An employee who misappropriates funds deserves to be sacked, and there’s no question of sympathy, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The court upheld an appeal by the UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) against an Uttaranchal High Court order to reinstate an employee sacked for stealing funds. The high court had said the action was excessive.
“Courts should be reluctant to reduce the punishment on misplaced sympathy for a workman,” Supreme Court Justices Ashok Bhan and D.K. Jain said.
UPSRTC dismissed bus conductor Vinod Kumar in 1991 after finding he took money from passengers but didn’t issue tickets. However, a labour court ordered his reinstatement and, in 2002, the high court too ruled in his favour.
There is no scope for generosity or misplaced sympathy on the part of judicial forums, and they must not interfere with the quantum of punishment, the Supreme Court said. “Since the respondent (Kumar) had not challenged the correctness, legality and validity of the (UPSRTC) inquiry, it was not open to the labour court to go into (its) findings,” it said.