Sacking quashed because of dithering

SC set aside a March 5, 2018, judgment by a division bench of Madras High Court that upheld the dismissal of Mahesh

By R. Balaji in New Delhi
  • Published 12.11.18, 3:16 AM
  • Updated 12.11.18, 3:16 AM
  • a min read
  •  
The Supreme Court of India. (Shutterstock)

The Supreme Court has quashed the dismissal of a Neyveli Lignite Corporation employee on the ground that the public-sector unit sacked him after having earlier condoned his failure to furnish the original copy of his caste certificate.

The Tamil Nadu-based corporation had fired S. Mahesh in July 2010 after accusing him of furnishing a forged photocopy of a Scheduled Tribe certificate ahead of his appointment in 1988.

But the apex court highlighted that the company had promoted Mahesh in the interim, accepting his explanation about a lost original certificate and his request to be treated as a general category employee.

“The entire action of the corporation starting from… memo dated 11.08.1995 and ending by passing the order dated 07.07.2010 (dismissal) is arbitrary, unreasonable and mala fide,” the bench of Justices A.M. Sapre and Indu Malhotra said in a recent judgment.

It set aside a March 5, 2018, judgment by a division bench of Madras High Court that upheld the dismissal of Mahesh.

Mahesh had bagged the job of a “diploma engineer trainee Grade II (electrical)” in January 1988 under the Scheduled Tribe quota, furnishing only a photocopy of the caste certificate.

He later told the management he had lost the original document and that the revenue authorities had stopped issuing duplicates. He asked to be treated as a general category candidate and the management, somewhat surprisingly, agreed.

But in May 1993, the corporation served him with a memo alleging he had submitted a fake photocopy at the time of appointment. But it did not follow up on the memo.