Decided on August 24,1999

Mohd Aslam Laigaroo Appellant
STATE OF JANDK Respondents


SHARMA, J. - (1.) THIS appeal has been filed under section 12 of the Jammu and Kashmir Letters Patent against the order of the learned Single Judge dated: 8.7.1998 passed in SWP No. 1068 of 1998. The learned Single Judge dismissed the application of the appellant wherein he had prayed for staying the order whereby he had been suspended from holding the charge of Director, Estates, Srinagar. The appellant contends that the rejection of the application amounts to the refusal of some of the reliefs which had been prayed for in the main writ petition.
(2.) THE factual matrix of the case is that vide Govt. order No. 705 -GAD of 1997 dated: 30.5.1997, the appellant herein alongwith other nine officials of different departments were suspended pending investigation by the Vigilance Organisation with the allegations of disproportionate assets accumulated by them. The order is reproduced hereunder: - Government of Jammu and Kashmir General Administration Department. Subject: Suspension of Officers. Government order No. 705 -G AD of 1997 Dated: 30.5.1997 Pending investigation by the Vigilance Organisation into the allegations of disproportionate assets accumulated by the officers indicated below, the following officers are hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect: - 1. M.A. Hajam, KAS, Custodian General, J&K 2. M.A. Laigaroo, KAS, Director Estates. 3. M.L. Bhardwaj, FA/COA, J&K Mineral Ltd. 4. G.H. Rather Superintending Engineer, Electrical Purchases Circle IInd Srinagar. 5. Abdul Majid Khan, Executive Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Kupwara. 6. Vijay Gupta ( Assistant Conservator of Forest) Project Officer Basantar Project West. 7. J.K. Misri, Dy. Superintendent of Police. 8. Raghubir Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police. 9. G.N. Wani, BDO Banihal. 10. Hem Raj, Section Officer in the office of Dy. Commr. Kathua. During the period of suspension, the officers indicated at serial Nos. 1,2,4 and 5 shall remain attached with Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and those at serial numbers 3,6,7,8,9 and 10 shall remain attached with the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu. By the order of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Sd/ - Commr/Secretary to Govt. General Administration Department. One of the officials namely Hem Raj Gupta, S.O in the Revenue department challenged the said order by filing writ petition which was dismissed. LPA (SWP) NO.04/98 was preferred on 6.4.98 against the said judgment/order and the appellate court stayed the operation of the judgment of the learned Single Judge. The suspension of the appellant therein was also stayed. The appellants herein asserts that in the month of September, 1995, he received a communication from Additional Secretary to Govt. Home Deptt. (Vigilance) bearing No. Home (Vig) M -32 -/KAS dated: 1.9.1995 whereby he was informed that he had not filed the property statement returns from 1986 and that the returns which he had filed showed extensive immovable properties received by way of inheritance. This was a self -contradictory communication. On the one hand, it showed that property statement returns were not filed from 1986 while on the other hand, it contained that large properties were possessed on the basis of inheritance. The appellant had given a reply to the said communication and was labouring under the belief that the objection raised therein stood dropped. It was a bolt from the blue for him when all of a sudden he came to know that a case under FIR NO. 28 of 1995 Police Station VOK for the commission of offences falling under section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006(hereinafter to be referred to as the Act) and under section 12 and 14 of Public men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets Act, 1983 was registered. During the registration of the above said case, he was promoted to the senior K.A.S. scale in the year 1996. In the month of May, 1997 the house of the appellant was searched but no incriminating evidence was found. This search was blown out of proportions by respondent No. 3 in order to prejudice the higher authorities with the result that on 30.5.1997 the appellant was placed under suspension.
(3.) THE appellant has challenged the order of suspension by filing writ petition (SWP No. 1068/98) wherein relief in the nature of writ of certiorari was prayed for quashing the impugned order. Further, relief of writ of mandamus was prayed commanding the respondents to post the petitioner at an appropriate place which should be commensurate with his status. In the writ petition, the order was challenged on the grounds that it was passed in contravention of rule 31 of the Classification, Control, and Appeal Rules, 1956 (hereinafter to be referred to as CCA Rules). The, instructions appended to the rule are supplementary in nature and character and they have statutory force but they were not followed. It was also pleaded that the police officers who conducted the investigation including the house search were not competent to do so. The case of the petitioner was not reviewed by respondents -or any competent authority and thus there was a violation of the mandates of rule 31 of the CCA Rules. The order of suspension was passed without application of mind and on extraneous considerations. When the investigation against the appellant was being conducted, the passing of the impugned order in the mid -stream was without jurisdiction. The impugned order was not passed in the public interest. The continuation in service of the appellant was neither prejudicial to the investigation of the case nor it would have caused a drain on the public exchequer. In the impugned order, the learned Single judge has held that the appellant herein was placed under suspension by a competent authority and the instructions issued under rule 31 of CCA Rules are only guidelines and in case they are not adhered meticulously, the order of suspension could not be nullified. It was also held that a periodical review of the suspension order was done and the subsistence allowance after suspension is being given to the appellant according to the rules. Sanction of prosecution of the appellant was accorded by the Government vide Government Order NO.27 -GAD(Vig) of 1998 dated: 5.5.1998 and after the completion of the investigation, Challan has been produced before the Special Judge (Anticorruption). After passing the impugned order on the lines stated above, the learned. Single judge posted the above said writ petition (No. 1068/98) for further consideration.;

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