(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus calling for the records pertaining to the impugned order of the 2nd respondent passed in B3/1654/2006 dated 25.04.2009 and quash the same as illegal, null and void and consequently directing the respondents to regularize the service of the petitioner with all monetary benefits.)
1. That the instant writ petition has been filed challenging the order of suspension passed by the 2nd respondent dated 25.04.2009 with a consequential direction to the respondents to regularise the service of the petitioner with all monetary benefits.
2. The case of the petitioner is that he was appointed as Panchayat clerk in the office of the 3rd respondent through employment exchange. He completed 18 years of service without any adverse remarks. On 06.06.2006 the petitioner was suspended by the 3rd respondent in connection with the pending investigation of Anti-corruption case. Immediately after suspension, he made a representation to the 3rd respondent with a request to revoke his suspension. On considering his representation and after getting opinion from the higher officials, the 3rd respondent has revoked the suspension of the petitioner by order dated 20.06.2006.
3. Subsequently the petitioner joined in the service on 29.07.2006 in the afternoon. When he was in service, the 2nd respondent by his impugned proceedings in A3/1654/2006 dated 25.04.2009 placed the petitioner under suspension for the reasons that the petitioner did not give explanation to the charges and in view of the pending of the case filed by the Vigilance and Anticorruption Wing.
4. Challenging the impugned order of suspension passed by the 2nd respondent cited supra, the instant writ petition is filed. I have carefully gone through the affidavit and counter affidavit along with the typed set of papers filed by the writ petitioner.
5. It is the fact that the petitioner was placed under suspension by 2nd time for which he was suspended earlier by the 3rd respondent and was reinstated. It is not in dispute that the 2nd respondent is the appellate authority as per the service of the petitioner concerned. Further, when the order of impugned suspension is perused, it is simply stated that the petitioner did not furnish explanation to the charges framed against him and the pendency of case in Cr.No.3 of 2006 by the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Wing. That apart due to the administrative reason the petitioner was placed under suspension. Unfortunately no reference is made whether the petitioner was given any prior notice prior to the order of suspension as per G.O.Ms.No.175 Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Department dated 05.12.2006.
6. In addition to that the arguments advanced by the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has legal force that the order of impugned suspension for the 2nd time nothing but amounting to double jeopardy. Moreover, the order of impugned suspension does not say anything as to how the suspension of the petitioner would be helpful either to the criminal case or to the administration of his office. It would disclose that the suspension of the petitioner would not be a relevant factor. Moreover, in pursuance of the reinstatement of the petitioner after his first suspension, no allegation is made that the petitioner is interfered with the investigation of the criminal case in any manner.
7. Per contra, the counter affidavit filed by the 2nd respondent has disclosed that the entire exercise was made at the instance of the 1st respondent. But, this Court unable to accept the same, since that though the 1st respondent is the Inspector of the Panchayat, he cannot direct the 3rd respondent to suspend the petitioner by assuming the power of appointing authority. In fact, the 2nd respondent has also no such power and admittedly he is the appellate authority.
8. As per the suspension of the petitioner is concerned, it is the demine of the appointing authority, the 3rd respondent herein, to independently decide the compelling circumstances of the suspension. Hence nothing is on record to show that there was a compelling necessity for any reason to place the petitioner under suspension.
9. Further, the respondents have not come with records about the further progress of the criminal case registered by the Vigilance and Anti corruption wing. Under these circumstances, this Court comes to a conclusion that keeping the petitioner under prolonged suspension would not only be a menace, but is a stigma also. Further, there is no straight joshed formula is to be adopted as per the suspension is concerned. It depends upon the facts and circumstances of each and every case. By considering all the factors this Court is of the view that the impugned order of suspension passed by the 2nd respondent deserves quashment, accordingly the same is set aside.
10. In the result:
(a) this writ petition is allowed, by setting aside the order of suspension passed by the 2nd respondent in B3/1654/2006 dated 25.04.2009.
(b) the respondents are hereby directed to reinstate the petitioner into service and treat the period of suspension as leave period and to provide all the service and monetary benefits to the petitioner within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
(c) at the same time this Court made it clear that this order will not stand in the way of other legal process as against the petitioner, if any.
No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
11. Accordingly, this writ petition is allowed with the above observation. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.