NCSC has no jurisdiction to interfere with action taken by employer against employee: Bombay HC
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) does not have the jurisdiction to interfere with a decision taken by an employer against his or her employee, the Bombay High Court has ruled.
In a recent order, a division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Kamal Khata allowed a petition filed by the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) challenging an order passed by the NCSC in March this year, directing it to re-investigate a disciplinary action initiated against a staff nurse.
The high court passed the order on July 27 and a copy of the same was made available on Friday.
As per the petition, one Chandraprabha Kedare was appointed as a staff nurse in January 1973 in the Cantonment Board in Deolali in Maharashtra's Nashik. In 2013, a disciplinary action was initiated against her and she was asked to take compulsory retirement.
Kedare approached the NCSC alleging injustice and harassment, following which the Commission in its March order claimed that the MoD had compulsorily retired the woman without adopting due procedure.
Quashing the NCSC order, the court observed that the Commission had "acted totally without jurisdiction".
"In our view, the Commission has no such jurisdiction to interfere with the decision already taken by the employer against Kedare after following procedure. The Commission cannot act as an appellate authority against an order passed by an employer taking disciplinary action against an employee," the bench said.
An employer has the powers to take disciplinary action against his employee and when such action has been upheld in all legal proceedings, the employee cannot file an application before the Commission, it added.
The bench quashed and set aside the NCSC's order and dismissed the complaint filed by Kedare before it.
The Commission in its order had noted that injustice had been meted against Kedare, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community and that the punishment of compulsory retirement was draconian in nature.
The NCSC had asked the MoD to re-investigate the matter.
The MoD in its plea in the high court claimed that the Commission did not have the jurisdiction to interfere with the disciplinary action taken against Kedare.
The court noted that Kedare had exhausted all legal remedies available to her against her compulsory retirement and when she could not succeed, she had filed an application before the NCSC.
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