Justices A.K. Goel and A.M. Khanwilkar have allowed the Civil Appeal, State of West Bengal v. Aswini Kumar Mahato (Civil Appeal No. 4689 of 2011) against a Calcutta High Court order in which it was held that once an employee retires on attaining the age of superannuation, the concerned authority has no jurisdiction to pass an order in a disciplinary proceeding since the master-servant relationship cannot exist after retirement.
An order of cut in pension is permissible as a punishment, under Proviso (a), Rule 10(1) of the West Bengal Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1971, even after an employee retires on attaining the age of superannuation provided he is found guilty of ‘grave misconduct or negligence’ during the period of his service.
Proceedings may continue against an employee, after the date of his retirement, on account of ‘grave misconduct or negligence’ and not only for pecuniary loss caused to the Government. Obviously, if such grave misconduct or negligence, entails pecuniary loss to the Government, the loss can also be ordered to be recovered from the concerned employee.