12 Sep 2022 9:09 AM GMT
Observing that charges against a policeman posted as SHO at Kingsway Camp police station, charged with misconduct during the 1984 anti Sikh riots, were serious in nature, the Delhi High Court on Monday said that the competent disciplinary authority shall be free to pass an order of punishment against the cop Durga Prasad. Durga Prasad, now retired, was charged for not making any...
Observing that charges against a policeman posted as SHO at Kingsway Camp police station, charged with misconduct during the 1984 anti Sikh riots, were serious in nature, the Delhi High Court on Monday said that the competent disciplinary authority shall be free to pass an order of punishment against the cop Durga Prasad.
Durga Prasad, now retired, was charged for not making any preventive detention, not deploying proper force in the area of posting, not taking any action in dispersing miscreants during the anti sikh riots.
Terming the riots as the most unfortunate tragedy, a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad orally remarked that many innocent lives were lost during the riots.
As the counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the policeman is presently 79 years of age, the Court orally remarked thus:
"He may be 100 (years of age). See the misconduct. Many innocent people lost their lives. They are still bleeding, the nation is still bleeding. Very sorry, on that ground you cannot get away."
After an enquiry officer was appointed and submitted its report, the disciplinary authority had issued a chargesheet against Durga Prasad. He then approached the Central Administrative Tribunal in the year 2000 which granted liberty to the disciplinary authority to issue a fresh note of disagreement to the petitioner and also to serve him the same.
Thereafter, in the year 2001, the disciplinary authority served a fresh note of disagreement on Prasad and passed an order, challenge to which was again dismissed by the Tribunal in 2002.
The counsel appearing for the retired policeman argued that while the disciplinary authority was granted liberty to issue fresh note of disagreement, it recorded the conclusion and only a post decisional hearing was granted to the petitioner.
The Court noted that the disagreement note served on the petitioner made it clear that the disciplinary authority while penning the said note of disagreement held him guilty for the misconduct and thus, Prasad was only granted a post decisional hearing in the matter.
Noting that the said issue was decided by a coordinate bench of High Court in 2006, the Court ordered thus:
"In light of the decision of the division bench, this court is of the opinion that the order passed by CAT as well as disciplinary authority is set aside and disciplinary authority is granted liberty to issue fresh note of disagreement within a period of four weeks to the petitioner and the petitioner is also granted four weeks time to file response to note of disagreement."
"…..the Competent disciplinary authority shall be free to pass appropriate order of punishment keeping in view the date of retirement and pension Rules."
Case Title: Durga Prasad v. LG
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 854