The failure to supply copy of proceedings to the delinquent would be unfair procedure offending not only Articles 14, 21 and 311(2) of the Constitution, but also, the principles of natural justice: The Uttarakhand High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court passed a judgement on 1st of August, 2022 in the case of Kamini Verma vs State of Uttarakhand and others (WP(S/B) No.204 OF 2020) and the case was presided over by THE CHIEF JUSTICE SHRI VIPIN SANGHI AND JUSTICE SHRI RAMESH CHANDRA KHULBE


Facts of the case are that the petitioner was initially appointed on 24.09.1984 as Assistant Teacher, Government Girls Inter College, Kotdwar. Before her retirement, a charge-sheet was issued against her. The petitioner denied all the charges, the petitioner retired as Principal, Girls Inter College, Namjala, Pithoragarh. After her retirement, an inquiry was set up nominating one – Bhupinder Singh Negi as the inquiry office

The petitioner remained present before the Inquiry. She was supplied with the copy of the charge- sheet (a questionnaire and documents)., the petitioner sought information about status of the inquiry against her. In reply to the said application, a note-sheet was provided in which the inquiry report was mentioned. The petitioner, vide her explanation had mentioned that none of the charges were made out against her and her entire retiral dues had wrongly been withheld. Again, a show-cause notice was issued against the petitioner.

 The show-cause notice was again duly replied through registered post. When her retiral benefits were wrongly withheld, she filed a writ- petition WPSB No.399 of 2019, “Kamini Verma Vs. State of Uttarakhand”. The said writ-petition was disposed of on 29.08.2019 with the direction to finalise the payment of retiral benefits as well as to conclude the disciplinary inquiry within two months.

Since, no compliance of order dated 29.08.2019 was being made by the respondent authority, accordingly, the petitioner preferred Contempt Petition No.71 of 2020, “Kamini Verma Vs. R. Meenakshi Sundaram and Others”. In reply, the respondent no.1 issued a letter dated 09.06.2020 to the writ-petitioner wherein it has been mentioned that the inquiry officer has found that the petitioner belongs to OBC but she has been promoted under SC quota while many senior teachers are still working on the post of Principal. Consequently, the promotion order dated 26.07.2013 relating to the petitioner was cancelled. Accordingly, the recovery order of Rs.13,33,688/- has been issued vide letter dated 08.07.2020. Hence, the present writ-petition was preferred.


In the order court cites Shyam Babu Varma and others v. Union of India and others (1994) 2 SCC 521, the Apex Court, while dealing with a similar situation, held out that since the petitioner received higher pay scale not due to fault or his own, it shall not be just and proper to recover the salary already paid to him.

It is well settled principle of jurisprudence that the proceedings qua a delinquent employee must be just, fair and reasonable, and negation thereof offend Articles 14 & 21 of the Constitution of India. It is also well settled law that principle of natural justice is an integral part of Article 14 of the Constitution. No decision prejudicial to a party should be taken without affording an opportunity of being heard along with supplying the material, which is the basis for the decision. The inquiry report constitutes fresh material which has great persuasive force or effect on the mind of the disciplinary authority. The failure to supply copy of proceedings to the delinquent would be unfair procedure offending not only Articles 14, 21 and 311(2) of the Constitution, but also, the principles of natural justice

Accordingly, the present writ-petition is allowed and the impugned order 09.06.2020 (Annexure-12) as well as the order dated 08.07.2020 (Annexure-13) are hereby quashed and set aside

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