STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: In another jolt to State in dead-wood case, a Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar dismissed the LPA filed by the State against the judgment of Writ Court whereby Writ Court quashed the Government order regarding premature retirement of Abdul Majid Wani Patwari.
Division Bench observed that it may be stated that if this contention of the State as submitted by the Advocate General that registration of a criminal case of corruption against the respondent, pursuant to a trap laid by the Vigilance Organization was sufficient material for the Government to formulate an opinion that it was not in public interest to permit the respondent to continue in service is accepted then it would mean that whenever an employee is booked for commission of offences under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act pursuant to a trap laid, it would be presumed that the such public servant would be ultimately or at least invariably be convicted and thus would necessarily entail his dismissal.
Division Bench further observed that such hypothesis or supposition cannot be countenanced. “Had it been so, the rule making authority would have normally provided in the rule itself that if an employee is booked for a particular type of offence committed, under specified circumstances, he would lose his appointment or that he could be presumed to be a person of doubtful integrity and, therefore, liable to be compulsorily retired”, the court observed.
“For another reason also, the contention of Advocate General cannot be accepted, in that, Regulation 226 (2) of CSR read with Instructions appended thereto lay great emphasis on consideration of the whole service record of the public servant. While considering the desirability of retention or otherwise of a public servant whose conduct has come under scrutiny, a criminal case including the one registered upon trap laid by the Vigilance Organization would definitely form relevant material, as held by the Supreme Court in Suryakant Chunilal Shah’s case but, to say that the Government can retire a public servant compulsory solely on the basis of registration of a criminal case of corruption, would be abhorrent to the very object of compulsory retirement which has been authoritatively held in a catena of judicial decisions that it cannot be punitive nor can it be resorted to as a substitute for a regular inquiry or a criminal trial”, the court observed adding that mere registration of an FIR is not proof of guilt which can only be established in a full-fledged trial to be held in a criminal court. With these observations Division Bench upheld the judgment of Writ Court and dismissed the appeal.
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