Principle of Parity I

Equality means parity of treatment under parity of conditions. The rule of parity is the equal treatment of equals in equal circumstances.”

Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice A.N. Ray, State of Kerala v. N.M. Thomas, AIR 1976 SC 490.

The imposition of a penalty in disciplinary proceeding lies in the sole domain of the employer. Unless the penalty is found to be shockingly disproportionate to the charges which are proved, the element of discretion which is attributed to the employer cannot be interfered with. The nature and extent of a dereliction of duty and the consequences of the dereliction are significant matters which can legitimately be borne in mind by the disciplinary authority. In a matter of this nature, the principle of parity cannot be attracted. In seeking to apply the principle of parity, High Court has manifestly failed to notice the gravity of misconduct established against M. Mangayarkarasi was distinct from and of a more serious nature than what was found against the other employees. We have disapproved of the view of High Court on the question of parity.”

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, State of Tamil Nadu v. M. Mangayarkarasi, [Civil Appeal No. 11345 of 2018].