Chandigarh, October 3
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has placed under suspension the services of Faridabad Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Judge (Senior Division) Harish Goyal. The judicial officer was alleged to be telephonically in touch with a police official, who filed a defamation complaint against 37 persons after his effigy was allegedly burnt during the farmers’ protest in Haryana.
It is believed that the judicial officer, posted at Karnal at the time, summoned in about a week 37 persons after recording preliminary evidence a day after the filing of the complaint. A complaint in the matter was made by Gurmit Singh and four other residents of Hasanpur village in Kurukshetra district against the judicial officer.
A Vigilance inquiry into the matter by the High Court indicated that the case in hand was in stark contrast to about 50 other cases pending at pre-summoning stage for years. Among other things, the judicial officer’s call details were taken into consideration during the inquiry.
The findings were placed before the Full Court comprising Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and other High Court judges during the meeting believed to have been held on September 30.
Exercising disciplinary jurisdiction under Article 235 of the Constitution and the provisions of the Haryana Civil Services (Punishment and Appeal), the Full Court placed under suspension Goyal’s services with immediate effect. His headquarters during the period of suspension will be at Palwal. He has been asked not leave the headquarters during this period without the prior permission of the Palwal District and Sessions Judge.
The Full Court, during Chief Justice Jha’s tenure, has so far initiated proceeding against more than 20 judicial officers. Among others, it had in 2020 compulsorily retired two Additional District and Sessions Judges, sending out a strong message of zero tolerance against indiscipline, complacency or other factors in the subordinate judiciary.
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