New Delhi: A Delhi government woman
official, haunted for 18 long years by charges of
misappropriating ten boxes of biscuits which stalled her
promotion, can finally breath easy with Central Administrative
Tribunal quashing the probe against her which was launched
seven years after the actual incident.
A CAT bench of Justice P Swaroop Reddy and member
Veena Chhotray laid to rest the ghost of the missing biscuit
boxes by scrapping Delhi government`s July 2000 memorandum to
its Social Welfare Department official Rajbala Sharma accusing
her of misappropriating the food items meant for poor
children in 1993 while working as Anganwadi supervisor.
The memorandum, while seeking her reply as to why a
departmental probe against her should not be instituted, also
proposed two major penalties against her.
Though the city government never completed the probe,
it withheld her promotion since 2001, prompting her to make
repeated representation to the government till 2008.
Sharma contended that she cannot be denied promotion
on grounds of the probe, which has been kept pending for so
Acceding to Sharma`s contention, the CAT quashed the
government`s memorandum against her "on account of abnormal
and unexplained delay" in initiating the probe against her
seven years after the incident involving the biscuit boxes
and not completing the same in next ten years. It noted that
the charge was `trivial`.
"This incident has taken place in 1993 and the charge
sheet was issued after seven years in 2000. Now, we are in
2011. Eleven years have elapsed but the inquiry is still
pending," said the CAT.
Quashing the charge memo against the woman officer,
it also pointed out, "The charge is trivial as there is
discrepancy of only 10 box of biscuits, the value of which is
not available but it would not be substantial."
The Delhi government charge memo, issued against
Sharma, said that "while posted and functioning as Anganwadi
Supervisor, ICDS, Govindpur Projects, during 1993-94, she
failed to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty" as
she showed in the stock register, receipt of 60 biscuit boxes,
despite receiving only 50 of them as was evident from the fact
that she changed the number 50 into 60 by overwriting in the
The charge memo against her also said she had sent
only 50 boxes for distribution among children.