New Delhi: Vigilance or other inquiries
cannot be ordered by courts on assumptions or conjectures,
the Supreme Court has said quashing a Patna High Court`s
order for a vigilance inquiry into alleged misconduct of
officials from the Bihar State Housing Board.
"Normally, the function of the court is to sort out the
dispute raised and only in exceptional cases, that too when
adequate material is there, that such an inquiry can be
ordered but not on the basis of general information,
assumption or presumption.
"In the light of the above discussion, we are
satisfied that the direction relating to the inquiry by the
Vigilance Department and subsequent orders and directions by
the learned single Judge cannot be sustained," a bench of
justices P Sathasivam and H L Gokhale said.
A single judge of the high court had ordered the
vigilance inquiry against the officials while dealing with a
case of widow Asha Lata Verma who alleged the Board had
slapped her with an inflated demand notice for a MIG Flat,
although her late husband and paid all the instalments.
She submitted the flat was subsequently transferred in
her name and later she re-transferred it in the name of her
daughter-in-law when the inflated demand for over Rs 3.5 lakh
The high court, after quashing the demand notice, sought
an inquiry into the activities of all persons who are involved
in the decision-making process as well as who have been
responsible in creating false accounts and raising false
Aggrieved, the Board had appealed in the apex court.
"If there is any specific complaint giving all the
details, undoubtedly, the court can forward it to the forum
concerned for investigation and further action pursuant to the
outcome of the same.
"Merely on the basis of certain observations in the
orders of the High Court in other matters which were either
set aside or modified or not applicable to the case on hand,
the learned single Judge was not justified in issuing
directions for vigilance inquiry, the bench said.