The Supreme Court received a Petition challenging the Order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The Order relaxed the penalty imposed in District Court Establishment on judicial employees for having more than two kids.
Facts of the Case
Clause (4) of Rule 22 of the Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1965, states that-
“Every government servant shall observe the policies regarding family welfare of the Government of India and the State Government. Explanation-For the purpose of this sub-rule, government servant having more than two children shall be deemed to be misconduct if one of them is born on or after 26-1-2000”.
Under this clause, proceedings against many employees were undertaken. A penalty was thereby imposed on them for committing misconduct by having more than 2 kids. The clause held bach the two increments of the employees with recurring effect.
The affected employees challenged this penalty in the High Court. The HC observed that holding back the increment with a recurring effect as a penalty is disproportionate. Further, the HC observed that this penalty is against the principle of proportionality to the alleged misconduct. The HC administration challenged the Judgment before the Supreme Court.
The CJ SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian heard the matter.
The Supreme Court further observed that the penalty imposed of holding back two-three increments with the recurring effect is unreasonable and against the principle of proportionality.
The Bench relied on the Judgement in the case of Ranjit Thakur v. Union of India (1987) 4 SCC 611 and stated that:
“Without disturbing the findings on the point of misconduct on account of explanation of Clause (4) of Rule 22 of the Rules of 1965 and maintaining proportionality in the State to deal with the employees, who are in the employment, we hereby set aside the orders of penalty on quantum as imposed by the District Judges and also the orders passed by the appellate authority and it is directed that in order to maintain proportionality in all such cases which have been decided prior to commencement of the Rules of 2016, a penalty of Censure be imposed by the District Judges to all such employees.”
The Court held that:
“We find no reason to interfere with this order of the High Court which is humane and appropriate for dealing with the alleged misconduct and we do not wish to interfere with the judgment of the High Court, insofar as it granted relief to judicial employees. Therefore, that portion of the order of the High court granting relief to the respondents, is hereby confirmed”
The Supreme Court upheld the Order passed by the MP HC.
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