‘Holds trust’: Bank emplpyee’s retirement can’t absolve misconduct charge, says SC


The Supreme Court on Friday said bank employees hold a position of trust and superannuation will not absolve the employee of the charges of misappropriation of funds committed while on duty.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka said: “Merely because the employee stood superannuated in the meanwhile, will not absolve him from the misconduct which he had committed in discharge of his duties and looking into the nature of misconduct which he had committed, he was not entitled for any indulgence.”

“The bank employee always holds the position of trust where honesty and integrity are the sine qua non but it would never be advisable to deal with such matters leniently,” it added.

The judgment came on an appeal filed by the United Bank of India.

The bench said looking into seriousness of the nature of allegations levelled against the respondent employee, the punishment of dismissal inflicted upon him in no manner could be said to be shockingly disproportionate which would have required to be interfered with by the tribunal in exercise of its powers.

“After such nature of allegations stood proved, the disciplinary authority, after taking into consideration the record of inquiry and the post held by the respondent employee, punished him with the penalty of dismissal from service,” noted the bench.

The bench set aside the orders passed by the high court and a tribunal under the Industrial Disputes Act, which declared that dismissal of Bachan Prasad Lall for misappropriation of funds was disproportionate and directed his reinstatement. The high court had declined to interfere with the tribunal’s order on the ground that the employee had superannuated.

“The finding of guilt recorded by the inquiry officer in his report was confirmed at all later stages by the disciplinary/appellate authority and even after judicial scrutiny by the division bench in the impugned judgment but it still refrained from interference on the premise that the employee had superannuated in the year 2007,” noted the top court.



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