The Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of the Registrar of G.B. Pant Institute of Engineering and Technology who was terminated from service on technical grounds without holding disciplinary enquiry.

The Court pointed out that the appellant commenced his duties as Registrar after an appointment letter was issued to him following approval from competent authorities. The appointment letter stipulated a probationary period of one year, extendable for another year if the appellant's performance was deemed unsatisfactory, with provision for termination during probation upon one month's notice or pay in lieu thereof.

But in this case, the appellant had satisfactorily served in the role for nearly two years, completing the probation period without objection.

Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta observed, “On a bare perusal of the termination letter dated 19th May, 2022, it becomes apparent that the decision to terminate the services of the appellant from the post of Registrar was not preceded by an opportunity to show cause or any sort of disciplinary proceedings. The enquiry as referred to in the termination letter was in relation to the qualifications of the appellant for being appointed on the post of Registrar.

Advocate Gautam Narayan represented the appellant, while Sr. Advocate Amit Anand Tiwari appeared for the respondents.

The appellant's services as Registrar at the G.B. Pant Institute of Engineering and Technology were terminated without due inquiry, as he allegedly did not possess the requisite qualifications for the said post. Challenging this decision, the appellant appealed the Uttarakhand High Court's ruling, which deemed the termination justified because the appellant failed to submit the minutes of the 26th Board of Governors meeting referenced in the termination letter.

The High Court held that these minutes would have revealed that the appellant's appointment as Registrar was non-compliant with established rules.

The Supreme Court pointed out that the minutes indicated that the Board approved the Selection Committee's recommendations for the appellant's appointment as Registrar of Governors, but a caveat was added due to complaints about the appellant's candidacy, leading to the appointment order being withheld. In fact, a committee had submitted a report finding the appellant’s documents to be genuine and in order, thereby fulfilling the eligibility criterion.

That the appellant shall forthwith be reinstated on the post of Registrar of G.B. Pant Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghurdauri. He shall be entitled to all consequential benefits,” the Court held.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal.

Cause Title: Sandeep Kumar v. GB Pant Institute Of Engineering And Technology Ghurdauri & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 309)


Appellant: AOR Asmita Singh; Advocates Gautam Narayan, Asmita Singh, Harshit Goel, Sujay Jain and K.V. Vibu Prasad

Respondents: Sr. Advocate Amit Anand Tiwari; AOR Devyani Gupta; Advocate Arjoo Rawat

Click here to read/download the Judgment