Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed the state government to suspend and initiate disciplinary proceedings against its two officials for illegal detention of a man over alleged threat of breach of peace in 2009.
Hearing a petition of Suresh Kumar of Jubbal in Shimla district, Justice Rajiv Sharma ordered the officials – District Revenue Officer Sidharth Acharya and Additional District Magistrate B.R. Kamal – be suspended.
The judge also directed the two officials to deposit Rs.200,000 as interim compensation in the court.
Suresh Kumar said his personal liberty was infringed upon as he was kept in detention for more than 72 hours in 2009, without issuing him a show-cause notice and asking why he should not be ordered to execute a bond for maintaining peace.
He said his surety bond was also not accepted.
The petitioner alleged that he was victimised for an earlier complaint he had given against encroachment of government land by two residents of his village.
Though the encroachment was removed after his application, he was detained on the pretext of maintaining peace and public tranquillity, Suresh Kumar alleged.
The petitioner said the then sub-divisional magistrate Kamal ordered his detention July 7, 2009. He was detained for three days under Sections 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
He said the then tehsildar Acharya did not accept his surety bond and he was released after three days.
But the proceedings against him were later dropped, he said.
The high court also reprimanded the government for not dealing with the matter seriously.
Justice Sharma slammed principal secretary (forests) and principal secretary (revenue) for not filing their reports.
The court gave them a week’s time now to file their reports with it.