Read Order: R.Manickaraj Vs. The Director of Medical and Rural Health Services And Ors 

LE Correspondent: 

Chennai, June 8, 2022: In a case where the delinquent officer attained the age of superannuation, the Madras High Court has held that he would be at liberty to approach the Competent Authorities for all appropriate actions in accordance with the Service Rules only after disposal of the criminal case pending against him.

The Bench of Justice S.M.Subramaniam said, “In respect of employees attaining the age of superannuation, if departmental disciplinary proceedings or criminal cases are pending, they are not entitled to get the terminal and pensionary benefits. Only after disposal of the criminal case and departmental proceedings, the employee has to approach the Competent Authority for settlement of all such benefits.”

Herein, the writ petitioner was working as Office Superintendent in the second respondent office at Chennai and attained the age of superannuation in 2013. The petitioner was placed under suspension on the ground that he was arrested by the Inspector of Police, Anti Land Grabbing Special Cell at Tirunelveli and a criminal case was registered against the petitioner under Sections 465, 467, 468, 471, 420 and 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code.  Subsequently, the petitioner was not allowed to retire from service and his services were continued. The said order issued by the first respondent was under challenge in the present writ petition.

Affirming the fact that there was no infirmity in the impugned order as the departmental disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the writ petitioner and he was placed under suspension, the Bench held that on these grounds he was not allowed to retire from service on attaining the age of superannuation.

The Bench held that the petitioner had to approach the Competent Criminal Court of Law for the early disposal of criminal case pending against him and only after disposal of the criminal case pending against the petitioner, he would be at liberty to approach the Competent Authorities for all appropriate actions in accordance with the Service Rules in force.Hence, the  writ petition stood dismissed. 

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