Court dismisses case of unfair dismissal

The Employment Relations Court has dismissed a case of unlawful and unfair dismissal brought by former USP vice president-administration Dr Dilawar Grewal against USP.

Dr Grewal’s services were terminated on June 13, 2016 on charges of gross misconduct after it was discovered he had forwarded a confidential email to a third party and that the same email was made public on the internet.

“Grewal says that the meeting minutes were not a confidential document because it was not marked confidential, and since it contains issues about him and his performance, he had the right over the document and he could disclose the same to whoever he wanted,” stated Justice Anjala Wati in her September 15 ruling.

“The meeting minutes may not have been marked confidential but it was an internal document that not only discussed Grewal’s performance but other university matters such as confidentiality and cohesiveness in the senior management team and issues relating to the university quarters which was USP’s internal matter.

“There was no need for the university to tell Grewal that the document was confidential or that there be a marking on the document that it was confidential.

“Any employee would know that meeting minutes of any institution are confidential regardless of what was discussed or who was discussed. It is highly concerning that Grewal does not accept this position. He wants the meeting minutes to be marked confidential when it ought to be obvious to him that the minute was confidential.

“I do not agree with Grewal that the procedure was not followed. An investigation was carried out, Grewal was asked to respond, and given the investigation report and after considering Grewal’s response the employer was of the view that Grewal had been guilty of gross misconduct.

“I dismiss the plaintiff’s (Dr Grewal’s) claim against the defendant (USP) and the defendant’s counterclaim against the plaintiff. I order each party to bear their own costs of the proceedings.”

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