HC sets aside single bench order upholding termination of DDK Srinagar tailor

J&K High Court has set aside a single bench judgment which had upheld termination of the service of a tailor at Doordarshan Kashmir (DDK) Srinagar.

While allowing an appeal of Showkat Ahmad Mir, a division of Justices Ali Muhammad Magrey and Sanjay Dhar observed that the respondents had passed the termination order in violation of principles of natural justice.

Senior advocate, AH Naik on behalf of the appellant contended that the termination order was issued by the respondents on the ground that the temporary appointment of the appellant had not been made in accordance with the rules and regulations while as the stand taken by the respondents was that the temporary appointment had been obtained by resorting to tampering of the date of birth records.

“The writ Court has not at all discussed the contents of the termination order which does not talk of any fraud having been committed by the appellant but simply refers to the non-adherence of rules and regulations,” the Court said.

It said the case therefore in terms of the termination order was that the department did not adhere to the rules and regulations while making the temporary appointment of the appellant and not that the appellant indulged in any fraud for obtaining the appointment order.

Mir had been appointed as tailor in DDK on 1 February 2012, under OBC category from the direct recruitment quota. However on 10 September 2013, his services were terminated. Subsequently, Mir challenged the termination before the Court’s single bench but his plea was dismissed after five years on 14 August 2018.

“The principles of natural justice are imbibed from the Constitution itself. These are of paramount importance and nobody can be condemned unheard,” the Court observed. “The single bench did not deal with the issue directly as to whether the officials were within their rights to terminate (Mir’s) services in view of alleged misconduct, but it proceeded on the premise that the appellant (Mir) has committed a fraud, of which nobody talks about, therefore, principles of natural justice are not required to be followed.”

The Court said the officials ought to have followed the principles of natural justice and afforded an opportunity of hearing to Mir before issuing the order.

While setting aside the single bench’s judgment, the Court directed the officials to reinstate Mir in service within one month and give him all consequential benefits including pay and allowances.