28 Apr 2121

There was no need to hold any enquiry as the termination was not on disciplinary grounds - Supreme Court of India

Case : State of Odisha and Ors. v. Kamalini Khilar and Anr. N.A.

Court : Supreme Court of India

Bench : Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice K. M. Joseph

Decided on : 28 Apr 2121

Relevant Statutes


The Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. There is a delay of 247 days in filing the SLP. Having considered the matter, they are inclined to condone delay but on condition that a sum of Rs. 50000 is paid as a cost of Respondent No.1.

2. Appellant No.1 namely, the state of Odisha, passed a resolution on 12.03.1996 describing the procedure for recruitment of government teachers in primary schools.

3. Appellant number 3 namely the District Inspector of school, Bhadrak -II, Bhadrak how to determine the number of vacancies to be filled up through direct recruitment. They had to also determine the number of vacancies that were required to be reserved for each reserved category.

4. It is the case of the appellant that based on the same on 29.07.1996 by the letter dated 29.07.1996, it was communicated to Respondent No.1 that her name was sponsored by the District Employment Exchange for the post of a primary school teacher. She was called upon to submit her application along with her document. She was directed to attend the viva-voce examination.

5. A merit list was prepared. In which Respondent No.1 secured the 22nd position in the SEBC (Women) category. There were only 16 vacancies that were to be filled by SEBC (Women) category candidates. She was favoured with an order of appointment dated 04.04.1998. She was issued such an appointment according to the appellants on the basis that one of the successful candidates, namely Respondent No.2 who secured the 16th position could not join within the time. Respondent No.1 joined based on the joining letter dated 20.04.1998.

6. While so complaining that she was not served with appointment order and the order was issued in the wrong name Respondent No.2  filed representation which based on an order in an application before the Tribunal was disposed of with a certain direction by the 1st Appellant Original Application No.650 of 2000 was thereafter filed by Respondent No.2 before the Honorable Orissa Administrative Tribunal. The Tribunal allowed the Original Application by order dated 21.09.2001.

7. This lead to an order dated 16.04.2002 which was an order of appointment of Respondent No.2  by Appellant No. 3 and another order of the same date by which the service of Respondent No.1 came to be terminated. This led to the present round of litigation, filed by Respondent No.1 before the Tribunal. The Tribunal after an exchange of pleadings allowed the application filed by Respondent No.1.

The Issues of the Case

Whether any person has been appointed based on an incorrectly addressed letter?.

Whether it is Respondent No.1 who was appointed in place of Respondent No.2?

Whether Snehalata was appointed from SEBC but under the category of physically handicapped?

The Observations of the Court

1. The order of the Tribunal passed in Original Application No. 650 of 2000 was binding on the department. This is not a case involving disciplinary proceedings against Respondent No.1. No stigma is attached to Respondent No.1. The whole exercise has necessitated no doubt as a result of a mistake committed by the appellants in not sending the appointment letter at the correct address to Respondent No.2. Because order Original Application No.650 of 2000 had become final the Appellants obliged to comply with the order.

2. Reliance is placed on the judgments of this Court in Delhi Transport Corporation vs. D.T.C Mazdoor Congress and Ors. AIR 1991 SC 101, Surendra Kumar Verma and Ors. vs. Central Government Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour The Court, New Delhi, and Ors. (1980) 4 SCC 443 and Deepali Gundu Surwase vs. Kranti Junior Adhyapak Mahavidyalaya(D.ED.) and Ors. (2013) 10 SCC 324.

The Decision Held by the Court

1. The denouement of the above discussion is that the termination of the service of Respondent No.1 was unavoidable.

2. Accordingly, the order of the High Court to the extent impugned is to be set aside. Resultantly, the Apex Court allowed the appeal and the order of the High Court impugned is set aside and the order passed filed by Respondent No.1 will stand set aside.

3. No order as to the coast in the appeal. The Honorable Court made it clear that if the cost of Rs. 50000 ordered as a condition to conduct delay in filing the SLP is not paid as aforesaid, the impugned judgement will stand, the application for condoning delay will stand dismissed and the leave granted will stand revoked and this judgement will stand recalled. If the cost is deposited, the same can be withdrawn by Respondent No.1.

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