Thursday, August 12, 2010

Employee can be sacked even if released on probation: SC

Employee can be sacked even if released on probation: SC

11 Aug 2010, 2046 hrs IST,PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that an employee can be dismissed for moral turpitude even if he or she is released under the Probation of Offenders Act after being convicted for an offence.
"The conviction in a criminal case is one part of the case and release on probation is another. Therefore, grant of benefit of the provisions of Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, only enables the delinquent not to undergo the sentence on showing his good conduct during the period of probation.
"In case, after being released, the delinquent commits another offence, benefit of Probation of Offenders' Act, 1958, gets terminated and the delinquent can be made liable to undergo the sentence. Therefore, in case of an employee who stands convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude, it is his misconduct that leads to his dismissal," a Bench of justices BS Chauhan and Deepak Verma said in a judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing an appeal filed by Sushil Kumar Singhal, a peon, challenging his dismissal from Punjab National Bank in 1988 for embezzling Rs 5,000 given to him for paying the bank's telephone bill.
Though he was convicted under Section 409 IPC (criminal breach of trust), the appeallate court released him under the 1958 Probation of Offenders Act.
Singh sought reinstatement on the plea that he was released under the Act which did not amount to conviction. The appeallate court and the Punjab& Haryana High Court had dismissed his plea, following which he appealed in the apex court.

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