In granting relief to a junior teacher who was terminated without a chance to present his case, Justice Sashikanta Mishra’s bench stated that they do not find the argument convincing that a contractual worker can be dismissed without following any rules or procedures.
The court also emphasised that it is a well-established legal principle that even for contractual employees, the principles of natural justice must be fully adhered to, as stated by the Live Law.
Reportedly, the individual who filed the petition was appointed as a Sikshya Sahayak in 2015 through an order issued by the chief executive officer of zilla parishad-cum-collector in Jagatsinghpur. In 2018, the district education officer of Jagatsinghpur issued a notice to the petitioner, presenting various accusations and requesting a response.
The petitioner responded to the allegations within the given timeframe, refuting all of them. However, there was no further communication with him until the district project coordinator of SSA in Jagatsinghpur issued a notice on 01.06.2018, which prompted the petitioner to file this writ petition, as he was dissatisfied with the notice.
According to the court, only the CEO who appointed the petitioner had the authority to take disciplinary action against him. The district education officer was not authorised to issue a show cause notice to the petitioner. The court noted that an inquiry had been conducted, but the details were unclear. The court also rejected the State’s argument that there was no need to follow any rules or procedures before terminating the petitioner’s employment as a contractual worker. The impugned notice of disengagement was based on the findings of the inquiry, but the court was unsure of the authority and manner in which the inquiry was conducted.
The Orissa High Court has emphasised that the principles of fairness and impartiality must be adhered to before terminating the employment of a contractual worker.
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