JAMMU, May 23: High Court today directed the Chief Secretary of the State to collect data from all the departments and autonomous bodies about the employees who have been placed under suspension and take appropriate action in such cases within a period of four months from the date of receipt of copy of the order.
The direction was passed by Justice Rajesh Bindal while deciding a petition filed by Bal Krishan Bhat, who sought quashment of suspension order allegedly issued in May, 1977, with a further prayer to grant him all consequential benefits by treating the order of suspension as non-est.
“This case was fit for ordering action against the officers for their inaction, however, the matter being about four decades old and there being number of officers who may be responsible, this court is not passing any order in that regard but this may be treated as a warning that action may be taken in future if such a matter comes before the court”, Justice Bindal said.
“The conduct of the investigating and the prosecuting agency also needs to be commented upon. Investigation in the FIR, which was registered way back in the year 1977, was not completed for a period of nine years. The first challan, as pleaded was presented in the year 1986, which was not complete. Despite directions by the court for presentation of separate challans, needful was not done. Ultimately the court had to consign the challan to record with liberty to get the same revived in case fresh challans were filed”, Justice Bindal further said.
Thereafter the prosecuting agency kept quiet as no further efforts were made as if there were no responsible officers to take any case registered to its logical end, which could be a message to other employees who may be indulging in misappropriation of State money, High Court observed, adding “they have miserably failed in discharge of their official duty. This failure is in fact a result of non-monitoring of the cases registered in the State by the persons responsible”.
The Director General of Police and Director Prosecution and Litigation who are responsible for investigation and prosecution of the cases, shall get complete data of the criminal cases registered in which challans have not been presented within the period prescribed and examine the reasons there for, High Court directed, adding “responsible officers shall be appointed to expedite investigation wherever required to lead the same to its logical end, otherwise this only leads to adverse inference”.