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Proceedings under section 498A of IPC,1860 cannot be construed to be a criminal proceeding regarding the employment of the accused.

The criminal proceeding filed by the daughter-in-law of the petitioner under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and other related provisions against have nothing to do with the employment of the petitioner and therefore the order of suspension of the petitioner by the respondent no. 1 & 2 is set aside. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court before Hon’ble Justice R. D. DHANUKA and Hon’ble Justice ABHAY AHUJA in the matter of Sau Sheela Rameshchandra Bargaje vs The Administrative Officer, Municipal Education Board & anr[WRIT PETITION NO. 12817 OF 2017].

The fact of the case was that the petitioner was suspended from his post as a teacher in regard to a criminal proceeding under section 498A set forth by her daughter-in-law. No internal enquiry or departmental enquiry was initiated by the respondents were initiated against the petitioner but she remained suspended till she retired by superannuation. It was the contention of the petitioner that the suspension order was ultra-vires and should be set aside and all the dues should be paid to her.

The Hon’ble High Court held that if a criminal proceeding would have been filed and the same is pending then the suspension would have been valid but in the current case, the criminal proceeding pending is in regard to section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1960 which is in no matter related to the employment of the petitioner. 

Further, the Hon’ble High Court referred to the judgment held in the case of Shrikant Ramchandra Inamdar v/s. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Anr[Writ Petition No. 3601 of 2018] in which it was held that “the petitioner therein had already retired however his gratuity dues were held up in view of the pending criminal proceedings in a property dispute with his family members, this Court accordingly held that those were not the proceedings relating to the service of the petitioner with the respondent-corporation. Therefore, the said Rule 45A(c) would not apply to the case of the petitioner

Finally, the Hon’ble High Court allowed the appeal and set aside the order of suspension and directed the respondent no 1 & 3 to clear up all the arrears of service within 3 weeks.

Click here to read the judgment.

Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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