Madurai: Madras High Court Bench on Wednesday observed that government officials should not blame the court, which fixes a time frame for officials, for skipping statutory procedures before initiating action against subordinates.
Justice K Ravichandra Baabu, allowing a petition by a retired Additional Deputy Commercial Taxes Officer to quash a May 7 order of Commissioner of Commercial Taxes to cut Rs 1000 a month from his pension for three years, said the CCT should not have imposed the punishment without consulting the state Public Service Commission as per Tamil Nadu Pension Rules 1978, as the Court directed him to pass orders in 30 days.
After the petitioner retired on May 31 2006,the department issued a charge memo, accusing him of having assisted a trader to evade Rs 60,000 sales tax in 2003. An enquiry officer appointed to probe the issue, filed a report on January 27, 2012, absolving him of all charges.
But the Commissioner disagreed with the report and issued a show-cause notice to the petitioner, asking him why his pension should not be cut.
Following this he moved the High Court, which directed the Commissioner last year to pass final orders in 30 days.
The officer expedited proceedings and imposed the punishment without consulting the TNPSC, necessitating the present petition.
The judge said the charge levelled against the petitioner could not be sustained as he had only been accused of issuing transit pass to the trader, who reportedly sold the goods in the state without transporting them to Puducherry.