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Discharge During Probationary Period If Found Unsuitable For Job: Supreme Court

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on October 19, 2023

The Supreme Court distinguished between simpliciter and punitive termination, emphasizing that disciplinary termination requires a formal inquiry and an opportunity for the employee to be heard. The Court referred to its earlier decisions to clarify that it's punitive if an inquiry aims to uncover misconduct and leads to termination. In contrast, if it assesses an employee's suitability for a job, it's simpliciter termination. The Court heard an appeal involving the discharge of a probationary constable and upheld the discharge, stating that it wasn't punitive but based on the employee's prolonged absence for training without any intimation.

The authority found that the probationer constable had no interest in training, and no sense of responsibility, hence, he could not prove himself a good, efficient police officer. The Court highlighted that termination orders must be clear and specific to impute misconduct, and in this case, the discharge was simple. Therefore, the Court allowed the appeal and rejected the previous judgments in favor of the employee.

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