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Strict Rules Of Evidence Not Applicable To A Departmental Enquiry: Supreme Court Allows Placing Of Case Diary On Record

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 Sep 2021 4:26 AM GMT
Strict Rules Of Evidence Not Applicable To A Departmental Enquiry: Supreme Court Allows Placing Of Case Diary On Record
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A Division Bench of the Supreme Court has held that strict rules of evidence are not applicable to a Departmental Enquiry.With this view, Justice L Nageshwar Rao and Justice BR Gavai allowed an Additional District Judge in the state of Uttarakhand, who was facing a departmental enquiry, to place of record the case diary.On November 24, 2020, the petitioner-ADJ had filed an application...

A Division Bench of the Supreme Court has held that strict rules of evidence are not applicable to a Departmental Enquiry.

With this view, Justice L Nageshwar Rao and Justice BR Gavai allowed an Additional District Judge in the state of Uttarakhand, who was facing a departmental enquiry, to place of record the case diary.

On November 24, 2020, the petitioner-ADJ had filed an application for placing certain documents on record before the Enquiry Officer which was rejected on the ground that the Presenting Officer had made an endorsement on the documents saying that they did not deserve to be admitted in view of Sections 85A and 85B of the Indian Evidence Act. 

Another application was the filed before the Enquiry Officer giving an additional list of witnesses to be produced in the enquiry. The same was also dismissed on January 19, 2021.

Aggrieved by the dismissal of this application, the petitioner filed a writ petition in the High Court of Uttarakhand contending that the documents were relevant and the Presenting Officer as well as the Enquiry Officer had committed an error in not permitting them to be exhibited in the enquiry.

The High Court observed that there was no error committed by the Enquiry Officer as the petitioner was permitted to adduce evidence on his behalf. It had permitted certain documents to be exhibited in the enquiry, however, it did not deal with the copy of the case diary obtained by the petitioner under the Right to Information Act. 

The division bench found that the case diary which the petitioner wanted to be exhibited was not permitted by the Enquiry Officer on the ground of lack of proof for the said document as required under the provisions of the Evidence Act.

This prompted it to remark that:

"Strict rules of evidence are not applicable to a Departmental Enquiry. There is no prejudice caused to anyone if the case diary is placed on record. The case diary which is shown as exhibit 44 in the application by the petitioner shall be exhibited as a document in the departmental enquiry."

Accordingly, the Special Leave Petition was disposed of. The Court also ordered that the said departmental enquiry may be expedited and completed soon.

Cause Title: KANWAR AMNINDER SINGH v THE HON'BLE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL THROUGH ITS REGISTRAR GENERAL 

Counsel For Petitioner: Senior Advocate Devdutt Kamat along with AOR Sachin Sharma and Advocates Anil Kumar Gulati, Satyavrat Sharma and Rahul Gaur.
Counsel For Respondent: AOR D. Bharathi Reddy

Click here to Download the Order.


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