Exoneration In Departmental Proceedings Wouldn't Ipso Facto Lead To Dropping Of Criminal Charges: Patna HC Reiterates [Read Order]
The Patna High Court on Friday reiterated that exoneration in departmental proceedings ipso facto would not result into quashing of criminal prosecution against an accused.
In doing so, Justice Aditya Kumar Trivedi relied on the judgment in State (NCT of Delhi) v. Ajay Kumar Tyagi, wherein the Supreme Court had held, "We are, therefore, of the opinion that the exoneration in the departmental proceeding ipso facto would not result into the quashing of the criminal prosecution."
The Apex Court had, however, added that this would not be the case if the prosecution had been solely based on a finding in the disciplinary proceedings. It had explained, "We hasten to add, however, that if the prosecution against an accused is solely based on a finding in a proceeding and that finding is set aside by the superior authority in the hierarchy, the very foundation goes and the prosecution may be quashed.
But that principle will not apply in the case of the departmental proceeding as the criminal trial and the departmental proceeding are held by two different entities. Further they are not in the same hierarchy."
The high court was hearing a petition filed by one Shyam Kishore Prasad, challenging an order passed by the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, refusing to discharge him under Section 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Mr. Prasad was a government servant and had been charged with misappropriation of money. He was departmentally prosecuted, but exonerated, with the enquiry concluding that he had not indulged in any misappropriation of money. He had now asserted that the criminal proceedings on the same ground should also not survive, in view of the findings of the departmental enquiry.
The State, on the other hand, had contended that at the time of framing of charges, the level of consideration of the material happens to be weaker than a prima facie satisfaction. It had therefore asserted that the impugned order does not need to be interfered with.
The court accepted the State's stand, noting that the petitioner had not been arrayed as an accused at the time of registrations of the FIR, and was added as an accused during the course of investigation.
Thereafter, reiterating that absolution in departmental proceedings would not necessarily result in discharge from criminal proceedings, the court rejected the petition.
Read the Order Here
Departmental Proceedings | Ipso Facto | Dropping Of Criminal Charges | Section 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure