Parwati Devi Vs.
Union of India & Ors.  INSC 1952 (14 November 2008)
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6684 OF 2008 [Arising out of SLP(C) No.6301/2006]
PARWATI DEVI .......APPELLANT(S) Versus ORDER
granted. Heard the parties.
appellant is the widow of A. Bahadur, a Railway employee. A departmental
enquiry was held against the employee in regard to the charge of unauthorised
absence from 6.6.1995 and punishment of removal was imposed on 5.12.1997. The
employee died in the year 2000. The appellant, on becoming aware of the order
of removal in 2001, filed an appeal which was rejected. Thereafter, she
approached the Central Administrative Tribunal which remitted the matter to the
disciplinary authority for reconsidering the punishment. The said order was
challenged before the High Court and the High Court by the impugned order
modified the order of the Tribunal. The High Court held that the disciplinary
proceedings was conducted in violation of the rules of natural justice and,
therefore, the order imposing penalty was invalid and nonest. However, having
regard to the fact that the delinquent employee had expired and the proceedings
were being .........2.
-2- pursued by the
widow, the High Court was of the view that instead of permitting the
authorities to start an enquiry denovo, the matter should be disposed of with
liberty to the authorities to impose a penalty other than removal or dismissal.
The said order is under challenge in this appeal by special leave.
are informed that in pursuance of the order of the High Court, the respondents
have passed an order on 30.6.2005 imposing the punishment of compulsory
retirment against appellant's husband.
counsel for the appelalnt submitted that once the enquiry was found to be in
violation of principles of natural justice and the High Court held that the
order of penalty was nonest, it should be deemed that the employee was in
service and consequently appropriate relief ought to have been given. He also
pointed out that having set aside the order of punishment as the enquiry was
invalid and nonest, the High Court could not have directed imposition of other
punishment and such a direction was contrary to law. There is considerable
force in the contention of the appellant. If the enquiry was nonest, the High
Court could not have directed imposition of any other punishment.
this stage, Mr. Amarendra Sharan, learned Additional Solicitor General,
appearing for the respondents submitted that the respondents are willing to
grant family pension to the appellant making it clear that it was offered on
the peculiar facts of the case and the same not being treated as precedent.
Learned counsel for the appellant agreed that the matter can be treated as
closed if the appellant is given family pension.
view of the above, the appeal is disposed of by modifying the order of the High
Court by recording the submission of the respondents that appellant will be
granted family pension from the date of death of her husband. She will not be
entitled to any monetary relief in regard to the period between 5.12.1997 and
the date of her husband's death. Compliance and payment of arrears within three
( R.V. RAVEENDRAN )