Disciplinary Enquiry Can be Quashed on the Ground of Delay

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1.         In the case of Shri Anant R. Kulkarni Vs. Versus Y.P. Education Society & Ors (Civil Appeal No. 3935 of 2013 decided on 26 April 2013, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that a Disciplinary Enquiry can be quashed on the ground of delay. Our team is is also rendering online legal advice.

2.         The appeal was preferred against the judgment and order dated 4.10.2011 of the High Court of Judicature of Bombay in Letters Patent Appeal No.171 of 2011 arising out of Writ Petition No. 1849 of 2003, by way of which the Division Bench of the High Court upheld the judgment of the learned Single Judge, as well as that of the School Tribunal quashing the enquiry against the appellant, while giving liberty to respondent Nos.1 and 2 to hold a fresh enquiry on the charges levelled against the appellant. The operative part of the judgment are appended below: –

“28. In light of the facts and circumstances of the case, none of the charges are specific and precise. The charges have not been accompanied by any statement of allegations, or any details thereof. It is not therefore permissible, for the respondents to hold an enquiry on such charges. Moreover, it is a settled legal proposition that a departmental enquiry can be quashed on the ground of delay provided the charges are not very grave.

29.    In the facts and circumstances of the case, as the Tribunal as well as the learned Single Judge have examined all the charges on merit and also found that the enquiry has not been conducted as per the Rules 1981, it was not the cause of the Management Committee which had been prejudiced, rather it had been the other way around. In such a fact-situation, it was not necessary for the Division Bench to permit the respondents to hold a fresh enquiry on the said charges and that too, after more than a decade of the retirement of the appellant.

30. In view of the above, appeal succeeds and is allowed. The impugned judgment and order of the High Court is modified to the extent referred to hereinabove. The appellant shall be entitled to recover all his salary and retirement dues, if not paid already. No costs.”


Normally departmental matter, enquiry, penalties, promotion, appointment, regularization, confirmation etc. 

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