CAT upholds dismissal of woman clerk on graft charges

The Central Administrative Tribunal has upheld the dismissal of a woman clerk of Jammu Cantt-based Kendriya Vidyalaya, saying the move is a right punishment for people involved in corruption.

New Delhi: The Central Administrative
Tribunal has upheld the dismissal of a woman clerk of Jammu
Cantt-based Kendriya Vidyalaya, saying the move is a right
punishment for people involved in corruption.

CAT`s Delhi-based principal bench upheld the dismissal of
Upper Division Clerk Sangeeta Ashok, ignoring the lacunae in
the evidence against her, saying evidence in disciplinary
proceedings against an erring employee need not be as
full-proof as those required for conviction in criminal cases.

"The strict rules of evidence are not applicable to the
disciplinary proceedings. The standard of proofs required to
be proved in the judicial matters are not the same as in
criminal cases," ruled the CAT`s bench comprising members
Dharam Paul Sharma and Ramesh Chandra Panda.

The bench endorsed her dismissal on the basis of a
Supreme Court ruling, which said, "In cases involving
corruption, there cannot be any other punishment than
dismissal."

"Any sympathy shown in such cases is totally uncalled for
and is opposed to the public interest. The amount appropriated
may be small or large; it is the act of misappropriation that
is relevant," the bench said, quoting the apex court ruling.

Sangeeta Ashok had joined the Central School at Jammu
Cantt as an adhoc clerk in 1982.

The school authorities later received complaints that she
had misappropriated group insurance amount of the legal heirs
of one of her late colleague P S Pathania.

Though Pathania`s daughter received the money pertaining
to her late father`s insurance, after she lodged a complaint
with the school authorities, she received it from a savings
bank account, different from the one from which the payments
were usually made.

The probe into the misappropriation of the fund, however,
could not link Sangeeta to the account from which the girl was
paid the money. Yet the school authorities dismissed her,
saying she was involved in the irregularities.

Sangeeta subsequently moved CAT seeking a relook into the
evidence against her.

The bench did not accede to her plea for relook into the
evidence that had come on record during the disciplinary
inquiry.

It said, "While reviewing such a decision judicially, it
is neither open to reappraise the evidence nor to substitute
one`s view for that of the disciplinary authority. We also
cannot go into the sufficiency and adequacy of the evidence.

It is within the exclusive domain of the disciplinary
authority."

PTI

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