Decade on, Punjab and Haryana High Court orders Additional District Judge’s reinstatement

Dubs earlier order “discriminatory”

Decade on, Punjab and Haryana High Court orders Additional District Judge’s reinstatement

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26

Almost a decade after the services of an Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) were dispensed with, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has dubbed its own order passed on the administrative side as “discriminatory”, before setting it aside.

In her petition placed before a Bench of Justice Jitendra Chauhan and Justice Girish Agnihotri, judicial officer Parveen Bali through senior advocate Puneet Bali had sought directions for quashing the impugned order dated June 14, 2011, whereby her services as member of the Punjab Superior Judicial Service were dispensed with on the HC recommendation.

The Bench asserted the government vide letter dated March 14, 2011, had requested re-consideration of the order on dispensing her services and to give her personal hearing. The administrative judge had, in his speaking order, considered the case fit for reconsideration/ review. But appropriate opportunity was not given to the petitioner and her case was not reconsidered.

“The impugned order and the procedure so adopted deserve to be quashed because in spite request by the petitioner, recommendations by the Inspecting Judge, matter returned/ referred by the government for re-consideration, the petitioner was neither given an opportunity of hearing, nor these three facts were brought to the notice of the full court,” the Bench asserted, adding that the impugned order also deserved to be quashed as it suffered from discrimination.

The Bench added all three ACRs of the petitioner clearly reflected that she had shown substantial improvement in her work. The HC and other respondents did not place any adverse material, except the fact that she had not achieved the “units” as per norms by disposing of the matters.

“The district she was posted in for the first time was a newly created division and the volume of work could not be the only basis much less justified to dispense with her services,” it said. She would be entitled to all benefits, such as continuity in service, seniority, further promotions, arrears of pay and all other service benefits.

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