NEW DELHI (TIP): An employee, sacked following disciplinary proceedings, cannot seek reinstatement as a “matter of right” after a criminal court acquits him in the case based on the charges similar to the departmental inquiry, the Supreme Court has ruled. “There is no rule of automatic reinstatement on acquittal by a criminal court even though the charges levelled against the delinquent before the inquiry officer as well as the criminal court are the same,” a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri said.
It said the sacked policeman of West Bengal could not provide “any rule or regulation applicable to police force stating that once an employee has been acquitted by a criminal court, as a matter of right, he should be reinstated in service despite all the disciplinary proceedings.” The bench also cited a provision of the Police Regulations of Calcutta which provides that the outcome of the criminal trial will have no bearing on the punishment awarded to an employee in departmental proceeding in respect of the same case.
It set aside the decisions of the Calcutta high court and the West Bengal Administrative Tribunal which had asked the Kolkata police to reinstate sacked cop Sankar Ghosh after his acquittal by a criminal court in a case of dacoity. “The Tribunal as well as the high court have not considered the provision and have committed a mistake in holding that since the respondent was acquitted by a criminal court of same charges, reinstatement was automatic. We find it difficult to support the finding…,” the apex court said.