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HC upholds Tribunal order quashing dismissal of BoI employee

Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court has refused to interfere with a Central Industrial Tribunal’s order which quashed the dismissal of a woman employee of the Bank of India
Bombay-High-Court-Mumbai-1Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has refused to interfere with a Central Industrial Tribunal’s order which quashed the dismissal of a woman employee of the Bank of India, and asked the Bank to treat her as if she has opted for voluntary retirement from service and grant her all benefits.

“I am not inclined to interfere with the impugned order. The concerned workman (the employee) served the petitioner bank for 32 years,” said Justice R V More of the high court in a recent order.

“In 1996-97, she was suffering from cancer. Her son at the relevant time was in USA and she wanted to visit USA for treatment. The record shows that she had applied for leave which was orally sanctioned. However, written application was not sanctioned,” the judge noted.

The presiding officer of Tribunal, considering the length of service of the employee with the Bank and conduct in applying for leave as well as permission to leave India, coupled with the fact that she was suffering from cancer, took a sympathetic view, said the judge.

The judge noted that the Tribunal had also considered the fact that this employee had also applied for voluntary retirement scheme and held that the punishment of dismissal would be too harsh. Hence, he set aside the dismissal while asking the Bank to allow the person to opt for voluntary retirement with effect from November 1, 2000.

The high court held that directions of the Tribunal were given in exercise of discretion.

“In my view, the discretion is used judiciously”, said Justice More.

The court also refused to stay its order to enable Bank of India to file an appeal before a division bench.

The employee, Vasantbala Parmar, was dismissed by the Bank for professional misconduct with effect from January 31, 2002.

Parmar moved the Tribunal which held that enquiry against the employee was in keeping with the principles of natural justice. The charges against her were also proved.

However, dismissal was set aside and her case for voluntary statement was allowed.

Parmar was charge sheeted for misconduct and for remaining absent continuously for 30 days and also for leaving India and going to USA without obtaining NOC from the Bank.

She was also charged with interfering in the administration of the Bank through political persons.

The first two charges were proved by the bank. As regarding the third charge, the Tribunal held that the petitioner had failed to bring on record any evidence worth mentioning. Therefore, this charge was not proved.

PTI

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