Read Order: LAXMAN SINGH v. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS
New Delhi, July 16, 2021: It took forty years for a Railway Protection Force employee, who lost his job way back in 1983 on charges of theft, to get justice.
The Division Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Ravindra Bhat on July 9, 2021 quashed the penalty of reduction in pay for the railway worker, observing it to be unjustified on the part of Railways. The Hon’ble Supreme Court also directed for payment of back wages along with retiral benefits to the former employee.
The victim in the instant case was appointed as ‘Rakshak’ in the Railway Protection Force in 1981. While he was in charge of the godown, a package went missing. This led to filing of an FIR against him. However, the said package was later found near the fence of the godown.
All these events resulted in initiation of departmental enquiry and the worker was found guilty leading to reduction in pay. Later on, he was terminated from service in 1983.
When the victim approached the High Court, the Division Bench set aside his removal from service finding it to be disproportionate and ordered for his reinstatement. However, all this went in vain, as the worker had by then reached the age of superannuation. The High Court directed for his entitlement to all retiral benefits in accordance with the Rules on notional basis till the date of judgment.
The Apex Court has, however, directed Indian Railways to pay 33 percent of back wages to the appellant by treating him to be in continuous employment, and also ordered to give notional increments and promotion based on continuity.