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Administrative orders are subject to the principles of natural justice if they influence a citizen’s rights: Orissa High Court

The objective of natural justice standards is to prevent miscarriage of justice, and there is no dispute that the principles of natural justice apply to administrative decrees that impact a citizen’s rights. Arriving at a judgement, the goal of both quasi-judicial and administrative investigations; an unjust judgement in an administrative investigation may have a more far-reaching impact than a decision in a quasi-judicial investigation. There is no question that the norms of natural justice apply even in administrative proceedings. The judgment was passed by The High Court of Orissa in the case of Biswanath Sethi V. The State of Odisha & Ors. [W.P.(C) NO. 26951 OF 2019] by a Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice B.R.Sarangi.

The petitioner, who was working as an Assistant Teacher (Level-V, Elementary Cadre) in Aptira UGME School, has filed this writ petition challenging the office order dated 16.12.209 under Annexure terminating his service with immediate effect under Rule-15 of OCS (CCA) Rules, 1962 on the ground of submission of fake C.T. pass certificate.

Learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that while imposing the harsh penalty of termination of service, the procedure as envisaged under OCS (CCA) Rules, 1962 has not been complied with nor the petitioner has been given the opportunity of hearing while passing the order of punishment and, more so, no inquiry has been conducted on the allegations, thereby, the order so passed in Annexure terminating the services of the petitioner cannot sustain in the eye of law.

Learned Counsel for respondent referring to the counter affidavit filed by opposite party vehemently contended that since the petitioner has produced fake C.T. pass certificate to get employment as an Asst. Teacher and on verification of documents the same was found to be forged, action as deemed fit has been taken against the petitioner. Thereby, the authorities have not committed any illegality or irregularity in passing the order impugned.

It is further contended that once the petitioner has got employment by producing a fake certificate if it is detected that the same is a forged one, the authority has got every right to take action against the petitioner. Therefore, it is contended that this Court should not interfere with the same at this stage and, as such, he seeks for dismissal of the writ petition.

While allowing the petition the learned court observed that the aforesaid procedures have not been followed and more so there is non-compliance of principles of natural justice. Nothing has been placed on record to elucidate that due procedure has been followed to award the punishment of termination from service.”

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