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HC upholds quashing of premature retirement of TSO, store-keeper
9/26/2023 10:16:42 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 26: A Division Bench of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court, comprising Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Rajesh Sekhri, has dismissed the appeal filed by the General Administration Department (GAD) and upheld the judgment of the Writ Court. The Writ Court had quashed the premature retirement of Chamel Singh TSO and Romesh Singh Store-Keeper.
During the proceedings, Advocate Raman Sharma represented the GAD, while Advocates Achal Sharma represented the TSO and Store-Keeper.
The Division Bench's decision came after a thorough examination of the case. It was observed that the State Government's decision to compulsorily retire the writ petitioner was based on insufficient material. Notably, essential documents, including the Annual Performance Reports (APRs) and other service records that should have been considered by the Committee in evaluating the petitioner's case for compulsory retirement, were either not presented or not reviewed. This lack of consideration of the APRs, which are crucial for assessing a public servant's performance, raised concerns about the decision's validity.
The judgment highlighted that the reputation of the writ petitioner could not be termed as doubtful, nor could his conduct be determined solely based on verbal statements without supporting evidence. The decision to compulsorily retire the petitioner was primarily based on the registration of two FIRs, one of which ended in acquittal, and the other was still pending trial. The court emphasized that the mere lodging of FIRs should not be the sole basis for compulsory retirement, as it lacked sufficient material and evidence and was, therefore, arbitrary.
The Division Bench also emphasized that the power to retire a government servant prematurely is subject to forming a bona fide opinion that it is in the public interest. When challenged, authorities must disclose the materials that led to the retirement order. Additionally, the decision to retire a public servant should not be solely based on committee recommendations. The competent authority must form its own bona fide opinion in accordance with the law.
With these observations, the Division Bench dismissed both appeals, upholding the quashing of the premature retirement orders of Chamel Singh TSO and Romesh Singh Store-Keeper.
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