In a petition seeking clarity on whether on acquittal from proceedings in a criminal court, an employee's increment, promotion etc. could be withheld by the government authorities, the Punjab and Haryana high court has issued notices to the Punjab Financial Corporation.
Three employees of the corporation, including Dinesh Saini (junior stenographer) of Ludhiana, had approached the high court submitting that though they had been acquitted by the trial court in 2006 in a corruption case after remaining under suspension for 20 years, the corporation had failed to grant them the consequential service benefits, including increments.
However, it was alleged that the corporation, while acting on its own whims and fancies, had been granting service benefits to other employees, even though their cases were pending before the criminal courts.
Citing examples of employees first placed under suspension but later reinstated in service with all benefits during the pendency of criminal proceedings against them, the petitioners had mentioned the names of N Gorkhi and Inderjit Taneja, deputy managers (finance), at the district office, Ludhiana, and Sudhir Kumar Sood, assistant general manager at the district office, Ferozepur.
The petitioners were put under suspension by the corporation in 1992 for allegedly disbursing loans under the special employment programme to the unemployed youth after obtaining commission. The corporation had lodged two FIRs in the case in 1994. However, the special judge, Ferozepur, acquitted the petitioners of charges against them in both FIRs in 2006. In 2007, the corporation chose to file an appeal in the high court in one of the FIRs, which is at present admitted for hearing, but in the case of the other FIR, in which the petitioners were acquitted by the trial court, the corporation had not challenged the trial court's order.
The petitioners have thus informed the high court that mere admission of an appeal in the high court cannot disentitle them for reinstatement in service with consequential benefits.