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Termination of employment cannot be stayed, by passing an interim order: High Court of Delhi

The Court, whenever passes an interim order, at the time of final adjudication is required to and ought to balance the equities flowing from the said interim order. This was held in ROHIT SHARMA. V. UNION OF INDIA & ANR. [W.P.(C) 5503/2021] in the High Court of Delhi by a division bench consisting of JUSTICE RAJIV SAHAI ENDLAW And JUSTICE AMIT BANSAL.

The facts are that the petitioner was a serviceman of respondent Indian Navy. An order was passed by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), Principal Bench, New Delhi, of, his discharge from the respondents Indian Navy on the ground of having got inducted into the respondents Indian Navy by playing fraud wherein petitioner had applied for interim relief of stay of the discharge order, which was dismissed. The present writ has been filed against the same.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that the discharge order has not been implemented as yet and thus the same status can be ordered to continue. It was also contended that the petitioner has a prima facie good case and the basic procedural requirements have not been fulfilled before passing the discharge order.

The counsel for the respondents has submitted, while appearing on advance notice that the order could not be served on the petitioner since the petitioner has been on leave, claiming to be in quarantine.

The court made reference to the judgment of Apex court in U.P. Junior Doctors’ Action Committee Vs. B. Sheetal Nandwani, wherein it was held that “a well-known rule of practice and procedure, that at the interlocutory stage, a relief which was asked for and was available at the disposal of the matter, is not granted. The writ petitioners in the said case wanted admission into post-graduate course as the main relief in the writ petition. Supreme Court observed, that unless there was any special reason to be indicated in clear terms in an interlocutory order, as a rule no provisional admission should be granted and more so into technical courses. It was further held that grant of such a relief at the threshold creates a lot of difficulties and in a case where the petitioner ultimately loses in a case of this type, a very embarrassing situation crops up if he has by then read for two to three years, there is a claim of equity, on the plea that one cannot reverse the course of time”.

The court also made reference the judgment of the Apex court in  U.P. Rajya Krishi Utpadan Mandi Parishad Vs. Sanjiv Rajan., wherein it was observed that “when the charge is of moral turpitude, till the Court, after examining the entire records finds that the conclusion reached by the disciplinary authority is wrong, no stay of termination of employment should be granted”.

Considering the facts of the case and the legal precedents, the court observed that, the AFT had justified their decision on merit and there are reasonable and serious grounds on which the petitioner has been discharged. Thus the petitioner is not entitled to any interim relief.

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