Chennai: The Madras high court has upheld an order of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, removing an employee from service for alleged misconduct including misbehaving with girl students.
Justice S.M.Subramaniam quashed an order of the Central Government Industrial Tribunal, which set aside the removal of Sam D.Raja Prabhu from service and directed the management to reinstate him with continuity of service with 25 per cent back wages.
According to the management, Sam D.Raja Prabhu joined with the institution as a machine mechanic on April 9, 1996. Subsequently, he was appointed as machine lab assistant. The management had received several complaints against him. The complaints were very serious in nature, amounting to grave misconduct.
Thus, charges were framed against him and an enquiry was conducted. After, the enquiry, he was removed from service. He raised an industrial dispute and the tribunal/labour court set aside the removal order. Aggrieved the management filed by the present petition.
Allowing the petition, the judge said perusal of findings reveal that the reasons were recorded, the documents were relied upon and the statements were also considered by the enquiry officer. Therefore, the contention of the employee that the enquiry officer arrived at a conclusion without assigning any reason was incorrect. The enquiry officer arrived at a conclusion by relying on the documents as well as the statements and the materials available on record, the judge added.
The judge said perusal of all other issues also reveals that the enquiry officer has not taken a blanket decision. With reference to each and every charge, the enquiry officer given a separate findings and it was relevant to extract a charge, which was grave in nature. The charge was that the employee has misbehaved with the girl students of 1999-2001 batch such as passing obscene remarks while moving with them.
“Reading of the entire findings would reveal that the -circumstances as well as the documents were considered by the enquiry officer. Thus, this court is unable to come to a conclusion that the enquiry officer arrived a finding without providing any reason for his conclusion. Such an argument is incorrect and therefore, deserves no consideration”, the judge added.
The judge said, “The maintenance of discipline in the petitioner-institution is of paramount importance and therefore, the conduct of the employee against the girl students which were proved before the enquiry officer was lightly taken by the Industrial Tribunal and by exercising the discretionary power, a leniency was shown for grant of relief, which is certainly unwarranted".