HYDERABAD: An employee, against whom a criminal case is instituted and is later acquitted, shall be entitled to subsistence allowance during the period of suspension and to full pay and allowance from the date he is reinstated, the High Court has ruled.
A division bench comprising Justice V Eswaraiah and Justice KG Shankar gave the above order in the case of S Purushotham Reddy, an associate lecturer in Government Polytechnic College here, and disposed of the writ petitions filed by the authorities without any costs.
It found fault with the competent authority for being careless about the employment of the respondent who was acquitted by the court. "Besides, the commissioner and director of technical education had leisurely chosen to reinduct the respondent into service only on April 10, 2000. Not revoking suspension with effect from June 29, 1996 is unjust and improper and the employee shall be entitled to complete pay and allowances from 1996 as if he has been in service,’’ it said.
“The respondent was acquitted by the trial Court as well as by this court. We deem it appropriate to treat the period of suspension from July 18, 1992 till June 28, 1996 as duty without wages barring for subsistence allowance already received and treating the rest of the period of suspension as duty with full pay and allowances. To the extent of treating the period of suspension as duty for the purpose of increment, seniority and other service benefits, we uphold the finding of the tribunal. We disagree with the tribunal’s finding that the respondent is not entitled to back wages for the whole period of suspension.
“He shall be entitled to full pay and allowance as if he was on duty with effect from June 29, 1996 till April 4, 2000 on which date he was reinstated. We would consider suspension of the employee beyond June 29, 1996 as wholly unreasonable and he would be covered by F.R.54-b(3) from the said date onwards,” the bench said in its order.
As for case details, a criminal case was instituted against Purushotham Reddy under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
Consequently, the commissioner of technical education placed him under suspension with effect from April 21, 1993 and paid subsistence allowance for the period concerned. Though he was acquitted on June 28, 1996 the suspension order was not revoked. An appeal was preferred before the HC challenging the acquittal, but the appeal was dismissed in March 1998.
However, the suspension was revoked and posting was given on March 15, 2000 and passed orders treating the period from July 18, 1992 till April 10, 2000 as “non duty” period. It was challenged in the Court.