HYDERABAD: If a person has certain views, ideological or philosophical, or is a sympathiser of Maoists, it does not mean that he or she is a criminal or anti-social, the High Court has ruled.
Allowing a petition by B Mallikarjuna Reddy of Nulakapet in Guntur district challenging the order of State Bank of India terminating him from service, justice B Chandra Kumar held that if a person was punished merely because he had expressed certain views or if he was in possession of certain literature, it was nothing but violatiion of Article 19 of the Constitution.
Having certain ideology, views or expression of those views or mere singing songs of extremists cannot be treated as an offence, the court said.
Reddy was appointed as accountant and completed his six months of probation. The bank extended his probation for another three months and during that period it terminated his service on the ground that he had links with the banned party.
“No person can be punished merely because he has certain views, ideology or philosophy or even when he shares his views with others by writing, singing or making a public speech,” the judge said and directed the bank authorities to reinstate the petitioner in service with continuity of service.