In a setback to the State government, the Karnataka High Court on Monday set aside the order of discharging Malini from the post of Assistant Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Bangalore.

The court has directed the government to reinstate Dr. Malini with all consequential benefits forthwith.

Allowing the petition filed by her, a Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B. Manohar held that the authorities had not applied their minds while invoking provision in the law governing the employees on probation period, to discharge her from the service for being “unsuitable” to the post.

The Bench also said the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal, which in 2009 had dismissed her petition challenging discharge, did not appreciate the facts properly and conducted in a way “unknown to the service jurisprudence”.

The court found force in her contention that she was discharged from the service due to “political motives” as she said the move to discharge her from the service began after she gave the report of narco analysis test of some accused linked to the infamous Sister Abhaya murder case of Kerala. She had contended that the Opposition in the Legislative Council in February 2009 had demanded her removal.

‘No inquiry’

She had also pointed out that though a confidential inquiry report was submitted against her with certain charges related to misconduct and tampering with documents, the government discharged her from service holding her as “unsuitable” instead of issuing a notice to her or holding a proper inquiry.