Corruption case: Punjab Haryana HC defers dept proceedings against Haryana sub-inspector

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has “deferred” the departmental proceedings against Haryana Police sub-inspector Rishi Pal as initiated against him upon registration of an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The bench of Justice Jaishree Thakur has issued a notice of motion for February 7, 2023, to the State of Haryana and others after hearing a plea filed by Rishi Pal.

The petitioner’s counsel – Advocates Ranjivan Singh and Risham Raj Singh – contended that consequent upon registration of an FIR under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on March 30, 2022, at Vigilance Bureau police station, Ambala, against the SI, he was ordered to be dismissed from the services by the SP, Ambala, on March 31, 2022, holding that it was not feasible to hold a departmental inquiry.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted before the high court that in the statutory appeal, the Additional Director General of Police, Ambala Range, vide its order passed on June 30, 2022, set aside the dismissal and reinstated the petitioner. However, ignoring the reinstatement order passed by the higher authority, SP Ambala on July 11, 2022, ordered the suspension and initiation of a departmental inquiry against the petitioner, which was mala fide, arbitrary, beyond jurisdiction and a colourable exercise, contended the counsel.

Consequently, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ambala Cantt., issued a chargesheet on August 3, 2022, to the petitioner which, according to the counsel, was illegal and contrary to the provisions of Haryana Police (Non Gazetted and other Ranks) Service Rules, 2017, as it’s the Superintendent of Police (SP) who is the competent appointing authority for the sub-inspector rank, and so the issuance of the chargesheet by a subordinate authority is void ab initio.
After hearing the matter, the high court issued a notice to the respondents returnable on February 7, 2023.

“In the meantime, the proceedings under the departmental inquiry are deferred till the next date of hearing,” the HC ordered.

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