New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said
that a departmental inquiry and criminal proceedings can go
hand-in-hand against a government employee in a
disproportionate assets case.
The court`s ruling came while dismissing a plea of an
officer with National Textile Corporation Limited(NTC) who had
sought quashing of departmental proceeding on the ground that
he was being prosecuted in a criminal court and he could not
be tried twice for the same offence.
"Principles of natural justice do not require that the
employer should wait for the decision of the criminal court
before taking disciplinary action against the employee,"
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said while referring to Supreme
"It is not in the interest of the administration that
persons accused of serious misdemeanour should be continued in
office indefinitely and for long periods awaiting the result
of criminal proceedings. Such a situation was held to be
serving the interest of the guilty and the dishonest only," he
The court passed the order on a petition filed by one
Raj Kumar Sharma who was suspended after the CBI arrested him
and filed a criminal case for allegedly amassing assets
disproportionate to his known sources of income. Later on, the
NTC also initiated an inquiry against him.
He then approached the High Court for quashing of
departmental proceedings on the ground that such action cannot
be taken against him during the pendency of case and until he
is proved guilty.