Criminal proceedings and departmental inquiry are on different planes and the conclusion of one does not vitiate the other.

In a Supreme Court case, State Bank of India and others are questioning whether clause 4 of a 2002 Memorandum of Settlement prevents departmental proceedings against an employee when they are facing criminal charges. The case revolves around the dismissal of an employee, who filed a writ petition against it, and the subsequent legal proceedings.

The Supreme Court found that clause 4 of the Memorandum does not completely halt departmental proceedings during criminal cases but suggests a stay. Acquittal in criminal cases does not automatically lead to discharge in departmental proceedings. The Court emphasized that each case should be evaluated individually.

The Court also highlighted that the delinquent employee did not rely on the Memorandum during the inquiry process, and there was no specific time frame mentioned for the trial. Therefore, the Court upheld the bank’s decision to dismiss the employee and stressed the importance of bank employees protecting the bank’s interests.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court overturned previous judgments and allowed the dismissal of the employee to stand, clarifying the interpretation of clause 4 of the Memorandum of Settlement.

decided by the Supreme Court on October 3, 2023


Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.