New Delhi: Twenty three years after a railway employee was dismissed from the job for allegedly taking money in exchange for issuing fitness certificates to colleagues, Supreme Court has set aside the removal of the man, now 75 years old, saying that the penalty had shocked its conscience.
A bench of justices TS Thakur and Vikramajit Sen, said the man, who had served Railways for 23 years, should be treated as compulsorily retired from service and be given retirement and other benefits if he was entitled to the same, within a timespan of three months.
"In the present case, the appellant has served the Respondents (Union of India and Railways) for a period of 23 years and removal from service for the two charges levelled against him shocks our judicial conscience. Part III of the Railway Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1968, contains the penalties that can be imposed on a railways servant.
"We have already noted that it has not been established that the appellant had... Made illegal demands from railway servants desirous of obtaining a fitness certificate. However, since two of the three charges have been proved, we are of the considered opinion that the imposition of compulsory retirement i.E. Penalty 6 (vii) would have better and more appropriately met the ends of justice," the bench said.
The apex court verdict came on the appeals filed by Dr Ishwar Chandra Jayaswal against the orders of Allahabad High Court, which had upheld his dismissal.
Jayaswal was accused of demanding and accepting small sums of money Rs 18, Rs 26, Rs 34 from three railways employees for issuing fitness certificates to them.
Of the three, two charges were proved against him by the inquiry officer and the Disciplinary Authority on January 22, 1991 imposed the penalty of his removal from service.