Supreme court reinstates SGPC employee

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Old 04-May-2011
Supreme court reinstates SGPC employee

New Delhi May 4:

The Supreme Court today quashed an SGPC order terminating the services of assistant secretary Diljit Singh Bedi on February 28, 2008, following publication of some photographs in newspapers showing him in “embarrassing positions” with a woman, who he later claimed was his wife.

A Bench comprising Justices RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik held that the SGPC could dismiss an employee from service “only after the charges of misconduct are established in an inquiry conducted by an inquiry committee.” On April 3, 2008, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had upheld his removal from service, holding that Bedi had “not only defamed the SGPC but also brought a bad name to the entire community.”

The apex court noted that the December 1, 2007 inquiry report of the sub-committee constituted by the executive committee of the SGPC had accepted Bedi’s explanation that the woman was his wife. “Thus, without a finding in an inquiry that the appellant was guilty of conduct which had defamed the SGPC, the High Court could not have taken a view in the impugned order that the appellant had brought a bad name to the SGPC,” the SC Bench ruled.

“The order dated 28.02.2008 issued by the secretary of the SGPC terminating the services of the appellant is, therefore, not legally valid and is accordingly quashed. “The impugned order of the High Court is set aside,” the judgment written by Justice Patnaik for the Bench said.

While the SGPC sub-committee had accepted his explanation and recommended his reinstatement, Bedi was relieved from service on the ground that the resolution of the executive committee adopted on January 1, 2008, to reinstate him was not confirmed by the same committee at its meeting held on February 18, 2008. Bedi had come to the SC challenging the HC verdict.

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