The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the National Commission for Schedule Castes (NCSC) on a petition seeking quashing of notice issued by the Commission, demanding physical presence of the Board of Directors of the Delhi State Cooperative Bank, without affording an opportunity to provide a written reply in response to the queries of the Commission.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh noted, “The Commission is not to harass people. The Commission is to go to the root of the matter, adjudicate and give findings on merit. Nobody is denying the right of the Commission to investigate.”
The Court opined, “All Directors of the petitioner, as well as Regional Directors of RBI or General Managers of NABARD, are not required to be physically present before the Commission. It would have very well served the purpose of the hearing of the Commission, if authorised persons, along with all relevant documents, are present before the Commission to answer any/all queries.”
In view of the above, the Court stayed the operation of the notice till the next date of hearing.
The petition before the Delhi High Court has been filed by the Delhi State Cooperative Bank, a registered co-operative bank, seeking directions to quash or set aside notice dated June 11, 2021, wherein the said Commission issued summons for the physical presence of the entire Board of Directors of the bank before the Commission on June 30, 2021.
The plea averred that the Commission issued a notice dated September 22, 2020, to the Managing Director of the bank, pursuant to a complaint filed by an employee of the bank, alleging harassment at the hands of the management of the bank.
It further averred that the said complaint was filed in response to a charge sheet issued by the bank against the said employee for alleged misconduct and breach of trust.
Furthermore, the plea averred that the bank, in its reply dated October 9, 2020, provided details to the Commission regarding the misconduct of the employee, and also informed the Commission that the matter was currently sub-judice before the Trial Court.
The plea alleged that the Commission continued the proceedings, even though the subject-matter of the complaint was sub-judice.
It said the reason for such summoning was the suo motu action taken by the Commission regarding the lack of reservation in the petitioner bank for the Scheduled Caste.
It was alleged that issuance of the notice was in violation of the powers conferred upon the Commission under Article 338 of the Constitution. The matter is deferred to July 30.