Monday, March 1, 2010


Those with Power Can't Be Arrogant Towards Their Subordinates: SC

19th February 2010


 "PEPOLE in power and authority" should not resort to arrogance and treat employees as "Lesser mortals", the Supreme Court has ruled.

            In a judgment intended to resonate on employment conditions in both the public and private sectors across the country, the court said that "people in power and authority should not easily lose their equanimity, composure and appreciation for the problems of the lesser mortals".

            The judgment, passed Thursday by a Division Bench of Juctices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Patnaik, said employers, especially in the public sector, tend to ignore the "problems" of their subordinates as they go higher up the ladder.

            "Arrogance and vanity have no place in the discharge of official functions and duties. People in power and authority are always expected to remember that power and authority must be judiciously exercised according to the laws and human compassion", the court said.

            The verdict came on an appeal by former Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) head constable Angad Das, who was removed from service because he wrote a letter to this senior officer, an Additional DIG of police, for a job Extension to pay for the education and marriage of his five daughters.

Das, a veteran of the Commandant 51 Battalion CRPF in J&K, was at the time of writing the letter in April 1995, facing official action for allegedly submitting a false date of birth at the time of joining service. On receiving it, the officer ordered Das to be removed from service.

            "Angad Das had sent a very polite letter of request to the Additional District Inspector General of Police (DIG) praying that his request for re-employment be kindly considered because he has enormous responsibility of educating and marrying his five daughters," the Bench said in its ruling.

            In added that "failed to comprehend how the letter seeking re-employment on compassionate grounds can ever receive such an unwarranted and arrogant reaction. The order is wholly arbitrary and illegal". "We hope and thrust that senior officials in future would not be totally oblivious of the problems of the humble and modest employees and pass similar orders", the court said.

            The court quoted portions of Das's letter: "I, with folded hands and touching the feet, pay that I may be allowed to complete the service. I may be awarded any other punishment, otherwise, seven people will be uprooted and will resort to beggary and fall on the wrong path for earning their bread".

            The court created a precedent by directing the Union of India which it held indirectly liable for the DIG's response-to pay Rs 50'000 within two months to the constable for treating him with "disdain". It also ordered full pension and other service benefits to the constable, and said the family had suffered "tremendous mental agony and harassment".

            Source: The Indian Express

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