Service Law – Marudhara Gramin Bank (Officers and Employees) Service Regulation, 2010 (Rajasthan) – Defence Representative – Not permitting the delinquent officer to be represented through ex-employee of the Bank in the departmental enquiry cannot be said to be in any way in breach of principles of natural justice and / or it violates any of the rights of the delinquent officer.
As per the Bank there is a justification also to permit the delinquent officer to be represented in the departmental proceedings through serving official / employee from the Bank only. The Bank has justified its action of not permitting ex–employee of the Bank as DR and according to the Bank, the exemployee who themselves may have been subject of a disciplinary enquiry/ chargesheet / dismissed from service; the exemployee might be a part of vigilance or audit sections who come across a lot of information of confidential nature and therefore, if they are allowed to be DR in the departmental proceedings, which would result in grave injustice; the solemn nature of proceedings is taken away and would result in issues of orderliness as well as decorum when a disgruntled exemployee is enabled to act as defence representative; they may adopt delay tactics in departmental enquiry and may not permit completion of department enquiry within six months as mandated by the CVC Circular and as per Vigilance Handbook adopted by the Bank. For all the aforesaid reasons not permitting the delinquent officer to be represented through exemployee of the Bank in the departmental enquiry cannot be said to be in any way in breach of principles of natural justice and / or it violates any of the rights of the delinquent officer.
The only requirement is that delinquent officer must be given fair opportunity to represent his case and that there is no absolute right in his favour to be represented through the agent of his choice.
However, at the same time, if the charge is severe and complex nature, then request to be represented through a counsel can be considered keeping in mind Regulation 44 of Regulation, 2010 and if in a particular case, the same is denied, that can be ground to challenge the ultimate outcome of the departmental enquiry. However, as a matter of right in each and every case, irrespective of whether charges is severe and complex nature or not, the employee as a matter of right cannot pray that he may be permitted to represent through the agent of his choice. [Para 8]
Case Law Reference
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- Dunlop Rubber Co. (India) Ltd v. Workmen, (1965) 2 SCR 139
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Case Number : CIVIL APPEAL No. 7451 of 2021; January, 04 2022
Hon’ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah has pronounced the reportable judgment of the Bench comprising His Lordship and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
For Appellant(s) Mr. Rishabh Sancheti, Adv. Ms. Padma Priya, Adv. Mr. Anchit Bhandari, Adv. Mr. Sushant Rao, Adv. Mr. Shubhankar Singh,Adv. Mr. K. Paari Vendhan, AOR For Respondent(s) Ms. Rashmi Singh, AOR
Case Link : https://pdf.caselaw.in/sc/2022/01/1107/