Sunday, 5 March 2017

FRAUD CERTIFICATE CASE: SUPREME COURT REVERSED REINSTATEMENT ORDER OF HIGH COURT

In a fraud certificate case, Supreme Court of India vide its order of MARCH 1, 2017, reversed the reinstatement order of the High Court.

In an employee dismissal case, the trial court approved the action of the employer – State Bank of India. However, the High Court ordered reinstatement with 50 per cent back wages. Aggrieved by the High Court order, the SBI had filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The facts of the case was like this. The employee, while working with the SBI, submitted a certificate purportedly issued by the Indian Institute of Bankers claiming that she had passed the CAIIB Part-II Examination, and on that basis, started drawing additional monetary benefits. The Disciplinary Authority, based on the finding in a domestic inquiry that the certificate was a forged one, dismissed her from service on 01.08.2003. The punishment was upheld by the Appellate Authority vide order dated 10.06.2006. The Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court declined to grant any relief to the employee.

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The only ground on which the High Court interfered with the award was that the Management had not established, by leading evidence, that the employee was aware of the fact that the certificate produced before the Management was forged. The counsel for the employee had made a persuasive attempt for modification of punishment on the ground of dis-proportionality. However, in view of the conduct of the employee referred to above, Supreme Court did not take a different view from that taken by the Disciplinary Authority, Appellate Authority and the Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court. Therefore, the High Court order was set aside and the appeal was allowed. However, the Court directed not to make any recovery of the wages and benefits already paid to the respondent employee.

( Reference: Supreme Court CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3423 OF 2017 order dated MARCH 1, 2017)

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