K R SHARMA Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
STATE OF PUNJAB THROUGH THE CHIEF SECRETARY, STATE OF PUNJAB
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(1.) THIS is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for an order or direction in the nature of a writ of certiorari or of mandamus quashing the order of the Inquiry Officer whereby he rejected the petitioner's application requiring the respondent to make available to the petitioner copies of statements made by persons (who are scheduled to be examined during the inquiry) in the course of investigation against the petitioner for offences under Section 5 (2), Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and under Sections 161 and 109, Penal Code.
(2.) THE petitioner was recruited in the Punjab Service of Engineers in 1924 and was confirmed in that service in 1925. He was appointed as Superintending Engineer, nirwana Circle, Ambala, in 1951, and in 1954 he was posted in Bhakra Dam Circle, nangal. In April 1955 he was promoted as Director of Central Designs, Simla. When the petitioner was about to join this new post he was arrested on the 24th of April, 1955, for offences under Section 5 (2), Prevention of Corruption Act and under Sections 161 and 109, Indian Penal Code. The police investigated the case for about two years and examined a great number of persons under Sections 161 (3) and 164, Criminal Procedure Code. The Punjab government then instead of prosecuting the petitioner ordered a departmental inquiry. Shri Raghbir Singh was appointed the Inquiry Officer. The inquiry was started on the 5th of April 1957, and on the first date the petitioner applied before him for the supply of copies of statements made during the investigation by persons who were proposed to be examined in the inquiry. Shri Raghbir Singh rejected the application and apparently took no other proceedings and the case was ultimately transferred to Shri Sarup Kishan. He started the enquiry on the 8th of July 1957, and the petitioner again applied to him for copies of those statements. The Inquiry Officer rejected the application on the same day and fixed the 11th of July 1957, for recording evidence. The petitioner made the present application on the 10th of July 1957, i. e. , a day before the evidence was due to be started, challenging the validity of the order dated the 8th of July 1957.
(3.) THE petitioner's case in substance is that if he is not supplied these copies, then he will not be able to defend himself adequately and he would be deprived of the right of cross-examining the prosecution witnesses effectively. The deprivation of this right, according to the petitioner, will necessarily vitiate the inquiry as thereby provisions of Article 311 (2) of the Constitution would be violated.;
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