The Madras High Court Bench here has ruled that government servants imposed with minor punishments such as censure, for failing to perform their duties, cannot be denied promotion to the next cadre.
Dismissing a writ appeal filed by the Finance Secretary, Justices D. Murugesan and M. Duraiswamy said the High Court in 2008 itself had ruled that even stoppage of increment for two years could be considered only as a minor punishment.
Further, they pointed out that the government had issued a letter as early as on June 10, 1998 amending the guidelines for preparation of panels for promoting its employees. The letter categorically stated that punishment of censure would have no currency.
The present writ appeal was filed against an order passed by a single judge on November 20, 2009 to include the name of R. Murugesan, Inspector of Local Audit Fund in Theni district, in the promotion panel for the post of Assistant Director.
In his writ petition before the single judge, the Inspector had claimed that he was selected through the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission under Group II services and posted as Assistant Inspector of Local Fund Audit on June 24, 1983.
When the petitioner was facing enquiry into the charge, the government called for proposals on September 1, 2009 for preparation of a panel of officers to be promoted as Assistant Director and his name was not recommended. The petitioner moved the High Court Bench claiming that he could not be denied promotion because the panel was prepared much before the imposition of punishment.