Nekkhomang Neihsial, Administrative Member.
1. In this O.A., the applicant is seeking for the following reliefs:-
“8.1 To set aside and quash the impugned order No.F.20061-3/IV-11/2013/KVS (Vig) 448-452 dated 05.03.2014 issued by the Commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan, New Delhi and Appellate order bearing No.F.20061/IV-11/2013/KVS (Vig)/1069-1074 dated 13.05.2014 issued by the Vice Chairman, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghathan & Appellate Authority.
8.2 To convert the Termination Order of the Applicant to the Compulsory Retirement with all pensionary and service benefits.
8.3 To pass any other relief (s) to which the Applicant may be entitled and as may be deem fit and proper.
8.4 To pay the cost of the application.”
2. After giving sufficient opportunities to both the parties, O.A, was finally heard on 02.01.2020 and reserved for orders. Written argument was allowed to both the parties to be filled within a period of 10 days. The learned counsel for the applicant filed his written argument only on 03.03.2020. But the respondents have not filed any written argument till date.
3. In this O.A., the applicant challenge the termination order dated 05.03.2014 on three grounds:-
(a) That the respondent authorities have not correctly invoked the provisions of Article 81(B) of the Education Code for kendriya Vidyalayas for dispensing with of holding regular enquiry for imposing major penalty in accordance with CCS (CC&A) Rules, 1965;
(b) He also contested the findings of the enquiry committee and the Disciplinary Authority on the substance of the allegations wherein he alleged to have touched the hand of the complainant with sexual motives, and
(c) On that ground, penalty imposed on him of terminating service is disproportionate as the same is awarded to him merely only on the basis of circumstantial evidence and without any eye witness to support the same.
4. The applicant also claimed that since the date of joining at KVS, he has been discharging his duties with utmost integrity, sincerity and dedication. His humility and dedication towards work has been appreciated by many, He also claimed that the Disciplinary Authority has misinterpreted him honest narration of actual fact to admission of his guilt which he never conceded. The Appellate Authority vide his order dated 13.05.2014 has disposed off his appeal dated 19.03.2014 in a most casual mechanical manner without going through the depth to his case. In the written argument submitted by the learned counsel for the applicant, it was also highlighted that – “In the Written Statement submitted by Mr.Anjay Kumar (PGT) Teacher Chemistry on 22.11.2013 before the Enquiry Committee (Page No.61 & 70 of the O.A.) who was present of the spot of the alleged incident has stated that _But I never personally felt anything wrong. I never observed that Mr. Nripen Das doing anything unwanted.”
5. The respondent authorities filed their written statement on 24.11.2016. In the written statement, the respondent authorities elaborated the provisions of Article 81(B) of the Education Code of KVS wherein in case of a person found guilty of moral turpitude involving sexual offence or exhibition of immoral sexual behavior towards any student, the Commissioner can terminate the service of the employee by giving him one month’s or three months. In regard to the specific case of the applicant, they have pointed out that the preliminary enquiry committee found the allegation of the girl to be ‘proved’ as the applicant in his verbal as well as written statement has admitted to holding hands of the complainant to show her soap. The summary enquiry committee also found that allegation of immoral behavior exhibited by the applicant towards the girl student of the Vidyalaya is found to be true and established. It was also established that he was in the habit of touching the body or holder hands of the girl students.
6. We have considered the above submissions made by both the parties. We do not find any lacuna or deficiency in the procedure adopted by the respondent authorities for conducting enquiry against the applicant, leading to the imposition of penalty of termination from service. One of the points of the submission of the applicant is that the penalty imposed on him is ‘disproportionate’ particularly in the context of that the evidence was circumstantial in nature. He did admitted that the physically touched the hand of the complainant. However, the motive attributed to touching of the hand of complainant is strongly refuted by the applicant. There is no any other incident of similar being recorded against the applicant. To that extent, though the charge against applicant is found to be established, the motive attributed to of having physically touched the hand of the complainant, is disputed.
7. We have seen the service record of the applicant. He was initially appointed as Night Guard on 28.01.1982 at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Silchar. He was regularized as Class IV Staff (Group-D) on 31.07.1982. He got selected and appointed to the post of Laboratory Attendant in the Kendriya Vidyala, Masimpur on 16.11.1985. He got transferred from Kendriya Vidyala, Masimpur to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Borjhar, Guwahati on 27.10.1999. From there, he got transferred to Kendriya Vidyalaya I.O.C. Guwahati on 30.08.2004. On 12.06.2008, he was transferred to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Khanapara of his own request. On the date of complain against the applicant, that is, on 02.08.2013, it is observed that the applicant has completed more than 30 years of service.
8. Considering the above service record of the applicant and likely financial condition of his family, we have carefully considered his plea that the penalty of termination of service is disproportionate to the charge leveled against him. It is obvious that the applicant must have been with the family and there is no scope for getting future employment after the date of termination of his service. We, therefore, feel that the terminating of applicant’s service after completion of
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more than 30 years of service for alleged charge of one incident, the findings of which is circumstantial and the attributed motive strongly contested by the applicant, is against the principle of natural justice. Accordingly, the impugned order No.F.20061-3/IV-11/2013/KVS (Vig) 448-452 dated 05.03.2014 issued by the Disciplinary Authority as well as Appellate Authority’s order No.20061/IV-11/2013/KVS(Vig)/1069-1074 dated 13.05.2014 are hereby quashed and set aside. The respondent authorities are however, at liberty to impose any penalty less that of that termination of service. 9. To the above extent, the O.A.stands disposed of. There shall be no order as to costs.