Bombay HC: Its Erroneous to Presume That There is No Punishment Against Wrongdoings of Govt Workers

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: 27 July 2022 at 18:27 IST

The Bombay High Court recently stated during a service suit hearing that the widely held belief that no action can be taken against government employees for their wrongdoings should be abolished.

A former bus conductor for the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) appealed a Single Judge’s decision upholding a labour court ruling that validated the termination of his employment.

The Division Bench of Justices GS Patel and Gauri Godse’s observed that the Single Judge had correctly rejected to alter the labour court’s decision.

It was stated by the Court“AP Shah J declined to become involved, and in our opinion, he did so quite wisely. There is such a thing as being too forgiving. The belief that when one works for the government no action can ever be taken regardless of how repeatedly one is found to be doing wrong is an attitude that needs to stop as soon as possible in this country.”

After observing that this was not Sonawane’s first incidence of wrongdoing, the sole judge declined to overturn the labour court’s decision.

At that time, the petitioner’s attorney stood before the Division Bench and made just one submission, which was about how the punishment was unfair. It was stated that a more lenient viewpoint should have been adopted and that a lighter sentence would further justice.

In light of this, the Bench declared that while proportionality was important in the decision-making process, it did not follow that every violation could be viewed leniently.

Relying on the judgement passed by Single Judge the  Court underlined that there was malafide intention on Sonawane’s part. Therefore, there is no valid reason to interfere with the order and dismissed the appeal.

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