Departmental proceedings against an employee abates with his death, No one can be substituted in his place says Patna High Court

Patna High Court

In this case in a department proceeding an employee abets with his death. Patna High Court said no one can be substituted in his place to represent him to put forward his defense. The petition filed by the family of the person claiming pension. The case was Kaushalya Devi versus state of Bihar and others [CWJ CaseNo.9735 of 2021].  The judgment date was 11th January 2023. The case was presided over by Justice Harish Kumar.

Facts of the cases

  1. The petition was filed by the petitioner seeking pension on behalf of the dead person.
  2. The husband of the petitioner was serving as an ASI in the police department. Then he went missing in 1995. After 7 years as he remained untraceable he was declared “Civil Dead” with the effect from 3rd March 2002.
  3. The petitioner had submitted all the necessary documents which were needed for the family pension and benefits, but she was not granted any benefits.
  4. She approached the SP of the district and also the “public grievance redressal forum”but all went in vain. She approached Patna High Court with this petition.
  5. The SP filed an affidavit before the court which says the petitioner’s husband was appointed on the basis of forged caste certificate. The retrieval benefits were not disbursed to his wife/the petitioner.


It was held that as the defense is a personal defense available to the employee no person can be substituted in his place to defend his conduct. Therefore no order can be passed after his death, withholding retirement benefits or family pensions to the eligible person.

The court allowed the petition directing the authorities to pay the retail come death benefits to the petitioned with the effect from the date of her husband “Civil Death”

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