On Thursday , the Supreme Court said in Madhya Pradesh the district judges were free to take disciplinary action against the employees having more than two children – a violation of the 2016 service rules.
The service rules of 2016 governs the employees at the state judiciary and an employee with more than two children with more than two children shall be in violation of the rules in accordance with the statutory provisions. And thus it would be regarded as misconduct.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order issued on 7 August 2019 that directed district judges not to withhold increments but only censure the employees if they had joined the service before the rule was notified ,was modified by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde . And the service rules were amended in 2016 but were notified in June 2019.
There were nine petitions filed by employees in various district courts, criticizing the penalty imposed on them. So the ruling was given by High Court on these nine petitions.
HC had also said all cases pending with the district judge of employees recruited before June 2019 shall only be censured with no disciplinary action. In addition to reducing the penalties in the nine petitions.
While the Supreme Court did not amend the decision of High Courts for the reduction of penalty in the nine petitions filed . It was found that a serious error had been committed in issuing general and overarching directions, by restricting the disciplinary action a district judge can take against an employee for violating the service rules.
The Supreme Court held that such a direction was not under the scope of issue put before the HC as it gave discretion to District Judge based upon the facts of each case.