HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad High Court has made it clear that in the matter of disciplinary proceedings a differential treatment cannot be meted out to an accused contract employee from regular employees of an organisation.
“Even if the petitioner accused is treated as a purely temporary contract employee, she/he is entitled to protection under Article 311 (2) of the Constitution as in the case of permanent government servants if her/his services are sought to be terminated on the ground of misconduct.”
Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy made these observations on a writ petition filed by a woman questioning the proceedings of the AP Women’s Co-operative Finance Corporation terminating her services as district manager (temporary) under contract employment.
As for the case details, the corporation had undertaken selection process for appointment of ‘Pranganam Officers’ on contract basis. The petitioner applied for the said post and, on passing the written test, was called for an interview in June 1996. She was selected for the post and given an order appointing her on a consolidated pay of Rs 6,000 a month for a period of three years. Though the contract appointment was for three years, the petitioner and six other similarly-situated persons, who were appointed along with her, were continued in service of the corporation. While working at Sangareddy, the petitioner received a memo issued by the managing director of the corporation wherein it was stated that 10 computers and accessories were installed in the office of the district manager of Durgabai Mahila Sishu Vikasa Kendram (DMSVK), Sangareddy. and that the same were received by her and she endorsed on a challan that the systems were installed and fully working. It is further alleged that when the MD verified from the present district manager of Sangareddy regarding receipt of the CDs, the latter reported that the same were not received. The MD alleged that the petitioner connived with the supplier company and others, and created documents as if the software was received without actually receiving the same and thereby she was responsible for the loss of Rs 84,000 to the corporation. After receiving an explanation from the petitioner denying collusion with the supplier, the MD kept her under suspension. She then moved the High Court. The court directed for completion of enquiry.
Relying upon the enquiry report, the MD, terminated her services. The petitioner filed an appeal before the appellate authority and, as the appeal was not disposed of for a substantially long time, she filed the present case questioning the order of the disciplinary authority.