Srinagar, Sept 22: Observing that nobody should be condemned unheard, the J&K High Court has set aside its single bench judgment by virtue of which termination of a tailor at DDK Srinagar was upheld.
A division of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Sanjay Dhar allowed the petition by one Showkat Ahmad Mir of Baramulla, observing that principles of natural justice are paramount and ought to have been followed by the officials.
“Although various contentions were raised by the learned senior counsel (A. H. Naik) for seeking quashing of the impugned orders, yet the primary and the most important one is whether there had been violation of principles of natural justice on the part of the department in the process of termination of the petitioner without giving him any opportunity of being heard,” the division bench said.
The petitioner Showkat Ahmad Mir was appointed as Tailor on 1 February 2012, under OBC category from the direct recruitment quota. However on 10 September 2013, his services were terminated. Subsequently, Mir had challenged the termination before the court’s single bench but his plea was dismissed after five years on 14 August 2018.
He had later challenged the judgment before the court’s division bench, contending that he was not given opportunity of being heard nor any enquiry conducted in the matter. As such, he said that his termination was arbitrary, unconstitutional and illegal.
“Justice is not only law and its administration, but is, in most cases, above law and is done to safeguard an individual from whatever he/ she seeks protection,” the division bench said as per Global News Service, adding, “Our Country aims at the goal of achieving a welfare State where everyone is/ has to be, as far as possible, looked after. The principles of natural justice are imbibed from the Constitution itself. These are of paramount importance and nobody can be condemned unheard.”
The court observed that the single Bench did not deal with the issue directly as to whether the officials were within their rights to terminate Mir’s services in view of alleged misconduct “but it proceeded on the premise that the appellant (Mir) has committed a fraud, of which nobody talks about, therefore, principles of natural justice are not required to be followed.”
“We are of the considered view that the respondents (officials) ought to have followed the principles of natural justice and afforded an opportunity of hearing to the appellant before issuing the order of termination,” the court said as per GNS and set aside the single bench’s judgment. Resultantly, the court directed the officials to reinstate Mir in service within one month and give him all consequential benefits including pay, allowances etcetera within one month. (GNS)