Voluntarily Refunding the Defrauded Amount by an Employee does not Warrant Leniency

The Supreme Court (‘SC’) set aside the order, by the High Court of Judicature at Madras (‘MHC’), substituting the removal of an employee to that of compulsory retirement, and held that the punishment imposed by a disciplinary authority can’t be substituted merely on grounds that the employee had voluntarily deposited the defrauded amount. The SC observed that: “Being a public servant in the post office, the delinquent officer was holding the post of trust. Merely because subsequently the employee had deposited the defrauded amount and therefore there was no loss caused to the department cannot be a ground to take a lenient view and/or to show undue sympathy in favour of such an employee.