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HC: Delinquent official to be given non-sensitive post if case not concluded in a yr
The Madras High Court has reiterated that a delinquent official under suspension has to be posted in a non-sensitive post if the criminal case against the official is not concluded within a year and hence department inquiry should gain precedence in such cases.
Justice S Vaidyanathan made the observation while passing orders on a plea seeking to direct the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to reinstate the petitioner (S Kasiramkumar) in service and pay him 75 per cent of the subsistence allowance since neither his suspension has been reviewed nor any charge sheet filed.
Pointing out that the petitioner as a matter of right cannot demand subsistence allowance after six months if he is responsible for prolonging the inquiry, the court said: “TNPSC is entitled to review the case periodically and post him in a non-sensitive post.”
“Pendency of the criminal case is not a bar as this court has already held that the delinquent can wait for only one year from the date of filing FIR if the criminal case has not been concluded in one year,” the judge said.
He also directed TNPSC to proceed with departmental action, conduct inquiry on a day-to-day basis without adjourning the matter and bring the issue to a logical end, even without waiting for the verdict in the criminal case. “This court is of the view that both the criminal case and the department proceedings should go on simultaneously if the criminal case is not concluded within one year from the date of filing FIR,” the judge added.
The petitioner, a section officer in TNPSC, was booked and arrested by the Central Crime Branch in connection with an answer sheet scam relating to TNPSC Grade I Selection in 2017.