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Permitting an Officer Guilty of Misconduct to continue in office is against Public Interest: Madhya Pradesh HC rejects Plea of Excise Commissioner [Read Order]

High Court of Madhya Pradesh - public interest - Taxscan

The High Court of Madhya Pradesh held that permitting a delinquent employee to continue at the same place where the Departmental Enquiry is held and misconduct is committed may not be in the interest of administration or in the public interest.

It is noticed that during the lockdown period due to COVID-19 effect, four persons had died by consuming poisonous liquor at Ratlam and the Respondent No. 4 is the in charge of the district has been prima-facie found to be careless in controlling the sale of illicit liquor in the district, therefore, he has been placed under suspension by the order dated 6th May 2020 passed in the name of the Governor exercising the power under Rule 9 of M.P. Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965.

The respondent, Jagdish Rathi was working as Assistant Commissioner, Excise, District Ratlam. He was placed under suspension and aggrieved with the same he had filed the petition. Meanwhile, the appellant was transferred to the post which had become vacant on account of the suspension of the writ petitioner.

The Single Judge by the order had stayed the operation of the order of suspension. The appellant had filed the intervention application along with the application for vacating of stay.

The Single Judge by order under challenge has allowed the writ petition and set aside the suspension order passed against the Respondent holding it to be a stigmatic order and also observing that the order does not mention that any departmental enquiry is contemplated against him and also making certain observations on the merits of the charge in favour of the Respondent.

The division bench of Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Vivek Rusia held that permitting a delinquent employee to continue at the same place where the Departmental Enquiry is held and misconduct is committed may not be in the interest of administration or in the public interest.

“The order of suspension should not be ordinarily interfered by the Court unless it has been passed mala-fide and without there being even a prima facie evidence connecting the delinquent with the misconduct,” the court observed.

The bench, therefore, pointed out that even if the employee concerned is not placed under suspension, then ordinarily it is in the public interest and interest of the administration and also in the interest of fair and transparent enquiry that the employee concerned is transferred from that place. Even otherwise decision relating to transfer is to be taken by the authority as per administrative exigency.

To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE
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