CHENNAI: A directly recruited government employee cannot be demoted as punishment from the post he/she held to a lower post, Madras High Court has held.
Justice S Vaidyanathan made the observation while allowing a writ petition from one V Chandra, on September 5 last. The petitioner had been appointed directly as a Record Clerk in 1989 by proceedings dated November 4, 1989 of the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Tirunelveli. However, for the proven charges of misconduct, a punishment of reduction in post was imposed on her by orders dated August 28, 2008. She was posted in the reduced post of Office Assistant. Hence, the present writ petition.
Allowing the petition, the judge pointed out that it is not in dispute that Chandra has been directly recruited to the post of Record Clerk in 1989. It is to be noted that for the proved serious misconduct committed by her, though she deserved the punishment of removal from service, the authority has taken a lenient view and imposed the punishment of reduction from the post. Such a punishment cannot be sustained in view of the dictum of the Supreme Court, the judge said.
While dealing with a similar issue of imposing the penalty of demotion on a government servant, recruited directly to a particular post, to a post lower than to which, he was so recruited, the Supreme Court had held that it was improper and could not be sustained in law.
Applying the same yardstick, the judge set aside the 2008 order and directed the authority to restore the petitioner to her original position and treat the period of service in the reduced post as service in the post held by her before punishment.