Paid Advise

Reinstatement after the acquittal in a criminal case

Shivendra Pratap Singh



Reading Time:

Question: I want to know whether reinstatement after the acquittal in a criminal case is possible. Some imported clothings was seized during the search operation. Those goods were kept in the godown operating under the control of the state government. After a few days all that goods were stolen and a criminal case was filed against me. Thereafter, a disciplinary proceeding was started against me and eventually I was terminated from the service. The trial court has acquitted me because the prosecution failed to prove the charges. What should I do for reinstatement after the judgement of the trial court?

Asked from: Andhra Pradesh

The standard of proof in criminal and disciplinary proceedings are entirely different. If the decision of departmental inquiry (DI) has no impediment then you cannot challenge it. When the findings of DI are based upon clinching evidence and without any patent defect, you cannot claim reinstatement only because of acquittal in the criminal case. 

The Supreme Court in Govind Das v. State of Bihar, (1997) 11 SCC 361 has held that “Since the standard of proof required to prove a charge of misconduct in departmental proceedings is not the same as that required to prove a criminal charge, the acquittal of the appellant in the criminal case, in these circumstances, could not, in our opinion, be made the basis for setting aside the order for termination of the services of the appellant passed in the disciplinary proceedings.”

The Supreme Court in A.P. SRTC v. Mohd. Yousuf Miya, (1997) 2 SCC 699 has held that “The enquiry in a departmental proceedings relates to conduct or breach of duty of the delinquent officer to punish him for his misconduct defined under the relevant statutory rules or law.” 

You have been found guilty in the disciplinary proceeding thereafter terminated from service, hence, you must claim reinstatement on the ground of illegality in the termination order. That illegality has nowhere connected with the findings of the criminal case. Thus, acquittal shall not form the basis of reinstatement. 

If there is apparent error in the departmental proceeding then you can seek quashing of the termination order. These are the basic grounds to challenge the veracity of disciplinary proceeding:

  • Termination order is unreasoned
  • Opportunity of hearing was not afforded.
  • Evidence was wrongly admitted.
  • Proceeding is held in the violation of principles of natural justice.
  • Charge sheet was not duly served.
  • The date and time of inquiry is not mentioned in the inquiry report. 

When the finding of the departmental inquiry is erroneous then you should move a writ petition in the High Court under Article 226 of Constitution. The High Court after quashing the punishment order i.e. order of termination, shall reinstate you along with all consequential benefits.     

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh


Practising lawyer in the High Court Lucknow. You can consult on Criminal, Civil, Matrimonial, Writ, Service matters, Property, Revenue and RERA related issues.

More For you

Departmental inquiry can be initiated after FIR

Question: Departmental inquiry has been initiated against me after the recording of FIR. That FIR is false and frivolous because it is very much influenced by the political vendetta. Since I am a General Manager (Project) and have issued several contracts to the...

Order of dismissal without giving any reason

Question: I have been dismissed on the oral complaint but nowhere that complaint is mentioned in the dismissal order. That order of dismissal was passed without giving any reason. The departmental inquiry is initiated without recording formal complaint and information...

Reduction of age criteria in bank examination

Question: Sir, recently the State Bank of India released notification for clerical posts. Till now for the age criteria the reference month is April, but this time without prior notice they've changed it to August. This will make many candidates who are born prior to...

Withholding of salary without any reason

Question: I've been on an unpaid service for last 3 months, progressing into 4th, purely on frivolous grounds, at the whims of accounting unit head,  without following due process of law, as laid down in Central Civil Services (Conduct) rules, without any...

Kanoonirai has been advising in legal issues since October 2014. You can consult a lawyer through online media, telephonic consultation and video conferencing.