Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dr. I. Ismail V. K. Shameem Rani October 30, 2015.


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CIVIL APPEAL NOS.9149-9150  OF 2015
   [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos.26425-26426 of 2014]

Dr. I. Ismail                            ..       Appellant


K. Shameem Rani & Anr.             ..      Respondents

                               J U D G M E N T


  1.  Leave granted.

2.    These appeals  are  preferred  against  the  judgment  dated  9.2.2011
passed by the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court in  Writ  Appeal  (MD)  No.
295 of 2010 and order dated 30.6.2014 passed in Review Application (MD)  No.
84 of 2012.

3.    The facts in brief are as follows: The  appellant  joined  the  second
respondent College as Assistant Professor in the year 1978 and was  promoted
 as Professor in the year 1988.  He was appointed as Principal in  the  year
1999.  A charge memo containing 31 charges was served on  the  appellant  on
30.8.2003.  The first 9  charges  related  to  harassment  including  sexual
harassment based on the complaint given by the first  respondent  and  other
charges related to misuse of  power,  insubordination  and  misappropriation
etc.  A retired District Judge was  appointed as Enquiry Officer  and  after
a detailed inquiry, he submitted report holding that  the  charges  levelled
against  the appellant were proved except charge nos. 4, 10 to  15,  23  and
25.  After following the procedure an order of removal dated  2.12.2005  was
passed by the second respondent college and  the  appellant  challenged  the
said order in  WP  No.  11618  of  2005  before  the  High  Court.   In  the
meanwhile,  new  governing  body  for  the  second  respondent  college  was
constituted on 25.6.2006 and it passed resolution on 29.5.2006  and  ordered
to reinstate the appellant with consequential benefits.  The  appellant  re-
joined the service and withdrew his writ petition on 12.7.2006.

4.    An old student of the second respondent college  filed  writ  petition
by way of public interest questioning the  order  of  reinstatement  of  the
appellant and the first respondent herein also filed another  writ  petition
challenging the reinstatement and both the  writ  petitions  were  heard  by
Division Bench of the High Court along with another writ petition  filed  by
the appellant challenging  the  order  dated  21.7.2008  of  the  management
accepting his  voluntary  retirement  request.   By  common  judgment  dated
30.9.2009, the Division Bench dismissed the public  interest  writ  petition
as well as the writ petition filed by the appellant  and  allowed  the  writ
petition filed by the first respondent herein and set  aside  the  order  of
reinstatement of the appellant.  Aggrieved by the same, appellant  preferred
special leave petitions in S.L.P. Nos. 35065 and  35066  of  2009  and  this
Court dismissed the petitions on  25.1.2010.   However,  the  appellant  was
granted liberty to renew his challenge  to  the  order  dated  2.12.2005  in
accordance with law.

5.    The appellant filed  writ  petition  in  WP  (MB)  No.  1132  of  2010
challenging the removal order dated 2.12.2005 and the Single Judge by  order
dated 21.4.2010 allowed the writ petition  on  the  short  ground  that  the
committee had not been constituted as per the  judgment  of  this  Court  in
Vishaka Vs. State of Rajasthan and Ors. ( 1997  (6) SCC 241)    to  consider
the charge of sexual harassment in the work  place.   The  first  respondent
herein challenged the said order by preferring writ appeal in  WA  (MD)  No.
295 of 2010 and Division Bench of the High  Court  held  that  most  of  the
charges  including sexual harassment  were  found  proved  by  the   Enquiry
Officer and the report was accepted by the  management  and  having  noticed
the gravity of the proved charges, the  governing  body  in  its  resolution
dated 2.12.2005 passed the order of removal of the  appellant  from  service
and the issue has already been decided  and  the  removal  order  was  found
valid and ordered  to  be  restored  by  setting  aside  the  order  of  the
reinstatement  and the said judgment of  the  earlier   Division  Bench  has
become final and consequently  allowed  the writ  appeal and  dismissed  the
writ petition filed by the appellant.  The appellant filed  review  petition
and the same was dismissed.  Challenging the impugned judgment  as  well  as
the order in review these appeals have been preferred.

6.    We heard the submissions of Mr. Nagendra Rai, learned  senior  counsel
appearing for the appellant and Mr. J.M. Khanna, learned  counsel  appearing
for the respondents.

7.    There is inordinate delay of 1186 days in filing the SLPs.   By  order
dated 29.8.2014 this Court issued notice on the application for  condonation
of delay as well as  on  the  special  leave  petition.    In  the  petition
seeking for condonation of delay it is stated that  the  Division  Bench  of
the High Court rendered its judgment dated 9.2.2011, and then the  appellant
filed review   petition  and that also came to be dismissed  and  hence  the
delay has occurred in  filing the  SLPs.  There is gross delay of almost  3½
years in challenging the  judgment  rendered  in  the  writ  appeal  and  no
explanation much less cogent explanation has been given  by  the  appellant.
There is no reason to condone the delay.  Even otherwise on merits  also  no
case is made out for interference by this Court.    The  Division  Bench  of
the High Court has elaborately considered the issues including the issue  of
res judicata and concluded that the order of removal of the appellant  dated
2.12.2005 is proper and valid  and  upheld  the  same.   We  find  no  legal
infirmity in the impugned judgment.

8.    The appeals are dismissed on  the  ground  of  delay  as  well  as  on
merits.  No costs.

                                                                (M.Y. Eqbal)

                                                               (C. Nagappan)

New Delhi;
October 30, 2015.

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