CAT reinstates IPS K C Agrawal n Staff Reporter

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Feb 2018 11:41:13


The Jabalpur Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal(CAT) quashed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Chhattisgarh Government order for ‘compulsory retirement’ of Chhattisgarh cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer K C Agrawal. A division bench of judicial members, Navin Tandon and Ramesh Singh Thakur, quashed the order.

K C Agrawal (2002-batch) was one among two IPS officers of Chhattisgarh cadre, also including A M Jury (2000-batch), who were forcibly retired by Centre in mid 2017, on charges of being inefficient and redundant. The two officers were shunted by the Government of India (GoI), a move cited ‘in public interest.’ By doing so, the GoI attempted to send a blanket message across the rank and file to either perform or perish.

Agrawal was forcible retired under Rule 16(3) of the Rules, 1958 by orders dated 03.08.2017 of Union of India and dated 05.08.2017 of Chhattisgarh Government respectively. The punitive action under All India Service Rule 16 (3) that says the central government in consultation with the State Government concerned can retire an officer of the service in public interest after serving them notice.

As per information received, the CAT quashed and set aside impunged orders dated 03-8-2017 and 05-8-2017 against K C Agrawal and directed Union of India through its Secretary, MHA; Home Department of Chhattisgarh; Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh and Director General of Police (DGP), Chhattisgarh (all respondents) to restore the officer to his original position in the cadre without any break with all consequential benefits denied to him due to compulsory retirement. The benefits include pay, perks, status and arrears thereof and interest therein. The CAT also observed that the application for Rule 16 (3) of the Rules 1958 have not been applied properly in the case of the officer, who sought interim relief from the tribunal while pleading through an application, citing it in the interest of justice. “A bare perusal of the facts makes it absolutely clear that the powers conferred under Rule 16(3) of the Rules of 1958 were incorrectly applied in the case of applicant. The impugned action violates fundamental rights of applicant and is in gross violation of the guidelines pertaining to exercise of said powers, and the impugned orders are clearly perverse,” asserted Manoj Sharma, the learned counsel for the applicant while pleading before the tribunal.

The CAT also duly noted that the MHA erred in preparing the Office Memorandum (OM) which cast aspersions on the integrity of the applicant without any basis. Instead of asking State Government as to why a mention of has been made of an anonymous complaint, the MHA modified it to number of complaints.

The tribunal made these remarks after the counsel for the applicant apprised the judicial members that the Review Committee proceedings mentioned about one anonymous complaint pending against the officer about the misuse power and corruption. But, the OM prepared stated the Review Committee had turned it into number of complaints against the applicant, which was not explained in any documents, even as nothing doubtful was found in the Annual Confident Reports (ACRs) and Annual Performance Assessment Reports (APARs) of the applicant. The Review Committee also ignored guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) while looking into the applicant’s case, said the learned counsel of the applicant.

The counsel also apprised the judicial members of the tribunal that all these erroneous findings and remarks against the officer was in sharp contrast to his grading in the ACRs/APARs for the period 2010 to 2016, which were of high order and does not indicated that he had become a liability (redundant) to the department. Quite strikingly, for the period 1.4.2015 to 20.1.2016, the grading of the officer was 9.50, 9.50 and 9.50 by the Reporting, Reviewing and Accepting Authorities respectively. During the hearing, the counsel also drew the attention of CAT towards pen picture by the Reporting Authority for the applicant, which read: “The officer is sincere hardworking and dedicated to his job entrusted upon him. He established basic training school on radio for the operators where in service training is also conducted. His contribution to establish good radio network in naxal affected range of Bastar is quite laudable. He efficiently looked into office administration work and visited units timely to conduct required inspec