Punitive action not to be interfered with unless arbitrary: CAT

The Central Administrative Tribunal has held that the courts should not ordinarily interfere with the punitive action taken by discplinary authorities against `delinquent` government employees unless it is arbitrary.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 22:09 PM IST

New Delhi: The Central Administrative
Tribunal has held that the courts should not ordinarily
interfere with the punitive action taken by discplinary
authorities against `delinquent` government employees unless
it is arbitrary.

The Tribunal passed the order on an application filed
by Rajiv Saxena, an Assistant Enforcement Officer in the
Directorate of Enforcement challenging the punishment of
reducing his salary even after revocation of his suspension
order.

"The law is well settled that it is the authorities
(disciplinary) who are the best judge about the quantum of
penalty to be imposed on a delinquent officer unless the
penalty shocks the judicial conscience," the Tribunal Bench
comprising members M Chhibber and A K Mishra said.

Saxena was accused of demanding bribe from the
director of a company against whom he was assigned to hold an
inquiry.

He challenged the order of the Directorate of
Enforcement, the disciplinary authority, imposing the penalty
of reduction of his pay by two stages for a period of three
years from the date of revocation of his suspension order.

He contended that the penalty imposed was harsh and
patently disproportionate to the charges levelled against him,
besides being based on insufficient evidence.

The Authority sought to negate Saxena`s contentions
by arguing that the orders were passed after thorough inquiry
and after taking into account the relevant evidences.

While rejecting Saxena`s plea, the Tribunal said, "The
scope of judicial review of disciplinary proceedings against a
government employee is limited."

-PTI