New Delhi: A government official can be made to face departmental disciplinary proceedings and trial for his alleged role in a criminal case simultaneously, the Delhi High Court has ruled, rejecting the plea of an IFS officer, facing the twin trouble.
"The employer should not wait for the decision of the criminal court before taking any disciplinary action against the employee and that such decision on the part of the employer does not violate the principles of natural justice," said a bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and VK Jain, rejecting the plea of the IFS officer, allegedly involved in trafficking nine persons to Germany in 2005.
"It would, thus, be seen that there is no legal bar on disciplinary proceedings and criminal trial proceedings simultaneously, against the same person," the bench added, citing various apex court`s decisions.
Rakesh Kumar, a 1972-batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, had moved the high court for stay on the disciplinary proceedings against him till conclusion of the criminal trial against him saying that it would cause "grave" prejudice to him.
A local court yesterday framed charges for offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption against Kumar and three others in the human trafficking case.
Kumar, the erstwhile director general with the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, had allegedly facilitated the trafficking of nine individuals to Germany under the guise of fake cultural group `Mehak Punjab Di` by misusing his official position for extraneous considerations.
Justice Jain, writing the verdict, said "We... Find no reasonable possibility of any prejudice being caused to the petitioner, on account of the departmental proceedings being held simultaneously with the criminal trial.