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CAT asks police not to punish till outcome of criminal trial

Disciplinary authority has no jurisdiction to inflict penalty on a government employee in an offence before the outcome of the criminal trial, the Central Administrative Tribunal has held.



New Delhi: Disciplinary authority has no
jurisdiction to inflict penalty on a government employee in an
offence before the outcome of the criminal trial, the Central
Administrative Tribunal has held.

The Tribunal passed the order on a petition by a Delhi
Police constable challenging the order of the disciplinary
authority to forfeit his two years of service on account of
misconduct during the pendency of his case before a court.

The CAT, set aside the decision of the disciplinary
authority, referred the Delhi Police (Punishment and Appeal)
Rules to arrive at the conclusion that the decision to impose
penalty was wrong.

"Rule 12 of Rules 1980, clearly mandates the disciplinary
authority not to exercise the power to punish till the outcome
of the criminal trial is not known and thereafter keeping in
light the provisions and exceptions contained therein, a
conscious decision to inflict penalty is the appropriate stage
on which the disciplinary proceedings would come to an end, as
provided under Rule 16," it said.

The Tribunal pulled up the Delhi Police for holding the
inquiry simultaneously with the criminal trial.

"What is not precluded to the Delhi Police is to hold an
inquiry simultaneously with the criminal trial, which they
have continued," it said.

The trial court acquitted the constable on March 12,
2008, after the prosecution had failed to prove the
ingredients of the offence.

"Disciplinary authority has no jurisdiction to pass
orders before outcome of the criminal trial, which is known
only on March 12, 2008," the Tribunal, comprising Members
Veena Chhotray and Shanker Raju, said.

It also rapped the disciplinary authority for not
considering the representation of constable Ramesh Kumar, who
exercise the right of the alternate remedy by way of
departmental appeal to the authorities after the outcome of
the criminal trial.

"Having not taken cognisance of the representation
preferred by the applicant and rejecting the same as not
maintainable is certainly an act, which speaks volume about
non-application of mind to the rules and law on the subject,"
the Tribunal said.

PTI

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