Limited scope to interfere with state's disciplinary action: HC



New Delhi: There is a "limited scope" of judicial scrutiny of administrative and disciplinary actions of the state against its employees unless they are marred with "procedural impropriety", the Delhi High Court has ruled.

"In writ jurisdiction, the high court has limited scope of interference in the administrative action of state in exercise of extra ordinary jurisdiction.”

"The court will not interfere in such matters unless the decision is tainted by any vulnerability like illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety," a bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh said.

Refusing to interfere with the punishment meted out to a CISF constable for hitting a colleague in an inebriated state, the court said, "Neither the technical rules of Evidence Act nor of proof of fact or evidence as defined therein, apply to disciplinary proceeding.”

"The court/ tribunal in its power of judicial review does not act as appellate authority to re appreciate the evidence and to arrive at its own independent findings on evidence."

Surender, appointed as a constable with the CISF in 1987, was posted at IOC Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and on December 09, 2005 had hit another constable Puran Chand under the influence of liquor.

Following the disciplinary proceedings, the penalty of "pay reduction by 3 stages for a period of 2 years" was imposed on Surender. It was also made clear that "he would not earn any increment of pay during the period of reduction and that on expiry of the period his further increments of pay would also be postponed."

The appellate authorities, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, upheld the disciplinary action. Later, the constable moved the high court, which also dismissed his plea.

PTI