AJIT SINGH Vs. FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER AND SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER AND SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT
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(2.)The appellants were suspended from service as Sarpanch and Panch under the provisions of Section 51(1)(a) of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 by an order dated 30th November, 2000 passed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mohindergarh. Section 51(1)(a) permits the suspension of a Sarpanch
"where a case against him in respect of any criminal offence is under investigation, enquiry or trial, if in the opinion of the Director or Deputy Commissioner concerned the charge made or proceeding taken against him, is likely to embarrass him in the discharge of his duties or involves moral turpitude or defect of character."
The provision requires, as a pre-condition, the forming of the opinion that the charge made or proceeding taken against the Sarpanch or Panch is likely to embarrass him in the discharge of his duties or it involves moral turpitude or defect of character. The order of the Deputy Commissioner, Mohindergarh records no such opinion.
(3.)The appellants preferred an appeal under Section 51(5) of the Act which was dismissed by the Financial Commissioner. The order seems to proceed upon the basis that the show cause notice which had been served upon the appellants before the passing of the impugned order contained the likelihood of embarrassment in the discharge of duties because of the registration of the criminal case against the appellants. It also seemed to proceed upon the basis that mere registration of a case against them was enough. The show cause notice only required the appellants to explain why they should not be suspended. It was thereafter for the Deputy Commissioner to be satisfied that the appellants were likely to suffer embarrassment in discharge of their duties because of the registration of the criminal cases against them. The formation of that opinion, as stated above, is absent. That such an averment was made in the show cause notice is not enough.
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