New Delhi, August 30: A public servant convicted in a criminal case cannot seek reinstatement in service only on the ground of suspension of his sentence by a higher court, the Bombay high court has said and dismissed a petition filed by a public servant from Chandrapur seeking the reinstatement in service.

It is not possible for us to hold that the petitioner has acquired a right to be reinstated in service upon suspension of his sentence imposed in view of the provisions of the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1979, said the bench, comprising chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice AS Chandurkar.

The bench rejected petition filed by Shrikrushna Sinhe, who has been convicted by a special anti-corruption bureau (ACB) court at Chandrapur for bribery and sentenced to three years imprisonment, and was dismissed from service on November 14, 2018, Hindustan Times reported.

A few months before his dismissal, Sinhe’s appeal against conviction was admitted by a single-judge bench of HC, which on February 16, 2018, suspended his sentence and granted him bail.

He had, thereafter, moved Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT), seeking an order for his reinstatement in service on the ground of suspension of the sentence imposed on him, and petitioned HC after the tribunal put his plea on hold, till the final decision on his appeal.

But the HC refused to grant him any relief, observing that the suspension of the sentence had not erased the conviction recorded by the criminal court.

“So long as the conviction is not reversed, the petitioner continues to be a convict and cannot have any legitimate claim for reinstatement in service,” said the bench led by the chief justice. “Such claim would arise after reversal of the conviction and that too if the rules so provide.”

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