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Under Article 32 We Can't Go Into Issues Of Facts: Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Bank Employee's Challenge To 'Vindictive' Transfer

Mehal Jain
24 Nov 2020 1:52 PM GMT
Under Article 32 We Cant Go Into Issues Of Facts: Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain Bank Employees Challenge To Vindictive Transfer
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"Under Article 32 jurisdiction, we cannot go into issues of facts. If we function like this, our court system will collapse", said the Supreme Court on Tuesday.The bench of Justices U. U. Lalit, Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat was hearing a writ petition by a Yes Bank employee, Shilesh Sivasankaran, challenging his transfer as being vindictive for having blown the whistle on the bank, seeking...

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"Under Article 32 jurisdiction, we cannot go into issues of facts. If we function like this, our court system will collapse", said the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The bench of Justices U. U. Lalit, Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat was hearing a writ petition by a Yes Bank employee, Shilesh Sivasankaran, challenging his transfer as being vindictive for having blown the whistle on the bank, seeking a mandamus to the RBI to investigate the matter.
"You are not the only one. If we function like this, our court system will collapse. There are plenty of forums- if you are a workman, you can either go under the Industrial Disputes Act or come in a suit", said Justice Bhat.
"Your grievance is that you were moved out of your original assignment and transferred to a different post? But you can't move the Supreme Court under 32 for this, bypassing all other courts! The law is anyway settled that in matters of routine transfers, the courts shall not ordinarily interfere. Besides, you are an employee of Yes bank, which is a private sector bank. So we can't interfere under Article 32", observed Justice Lalit.
"You are saying the transfer was vindictive? That is an issue of fact and a finding needs to be rendered on it. We cannot go into this under 32, not for the first time. You withdraw the plea or we will have to dismiss it", continued the judge.
"Your Lordships may dismiss it if you please. But I will leave with a heavy heart that I have been deprived of justice...This is a matter of my life and livelihood! It is known that I blew the whistle on the bank and 9 months later, the bank collapsed! This is not a normal transfer order- I have it on record that I was threatened that I will be transferred and my career will be ruined! Tomorrow, they will even terminate me! I have expertise in PMLA and now I have been transferred to an unknown domain of FEMA which will take me 10 years to master! I blew the whistle in good faith in the interest of investors and depositors! If Your Lordships don't protect me, who will blow the whistle ever? We know there are frauds by banks' managements everyday!", urged the petitioner-in-person.
"PMLA and FEMA are sort of connected. People in banking these days are expected to imbibe expertise in all fields", noted Justice Lalit.
"Don't make up adjectives. Where is your life under threat? How is your livelihood under threat? You have only been transferred from post A to post B. If you say the transfer is vindictive, then the issues need a factual assessment and analysis, and in our jurisdiction under 32, it is not possible to determine whether it was vindictive or not", remarked Justice Lalit.
"In 32, the Supreme Court is not expected to go into issues of facts. All these questions may be agitated in a properly instituted proceeding", ordered the bench.
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