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Snatching job in public employment takes away employee’s means of livelihood; violates Article 21: Karnataka HC [Read Judgment]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      17 January, 2024 04:33 PM      0 Comments
Snatching job in public employment takes away employee’s means of livelihood; violates Article 21: Karnataka HC [Read Judgment]

Karnataka: Snatching away a job in public employment amounts to taking away the means of livelihood of the employee and is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution (Right to life and personal liberty), the Karnataka High Court reiterated recently. 

“In a society like ours, job more often than not, happens to be predominant source of livelihood and therefore snatching away a job (in public employment), like the one that has happened in the case at hand, virtually amounts to taking away the means of livelihood of the employee. That offends the pith & substance of fundamental right to life & liberty constitutionally guaranteed under Article 21 in the light of OLGA TELLIS vs BOMBAY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION”, Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit observed. 

The bench was considering an intra-court appeal which challenged the decision of the Single Judge of the High Court. In that order, the dismissal from service was set aside and reinstatement of the employee was directed.

The Court observed that no employee can be dismissed without having an opportunity to be heard while adding that entities have to conduct themselves as model employers.

“That apart, no employee can be punished that too by way of dismissal from service without giving an opportunity of hearing. The principles of natural justice as being a part of Article 14. Ours being a Welfare State, Article 12 - Entities have to conduct themselves as model employers and their decisions should be pregnant with human values”

The Court refused to take up the appeal “being broadly in agreement with the reasoning of the learned Single Judge”. Because, only a criminal case was registered against the Respondent, which was pending. And so, he could not have been dismissed from service without holding any enquiry, the Bench stated. 

Ordinarily where an employee is convicted & sentenced for an offence involving moral turpitude, he can be removed from the employment, the Court reminded. 

“Thus, had the Respondent been convicted & sentenced for such an offence and on that ground he was removed from service, the Appellants could have had an arguable case for examination in Appeal. However, that question does not arise in this case”, the judgement said before dismissing the case. 

The judgement also referred to Justice Felix Frankfurter’s observations [of US Supreme Court] in Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee Vs Mcgrath on reasonable opportunity to be heard.

Snatching job in public employment takes away employee’s means of livelihood; violates Article 21: Karnataka HC

Snatching away a job in public employment amounts to taking away the means of livelihood of the employee and is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution (Right to life and personal liberty), the Karnataka High Court reiterated recently. 

“In a society like ours, job more often than not, happens to be predominant source of livelihood and therefore snatching away a job (in public employment), like the one that has happened in the case at hand, virtually amounts to taking away the means of livelihood of the employee. That offends the pith & substance of fundamental right to life & liberty constitutionally guaranteed under Article 21 in the light of OLGA TELLIS vs BOMBAY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION”, Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit observed. 

The bench was considering an intra-court appeal which challenged the decision of the Single Judge of the High Court. In that order, the dismissal from service was set aside and reinstatement of the employee was directed.

The Court observed that no employee can be dismissed without having an opportunity to be heard while adding that entities have to conduct themselves as model employers.

“That apart, no employee can be punished that too by way of dismissal from service without giving an opportunity of hearing. The principles of natural justice as being a part of Article 14. Ours being a Welfare State, Article 12 - Entities have to conduct themselves as model employers and their decisions should be pregnant with human values”

The Court refused to take up the appeal “being broadly in agreement with the reasoning of the learned Single Judge”. Because, only a criminal case was registered against the Respondent, which was pending. And so, he could not have been dismissed from service without holding any enquiry, the Bench stated. 

Ordinarily where an employee is convicted & sentenced for an offence involving moral turpitude, he can be removed from the employment, the Court reminded. 

“Thus, had the Respondent been convicted & sentenced for such an offence and on that ground he was removed from service, the Appellants could have had an arguable case for examination in Appeal. However, that question does not arise in this case”, the judgement said before dismissing the case. 

The judgement also referred to Justice Felix Frankfurter’s observations [of US Supreme Court] in Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee Vs Mcgrath on reasonable opportunity to be heard.

 

[Read Judgment]



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