Official`s present department fit to allow his trial: Court

An erring public servant can be allowed to be prosecuted by his present department even if he had committed the offence while working in a different department, a Delhi court has ruled.

Last Updated: May 17, 2011, 20:01 PM IST

New Delhi: An erring public servant can
be allowed to be prosecuted by his present department even if
he had committed the offence while working in a different
department, a Delhi court has ruled.

Special CBI Judge Dharmesh Sharma gave the ruling
while dismissing a plea by a government official, challenging
the grant of sanction to prosecute him by his present
department for an alleged offence that he had committed during
his tenure in another department, the Registrar of Cooperative
Societies (ROCS).

AK Shankaran, a former ROCS official presently
serving in Sushruta Trauma Centre, had challenged the grant of
sanction to prosecute him by it chief medical superintendent.

He had contended that the appropriate authority to
accord sanction to prosecute him was the ROCS itself, where he
had allegedly committed the offence during his tenure between
1991 and 98.

Special CBI judge Dharmesh Sharma held that an errant
public servant can be prosecuted with the sanction of a
competent authority in the office he is holding when the
matter comes to court and not the authority from the last
office where the alleged offence was committed.

"To determine the competent authority to remove the
public servant from service, his last appointment to the post
held by him at the relevant time only has to be taken into
consideration and not his initial or previous appointments,"
the judge said.

Shankaran had been chargesheeted by the CBI for
allegedly attesting, as an ROCS official between 1991-98, 48
wrong affidavits by the members of a defunct housing society -
Jai Bhagwan Cooperative Housing Society, and helping them in
generating a false report for revival of the society.

Shankaran had been chargesheeted by the CBI for
offences of cheating and corruption along with many of the
members of the housing society.

The trial court had taken note of the chargesheet
against him on the basis of sanction for trial granted by the
Chief Medical Officer of the Sushruta Trauma Centre, where he
was posted at the time of filing of the chargesheet.

Shankaran had assailed the cognisance taken by the
court contending that it was not the proper legal sanction.

"The registrar (ROCS) alone could have applied its
mind to the facts gathered by the State (CBI) as to whether or
not any offence was committed," Shankaran`s counsel RP Shukla
submitted.

But the court dismissed his contention saying, "In
this case, had the issue of grant of sanction been considered
by the ROCS, his opinion would hardly be of any significance
as Shankaran was not within his administrative and
disciplinary control, and thus the ROCS would not be having
any power to remove him."

PTI