Chargesheeted employee has no right to be represented: SC

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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that a chargesheeted employee has no legal right to be represented by a counsel or any other person of his choice during an inquiry.

A bench comprising Justices H K Sema and Markandey Katju, while upholding the validity of rule 153 (8) of the Railway Protection Force Rules 1987 observed, ''Following the above decision it has to be held that there is no vested or absolute right in any chargesheeted employee to representation either through a counsel or any person unless the statute or rules/standing orders provide for such a right.

Moreover, the right to representation through someone, even if granted by the rules, can be granted as a restricted or controlled right. Refusal to grant representation through an agent does not violate the principles of natural justice.

In the present case rule 153 (8) only provides for assistance to the chargesheeted employee by an agent. Thus a restricted right of representation has been granted by rule 153 (8).

Even if no right of assistance had been granted by the rules, there would no illegality or unconstitutionality.

How then can it be said that when a restricted right is granted, the said restricted right is unconstitutional?'' The apex court, while setting aside the judgement of Andhra Pradesh court dated September 7, 2001 allowed the appeal of DG RPF and others. High Court had struck down the rule 153 (8).

RPF employee K Raghuram Babu was placed under suspension on September 18 1995 on the allegation that he made excess delivery of scrap worth about Rs 10000.

UNI SC SK KN1756

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