No provision under Police Regulations to reinstate an employee who has been acquitted of a criminal charge

Calcutta High Court: While denying reinstatement of a police officer, the bench comprising of Nishita Mhatre and Rakesh Tiwari JJ., held that there is no provision under the Police Regulations which provides for reinstatement of an employee who has been acquitted of a criminal charge.

The question involved in the case was whether an employee, who has been dismissed from service after a departmental enquiry, is entitled to be reinstated on his acquittal in a criminal case. The Respondent was facing criminal charges for tarnishing the image of the police and therefore a disciplinary enquiry was initiated against him.  Considering the charges levelled against him and the fact that the criminal case against him was pending, the disciplinary authority dismissed him from service as it was of the view that there were no mitigating circumstances in his past service record. However, he was later acquitted in the criminal case against him. The State of West Bengal and the officers of the police department have filed the present petition challenging the order of the Administrative Tribunal reinstating the respondent in service.

The Court while relying on State of West Bengal v. Sanjay Ghosh, (2014) 3 SCC 610, held that though the charge against the respondent have not been proved and he has been honourably acquitted but there is no provision under the Police Regulations which provides for reinstatement of an employee who has been acquitted of a criminal charge. Therefore, the order of the Tribunal with respect to reinstatement is set aside. [State of West Bengal v. Ratan Sarkar, 2016 SCC OnLine Cal 4259, decided on 3.08.2016]

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