Kumar Sharma Vs. D.G.M., Central Bank of India & Ors  Insc 655 (18
Arun Kumar & G.P. Mathur
(Arising out of S.L.P(C ) No.15343 of 2005) ARUN KUMAR, J By order dated
18th November, 2005 this court allowed the above appeal and remanded the matter
to the High Court for decision of the Writ Petition filed by the appellant in
the High Court on merits. We hereby give reasons for the aforesaid order.
The appellant was appointed as a Clerk in the Central Bank of India on 12th May, 1981. He was placed under suspension in view of a criminal case registered
against him. Simultaneously a departmental enquiry was held against the
appellant. Enquiry report went against the appellant and a 2show cause notice
dated 19th December, 1997 was issued proposing the punishment of discharge from
service. On 9th February, 1998 order was issued confirming the punishment as
proposed in the show cause notice.
The departmental remedies persued by the appellant against the said action
failed. Ultimately the appellant filed a Writ Petition in the High Court on 24th May, 2003 challenging the said action against him. The said Writ Petition was
dismissed on the ground of availability of alternative remedy vide impugned
order dated 2nd September, 2004. The present appeal is directed against the
said order. We have perused the impugned order of the High Court. Although on
the question of availability of alternative remedy the view of the High Court
cannot be faulted, yet in the circumstances of the present case, specially when
such a long time has elapsed since the action of suspension and thereafter
discharge from service was taken against the appellant, we feel that the
appellant ought not to have been non-suited on the ground of availability of
alternative remedy. It is settled law that availability of alternative remedy
is not an absolute bar to exercise of jurisidiction under Article 226 of the
Constitution by High Courts. The long lapse of time since the appellant has
been out of job persuades us not to drive him to another round of litigation
under the Industrial
Disputes Act, 1947. Interest
of justice in the present case demands that the Writ Petition filed by the
appellant before the High Court be disposed of on merits.
Accordingly we direct the High Court to finally dispose of the Writ Petition
on merits in accordance with law. The impugned judgment of the High Court is
accordingly set aside.