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Service Lawyer: Law for mandatory supply of inquiry report to the delinquent is applicable prospectively after November 1990; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice L Nageswara Rao

The SC {State Bank of India & Ors. v. Mohammad Badruddin} sets aside judgment of the High Court, by which, the orders of the Disciplinary Authority of punishment against the employee were quashed and the respondent was granted all consequential benefits including back wages.

It was held by the SC that the judgment in "Union of India & Ors. v. Mohd. Ramzan Khan" was given prospective effect i.e. that the inquiries concluded prior to the judgment dated November 20, 1990 will not be affected by the law laid down in the said judgment. Further held as the order of punishment against the respondent was passed prior to November 20, 1990, therefore, the same could not be set aside only for the reason that the copy of the Inquiry Report was not supplied to the delinquent. Resultantly, the order of the High Court was set aside and the order of punishment of reversion to the post of Junior Management Grade at the lowest stage, as modified by the Appellate Authority, was ordered to be restored against the respondent by the SC.

In respect of separate order of removal of service against the respondent which was also set aside by the HC. It was held by the SC that in a case where order of punishment has been set aside for violation of principles of natural justice qua part of charges, and charge no. 4 is not hit by that - the principles of natural justice would warrant that the matter is remitted back to the Disciplinary Authority to consider whether the punishment of removal of service can be sustained on the basis of charge no. 4 (against which charge there is no as such variance between the Inquiry officer and Disciplinary Authority and no consequent violation of principles of natural justice). Accordingly while allowing the appeal of the employer / SBI, the matter was remitted back by the SC to the Disciplinary authority for considering the punishment against the respondent qua charge no. 4.


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