The Telangana High Court directed Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd (employer) to reinstate a Badli Filler who had been dis-empanelled 32 years ago without any disciplinary proceedings initiated against him for prolonged absence from work.

The petitioner prayed before the High Court to direct the MD of Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd (employer) to re-empanel him to the post of a Badli Filler from which he was dis-empanelled without initiating any disciplinary proceedings. The petitioner sought to declare such an action as arbitrary, illegal, unjust, contrary to law, and in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

A Single Bench of Justice Juvvadi Sridevi observed, “In this factual background, it is to be noted that the respondents, while contending that the petitioner did not report to duty after his transfer, have failed to initiate any disciplinary proceedings against him for his unauthorized absence

Advocate Prabhakar Chikkudu represented the petitioner, while Advocate Nandigam Krishna Rao appeared for the respondents.

The petitioner was empanelled on compassionate appointment. He performed his duties without any breaks since his initial appointment. During his service, the petitioner was implicated in a criminal case, leading to his confinement in prison. The petitioner was acquitted, but the case severely impacted his mental health for which he underwent a prolonged medical treatment for three years. Upon recovering from his illness, he reported for duty.

The employer argued that the petitioner was dis-empanelled due to unauthorised absence from work.

Despite not facing any disciplinary proceedings, the petitioner claimed that he was not allowed to discharge his duties. In response, he made a representation through the Workers' Union urging his employer to permit him to resume his duties, but he was not allowed to join back.

The Court remarked, “The respondents, for the reasons best known to them, have kept quiet in spite of the petitioner not reporting to duty. It would have been otherwise, if the respondents had initiated disciplinary proceedings and taken action by enquiring into the unauthorized absence of petitioner. Without doing so, the respondents have allowed the dilemma to continue and kept the petitioner out of service.

The Court held that the petitioner was entitled to re-instatement with all consequential benefits and promotion, if any.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the writ petition.

Cause Title: G. Srinivas v. M.D., Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd & Ors.

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