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Monday, December 19, 2016

CORRESPONDENT, ANAIKAR ORIENTAL (ARABIC) HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL AND ANR. Vs. A. HAROON AND ANR.

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                       CIVIL APPEAL NO.  12067 OF 2016
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) 30610 of 2016)


Correspondent, Anaikar Oriental (Arabic)
Higher Secondary School and Anr.         …Appellants

                                   Versus

Haroon and Anr.                                … Respondents





                               J U D G M E N T



Prafulla C. Pant, J.


            Leave granted.

2.       This  appeal  is  directed  against  judgment   and   order   dated
26.09.2016, passed by the High Court of judicature at Madras in Writ  Appeal
No. 427 of 2016, whereby the Writ Appeal is dismissed, affirming  the  order
dated 20.03.2015 of learned Single Judge of the High Court in Writ  Petition
No. 17838 of 2010.

3.     Brief facts of the case are that respondent  no.1  (writ  petitioner)
was P.G. Assistant in Biology, with the  minority  institution  run  by  the
appellants. It is pleaded by the appellants that respondent no. 1  disobeyed
the orders of the Head Master (appellant no.2) and assaulted  him.   He  not
only failed to organize Science Club in the year 2002-2003, but also  failed
to submit Stock Register for the academic  year  2006-2007.  It  is  further
alleged that he failed to submit practical notebooks of  students  of  class
X1 (in 2007).  It is further alleged that in February, 2008  respondent  no.
1 declined to hold XII standard Practical Examination.  It  is  also  stated
that respondent no. 1 did not  comply  with  the  instruction  of  the  Head
Master  to  participate  in  rain  water  harvest  project.  On  24.06.2008,
respondent no. 1 said  to  have  hurled  abuses  at  the  Head  Master,  and
assaulted him.

4.    A charge memo was served on respondent no. 1 and he was  placed  under
suspension. After enquiry, his services were terminated on  01.09.2008.   He
preferred an appeal before respondent no. 2,  i.e.  Joint  Director,  School
Education, Chennai. Respondent no.1 simultaneously filed Writ  Petition  No.
25980 of 2008 which  was  disposed  of  by  the  High  Court  on  03.11.2008
directing the  second  respondent  to  consider  the  appeal  filed  by  the
respondent no. 1. Said order was later  modified  on  24.03.2009,  observing
that if any appellate  tribunal  is  constituted,  respondent  no.  2  shall
direct the respondent no. 1 to approach such authority. Finally,  respondent
no. 2 considered the  appeal  and  dismissed  the  same,  vide  order  dated
09.06.2010, and regard being had to the conduct of the employee it was  held
that there was no illegality in the termination order.  On  this  respondent
no. 1 filed Writ Petition No.  17838  of  2010,  challenging  the  order  of
termination, and the order passed by  the  appellate  authority  (respondent
no. 2).

5.    Learned Single  Judge  of  the  High  Court  allowed  the  above  writ
petition, vide order  dated  20.03.2015,  holding  that  the  principles  of
natural justice have not been followed in the present case. It  is  observed
that management cannot act  as  complainant,  prosecution  and  judge.   The
Division Bench, vide impugned order, affirmed the order passed in  the  writ
petition No. 17838 of 2010.

6.    This court, on 28.10.2016, after hearing the learned counsel  for  the
parties, passed following order in the Special Leave Petition (c) No.  30610
of 2016 ( from which this appeal has arisen).

“As prayed on behalf of the respondents, let the matter be listed after  two
weeks.

Till the next date, contempt proceedings, if any, arising from the  Impugned
order shall remain stayed.

We may record  here  that  there  is  a  proposal  made  on  behalf  of  the
petitioners for a lump sum monentary payment between 40 to 50 lakhs  by  way
of golden hand shake  instead  of  reinstatement  and  back  wages.  Learned
counsel for the respondent shall seek instruction on this issue”.



7.    On 05.12.2016, when this matter was taken up, Shri Raju  Ramachandran,
Senior Advocate, on behalf of the appellants submitted that  the  appellants
are ready to pay lump sum amount maximum to the  extent  of  Rs.50  lacs  to
respondent no. 1 by way of golden hand  shake  for  reinstatement  and  back
wages, to which Shri Neeraj Shekhar, learned counsel for respondent  no.  1,
responded by saying that he leaves it to the discretion of this  Court.   We
think it relevant to mention here that it is not clear from the record  that
respondent no. 1  did  not  get  engaged  in  some  other  employment  after
termination of service.

8.    In view of the above, considering the facts and circumstances  of  the
present case, particularly the fact that the respondent no. 1 has  lost  the
confidence of management (appellants), we are of the opinion that the  order
of reinstatement with  back  wages  can  be  substituted  by  directing  the
appellants to  pay  Rs.50  lacs  as  lump  sum  amount  of  compensation  to
respondent no. 1, which appears to be just and proper.

9.    Accordingly, this appeal is disposed with direction to the  appellants
to pay compensation of Rs.50 lacs to respondent no. 1  within  a  period  of
two months from the date of this order.  In case  the  payment  is  made  as
directed above, the order of reinstatement and back wages  shall  stand  set
aside  and  the  impugned  order  passed  by  the  High  Court  shall  stand
interfered with and modified to the  extent  as  above,  failing  which  the
appeal shall stand dismissed. No order as to costs.



                                                           ……………….....…………J.
                                                            [J. Chelameswar]



                                                             .……………….……………J.
New Delhi;                          [Prafulla C. Pant]
December 14, 2016.



                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                       CIVIL APPEAL NO.  12067 OF 2016
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (Civil) 30610 of 2016)

Correspondent, Anaikar Oriental (Arabic)
Higher Secondary School and Anr.         …Appellants
                                   Versus
Haroon and Anr.                                … Respondents

                             O R D E R

      When the judgment is delivered,  learned  counsel  appearing  for  the
appellants prays  for  time  to  make  payment  in  terms  of  the  judgment
delivered today.
      Heard learned counsel for the respondent(s).
      In the circumstances, we deem it appropriate to permit the  appellants
to pay  the  amount  mentioned  in  the  judgment  in  three  equal  monthly
instalments, the first of which shall be payable on or before 10th  January,
2017.  The other two instalments shall be paid on or before  10th  of  other
succeeding months.
                                                           ……………….....…………J.
                                                            [J. Chelameswar]


                                                             .……………….……………J.
New Delhi;                          [Prafulla C. Pant]
December 14, 2016.

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