall under Article 12 of the Constitution and further, in the absence of Statutory Rules under Article 226 in respect of contract service writ is not maintainable. Learned counsel for the petitioner in respect of territorial jurisdiction is concerned, has pointed out that petitioner’s initial appointment was in Bengaluru and respondent, Sahitya Akademi has a regional office in Bengaluru. Further, as on the date of imposition of penalty, petitioner was already retired and settled in Bengaluru. Therefore, service of penalty order is at Bengaluru. Hence, the cause of action in respect of impugned orders would lie in Bengaluru. Consequently, the High court of Karnataka has territorial jurisdiction.

Decision of the Court

On hearing both the parties, on the basis of three issues namely territorial jurisdiction, whether the respondent, Sahithya Akademi falls under the definition of Article 12 and whether the petitioner’s service condition is a contract service, High court of Karnataka had come to conclusion and passed an order. Thus writ petition was allowed.

[googlepdf url=”https://libertatem.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Sahitya-acedamy_watermark.pdf” download=”Download Judgement PDF” width=”100%” height=”900″]
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