Mohamed Imranullah S.
Criminal proceedings, departmental action travel on two different planes: court
MADURAI: Government employees can be subjected to disciplinary proceedings even after being acquitted of same charges in a criminal case, the Madras High Court has ruled.
Dismissing a writ appeal filed by a Sub-Registrar, a Division Bench, comprising Justices F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla and S. Palanivelu, said, “Criminal proceedings and departmental action travel on two different planes and the parameters applied in them vary in very many degrees.”
The Bench relied upon a Supreme Court judgment in the Noida Entrepreneurs Association Case (2007), wherein it was held that the standard of proof to substantiate a criminal charge was different from the evidence required in departmental proceedings.
Criminal proceedings are decided as per the Indian Evidence Act and departmental proceedings, under relevant statutory rules.
The Sub-Registrar was charged with registering fake documents and working overnight on a particular day to register 27 documents.
He sought to set aside the disciplinary proceedings on the ground that the First Information Report (FIR) against him had been quashed by the High Court.
The appellant also contended that he was fully authorised to remain in office until registering all documents that were received before working hours.
To this, the judges said, “These are matters which have to be examined with particular reference to the evidence placed before the enquiring authority. It will be highly pre-mature at this stage to take any final conclusion based on the averments made in the affidavit.”
© Copyright 2000 - 2007 The Hindu