STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while upholding the suspension of Executive Officer Sarfaraz Ahmed Bhat, held that Rule 31 of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1956, empowers the competent authority to suspend an employee to prevent him/her from functioning on the post held by him/her in case of contemplated enquiry into his/ her conduct or during the pendency of a departmental inquiry or a criminal proceeding. The court observed that bare perusal of the provision of law reveals that the appointing authority or any authority to which it is subordinate or any other authority empowered by the Government, on this behalf, has the power to place a Government servant under suspension where an inquiry into his/her conduct is contemplated or is pending and/ or if a complaint against a Government servant of any criminal offence is under investigation or trial. “In the case on hand, the respondent Department, in pursuance of various complaints of irregularities in financial procedures, building permission and other issues received from different quarters, ordered an enquiry to be conducted into the affairs of the Municipal Council, Anantnag, vide order No. DULB/Estt/84-II/588 of 2019 dated April 23, 2019. Thereafter, the enquiry was conducted and the enquiry committee submitted its report/ findings/ recommendations in the matter vide No. DULB/Estt/9596 dated May 15, 2019. Finally, the Government, vide Government Order No.153-HUD of 2019 dated July 4, 2019, on the basis of preliminary enquiry report submitted by the enquiry committee and pending further inquiry into the alleged charge of misappropriation, irregularities in financial transaction, gross negligence and misconduct, has placed the petitioner, along with others, under suspension. In this backdrop, the respondents appear to have followed the procedure in vogue in the process of placing the petitioner under suspension pending further inquiry into the charges of misappropriation, irregularities in financial transaction, gross negligence and misconduct”, the court observed. With these observations, court dismissed the petition and also clarified that this court has not expressed any opinion insofar as the merits of the departmental enquiry case pending against the petitioner is concerned. “It is required to be investigated into and proceeded in accordance with law by the Competent Authority”, the court observed.
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