The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed re-instatement of a Kapurthala teacher dismissed by the Punjab government following an FIR against him of allegedly raping a girl student.
The teacher was working at a Kapurthala school on contract basis since 2006 and days after regularisation of his services, an FIR was registered against him in July 2011. He was suspended and later dismissed. However, even after his acquittal in the case, the teacher’s appeal against termination of service was dismissed by the department on account that “sanctity of the relation between teacher and disciple had been violated and it would cause adverse affect on the educational atmosphere to keep him in the education department.”
The teacher then moved high court seeking his re-instatement. The bench of justice GS Sandhawalia held that there was no departmental inquiry and the dismissal was only on the basis of the FIR being registered. Hence the order of dismissal is set aside. “The petitioner is entitled for reinstatement and all consequential benefits. It is, however, clarified that it is always open to the respondents to hold a departmental inquiry for the alleged misconduct and to take further action in pursuance of the same, if so desired,” the bench said in its order.
His services could have been terminated with an innocuous order but the order dispensing his services is stigmatic in nature, on account of the lodging of the FIR and on the ground that he committed an offence of moral turpitude, the high court bench observed.
It further stated that the petitioner was gravely prejudiced and if the government had to pass an order it was necessary for them to hold a departmental inquiry.