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CAT sets aside suspension of IPS officer

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CAT sets aside suspension of IPS officer

A week ago, the central administrative tribunal (CAT) set aside the suspension of controversial IPS officer A K Jain, saying, continuance of his suspension beyond September 15, 2000, was illegal, since the home department did not follow the procedure laid down under the (AISDA)—All-India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.

“For continuing the suspension, reasons have to be recorded in writing. In the present case, the competent authority has not separately recorded the reasons......under these circumstances, we are constrained to observe that Jain has been kept under illegal suspension, we direct the home department to reinstate him in service with retrospective effect. He shall be entitled to all consequential benefits,’’ Sudhakar Mishra, CAT member, said in his 19-page order.

The CAT order is being viewed as a major setback for high-profile home minister R R Patil, who has vowed to take on corrupt police officials. A month ago, suspension of a senior IPS official was invoked after the home department failed to complete a departmental probe within the stipulated time, while there was no response from the Centre on Patil’s plea to compusorily retire four senior IPS officials.

A K Jain, an IPS officer of the 1982 batch, was additional commissioner of police, central region, in 2000. Then, following a complaint lodged by police inspector Sanjiv Kokil, an offence was registered against Jain under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Following his arrest, Jain was suspended on June 17, 2000, by invoking the provisions of the AISDA. Jain’s suspension was continued through intermittent orders for the same.

Jain’s contention was that his suspension beyond September 16, 2000, was illegal, in view of the provisions under Section 3(8) of the AISDA rules, which states an order of suspension, which has not been extended, shall be valid for a period not exceeding 90 days and if there was a review, it must be before the day of expiry. In case of Jain, the suspension order was not reviewed on or before September 19, 2000, but it was reviewed few weeks thereafter, as such continuance of suspension beyond September 19, 2000, was invalid and illegal.

Further, Jain also submitted that as per the amended AISDA rules, the period of suspension on charges of corruption shall not exceed two years and the inquiry shall be completed within two years. However, the suspension can be continued beyond two years only on the recommendation of the central ministry’s review committee.

Source: Times of India

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