Vs. The Government of India & Anr  INSC 957 (14 August 1996)
K. Ramaswamy, K. Majmudar S.B. (J)
JT 1996 (7) 483 1996 SCALE (6)186
O R D
special leave petition arises from the judgment and order of the Division Bench
of the Andhra Pradesh High Court made on March 4, 1996 in W.A. No.111/96. The admitted
position is that petitioner was convicted for an offence under Section 509, IPC
and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.200/-. The conviction and sentence had become
the petitioner sought for a reference under Section 10 of the Industrial
Disputes Act, 1947 [for short, the "Act"] for adjudication of his
dismissal from service.
Central Government had refused to refer the dispute.
he filed the writ petition in the High Court.
learned single Judge by judgment dated September 19.
allowed the writ petition and directed the Central Government to make a
reference to the Industrial Tribunal for adjudication whether his dismissal
from service was in accordance with law. On appeal, the Division Bench modified
the order of the learned single judge and on the basis of the concession made
by the counsel appearing for the respondent, the order of dismissal from service
was converted into discharge from service without retiral benefits. However,
the Division Bench directed the respondent to pay him the gratuity which is
payable in accordance with the rules. Calling that order in question, this SLP
has been filed.
Nageswara Rao, learned counsel for the petitioner, has contended that under
Rule 10(1)(b)(i) of the Act, no employee of a banking company who is, or at any
time has been convicted by a criminal court of an offence involving moral
turpitude, shall be appointed. He placed reliance on paragraphs 14 and 15 of
the judgment of this Court in Pawan Kumar vs. State of Haryana [(1996) 4 SCALE
480 at 484] and contended that when an offence leading to conviction and
sentence of a fine upto Rs.2000/- was involved, the necessary recommendation
came to be made to the Parliament to step in and amend the law so as to remove
the embargo for appointment in future period. Therefore, in the light of the
above judgment and the law laid down by this Court, the view taken by the High
Court is not correct in law. We find no force in the contention.
view of the admitted position that the conviction of the petitioner for an
offence under Section 509, IPC had attained finality, it undoubtedly involves
moral turpitude as it is impermissible for such an employee to continue in
service. When a Government servant is dismissed from service on conviction by a
criminal Court involving moral turpitude, it automatically leads to removal
from service, without further enquiry. Can a worker be put at a higher pedestal
than as the Government servant? The obvious answer is 'No'.
view of the conviction for moral turpitude of the petitioner and due to
conviction for an offence under Section 509 IPC, the order of dismissal was
rightly passed The recommendation made by this Court was made after noticing
the trivial offences like traffic offences, municipal offences and other petty
offences under the IPC which do not involve moral turpitude. This Court
recommended to the Parliament to step in and make necessary alteration in law
so that consequence of the conviction and sentence would suitably be modulated
and mitigated in the light of the judgment. That ratio is clearly inapplicable
to the facts of this case. As a fact, on the basis of the concession made by
the learned counsel for the respondents, the Division Bench of the High Court
modified the order of dismissal to one of discharge from service without
consequential retiral benefits but with payment of gratuity in accordance with
law. The learned single Judge was obviously in error in directing reference to
the Industrial Tribunal. We do not, therefore, find any illegality warranting
special leave petition is accordingly dismissed.