Quashes Termination From Service Order Against Nursing Assistant By BRO 12 Years Ago
Srinagar: Observing that the punishment of termination from service is a major punishment and cannot be inflicted without following due course of law or conducting detailed enquiry, the High Court of J&K and Ladakh has quashed the order regarding termination of Nursing Assistant by the Border Roads Organization twelve years ago.
“In absence of any detailed enquiry conducted in this regard, it cannot be assumed that the document has been forged by the petitioner (Rokade Santosh Sandashiv),” a bench of Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal observed while quashing order passed by BRO against the petitioner by which his services were terminated.
Sandashiv, according to the petition filed before the court, came to be appointed in response to an advertisement notice issued in 2008 by the Border Roads Organization. Subsequently, a verification process was initiated by the appointing authority in order to determine the genuineness of the documents submitted by the selected candidates. However, the authorities found that the experience certificate of Sandashiv was allegedly forged and as a consequence of which, a notice of termination came to be issued against him on 26 September 2009 by the Chief Engineer, Beacon.
On 14 October 2009, the petitioner submitted a reply to the notice. Subsequently, pending inquiry, the notice of termination was withdrawn in respect of Sandashiv on 23 October 2009. Later, on 31stof October 2009, Chief Engineer wrote a letter to the Mahajan Hospital Salapur Maharashtra to verify the genuineness of the certificate issued by them as regards Sandashiv. Subsequently, on 14 November 2009 verification certificate was endorsed by Mahajan Hospital in respect of Sandashiv and it was verified by them that he had gained the requisite experience in their hospital and the certificate was genuine. However, on 30 May 2011, another order of termination was passed against Sandashiv whereby he was given one month’s notice for termination of his services. The order was challenged by Sandashiv before the court which stayed it even as notice was sent to the authorities for filing a reply.
“The punishment of termination from service is a major punishment and cannot be inflicted without following due course of law or conducting detailed enquiry in this regard by associating the petitioner and the said punishment can only be inflicted with due care and caution,” the court said, adding, “It is worthwhile to submit that the petitioner duly qualified the test for the post in question and possessed all the requisite qualification as envisaged in the advertisement notice.”
The only point which has been canvassed against him, the court said, is the validity of certificate with regard to counter signature and not the experience which he possesses in conformity with the terms and conditions of the advertisement notice.
“The validity of the certificate has not been denied by the issuing authority. It is only the counter signature which is denied by the respondents (authorities),” the court said, adding, “Mere denial of counter signature on a certificate in absence of proper enquiry or finding recorded in this regard does not warrant major punishment of termination of service, which becomes punitive in nature, when the order of termination is not simpliciter but the stigma is attached to the order.”
Since the order was already stayed by the Court on the very first date of hearing i.e., 29 June 2011 and continues to be operative as on date, the court said, the petitioner is continuing uninterruptedly. “Thus the respondents are directed to allow the petitioner to continue his service,” the court ordered.