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-Report by Jay Prakash Chandravanshi

This case pertains to the appointment of a Peon on the sympathetic ground after his father died in harness. The petitioner challenged his termination by Maharashtra state electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). The service conditions of the employees are regulated by the Classification and Recruitment Regulations, 2005 (2005 Regulations), Clause 16 of the 2005 Regulations.


The petitioner was appointed as a peon after the death of his father on compassionate grounds.  The father of the petitioner worked as a lineman with respondent no. 1 – Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).  There was a certain condition which stated that the employee must fill out the character and antecedents verification form contained with the appointment order while reporting to work, and if it shows negative results, the employee will be fired. It was clear that the petitioner does not fulfil information specified in column 11 and the police report reveals that the petitioner is charged with a crime under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(1)(r)(s) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 [Atrocities Act]. The respondent issued a show cause notice asking him why he should not be terminated and the petitioner reply the notice that he was falsely framed and had a limited role. The employer was not satisfied with the response provided and terminated the service of the employee.


The petitioner’s position is limited to intervening in the fight, rather than with the righteous aim of stopping the fight.Taking reference from Avtar Singh Vs. Union of India and others, emphasized the nature of duties and sensitivity of position, the impact of suppression on suitability and post peon not per se sensitive.


If a criminal case was pending against the respondent and the facts were hidden, the employer would have to ignore such defaults and deficiencies, but a non-disclosure of material information could be a ground for dismissal.


The high court held that there are exceptional circumstances that could have been taken into account by the employer in making the decision to terminate employment. We would make a concerted effort not to due to the sequential nature ofour discussion, we will direct the employer to reconsider the issue from anew with the observation based on Avtar Singh. We are setting aside the order of termination.


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