STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Justice Alok Aradhe of J&K High Court Jammu Wing quashed the premature retirement order of Madan Lal, then Head Draftsman JDA.
Advocate S.K Shukla appearing for the petitioner has questioned the validity of order dated 13th February 2012, through which the respondents in purported exercise of powers under Article 226(2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Regulations had compulsorily retired the petitioner in public interest. The petitioner also sought direction to the respondents to reinstate him and to accord him all consequential benefits.
The facts leading to filing of the writ petition briefly stated are that the petitioner was appointed as Draftsman in the Department of Public Works (R&B). At the relevant time, he was posted as Head Draftsman in the Jammu Development Authority. On a complaint being made by Punjab Security Service, a trap was laid by Vigilance Organization in which the petitioner was caught red-handed, accepting bribe which lead to lodging of FIR against the petitioner. Thereafter, the respondents, in view of the fact that a criminal case was pending against him, in purported exercise of powers under Article 226(2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Regulations have compulsory retired the petitioner in public interest. In the aforesaid factual backdrop, the petitioner has approached this Court.
Advocate Shukla submitted that entire service record of the petitioner as well as APRs of the petitioner have not been examined and impugned order has been passed in view of the fact that a criminal case was pending against him.
On the other hand, Senior Additional Advocate General Seema Sekhar appearing for the respondents submitted that the State Government from time to time reviews the performance of its officers/officials on completion of either 22 years of service or on completion of 48 years of service in exercise of powers under Article 226(2) of the Civil Services Regulations. It was further submitted that a Committee was constituted which has considered the case of the petitioner individually. The Committee found that a criminal case was pending against the petitioner in which he was caught read handed accepting bride and therefore the aforesaid decision was taken. It is further submitted that the order of compulsory retirement is not penal in nature inasmuch as the petitioner shall be entitled to all service benefits. It is further submitted that the First Information Report was lodged against the petitioner after sanction was accorded by the State Government.
Justice Alok Aradhe after considering the facts observed that the controversy involved in the instant writ petition is squarely covered by order dated 22nd December 2016 passed in SWP No.1940/2015 whereby Court ordered that the order of compulsory retirement is punitive in nature as while passing the order of compulsory retirement, the respondents have taken into account the alleged misconduct on behalf of the petitioner. At the cost of repetition, it may be mentioned that the order of compulsory retirement cannot be passed as shortcut to avoid the departmental inquiry, when such course is more desirable. In the instant case, it appears that order of compulsory retirement has been passed as shortcut to avoid departmental inquiry. With these observations Court quashed impugned order dated 13th February 2012 and directed that the petitioner shall be reinstated in service with all consequential benefits within one month.
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