Allahabad HC reinstates aviation university registrar

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court has quashed the termination of the first registrar of Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU), Amethi, Jitendra Singh, and directed for his reinstatement within a month.
The order was passed by Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan on the petition of Singh.
The court directed the ministry of civil aviation to reinstate Singh on the post of registrar with all consequential service benefits in terms of his offer of appointment dated March 1, 2019, and ignore the employment notification for making appointment to the post of registrar.
Justice Chauhan, in his judgment, said that the petitioner be treated in service with back wages since his services were terminated by means of punitive and stigmatic orders.
However, Singh’s term of appointment should be governed with his appointment offer of March 1, 2019.
The court observed that a punitive order cannot be passed against the probationer without affording an opportunity of hearing in conformity with the principles of natural justice.
The court further held that the grounds mentioned for Singh’s termination were casting stigma against him and such an order was passed without conducting any factfinding inquiry.
Opposing the pleas, assistant solicitor general, SB Pandey, had argued that since the termination order was passed from the secretariat of the President of India, it was not amenable under the writ jurisdiction.
He added that a full-fledged departmental inquiry was not required and services of the probationer could be terminated by giving one month notice or a month’s salary.
The court, however, said that for RGNAU, the President of India is a statutory authority and the law is trite that the action of any statutory authority shall be subjected to judicial review.
The ministry of civil aviation had sacked Singh on January 8, 2020, and appointed Garima Singh, who holds the position of director in the civil aviation ministry.
Singh’s termination order stated three grounds for action – obstructing an officer appointed by the government from discharging his duties, fabricating a complaint of sexual harassment by involving two girl students of the university, and wilful insubordination and indiscipline by exhibiting defiance to the official orders.
Jitendra Singh had applied for the post on August 14, 2018, and was issued an appointment letter on March 1, 2019. He joined on April 8, 2019, with his three-year term ending on April 8, 2022.

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