New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who had undergone miscarriages is entitled to a different treatment, while quashing the termination of an employee sacked by Punjab National Bank for not clearing the mandatory test for confirmation.
A bench of Justices S B Sinha and V S Sirpurkar felt that the action of the bank in terminating the services of the employee Astamija Dash for not clearing the "confirmation test" was arbitrary as it had adopted a different yardstick in the case of another employee.
"A woman who had undergone miscarriages, in our opinion was entitled to a different treatment," the apex court observed.
According to the appointment order issued on July 28, 1986, Dash, who was appointed as a management trainee with one of its branch in Orissa, was to be on a training/probation period for two years and subject to satisfactory training and passing the confirmation test conducted by the bank.
However, in the first confirmation test held on May 29, 1988, Dash could not pass the test. She was asked to appear for another test on October 1, 1989, but she expressed inability to take the test as she was pregnant.
Subsequently, she had two miscarriages. Again she was asked to appear for the confirmation test on August 19, 1990, but Dash failed to clear the test following which her services were terminated despite the fact that she had completed her two year probation period.
Dash's plea that she be given a fourth opportunity on par with her colleague, was turned down by the management following which she filed a petition in the Orissa High Court.
The High Court ordered her reinstatement, upon which the bank appealed in the apex court.