Citing an amendment to a Fundamental Rule as per a Tamil Nadu G.O., the Madras High Court has set aside a punishment of ‘censure' against a Chennai Corporation Pharmacist.

It held that his suspension should be treated with pay and allowances for the entire period.

According to the amendment to Rule 54 of the Fundamental Rules, as per a Tamil Nadu government order dated June 10, 1993, a government servant who had been suspended and was fully exonerated of the charges on appeal was entitled to pay and allowances for the entire period of suspension, provided the suspension period ended before the superannuation date.

Justice M. Venugopal was allowing a writ petition by P. Ramakrishnaiah seeking to quash an order of the Appointments Committee, Chennai Corporation, of June 2003 confirming an order of the Commissioner imposing ‘censure' on him as he had brought disrepute to the civic body.

The petitioner, a Pharmacist in Zone-1, was arrested in February 1988 at Perambur for possessing injection ampoules having the Tamil Nadu government seal. The police also seized another box containing several injection ampoules and tablets, having the seal, worth Rs.22,000 from his house. The seized articles were suspected to have been stolen from government hospitals in the city.

He was under suspension for nearly 10 years from February 1988. The X Metropolitan Magistrate convicted and sentenced him to pay a fine.

On appeal, the Additional Sessions Judge set aside the trial court's judgment and acquitted him of all charges. He was placed under suspension on July 30, 1998 and not allowed to retire. The inquiry officer exonerated him of all charges.

The Commissioner permitted the petitioner to retire from July 31, 1998, the date of superannuation since the petitioner was exonerated. However, he imposed a punishment of ‘censure' on him for bringing disrepute to the Chennai Corporation and treated the suspension period from February 1988 as “leave on loss of pay.”

Mr. Ramakrishnaiah's appeal before the Appointments Committee was rejected. Hence the present petition.

Counsel submitted that the Commissioner had not disagreed with the findings of the inquiry officer. There was no finding of guilt against the petitioner either in the criminal or departmental proceedings. Hence, he could not be punished.

Mr. Justice Venugopal said when the Commissioner had permitted Mr. Ramakrishnaiah to retire from service and especially when he had not disagreed with the inquiry officer's findings, then the court was of the opinion that the Commissioner could not pass an order of punishment of censure. Hence, the punishment was illegal.

  • Suspension should be treated with pay and allowances for entire period

  • Petitioner was arrested for possessing injection ampoules having State seal