Supreme Court- “No leniency to the corrupt worker”

In the past several years, there has been a steady increase in corruption cases in India. In a recent judgment [1], Supreme Court bench adopted a strict “No Leniency” approach while awarding punishment to a corrupt employee. The Court’s remark came while dismissing the services of a conductor employed by Uttar Pradesh State Transport Corporation for carrying 25 ticketless passengers, thereby pocketing the money in 1992.

The Division Bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant stated that when the workman shatters the “institutional trust”, his act has the potential to corrode the faith and belief of the employer. It was further held that it is not the quantum per se but the breach of trust with reference to duty and obligation of the employee that must be the edifice of consideration for imposition of punishment.

According to the SC, both the Labour Court and the Allahabad High Court delivered an erroneous order by imposing a lesser punishment on the conductor, whereas the only punishment should have been dismissal, as it has caused a loss financial to the corporation. The Supreme Court stated that the delinquent employee has harbored an act that is reprehensible and such a situation does not even remotely commend any lenience.

Therefore, the Award passed by the Labour Court and the Allahabad High Court was set aside and the order of dismissal imposed by the Corporation is restored.


[1] U.P. State Road Transport Corp. & Anr. v Gopal Shukla & Anr. 2015(9) SCALE 567