CHENNAI: Holding that punishment handed for misconduct must be proportionate with the gravity of charges, the Madras High Court upheld a labour court order reinstating a dismissed SBI employee with a drop in pay grade.
“The previous conduct of he employee throughout his services is also to be taken into consideration, while imposing removal from service. Therefore, a balancing approach in between reformation and deterrence is to be adopted,” said Justice SM Subramaniam.
Although the disciplinary authorities are competent to impose any penalty under rules, the high court can exercise judicial review to interfere with the quantum of punishment if it is excessive, he said, while dismissing the appeals filed by SBI against the order of the labour court.
The appeal was filed against the verdict of the Central Industrial Tribunal cum Labour Court, Chennai, reinstating special assistant Ramamoorthi, who was sacked in 2016 for holding a sit-in dharna at the administrative office of SBI in Madurai, after he was transferred. The labour court, while directing SBI to reinstate him, ordered to reduce his scale of pay a grade lower.