If rules permit, cop on probation can be sacked: SC

New Delhi, May 25: A policeman can be summarily dismissed from service for misconduct during the probation period if there is a provision for it in the recruitment rules, the Supreme Court has said.
A Bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Dalveer Bhandari said the requirement of conducting a departmental inquiry to probe the misconduct need not be fulfilled in such cases.
The Bench passed the judgment while quashing a Punjab & Haryana High Court order which upheld a civil court’s ruling that the dismissal was illegal, since the principles of natural justice in the form of a departmental inquiry were overlooked while removing constable Avtar Singh.
Invoking Rule 12.21 of the Punjab Police Rules, 1934 the Government ‘discharged’ (dismissed) Avtar Singh from service as he unauthorisedly abstained from duties for more than a month during his probation period.
According to the rule, “A constable who is found unlikely to prove an efficient police officer may be discharged by the Superintendent at any time within three years of enrolment. There shall be no appeal against an order of discharged under this rule.”
A civil court quashed the dismissal and the State’s appeal was dismissed by the High Court. The High Court took the view that while absence from duty was definitely a misconduct, Singh should have been discharged from service only after a formal inquiry.
Posted online: Sunday , May 25, 2008 at 08:40:11Updated: Sunday , May 25, 2008 at 08:40:11


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