Competent Authority Ratified Dismissal Order Allegedly Passed Without Jurisdiction: SC Sets Aside HC’s Order Quashing Employee's Dismissal
The Supreme Court has set aside the Gujarat High Courts’ Order quashing the Order of dismissal passed against an employee of Municipal Corporation over allegations of misconduct. The High Court had set aside the Dismissal Order on the ground that the Commissioner had no authority to pass the Order of dismissal.
However, the Apex Court noted that “…any irregularity complained of by the respondent on the authority exercised by the Commissioner to dismiss him stood ratified by the competent authority (General Board) thereby making an invalid act a lawful one in conformity with the procedure prescribed under the Act and the Rules.”
The bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice JB Pardiwala was dealing with a case wherein a City Engineer working for the Municipal Corporation was accused of committing certain irregularities. After inquiry, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation passed a dismissal order.
The dismissal Order came to be set aside by the Single Judge of the High Court solely on the ground that the Commissioner, who passed the order of dismissal had no power/authority to impose the penalty of dismissal.
Preetesh Kapur, Senior Advocate, appeared on behalf of the appellants-employer and Advocate Jaikriti S. Jadeja appeared for the respondent-employee.
The Apex Court noted that the Commissioner was authorized to take action against the erring officers with respect to the lapses and carelessness with various works in purchases only. The Court pointed out that the decision of the Commissioner was placed before the General Board and the General Board had ratified the decision of the Commissioner dismissing the employee from service.
“It is to be noted that even otherwise, in the present case, the General Board had the power to pass an order of dismissal, which is not even disputed by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent. The decision of the Commissioner was placed before the General Board and the General Board had ratified the said decision. Therefore, thereafter, the dismissal can be said to be an order passed by the General Board”, the Court said.
The Court held that any irregularity complained of by the employee on the authority exercised by the Commissioner to dismiss him stood ratified by the competent authority (General Board) thereby making an invalid act a lawful one in conformity with the procedure prescribed under the Act and the Rules.
Accordingly, the Court set aside the Order quashing and setting aside the order of dismissal.
Cause Title- Municipal Commissioner, Jamnagar Municipal Corporation and Anr. v. R.M. Doshi