Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Kerala High Court Directs Union Ministry To Pass Expedite Orders On Officers' Deliberate Dereliction Of Duty Under Emblems & Names Act

Hannah M Varghese
4 July 2022 9:53 AM GMT
Kerala High Court Directs Union Ministry To Pass Expedite Orders On Officers Deliberate Dereliction Of Duty Under Emblems & Names Act
x

The Kerala High Court has directed the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution to pass an appropriate order on the issue of deliberate dereliction of duty by the Inspector Station House Officer, in obeying the mandates of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly noted that the matter was pending consideration before Ministry, before directing the respondents to reach a logical conclusion on the matter without delay.

"As the matter is stated to be pending before the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India... we are of the view that the issue should reach a logical conclusion and should not be delayed further."

As per a circular issued in 2006, the 2nd respondent (State Police Chief) was directed to take stringent action against those who violate the provisions of the Act. The State Police Chief had, in turn, directed the subordinate officers to take necessary action in the matter.

The then Circle Inspector of Fort Kochi Police Station noticed rampant violation of the Act within his jurisdiction by 16 commercial establishments and issued notices to them in June 2010 to discontinue the violations.

Thereafter, the Inspector Station House Officer sought prosecution sanction in January 2015. For granting sanction, the designated officer sought the details of the offending establishments from the State, following which, the State vide letter dated 19.04.2021 directed to provide copies of the registration certificates and other details of these establishments.

Only 7 of the establishments complied with the notices issued by the Inspector Station House Officer seeking their details. The District Police Chief forwarded the list of these establishments to the State Police Chief.

According to the petitioner, the State Police Chief, without even applying his mind, submitted a report to the State claiming it to be the details of all the 16 establishments. Finding the report incomplete and contradictory, the Additional Chief Secretary directed the State Police Chief to clarify and produce the required details of all the offending establishments forthwith.

The petitioner's argument was that the respondents were keeping the matter in abeyance due to some undue influence for unduly favouring the offenders. Accordingly, he moved the High Court with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

Advocates Rajesh Vijayan and Sikha S. Nair appeared for the petitioner and argued that respondents are duty-bound to function under Section 4 of the Kerala Police Act, 2011 and that Sections 4(a) (g), (h), (r) and (s) of the Act, 2011 are found applicable in the situation.

They alleged that the extraneous consideration facilitates certain offending commercial establishments to continue the commission of offences. It was further submitted that as per Section 27, it is the duty of every Police Officer to undertake all reasonable and lawful activities for the efficient and effective discharge of police duties specified under the Act in respect of the duties entrusted with him.

Moreover, it was further contended that the deliberate dereliction of duty by the respondents itself is an offence under Section 114(a). Further, as per Section 7, the petitioner has a right to ask for the police services mentioned in Section 4.

In the statement filed by Senior Government Pleader Tek Chand on behalf of the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home stated that upon receipt of the proposal, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs, requested the Government to forward certain details/documents and that steps are being taken to furnish the details sought for by the Centre for prosecution sanction.

The Court, therefore, took the view that since the matter is stated to be pending before the Ministry, the issue should reach a logical conclusion and should not be delayed further.

As such, exercising powers conferred under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the High Court suo motu impleaded Secretary to Government, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, as additional respondent.

Thereafter, the Court directed Central Government Counsel Jaishankar V. Nair to furnish the entire set of papers for onward transmission of the same to the Ministry so as to enable the impleaded respondent to pass appropriate orders in one month.

Case Title: Cheshire Tarzan v. State of Kerala & Ors.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 321

Click Here To Read/Download The Order

Next Story