Himachal High Court Quizes – Is revoking suspension of corruption tainted officers in public interest?

Shimla:Taking a tough stance on corruption cases, the Himachal High Court has differed with the state government about revocation of suspension of tainted officers against whom either investigation or trial was in progress.

A division bench consisting of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Kuldip Singh has expressed serious doubts with the chief secretary’s response in the case of Sher Singh – an assistant drug controller, who was suspended in a corruption case and then reinstated during pendency of trial, which was revoked in public interest.

Holding the police responsible for the delay in completing the investigations, the court has asked the Director General Police (DGP) to file and affidavit within four weeks in response to specific queries.

The nine queries posted for the DGPs response include, why was there a delay in completing investigations in corruption cases, especially in trap cases; the reason for the delay in filing the final report and getting the trial expedited; in public interest should not at least the investigations and trials in corruption cases be concluded within a year; is the police maintaining a list tainted officers or of officers of doubtful integrity or officers involved in corruption cases; did the government obtained any clearance from the police to revoke suspension in cases of officers whose cases were under investigation or where the trail was in progress; is a police clearance in such cases not required and what steps were needed to expedite investigation and trail of corruption cases so that the trial is concluded within a year.

Lastly the court has asked the DGP whether there was any case in which investigation under Prevention of Corruption Act was pending and yet the officer was not placed under suspension.

The court has asked the police chief under oath to place a list of those officers against whom investigation has already been started or trial was in progress before the court.

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