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Service Law – Reinstatement after wrongful termination must be made according to the pay fixat

Mangilal Kajodia v. Union of India, WRIT PETITION (C) No. 32 OF 2020 -08th January, 2020

Coram: A two judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice R.F. Nariman and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat.

The Court held that: The petitioner should be reinstated, and at the same time, the pay fixation order should ensure that the period of absence which would otherwise be treated as dies non is ignored for the purpose of fixation and fitment of salary alone. The order can also expressly state that the benefit of arrears of salary would not accrue to the petitioner.

The petitioner who was a teacher and the Assistant General Secretary of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Devas, Madhya Pradesh was transferred to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kargil. The petitioner refused to take up the position on the date of effective transfer. The disciplinary committee of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan initiated disciplinary action against him and terminated his service. The petitioner approached the CAT, Jabalpur Bench against the impugned order of the disciplinary committee. The CAT ordered that the appeal of the petitioner be disposed of by the president. The HRD ministry failed to comply with the order. The petitioner approached the High Court of Madhya Pradesh which was dismissed by the High Court. The petitioner has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court through a writ petition under Article 32.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

The position taken by the Central Government not to grant substantive benefit for the duration of absence cannot be per se termed harsh and arbitrary. The petitioner did not join the place KV Kargil, nor did he approach the court at the relevant time or even after his removal contemporaneously. In these circumstances, conceding the benefit of arrears of salary, seniority and continuity, arrears of salary and related benefits would not be fair. However, placing the petitioner in the same position he was as on 07.05.2008 (the date of his removal) would be what could be extremely harsh, in the opinion of the court, inasmuch as he would draw salary at the stage at which he was almost 12 years ago.

The Supreme Court stated that the interest of justice lies in suitably modifying the order proposed by the Central Government. Although the petitioner would not be entitled to the payment of arrears of salary for the period he was out of service, the KVS should issue a separate order fixing his salary having regard to notional increments effective from the date he would have been entitled to the increment in the year 2009 after taking into consideration the relevant increments which accrue thereafter. In other words, the petitioner should be reinstated, and at the same time, the pay fixation order should ensure that the period of absence which would otherwise be treated as dies non is ignored for the purpose of fixation and fitment of salary alone. The order can also expressly state that the benefit of arrears of salary would not accrue to the petitioner.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered for the reinstatement of the petitioner with proper adjustments made to the pay fixation as effective on the date of reinstatement.

View/ Download the Judgment: Mangilal Kajodia v. Union of India

–  Vignesh Hariharan. R

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