Court orders PNB to pay fine to Employee for harassment over unfair transfer

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The Calcutta High Court recently directed the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to pay a compensation of ₹3 lakh to a bank official with a disability of 70 percent. The court found the bank’s conduct towards the official to be “reprehensible”.

Background of the case

The bank official, Anirban Pal, had suffered a motor accident in 2015, resulting in a disability of 70 percent. In 2018, after seeing two of his colleagues with disabilities being promoted without transfer, Pal participated in the promotion process himself. Although he was successful in the promotion, he was issued transfer orders to Patna. Pal requested reconsideration, citing the lack of a caregiver in Patna, but the PNB declined his request and insisted that he leave for Patna.

Court’s observations and order

The Calcutta High Court took a serious view of the bank’s refusal to retain Pal in Calcutta upon promotion and its non-consideration of his repeated requests to be brought back from Patna. The court ordered the Chairman of PNB, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, the Central government, and the Vigilance Commissioner to take appropriate disciplinary action against those responsible for the actions against Pal.

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The court also directed that appropriate measures be taken to sensitize officials of all public sector banks regarding the “Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016” and the special rules of the bank in that regard.

Court’s criticism of the bank’s conduct

The court criticized the bank for its conduct in the case, noting that four officers in the Scale-IV category had been transferred to Calcutta upon promotion in 2018. The bank’s claim that there was no vacancy in Calcutta to accommodate Pal on promotion was deemed false and dishonest by the court. The court also stated that Pal could have been accommodated in Calcutta by invoking the bank’s transfer policy for physically disabled officers.

Court’s comments on the bank’s violation of its own policies

The court observed that the bank’s conduct was in violation of its own transfer policy and the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016. It noted that the bank did not need an order from the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities since it had its own guidelines against transferring persons with disabilities, even on promotion. The court expressed doubts about the bank’s bona fides and suggested that Pal’s continuous request for reposting in Calcutta may have ruffled the misplaced egoistic feathers of his superiors. It criticized this malaise in hierarchies of public sector banks and other organizations, which impacts the growth and well-being of the organization and its employees.

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Court’s decision and costs imposed on the bank

Although the court refused to grant Pal’s prayer for restoration of promotion, it found the bank’s conduct against him to be reprehensible. As a result, the court imposed costs of ₹3 lakh on the bank, which it ordered to be paid to Pal within three weeks.

Conclusion

The Calcutta High Court’s recent decision directed the Punjab National Bank to pay compensation to a bank official with a disability for its reprehensible conduct. The court also criticized the bank for violating its own transfer policy and the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016. This case highlights the importance of sensitizing officials of public sector banks about the rights and needs of persons with disabilities.

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Comments

16 COMMENTS

  1. The responsible officer for deviating guidelines and circulars of the bank should be issued arrest warrant fir wasting valuable executive time in personal interest

  2. Perhaps this victim has not understood the mindset of the banking officer above. Most of the bribe takers sitting at the top of the bank are lazy and sit as the owner of the bank.

    • Absolutely agree with you , these senior officials are always responsible for a public sector undertaking failing , but they eat the cream & run away with resources to other favourable positions , while the organisation & employees suffer

  3. Bank should recover the amount of fine imposed from the concerned officer/authority and also take suitable action as per guidelines.

    • The court could have restored his promotion instead of compensation. In our country even when CMs are arrested and appear in Courts no bank executive is ever taken to the court and punished in many such cases and that makes them to believe that they are uncrowned kings. This particular matter would have happened with the knowledge of concerned executive and I believe he was not even questioned by the Court.

  4. Mr. Vivek constitution and fundamental rights are applicable for differently abled persons. CVC guidelines also may be applicable, but he must be posted near by his place of choice thats all

  5. In patna zone there are also transfer irregularities.No transfer policies are abided by Most of the bribe takers sitting at the top of the bank.Really this is also the questionable topics which not only demotivate employees but also burial vault for organization

  6. जब पाप का घड़ा भर जाता है तो उसका फूटना लाजमी है ।

  7. I have 40 percent disability and i have same kind of condition I’m trying from 4 years to get permanent transfer in patna but they are not responding to it so if someone has any kind suggestion then please suggest me

  8. The transfer policy in each bank is well defined and there are special provisions for married lady, persons with disabilities for posting on request transfer or on promotional transfer. These norms are well documented. As such there should not be any violation of laid down norms. It seems in the instant case either the provisions are overlooked deliberately by the official or simply ignored. If there is any confusion or doubt in posting a disabled person the official concerned should have taken concurrence of higher official before issuance of orders to avoid unnecessary litigation.

  9. Same situation in state bank of India.Myself also facing same issue .I have condition of hearing impairment more than 50% .After promotion I was also transferred to another city while there were so many branches was having vacant position. I submitted my representation against my transfer posting through proper channel but management declined with remark “due to administrative reason”.

  10. I am also being suffered from same problem.
    I got promoted to Scale II (Agriculture Officer) after 10 years of my service.
    I am also being transfered 350 km from my town.

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