Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, JJ. allowed the petition filed under Art 226 by an employee facing disciplinary proceedings.

Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against a delinquent employee by an order passed by the Inquiry Officer. A request to pass necessary direction to Controlling Authority of a proposed Defence Assistant by Petitioner to exercise his right to defend himself was also denied by the order; rather he was free to arrange Defence Assistant. The Counsel for Petitioner cited the executive instructions laying down procedure MP for reference and convenience to the Court.

The Court accepted that “To take assistance of defence assistant, is a statutory right of delinquent employee, as per the provisions of Rule 14 of M.P. Civil C.C.A. Rules” and asked the Inquiry Officer to ” request in writing to the Controlling Officer of the proposed defence assistance to act as defence assistant provided there is no other legal impediment.”

The Court also agreed that the executive instructions issued by GAD, Govt. of M.P. appeared to be in consonance with the principles of natural justice. The order passed by Inquiry Officer was quashed. Further, to give relief to the delinquent employee, the Court instructed that if in case there was any impediment as to Defence Assistant being relieved by the Controlling Authority, then it is expected of Inquiry Officer to ensure completion of the process by fairly giving prior intimation and opportunity to the delinquent employee. The petition was disposed of with admonition to delinquent employee to treat this order as licence to adopt dilatory tactics.[Deenbandhu Saket v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2021 SCC OnLine MP 2603, decided on 14-12-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearances by:

For petitioner: Shri Abhinav Shrivastava

For respondents: Shri Anshuman Singh

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