National Commission For Scheduled Castes Doesn't Have Jurisdiction To Interfere With The Decision Taken By Employer Against Employee: Bombay HC
The Bombay High Court has held that the National Commission For Scheduled Castes (NCSC) doesn't have the jurisdiction to interfere with the decision of an employer taken against its employee.
The Bench of Justice Kamal Khata and Justice R. D. Dhanuka opined thus "In our view the respondent no.1 Commission has no such jurisdiction to interfere with the decision already taken by the employer against the respondent no.2 after following procedure and granting compulsory retirement which action has been upheld in various proceedings filed by respondent no.2 and has attained finality."
"The respondent no.1 Commission cannot act as an appellate authority against an order passed by an employer taking disciplinary action against an employee by the employer.", the bench noted further.
It was the case of the petitioners that it had initiated disciplinary action against its woman employee which culminated into an action of compulsory retirement from the services. The woman filed various proceedings against the disciplinary action initiated by petitioners but it came to be rejected.
Thereafter she being from the category of Scheduled Caste, filed a review petition before the NCSC alleging injustice and harassment in service on the part of the petitioner.
The Commission observed that injustice was incurred upon the Scheduled Caste employee and the punishment given on compulsorily retirement was draconian in nature. Accordingly, the Commission recommended the concerned authority to re-investigate the whole matter.
The High Court noted that the woman employee had exhausted all the legal remedies available to her and when she could not succeed against the order of her compulsory retirement, she filed application before the commission inter alia praying for setting aside the order of compulsory retirement and to consider her in service till retirement along with service benefits.
Advocate Neeta V.Masurkar appeared for petitioners and Advocate Anil Jamsandekar appeared for the woman-respodent.
The Court noted that the Commission had no jurisdiction to interfere with the decision already taken by the employer against the employee. The Court held that the Commission cannot act as an appellate authority against an order passed by an employer.
"In our view, it was within the powers of the employer to take disciplinary action against the employee and once having exercised such powers by the employer and such action having been upheld in all the proceedings filed by an employee, such employee cannot file such application before the respondent no.1 Commission to interfere with the action initiated by the employer in accordance with the service conditions and in accordance with law.", the Court opined.
Therefore the Court set aside the Order and observations made by the Commission and also dismissed the complaint filed by the woman before the Commission.
Cause Title- Union of India & Ors. v. National Commission for Scheduled Castes & Anr.
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