SC | ‘Rakshak’ in Railway Protection Force, out of employment for a failure to prevent alleged theft. Read whether SC allows back wages and retiral benefits to him

Supreme Court: The Division Bench of L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., gave relief to the appellant by directing that he be paid back wages as specified with continuity in service.

In the instant matter, appellant was appointed as ‘Rakshak’ in the Railway Protection Force.

Further, it was submitted that, while he was on duty, on 20/21-2-1981 it was found some articles in the godown were found removed and placed near the fencing.

In view of the above incident, a departmental enquiry was initiated for appellant’s failure in preventing theft of railway property and hence appellant was found guilty of gross negligence.

Further, a penalty reduction of pay to the minimum of the timescale of Rs 200 for a period of 2 years affecting his future increments was imposed.

Appellant had filed an appeal against the penalty order and the said penalty was enhanced by the appellate authority after issuing a show cause notice to the appellant from the reduction of time scale to that of removal from service.

Appellant filed a petition challenging the order of appellate authority which was dismissed by the Single Judge. Though the Division Bench observed that there was no theft of any railway property as the heavy springs were found near the fencing after having been removed from the godown.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Supreme Court opined that the penalty of reduction of time scale of Rs 200 for a period of 2 years with cumulative effect was also unjustified.

Since 1983, the appellant was out of employment and during the pendency of the matter before the High Court, he attained the age of superannuation and could not be reinstated. Adding to the said, High Court Bench expressed that the appellant was entitled to all the retiral benefits.

Hence, Court directed the respondents to pay 33% of back wages to the appellant with continuity of service and the appellant shall be paid full retiral benefits by treating him to be in continuous employment, by giving notional increments and promotion and benefits based on continuity. Bench directed that the said arrears be paid in 10 weeks.[Laxman Singh v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 470, decided on 9-07-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

For Petitioner(s):  Mr. Aldanish Rein, AOR

Ms. Maheravish Rein, Adv.

Ms. Shamshravish Rein, Adv.

For Respondent(s): Ms. Madhvi Divan, LD ASG

Mr. Raj Bahadur Yadav, AOR

Ms. Priya Mishra, Adv.

Mr. Mukul Singh, Adv.

Ms. Nidhi Khanna, Adv.

Ms. Vaishali Verma, Adv.

Mr. Amrish Kumar, AOR

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