Disciplinary authorities need not consider any subsequent events in sacking such fraudsters, a Bench of Justices SB Sinha and Markandeya Katju held while setting aside the orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had ruled in favour of an employee.
Based on a certificate in which the employee claimed to be a member of the scheduled caste community 'Mala', R Valasina Babu was appointed as postal assistant in the office of the Superintendent of Post Office, Adilabad Division, Andhra Pradesh, on July 28, 1980.
However, after it was discovered that Babu was a Christian, who had fraudulently obtained a fake caste certificate to obtain employment, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him on December 27, 1980.
The postal authorities dismissed Babu from service based on an order by the district collector dated November 28, 1990, which cancelled his caste certificate. But the inquiry officer, the CAT and later the high court ordered reinstatement of Babus services on the ground that the cancellation of the caste certificate was effected subsequent to the initiation of disciplinary proceedings.
The two courts felt that the dismissal was illegal as the cancellation of the caste certificate was not brought on record in the original charge memo dated March 1, 1989 issued at the commencement of the disciplinary proceedings. Following this, the postal department filed an appeal before the apex court. Upholding the departments plea, the Supreme Court, in a recent order, held that once the certificate on the basis of which the employee obtained employment stood cancelled, no question of allowing him to continue in service would arise, if he had been appointed on the basis of such a certificate.