The Orissa High Court recently clarified that as and when the criminal proceedings end in favour of the government servant by way of an acquittal and such government servant also stands exonerated from the departmental proceedings then notwithstanding the superannuation of such government servant, the notional benefits attaching to the promotion that is due to the government servant would be calculated and the pension fixed accordingly.

Relying on the decision of Union of India v. K.V. Janaki Raman [(1991) 4 SCC 109], wherein it was held that government servant had no right to be considered for promotion during pendency of either departmental or criminal proceedings or both against such servant, the Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice G. Satapathy observed that “It is not possible for this Court to sustain the impugned orders of the Single Judge in the present cases directing the Appellants to grant regular promotion to the Respondents even with the caveat that such promotion would be subject to the outcome of the criminal case against such government servant”.

Additional Government Advocate Manoj Kumar Khuntia appeared for the Appellant, whereas Additional Standing Counsel A.P. Das appeared for the Respondents.

In a brief background, the High Court had been approached by the State of Odisha challenging the orders of the Single Judge which allowed ad-hoc promotion and regular promotion subject to the outcome of the criminal proceedings against the government servants (Respondents).

After perusing the facts and other related Government orders, the High Court found that none of the orders envisages or permits grant of promotion to a government servant either on regular or on ad hoc basis during the pendency of a criminal case involving such government servant.

The Bench found that the criminal case involving the Respondents in the present appeals is still pending before the Court of the Special Judge (Vigilance) at various stages.

In some cases, even a charge sheet is yet to be filed and in other charges may or may not have been framed; in certain other cases, trial is in progress”, added the Bench.

Therefore, the High Court allowed the appeal while setting aside the order of the Single Judge.

Cause Title: State of Odisha v. Joseph Barik

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