The Manipur High Court has pointed out that 107 (118) employees of Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) were appointed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order.
Earlier this week on Tuesday, Justice Ahanthem Bimol pointed out that appointments of 107 (118) employees of MPCB was done before the order of the NGT as the appointments were issued in 2018 whereas the judgment and order of the NGT and the convey letter of the state government for appointment were given only on February 5, 2021 and February 26, 2021 respectively.
The Manipur High Court pointed out the matter while passing judgment on a petition filed by former chairman of MPCB, Laishram Radhakishore, challenging two orders, terminating his service as chairman and appointment of new chairman.
The petitioner stated that the term of the chairman of MPCB is of three years with effect from the date of appointment and that the state government cannot terminate his service before completion of the tenure of his service; that termination order was against the court direction; that 107 (118) employees in the MPCB as per the direction given by the NGT and in terms of the convey letter of the government, he did not commit any illegality in making such appointment and as such, he cannot be penalised by terminating his service and the scale of Rs 3,300 as mentioned under proviso to Rule 23 of the said Rule was increased from time to time under the Revision of Pay Rules issued by the government from time to time.
Since all the pay scale of the 107 (118) employees are below the revised pay scale, there is no requirements to obtain prior sanction of the government before appointing them, especially when the Board has absolute and unfettered power to create posts and make recruitment without seeking approval of the government, if financial burdens are taken by the Board.
The High Court stated that the former chairman appointed as many as 107 (118) persons in different capacities in the board without following the procedure for public employment and without obtaining prior sanction of the government.
It also stated that since the monthly emoluments of appointed employees are above Rs 3,300, the former chairman required to obtain prior sanction of the state government before making such appointment in terms of the mandatory provisions under the proviso to Rule 23.
However, the former chairman failed to obtain prior sanction, therefore, the state authorities issued a memorandum on September 9, 2022 raising allegations against him with a written explanation.
After considering his explanation, the authorities terminated him in exercise of the power conferred under Section 6 (1) (g) under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. The authorities strictly followed the due procedures of law provided under Section 5 (3) or under Section 6 (2) of the act.
The HC after considering the facts stated that all the appointment orders of 107 (118) employees were issued in 2018 whereas the judgment and order of the National Green Tribunal and the convey letter of the state government were given only on 05.02.2021 and 26.02.2021 respectively.
So, there is a fallacy that the former chairman issued all the appointment orders as per direction given by the National Green Tribunal and in terms of the convey letter of the state government, the HC opined.
Former chairman failed to point out any relevant provisions under the various revision of pay rules issued by the state government, revising the pay scale of the posts against which 107 (118) employees have been appointed. Moreover, as none of the posts held by the 107 (118) employees of the board are included or mentioned in any of the revision of pay rules produced by the former chairman.
The HC opined that the court did not accept the bald statement made by former chairman that the scale of pay of Rs 3,300 mentioned in the proviso to Rule 23 of the Rules had been revised from time to time under various ROPs issued by the government. Therefore, the HC dismissed the writ petition as being devoid of merit.