Patna High Court: The Division Judge Bench comprising of Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, CJ and Ashutosh Kumar, J. disposed of the petition on the grounds that the court could not go into the merits of the case.

The petitioner on account of a disciplinary proceeding initiated against him was removed from service in the year 2012. The petitioner filed an original application before the Central Administrative Tribunal without availing the remedy of appeal as advised in his removal order. This petition was filed before the Tribunal in the year 2016 after almost four years of the order of removal. In the relief clause of the application, the petitioner prayed only for arrears amount with interest as per legal provision. No relief was sought against such order of removal as per paragraph 8 of the said original application which was produced before the Court.

The Tribunal, while considering the grievance of the petitioner came to the conclusion that the prayers made in the original application were vague and since the petitioner had been dismissed, he was not entitled to retiral benefits.

The Court held that as a result of casual drafting of the original application, the matter was not contested appropriately before the Tribunal and before the present Court. The petitioner on 10-05-2018 had sent a letter seeking certain information that was replied to on 13-07-2018 that since no details have been given by the petitioner, no proper reply can be given with regard to his claim of certain payments relating to Provident Fund, Insurance and Gratuity. The petitioner responded to the same on 16-04-2019, where after on 28-05-2019, some information was given to the petitioner by the department concerned. The department, therefore, appeared to be alive to the claim of the petitioner with regard to certain pecuniary benefits or payments to which he may be entitled in accordance with a rule or is still in the examination.

In this background and the manner in which the litigation had been conducted, the Court found no reason to enter into the merits of the order dated 07-02-2012 against which no appeal was filed within time. It was open to the petitioner to pursue his remedy in accordance with law but so far as the present writ petition was concerned, the court disposed off the same with liberty to the petitioner to approach the competent authority.

In view of the above noted facts, the instant petition was disposed off after the Court directed the competent authority to make a decision with regard to any payments that may be due to the petitioner consequent upon his removal, in accordance with law and pass an appropriate order within one month from the date of production of the certified copy of the instant order.[Ashok Kumar v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1572, decided on 11-09-2019]

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