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Charged with manhandling AG's office staff
Also accused of rule violation by taking part in a stir
Kochi: The Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulam Bench, on Wednesday set aside the dismissal of K.A. Manuel from the post of Section Officer, office of the Principal Accountant General (Audit), Thiruvananthapuram.
The Bench comprising Justice K. Thankappan, judicial member, and K. George Joseph, administrative member, also directed the Union government and Comptroller and Auditor General of India to reinstate him in service forthwith with all consequential benefits.
A recent State Cabinet decision to appoint Mr. Manuel as a member of the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) had drawn flak from various quarters.
He had been dismissed from service on charges of manhandling and threatening an employee and violating conduct rules by participating in an agitation on the office premises in December 2006 in protest against suspension of an employee of the Accountant General Office. He was dismissed from service on the basis of the inquiry report submitted by the disciplinary authority.
The tribunal found that there was no evidence to hold that the demonstrations organised in protest against the suspension of an employee were illegal or could be called a strike or cessation of works in the office of the Accountant General.
No witness had stated that any office work had been affected by the agitation. Staging an agitation in response to a call from the service association of employees was not a violation of rules.
To have an association or a collective bargaining was permissible and within the fundamental right of employees guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution.
The tribunal observed that the finding of the inquiry authority that Mr. Manuel had threatened an employee on the office premises was not supported by any evidence. The tribunal concluded that the charges levelled against Mr. Manuel were not proved by any legally acceptable evidence. It observed that the disciplinary authority had not given any reason to accept the inquiry report. The authority had accepted the inquiry report without applying its mind.
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