Govt employee can’t be denied promotion on ground of quarrel with wife: Madras High Court

Chennai: Madras High Court has held that a government employee cannot be deprived of promotion on the ground that there is some family quarrel between him and his wife.

Justice D Hariparanthaman
Justice D Hariparanthaman
Justice D Hariparanthaman was disposing of a petition filed by one A Velusamy working as an Assistant Audit officer in the Chief Internal Audit officer, Audit Branch, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), Chennai.

The petitioner had sought a direction to authorities to include his name in the panel for promotion to the post of Internal Audit officer.

In his order, the judge said “If there is only some family dispute between the petitioner and his wife relating to their marriage, the same cannot be put against the petitioner for promotion. Even if a private complaint for bigamy is pending, I am of the view that the same cannot be put against the petitioner.”

“It is a different matter if the allegation is made by the wife that the petitioner assaulted her and a criminal case is pending under IPC or a FIR is registered.”

A divorce petition is pending in Principal Subordinate Judge’s Court, Tiruchirappalli. His wife has also filed for restitution of conjugal rights and it was dismissed on December 23, 2010.

She filed a private complaint before the Jurisdictional Magistrate alleging that Velusamy got married while marriage with her was in subsistence. Based on the complaint his name was not included in the Panel of Assistant Audit Officer for promotion to the post of Internal Audit officer for 2014-15. He was placed under suspension on August 1, 2011 but later it was revoked on January 23, 2012.

But no annual increment was sanctioned to him, the petitioner submitted, adding, representation to authorities did not evoke any response following which he filed the plea.

“Once the petitioner was restored to duty he has to earn the increments automatically. Therefore, there is no reason for the authorities in not granting the annual increments to him. The annual increments could be declined only when there is a punishment that would be operating against him. It is not so.Hence, I am of the view that the authorities shall also sanction the increments to which he is entitled to.”

The judge directed the authorities to dispose of his representation of in connection with inclusion of his name in the panel for promotion and also directed the authorities to pay the annual increments within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of the order.