When the plea challenging the recovery of theft on headmasters and principals came up before him, Justice RMT Teekaa Raman said: “In short, a theft of free laptop is alleged and FIRs are closed in a mechanical manner and improper order of recovery is passed with loopholes, making a clear way to get rid of the financial liability in the judicial forum.”
Whether the local police were lax in investigating or lodging FIR as if there was a theft was an attempt to cover up the misdeeds was a larger question that had to be resolved in view of greater public importance, the judge said.
Directing the formation of a special committee within eight weeks, the judge sought it to suggest ways to protect laptops stored at schools, take steps to investigate the cases that were pending or were closed on improper investigation, and also to investigate with the help of cybercrime wing by adopting scientific methods.
Observing that there was utter lack coordination between law enforcement authority, Justice Teekaa Raman said recovery proceedings against headmasters without observing the basic requirement of law was a violation of principles of natural justice.
“No one can be taxed without sanction of law and observance of principles of natural justice. However, it appears from the typed set of papers that the so-called recovery of cost of lost laptop are full of loopholes, making the entire episode of alleged recovery proceedings as namesake,” he said while setting aside the recovery notices issued.