At, High Court of Karnataka
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. DEVDAS
For the Appellant: M.S. Bhagwat, Advocate. For the Respondent: B.L. Sanjeev, Advocate.
1. Though the matter is coming for "Preliminary Hearing-B Group", with the consent of the learned counsel for the petitioner and learned counsel for the respondent, the matter is taken up for final disposal.
2. The petitioner who was working as an Assistant Engineer with the respondent-Board was dismissed from service on 25.01.2017, as found at Annexure-A. The dismissal was based on a judgment and conviction order dated 04.11.2015, passed by the XXIII Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge and Special Judge, in Spl. C.C. No. 122/2011, holding the petitioner guilty of the offence punishable under Section 7 of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. However, the petitioner approached this Court in Criminal Appeal No. 1347/2015 and by order dated 11.09.2018, the judgment and conviction order passed by the trial Court was set aside and the petitioner was acquitted of all the charges leveled against him. As could be seen, the order of dismissal was passed on 25.01.2017, while the judgment and conviction order of the trial Court was set aside subsequently.
3. Learned counsel for the petitioner places reliance on a decision of this Court in the case of Smt.M.A.Bharathi Devi V/s. The Union of India and Others, in W.P.No.38275/2013 (SCAT), wherein, under similar circumstances this Court noticed the subsequent order passed by the higher Court setting aside the order of conviction and consequently directed the employer to reinstate the petitioner therein. Learned counsel for the petitioner therefore submits that a similar order is required to be passed in this case also.
4. Learned counsel Sri. B.L. Sanjeev appearing for the respondent-Board would submit that the statement of objections have been filed by the respondent bringing to the notice of this Court that Lokayukta has preferred an appeal in Special Leave Petition No.0008935/2019 before the Hon'ble Apex Court seeking to assail the judgment passed by this Court in Criminal Appeal No. 1347/2015. However, it is an admitted position that no order of stay has been passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the said Special Leave Petition.
5. Having heard the learned counsel and perusing the petition papers, this Court finds that no sooner the order of the trial Court was set aside by this Court in Criminal Appeal No. 1347/2015, the petitioner has approached the respondent-Board by making a requisition to reinstate him vide communication dated 04.10.2018. As submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner the respondent-Board has failed to consider the representation made by the petitioner. However, it is pertinent to notice that an observation was made by the co-ordinate Bench in the case of Smt.M.A.Bharathi Devi V/s. The Union of India and Others (supra) that when order was passed by this Court while setting aside the judgment and order of conviction passed by the trial Court, the same was not questioned any further. But, in the present case, Lokayukta has approached the Hon'ble Apex Court by filing a Special Leave Petition. Nevertheless, it is an admitted fact the there is no order of stay by the Hon'ble Apex Court. In that view of the matter, the reinstatement of the petitioner was required
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
to be done by the respondent-Board. 6. Consequently, the writ petition is partly allowed and the impugned order dated 25.01.2017 at Annexure-A passed by the respondent-Board is quashed and set aside. The respondent-Board is directed to reinstate the petitioner into service subject to the outcome of the Special Leave Petition filed by the Lokayukta.