Thursday, February 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SC cancels order on IPS man
DIG Sharma told not to join duty

New Delhi, February 5
The Supreme Court today struck down a Punjab and Haryana High Court order allowing senior IPS officer R.K. Sharma to join as DIG in the Punjab police despite going abroad for a long time without leave being sanctioned and applying for VRS twice and withdrawing the same subsequently.

Allowing the petition filed by another senior police official P. Lal challenging the induction of Mr Sharma, a Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S.M. Quadri and Mr Justice S.N. Variava accepted the submissions of petitioner’s counsel Nidhesh Gupta and ruled that Mr Sharma’s first application for VRS be treated as having been accepted.

Writing the judgement for the Bench, Mr Justice Variava said there was no need for the government to issue a termination letter to Mr Sharma as his services would be treated as having been ceased from May, 1993.

The Bench further directed the police official to surrender to the government any pecuniary benefit given to him after May 1993 over and above the due VRS benefits.

The case has a chequered history. Mr Sharma was repatriated to the Punjab Government in October 1990 after a stint with RAW on deputation.

He had joined as DIG, Punjab police, on September 30, 1991. However, 23 days later, he applied for leave and left for England without prior sanction of leave. When he applied for extension of leave on grounds of illness, the government sanctioned leave till January 10, 1992. In February the same year, he was told by the government that he would be granted no more extensions.

When the Punjab Government persistently declined to extend his leave, Mr Sharma applied for voluntary retirement in 1992, but withdrew the same by a telegram.

He finally joined duty in April 1993 and in May 1993, applied for voluntary retirement. The DG Punjab Police recommended withdrawal of the department charge sheet against him as he had applied for VRS.

In view of the refusal of the Union Government for allowing him to avail voluntary retirement, the Punjab Government repeatedly requested and finally the Centre allowed Mr Sharma to retire from service with effect from May 1993. The government order regarding this could not be served on him as he was not found at the address given by him.

Soon thereafter, Mr Sharma sought withdrawal of his request for voluntary retirement. The same was accepted by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the ground that the earlier order was not served on him.

At this time, Mr Lal petitioned the Punjab Government not to reinduct Mr Sharma and then approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which quashed the Centre’s decision to accept Mr Sharma’s request for withdrawal of the application for voluntary retirement.

The Union Government challenged the CAT order before the high court which allowed reinstatement of Mr Sharma. Mr Lal challenged the high court order through Nidhesh Gupta in the Supreme Court.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Mr Sharma, supported the decision of the high court on the reasoning that once his request for voluntary retirement had earlier been rejected by the Union Government and in the absence of fresh request, the state government could not have sent the same request again to the Centre.

Terming the reasoning as illegal on the face of it, Mr Gupta contended that if that were so then Mr Sharma could have continued in service without coming back to India.

The apex court, deciding the case in favour of Mr Lal, stated that if the reasoning given by the high court was accepted, it would lead to “absurd” consequences. PTI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |