Central Administrative Tribunal order upholding State Home Secretary’s charge-memo challenged
By Express News Service | Published: 14th March 2018 04:49 AM |
CHENNAI: G Sampathkumar, who was earlier suspended while holding the post of Superintendent of Police for his alleged involvement in the IPL betting and match-fixing scam, has moved the Madras High Court challenging an order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which upheld a charge-memo issued by the State Home Secretary. The suspension was, however, revoked subsequently.A division bench of Justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and RMT Teeka Raman, before which the petition from Sampathkumar came up for hearing on Tuesday, ordered notice to the Home secretary, returnable in two weeks.
According to petitioner, his deposition before Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, constituted by the Supreme Court, with reference to the allegations of betting and spot fixing in the IPL matches, had earned displeasure from some quarter and at their influence, he was placed under suspension. Subsequently, after a lapse of considerable time, he was issued with charge-memo containing eight counts under Rule 8 of All India Services Rules. Of them, six charges related to interaction with the media and the seventh allegedly for collecting money through one Mahendra Singh Ranka. The eighth charge accused him of not informing the transaction to the bank concerned, he said.
He claimed that the charge-memo was issued with mala fide intention and ulterior motive for the reason that he had deposed before the Justice Mudgal Committee regarding the details of investigation carried out by him along with suggestions for the course of investigation. The deposition was made by him, as he was summoned by the committee, that too after obtaining permission from the DGP. He was placed under suspension and was issued with the charge-memo only with an ulterior motive to prevent him from participating in the proceedings before the committee.
Challenging the charge memo, he filed a petition before the CAT, which directed the authorities to re-open the inquiry and to permit him to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses and thereafter to let his evidence in writing as per law. Subsequently, an officer, who conducted the inquiry, submitted his report holding that charges one to six and eight were proved and charge seven as not proved.
Though the inquiry was proceeded with as per the orders passed by the CAT, considering the fact that the charges were framed without authority of law and against the Supreme Court dictum, notwithstanding the fact he had participated in the enquiry proceedings, he was entitled to challenge the CAT order as the charge-memo suffered lack of jurisdiction since it was not approved by the disciplinary authority. Even in respect of the impugned charge-memo, no approval had been obtained from the disciplinary authority.