Observing that the the scheme is "unique and novel" as it says a complete "goodbye" to laws, the Bombay High Court on Friday struck down a policy decision of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) for reinstating conductors, suspended for indulging in financial frauds and dishonesty. The scheme, the HC said was against the constitutional values and the interest of public at large, especially the youth.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Gangapurwalla and Shrikant Kulkarni struck down the "Kutumb Suraksha Yojana" a scheme floated by the MSRTC, basically to give a second chance to the employees, especially the conductors, accused in misappropriation of funds cases.
The MSRTC argued that its decision was for the welfare of the poor family members of such conductors, who are either suspended or terminated from the service because of their wrong doings and also to protect their right to life.
The state body further pointed out that it has a provision in the new scheme wherein instead of suspending such conductors, the authorities would recover 50 times the misappropriated amounts from them, however, the fraud amount should be more than Rs 5,000.
The bench dismissed the contentions saying, "This scheme appears to be unique and novel which has indirectly given go-bye to the legal procedure. If a conductor is found guilty in a case of misappropriation, he must be subjected to whatever legal action is contemplated under the procedure of MSRTC."
"The MSRTC has a duty to act reasonably and fairly so as not to infringe the Articles 14, 16 and 19 of the Constitution of India," the bench added.
The bench further said that the conductors, who are found guilty in such cases to be re-appointed or
reinstated under the impugned scheme has no rational and if it is allowed to be implemented, it may result in chaos.
"It may snatch employment of thousands who are prospering for the jobs in MSRTC. Thousands of unemployed youths are in the State who are in the queue for employment in the MSRTC for the posts of a conductor," the judges noted.
"The conductor involved in a case involving moral turpitude impeaches his credibility as he has been found to have indulged in a shameful, wicked and bad activity, thus cannot be re-instated. If such corrupt and dishonest people are reinstated, it would be rewarding them for such dishonest work," the judges held.
The bench while striking down the scheme said such corrupt employees must not be reinstated and infact must be punished and dealt with iron hands